Click here to browse the 2016 Holiday Event Guide now!

Previous Guides:

The BIG 2015 Sanford Holiday Event Guide

Home for the Holidays (1)

Christmas in the Square Sanford FL

Anyone who has ever visited Downtown Sanford during the holiday season will probably love it forever! There’s something about small historic towns and holiday decor and lights that just lets us connect to a place and its people on a whole other level. Downtown Sanford will soon be all dressed up for the holidays and I can’t wait to attend as many events as possible with my friends and family!

According to the city of Sanford, lights will be installed from French Avenue to Sanford Avenue and on Sanford Avenue from East 1st Street to East 6th Street. There will be a total of 124,500 lights installed for this year’s Holiday festivities and that is not even counting the 13,000 lights that will be strung on the light poles.

As every year, I have searched the internet and multiple web sites to bring you the best and most complete Holiday Events Guide for Sanford. It’s mid November and we have just observed Veteran’s Day, I think it’s ok to get the holiday preparations started.

So without further ado, here are 22 Holiday Events in Sanford (ordered by date) that could make this your best holiday season ever! Please check back often as I am constantly adding new events to this idea hub and you sure wouldn’t want to miss out on those, would you?

Santa pictures at Seminole Towne Center Mall in Sanford, FL1. Visits and Photos with Santa

When: 11/8/2014 – 12/24/2014

November 8-30: Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sundays: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. (*Sunday, November 23: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, November 30: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

December 1-14: Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m, Sunday, December 7: 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday, November 14: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

December 15-21: Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sundays: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

December 22-24: Monday & Tuesday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Wednesday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: Seminole Towne Center Mall, Sanford, FL

What: Visits and photos with Santa will be available through December 24th. Photo prices will vary depending on selected print. Children will also receive a FREE gift with each visit, while supplies last.

Admission: FREE but pay for prints

More Info: For additional information about Santa photos and visits, please stop by the Santa booth in Center Court.


2. Steve Green – Christmas

When: Nov 22 at 7pm (doors open at 6pm)

Where: Westview Baptist, 4100 CR 46A, Sanford, FL 32771

What: This concert event featuring Steve Green and a community choir will bring you a night to remember with songs that you have come to love along with some new surprises too. The Dessert Meet & Greet starts at 5:30pm and is limited to the 50 people only. Don’t be late if you want a good seat.

Admission: Adult $20 – Children under 3: $10 – Dessert Meet & Greet Only $40

More Info

Jeanine Taylor Holiday Extravaganza3. Holiday Extravaganza Opening Reception

When: November 28, 6-9pm (Extravaganza runs from Nov 22 – Dec 23, 2014)

Where: Jeanine Taylor Folk Art, 211 E 1st St, Sanford, FL, United States

What: In connection with the Sanford Art Walk (Fourth Fridays). A wide range of handmade art objects suitable as gifts, including jewelry, ornaments, mixed-media pieces, sculptures and paintings. Work from resident artists Debe Abbott, KV Abbott, Tom Abbott, Anne-Marie Colwell, Cherie Dacko, Stewart Jones, Jennifer Lindquist, Carissa Paige, Robert Mier, Angelica Millan, Jonathan Simon and Cindy Sturla.

Admission: FREE

More Info: Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat 10am-6pm. Sun 12-5pm. Mondays by appointment. 407-323.2774

4. Ugly Sweater Decorating Extravaganza

When: Saturday, November 29 – 6-8pm

Where: Indie Craft Exchange, 108 E 1st St, Sanford, Florida 32771

What: Beer, Snacks and Supplies included! *Bring Your own Sweater to Decorate!*

Admission: $20 per person or $30 for Two!

