Nights of Lights 2015

Nights of Lights – Nov 21st – Jan 31st!

You’ll never forget Nights of Lights in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches… Florida’s Historic Coast!  Nights of Lights traditionally begins the Saturday before the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, Nights of Lights “turns on” November 21, 2015, and continues through January 31, 2016.

During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with holiday magic – from the ground to the rooftops. Selected by National Geographic in 2011 & 2012 as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights feature millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s oldest city.

Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city’s 450-year history and illuminates the beautiful setting for lasting holiday memories.
The best way to enjoy the popular holiday lighting display is to park in the Historic Parking Facility located off Castillo Drive and enjoy the sights in one of many different ways – on foot, by bicycle or pedicab, on the Old Town Trolley or the Ripley’s Red Train, or by horse and carriage.

Other events happening during the Nights of Lights 2015!

 

Dressing of the Palms – October 31 – December 31 – Enjoy some unique holiday decorations in Vilano Beach during St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights.  

Vilano Beach’s Dressing of the Palms offers an unusual holiday lights display with a special St. Augustine-style quirky charm. Artists of all kinds — residents, schools, business groups and community organizations — can show off their artistic skills and imagination as they decorate the 200 palm trees that line the streets of Vilano Beach’s Town Center. The decorating period runs from October 31 until November 22, 2015. The trees remain decorated through the end of the year. Adopting a tree to decorate requires a $25 donation for businesses. Not-for-profit organizations may participate at no cost. Registration is at Rainbow Shades at 85 Ava Way in Vilano Beach. After November 22, votes for the People’s Choice — the most appealing tree based on theme, artistic effect, and creativity — will be collected. Additionally, judges selected from local businesses and organizations will make the difficult decisions on which of these amazing works of art will be designated as the most outstanding trees of the year. Prizes will be awarded for the winning trees on Saturday, December 5, 2015, at the First Saturday Vilano Beach Sunset Celebration. The decorations will stay up until the end of December. Visitors are invited to stroll through the town center and decide for themselves which uniquely-decorated tree is their favorite. Admission is free.Vilano Beach’s Dressing of the Palms offers an unusual holiday lights display with a special St. Augustine-style quirky charm.Artists of all kinds — residents, schools, business groups and community organizations — can show off their artistic skills and imagination as they decorate the 200 palm trees that line the streets of Vilano Beach’s Town Center. The decorating period runs from October 31 until November 22, 2015. The trees remain decorated through the end of the year.Adopting a tree to decorate requires a $25 donation for businesses. Not-for-profit organizations may participate at no cost. Registration is at Rainbow Shades at 85 Ava Way in Vilano Beach. After November 22, votes for the People’s Choice — the most appealing tree based on theme, artistic effect, and creativity — will be collected. Additionally, judges selected from local businesses and organizations will make the difficult decisions on which of these amazing works of art will be designated as the most outstanding trees of the year. Prizes will be awarded for the winning trees on Saturday, December 5, 2015, at the First Saturday Vilano Beach Sunset Celebration. The decorations will stay up until the end of December. Visitors are invited to stroll through the town center and decide for themselves which uniquely-decorated tree is their favorite. Admission is free. When? October 31 – December 31, 2015 Where? Vilano Beach Main St. in St. Augustine.

VIP Nights of Lights Walking Tours

See the very best of St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights on this guided walking tour offered by Tour St. Augustine.

  • Tour St. Augustine offers a VIP Nights of Lights Walking Tour for visitors and residents alike who want to enjoy the spectacle of lights in the nation’s oldest city while learning more about the history of this award-winning holiday lighting display.Licensed tour guides lead the walking tour throughout the downtown district, which is glittering with some three million lights from November 21, 2015, to January 31, 2016. The 1.5-hour tour departs on select Friday and Saturday nights from Tour St. Augustine at 4 Granada St., and begins with homemade hot chocolate or ice cream (depending on the temperature) provided by Claude’s Chocolates.Admission: $18 per person. Call (904) 825-0087 to check availability and make reservations for this tour.When? Select Friday and Saturday nights from November 21, 2015, through January 31, 2016.Where? Tour St. Augustine is located at 41 Granada St. in downtown St. Augustine.

 

St. Augustine Lighthouse
At 6 p.m. on the first Wednesday in December, the grounds of the historic St. Augustine Lighthouse are opened to the public for Luminary Night. The Keeper’s House is beautifully decorated as it was in the Victorian Age, Santa comes to visit with the children, and the walking paths and grounds are lit with thousands of luminaries.

Climb to the top of the tower for a spectacular view of the luminaries below and the lights of St. Augustine across the bay. Get there early and park in the lighthouse parking lot – otherwise it can be a hike.

St. Augustine Beach
In late November, Surf Illumination comes to the seaside town. In a special ceremony, the city’s Christmas tree is lit and the area surrounding the ocean pier sparkles to life with thousands of tiny white lights.
On Dec. 31, Beach Blast Off comes to the pier. Live music, food and fireworks on the beach create a great way to greet the new year.
The seawall behind the Cultural Center is a great vantage point. For the best parking, get there early and use the public lots along A1A.

Nights of Lights – Sail boat cruises

St. Augustine’s world-famous Nights of Lights traces its origin to the Spanish tradition of displaying a single white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays. Today, in the year of St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary, the tradition continues, with some three million white lights adorning the wonderful old building sand landmarks along the bayfront and throughout the brick streets of the nation’s oldest city.

There are lots of ways to see St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights, and the Schooner Freedom provides a new dimension with its Nights of Lights sails, offering a breathtaking view from the water of the city scape and the lights reflecting in the water.

Advance reservations are required for all the Nights of Lights sails, and seating is limited. Reserve  by calling (904) 810-1010 or visiting here. All sails depart from the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, which is located at 111 Avenida Menendez.

