December 2, 2013 - Perdido Key, FL – A lighted boat parade, a parachuting Santa Claus, train sets, vibrant lights and a whole lot more headline the list of public happenings for visitors to Perdido Key in December.

At the lighthouse at Pensacola Naval Air Station, the annual gala Dec. 7 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. features choirs, hayrides, bands, hot chocolate, cookies, and Pensacola's tallest Christmas tree light display.


On Dec. 14, Santa Claus will “drop” into the Flora-Bama Lounge via parachute. The event begins at noon with a tree-trimming party, free eats, hot drinks and a kids' Christmas music sing-a-long. Bring a non-perishable food item for the Manna Food Bank or an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots and receive a free drink!

At 5:30 p.m. that same day, Dec. 14, the Lighted Boat Parade offers a spectacular exhibit of lights by land and by sea. It starts in Gulf Shores, Ala. For more details on the parade route and for tips on the best viewing stations, visit Coastal Alabama Business Chamber.

Enjoy vibrant lights and crafts for children, all part of a free, family-friendly event to be held 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 20-21 at Big Lagoon State Park near Perdido Key.

The gathering, complete with a visit for Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, will be at the Governor’s Pavilion at the park.

Details: Florida State Parks or call the Ranger Station at 850-492-1595.

Visitors also can blend entertainment and education with numerous activities. One choice is a train exhibit in downtown Pensacola, another is the aquarium on Dauphin Island.

The Pensacola Museum of Art will be a wonderland of model trains, including two detailed railroad systems in operation.

The dates are: Saturday, Dec. 7: noon – 5 p.m. (Santa and his elves arrive that day at 2 p.m. outside the Museum); Dec. 14: noon – 5 p.m.; Dec. 19: noon – 5 p.m.; Dec. 20: noon – 5 p.m., and Dec. 21: noon – 5 p.m.

Information: Pensacola Museum

Or visit the Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

This exciting educational facility highlights four key habitats: The northern Gulf of Mexico, barrier islands, the Mobile Tensaw River Delta and Mobile Bay. It’s a showcase of plants and animals found in the area. The Estuarium also features the Miss May May, an interactive boat exhibit, and a real-time weather station.

Information: Dauphin Island Sea Lab

About Perdido Key

Perdido Key is a 16-mile-long island between Pensacola, Fla. and Orange Beach, Ala. The key encompasses some of the most pristine beaches and crystal-blue water on the Gulf Coast. Nearly 60 percent of the island is national or state park land open for public use. It is home to numerous locally owned restaurants and the Flora-Bama Lounge, legendary for its live music. For more information visit: Perdido Key.