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. Take a break from the chilly weather and join Santa by the pool.
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 the enthusiasm of the people showcasing their Christmas spirit. Many houses are absolutely overloaded with Christmas decorations (like in the movie Deck The Halls). Florida residents are obsessed with creating tropical Christmas decorations that while over the top, are always fun.
Here are some 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.
I love the below scene! 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. Here’s the 2017 ship, the SS Ginger Amelia.
And here is the prior year’s version. Yo ho ho ho!
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.
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.