10 Best Festive December Happenings

  • Art Basel South Beach

    Art Basel in Miami, Florida

    December 6 - 9
     Each December, South Beach becomes the center of a citywide contemporary art exhibition known as Art Basel. Galleries, theaters and public spaces around Miami host events and exhibitions by artists from around the world in what is considered to be one of the most prestigious art events in the country.

    Photo courtesy of alejandro jofré

  • Parade dancers

    Children's Medical Center Holiday Parade in Dallas, Texas

    December 1
    December is here and that means it's time to kick the holiday season into high gear. Start the month of December with the annual Holiday Parade in downtown Dallas. Besides getting you into the spirit of the holidays, the parade raises funds for the Children's Medical Center.

    Photo courtesy of Chldren's Medical Center

  • Nutcracker

    The Nutcracker at the Washington Ballet in Washington, DC

    November 29 - December 23
    Tchaikovsky’s musical score has become somewhat of a soundtrack for the Christmas season, and each December the Washington Ballet brings the music to life with its rendition of The Nutcracker. Get your tickets early, as the dancers often perform for sold-out crowds.

    Photo courtesy of Brianne Bland – The Washington Ballet

  • Denver at Christmas

    New Year's Eve Fireworks in Denver, Colorado

    December 31
    Two hours after things begin to settle down in New York City's Times Square, Denver kicks off their own New Year's Eve party with a fireworks display stages above the 16th Street Mall. For little ones with a pre-midnight bedtime, there's an earlier 9pm version of the event.

    Photo courtesy of Matt Inden/Miles – Colorado Tourism Office

  • Junkanoo Festival

    Junkanoo in the Bahamas

    December 26
    Junkanoo is a national holiday in the Bahamas with a history dating back to the 18th century when slaves were given leave for the holidays and celebrated with elaborate costumes and dancing. Today, Nassau's Bay Street comes alive as groups compete for the best costumes, music and overall presentation.

    Photo courtesy of Jef Nickerson

  • Parade boat

    Bay Parade of Lights in San Diego, California

    December 9 & 16
    Christmas lights are as much a part of the holiday season as presents and Santa Claus, and boaters in San Diego give the traditional Christmas parade a new twist with the nautical Bay Parade of Lights. More than 80 boats get decked out in Christmas trappings according to each year's theme and float across San Diego Bay for all to see.

    Photo courtesy of San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

  • Key West's Little White House

    Seasons Greetings from the White House Exhibit in Key West, Florida

    Throughout December
    If you're one of those people who's not so fond of frigid white Christmases, then head on down to the warm tropical climate of Key West. You can still get into the holiday spirit with a visit to the Harry S. Truman Little White House, where Christmas cards and gifts from the president will be on display.

    Photo courtesy of Michael Bentley

  • Saint Nicolas arrives

    Saint Nicolas Day in Aruba

    December 5
    Santa's comes early to Oranjestad, Aruba. Each year, the man of the season – known locally as Sinterklaas – sails into the harbor all the way from Spain to the delight of Aruba's children who line up to watch. On Saint Nicolas Eve, children leave shoes outside their homes in hopes that gifts will be left during the night. Keep your eyes peeled for Saint Nicolas on his white horse parading through the streets.

    Photo courtesy of Erik Bro

  • Boston Tea Party Museum

    Boston Tea Party Reenactment in Boston, Massachusetts

    December 16
    Don't worry, the annual Boston Tea Party Reenactment at the Boston Tea Party Museum isn't about politics. Instead, it gives families the opportunity to travel 239 years back in time to colonial Boston when Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty gang decided to hoist crates of tea into the Boston Harbor in the event that changed the history of a nation.

    Photo courtesy of Kristina D.C. Hoeppner