More Info or (407) 878-7921

5. Claus & Paws – Pet Photos with Santa

When: 11/30/2014 and 12/7/2014

Where: Seminole Towne Center Mall, Sanford, FL

What:  What could be more memorable than a photo of Santa with your favorite family member, Fido or Fluffy? Seminole Towne Center invites all pet lovers out for a special photo opportunity, Sunday, November 30 and and Sunday, December 7. Get your pet’s photo taken with Santa from 6 pm.-8 p.m. at the Santa set located in the mall’s Center Court.

Photo prices will vary depending on selected print and pets will receive a special treat after each visit. Pets may enter through the Food Court entrance or Dock #6, near Burlington. Traditional pets only please. Santa is sponsored by Gymboree.

Admission: FREE but pay for prints

More Info: For additional information about Santa photos and visits, please stop by the Santa booth in Center Court.

christmas_in_the_square6. Christmas in the Square

When: December 5, 2014 – 6-8pm

Where: Magnolia Square, Downtown Sanford

What: Join the City of Sanford as they light up their Historic Downtown! The evening festival will feature live entertainment, visits with Santa, gorgeous Christmas lights, and activities for the whole family.

Admission: FREE

More Info: Contact (407) 688-5120 for more information.

Sanford Christmas Tour of Homes

Picture courtesy of JP Photography Sanford FL

7. 26th Annual Holiday Tour of Homes

When: December 5, 2014 – 6-9:30pm and December 6, 2014 – 11am-4pm

Where: Downtown Sanford and Historic Residential District

WhatCandlelight Tour of Homes:

This year’s Candlelight Tour of Homes features beautifully decorated homes and festive gardens on Magnolia Avenue in Sanford’s Historic District. Stroll candlelit streets while enjoying live saxophone, string and choral music. Enjoy food samples from local restaurants and try our new beer and wine garden.

Saturday Walking/Driving Tour of Homes:

Discover decorating and gardening ideas and enjoy several of the same homes of the Candlelight Tour featured on the Saturday Tour. There will be additional homes and a historic church featured as well. The popular Tablescapes display* will be held at the new String Theory Gallery in downtown Sanford (First Street).

Admission: Candlelight Tour of Homes: $25-$30 – Sales limited to 800 tickets – Daytime Tour of Homes: $15

More Info: More info at

*FREE at the Holiday Tour of Homes is a visit at the annual Tablescapes Display at String Theory Creations (204 E First Street). Times are Friday 6-9pm and Saturday & Sunday 10am-8pm.

8. A Christmas Carol

When: Dec 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14 – Fridays/Saturdays 7:30pm and Sundays 2pm

Where: THE PRINCESS THEATER, 115 W 1st St., Sanford, FL

What: A Christmas Carol, Presented by Spotlight Theatre of Central Florida: On Christmas Eve, four ghosts teach Scrooge, an elderly miser, that love and friendship are much more important than amassing a fortune. The first ghost is that of Marley, his former business partner, who warns him about the suffering awaiting him if he does not change. The three other ghosts reveal to Scrooge scenes from his past, present and future. After witnessing these scenes, Scrooge is a changed man.

Admission: Adult $15/Student $10

Group Rate $1 off per ticket for groups of 20 or more

More Info: To purchase tickets please call 407-542-4526, visit, or email

9. Christmas Around the Tree – A Holiday Cabaret

When: Dec. 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.

Where: Seminole State College, 100 Weldon Boulevard, Sanford, FL. Building G on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus (General parking for the Fine Arts Theatre is available in Lot 9. Accessible parking is available in Lot 11, north of the Fine Arts Building.)

What: Presented in partnership with Central Florida Community Arts. Take a journey with eight incredible vocalists from Central Florida Community Arts as they sing songs around the tree that you will simply love. Seminole State College’s Fine Arts Theatre presents six major productions per year.

Admission: $10 for adults; $8 for seniors and non-Seminole State students; and FREE for faculty, staff and currently-enrolled Seminole State students.

