How to Spend the Holidays in Palm Beach
Spending the holidays in Palm Beach can be a magical experience if you are in the know. While your friends up north might chide you for missing out on the snow, the brisk air, and the Christmas lights, you can assure them that you can have a similar, if not better experience in sunny South Florida.
What is all the talk of no snow in Florida? If you venture over to City Place on select nights during November and December, you can legitimately see snow. The City Place team will dump over three feet of snow on visitors during the six-week magical event. Rent a Santa in Miami for your Christmas party celebration.
If it’s brisk air you are looking for, why not take a Christmas themed sail up the Intracoastal on the Majestic Princess. Enjoy dinner and live music, then head out to the balcony to breathe in that fresh December sea air.
If you are hoping for Christmas decorations, look no further than the houses in Northwood Village, which will be fixed up to the nines in Christmas garb. The spectacularly unique homes will be open to the public as part of the annual holiday touring event.
So yes, while the holidays won’t be exactly the same in South Florida as they are in say, Maine, there is something special and awe-inspiring about a warmer version.
Muvico Parisian 20 and IMAX
Walking into Muvico Imax Theater in City Place has the feeling of entering a large cathedral thanks to the grand staircases and angelic ceilings. Picking up your tickets is convenient thanks to the service windows, kiosks and parking validation machines that take the hassle out of the theater being in the middle of downtown. The best thing about this theater is that it pulls in all of the newest releases. There are plenty of showings thanks to the large scale of the building. This is a great place to check out the latest action movie in 3-D. You can also grab a drink from the bar on the third floor and enjoy it during your movie.
Kravis Center for Performing Arts
The Kravis Center for Performing Arts offers its version of Broadway theater (such hits as “Jersey Boys”, “Catch Me If You Can”, “Mary Poppins”, “Peter Pan”, “The Brand New Kid”, concerts (the National Symphony of Cuba, the St. Lawrence String Quartet) and a number of community-related programs, including a summer arts camp. While a place for serious performance, it also has a much lighter side. The Family Fare program welcomes children to the world of theatre with dance, comedy, and music. There’s also a music and arts program for children with special needs. Check the schedule before you come to town, as big-name acts are known to swing through. It could be the perfect icing to add to the top of your trip.
Perhaps the quintessential emblem of Palm Beach affluence, Worth Avenue is a paean to wealth and style. The Mediterranean-inspired architecture, much of it designed by local architect Addison Mizner, is endlessly charming. The primary street is lined with delicious shops and light-wrapped palms, while vias (small side streets) branch off the main avenue and expand into lush, vine-laden courtyards that are oh-so-European. Retailers include a who’s who of fashion and prestige, including Chanel, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., Herms, Cartier, Escada, and Van Cleef & Arpels. Even if you don’t buy, make sure to wander through the area. Its wonderful ambiance is as intoxicating as its top-quality merchandise.
Northwood Village, located just mere miles from the hustle and bustle of Clematis St. and City Place in West Palm Beach offers the old town vibe as antique shops and boutiques line the streets. This place is great to go if you are looking to browse one of the many art galleries or have the time to search for treasure in one of the vintage shops, like Something Lively or Nancy’s Vintage Warehouse. The eclectic feel isn’t lost once you stop for a bite to eat either, so consider making it more than just a shopping trip – support a local restaurant while you’re in the area. If you are holding out for a special occasion to get out to Northwood Village, then consider going on the last Friday of the month for the Art & Wine Promenade for wine tastings, live entertainment, and many street artists. Most of the antique shops stay open late for this award-winning event so it really is the perfect time to explore the area.
The Majestic Princess, a 2-deck yacht cruise boat out of Riviera Beach, is the perfect place to escape land gain your sea legs for a bit. With sightseeing cruises on the Intracoastal Waterway during the day and twilight cruises at night, exploring the water for two hours has never been more luxuriously affordable. Adding the optional fresh seafood lunch and/or dinner to the trip is sure to turn the trip into a special outing. The Majestic Princess is also available for weddings and special events or private charters and the service is sure to take the event to the next level.
Henry Morrison Flagler Museum
Occupying the mansion that Standard Oil founder Henry Flagler built for his wife in 1902, this museum recreates the luxury of the early 20th century. The Beaux-Art style structure was saved from the wrecking ball in 1959 and restored to its original magnificence by Flagler’s granddaughter. Today, its many rooms feature ornate architecture, regal furnishings, and a wealth of art. Displays on the railroad that ran along Florida’s east coast (and which was funded and conceived of by Flagler) provide a glimpse of the state’s early move towards tourism and agriculture. The rail car that Flagler traveled in has also been restored and is available for browsing. The museum is fully wheelchair accessible with the addition of a new elevator.