From boat parades to boulevards decorated with lights, families can enjoy a number of festive events and activities in Fort Lauderdale this holiday season.
Holiday Fantasy of Lights 3D Experience
Pick up a pair of 3D glasses before driving through the Holiday Fantasy of Lights at Tradewinds Park for a memorable experience. The display is open nightly from 6 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 3, 2015, and 3D glasses can be purchased at the entrance for $3 for three pairs.
Light Up Lauderdale
Now through Jan. 10, 2015, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale and the City of Fort Lauderdale will showcase lights across 2.5 miles of the brick Riverwalk for a truly magical experience each night. The annual event, now in its sixth year, is free and parking can be found in nearby garages, lots and at meters along the downtown area.
Winterfest Boat Parade
The 43rd annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, will feature hundreds of boats decorated with lights and holiday colors galore. This year’s Grand Marshall is Hip Hop singer Flo Rida and he will lead the boats from downtown Fort Lauderdale on the New River to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. Families are invited to watch along the 12-mile stretch in various hotels, restaurants and parks along the route. The parade will run from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. and is free.
Pompano Beach Boat Parade
Watch dozens of brightly lit boats cruise from Lake Santa Barbara to Deerfield Beach on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in the 52nd annual Pompano Beach Boat Parade. This year’s Grand Marshall will be Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher. The parade begins at 6 p.m. and is free.
Garden of Lights at Flamingo Gardens
Visit Flamingo Gardens every Saturday and Sunday now through Dec. 28, 2014, for the Garden of Lights event. The magical experience includes thousands of lights and decorations, with holiday music and visits from Santa adding to the festivities. A special lights show will run from 5 to 8 p.m. each day of the event, as well. The Garden of Lights event is complimentary with admission to the gardens, which is $18 per adult, ages 12 and older, and $10 for children between ages 3 and 11; kids 2 and under are free. Families who want to only see the holiday light show can come after 5 p.m. and will pay just $5 per person.
Skate Las Olas
Dance across the ice at the skating rink on the lawn of the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard daily for an afternoon of fun for all ages. The 1,800-square-foot ice skating rink will be open daily from noon to 9 p.m., from Dec. 19, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015.
Stars of David
Celebrate Hanukkah and the Jewish heritage with the entertaining musical rendition of “Stars of David,” based on Abigail Pogrebin’s best-selling book, at the Amaturo Theater at Broward Center this winter. The comedy includes songs and visits from Jewish celebrities that will have all ages laughing along. “Stars of David” runs from Dec. 23, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Tickets start from $45 per person. Show times vary per day.
Rock’n Noonyear’s Eve Party
Count down to 2015 much earlier in the day with little ones at the Young At Art Museum on Dec. 31, 2014, with its Rock’n Noonyear’s Eve Party. Kids and parents will enjoy music, art and sparkling cider as they ring in the New Year. The even begins at 10 a.m. and is included with admission to the museum, which is $14 per person.
– Hilarey Wojtowicz