Tis’ the season to be jolly in the Horse Capital of the World™. At Showcase, we love the holidays especially in downtown Ocala where the streets twinkle with lights from last month’s celebrations. Grab a hot cocoa and stroll throughout for an unforgettable photo or choose from the flowing list of events available to you and your little ones. From carriage rides to cookies with Santa, there’s a local happening for the whole family to enjoy.
- Ice Skating at Tuscawilla Park | The City of Ocala’s ice skating rink will be open the public all month long at Tuscawilla Park until the 30th. It will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays 5pm – 9pm / Fridays – Sundays: 5pm – 10pm. Admission is $5 per person for a 30-minute session.The rink is also available to rent for events on Mondays and Wednesys. There are also planned themed days on select Fridays, including:
7th – Hawaiian, Limbo and Kona Ice
17th – Uner the Big Top, games and prizes
21st – Santa’s Workshop, cookie and decorating, and Reindeer games
28th – All things Disney with a special screening of Beauty and the Beast
- Holiday Family Day at the Appleton Museum of Art | Tis the season to celebrate the holidays at the Appleton Museum of Art! On Saturday, Dec. 1, festivities begin with our annual Family Day event, celebrating “A Dickens Christmas: The Urban Family Holiday. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., enjoy free admission, holiday-inspired exhibitions, the permanent collections, family-friendly films in the auditorium and holiday crafts in the ARTSpace. From 1-3 p.m., take a horse-drawn carriage ride, have a picture taken with Santa and enjoy light refreshments in the Café. This event is FREE and appropriate for all ages.
Holidays on the Ocala Downtown Square | Available in Downtown Ocala for tours from Thanksgiving weekend thru New Year’s Eve annually. There is no better way to see the lights of the town than by horse drawn carriage. Offering 15 mins around the Square area or 30 mins through the Historic District to see the homes lit for Christmas. Private carriage tours start at $30 per couple for 15 mins or $75 per couple for 30 mins. Trolley wagon is $5 per adult and $2 per child aged 5-12. The trolley tour is 10 mins long and guests ride with other passengers.
Santa on the Square | On Tuesdays and Thursdays through the 20th, Santa will be visiting downtown Ocala! The event is complimentary to the public and will include music, snacks, hay rides, and photo ops. Santa on the Square will be open from 6 PM to 8 PM.
- First Friday Art Walk | Every year, the First Friday Art Walk occurs from 6 PM-9 PM on the first Friday of every month from September until May. Located within Ocala’s historic downtown, event festivities include over 40 artist’s displays, acoustic entertainment, free family art activities, and extended shopping hours.
- Kirby Family Farm’s Christmas Train | Kirby Family Farm’s Christmas train offers a 20-minute journey around the Kirby Family Farm property on the authentic, narrow-gauge historic locomotive.The highlight of the evening is a featured train ride through thousands and thousands of Christmas lights pulled by our old-fashioned locomotive, one of only three in operation around the world! Happening select days through Dec. 30th.
- The Nutcracker | Marion Ballet Theatre invites you to celebrate the 38th annual Nutcracker! This magical production is a beloved Christmas tradition for the entire family. On Stage Dec 7th through the 16th.
- After Dark in the Park Movie Series |Ocala Recreation and Parks will host an special screening of Edward Scissorhands at Citizens’ Circle from 7 – 9:00 PM. Popcorn and drinks available for a small fee. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and blankets!
Ocala Christmas Parade | A tradition 60 years in the making, Ocala’s annual Christmas parade will feature festive floats and entertainment all along the parade route on Silver Springs Blvd. The parade beings at 5:30. Don’t miss it!
HITS Holiday Classic | The Ocala Circuit continues at HITS Post Time Farm with the HITS Holiday Classic, the last show before the competition begins to heat up in January with the January Classic I. Come out to enjoy some world-class hunter-jumper competition! Special dates include Ocala Holiday Classic December 12-16 and the Ocala Holiday Festival December 19-22
Cookies with Santa | Bring your little ones to the Paddock Mall to share some cookies with the original cookie connoisseur, Mr. Santa Claus himself. Just swing by Santa’s set feom 5 – 6:30 PM.
Trains at the Holiday | The Webber Gallery at the College of Central Florida and the Ocala Model Railroaders’ Historic Preservation Society presents the 23rd annual exhibit “Trains at the Holidays.” The exhibit features modular train layouts and railroad memorabilia. Many of the layouts are inspired by historic Ocala landmarks, such as the Six-Gun Territory. The exhibition will open Saturday, Dec 15 – 30. Admission is free. “Trains at the Holidays” will be open daily during special gallery hours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 30; it will be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.
After Dark in the Park Movie Series | Ocala Recreation and Parks will host an special screening of Beauty and the Beast at Tuscawilla Park from 7 – 9 PM. The movie is free and hot dogs, popcorn and drinks will be available for a small fee. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and blankets! For details, please call the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department at 352.368.5517. Have FUN!