Nights of Lights Illumination Ceremony Sail

On Light Up! night (Saturday, November 21, 2015), when the mayor of St. Augustine throws the switch to turn on the lights, the Schooner Freedom is offering a special Nights of Lights Illumination Ceremony Sail. The two-hour sail departs from the marina at 5:15 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person, which includes complimentary soda, water, beer, wine and hot chocolate. Seating is limited, so early reservations are recommended.
When? Sails on Saturday, November 21, 2015, only.

Nights of Lights Sunset Sail

The lights stay up through the end of January, 2016, and the Schooner Freedom offers nightly Nights of Lights Sunset Sails throughout that time. The Nights of Lights Sunset Sail departs at 4:15 p.m. and lasts two hours. The $50 per person rate includes  complimentary soda, water, beer, wine and hot chocolate.
When? Nightly sails from November 22 – December 31, 2015

Nights of Lights Moonlight Sail

On Friday and Saturday nights only from November 27, 2015, through January 30, 2016, the Schooner Freedom offers its Nights of Lights Moonlight Sail. This sail is just over an hour and departs at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person, which includes complimentary soda, water, beer, wine and hot chocolate.
When? Friday and Saturday nights only from November 27 – December 26, 2015.

 

The Holly Jolly Trolley

Explore St. Augustine’s famous Night of Lights in the cozy comfort of our Holly Jolly Trolleys. Guests of all ages delight at the festive wonderland of the historic area glittering with millions of tiny white lights. This tour is an annual tradition for thousands, and is sure to be one of your favorite holiday outings. Caroling, hot cider, and homemade cookies add to the magic of your evening. Guests will receive complimentary magical viewing glasses, handcrafted by Santa’s elves exclusively for our guests. These amazing glasses will enhance the twinkle and glimmer of the lights, making this ride even more special. We’ll be riding nightly. Come share holiday cheer with friends or snuggle up with loved ones and make this your holiday tradition. We’ll warm up the cider!


Vote for the Best Holiday Lights Display!

Holly Jolly Trolley guests will have the opportunity to place their votes through text messaging during the Third Annual Nights of Lights Holiday Lights Display Contest.

Tour stops at Potter’s Wax Museum for hot cider and homemade cookies!

Back By Popular Demand!

Historic Tours of America proudly announces our new addition to this year’s Nights of Lights Holly Jolly Trolley! To help celebrate 450 years of Christmas in St. Augustine, we will be adding live entertainment on select nights of the Nights of Lights at the Visitor’s Information Center. During selected nights, guests will be entertained with music and singing while in line for the Holly Jolly Trolley. We will have local school groups, carolers and even a brass band play traditional carols as well as pieces from the colonial period.

Candlelight Tours of Villa Zorayda Museum

Join us this Holiday Season for the Villa Zorayda’s 6th  Annual  “Candlelight Tour” of the museum which are offered on select evenings during St. Augustine’s “Nights of Lights” Celebration. The Villa is beautifully decorated for the holidays with a spectacular Christmas Tree decorated in the colors of the Zorayda – red and gold – located center stage in the Court of Lions. Over 100 candles are aglow throughout the museum as our docents lead by candlelight for your tour of this historic former home.
Unless noted otherwise, the Candlelight Tour will begin promptly at 6:30 pm and last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Come early and enjoy refreshments of homemade Christmas cookies and punch beginning at 6:00 pm – included with your Candlelight Tour. In addition we also offer select Candlelight Tour dates which will begin at 6:00 pm and will NOT include refreshments.
Adult admission is $18 – children 7 – 12 are $8. Refreshments included. No charge for children ages 4 – 6. Tours which will not include refreshments will be offered at a reduced rate of $15.00 for adults, children 7 – 12 are $7.00. No charge for children ages 4 – 6. All of our Candlelight Tours are not recommended for children 3 and under.
Reservations are required as space is limited. Please phone 904-829-9887.
NOTE: The museum will be closed December 7 thru December 13, 2015.
2015 Candlelight Tour Dates:
                                        November 28
                                        December  2 – No refreshments
                                    **December  5 – tour starts at 6pm refreshments 5:30
                                        December 16 – No refreshments
                                        December 19
                                    **December 27 – tour starts at 6 pm refreshments 5:30 pm
                                        December 30
                                        January 2, 2015 – No refreshments
Group rates are available for 20 or more people.

St. Augustine Scavenger Hunters during the Nights of Lights

See St. Augustine Nights of Lights while solving puzzles and searching for clues in this seasonal scavenger hunt.

St. Augustine Scavenger Hunters now offers a special hunt for the holidays in St. Augustine — the Nights of Lights Scavenger Hunt. The hunt takes participants on a search for clues through the downtown streets that are all lit up for St. Augustine’s world-renowned Nights of Lights.

The Nights of Light Scavenger Hunt focuses on the dazzling lights display that illuminate St. Augustine for two months during the Christmas holidays. This seasonal hunt is picture-based, with lots of riddles and puzzles to be solved along the way.

No reservations are required to join a Scavenger Hunt. The hunt is self-guided and does not require prior reservations. Participants are given the clues and are timed as part of the competition. The hunt takes 2 to 2 ½ hours to complete, and winners receive prizes that include t-shirts, coupons and gift cards.

Admission: The Nights of Lights Scavenger Hunt is $16 for adults and $10 for children. No reservations are required.

When? From November 24, 2015 through the end of January, 2016, the Nights of Lights Scavenger Hunt is available daily except for Monday during these hours: Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, beginning at 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. , which is when the last hunt goes out; it’s due back by 9:30 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (when the last hunt goes out; due back by 10:30 p.m.).

Where? St. Augustine Scavenger Hunt is located at 1 King Street, Suite #117