Monthly Archives: October 2013

Christmas in Key West: Florida Keys Holiday Activities

The Florida Keys and Key West offer an array of festive fun during the holiday season. From holiday events, lighted boat parades, and more… Key West is just the place to enjoy the festive spirit. Parrot Key Resort will also get you in a jolly mood with our lighted Christmas tree and exterior festive light decorations.


Parrot Key Resort offers great family accommodation options during the holidays with up to 3-bedroom options to choose from. View our accommodation options here or enjoy a range of festive activity below, in and around Key West!

Festive Holiday Events Around Key West

Christmas in Key West

Image by Florida Keys News Bureau


Now through Sunday, Dec. 22
Holiday Photos with a Dolphin at Dolphin Research Center (Marathon)

At Dolphin Research Center, mile marker (MM) 59 bayside on Grassy Key, visitors who participate in the Meet the Dolphin program also can pose with the dolphins for a holiday photo. Visitors can bring their holiday-themed props to pose with, and DRC’s experienced photographers will shoot the pictures using high-resolution digital cameras. The program is offered several times each day on a walk-in basis and costs $25 per person in addition to general admission prices. The photos are supplied on a flash drive for $20 for one person or $35 for multiple people in the same shot. Group size is limited to four people. Contact: 305-289-1121 or

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 6 p.m.
Key West Holiday Fest (Key West)

The harbor walk along the Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight, stretching from Greene Street to Grinnell Street, is to be festively lit from rooftops to the sea for the holiday season. Celebrate with holiday events, browse at local shops and galleries and relax at waterfront restaurants and watering holes. This and other seaport festivities are part of the inaugural Key West Holiday Fest. Contact: or

Sunday, Dec. 1, 8 p.m.
“The Messiah” (Key West)

As many as 90 singers from around the Florida Keys participate in the annual performance of George Frideric Handel’s holiday masterpiece. Directed by Dean Walters, the 31st consecutive production is to be staged at Key West United Methodist Church at the corner of Eaton and Simonton streets, and admission is free. Contact: 305-296-2392

Friday, Dec. 6, 8 p.m.
Keys Chorale 2013 Holiday Concert (Key West)

The Keys Chorale will present a holiday concert at the Key West United Methodist Church, corner of Eaton and Simonton streets. Tickets are $20 for general admission. Contact: 305-849-1474 or

Parrot Key Resort Christmas Key West


Saturday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.
Key West Holiday Parade (Key West)

The island city shows its holiday spirit with this annual hometown parade. Featuring marching groups and motorized and nonmotorized floats, the festive procession traditionally draws entries from churches, civic organizations, businesses and neighborhood and school groups. Starting at Truman Avenue and White Street, it proceeds down Truman to Duval, where it takes a right and continues on to Eaton Street. Contact: 305-809-3881 or visit 

Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Big Pine & Lower Keys Island Art Festival (Big Pine Key)

Experience the joys of art and music, and find some unique holiday gifts, at this festival held on the wooded grounds of the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, MM 31 oceanside. Family fun highlights include live music by favorite local entertainers, exhibits and booths featuring the original work of artists and artisans, raffles and vendors offering food and beverages. Parking and admission are free. Contact:305-872-2411 or

Saturday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m.
Lower Keys Lighted Boat Parade (Lower Keys)

All boats are welcome to participate in this favorite Lower Keys holiday event sponsored by the Lower Keys Rotary Club. Santa and Mrs. Claus are expected to arrive and hand out candy to the kids. Best viewing spots include the Old Wooden Bridge Guest Cottages & Marina, No Name Key Bridge and Big Pine Community Park, all off U.S. Highway 1 at MM 31. Contact: Steve at 305-923-5370 or 

Saturday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m.
Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley Lighted Boat Parade (Key West)

Festively decorated kayaks, fishing craft and schooners are to glitter in Key West’s Historic Seaport during the 23rd annual Schooner Wharf Bar Lighted Boat Parade. The Gerald Adams Elementary School Steel Your Heart Band kicks off the festivities at 6 p.m. singing holiday favorites, followed by popular family band The Doerfels. Spectators can view the dozens of participating vessels from resorts, bars and restaurants in and around the Historic Seaport. Contact: 305-292-3302 or

Sunday, Dec. 15, 1-3 p.m.
Christmas on the Farm 2013 (Stock Island, Key West)

