Christmas Lights and Events are hopping around Ocala! Driving around the Ocala area to see Christmas lights is a fun way to spend time with loved ones. Use this as your official Ocala Area Christmas lights and events guide for fun with family and friends.
🎁Ocala Christmas Events 2019
Being originally from the snowy Christmas weather of Chicago, I know what it’s like to grab the mail in the depths of the snow shoveled path. While we don’t have a “white Christmas” here in Florida, we do still have our cooler weather of nites in the 40’s and 50’s and my family has come to enjoy taking “Christmas walks” in our shorts to enjoy our neighbor’s lights. There’s a lot to be said for living where snow shovels make great dust pans! So from the balmy temperatures of my home in Ocala to yours: Have a Merry Christmas!
🛷Ocala Christmas Parade
Ocala’s Annual Christmas Parade is happening Saturday, December 14th this year. An Ocala tradition since 1955, you don’t want to miss out on this festive parade. The first float begins its stroll at 5:30pm, and the theme this year is A Small Town Christmas. If interested, bleacher seats are available at the Ocala Shopping Center and Save-A-Lot parking lots and can be purchased online by visting THIS LINK or, you can set your personal chairs up starting the 11th. Don’t miss out on this Ocala favorite!
This year, the students at Marion Ballet Collaborative will be putting on their annual Nutcracker performance at the Marion Technical Institute auditorium on December 20th through the 22nd. The show will start at 7pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets are free, although donations at the door are requested. For more information, you can visit the event page on Facebook. Marion Technical Institute auditorium is located at 1614 SE Fort King Street Ocala, Florida 34471.
Kirby Farms is hosting their annual Christmas Express for the eighth year, and it is a can’t miss event. Hop aboard their 100 year old train and ride through thousands of Christmas lights. Santa himself will be present and pictures are free with your own camera. A petting zoo, an antique Ferris wheel, and an Italian carousel will all be available for those who purchase tickets. This event runs through December 29th, and the first train leaves promptly at 6:30pm and runs every half hour with the last ride departing at 9:30pm. Tickets can be purchased online for $15.99 for adults and $10.99 for children aged 3-9 and grants you early entry to the train. Tickets can be purchased at the gate, as well, for $20 for adults and $15 for children. For more information, you can visit their website or call (352) 812-7435. Kirby Farms is located at 19650 NE 30th St, Williston, Florida 32696.
Cottom Farms is another great place to get into the holiday spirit. For $5, you can take a self-guided tour around their Christmas village with a hayride there and back. Pictures with Santa and cocoa and cookies from their Cocoa Café will be offered, as well. This event runs until Christmas Eve from 6pm to 9pm.
Another event taking place at Cottom Farms is Pancakes with Santa for $15, which includes a keepsake craft for the children and pancakes made by Santa himself! This event is happening on the 14th and the 21st of December from 9am to 11am. Children under 2 are free. Tickets for both events can be bought online at or over the phone at (352) 751-4544. Tickets will be available at the gate for the tour of the Christmas village, but be sure to reserve your spot early for Pancakes with Santa. Cottom Farms is located at 4650 Marion County Road Weirsdale, Florida 32195.
🎅Villages Florida Christmas Parade
The Villages will be holding their Christmas Parade on December 14th. It starts at noon, and gates open at 10am with music playing until the parade starts. There will be food from KONA-ice, JNB, Bobalou’s BBQ, and more. There will be free shuttles picking up and dropping off at Savannah and Laurel Recreation Centers. If you can’t use the shuttle, consider carpooling if you plan to attend since parking will be limited. For more information, visit the events page here.
🚂Villages Florida Christmas Events
The Villages will be holding a Christmas Model Train Show between December 12th through the 15th. There will be raffles, multi-gauge layouts, Santa, and of course trains! It’s free for the public and will be open from 9am to 4pm on December 12th, 13th, and 14th, and 10am to 3pm on December 15th. This event will be taking place at the Colony Cottage Recreation Center located at 510 Colony Blvd The Villages, Florida 32162.
The Musical Box Society International in the Villages will be hosting a Holiday Music Box Show where unique musical boxes will be on display. Admission is free and takes place on Saturday, December 14th from 9am to 4pm and Sunday, December 15th from 10am to 3pm at the Rohan Regional Recreation Center. For more information, you can call (352) 674-8400 or you can visit this website.
🎄Ocala Christmas Light Displays
Downtown Ocala (296 SE Broadway St) – Of course, a stop downtown is necessary to take in the iconic palm trees wrapped in green and red and the lights covering the oaks on the square. And the Christmas tree makes the perfect backdrop for a family photo. Parking is available for free at the Downtown Parking Garage.
SE 5th Street / Historic District – The historic district of Ocala hosts their “best of” competition each year so the houses that line the streets are decorated in beautiful displays. Usually more traditional, you can expect these houses to be glimmering with wreathes, garland, and Christmas trees on front porches. Start at the corner of Tuscawilla Ave and 5th Street, traveling East down 5th Street through the neighborhood. 8th Street has a few light displays as well.
542 SE 40th Ave, Ocala – Tucked away in the Southeast, this house has enough blowup displays for an entire neighborhood. Worth mentioning is the ski slope coming off their roof with Santa on skis and snowmen and reindeer on sleds. And it comes complete with a countdown to Christmas!
Pecan Run Lane, Silver Springs Shores – With a sign pointing to the north pole, all six houses on this street are decked out with lights that line the street. Located down 64th Ave on the left, this street is one you can’t miss.
1670 NW 73rd Terrace, Ocala – Featured on the ABC show “The Great Christmas Light Fight”, this house has strings of lights covering every inch of the yard and roof. The trees are wrapped in lights, and candy canes line the fence. It’s definitely a bright spot on Ocala’s map.
4061 SE 26th Ct Road, Ocala – Within the Deep Woods subdivision, there’s a small display but well worth it for the lights dancing. Roll down your window and watch as the lights change to the music playing.
4317 NE 12th St, Ocala – These two houses on this Northeast street seem to be competing with each other for the neighborhood championship. There are blow up characters, projections, and even a giant candy cane arch over a driveway.
Cade Christmas Light Display / 23373 NE 112th Court Rd, Orange Springs – This walk-through light display is well worth the drive out. The path is lined with trees wrapped in colored lights with arches overhead and leads to Deer Back Lake.
2525 SE 157th Lane Rd, Summerfield – The Torres family has quite the impressive display in Vermillion Estates. Tune into 97.7 FM and watch as the lights dance to some classic Christmas songs. Plus, you can catch a glimpse of Santa waltzing around in his workshop, so impressive you’ll actually think he’s really there. The lights run from 6pm to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 11pm on weekends and goes on till January.