More Info: Ticket and subscription information:

planetarium sanford

10. The Star of Bethlehem

When: 12/05, 12/6, 12/12, 12/13, 12/19, 12/20 – Time 7-8pm and 8:30-9:30pm

Where: Seminole State College of Florida ©, Planetarium (B-117), 100 Weldon Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773

What: A favorite seasonal presentation of planetariums around the world, the Seminole State College Planetarium-produced version of “Star of Bethlehem” has been praised by both secular and religious audiences alike for the last decade. “Star of Bethlehem” looks into the issue of the Christmas star from a scientific standpoint, breaking down the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, the story of the Magi, and the astronomical events that may help to explain the Star. With cutting-edge research that is both scientifically and historically accurate, “The Star of Bethlehem” deftly explores the fine line between faith and science.

Admission: Adults: $6 – Seniors (55 and up): $4 – Students (grades K-12): $4 – Non-Seminole State College Students (with ID): $4 – Preschoolers and Seminole State students, faculty and staff: Free!

More Info: Most appropriate for ages nine and up. Contact Michael McConville – 407.708.2421


11. Hysterical Tour of Gnomes

When: December 5 – 8pm-2am

Where: Downtown Sanford: The Quiet Man, Breezeway Grill & Bar, Celery City Craft, West End Trading Co., The Purple Grape, Fat Rat’s Lounge and Little Fish Huge Pond.

What: Little Fish Huge Pond and the Sanford Pub Invasion presents “The 4th Annual Hysterical Tour of Gnomes”. On Friday, December 5, 2014, Gnomes plan to tour historic downtown Sanford once again. Four years ago a thought was utter out loud and it struck gold. Whilst the Sanford Historical Trust has their annual Holiday Tour of Homes, the bars have the Hysterical Tour of Gnome. This year 7 of Sanford’s Bars and Restaurants will participant in the pageantry. The Quiet Man, Breezeway Grill & Bar, Celery City Craft, West End Trading Co., The Purple Grape, Fat Rat’s Lounge and Little Fish Huge Pond.

This year, Little Fish Huge Pond is offering a cash prize of $100 to the best Gnome. The costume contest will be judge by the grand marshal “Knocker’s the Gnome”, so get your GNOME ON, Sanford. If you feel boxed in, don’t; Smurfs, Trolls, Pixies, Elves, and Dwarfs are welcomed. Contest at 12am at Little Fish Huge Pond.

Admission: Tickets for this event are $20. $20 get you a free drink at each establishment at a value of $5. Ticket will be on sale at all 7 establishments, starting November 1.

More Info: (407) 221-1499

12. 13th Annual Kettle Cup

When: December 7, 9am-4pm

Where: Lake Monroe Sailing Association

What: The Lake Monroe Sailing Association would like to invite everyone to come and sail in the 13th Annual Kettle Cup Regatta.

Since 2001, The Lake Monroe Sailing Association has hosted the Kettle Cup Regatta to help families in need during the holiday season. Each year the Kettle Cup Regatta raises funds to assist the Salvation Army of Seminole County bring joy to families in the area. Last year’s donated proceeds helped the Salvation Army feed over 40 families.

This year we hope to provide more to our local families in need but we need you. We need sailors to come out and participate. Sailing associations and clubs are asked to by posting the Kettle Cup announcement on your bulletin board or website to get the word out.

  • Skippers meeting 1100 to be held and the LMSA clubhouse.
  • First Warning signal on Saturday at 1155 Other races to follow.
  • First warning signal on Sunday at 0955. Other races to follow.

Admission: Free for spectators.


wayne-densch-sanford-fl13. Sanford Jazz Ensemble: Winter Concert

When: December 7, 3-5pm

Where: Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, 203 South Magnolia Avenue, Sanford, FL

What: Come and hear the SJE play everything from a Military Medley in remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day, to some of your favorite Blood Sweat and Tears rock and roll along with some of your favorite Christmas Tunes. This concert will feature guest vocalist Ron Stark.

