When most people think of the beach, they think of hot summer temperatures, cool ocean breezes, and cold ice cream while soaking up the sun or splashing in the surf. With average air temperature highs in the 60s and 70s and less precipitation during the winter months, escaping the colder temperatures and snow of northern climates is an easy decision. Keep in mind that the ocean temperature might not be as welcoming, so you’ll want to plan some indoor activities while you’re here, too. There are many and varied indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy in New Smyrna Beach in the winter.
Christmas Boat Parade
If you’re here around Christmastime, check out the New Smyrna Beach holiday boat parade. It follows directly after the parade through the streets of New Smyrna Beach. Boaters decorate their vessels and set sail. Participants include boats under 19 feet all the way up to yachts 50 feet or longer.
Coastal Christmas Market
If your winter break comes during the beginning of the holiday shopping season, you may be able to catch the Coastal Christmas Market in the Canal Street Historic District. Each year local artisans and merchants come to the event with a wide variety of beautiful gifts, holiday décor, and more – much of it handcrafted. Shop nearly 100 local vendors, listen to live music, and see various demonstrations, or grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or street booths.
Light Up Flagler
The Light Up Flagler Avenue event helps kick off the holiday season in New Smyrna Beach. Typically held at the beginning of December, the event includes a holiday merchant open house, the NSB Cookie Challenge bursting with the flavor of homemade cookies submitted by the entrants. You can also get your picture taken at the holiday picture stop at the decorated gazebo or stop by the ornament decorating station to take home a free decorated-by-you ornament! Watch or participate in two “pop up parades” – the Santa Paws Pet Parade featuring area pooches or the Christmas Crazy Cart Parade featuring golf carts decorated with holiday trimmings.
Locals know the best time of year for spotting different wildlife. If you visit New Smyrna Beach in the winter, make sure to stop by Haulover Canal to see the manatees. The cooler water temperatures of the winter months (approximately November through April) attract these majestic mammals. Your best opportunity for spotting will be the early mornings when they’re out for their breakfast of mangrove leaves, algae, shoal grass, and many other species of plant. Many companies offer boat tours specific for manatee watching.
Turtle Mound River Tours
If the water is too chilly for you to take swim in or participate in another water activity like SCUBA diving, snorkeling, or stand up paddle boarding, take a trip on the water. Turtle Mound River Tours offers fun, narrated scenic two-hour boat tours of the Indian River Lagoon, year-round. Kick back on a sunset tour, private tour, or small group tour where you might see dolphins and manatees – winter is prime time for manatee-spotting. There’s a stunning view of the Canaveral National Seashore to be seen as well. Guests on public tours are being asked to bring and wear a mask at all times. Guests without masks on public tours will not be allowed to board the vessel.
New Smyrna Museum of History
If the weather’s a bit nippy for you, New Smyrna Beach has indoor activities to keep you busy on your winter jaunt to the area. Step into the area’s history at the New Smyrna Museum of History. You’ll learn about the city’s history through a surfing exhibit, maps and pictures of the area, and even the museum’s archaeology lab. You can catch a glimpse of the archaeologists hard at work in the lab, but it’s a restricted space so you’re limited to viewing the finds on display.
Bob Ross Art Workshop & Gallery
Head indoors and learn the joy of painting. The Bob Ross Art Workshop & Gallery was started by Ross himself in New Smyrna Beach in 1992. You’ll see many of Ross’ original oil paintings that include “happy little trees” and other details you may have seen in the over 300 public television episodes of his program, “The Joy of Painting”. Take a class at the workshop and learn Ross’ techniques for landscape, seascape, floral, and wildlife depiction or other class hosted by guest artists from around the world.
The Little Theater of New Smyrna
You can see movies at home. During your stay, you can experience a live show at The Little Theater of New Smyrna. Area residents volunteer to entertain in shows like The Game’s Afoot – a mystery based on the lead character’s love of Sherlock Holmes, or the Tennessee Williams Classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The theater has shows frequently. Check their schedule to make sure there’s something playing while you’re there.
Winter in New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Whether you choose the beach or an indoor activity during your stay, make sure your plans include booking a rental with Ocean Properties & Management, Inc. Enjoy the privacy of one of our luxury or long-term rentals. We have condos and single-family homes to fit your entire group or family. Stay oceanfront or choose one of our rentals in a quiet community nearby.