Let’s Hangout: A Holiday Event Roundup
Put down the hot chocolate, and don’t Netflix just because it’s chill(y).
December is arguably the most festive month of the year, and Pensacola has sleigh loads of events to celebrate. So, we put together a guide to help you plan your holiday fun.
We highlighted a few things for adults, a few that are perfect for the kiddos and some that appeal to any and everyone.
In addition to these Inweekly-approved picks, we also included a holiday calendar, with some reoccurring and ticketed events, so you can start planning ahead. But make sure you check back every week in December because we’ll be adding to that list and checking it twice (sorry, we couldn’t resist).
From pub crawls to themed pop-up bars, adults definitely have more than enough reasons to get in the spirit this season.
One event in particular has us busy binge-watching already in anticipation and preparation (for trivia night obviously). And if you’re the type to quote “The Office” or maybe you just work in an office, “The Office” Christmas Pop-Up Bar at Perfect Plain should top your holiday to-do list, too.
Events and Marketing Manager Bryant Liggett said Perfect Plain Brewing Co. loves the opportunity to throw a themed party, citing Pensacon, the brewery’s annual “Star Wars” Day celebration and Potterfest as proof.
Their crew has always wanted to throw a party themed after the TV show “The Office.”
“Collectively, our entire staff are huge fans of ‘The Office,’ so we thought it’d be the perfect way to add a twist to our Holiday celebrations,” Liggett said. “We’ll have ‘The Office’ trivia, Scrantonicity II playing live in the Garden, the TV show on loop, a themed cocktail menu, décor and a few other Easter eggs only the biggest ‘Office’ fans will understand. Basically, we’re bringing every ‘Office’ Christmas episode to life.”
Most fans agree that every quote is legendary, but Liggett shared her personal favorite—“I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.”
“The Office” Christmas Pop-Up Bar
Thursday Dec. 26-Sunday, Dec. 29, perfectplain.com
A multi-day celebration themed after the TV show “The Office”
Miracle on Palafox
All season, starting Black Friday, Nov. 29, facebook.com/oldhickorywhiskeybar
What’s better than a holiday happy hour? A holiday happy hour in a fully transformed winter wonderland, of course. And fortunately for us, Old Hickory Whiskey Bar is once again becoming Miracle on Palafox for the season—which means themed drinks and over-the-top décor galore. So get ready to order a round (or two) of Christmapolitans and live your most ‘grammable life.
Santa Pub Crawl 2019
4-10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, facebook.com/orileys.dtown
Because nothing says “adult” Christmas quite like a big group of Santas in a bar. Get ready to embrace your inner Kris Kringle and party at one of Pensacola’s largest annual pub crawls. The objective is not only to celebrate but also collect toys and donations for the event’s charities. The event requires a $15 participation fee, plus a donation for Shriners International or an unwrapped gift for Toys for Tots is appreciated. The fee and donation will secure you a T-shirt (while supplies last), 22-ounce stein and passport for the raffle at the end. Everyone must be 21 and older to participate, so bring your ID. Santa costumes are mandatory, but feel free to get creative because jolly doesn’t look the same on every Santa.
No matter how or what you celebrate this time of year, we can all agree that kids definitely win out when it comes to the holidays. From photo-ops with Santa to movies and plays centered around classic stories, there’s something to keep them busy just about every day until 2020.
One story we think every modern kid should hear this season is coming to the stage at Pensacola Little Theatre. It’s a story from a simpler time, full of that nostalgic brand of timeless holiday magic—“Miracle on 34th Street.”
Kathy Holsworth, the artistic director, said this is their first time doing this version of the show. The play, set in 1950, closely follows the plot of the 1947 movie.
“Our costume designer, Janet Longton, specializes in that era, and we are excited to see all the terrific styles of the time,” Holsworth said. “We, of course, can’t actually produce the Macy’s parade, but we create an atmosphere of imagination that will engage the audience. We’ve had a terrific time researching toys of the time and working with our children to get them to ‘act’ like kids of a different time. This is a Mainstage title for us but is perfect theatre for the entire family. Kris Kringle and the kids in the show really set the Christmas Spirit in motion.”
