For college students everywhere the month of December brings a lot of excitement and relaxation once final exams are over. However, some students or families have nothing planned for the break. Instead of sitting home the whole month being bored check out these 10 fun and affordable holiday activities near the University of Florida.
1. Holiday Parade
Every year the city Gainesville holds a holiday parade in December. This year it is happening on December 4th. The location is Tacachale Center, 1621 Northeast Waldo road. The event starts at 10:20 a.m.. It is free and available to everyone! The participants of the event are the bands of nearby schools, ROTC students, the law enforcement agencies, floats, and antique cars for all you car lovers. Come out with your community and have a blast! There may even be free candy!
2. “Songs of the Season”
Every year both Santa Fe college and the University of Florida hosts several holiday concerts and performances. This year on December 6th, the Santa Fe singers will be hosting their annual performance. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Hall at Santa Fe’s Northwest campus. Tickets are cheap for adults at $15, and seniors get in at $9. University of Florida and Santa Fe college students get in for free if they bring their school ID. The chorus and soloists performers will be playing some holiday favorites from multiple decades and a variety of styles. These styles include gospel, jazz, pop, and classical.
3. Tacachale Holiday Tree lighting
Also, on December 6th the annual Tacachale Holiday tree lighting will be happening. This year marks its 34th year. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with a tree lighting ceremony and performers. The event is free and available to anyone.
4. Homestead by candlelight
On December 7th, the Historic Haile Homestead will be hosting its annual candlelight ceremony. This is the only time every year that the house is open to the public. The house will be illuminated in candlelight and other soft decorative lights. This event starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m., and the admission fee is only $10.
5. 2018 Christmas Jubilee Jam Benefit Concert
Every year Alachua County hosts its Christmas Jubilee concert. This year the performers include The GMJ Band (Gospel Meets Jazz) and a variety of other talented singers and dancers. All donations will go towards helping homeless children in Alachua schools. The admission is free to anyone, but you can donate $20 if you choose to.
6. Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland
Every year the University of Florida hosts several Christmas themed performances at the Stephen C. O’Connel Center. This year the Cirque Musica Holiday presents the all new concert Wonderland. This concert will consist of the cast of Cirque Musica with a live symphony orchestra playing your faviorate holiday classic songs. Ticket prices vary from $26 to $45 depending on which seats you choose.
7. Every Christmas Story Ever Told
Every year the Hippodrome theater in Gainesville hosts several holiday events in the month of December. This year they will be hosting the Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) performance. This performance is going on now until December 23. This hilarious comedy by Michael Carleton, Jim FitzGerald, and John K. Alvarez is sure to kick start your holiday spirit with a lot of laughs and fun! Three actors will be performing every Christmas Story Ever Told rather than the Christmas Carol. Ticket prices vary but they are never very expensive.
8. Kika Silva Pla Planetarium- John Serrie Christmas Concert
On Friday December 7th Santa Fe College will be hosting a concert among the stars of their planetarium. The concert includes songs of the holiday with live electronic music by composer and artist John Serrie. While enjoying the beautiful music you will feel as if you are floating in space due to the immersive digital starfield of the planetarium. The ticket prices vary but are relatively cheap for students at Santa Fe and the University of Florida. This event will be happening at the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe college.
9. The Nutcracker
On December 15th, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. the Dance Alive National Ballet will be performing at the Curtis M. Philips Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Florida campus. Ticket prices vary from $15 to $45 depending on what seats you choose. This family favorite holiday story will be performed with beautiful dancing, costumes, and sets! It will be a performance you will never forget!
10. A Christmas Carol
Every year the Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville performs A Christmas Carol in the month of December. This year the event is going on from now until December 22. You do not want to miss this performance that is based on the classic tale of Charles Dickens’ well known tale of the Christmas redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge after he has supernatural encounters with the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Ticket prices vary but are generally not very expensive.