The Sanford Jazz Ensemble is a volunteer community orchestra made up of a diverse group of excellent musicians, dedicated to the preservation of the Big Band Jazz Tradition. The band’s extensive repertoire covers a wide range of material from the classic swing era to the contemporary jazz styles of today.

Admission: $15

More Info: Tickets at

14. Holiday Concert

When: Dec. 9 Holiday Concert (Afternoon Performance) 2 pm – Holiday Concert (Evening Performance) 7:30 pm

Where: Fine Arts Concert Hall (building G) on Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, 100 Weldon Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773

What: Seminole State’s Music Department presents an array of concerts and recitals throughout the year that highlight talented students and faculty as well as renowned regional and national artists.

Admission: All events are free and open to the public.

More Info: Event Parking: General parking for concerts is available in Lot 9. Accessible parking is available in Lot 11, north of the Fine Arts Building.

15. 3rd Annual St. Johns River Holiday Gift & Dinner Cruise 

Sorry, but this event has been cancelled!

When: Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 6pm

Where: St. Johns Rivership Co, 433 N. Palmetto Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771

What: Join us for a very special holiday fundraiser on the St. Johns River aboard the Barbara-Lee authentic Sternwheeler Riverboat. 3-Course Dinner & River Cruise, Live Music, Holiday Gift Vendors, Cash Bar.

Reserve your company Holiday Party Table. Benefiting the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center

Admission: $59 per person (included port and tax)

More Info: RSVP 407-468-1987

16. Alive After Five Street Party – Holiday Fest

When: Thursday, December 11 – 5-8pm

Where: Downtown Sanford

What: Come celebrate the Holidays in Downtown Sanford at our Alive After 5 “Holiday Fest”. Help choose our “Best Decorated” store window and see our Inaugural Lighted Golf Cart Parade down First Street (enter here by December 5, 2014). Live music, Kid Zone, great food & drinks and LOTS of Holiday FUN for the whole family!! Plus: Free Christmas concert and free hot chocolate at Magnolia Square!

Attention Bike Lovers: If you would like to join the Holiday Parade at the event decorate your bicycle with lights (and whatever else you deem appropriate) and join the bike mob. They will be meeting at Celery City Craft. More info can be found here:

Admission: FREE admission; $7 for wristband to let you sample food and drinks

More Info: Historic Sanford Welcome Center

17. Breakfast (or Brunch) with Santa

When: December 13 – 9-10:30am (Breakfast) and 11am-12:30pm (Brunch)

Where: Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, 3755 U.S. 17, Sanford, FL 32771

What: Join us this holiday season and enjoy breakfast or brunch with Santa at the Zoo! There will be lots of fun holiday cheer and activities for the whole family. Share your holiday wishes with Santa and enjoy up-close animal encounters. Everyone will get to enjoy making a special animal enrichment and join the Zoo Keepers to watch as the animals receive their special holiday gifts.

Admission:  Zoo Pass Holders: $22.00 adults, $17.00 children (3-12 years), $10 per 2 year old Children under 2 are free, but must be registered to attend. Limit two free children per family.

Non-Pass Holders: $27.00 adults, $22.00 children (3-12 years), $12 per 2 year old Children under 2 are free, but must be registered to attend. Limit two free children per family. Admission to the Zoo is included for non-pass holders.

More Info: Registration will be available online at beginning September 1 or contact 407.323.4450 ext. 123 or for more information.

18. 27th Annual St. Lucia Swedish Christmas Festival

When: Saturday, December 13, 1-4 pm

Where: Museum of Seminole County History, 300 Bush Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773

What: : Swedish food, booths, music, entertainment and exhibit on Sanford’s Swedish descendants. Dessert served and meals available at the SweDISH Food truck.

Admission: Donations requested at the door.

More Info: Phone: (407) 665-2489

Sanford FL Parade of Lights Downtown19. Annual Illuminated Christmas Parade

When: December 13, 2014 – 6-8pm

Where: First Street, Downtown Sanford

What: Santa visits Historic Sanford again in a parade of a thousand lights.

