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ALACHUA ‒ Enjoy festive holiday lights and special events at Alachua’s Holiday Nights on Main. The entire month of December offers shopping, dining, strolling and much more. For a full calendar of events and an activity map, visit HolidayNightsonMain.com

On Friday, Dec. 3, get the season started with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Fa La La La Fridays. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be in their festive house on Main Street early on this Friday only from 2-5 p.m. where they’ll be taking photos with children and families while they await the tree lighting at 6 p.m.

On Dec. 10 and 17, Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be in their home from 5-8 p.m. waiting to greet children. On the evening of the tree lighting ceremony from 6-8 p.m., families can also take photos with Santa and enjoy children’s activities before they stroll down Main Street to enjoy festivities on all three Fa La La La Fridays.

Main Street will be sharing the way for pedestrians to enjoy rides in one of two horse drawn carriages. Individuals visiting the south carriage stop can catch a ride for two to four people, pick up a warm beverage at Tea Time Tranquility and Treasures and explore the shops of South Main to make ornaments at Alachua Flowers and crafts at the Alachua Woman’s Club.

Individuals traveling north on Main with holiday gift purchases can go to the Grinchmas Party at Michael Turner, CPA for free gift wrapping and ornament making and then peek in the beautiful holiday windows of the Manor on Main Street as it prepares for its grand opening as an event venue.

Next stop is Santa’s Village. After visiting Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s House on Central Main, climb aboard Santa’s Sleigh for the perfect photo. Main Street hosts many restaurants welcoming all to stop in to dine or carry out to watch the movie on the wall. Before leaving Santa’s Village, take a ride on the wagonette with room for 8-12 people.

Stop by My Happy Place on Main to pick up a specialty coffee or hot chocolate for the littles and then relax in the Elves’ Street Lounge for adult beverages. The area will be filled with sounds and sights of the season with live music and lights from the Historic Theater Park and the spectacular light changing electronic Christmas Tree. Check out the shops and join Kelly’s Kreations to design your own candle.

As you stroll, keep an eye out for “shelfie signs” to place your camera for the perfect photo opportunity, complete with a Holiday Nights filter!

On Saturday, Dec. 4, join the Alachua Woman’s Club as it kicks off a year-long campaign to save the club with The Charity Ball of Saint Nicholas (tickets at saintnickball.eventbrite.com). The Alachua Woman’s Club has been a treasured resource for family engagement since its construction in 1935. The Club’s mission is to support the youth in our community. As times have changed, so has the way in which the Club engages with the community. The Alachua Women’s Club is positioning itself to meet the needs of today’s society and wants to be a space for families to come together.

This is the year to “Save the Women’s Club” and bring it back to its shining glory both as a historic structure and as a place to create memories. With recent global events subsiding, the Club is opening its doors to a variety of engaging and fun-filled activities, starting with See It To Be It: youth have an opportunity to visit local businesses and visit with a representative to gain insight into various industries.

Budget 101: Regularly scheduled sessions grouped by age range meet at the club with a financial advisor to learn budget basics

Etiquette 101: Children have an opportunity to attend a month-long series of etiquette classes to learn etiquette in preparation for dances and formals.

Parent and Child Dances: Parents have an opportunity to take their children for dinner and dancing.

Children’s Formals: Following upscale events such as the St. Nicholas Gala, the décor will remain in place for the children to attend a fancy affair on the following day.

Ladies Night: Club members attend a relaxed evening for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

Alachua’s Holiday Nights on Main has something to offer the entire family all month long. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy the season with the perfect blend of excitement and nostalgia.

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