Holiday events across North Central Florida

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 3:29 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Holiday events across North Central Florida may look a bit different this year because of COVID-19 precautions. Below you can find a list of events your family can safely visit and enjoy throughout the month.

Dec. 2: Story telling - In partnership with the Marion County Public Library, The Polar Express will be read by actors and dancers at the Jenkins Open Air Amphitheater next to the Reilly Arts Center. Attendees should bring their own chairs.

Dec. 3 – 17 (select nights): Santa on the Square - Santa will be available for photos in the Downtown Square gazebo in Ocala Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Pre-registration is required for a socially distanced photo with Santa. For reservations, contact

Dec. 3-24: Cottom Farm’s Christmas Village- Hayride, light maze, Santa’s house tour, 6-9pm nightly. Last hayride leaves at 8:30pm.

Dec. 4 -18 (select nights): Holiday movies series in Ocala - Movies are free to attend; hot cocoa will be available on a first come, first served basis. Attendees should bring their own chairs.

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol, Dec. 4, 7 p.m., Citizens’ Circle, 110 SE Watula Ave.
  • The Polar Express, Dec. 11, 7 p.m., Tuscawilla Art Park, 213 NE Fifth St.
  • Elf, Dec. 18, 7 p.m., Tuscawilla Oak Grove, 500 NE Ninth St.

Dec. 8 -10: Santa’s Calling - Parents can submit an application for Santa and his elves to call boys and girls for the holiday season. Applications are available here.

Dec. 10: Senior Holiday Luncheon : For adults 50 years and older, come celebrate the season with an afternoon of fun, prizes, games and a delicious lunch at the Ocala Golf Club! $5 per person and pre-registration is required. Register here.

Dec. 16: Santa Paws - Santa will be available for pet portraits at Citizens’ Circle, 110 SE Watula Ave. Ocala, 5 to 8 p.m. A $10 donation benefiting the Marion County Humane Society is required; vendors and adoptable dogs will be available. No registration required.

Live music downtown - Bands, groups and performers will perform at the Downtown Square and Citizens’ Circle in Ocala Wednesday through Sunday evenings in December.

Holiday pop-up photo ops - Throughout downtown Ocala, photo op locations will be available starting at the end of November through early January. From giant candy canes to Santa’s sleigh, there will be over five locations to take festive selfies and photos all holiday season long.

Now-Dec. 24: Photos with Santa at the Oaks Mall in Gainesville, face coverings and registration required. Register here.

Free photo opportunity with Santa: Bass Pro Shops in Gainesville, temperature screenings and face coverings are required. An acrylic barrier will be in place between Santa and families at all times. Reservations required. Register here.

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