Admission: Free

More Info: Contact (407) 688-5120 for more information.

Winter Luminaries at Sanford Library20. Holiday Luminaries

When: December 15, 2014, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Where: North Branch Library • 150 N. Palmetto Avenue • Sanford, Florida 32771

What: Come and make a luminary with us, perfect for winter decorating

Admission: FREE. For Adults. Registration Required.

More Info: 407.665.1620

21. Gingerbread Build Off for Teens

When: Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Where: North Branch Library • 150 N. Palmetto Avenue • Sanford, Florida 32771

What: Put your gingerbread building skills to the test. Construct an edible edifice in this workshop. Materials supplied, but we welcome a donation of bagged candy (for design decorations.) For Teens only, 13+ years old.

Admission: FREE. Registration required, space is limited.

More Info: 407.665.1620

nutcracker22. Ballet Fedotov Presents the Nutcracker

When: Dec 20, 2014 – 7-9pm

Where: Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, 203 South Magnolia Avenue, Sanford, FL

What: Ballet Fedotov and the Russian Academy of Ballet Alafaya present to you this classic holiday story of a young girl named Clara who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and his fierce battle against the Mouse King.

Spectacular dancing, beautiful costumes, and the rich, melodic score by Pyotr Tchaikovsky bring this tradition to life and bring warmth to your holidays.

Admission: $21-$28

More InfoWDPAC Web Site 

More info to come including about the Illuminated Bike Parade, Illuminated Boat Parade and Ugly Sweater Shuffle Board, so stay tuned and check back often as I am adding new events all the time 😉 Events will be listed as “Bonus Events”

BONUS Events:

Ugly Sweater Holiday Party

When: Thursday, December 4, 3-6pm

Where: Sanford Chamber of Commerce, 400 E First Street, Sanford, FL 32771

What: An open house holiday party organized by the Women’s connection at the Sanford Chamber of Commerce. Win a prize for the ugliest sweater! Vote for your favorite cookie at the Holiday Cookie Bake Off.

Admission: Free. To enter cookie baking contest: $5

More Info:

Holiday Traditions

When: Saturday, December 6th, 2014 – 10am-2pm

Where: Public History Center, 301 West 7th Street, Sanford, FL 32771

What: Explore the many ways Christmas and holidays were celebrated through time. Learn of traditions at the turn of the century. Children can take part in an exciting holiday history hunt, journey into the outdoor gardens and create a unique holiday craft.

Admission: Suggested donation of $5/person

More Info: For more info call 407-936-1679 or email

Santa is Coming to… the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center

When: December 6, 10am-2pm

Where: Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, 203 South Magnolia Avenue, Sanford, FL

What: Get your holiday pictures with Santa and enjoy some holiday cookies and milk!

Admission: $10/person (proceeds go to benefit the upcoming production of Les Miserables at the WDPAC!)

More info: (407) 321-8111

Customer Appreciation Day for Christmas

When: Wednesday, December 10th starting at 4pm

Where: Buster’s Bistro, 412 South Sanford Avenue, Sanford, FL

What: Customer appreciation day for Christmas. Starting at 4pm we will be grilling free burgers and hot dogs, it is also the day that we are launching our 10 specialty Christmas beers!

Admission: Free

More Info: (407) 732-6880

Holiday Fest After Party

When: December 11, 7pm – 10:30pm

Where: La Sirena Gorda Cabana, Palmetto Avenue, Sanford FL

What: Great music (Top 40, Latin Jazz, Salsa & Merengue, Remixes by DJ Zouain) and drink specials ($2 Bud Light, $3 house margaritas, well liquors and wines).

