6 family events from Christmas to New Year’s Day

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

But if a blizzard doesn’t turn the Sunshine State into a winter wonderland, here are some events happening between Christmas and the New Year. Some events are ongoing with many times to visit, and others will require more planning.

Kirby Family Farm’s Christmas Train

The annual Christmas train at Kirby Family Farm in Williston will chug along for the last time this year on Dec. 26.

Mainstreet Daily News reporter Suzette Cook visited two weeks ago and gives you the rundown on the train that turns everyone into a kid again.

History & Holidays guided tours Historic Haile Homestead

Only a couple of opportunities remain for a history tour—Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. On the tours, you learn about the 1856 homestead and the slaves who worked there.

Tickets cost $5 per person and children under 12 are free. Find tickets at the Haile Homestead’s website.

Hawthorne native Tommy Wiggins and his book

Author meet and greet in Hawthorne

Tommy Wiggins grew up in Hawthorne and has now published two books set in the city. On Tuesday, Dec. 28, Wiggins will meetup to discuss his books and Hawthorne’s impact on them at the Wrap Shack.

You can read more about Wiggins’ books and the event at our Q&A article.

Spark Wonder New Year’s event

The Cade Museum will host a New Year’s Eve celebration from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event will include a glow dance party, food, drinks, fireworks and other unique activities.

The museum will also stream a new year countdown from a different time zone so that young children can ring in the year and still get to bed in time.

Find more information about tickets online.

Sparks in the Park and the Downtown Countdown

Gainesville’s New Year’s Eve celebration will start at Depot Park with the Sparks in the Park event starting at 5 p.m. with a family-friendly dance party.

At 6:30 p.m., the sparks will start with a 20-minute musically choreographed fireworks show over the main park pond.

According to the City of Gainesville’s website, the Depot Park parking lot will be designated for ADA parking only, main parking will be the overflow parking lot on SE Fourth Street. Downtown also has parking options and is only a 5-minute walk. The city encourages using public transit, biking or ridesharing to our 15-minute loading lot on Depot Ave.

Later that night, the City of Gainesville will hold its annual New Year’s Eve concert with King Eddie, Pili Pili and Decyo McDuffie with the Larry Newcomb Quartet. The show will run from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

The event will take place at Bo Diddley Plaza.

Ocala drive-thru light show

The Ocala Christmas Light Spectacular will continue through Dec. 31. The nearly two mile, drive-thru light show starts at 6 p.m. each evening and donations benefit the Missions of St. John Lutheran School and the Missions of St. John Lutheran Church.

The show features over 350 light displays including a children’s Train Ride, a Reindeer Training Center, Santa Land where children can visit their most favorite Elf and a lighted Nativity display.

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