Fun Christmas Activities on & off the Island

Santa Clause makes a visit to Anna Maria Island in his sleigh

Christmas always feels a bit magical when it comes around each year. Beautiful, colorful, twinkling lights line homes and businesses on every street, and Christmas music plays from every radio station. Anna Maria Island may not be able to offer a white Christmas with snow angels, but we certainly can offer a fun tropical Christmas that will make all your family and friends up north jealous. The Island goes all out for Christmas time with a fabulous parade, a tree lighting ceremony, and more!

Check out the different events taking place during the holiday below!


Privateer’s Christmas Parade:
The Anna Maria Island Privateer’s Parade is a wonderful experience and brings joy to everyone viewing and participating in the event. The parade travels the entire length of the island, beginning at Bay Front Park in Anna Maria, and ending at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach. Once the parade is over, the man in red (also known as Santa) will be handing out gifts to the kiddos. Come out to watch or apply to be in the parade itself. If you want to be a part of the Anna Maria Island Privateer’s Parade you can visit this link,, and print out a Parade application to send in!
When: The second Saturday of December
Where: Entire length of Island
Time: 10am – 12:30pm



Holmes Beach Open House & Tree Lighting:
An evening to stroll the downtown Holmes Beach shopping and art district and a festive tree lighting celebration is a great way to get in the holiday spirit if you ask me. The Holmes Beach Holiday Open House & Tree Lighting event starts off the evening with a beautiful tree lighting celebration in the Anna Maria Chamber of Commerce parking lot, and then it’s time to explore and shop. Crosspointe Fellowship carolers along with Santa and his slay will truly bring out the Christmas spirit.
Where: Tree Lighting will take place at:  5313 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
When: First Friday of December
Time: 5pm – 9pm, Tree lighting will be at 6pm



Christmas on Bridge Street:
Yet another awesome family-friendly event on the Island during Christmas time is the annual event Christmas on Bridge Street. With an abundance of free entertainment, it’s sure to be a blast for every age. Live music, face painting, a visit from Santa, and so much more! Did I mention a variety of food, wine, and beer? Because there will also be plenty of that.
You’ll definitely want to take the whole family to enjoy this fun filled day on Bridge Street.
Where:  Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
When: Third Saturday of December
Time: Noon – 10pm



If you’re free the second weekend of December, head over to Winterfest, a Festival of Fine Arts & Crafts Show taking place at City Hall Field in Holmes Beach. This event is sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Art League and features food, drinks, live music, and of course some arts and crafts you can purchase from local artists.
Plus, admission and parking are free!
Where: 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL, 34217
When: Second weekend of December (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 10am – 4:30pm


The AMI Privateers aboard their ship for the Christmas Parade




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