10 Best Winter Holiday Events in Panama City Beach

Best Winter Holiday Events in Panama City Beach
by Amanda

As the winter season approaches, many of us start dreaming of a vacation filled with sunshine, warm beaches, and exciting activities. Look no further than Panama City Beach, Florida! This vibrant coastal city is not only a popular summer destination but also a hidden gem during the winter holidays. With its mild temperatures, stunning beaches, and a plethora of winter events, Panama City Beach offers a unique and unforgettable winter getaway for travelers of all ages.

Whether you're seeking the best holiday-themed events or exciting outdoor activities, Panama City Beach has something for everyone. From festive christmas parades to dazzling light displays, this city knows how to celebrate the holiday season in style. In this blog post, we'll explore the 10 best winter holiday events in Panama City Beach, showcasing why it's one of the best travel destinations during the winter holidays.

Winter Holiday Events in Panama City Beach 2023

credit: @visitpanamacitybeach.com

Beach Home for the Holidays (Aaron Bessant Park):

Kicking off the holiday season in Panama City Beach is the annual "Beach Home for the Holidays" event, held at Aaron Bessant Park. This extravaganza is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. With live music, carolers, food vendors, and plenty of holiday-themed activities, it's a fantastic event for the whole family. Don't forget to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus himself as he arrives in style, spreading joy and warmth.

Bethlehem Christmas Village (Capt. Anderson’s Marina):

For a truly unique and immersive holiday experience, head to the Bethlehem Christmas Village at Capt. Anderson’s Marina. This recreation of the ancient town of Bethlehem allows you to step back in time and experience the sights, sounds, and traditions of the first Christmas. Visitors can stroll through the marketplace, interact with costumed characters, and even participate in a live nativity scene. It's a heartwarming and educational experience for all ages.

Panama City Beach Marathon Pier Park

credit: @visitpanamacitybeach.com

Panama City Beach Marathon (Pier Park):

For those who love to stay active during the holiday season, the Panama City Beach Marathon is a must-attend event. Held at Pier Park, this marathon offers a scenic route along the beautiful beaches and a festive atmosphere that's perfect for runners and spectators alike. Whether you're a seasoned marathoner or a casual jogger, this event is a great way to kickstart your holiday season on a healthy note.

Optimist Club Christmas Parade (Pier Park):

The Optimist Club Christmas Parade, also held at Pier Park, is a beloved tradition that brings the community together. Each year, the parade features a colorful array of floats, marching bands, dance troupes, and, of course, Santa Claus. Families line the streets to watch the parade, making it a cherished event that captures the holiday spirit and spreads joy throughout the town.

Christmas at The Barn (The Barn at the Wicked Wheel): 

If you're in the mood for a down-home country Christmas, then "Christmas at The Barn" at The Barn at the Wicked Wheel is the perfect event for you. This rustic and cozy celebration offers a unique holiday experience with live music, craft vendors, and delicious seasonal treats. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, making it an ideal place to gather with friends and family.

Christmas at The Barn, Wicked Wheel

Holiday Lights at Pier Park (Pier Park):

One of the most enchanting winter events in Panama City Beach is the holiday lights and seasonal decorations at Pier Park Shopping Mall. Picture this: strolling along this busy shopping district with the cool ocean breeze brushing against your face, and being surrounded by a mesmerizing display of twinkling lights.As you wander through Pier Park, you'll be captivated by the illuminated palm trees, giant snowflakes, and colorful light displays from each of the stores. It is a magical experience that will transport you into a winter wonderland. Additionally, Pier Park hosts various events throughout the holiday season, including live music performances, caroling, and visits from Santa Claus himself!

New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop (Pier Park):

When it comes to ringing in the New Year, Panama City Beach knows how to throw a party. The annual New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop is a must-see event that attracts thousands of visitors from near and far. Imagine standing on the white sandy beaches, surrounded by excited crowds, eagerly awaiting the countdown to midnight. As the clock strikes twelve, a massive illuminated beach ball descends from the sky, accompanied by a breathtaking fireworks display. The atmosphere is electric as cheers and laughter fill the air, marking the beginning of a new year filled with hope and joy. It's a truly unforgettable experience that will leave you with cherished memories for years to come.

Winter Fishing Tournaments

For the outdoor enthusiasts and fishing aficionados, Panama City Beach offers a thrilling array of winter fishing tournaments. The pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide the perfect backdrop for competitive fishing and an opportunity to reel in impressive catches. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a novice, these tournaments cater to all skill levels. From red snapper to amberjack, the waters off the coast of Panama City Beach are teeming with a wide variety of fish species. The winter fishing tournaments in Panama City Beach promise an exciting and memorable experience.

Winter Golfing

While many parts of the country are covered in snow during the winter months, Panama City Beach offers the perfect opportunity for golf enthusiasts to hit the green. With its mild temperatures and beautifully maintained golf courses, it's no wonder that winter golfing is a popular activity in this coastal paradise.Imagine teeing off against the backdrop of breathtaking ocean views and lush green fairways. The serene atmosphere and stunning surroundings create an unforgettable golfing experience.

Additionally, Panama City Beach hosts several golf tournaments during the winter season, attracting players from all over the country. These tournaments provide a chance to test your skills, compete against other golfers, and maybe even win some prizes. So dust off your clubs, practice your swing, and get ready to enjoy a round of golf in paradise.

Panama City Beach Mardi Gras and Music Festival (Pier Park):

For those who love music, culture, and vibrant celebrations, the Panama City Beach Mardi Gras and Music Festival is a can't-miss event. Taking place in late January or early February, this lively festival brings the spirit of New Orleans to the shores of Panama City Beach. From colorful parades to live music performances, Mardi Gras in Panama City Beach is like no other.

Join the crowd as intricately designed floats roll down the streets, adorned with dazzling decorations and filled with costumed revelers. Beads and trinkets are thrown into the air, creating an atmosphere of joy and excitement. The vibrant colors, lively music, and infectious energy will transport you to the heart of the French Quarter.


With its mild temperatures, stunning beaches, and a variety of winter events, Panama City Beach is undoubtedly one of the best travel destinations during the winter holidays. Whether you're seeking a festive atmosphere, thrilling outdoor activities, or simply a relaxing beach getaway, this vibrant coastal city has it all. From the enchanting Beach Home for the Holiday to the exhilarating New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop, Panama City Beach offers a winter experience that will leave you with cherished memories. So pack your bags, embrace the holiday spirit, and embark on a winter adventure in Panama City Beach.