'Tis the season to stay at a great condo, hotel or bed & breakfast on the Heart of Florida's Emerald Coast. Don't worry: Santa will find you here. Let's go Emerald Coasting this holiday season!

The weather outside is delightful this time of year which is good because we've planned lots of activities to keep you busy during this monthlong celebration. From holiday boat parades to festive light shows and choir performances, there are plenty of ways to celebrate during A Very Emerald Christmas.

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Santa at Harborwalk Village

Visit with Santa at Harborwalk Village: Bring your wish list and come visit with Santa this Holiday Season! All of Santa's guests will receive a special treat!

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October 25 - December 4, 2013 Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Art Exhibits – SlideShow!

Free of Charge

 A unique exhibition of original sideshow, freak show, and circus banners from the 19th and 20th centuries showcases a form of entertainment from a by-gone era.  Selections come thanks to the generosity of private collectors.  Howard and Robin Marks of Sanford, Florida.  The exhibit appears in both the Holzhauer and McIlroy Galleries and is free of charge.  The Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries at Northwest Florida State College are at 100 colleges Blvd., Niceville, FL 32578.  The Galleries are open Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and 90 minutes prior to most Mattie Kelly Arts Center Mainstage and Sprint theater performances.  Call (850) 729-6044 or see www.mattiekellyartscenter.org.

Mattie Kelly Arts Center
Niceville
850-729-6044
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November 17, 2013

Artwalk on the Harbor


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November 22, 2013 5:30 p.m.

The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island Partners with Toys for Tots

Bring the whole family out for food, fun and festivities. There will be a free cocoa and coffee bar, children's activities, live music and an appearance from St. Nick himself! And to top off the night, The Boardwalk will be joined by 7 U.S. Marines to help us light our tree, which we will be dedicating to the Toys for Tots foundation.


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November 23, 2013

Destin Commons Christmas Tree Lighting

4300 Legendary Dr
Destin
850-337-8700
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November 23 - November 24, 2013

The Nutcracker

100 College Blvd
Niceville

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November 23, 2013

Handel's Messiah: Free Concert with the Northwest Florida Symphony

The Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale will present a free concert of Handel's Messiah on Saturday, November 23 at 7:30 pm at St. Paul Lutheran Church. The Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale will be accompanied by a chamber ensemble of musicians form the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.

1407 E John Sims Pkwy
Niceville

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November 24, 2013 1:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M.

Chocoholic Frenzy

Chocoholic Frenzy Market & Silent Auction.  A Chocolate Tasting Fundraiser presented by Ft. Walton Beach Woman's Club.  Proceeds benefit scholarships and local charities.

Ft. Walton Beach
850-240-2618

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November 25, 2013

Hello Dolly! Starring Sally Struthers

100 College Blvd
Niceville

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November 27 - December 5, 2013

Hannukah

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November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving at Harbor Docks with Habitat for Humanity Okaloosa

Each year Charles Morgan, owner of Harbor Docks, offers free Thanksgiving dinner to the community. We offer guests a relaxing sit-down traditional Thanksgiving dinner for their families. Dinner is served to a wide variety of individuals to include tourists visiting for the holiday and many locals that come annually in support of Habitat. Dinner is offered complimentary to guests with the option to donate 'tips' as a gesture to support the mission of Habitat for Humanity Okaloosa.

538 Harbor Blvd
Destin

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November 29, 2013 12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.

Santa's Arrival at HarborWalk Village

10 Harbor Blvd
Destin

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November 30 - December 1, 2013 November 30th & December 1st, 12:00PM – 4:00PM

Santa at HarborWalk

Bring your wish list and come visit with Santa this Holiday Season! All of Santa's guests will receive a special treat!


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December 2, 2013

Ft. Walton Beach Christmas Parade


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December 3, 2013

Cooking Demonstration at The Black Pearl

$20 per person (includes tax and gratuity)

Includes: Beverage, recipe card, and sample of the meal being prepared with sides.

