While the weather may be frightful in the rest of the country, here in West Palm Beach, things are getting downright tropical. Trade the snow for sand when downtown West Palm rings in the holiday season with the annual “Sand & Sea Sun’s Greetings” taking over the Waterfront. Once again master sand sculptors have built a 35-foot tall, 600-ton sand tree to commemorate the holiday season. For 2015, downtown West Palm will be officially known as Sandi Land from December 3-31, a beachy winter wonderland where sand trees are the norm and a round of putt-putt golf becomes a lunch break must.
The tropical-themed Sandi Land holiday spectacular begins on Thursday, December 3 when Sandi the Giant Holiday Sand Tree is painted with light for the first lighting of the season during the weekly Clematis by Night. The event kick starts a month-long schedule of events, filled with concerts, holiday-themed movie night, miniature golf, and nightly light shows synchronized to music on the quarter hour (beginning at 6:30 p.m.), lighting the 600-ton sand tree to life through December. (times subject to change during special events).
The holiday scene will take over the Great Lawn and the Landing, stretching along Flagler Dr. with sand sculptures, the nine-hole “Glow For It” miniature golf, and Snowie-Ville, a DIY tropical “snowman” station where the sculpting fun is put into your hands. In addition to Sandi, four 25-ton sand sculptures will dot the map—all within walking distance—each with its own theme.
2012’s tree lighting ceremony.
Here’s a rundown of what’s on the calendar this December:
- December 10: Pop sensation Macy Kate will join the Clematis by Night fun. Santa will be on hand from 6-9 p.m. to check those lists once more.
- December 11: Head to the West Palm Beach Waterfront for a holiday-themed Screen on the Green. The fun begins early with the holiday animated classic Jack Frost taking the screen at 6:30 p.m. At 7:15 p.m., kids can decorate boxes with some holiday cheer and become walking presents for the Kid’s Present Parade. Following the procession, The Santa Clause will take the screen at 8 p.m. Don’t forget to bring blankets and lawn chairs.
- December 12: The West Palm Beach Greenmarket will get into the sandy theme with a Celebrity Sand Sculpting Competition taking place at the Waterfront.
- December 17: The 19-piece Bobby Rodriguez Orchestra will headline Clematis by Night, performing those holiday favorites and classics from the Great American Songbook. Santa will be on hand from 6-9 p.m.
- December 20: From 4-7 p.m. at the West Palm Beach Waterfront’s Palm Stage, the holiday fun gets a dose of the tropics when the Aloha Islanders presents a Tropical Holiday Spectacular. The show features authentic Polynesian dnaces from Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, and New Zealand, including hula dancer and Samoan fire-knife dancers. At 5:50 p.m., the audience can get in on the action with the conch blowing contest.
- December 26: The Greenmarket will host a Gift Giveback, allowing patrons to re-gift some of those unwanted gifts to local charities, helping spread that holiday cheer.
Sandi Land is open Monday-Friday, 3-10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. For a complete schedule of downtown West Palm Beach’s holiday fun, visit wpb.org/sand-and-sea-sun.
*Images courtesy of the City of West Palm Beach.