Things to Do in St. Pete Beach: December 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year here at Alden Suites! And there’s no better place to spend it than at the beach! Here are some of the events that will make your holiday season superb in and around St. Pete Beach.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

December 1st– January 6th

December 1st  through 31st  head to Busch Gardens for some great thrill rides and to see the park transform into a holiday wonderland of Christmastime entertainment, holiday shopping, and more than a million twinkling lights!

Florida Holiday Boat Parades

All December

Here in St. Pete Beach, boat parades are a treasured tradition. Take a look at all the Florida boat parades taking place this December and make plans to join in the fun!

Holiday Lights in the Gardens

December 1st– January 4th

This season, escape into a wonderland of twinkling lights and fun entertainment! The annual “Holiday Lights in the Gardens” is back December 1st  through Jan 4th! Over 1 million LED lights are shining throughout the Florida Botanical Gardens highlighting their plants and in nature-themed or holiday-themed light displays. This is a family-friendly event with nightly entertainment, including visits with Santa. The event begins at 5:30 pm and a $5 suggested donation is encouraged for entry.

Winter Wonderland at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

December 1st– January 6th

Join the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for a splashing great holiday celebration! Watch as the aquarium transforms into Winter’s Wonderland December 1st through Jan. 6. Experience Winter’s Wonderland with lights and décor all around, see the holiday-themed habitats, enjoy the kids’ fun zone in the 3rd-floor classrooms and learn about penguins and polar bears, and watch special Santa dive presentations at Mavis’s Rescue Hideaway.

St. Pete Beach Drive & Wine Tour

December 1st-10th

December 1st  through 10th  explore the beautiful waterfront Beach Drive neighborhood via the 3- hour St. Pete Beach Drive & Wine Tour. The tour meets at The Vinoy Hotel the “Grand Dame” of downtown St. Pete and while sipping a signature cocktail we explore this spectacular historic resort. The tour continues to The Birchwood Inn & Locale Market for wine and food pairing. Up next we visit Flute & Dram for a taste of the good life with a champagne and caviar tasting. Finale desserts and coffee at Cassis St. Pete.

Tampa Bay Beaches Festival of Trees

December 7th

Join the Tampa Bay Beaches Festival of Trees! Get in the holiday spirit and support the community with your family. Bid on your favorite Christmas tree to spruce up your home or business, while enjoying a winter wonderland of fun!

North Straub Park Snowfest

December 8th

Sixty-five tons of snow are expected to fall in North Straub Park at the annual holiday Snowfest celebration. Join the fake snow fun December 8th  from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Activities include a big and kiddie toboggan slide, art tent, karaoke, moonwalks, giant slide, “glice” ice skating, and a Kiddyland area designed especially for pre-schoolers with inflatable train, cookie decorating and more! #SundayFunday

1st Annual Gulfport Santa Rampage

December 14th

Twas 11 days before Christmas and all through our ‘hood, the Santas were partying and up to no good. Grab your best Santa costume and come to Gulfport with all of your Christmas spirit for our 1st Annual Gulfport Santa Rampage! Get your Creative Claus on and get ready to elf things up as we take over the town and paint it red. For more info visit the events page here.  

Gulfport Christmas Boat Parade

December 14th

December 14th  at 6 pm, enjoy the 34th Annual Gulfport Lighted Christmas Boat Parade! Each year, we all come together to spread holiday joy by decking the hulls and heading out on Boca Ciega Bay to parade. Don’t miss this treasured Florida tradition.

First Night St Petersburg

December 31st

First Night St Petersburg is our area’s only family-friendly New Year’s Eve, Community Celebration of the Arts and each year they ring in the New Year with eight hours of music, dance, aerial arts, silent disco, fire, bubble stompin’, puppets, aerial art, creative fun, fireworks a scavenger hunt and so much more! This awesome event goes from 12 pm to 12 am so stop by anytime to ring in 20202!

We hope you enjoy the holiday happenings this month at the Alden! If you have any suggestions of more great events leave a comment below!