The cast is composed of 27 people starting as young as age 8 and going up to a mature Kris Kringle.
“There are lots of great featured roles, and our ensemble does a fantastic job of playing the entire population of New York City,” Holsworth said. “Super proud of our military volunteers and happy to provide a home away from home for them. Delightfully, the mother and daughter in the play are mother and daughter in real life. This has been a terrific shared time for them (Michele Barber and her daughter Mattie), and of course, they are very believable as a family on stage.”
Holsworth thinks the play will give people a chance to have faith and believe in something good.
“Even when life isn’t going quite the way you think it should, a little magic goes a long way,” Holsworth said. “Be kind. Share. Be patient, as sometimes we have to wait for our Christmas wish because we aren’t ready yet. But Santa knows. All you have to do is believe.”
“Miracle on 34th Street”
7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14 & 19-21, and 3 p.m. Dec. 15 & 22, pensacolalittletheatre.com
A play based on the 1947 film.
Breakfast with Santa
9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, facebook.com/asalwaysatduh
Eat breakfast at Jo’s, sing with carolers and then pose for a photo with Santa Claus. The menu will include pancakes, breakfast casserole, bacon and fruit washed down with hot chocolate, juice or coffee. Reservations are required—466-5136.
Polar Express Pajama Party
3:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday beginning Nov. 30 and running through Dec. 22, navalaviationmuseum.org
Every weekend this season, kids have the opportunity to watch a modern holiday classic—“The Polar Express”—on the big screen at the National Naval Aviation Museum. And it gets better—attendees are encouraged to wear their pajamas and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and cookie during the movie. See, we told you kids win the holidays.
—Something for Everyone—
Fortunately for all you cool parents out there, not every kid-friendly holiday event is strictly kid-friendly. We even found a few fun ones happening at local breweries, which means beer for nice adults and face-time with Santa (and puppies!) for the nice little ones.
Pics with Santa & Mutt Parade
1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, facebook.com/ecasfriends
Children with or without fur can pose for a picture with Santa Claus at this event at Spahr Brewing Company. In addition to photos, there will be holiday music by Rudy Applewhite on the steel drums, food and a parade for the pooches. Prizes will be given for the best costume. The best part? All proceeds will benefit Friends of the Escambia County Animal Shelter.
2-5 p.m. Sunday. Dec. 8, facebook.com/pensacolahumane
The theme for this “pawty” is simple—pictures and pitchers with Santa for you and your pups. The event will be at Gulf Coast Brewery and is free to attend, but donations are encouraged and will benefit Pensacola Humane Society.
Bare Hand Collective’s Holiday Makers Market
4-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, facebook.com/barehandco
We assume you’ve got some holiday shopping to do, right? We can’t think of a better place to do it than Bare Hand Collective’s Holiday Makers Market. Part of their mission is to help give local makers a platform to expand their business, and their monthly markets are one way they do that. In addition to a great line-up of retail vendors, the event will also feature tacos from Chapitos Tacos food truck, live music from Greg Bond and beer from Gary’s Brewery & Biergarten (which is where the December market is being held).
Other Holiday Events
Victorian Holiday Traditions
Turn back time … several decades for the Victorian Holiday Traditions and get a taste of how families celebrated the holiday season in the Victorian Era. Tours begin at the Tivoli High House and travel to the Lear/Rocheblave House. The tour is included with admission to Historic Pensacola. Tickets are available at any of our service desk locations, including the Tivoli High House at 205 E. Zaragoza St. Tickets are valid for one week from purchase.
Historic Pensacola will also host A Village Carol, an evening of Dickens’ Christmas at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20. The evening will feature open-hearth cooking, Victorian holiday celebrations and crafts, holiday home tours, a reading of the holiday classic “A Christmas Carol” and refreshments. Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger.
WHEN: Tours now until Dec. 21
WHERE: Historic Pensacola, 330 S. Jefferson St.
