Pensacola Winterfest

Friday, Dec 11, 2020 at 5:00pm

Winterfest Plaza
223 South Palafox Place
Pensacola, FL 32502

Please call before attending any community events. It is likely that they will be postponed or canceled as a result of the coronavirus. You can find CDC coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP has additional resources at aarp.org/coronavirus.

Visits with Santa, The Cajun Christmas Experience, and the Polar Express Tour will be held on Nov. 27, 28, and Dec. 5, 11, 12, 18 through 24

Downtown Pensacola comes alive with song and dance, arts and crafts during the holidays. Pensacola Winterfest's tours, the plaza show, photos with Santa, and carriage rides take place in Plaza Wonderland at the corner of Government Street and Palafox Place.

We perform our free plaza show, and have visits with Santa in his sleigh each night of the event. Our new Polar Express and Cajun Christmas Experience will run every night of the event too.

Santa will be taking photos with our new socially-distant set.

Snow and music starts at 5:00pm on Fridays, 4:30pm on Saturday and Sunday, on all Tour nights. We begin a new performance every 15 minutes until 8:00pm.

Schedule:

4:30pm – 8:30pm: Santa Claus is Coming to Downtown

Every night of tours, Santa Claus will be waiting for you in his sleigh in Downtown Pensacola. NEW to 2020, Santa's sleigh has been redesigned for social distancing! Your whole family can sit on presents outside of Santa's sleigh at a safe distance. Masks are required around Winterfest property, however, you will be allowed to remove your mask while taking a photo with Santa.

Visiting Santa Claus is a cherished Christmas tradition for most families with young children. At Winterfest, we feel it necessary to uphold this tradition while creating a safe environment for all. In observance of social distancing guidelines, Santa’s photo op has been redesigned to allow a safe distance between families and our staff.

Guests will no longer wait in a crowded line, but will instead receive a reservation time to visit Santa. These reservations can be made online, or assigned at the location. Please arrive 5-10 minutes early to your reservation and check in at the photos table in front of Santa’s sleigh. There, you will be able to purchase your desired photo package for Santa photos, Grinch photos, or pay a sitting fee if you do not wish to purchase photos. *Note: Your reservation holding fee is taken off the total price of your chosen photo package.

This year’s Santa experience is even better than years past. You will be guided to meet one of Santa’s elves, who will be there with a list, ready to ask your children- and even parents!- what they want for Christmas. From there, the elf will guide your whole family to sit just outside of Santa’s sleigh, atop presents! You’ll be allowed to take off your masks for photos at this point. The new setting will allow a safe distance between families and Santa, while still providing the intimate memory. Santa will read your Christmas wishes aloud with you before striking a pose to take photographs.

This new, interactive performance is sure to become a special memory that you will want to share with friends! Guests who purchased a photo package will receive a festive thumb drive with all the pictures from their experience. At the end of your visit, you can go on to intrude upon the Grinch! Or perhaps catch the next performance on one of our tours.

There's no more line! Make a reservation! To prevent families from waiting in line, Santa visits will now be by reservation only. You can book a reserved day and time for your visit with Santa at Winterfest. There is a $10 holding fee to make a reservation- this fee will go towards the purchase of your photo package. Only one reservation is necessary for more than one person in a party. Reservations are required. There are limited spots available each night, so we strongly encourage you to make a reservation ahead of time. However, we will have an elf onsite to let your family visit Santa at the next available time.

Click Here for Tickets

Visit Grinch:

Intrude Upon the Grinch

And of course, Santa’s favorite nemesis, The Grinch, will also be available for photo opportunities. Just like for Santa, guests can reserve their photo op online or in person at the location. Even the Grinch will be carefully practicing social distancing, with his photo set designed for great photos and guest safety. Please arrive 5 minutes early to your reservation and check in at the Photos table located in front of Santa’s sleigh. There, you will be able to purchase your desired photo package for Grinch photos, Santa photos, or pay a sitting fee if you do not wish to purchase photos.

Note: Your reservation holding fee is taken off the total price of your chosen photo package.

After your purchase, you will be led to the Grinch’s throne, located behind Santa’s sleigh. While he LOATHES visitors, the Grinch will reluctantly allow you to intrude upon his solitude and sit on top of a few trashcan seats for a photo. He likes to ask children what they don’t want Christmas! Be careful, Mr. Grinch has some tricks up his sleeve. He has a special lever that can launch you out of your seat.

This interactive performance is sure to become a fun memory that you will want to share with friends! Guests who purchased a photo package will receive a festive thumb drive with all the pictures from their experience. At the end of your visit, you can go visit Santa! Or perhaps catch the next performance on one of our tours.

Click Here for Tickets

Polar Express Tour:

A Journey Into Wonder

Catch a ride on the Polar Express with this magical tour! This 20 minute tour immerses you in the story of the Polar Express with visits from your favorite characters.

Join the Conductor for a magical journey to a life-size steam engine! Share in the adventure as the Conductor recounts the story of the boy who received the first gift of Christmas… a bell from Santa’s sleigh! On board our Polar Express Tour, you will see tap-dancing hot chocolate servers, snowy landscapes, and learn what it truly means to believe. Rekindle the wonder of the beloved story book, along with the belief in the magic of Christmas. All passengers will receive a mini-cup of hot chocolate.

Please dress for the weather! This performance takes place on an open-air tram. You are welcome to bring blankets on chilly nights to stay warm. Please note that this experience will be different than in years past. We have re-staged our musical performances to take place outside of the tram so that all guests will be able to have a perfect view, regardless of where they sit. We don't want anyone to miss a thing!

Safety of our guests and staff is our priority! This tour will take place on an open-air tram and follow social distancing practices. Capacity on this tour will be limited and guests over the age of 2 will be required to wear masks while onboard.

Click Here for Tickets

Cajun Christmas:

Celebrate Christmas, Louisiana-style!

Christmas is a time to celebrate with family, and no one does that better than Louisiana! This brand new experience immerses you in Cajun Christmas traditions, games, and food!

Cajun Christmas is a brand new performance for Winterfest. Guests will watch an opening show on the courthouse steps before being boarded on a trolley with a delightful guide. Your guide will tell you stories of how they celebrate Christmas in the bayou as you take a short ride to the Historic Village. At the village, you will disembark the trolley to another performance featuring Papa Noel, the Cajun Santa Claus. From there you will be free to roam the village, visit the museum, play a scavenger hunt, or dance to a live string band. Cajun treats will be available for purchase on site. There is no limit to how long you can stay at the village, but trolleys will pick up guests to ride back to the courthouse every 30 minutes, the final ride arriving at 9:00pm.

For the safety of our guests and our performers, capacity on our trolleys will be limited and guests over the age of 2 will be required to wear masks while onboard.

A Destination Performance!

Immerse yourself in the story in this destination performance! Your trolley will arrive to the Historic Village where you will disembark to wander and join in on all the fun! We've drawn up a map of the area so you can see all there is to do while on this exciting, Cajun adventure!

Click Here for Tickets

Additional Dates:

This event listing provided for the Pensacola community events calendar. Community events are not associated with or sponsored by AARP, but may be of interest to you. If you have an event to share, let us know!

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster

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You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

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