Get ready for a whirlwind of seasonal happenings.
In Cayman, the holiday calendar is always brimming with parties, tree lighting celebrations, fundraisers and special appearances by Jolly Old St. Nick.
Vigoro Nursery’s annual Christmas open house on Walkers Road and the Festival of Trees gala fundraiser for the Central Caribbean Marine Institute launched the season, with the yuletide calendar now shifting into high gear.
Camana Bay is a focal point for many family-friendly festivities, from craft markets and outdoor concerts to spectacular fireworks and a festive boat parade.
Many events are seasonal staples, such as the Rotary Club’s annual tree lighting celebrations downtown, while events such as the Singing Christmas Tree are fast becoming holiday favorites.
With new holiday happenings mixing with traditional favorites, there’s truly something for everyone to celebrate this season.
Nov. 17: Christmas in the Country
Enjoy a leisurely afternoon of Christmas shopping and inspiring decorating themes at Vigoro Nursery. The place is all decked out for the holidays. Live music and refreshments.
Agricola Drive, Lower Valley, 1 to 4 p.m.
Nov. 23: Christmas Tree Lighting
Camana Bay transforms into a sparkling wonderland with a majestic Christmas tree, musical performances, a Christmas craft market and, of course, a special visit from Santa Claus.
Camana Bay, 5 to 9 p.m.
Nov. 26: Light up a Life
This ceremony of remembrance is a beautiful way to remember a loved one during the holiday season. Cayman HospiceCare hosts the free community event, with the Cayman National Choir and Orchestra providing the musical backdrop for the evening. Participants add lights to a community memorial in celebration of those we have loved and lost.
Cassia Court, Camana Bay, 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 28 and Dec. 4, 11, 18: Traditional Santa Photos
Join Santa in full red-and-white regalia, whisper your wishes and snap memories.
Gardenia Court, Camana Bay, 5 to 7 p.m.
Nov. 30 and Dec. 6, 13, 20: Caribbean Santa Photos
Father Christmas goes island style with a tropical shirt, shorts and sun-drenched photos on The Island.
Gardenia Court, Camana Bay, 5 to 7 p.m.
Nov. 30: Pink Ladies Christmas Bazaar
Enjoy an afternoon of holiday cheer at this annual fundraiser featuring a craft and bake sale, silent auction, children’s activities, musical performances, raffle prizes and a traditional tea with finger sandwiches. Santa also makes a special appearance.
Arts & Recreation Center, Camana Bay, 2 to 5 p.m.
Nov. 30: Christmas Community Parade
Singers, dancers and musicians share artistic talents in this extravaganza courtesy of Barnes Dance Academy.
Camana Bay, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 and Dec. 1: Singing Christmas Tree
Enjoy this seasonal music extravaganza featuring local singers, actors and dancers, along with overseas performers. Free admission.
First Assembly of God, Old Crewe Road, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 2: Rotary Club Christmas Tree Lighting
Downtown George Town comes alive with a holiday showpiece hosted by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman. The evening features a tree lighting, a visit by Father Christmas and songs of the season. The tree lighting extravaganza has been a tradition in Cayman for more than 45 years.
Heroes Square, George Town, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 4: Christmas Evening Market
Enjoy the flavor of a traditional Caymanian Christmas as local farmers and artisans line Market Street with fresh produce, handcrafted products and Christmas goodies.
Camana Bay, 3:30 to 8 p.m.
Dec. 7: Kiwanis Santa Landing
Jolly Old St. Nick makes his grand entrance at 2 p.m. at the airport park across from Foster’s Food Fair, where he and his helpers hand out books as gifts to the children. Complimentary snacks and treats, such as cotton candy, popcorn and hot dogs will be available, and the afternoon includes games, face painting and an activity corner.
Airport Park, 1 to 4 p.m.
Dec. 7: Parade of Lights
Boats aglow with thousands of brightly colored lights parade through the harbor against a soundtrack of choirs while a Christmas market charms with local food and crafts. The Cayman 27 Parade of Lights is a traditional favorite.
Camana Bay, 6 to 8 p.m.
Dec. 8: Jingle Bell Walk/Run
A long-standing favorite, the Jingle Bell Walk/Run raises funds for the Cayman Islands Crisis Center. It starts and ends at the Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman on West Bay Road. Runners and walkers can choose a 5K or 10K loop. Many participants get into the Christmas spirit by donning festive apparel. Registration fee is $20, which includes a T-shirt, breakfast with Santa and raffle prizes. Register online at CaymanActive.com.
The Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman, 7 a.m.
Dec. 14: Cayman Youth Choir Concert
Hearts are sure to swell when more than 100 local children perform holiday favorites live on The Crescent.
Camana Bay, 7 to 8 p.m.
Dec. 14: Cayman Artisans Market
From pottery and batiks to woodwork and mosaics, check off your gift list with artisanal products made in Cayman.
Camana Bay, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dec. 14: Drum Circle End of Year Jam
Local musicians celebrate a vibrant year with a drum choral unlike any Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum you’ve ever heard.
Camana Bay, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 14 and 21: Gingerbread House Workshop
Families gather and let loose their inner holiday artistes as they build a classic gingerbread house complete with icing, gumdrops and more. Enjoy this holiday tradition led by executive pastry chef Benjamin Kallenbach. Tickets: 815-6117.
Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Grand Cayman Ballroom, 2 to 3 p.m.
Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, 10, 17: Moonlight & Movies
Pack a picnic to enjoy beloved favorites and new classics under the stars.
Gardenia Court at Camana Bay, 7 p.m.
Dec. 15, 21, 22, 23, 24: Teddy Bear Tea
Indulge in tiny sandwiches and a tower of sweets before succumbing to the magic of Santa and his friends around the giant gingerbread house. Adults will enjoy a selection of classic and herbal teas, freshly baked scones, finger sandwiches and pastries accompanied by holiday melodies. Two seatings: noon to 2 p.m. and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tickets: 815-6117.
Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Silver Palm Lounge
Dec. 17 to 21: National Trust Christmas Lights Bus Tour
Tour some of the island’s festively decorated homes in this guided tour. Among the stops are a roundabout dressed up in holiday attire, two private homes featuring magnificent displays and lighting and a stop at the Mission House in Bodden Town where visitors can sample traditional treats.
The tour starts and ends at the Trust’s headquarters in Dart Family Park in South Sound. To confirm dates, times and tickets. Tel: 749-1121; Email: [email protected]
Dec. 21: Miss Jackie’s Christmas Recital
Visions of sugar plum fairies under the stars; students from Miss Jackie’s School of Dance perform holiday classics.
Camana Bay, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 26: Dashing Through the Sand
Work off the turkey and Christmas beef on this Box
ing Day walk/run along Seven Mile Beach. The 1.5-mile trek starts on the beach near Hemingway’s Restaurant and ends at Surfside Beach Restaurant & Bar. Participants receive T-shirts featuring an original design by local artist John Broad, as well as breakfast and entry into numerous prize draws. Download an entry form at CaymanActive.com. Entry fee is $25.
Starts at the beach by Hemingway’s Restaurant, 7:30 a.m.
Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Ring in 2014 with fireworks over the harbor that earns the term “spectacular.” Relax on The Crescent or dine alfresco.
Camana Bay (time to be announced)