Kids and adults can visit the furry, fluffy and feathered residents of the Animal Farm and get a photo taken with Santa. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm is situated at the county’s detention center just outside Key West at 5501 College Road. This event is free and open to the public. Contact: Jeanne Selander at 305-293-7300 or 

Sunday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m.
Southernmost Christmas Tree Celebration (Key West)

Holiday revelers enjoy free conch chowder and then board Conch Tour Trains to proceed to the continental United States’ Southernmost Point to set up the southernmost Christmas tree at sunset overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The event is an annual community thank-you party presented by the Monroe Association for ReMAR Cable Citizens. The fun starts at 1401 Seminary St. Contact: 305-294-9526 

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27-28, 4-7 p.m.
54th Annual Key West House & Garden Tours (Key West)

Presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, the annual self-guided tours showcase festively dressed Key West homes and gardens. Tickets are $30 and proceeds benefit the Old Island Restoration Foundation’s museums, collection and education, grant and scholarship programs. Contact: 305-294-9501 or

New Year’s Eve

The Southernmost City celebrates with a descending 6-foot red high heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval Street.

Tuesday, Dec. 31, 12 p.m.
Annual Key West Dachshund Walk (Key West)

The procession of pooches begins at noon at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming streets in Key West’s historic downtown. The walking route, deliberately kept brief to cater to the dachshunds’ short legs, includes a portion of the downtown area and a block of Duval Street. Many dogs wear offbeat costumes or accessories. Contact:

Tuesday, Dec. 31, just before midnight
Key West New Year’s Eve Celebrations (Key West)

The Southernmost City celebrates New Year’s Eve with a “conch shell drop” at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval St.; the descent of a super-sized red high-heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon St. Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval St.; the splash of a huge replica Key lime wedge into a massive margarita glass at Ocean Key Resort’s Sunset Pier and the descent of a pirate wench from atop a tall ship’s mast in the island city’s Historic Seaport. Contact: 305-296-2388, ext. 121, for the conch shell drop; 305-293-9800 for the high-heel drop; 305-295-7005 for the Key lime splash and 305-292-3302 for the descent of the pirate wench

New Year's Eve in Key West

Image by Florida Keys News Bureau

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10 Reasons to Visit Key West in January

January Key West Events You Won’t Want to Miss

January is a majestic time to visit Key West. While many are fighting winter’s bite, the Keys are engulfed in tropical serenity. New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day offer two great holidays, but even throughout the month, Key West has so much to offer with exciting events.

Take time to exhale in January with our top 10 reasons to visit Key West.

Parrot Key rates start from $229/night in January. Call (855) 327-7200 today.



Discover 10 Reasons to Visit Key West in January

1.) January 9 – 19
32nd Annual Key West Literary Seminar

The 2014 seminar includes two independent sessions (Jan. 9-12 & 16-19) exploring the theme “The Dark Side.” Writing workshops are scheduled Jan. 12-16. Advance registration is required. A stunning lineup of celebrated authors who are to explore the mystery, crime and literary thriller genres includes Carl Hiaase, Scott Turow, Les Standiford and many more. Contact: 888-293-9291


(Image by the Key West Literary Seminar)

2.) January 11
Tropical Beats, Tantalizing Musical Excursions!

Celebrate the Symphony’s 2013-14 Season with “The Humanity of Music,” Program includes a piano trio and Blue Door String Quartet; Karl Goldmark: String Quartet in B Flat, Opus 8; Ellen Zwilich: Septet for String Quartet and Piano Trio. Tickets $150 per person, performance at Tennessee Williams Cabaret, starts 5:30 p.m. Contact: 954-522-8445

3.) January 17 – 18
Key West Historic House & Garden Tours

Tour a series of elegant and unique private homes of Key West, ranging from exquisite restorations to creative renovations, and the interior design that complements their architecture and adds a unique Key West flavor. The January house tour is set for 4-8 p.m. both evenings. Proceeds help benefit the Old Island Restoration Foundation. Contact: 305-294-9501 or Email: 

4.) January 18 – 19
Ninth Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival

A family-friendly event with local fresh Keys seafood, drinks, marine-related crafts, youth activities, and live music. Free admission; hours open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Bayview Park at Truman Avenue and Jose Marti Drive. Fresh Florida Keys seafood and the commercial fishermen who harvest it are to be celebrated. The seafood festival’s menu features fresh grilled Florida lobster, Key West pink shrimp, fried fish, stone crab claws, smoked fish dip and more. All seafood is to be prepared and served by local fishermen and their families. Soft drinks, beer and wine also are to be available for purchase. In addition, plans call for nonstop entertainment by local musicians. Contact: Vicki 305-872-9026 or Email:

