Ocala Christmas Light Spectacular
This event at the Florida Horse Park, 11851 SW 16th Ave., Ocala, is open on select evenings beginning at 6 p.m. through Dec. 30 (closed Dec. 24 and 25.) Check online for the exact dates when the event is happening.
According to organizers, "The Ocala Christmas Light Spectacular is the only drive-through holiday light spectacular in all of North Central Florida" and features "dozens of dazzling, larger-than-life holiday themed displays to delight the entire family."
The holiday light show is on a 1.8-mile route. Tickets can be purchased online (https://ocalachristmas.com/) or at the gate. Last car in at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per car Sunday through Thursday and $25 per car Friday and Saturday. Full details at https://ocalachristmas.com/
Winter Wonderland at the World Equestrian Center
This event runs 5-9 p.m., Thursday-Sunday, through Dec. 24.
"With over 1 million twinkling lights, World Equestrian Center – Ocala Winter Wonderland promises to bring merriment and cheer to all," organizers say. "The halls of the WEC Grand Plaza will be decked with all of the traditional regalia of the season, along with larger-than-life ornaments and a Christmas tree maze, a glittering, 45-foot-tall walk-through Christmas tree, a giant polar bear and plentiful holiday décor.
"This family-friendly event is an opportunity to meet Santa and enjoy evening entertainment, including carolers, face painters, balloon artists, and caricaturists who rotate throughout the weekend."
A $30 parking fee per vehicle will be charged. The event dates are Dec. 8-11, 15-18 and 22-24.
Full details at https://www.wecwinterwonderland.com/
'Coming Back Like a Song'
This nostalgic musical play is onstage at the Ocala Civic Theatre through Dec. 18. More at ocalacivictheatre.com
Marion Civic Chorale community chorus holiday performance
The chorale will perform favorites and inspirational songs to celebrate the holidays at 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at Fort King Presbyterian Church, 13 NE 36th Ave., Ocala. Concerts are free to the public; donations to help fund the annual Grat L. Rosazza music scholarship are appreciated. More at www.marionchorale.org or https://www.facebook.com/groups/marioncivicchorale/
The classic ballet, presented by Dance Alive National Ballet, will be on stage at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7-9 at the Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE Ninth St., Ocala. Tickets from $15. More at https://www.reillyartscenter.com/
'Sleighin' It: A Holiday Cabaret'
This production from the Ocala Civic Theatre's Creative Arts Student Troupe will be on OCT's outdoor stage Dec. 9-11. Organizers call it a "festive cabaret celebrating all we love about the winter holidays." More at https://ocalacivictheatre.com/
Ocala Christmas Parade
The annual Christmas parade will step off at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 10. The parade begins at Southeast 25th Avenue and Fort King Street. It goes north to East Silver Springs Boulevard, then west on the boulevard to Northeast Eighth Avenue, then north to Northeast Third Street, just before Tuscawilla Park. More at https://ocalachristmasparade.org/
Light of Joy Ballet Company's 'Emmanuel, God with Us!'
This classical rendition of the Christmas story will be performed at 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10 and 2 p.m. Dec. 11 at the College of Central Florida's Charles R. Dassance Fine Arts Center, 3001 SW College Road, Ocala. Admission is free; seating is first come, first served. No tickets required. More at http://dancedivineocala.com/events.htm
'Phantasmagoria: Christmas Carol & Canterville Ghost'
This show – described as "a whimsical evening of ghost stories and Christmas cheer for the whole family" – will be onstage at 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 11 in the NOMA Black Box at the Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE Ninth St., Ocala. More at https://www.reillyartscenter.com/
Donna Cori in concert
This special Christmas concert will be held at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 6455 SW State Road 200, Ocala. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door. More at https://www.pjdecamera.wordpress.com/christmas-concert-tickets
'Blessed be the Birds'
A new art exhibit, "Blessed be the Birds,"by Courtney Kravig-McGuire, will be on display at the Clerk's Office at Ocala City Hall, 110 SE Watula Ave., from Dec. 13 through June 9. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This exhibit is free and open to the public.
Kravig-McGuire lives and works in Ocala and holds a bachelor of fine art degree in printmaking from the Herron School of Art + Design in Indianapolis. "Kravig-McGuire utilizes printmaking techniques to explore connections between nature and spirituality in her work," organizers say. Learn more at www.direct.me/theinkyibis, 352-629-8447, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ocalafl.org/artincityspaces
A Vince Guaraldi Christmas
The Clyde Connor Trio plays selections from the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s nostalgic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” album along with holiday standards from Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson and more. The show is 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 in the NOMA Black Box at the Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE Ninth St., Ocala. More at https://www.reillyartscenter.com/
'Big and Bold'
This exhibit will be on view in the Edith-Marie Gallery at the Appleton Museum of Art from Dec. 16 through May 21. All works are of modern and contemporary art, many of which have never been on display at the Appleton.
'Assisted Living: The Home for the Holidays'
This vaudeville-esque revue will be onstage at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE Ninth St., Ocala. More at https://www.reillyartscenter.com/.