DETAILS: facebook.com/historicpcola or historicpensacola.com
Pensacola Winterfest is what holiday dreams are made of. Grab a hot chocolate and enjoy the flagship Performance Tour, which runs Nov. 29 and 30 and Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 15. The performance features legitimate Reindeer Games, a free plaza show and the chance for children to visit with Santa in his sleigh. The first performances are 5 p.m. Fridays and 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. A fresh performance starts every 15 minutes until 8 p.m. Christmas week. Mini-tours, the Polar Express Mini-Tour and Grinch MiniTour, run from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 18-24. Mini-tours depart every 15 minutes. Reservations are strongly recommended.
WHEN: Now through Dec. 24
WHERE: Winterfest is based at the plazas around the Old County Courthouse at the corner of Palafox and Government streets.
COST: Santa visits are free. Prices for tours are available online.
Tiki Christmas Fundraiser
Get ready to celebrate the holidays aloha style. This event will feature a Hawaiian buffet dinner from Papa Nalu Aloha Grill, complete with a full roasted pig, plus live music from The Island Brothers and accompanying hula dancers. Adult beverages will be available for purchase.
WHEN: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6
WHERE: Pensacola Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, 2081 Radford Blvd.
COST: $35 (tickets must be purchased online in advance)
Pensacola Children’s Museum Holiday Program
Children can meet the world-famous Conductor for a reading of his favorite story, “The Polar Express.” They will then join Santa’s Lead Elf, Veteris Laboriosus, for a short song and dance. Veteris will collect letters to Santa if you bring them and put them in the North Pole’s secret mailbox. The grand finale is a visit from Santa. Bring your camera so you can snap a shot with the man himself.
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. programs on Saturday, Dec. 7
WHERE: Pensacola Children’s Museum, 115 E. Zaragoza St.
Pensacola Lighthouse Christmas Gala
Indulge in free cookies and cocoa, holiday music, games and visits with Santa and his elves.
WHEN: 3-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7
WHERE: Pensacola Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, 2081 Radford Blvd.
COST: Free admission
Bodacious Bells Jingle Mingle
Bodacious Head Chef Nick Farkas, owner of Milton’s Pork & Spoon restaurant and Chef Nick & Company catering, will host a holiday cooking demonstration and special tasting. Guests can enjoy a curated selection of fine wines, cheeses, charcuterie and holiday hors d’oeuvres; live music from The Groove Family and Trumpeter Abbey Opalenik; complimentary refreshments; a holiday raffle; visits with Santa; and a cash bar with holiday wines and craft beer. The entire Bodacious building will be decked out in holiday décor.
WHEN: 6-10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11
WHERE: So Gourmet Pensacola, 407 S. Palafox
COST: $45 single adults, $15 child ticket and $80 couples
2019 Cox Pensacola Christmas Parade
This annual event has grown to more than 110 entries, featuring more than 70 floats. It is televised live on WKRG-TV5 (CBS), pays tribute to the Navy’s Blue Angels and hosts six local high school bands.
WHEN: 5:15 p.m.-8:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14
Forget singing alone your car, in the shower or anywhere your neighbors might hear and spend an hour singing your favorite carols. The Choral Society of Pensacola’s women’s ensemble will lead the singing with the lyrics projected on the theatre’s big screen. The event will also feature a set performed by men from Pensacola Bay Harmonizers, as well as holiday refreshments and an opportunity for selfies with Santa. All ages are welcome, and admission is free, although the Society encourages you to bring non-perishable food items for Manna Food Pantries.
WHEN: 5-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15
WHERE: The Rex Theatre, 18 N. Palafox
Ballet Pensacola’s “The Nutcracker”
Watching dancers perform “The Nutcracker” is the quintessential Christmas tradition. Embrace the magical tale of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince at one of Ballet Pensacola’s annual performances Friday and Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, and Saturday, Dec. 21; 1:30 p.m. Sunday Dec. 22
WHERE: The Saenger Theatre, 118 S. Palafox
COST: For prices, visit ticketmaster.com.
A chizuko Christmas
Celebrate Christmas with chizuko, featuring live music from Frank Spinatra and the Basilantros, Yam, DEAdBUGGS and Hibachi Stranglers.
WHEN: Doors open 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 25
WHERE: chizuko, 506 W. Belmont St.