ConchFritterflkeys sf fest

(Image by Florida Keys Seafood Festival)

5.) January 19 – 24
Premier Racing presents: Key West Race Week

The annual challenge features world-class competition and yachting teams from more than 12 countries and 24 American states. More than 100 racing yachts compete for class championships in this international regatta. To view the action, fans can book seats on spectator boats ranging from excursion catamarans to historic tall ships or from land at Key West’s Atlantic-front restaurants and beaches. Contact: 781-639-9545

race week
(Image by Premier Racing)

6.) January 19
Key West Half Marathon & 5k

The perfect place to run in the middle of winter? Key West, during the Key West Half Marathon! Recognized by Runners World magazine as one of the 10 great half-marathons of the winter season, the run has attracted more than 1,000 annual participants and follows a 13.1-mile course through Old Town Key West past historic landmarks and the island’s scenic waterfront. Contact: Barbara Wright 305-240-0727

7.) January 20 – 27
Kelly McGillis Flag Football Championship

Women and girls from around the United States and the world gather in Key West for hard-fought sporting action. Each year dozens of teams from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe are invited to compete in the challenge, named for and endorsed by the critically acclaimed actress and former Key West resident who starred in “Top Gun” and “Witness” among other films. Contact: Daashia Cochran 305-834-0801 or Email:

8.) January 22 – 26
Key West Food & Wine Festival

Top chefs and restaurateurs showcase their culinary creativity and the Keys’ indigenous cuisine in a tasty schedule of events for food lovers. Attendees also can participate in food-related adventures during the savory celebration. Tickets go on sale Nov. 1. Contact: 800-474-4319; 305-304-5218 or Email:

(Image by Rachel Ligon)

9.) January 26
20th Annual Key West Master Chefs Classic

Local restaurants vie for top honors in three categories; appetizers, entrees and desserts. Participants get to taste all the food made at this event while judges pick the winners. Held at Westin Key West Resort & Marina Pier at 245 Front Street, open from 4-7 p.m. Event proceeds benefit the nonprofit ReMARCable Citizens (MARC). Tickets are to be available Nov. 1, at keystix.comContact: 305-294-9526, ext 25

10.) January 30
Double Speak and Hidden Meanings

The South Florida Symphony is a unique gathering of professional symphonic musicians. Performance starts at 7:30 p.m. at Tennessee Williams Cabaret Theatre. Program includes Liszt: Hamlet: Symphonic Poem No. 10; Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3; Christopher Taylor, piano: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10. Contact: 954-522-8445

Call (855) 327-7200 today to book your stay

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Key West International Latin Arts Festival Celebrated Nov. 9th-10th

Attendees can celebrate the rich Latin influences that flavor America’s southernmost island at the second annual Key West International Latin Arts Festival set for Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9-10.

Festival Events

With events ranging from workshops to a highlight concert, the festival is to celebrate Latin-American artistic folk traditions through the music and dance of countries including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Peru and Paraguay. Events take place at Key West’s historic San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval St., founded in 1871 to promote and preserve Cuban heritage and culture.

The festival schedule is to include dance and percussion workshops taught by Argentine tango and folkloric dance master Oscar Caballero, as well as exhibits by Latin-American artists and poetry readings

The Main Event

The main event is a theatrical concert titled ¡Esperando Nacer! (I Am Waiting to Be Born), slated for Saturday, Nov. 9, in the institute’s auditorium. The concert is to star InnerNacionalSound singer and songwriter Christian Monzón and vocalist/actress Valerie Carr. Featured guest musicians include Rolando Rojas, Andrés Cisneros, Christian Noguera and Melody Cooper.

The pre-show is to begin at 7 p.m. and the curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m.

Other Activities

The evening’s schedule also includes dance performances by Oscar Caballero and Roxana Garber of Tango Times, a fun-filled interactive samba and a demonstration of Brazilian capoeira that combines elements of martial arts and dance.

Tickets and Information

Tickets for the evening performance are $35 per adult and $20 per student with identification. Tickets can be purchased at

Information and workshop registration: or 305-394-0808

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