Fun Tropical Christmas Decorations in Florida

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.

tropical Christmas tree at Margaritaville Hollywood Florida
Margaritaville Christmas decorations

Bright colors and a tiki bar backdrop brighten this tropical Christmas tree in Bradenton Beach. While there at The Kokonut Hut, enjoy one of our favorite Anna Maria Island restaurants.

tropical Christmas tree at Kokonut Nut in Bradenton
Bradenton Beach Christmas tree at The Kokonut Hut

Bok Tower Gardens gets in the spirit with a tree made from beautiful bromeliads in Lake Wales in Central Florida.

Bromeliad Christmas Tree at Bok Tower Gardens
A Bromeliad Tree at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, 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!

Delray Beach Florida 100 foot Christmas tree
Delray Beach Florida 100 foot Christmas tree

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?

Christmas decorations at Gatorland in Florida
Christmas decorations at Gatorland

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.

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
tropical Christmas decorations: Winterfest in Ft. Lauderdale. Photo by Dennis Littley.

How cool is this scene? You can ice skate under gently falling snow in downtown Celebration, Florida. Thanks for the tip, Experience Kissimmee.

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
tropical Christmas decorations: downtown Celebration, Florida

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.

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
melting snowman – Florida style

Naples, Florida (Paradise Coast) chimes in with this lovely scene from their powder white, sugar sand beach. Nice hat, Frosty!

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
Paradise Coast: tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition

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.

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
tropical Christmas decorations: Florida sandman. Photo by Kelly Stilwell.

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.

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
tropical christmas decorations at Fort Lauderdale Beach. Photo credit: Carmen Edelson

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!

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
Tropical Christmas decorations to inspire a Florida holiday getaway

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.

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
tropical Christmas decorations: Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island

Let me know what it looks ike this year.

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
tropical Christmas decorations: Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island

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.

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
tropical Christmas decorations: Punta Gorda Yard Bomb. Photo credit:

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.

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
Santa Claus at Royal Poinciana Plaza in Palm Beach, Florida

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

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
tropical Christmas theme: Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

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 loveUniversal Studios Wizarding World Christmas.

Hogwarts Castle, Harry Potter Christmas, Universal Orlando Florida
Hogwarts Castle, Harry Potter Christmas, Universal Orlando Florida

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.

ICE at Gaylord Palm Resort Kissimmee Florida
ICE at Gaylord Palm Resort Kissimmee Florida

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!

tropical Christmas decorations: Florida edition
Florida Christmas decorations: 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.

Also see our favorite South Florida Hidden Gems

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36 thoughts on “Fun Tropical Christmas Decorations in Florida”

  1. 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

  2. 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 ⛄️

  3. 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!

  4. 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 🙂

  5. This is a fun post. Love the sandmen and Santa in Hawaiian shirts! The trees are also so festive. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. 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!!

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. Wow tropical Christmas is so interesting! The decorations make the mood very festive too. However nothing beats white Xmas!

  16. 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.

  17. 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!!

    Happy holidays!

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