Admission: Free

More Info: (407) 391-3955

Noche Latina – Red Party

When: Friday, December 19, 9:30pm-2am

Where: Lake Monroe Hotel, 530 N. Palmetto Avenue, Sanford FL

What:  Salsa Rythm presents: Familia Salseros y Bachateros, a holiday salsa party. Noche Latina Red Party with Grupo Swing. Dress to Impress. Music by DJ Dido and DJ Georgie

Admission: $10

More Info: 321-279-4014

Illuminated Boat Parade Sanford FL

Sanford’s Illuminated Christmas Boats Parade on Lake Monroe

When: Saturday, December 20, official line-up time: 5:30pm – estimated run 45 minutes

Where: Lake Monroe – North Marina Island

What: Watch beautifully illuminated boats on Lake Monroe – or participate yourself!

Admission: Free for spectators. $25 for boats to participate.

More Info: Capt. DJ McCabe, 407-330-0633

Sanford FL Illuminated Bike ParadeIlluminated Bike Parade

When: Saturday, December 20, after dusk (6/6:30pm)

Where: Downtown Sanford (meeting around Touhy Park)

What: Watch out for the annual Illuminated Bike Parade in Downtown Sanford and the historic residential district – or better yet: join them! Decorate your bike with lights and join the bike mob!

More Info: Insider event! Just go there and you will find them 😉

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

When: Saturday, December 20, 7pm-2am

Where: Camp House Bar & Grill, 100 S White Cedar Rd, Sanford FL

What: It’s time to break out that ugly sweater the one that sits in your closet all year for that one special night. BuckedUp® Apparel will be holding their annual Christmas party here at the Camp House Bar and Grill in Sanford Florida. Come out and celebrate with us! Special performance by Johnny Reed Foley. Half Off Appetizers after 9:00, $1 Amber Bock on Draft All Day Everyday!

Admission: Free

More info: (407) 915-5401

Sanford Holiday Shopping Events

Along with the many holiday events, Sanford also always offers various shopping events where people can shop (local) while enjoying a great atmosphere, food and drinks.

1. Christmas One Stop Shop

November 15, 2014 – 9am-2pm

Updated Address: All Souls Catholic School, 801 S. Oak Street, Sanford FL 32771

  • Free admission
  • Multiple vendors
  • Door Prizes
  • Holiday shopping done early
  • Food & Drinks
  • Unique Gifts

Contact info: Michaela Brown,

Jeanine Taylor Art Gallery Holiday Decor

2. Holiday Open House

November 15, 22, , 2014 – 10am-4pm

Jeanine Taylor Folk Art, 211 E 1st St, Sanford, FL, United States

Join us for this annual kick-off to the holiday season. The gallery will be transformed into an enchanted seasonal wonderland, brimming with holiday decor, ornaments, edibles, and fresh art to delight your spirit.

Shoppers look forward look forward to the Saturday Trunk Shows from favorite artists.

  • Nov 15: Flower Moon: A Tribute to Allison Stilwell. Guest artists: Midge Baudouin and Tracy Stillwell, showing new work and oodles of handmade items for your gift list.
  • Nov 22: Guest Artist Marilyn Sternberg
  • Nov 29: Guest Artist Darlene Allen: Master Bear Maker Darlene Allen will be showing her delightful collection of felted creatures. Bears, of course, in all shapes and sizes plus a fox, a Frenchie bulldog no doubt, pandas, and polar bears. Things will be merry and bright and we’ll share some of our favorite holiday treats from Aunt Ne Ne’s Pantry.
  • Dec 6: Guest Artist Melissa Menzer. If you need a bit of inspiration for your wish list, come meet one of the most imaginative folks we know: Melissa Menzer. Her latest collection of antique assemblages and elegant vintage birds will be cause for celebration. This rounds out our Holiday Trunk Show series and is always a festive time in Sanford, as it falls on the same weekend as the Historic Holiday Tour of Homes.
  • Dec 13: Holiday Trunk Show with Wendy Read of Sunchowder’s Emporia featuring seasonal jams, jellies, and chutneys.

Jeanine Taylor Art Gallery Sanford FL