Chef: Kevin Wynn

Dish: Blackened Grouper topped Ceviche

1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy
Ft. Walton Beach
850-833-3016

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December 5, 2013

Ft. Walton Beach Tree Lighting/Boat Parade Festival


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December 5, 2013 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Cooking Demonstration at Harry T's

Please call 850-654-4800 for reservations

46 Harbor Blvd
Destin
850-654-4800

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December 6 - December 7, 2013

A Victorian Christmas

Enjoy melodious Christmas carols, jolly dancing, decadent desserts, cheerful Christmas crackers, heavenly wassail and a special visit from Father Christmas. To help make the evening even more authentic, all the NWFSC performers will be dressed in elaborate Victorian costumes.

100 McCracken Way
Niceville

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December 6, 2013

NWFSC Honors Recital

The Honors Recital is held at the end of each semester to showcase the most successful Northwest Florida State College student vocal and instrumental performances of the term.

100 McCracken Way
Niceville

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December 7 - December 8, 2013 December 7th and 8th, 12:00PM – 4:00PM

Santa at HarborWalk

Bring your wish list and come visit with Santa this Holiday Season! All of Santa's guests will receive a special treat!


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December 7, 2013 10:00 am - Noon, $40 per person

Mama Clemenza's Holiday Cheese Cake Cooking Class

Learn 3 different Cheese Cake recipes and the important tips you need to know to make the perfect cheese cake every time!

850-243-0707

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December 7, 2013 4:30 p.m.

Shelter House 5k/9k Luminaria Run

4100 Indian Bayou Trail
Destin
850-243-1201
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December 7 - December 8, 2013

Youth Orchestra & Junior Orchestra Free Winter Concerts

The NFSYO is a full orchestra comprised of more than 50 talented musicians in grades 4 to12 from Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa Counties. In the second half of the concert, the young musicians will be joined by the Emerald Coast Symphonic Pops musical group for additional holiday themed music selections. The pops group is a volunteer organization of local adult musicians who come together and perform light classics and popular symphonic music for enjoyment.

100 McCracken Way
Niceville

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December 8, 2013 4:00 p.m.

Wine, Dine and Paint at the Black Pearl

Join us for a night of dinner, drinks and painting. The Black Pearl on Okaloosa Island invites The Emerald Cork Paint and Wine Studio into the restaurant for a night of fun on December 8th. Dinner will start at 4pm with a 3-course menu hand picked by Chef Kevin Wynn. After dinner we will move to our heated, enclosed deck, over looking the Gulf of Mexico to begin the paint session! For $50 per person you can come experience a night like no other and don’t forget, if you bring a toy for the Toys for Tots foundation you get a 15% discount on your bill!

1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy
Ft. Walton Beach
850-737-0247
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December 10, 2013

Cooking Demonstration at Floyd's Shrimp House

$20 per person (includes tax and gratuity)

Includes: Beverage, recipe card, and sample of the meal being prepared with sides.

Chef: Mike Rhodes

Dish: Killer Shrimp

1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE
Ft. Walton Beach
850-243-2232

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December 12, 2013 6 p.m.

Magnolia Grill Cooking Demonstration

$10 includes one glass of wine and taste of Coquilles St. Jacque. Reservations required.

157 Brooks St SE
Ft. Walton Beach
850-302-0266

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December 13, 2013

A Peter White Christmas

800-595-4849
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December 13, 2013 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Santa and the Best of Elvis

Join Ron Adams in bringing Santa in with the best of Elvis!

4304 Legendary Drive
Destin
850-424-7172

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December 14 - December 15, 2013 December 14th and 15th, 12:00PM – 4:00PM

Santa at HarborWalk

Bring your wish list and come visit with Santa this Holiday Season! All of Santa's guests will receive a special treat!


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December 14, 2013

Jingle Bell Jog 5k/10k

99 Eglin Pkwy NE
Ft. Walton Beach

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December 14, 2013

National Tour of Spencer's Theatre of Illusion

The show includes mind-boggling magic such as the "Spikes of Doom", walking through a sheering industrial fan and transporting through a solid brick wall. Much more than magic, the show is infused with a colorful spectrum of lights, complex set designs and theatrical elements of drama, comedy, romance and suspense.

