Nutcrackers and carols and tree-lightings—it’s time to celebrate the holidays here in The Palm Beaches and there are plenty of arts events to explore and enjoy during your trip. From pristine historic museums to star-studded stage shows, your stay here in Florida’s Cultural Capital comes with cool breezes and exciting experiences galore. We’ve made a list (and checked it twice!) of five can’t-miss holiday happenings here—so you better watch out!

Miami City Ballet, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Photo Credit: Alexander Iziliaev.

Tropical gardens decorated
Eager to see the lush Florida landscape lit up for the holidays? Mounts Botanical Garden, the oldest and largest of Palm Beach County’s public gardens, will twinkle and brighten up your evenings from November 24 through December 30 for its “Garden of Lights: A Holiday Light” event. The 14-acre collection of exquisite local flora will feature thousands of small lights, easy-to-follow routes through 15 individual gardens, and additional dance and music programming on select evenings for the young and young-at-heart to enjoy throughout the season. Visiting Mounts is a perfect choice for those flying in for a short weekend, as the organization’s home in West Palm Beach is conveniently close to Palm Beach International Airport.

Mounts Botanical Garden, Garden of Lights 2018.

Sounds of the season
For a decidedly different take on holiday music (one that doesn’t involve the usual Christmas carols), make your way to The Society of the Four Arts on December 9 for an excellent vocal performance from the talented New York Polyphony. This Grammy Award-nominated group of gentlemen will sing and delight audiences with music that dates back centuries inside the Society’s elegant Walter S. Gubelmann Auditorium.

New York Polyphony

Here’s a tip for those who want to add an extra dose of art to their day—visit the organization’s Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery to see a brand-new exhibition before the show. On display starting December 8, “The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design” celebrates the history of furniture design through a selection of more than 40 chairs.

Sugar plum fairies delight in dance
A ballet classic set to the booming notes of a live orchestra? Sounds like the perfect cultural combo for families and friends alike! Miami City Ballet’s holiday spectacle comes to the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts December 28 through 30, and will welcome audiences into a winter wonderland in this new production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.” Step into this magical world of toy soldiers, colorful characters and the enchanting “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy”, featuring the unforgettable music of Tchaikovsky. This is a holiday tradition for good reason, so get your tickets today!

Flagler tree-lighting
There’s perhaps no better way to ring in the Palm Beach holiday season than by attending the annual tree-lighting ceremony at Henry Morrison Flagler Museum on December 2. Here, famous oil magnate and business tycoon Henry Flagler’s descendants (young and old) light the museum’s Christmas tree on the first Sunday of each December. The event is made all the more remarkable because of its setting inside the Gilded Age-decorated Grand Hall.

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Christmas Tree-Lighting in the Grand Hall.

Don’t forget to visit the museum’s exhibition while you’re there! “Star Power: Edward Steichen’s Glamour Photography” takes visitors back in time to the early 20th century with portraits of celebrities from that era, including Gloria Swanson, Walt Disney, Greta Garbo and more.

Music’s future sung by local youth
It’s a truly wonderful experience to hear more than 300 children join together onstage and sing in perfect pitch, especially during the holiday season! On December 8, the talented Young Singers of the Palm Beaches take the Kravis Center stage for a holiday concert featuring classical and pop music, Broadway hits and, for those wanting to join in on the fun, a special sing-along. The show, titled “Winter Dreams,” is a must-see event for anyone interested in music!

Photo: Young Singers of the Palm Beaches, Winter Dreams.

To make your holiday trip to Florida’s Cultural Capital one to remember, contact the Cultural Concierge today and start planning right away. We hope to see you here in The Palm Beaches this holiday season!

The Cultural Concierge is a complimentary service of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. Individuals, travel agents and meeting/event planners can work with this local arts insider to develop the cultural elements of their itineraries, so start planning your wondrous winter escape to The Palm Beaches now!

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