These tropical Christmas decorations will bring smiles to even the grinchiest souls—with beachy snowmen, sparkly lights, and quirky decorations that will make you want to plan a Florida holiday getaway vacation.
I grew up in South Florida and fondly recall palm trees wrapped with white lights. Now when I visit Florida in early December, I see Christmas spirit exhibited in prolific and clever ways. Many houses are absolutely overloaded with Christmas decorations.
Florida residents and businesses are obsessed with creating tropical Christmas decorations that, while over the top, are always fun. Below are some recommended places where to find the best Christmas lights in Florida.
Tropical Christmas Decorations: Florida Edition
Floridians make the most of ocean views, palm trees, and sunshine during the holiday season. Take some classic and quirky ornaments, add a little color, and let beaches and pools provide the perfect backdrop.
Here are some fun Christmas trees decorated to capture the Florida vibe.
Put your toes in the sand next to this lovely tree at 5 O’Clock Somewhere at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. Sand buckets and flip-flops make perfect Florida Christmas ornaments.
Bright colors and a tiki bar backdrop brighten this tropical Christmas tree in Bradenton Beach.
Bok Tower Gardens gets in the spirit with a tree made from beautiful bromeliads in Lake Wales in Central Florida.
These lights are more traditional, but you have to be impressed with the scale of this 100 foot tree in Delray Beach, Palm Beach County. Wow!
Tropical Christmas Decorations: Fun Activities
You know that saying, “Give experiences, not things.”?
These fun activities nicely deliver fabulous memories with some holiday fun. Christmas card photo opp!
Zip-line over the gators, watch a show, and get up close to Florida’s famous amphibians with a holiday visit to Gatorland. Wouldn’t these jaws make a great spot for a family Christmas pic?
Everyone loves a parade, and Florida’s canals make ideal routes for festive Christmas flotillas. Dennis Littley of Ask Chef Dennis sent this collage of lighted boats festooned with fun tropical Christmas decorations.
How cool is this scene? You can ice skate under gently falling snow in downtown Celebration, Florida. Thanks for the tip, Experience Kissimmee.
Beach-loving Florida Snowmen
Every kid (young and old) loves to make a snowman during the holiday season. Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t always deliver the needed snow. No worries in Florida. Beach sand and the sea provide the perfect material for a festive sandman.
Seaweed and shells decorate this cute surf-side snowman sent to us by Cheryl MacDonald of What Boundaries. This is how Florida snowmen melt.
Naples, Florida (Paradise Coast) chimes in with this lovely scene from their powder white, sugar sand beach. Nice hat, Frosty!
No snow? No problem. This sandman is just as festive and makes a fun family project, as it did for my friend Kelly Stilwell from Food, Fun, and Faraway Places.
Carmen Edelson from Carmen’s Luxury Travel Blog sent this great big snowman at Ft. Lauderdale Beach. Frosty is ready for the surf and showing good judgement with that giant life vest.
Sand-ta Claus has to feel welcome with these candy canes and little snowmen pointing the way. You can find the below scene ay Kokonut Hut Tiki Bar on Anna Maria Island. Photo credit: Charles McCool of McCool Travel—that’s me!
More Quirky Tropical Christmas Decorations
Hotels love to display holiday gingerbread houses. On Amelia Island, The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island gets in the spirit, creating a gingerbread pirate ship for the lobby every year. Below are two prior year versions of the SS Ginger Amelia.
Let me know what it looks ike this year.
How cool is this? The town of Punta Gorda has a yarn bomb event for the holidays, wrapping palm trees with festive tropical Christmas decorations made of yarn.
Santa Loves Tropical Florida Decorations
When Santa finishes his hard work you know he is ready to kick back at the beach. This funky surfboard tree looks great with Santa’s tropical Christmas theme outfit.
Growing up in South Florida, I knew that Santa Claus vacations in the Sunshine State on December 26th every year. Were the Clauses the original snow birds? Check out Disney Boardwalk, EPCOT, and all the Florida Disney properties for fun tropical holiday decorations.
McCool Travel tip: see also Find the Lowest Disney Prices Using These 2 Resources
We hope you have enjoyed this look at fun and quirky tropical Christmas decorations in the sunshine state. Florida makes a great winter getaway, and December is an especially festive time to visit.
Harry Potter fans will love Christmas in the Wizarding World at Universal Studios Resort.
And head to Gaylord Palms resort in Kissimmee to visit the massive ICE! spectacular. Even though the inside temperature is 9º, they provide super warm and comfortable blue parkas.
