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Top 12 Things to Do This Holiday Season at Destin Commons

‘Tis the season for gathering, gifting, dining, and celebrating – what’s not to love?! The holidays are our favorite times of the year at Destin Commons, and this December, we’re kicking the magic up a notch with more retailers, restaurants, family-friendly entertainment, and holiday activities than ever before.

Whether you’re seeking unique gift ideas, local holiday lights and decorations, Christmas carolers, tasty desserts, or restaurants open on Christmas Day, we’ve got you covered – in tinsel and bows! Experience the joy of the holidays while surrounded by reindeer topiary, live musical performances, and, of course, our beloved 50-foot Destin Commons Christmas tree, which serves as the ultimate holiday backdrop.

Ready to feel merry and bright? Here’s our list of the top 12 things to do this holiday season in Destin:

Shop Holiday Gifts for Everyone on Your List (and Treat Yourself to Holiday Party Looks!)

With over 70 retailers encompassing fashion, beauty and wellness, accessories, jewelry, footwear, electronics, home décor, outdoor living, and more, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to shopping for every age range and personality type on your holiday list–or seeking the perfect outfit for any kind of holiday party. Boutiques, specialty stores, and top national brands make Destin Commons the Emerald Coast’s premier, one-stop shop during the holidays and all year round. Pro tip: check out our 2023 holiday gift guide on the blog for some gift-giving inspiration!

Savor the Season with a Mouthwatering Meal

Whether you’re looking to gather with loved ones and enjoy a multi-course, sit-down holiday meal or embark on a food crawl with a variety of dishes in a fast-casual environment, our array of globally inspired restaurants and eateries serve up flavorful menu items that are sure to satisfy all taste buds. From City Food Hall to Redbrick Pizza, Party Fowl, El Jalisco, Yuga Sushi & Sake House and more, visitors are welcome to feast at their local tried and true – and try something new!

Discover Unique Gifts at The Destin Commons Market: Holiday Edition

The Destin Commons Market is a beloved Destin farmers market offering handmade gifts and homemade delicacies while supporting local artisans and vendors. On December 15, the market gets its annual “Holiday Edition” makeover from 5 to 9 p.m. at Center Plaza, inviting visitors to shop one-of-a-kind products, fresh produce, handmade accessories, art, flowers, home décor, clothing, baked goods, and much more – just in time for the gifting season! Stop by to say hello to some of Destin’s most talented creators while you peruse unique gifts for everyone on your list. 

Sleigh Your Holiday Photo Game with our Christmas Tree and Holiday Decorations

Perhaps we’re biased, but when it comes to Destin, there’s no better place for taking holiday photos than right here at Destin Commons. Stand in front of our towering 50-foot Christmas tree, sit on Santa’s gleaming sleigh and the charming reindeer bench, and pose by the playful oversized topiary reindeer adorned with bows, lights, and poinsettias. The variety of festive photo spots and holiday décor at Destin Commons will dazzle guests of all ages. Smile and snap those heartwarming photos for your holiday cards (and Instagram, of course!)

Capture the Joy with Santa at Bass Pro Shops

Jolly Old St. Nick has made his warm Florida return to Bass Pro Shops in Destin Commons! Commemorate the magic of Christmas with a free Santa photo reservation – then visit the Christmas Toy Shop and invite your little ones to mail their letters to the North Pole via Santa’s Wonderland Mailbox. 

Enjoy Immersive Art and Instagrammable Walls 

Whether you simply appreciate viewing art as you stroll or love to give your social media feed an artsy aesthetic, the namely Florida-esque mural collection at Destin Commons is truly a local gem that will have your out-of-town friends wishing they “were here.” Better yet, these interactive pieces inspire you to use your imagination and get social! Send a virtual Destin Fla. postcard, create a video and go viral for flocking like a flamingo in front of our “Tropical Vibes” mural, come up with a ‘punny’ social media caption for “The Friend Ship” wall, and play with the optical illusion of our “Gone Fishing” masterpiece. (Pro Tip: You can also transform into an artist via our complimentary downloadable “Coloring the Commons” coloring pages, which allow guests to bring each mural to life!)

Sing Along to Live Holiday Music at Destin Commons Jolly Jubilee

Jolly Jubille at Destin Commons

Now through December 24, enjoy live musical performances and Christmas caroling as part of the Destin Commons Jolly Jubilee. This stellar lineup features artists and groups including Joe Occhipinti, the Cincinnati Christmas Carolers, Emerald Coast Chorus, 4 for 4 Quartet, Emerald Coast Theatre Company, and Niceville High School Jazz Band. View the full schedule of performances at

Create Memories (and Fluffy Friends) at Build-A-Bear

Take the little ones from your “Nice” list to Build-A-Bear for an interactive gift that keeps on giving. From the moment they step foot into this sweet store, they’ll be excited to select their new stuffed friend and follow along as they’re brought to life. Bonus points for a festive holiday character or outfit! 

Indulge in Seasonal Treats 

Savory dishes aren’t all you can treat your palate to at Destin Commons. Satisfy your sweet tooth with decadent treats from our City Food Hall vendors, restaurants (pro tip: Gulf Coast Burgers Co. has incredible shakes), and Kilwins, where the scent of homemade ice cream, peppermint bark, and rich fudge entice visitors into the confectionary on a constant basis. Craving some more? It’Sugar is ideal for a Christmas or Hanukkah candy haul, while Destination Donuts and Starbucks Coffee kickstart the day with seasonal beverages and festive mini treats. 

Ride the Cubby Caboose

The holiday season isn’t complete without a train ride! Kids can enjoy a tour of Destin Commons on our very own version of the Polar Express – the Cubby Caboose! Our mini train has officially been lit for the holiday season and is guaranteed to draw smiles from Destin’s youngest crowds.  

Catch New Movies and Holiday Films on the Big Screen

The holiday season is a peak time for new movie premieres and festive film events. Perfect for “wrapping” up a day of shopping and dining or as a fun afternoon activity, AMC Destin Commons 14 invites guests from around the Emerald Coast to cozy up in plush chairs, snack on buttery popcorn, and catch the newest flicks – as well as $5 featured holiday classics like Elf and The Polar Express – on the big cinema screen. AMC 14 is the area’s only digital theater offering REAL D–The Premier Digital 3D Experience, as well as true stadium seating, IMAX, innovative digital sound systems, and tons of legroom between each row. Secure the best seats ahead of time with reserved seating, skip the lines with mobile ordering for food and drinks, and grab a cocktail from MacGuffins Bar. Great for a family outing, date night, and everything in between! 

Engage in Some Fun, Family-Friendly Competition 

Maybe you’re a football-loving family who wants to catch the game at a restaurant, or perhaps you’d rather engage in some competition yourself. Either way, if sports are a part of your crew’s holiday plans and traditions, Destin Commons welcomes you to play! Party Fowl features wall-to-wall large screen TVs for cheering on your favorite teams, while Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill offers a fun, Florida-esque environment for some old-school bowling. 

Ready to infuse some major holiday magic into your life? Shop, dine and celebrate with us this holiday season at Destin Commons!

For more information on our holiday happenings, retailers and restaurants, as well as our holiday hours, visit

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