100 McCracken Way
Niceville

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December 14, 2013 11:00 a.m.

AJ’s "Lunch With Santa"

Proceeding the Destin Christmas Parade, Santa will arrived by firetruck at AJ’s. There will be face painting by “Arts on the Beach”, Christmas crafts for the kids from Home Depot, Cheryl Jones playing holiday songs with many instruments for the kids to play along with too, cookie decorating, coloring, treats from Bass Pro Shops & Build-A-Bear Workshop, and much more. Most importantly kids will get to make out there Christmas wish list, “mail” it in the big red mailbox for the North Pole, and spend some time on Santa’s lap.

116 Harbor Blvd
Destin

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December 14, 2013

Breakfast with Santa at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Call for Details!

Destin
850-650-1881
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December 14, 2013 10:00 a.m.

City of Destin Christmas Parade

Destin

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December 15, 2013 6:00 p.m.

27th Annual Holiday on the Harbor 2013 Lighted Boat Parade

The Destin History and Fishing Museum invites you to join in a celebration of the Spirit of the Holiday on the Destin Harbor!  All commercial charter and private boats are invited to help light up the harbor with the true Destin spirit fireworks finale at the end of the boat parade.  Sponsored by the Destin History & Fishing Museum.

108 Stahlman Ave
Destin
850-837-6611
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December 17, 2013

Cooking Demonstration at The Crab Trap

Includes: Beverage, recipe card, and sample of the appetizer being prepared.

Chef: Tyrell Rochelle

Dish: Southern Crab Cake

3500 Scenic Hwy 98 E
Destin
850-654-2722

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December 20, 2013

Orchestral Holiday

Miramar Beach
850-269-7229

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December 21, 2013 10:00 a.m.

Running of the Elves

The Downtown FWB Organization presents the 1st Annual Running of the Elves at FWB Landing! Dress like your favorite Elf and have a ball as Roller Derby Santas with candy canes find out who's naughty or nice while jogging along a one mile course through beautiful downtown Fort Walton Beach.

139 Brooks St SE
Ft. Walton Beach

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December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

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December 25, 2013

Christmas Day

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December 28, 2013 6:30 a.m. with staggered start

Round the Bay Relay


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December 28, 2013 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Ft. Walton Beach Beer Festival

The 3rd Annual Destin Beer Festival will take place on Saturday, October 13, 2012 outside the Destin Wine World in the Paradise Key shopping center. There will be over 300 beers to sample and over 60 breweries in attendance. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Children in Crisis.

Ft. Walton Beach Wine World
Ft. Walton Beach

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December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve Celebration

More event information coming soon.

66 Harbor Boulevard
Destin

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November 21 - November 23, 2014 7:30 pm and 2:30 pm

Northwest Florida Ballet Presents The Nutcracker

In November treat yourself to the magic of The Nutcracker, where dolls come to life and Clara travels to the Kingdom of the Sweets.  This year’s performances will be particularly special, as Demetrius Fuller and Sinfonia Gulf Coast take to the orchestra pit to provide live musical accompaniment.  This ballet has been a favorite for families since 1892 when Marius Petipa, the Senior Ballet Master of the Russian Imperial Ballet, commissioned Tchaikovsky to compose a full-length ballet based on the E. T. A. Hoffman story.  NFB’s rendition features a cast of over 80 local children, as well as a number of guest performers.  Perfomances will be Friday, November 21 at 7:30 pm Saturday, November 22 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 23 at 2:30 pm at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center.

Season subscriptions for the entire 2014-15 performing season are available now.  For only $80 for adults and $40 for children you will receive a ticket for each of the three main stage productions – and the earlier you secure your seats, the better the will be!  The regular box office will open one month before the premiere performance of each show.  For more information call NFB at 850-664-7787 or visit nfballet.org.

100 E College Boulevard
Niceville
850-664-7787
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November 28, 2014

Santa's Arrival to HarborWalk Village

Santa makes his grand entrance to the Destin Harbor at this Christmas season kick off!  Kids will enjoy free activities, hot chocolate and can visit with Santa Claus!  The event is free and open to the public.  This day and evening is sure to get you into the holiday spirit!