Whether you make your Florida holiday escape this year, or bookmark this article for future travel inspiration, we wish you all a very beachy Christmas!
This article was a collaboration by Florida native, Charles McCool, his wife Julie, several friends, and many Florida destinations who contributed fun holiday pictures. Thank you all and Happy Holidays and an exciting Festivus.
36 thoughts on “Fun Tropical Christmas Decorations in Florida”
As an Orlando native I really appreciated this post. So much more to do In Orlando and some moments here is super diverse and competitive. Enjoyed reading this
Thank you much for the nice note. We love Orlando!
Post collections with lots of creative ideas. Awaiting for new post.
Glad you saw it.
These are great Charles. Never thought of building a sandman instead of a snowman. Think I’m going to try and start a trend in Australia next year ⛄️
Australia does have a lot of sand. Tag me in your pictures or better yet I might come over and help.
How fun Is this! This put a smile on our faces👍🏻.
Coolness. Hope your Christmas and holidays were fun, fulfilling, and joyous.
I’ve been saying how I’ve never spent Christmas anywhere hot! I love seeing how the holiday decor looks like in Florida. A sandman – goals!
I hope you get to see all the sandmen one day.
You have the coolest snowman! Enjoyed this post 👏
Thank you much for the note. Glad you liked it.
Good to see Florida doing its best to get in to the festive spirit despite the warm weather. I’d love to see the wizarding world at Christmas time, haven’t been to Florida since 2008 so it wasn’t there last time I was in the state. Hopefully I’ll get over there in the next couple of years 🙂
Floridians like to reminisce about the cold weather and overdo the decorating around Christmas time.
This is a fun post. Love the sandmen and Santa in Hawaiian shirts! The trees are also so festive. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Christmas decorations in Florida are so fun.
Even though we have a car because we are in Tropic so you have to (ugh) the schlepping gets old. Good for you for continuing to get out!!
Thank you for the note, Anna. Hope your Christmas holidays are wonderful.
Now this is some holiday spirit I can get behind ????????
That is what I like to hear. Well, read. Enjoy it all, Lindsay.
The holidays are hard to take in SoFl. I know as I sit with 70 degrees, feet in sand, and relaxing with decorations for the holidays done (tiki bar with lights in living room). However, we all have a choice to travel over the holidays to visit the places and friends that live in Florida or to take the plunge and move for the holidays. Merry Everything all!
Surely you jest, dawg. Thank you for the note. Hope I get one more trip there before the year is ovah.
What a fun post. I am getting to the age where sand men are getting much more appealing than snow men, especially with the cold weather we’ve been having in the north east. I say bah humbug to cold and snow and yippee to warm sand and warm turquoise waters
Thank you for the note, Rose. Yes, fun travel is my theme and I appreciate the kind words.
Living in a cold climate, I always think it must be rather strange to celebrate Christmas in a hot place. But those colourful decorations make it seem very Christmassy, and I love the snowman made from sand!
This post is TORTURE to read. As I sit here in 6 degree weather, I’m dreaming of a BLUE OCEAN Xmas. I love the Delray Beach tree!
I did intend that this article would warm me up on days like this.
Happy Holidays! Now that I live in Arizona, I love seeing the lights on the palm trees, too. Looks like they know how to celebrate the season in Florida. I especially like the Margaritaville tree. Perfectly fun for the place
These are great. My favorite is the Bromeliad Tree. As those of us in the northeastern United States bundle up to enjoy Christmas outdoors, it’s hard to imagine Christmas without Jack Frost nipping at one’s nose. But, then there’s Florida and southern California—-not to mention the Southern Hemisphere. Merry Christmas.
Ha ha! These are awesome! I especially love the Florida sand snowmen. Maybe I should try to do the same thing here in San Diego!
What an adorable post. My favourite tree is definitely the flower tree in Lake Wales. I would love to see those light-wrapped palm trees in person, thank you for sharing that lovely memory with us.
Wow tropical Christmas is so interesting! The decorations make the mood very festive too. However nothing beats white Xmas!
These are all lovely and highly creative Christmas Decorations. Each of these seem to be vieing with each other in terms of originality and innovation. It would be a real pleasure to head to Florida for a Christmas holiday.
Ah Forida! I spent one Christmas here and it was magical, I miss it! Definitely the best weather in the United States over winter – I have fond memories of making a couple of those sand snowmen you photographed!!
These are so cool! I’ve never been to the USA, and I hope I can next summer 🙂 Thanks!
Hey, thank you for the note Isabel. Hope you can visit USA, also!
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