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These tropical Christmas decorations will bring a smile to even the grinchiest soul, with beachy snowmen, sparkly lights, and quirky decorations that will make you want to plan a Florida holiday getaway. This could be the time to take a break from the snow and join Santa by the pool.
Visiting Florida in early December, I saw the enthusiasm of the people showing their Christmas spirit. I grew up in South Florida, and I fondly recall nearly every palm tree wrapped with white lights. Many houses were absolutely overloaded with Christmas decorations (like the movie Deck The Halls). In fact, Florida people are a little obsessed with creating tropical Christmas decorations that may be over the top, but are always fun.
Tropical Christmas Decorations: Florida Edition
Florida folk 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 tree in Bradenton Beach.
Bok Tower Gardens gets in the spirit with a tree made from beautiful bromeliads in Lake Wales (via Visit 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 parade routes. 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 this scene! Sand-ta Claus has to feel welcome with these candy canes and little snowmen pointing the way. 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 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’s ready to kick back at the beach. This funky surfboard tree looks great with Santa’s tropical outfit.
Growing up in South Florida, I knew that Santa Claus came to the Sunshine State on December 26th every year. Were the Clauses the original snow birds?
We hope you’ve 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. Beginning in 2017, visitors can enjoy new holiday fun in Orlando. 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, and many friends and Florida destinations who contributed fun holiday pictures. Thank you all and Happy Holidays!
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