66 Harbor Boulevard
Destin
850-424-0600
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December 5, 2014

Sounds of the Season by Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation

18th Annual Holiday Music Spectacular

101 Matthew Blvd
Destin

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December 5 - December 6, 2014

A Christmas Carol

The classic Charles Dickens tale “A Christmas Carol” takes a delightful twist December 5 and 6, 2014 in a customized adaption by NWF State College that combines lively music and song along with acting, period costumes, narration, set design and more to bring to life the story of Tiny Tim, Scrooge, Bob Crachitt, and the spirits of the Christmas.  Included in the ticket price of $25 each will be Victorian style desserts and beverages.

The event will have three performances in the Sprint Theater of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at 7:30 pm on Friday, December 5 and Saturday, December 6, and an additional show  on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets go on sale July 1, 2014* from the Box Office.

100 College Blvd
Niceville

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December 6 - December 7, 2014

Visit with Santa at HarborWalk Village

It's time for the children to bring their wish list and visit with Santa Claus.  All of Santa's guests receive a special treat!

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December 12, 2014 7:30 pm

Holiday Pops! Concert

The sounds of the holiday season will fill the air as the NFSO, joined by the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale, performs some of the most beautiful season music ever written. It's an evening for everyone with popular holiday fare, a carol sing-along with eh audience, and festive holiday and Christmas music.

100 College Blvd
Niceville
850-729-6000
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December 13 - December 14, 2014 12PM - 4PM

Visit with Santa at HarborWalk Village

It's time for the children to bring their wish list and visit with Santa Claus.  All of Santa's guests receive a special treat!

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December 13, 2014 7:30 pm

A Peter White Christmas

A Peter White Christmas featuring Rick Braun and Mindi Abair

Smooth jazz and jingle bells return to the Emerald Coast in this unique blend of contemporary jazz and holiday music on Saturday, December 13 in the mainstage theater. This  wildly popular annual holiday event is presented by Seabreeze 106.3 FM. Tickets are $80 for the main floor front section and $40 reserved (all other seating). Purchase early as this event often sells out!

Internationally-renowned guitarist PETER WHITE is joined by trumpeter RICK BRAUN and singer/saxtress MINDI ABAIR for this annual holiday concert, which has become a tradition on the Gulf Coast. Put some "jazz" in your jingle bells this holiday season with this night of music the whole family will love!

100 College Blvd
Niceville

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December 13, 2014 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Lunch with Santa

Join us at AJ's after the Destin Christmas Parade for "Lunch with Santa"! This is a FREE family event for everyone. We'll have live music with Cheryl Jones, arts & crafts with Build-A-Bear, cookie decorating, games & fun, a Home Depot Workshop, Face Painting, a Bouncy House, and so much more! You can even take a turn on Santa's lap to share your holiday wish list.

116 Harbor Blvd.
Destin

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December 15 - December 21, 2014

Holiday Market - Downtown Fort Walton Beach

10AM-6PM Local arts and crafts, Downtown Open House, live entertainment, photos with Santa, Running of the Elves fun run.

Ft. Walton Beach

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December 20 - December 21, 2014 12PM - 4PM

Visit with Santa at HarborWalk Village

It's time for the children to bring their wish list and visit with Santa Claus.  All of Santa's guests receive a special treat!

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December 20, 2014 10AM - 6PM

2014 Downtown FWB Holiday Market/Open House

On Saturday, 20 Dec 2014, the Downtown FWB Organization, Inc. invites you to Visit Downtown FWB to DINE, SHOP, WALK and DISCOVER with us for our 2014 Holiday Market/Open House! The festivities will start with the Annual Running of The Elves Fun Run at 10:00 and Santa Claus will be arriving to the FWB Landing Park on a fire truck immediately behind the Elves! The Candy Cane Trail, Live Nativity and Downtown Marketplace will open by 10:00 until at least 6:00 PM. So, please join us in Downtown FWB for Holiday Spirit, Music, and FREE FUN for the whole FAMILY! Happy Holidays, to ALL!!!

Ft. Walton Beach
850-218-0812
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