Travel Tips: A Budget Friendly Guide to a Holiday Vacation in Destin Fl

Planning a getaway to any destination can be costly, especially nowadays. We are here to share some helpful ways to save during your next family trip to Destin Florida.

Known for being “Crown Jewel of the Emerald Coast”, Destin Florida will have you understanding the well deserved title in no time. Although this Northwest region lends to an upscaled family destination, there are plenty of affordable activities to partake in this trip while visiting the Emerald Coast.

Destin, Fort Walton Holiday Events

Spending quality family time participating in holiday festivities will surely fulfill your heart this holiday season. What’s astonishing to point out is that most of these events come at no charge. Be sure to check local listings for updates, but here are a few to pencil in on your calendars.

Destin Commons Christmas Tree Lighting and Fireworks
Date: November 17th 2023- 6pm to 8pm.
Location: Destin Commons Shopping Mall
Get ready cuz Santa is coming to Destin! With tons of fun activities like face painting and photo ops, this event is great to all ages. The Parade starts a 7pm with fireworks to follow.

Santa’s Arrival and Fireworks at Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin
Date: November 25th 2023 from 6-9pm
Location: The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
With Santa arriving in style last year by Zip-line, he keeps us guess on how he will show up this year! Be there so you can partake in all the festive offerings.

City of Destin Christmas Parade
Date: December 9th 2023 at 10am
Location: North Side of Harbor Boulevard
Gather the family for a quick breakfast near Destin Harbor. With bellies full you will have plenty of energy to cheer on the floats a Merry Christmas. Santa will also be making an appearance at this event.

35th Annual Destin Boat Parade
Date: December 10th 2023 at 6pm
Location: Harbor Walk Village
This event is one of a kind, Christmas lit boats cruising the harbor makes for a fantastic sightseeing evening. And to top it off a firework display. There are plenty of viewing options from bringing a chair to watch from the docks or if you can grab a table at one of the Harbor Restaurants you can enjoy the parade in a variety of ways.

Holiday Concert Series at The Village of Baytowne Wharf
Dates: December 6th, 13th, and 20th 2023 from 6-8pm
Location: Events Plaza Lawn at Baytowne Wharf
Come enjoy the classic holiday tunes performed by local High choirs. This free event takes place every Wednesday evening with an appearance from Santa on each date.

Affordable Activities in Destin

In addition to all the holiday happenings, here are some affordable activities that are always available throughout the winter season.
Christmas Light Displays:
Check out Festival of Trees on Grand Boulevard shopping center.
From Thanksgiving to Christmas enjoy the unique Christmas Tree Displays presented by twelve local, non-profit organizations. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite!

Check out Candy Cane Lane AKA Sea Oats Drive in Destin
During the holidays this street holds the title for the most festive displays the town has to offer. Come see what the fuss is about this year!

Beach Bonfires:
Wow, this activity is a “hot” choice! If you are gathering with a large group or just a small intimate gathering there are many local beach Bonfires companies that offer many price points. Light Me Up Beach Bonfires offers great service at budget friendly rates.

This activity in 30A has become so popular because it is an eco-friendly activity, that allows you to savor the area, get expertise and spend some family time. There are plenty of rental shops to choose from. Go one step further to save and pack your wheels for the trip.

A Destin Family Photographer : This is a must do on any vacation. For some its honoring a traveling tradition, for others it’s a chance to do something that is not the norm back home- you guessed it family photos!

Family portraits at the beach allows for the family to create happy memories while preserving all at once. Our favorite spot for family photos this holiday season is Henderson State Park. The variety of shooting locations on site allows your photographer in Destin to create some of your most precious beach portraits.

The photography service provided by Destin Beach Photography company is outstanding with service and product. With excellent reviews from clients and prices that are very reasonable, this photography service will hit all the marks. We highly suggest browsing through all the families galleries to get some inspiration following.

Helpful Tips on Saving

Make sure to pack some fun family things to do for down time. It will help with cost and keep everyone entertained.

  • Holiday cook baking night
  • Board game night (Classics are great! Twister or Guess Who)
  • Minute to Win it games (This is inspired by a game show!)
  • S’more night/Hot coco station
  • Family Feud trivia night
  • Secret Santa Party

When it comes to saving, preparing is key. Make sure to pencil all the local free holiday events and save some time to relax in between. After all, you are on holiday!


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