Enjoy Winter Weather at Florida State Parks




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 Florida in Winter is...

Winter Photo Contest

Whether you’re gathering around a campfire with your family, celebrating the holidays on a white sand beach or enjoying the weather with a hike, winter in Florida is better at Florida State Parks! There are holiday events across the state that are real Florida fun for the entire family. While you’re there, check out migratory wildlife like manatees and birds, or make it an overnight celebration and stay the night at your favorite Florida State Park. 

View Holiday Events


Florida in Winter is... Outdoorsy!

 First Day Hikes

Kick off your the New Year with a First Day Hike! Join a Florida State Park Ranger on a beautiful hike through natural landscapes. Take in the beauty and get some exercise as you start your new year right. Pack a lunch, enjoy a picnic and spend your day at the park afterwards! Programs are being held across the state, so make sure to get outdoors to start the year right.

Find a First Day Hike Near Me



 Florida in Winter Is... Warm & Bright!

Star Gazing at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

What better way to spend the longest night of the year than star gazing? Did you know Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in Okeechobee is the only state park in Florida to be designated a “Dark Sky” location? That means there is limited light pollution to block the view of the night sky! Reserve a campsite or an astronomy pad and come out to see the stars this December 21st.

Stargaze During Winter Solstice



Florida in Winter Is... a great time for Prescribed Fire!

Prescribed Fire

The Florida Park Service safely implemented 3,125.5 acres of Prescribed Fire this week at 16 parks! With over 300,000 fire-dependent acres of natural communities, we must implement frequent fires in order to mimic naturally occurring fire on the landscape. Proper stewardship of resources, and public safety are our primary concerns throughout the entire prescribed fire process. Prescribed fires are an instrumental tool our managers use to restore natural communities, encourage native plant growth, and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires. In the past month, over 8,000 acres of prescribed fire have been successfully completed; over 10% of our annual prescribed fire goals. Staff have also safely suppressed two wildfires. 



Florida in Winter is... Scenic!

Winter Photo Contest


Whether you prefer to take in the sun and sand with family and friends or explore nature on your own, capture and share your favorite winter moments for the chance to win prizes, such as a Cannon EOS Rebel T6, Florida State Parks' Family Annual Pass, sleeping bag, propane stove, and much more. Submit your photos now through February 21, 2018.

Learn more



Florida in Winter is... an Adventure

Looking to get out of the house this month? Enjoy the outdoors and holiday celebrations at a Florida State Parks event this December!

View all events here! 

Event Details Festival of Lights

 Now through Dec. 23

Come on the weekends to Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs for Holiday Magic Nights, where there will be free hot cocoa, snacks, craft activities and music. Or come during the week for Silent Nights and take a quiet, leisurely walk through the holiday displays!

Get event details here! 

Event Details

  Eagle Viewing

Dec. 31

Join the weekly eagle watch at Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey and see how our pair of nesting bald eagles are doing. High-powered scope and trail maps are provided. 

  Get event details here! 

Event Details Celebration of Lights

Now through Dec. 24

Get ready for the annual Celebration of Lights at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa. Come out and enjoy Sebastian’s Winter Wonderland, an incredible synchronized light and sound show!

Get event details here! 

Event Details New Years Hike

 Dec. 31

The New Year is right around the corner! Finish off 2017 with a First Day Hike at Dudley Farm Historic State Park in Newberry. Join a tour that will guide you around the farm that was developed by PBH Dudley. Walk around the 1880's farmstead and learn about a way of life long ago.

Get event details here!

Event Details Santa Over the Rainbow

 Now through Dec. 27

Bring the whole family to Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon for an evening extravaganza. Christmas lights will illuminate the park and welcome Santa, who arrives at 7 p.m. on the river via his pontoon sleigh boat!  Enjoy food, music and an array of crafts and gifts.

Get event details here!

Event DetailsConcert in the Park

 Dec. 30

Celebrate the close of 2017 at Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park in Port Richey, with Hungrytown (music that feeds the soul)!  If you also choose to feed your belly we are offering a VIP experience which includes VIP seating and a gourmet brunch buffet, grilled onsite by a local chef. 

Get event details here!

Event DetailsUp Past Bedtime Movie

 Dec. 27

While the kids are out of school on winter break, come out to The Barnacle Historic State Park in Miami for a family-friendly film on the front lawn. All ages will enjoy the 1999 animated feature The Iron Giant—the story of a nine-year-old boy who befriends a giant robot from outer space.

Get event details here!



 #FLStateParks in the News! 

“Longtime Environmentalist Named State Parks Director” 

“Gilchrist Blue Springs becomes state’s 175th park” 

“Myakka River State Park offers up-close look at nature”