HOPS Annual Holiday Home Tour
This one-day event runs 4-9 p.m. Dec. 17, starting at the Historic Ocala Preservation Society, 712 E. Fort King St., Ocala. According to organizers: "Guests will receive a printed tour guide with addresses and a suggested path. Guests arriving after sundown will receive LED candles to light their way and add to the charm of the holiday festivities. Docents and volunteers will be available at each home to answer any questions guests may have along the way."
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 day-of. Children younger than 13 are free.
'Trains at the Holidays'
This show will be up Dec. 17-30 at the Webber Gallery at the College of Central Florida, 3001 SW College Road. According to organizers, "this display will feature model train layouts built and maintained by the Ocala Model Railroaders’ Historic Preservation Society" and "many of the layouts are inspired by historic Ocala landmarks, such as the Six Gun Territory theme park that operated in Marion County until 1984."
The show is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The gallery will be closed Dec. 24 and 25. Admission is free. More at 352-854-2322, ext. 1664 or CF.edu/Webber.
Concert for Good
The annual concert will be held at 8 p.m. Dec. 27 at the Marion Theatre, 50 S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala. Proceeds benefit Brother's Keeper and the Marion County Children’s Alliance. Tickets range from $20 (for students) to $30 (for adults) and can be purchased at www.concertforgood.com. More at email@example.com
'2023 Faculty Art Exhibition' at CF
The “2023 Faculty Art Exhibition” will be on display Jan. 9-Feb. 2 (opening reception on Jan. 18, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.) at the Webber Gallery at the CF Ocala Campus, 3001 SW College Road. The gallery is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday and admission is free. More information at 352-854-2322, ext. 1664. According to organizers, the works will include ceramics, prints, fiber, photography and mixed media.
'A Dickens Christmas: The Urban Family’s Holiday Exhibition'
The Appleton Museum, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, is lit with twinkling lights and large-scale decorations as this annual tradition returns. The exhibit will be up through Jan. 8. This beloved annual display from the collection of the Dr. Paul Urban family offers the architecture, customs and history of Victorian England in this miniature village, alongside an extensive collection of nutcrackers from all over the world. Also on display are Christmas trees decorated by participating community groups and organizations. More at www.appletonmuseum.org or 352-854-2322, ext. 1565.
New at the Appleton
The Appleton Museum, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, opened new exhibits on Dec. 3. One features Jacksonville-based Hiromi Mizugai Moneyhun's three-dimensional, cut-paper artwork. The other features the work of Gainesville-based poet and visual artist Debora Gregor, who presents 28 mixed-media works created during the pandemic lockdown in 2019-2021. These exhibits will be up through June 18.
Blow Up II - Inflatable Contemporary Art
Larger-than-life inflatable art has transformed the Edith-Marie Appleton Gallery and museum lobby at the Appleton Museum, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. This exhibition, up through Dec. 11, explores the imaginative and often whimsical ways artists use air as a tool for creating large-scale sculpture, with work from eight renowned artists of the medium. Special events will be announced throughout the life of this exhibit. More at www.appletonmuseum.org or 352-291-4455.
‘Looking on the Brighter Side'
This exhibit from Jennifer Weigel is up through Jan. 9 at the Ocala Recreation and Parks Administration building, 828 NE Eighth Ave., and Eighth Avenue Adult Activity Center, 830 NE Eighth Ave., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Free and open to the public. A city news release describes Weigel as "a multi-disciplinary mixed-media, conceptual artist" whose work "utilizes a wide range of media to convey her ideas, including assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, jewelry, paint, performance, photography, video and writing." More at www.jenniferweigelart.com, 352-629-8447, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ocalafl.org/artincityspaces.
This art exhibit from Christine Dozier is up through Jan. 17 at the Ocala International Airport, 1770 SW 60th Ave., Suite 600. Free and open to the public. Dozier, an Ocala resident and Memphis native, works in oils and acrylics. More at www.christinedozier.com, 352-629-8447, email@example.com or www.ocalafl.org/artincityspaces.
'A Floral Retrospective'
This exhibit of Gregory Dirr's work is up through Dec. 9 at the Clerk’s Office in Ocala City Hall, 110 SE Watula Ave. Free and open to the public. Boca Raton-based Dirr is described in an Ocala city news release as "an interdisciplinary visual artist, creating work as a cathartic response to his surroundings with a focus on environmental conservation." The clerk's office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More at www.gregorydirr.com, 352-629-8447, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ocalafl.org/artincityspaces.
'Squares Without Stitches'
This exhibit is up at the Barbara Gaskin Washington Adult Activity Center, 210 NW 12th Ave., Ocala, through Jan. 12. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free and open to the public. More at www.ocalafl.org/recpark, 352-368-5517 and Ocala Rec Park on Facebook.
This exhibit features costumes, set photos, interactive experiences and sketches, along with a plethora of fabrics and video of the costume design process. These objects, from the Appleton Museum’s permanent collection, inspired the art and design for the Ocala Civic Theatre’s recent production of "Beauty and the Beast." This exhibit runs through the winter of 2022. The museum is at 4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. More at www.appletonmuseum.org.
This article originally appeared on Ocala Star-Banner: Weekend fun in Ocala includes holiday lights, music and theater