Alden Suites Celebrates 50 Years with a 1969-Themed Celebration on St. Pete Beach

What a difference five decades can make. Fifty years after Robert and Gennifer Renfrow purchased a small motel on St. Pete Beach, the Alden Suites Beachfront Resort has evolved into a fully renovated, large-scale family resort featuring two pools, a hot tub, two tennis courts, a Cabana Beach Bar, two new all-suite towers and 6 newly modernized, upscale cottages. Under the ownership and impeccable stewardship of the Renfrow family, the independent, historic resort has delivered memorable travel experiences for 50 years, and the party is still underway!

The highlight of the celebration was the Alden Family Reunion, where longtime guests gathered from all over the world to celebrate the big anniversary.

On the Friday night before our #ALDENWOW50 Celebration at the Alden, we gathered with family and longtime guests at the Cabana Bar to kick off the weekend with a Suncoast Watersports Cruise and fun Karaoke Night. Chris and Dave held court at the Cabana Bar in their unique 50th Anniversary shirts, serving special commemorative cocktails.

The big celebration took place on November 9, a glorious fall evening in St. Pete Beach. Our beachfront lawn and volleyball court were transformed into a hippie wonderland, with colorful lights, flowers, and tie-dye everywhere. As guests arrived, Chris and Dave from the Cabana Bar welcomed them with cocktails, and guests took photos with Sky the VW Bus.

Island Flavors and Tings created the Ultimate Grazing Table, amazing guests with an incredible bounty of fresh fruits, homemade dips, charcuterie, cheese, and vegetables. They also had a smoker cooking up pulled pork, chicken, and ribs. Ward’s Seafood served up fresh crab, salmon, and shrimp out of fishing boats filled with ice. For dessert, guests enjoyed tie-dye cake pops and delicious cupcakes.

Gary Renfrow, President of Alden Suites Beachfront Resort, opened the celebration with a moving speech: “This celebration for the anniversary of Alden’s ownership by the Renfrow and Featherstone families was the brainchild of my wife Mary Ann, and she made it all happen along with our ad agency the AdGals. We’ve been celebrating all year long, and we are grateful to everyone who joined us in this commemoration.”

Mary Ann Renfrow thanked the guests and elected officials who joined us for the momentous event: “We’re so honored to have so many of our longtime guests who have entrusted us with all of the times of their lives spent here at the Alden. It really does mean something to our family to be such an important part of your life for many generations. I just met a baby who’s just a few weeks older than my new grandson, and his middle name is Alden. I can’t tell you the tears that brings to my eyes, so we’re very, very honored.”

“We could not have been successful in the past 50 years without having elected officials who understood the needs of small businesses like ours and the needs of our environment that contributes to our business to provide you with such a beautiful relaxing treasure of a place. We are joined by elected officials who have been longtime advocates for tourism, which is the number one industry in the state of Florida.”

Elected officials who joined in the festivities included:

  • Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch
  • Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice
  • Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long
  • Pinellas County Commissioner Pat Gerard
  • Mayor of St. Pete Beach Alan Johnson
  • St. Pete Beach Commissioner Terri Finnerty
  • St. Pete Beach Commissioner Ward Frizlowski

We were also joined by Jen Carlisle of Visit Florida and Robin Miller of the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce. Mary Ann Renfrow said, “Every day they have been at the forefront of advocacy, working continuously to provide all of the guests that come to Pinellas County and St. Pete Beach with superior experiences. They help us as businesses recognize what we need to do to make this destination better and keep us relevant and keep guests wanting to return.”

Tony Satterfield, Vice President and General Manager of Alden Suites, noted: “There are literally thousands of beachfront hotels, all over the state of Florida. So, what makes the Alden different? It starts with ownership and my staff. Every day, my department sets very high standards, and then my employees carry it out. And I think at the end of the day, that’s what makes the Alden special. It starts at the top, and it starts with the Renfrows giving our staff everything necessary to succeed.”

Next, the Renfrows had a big surprise as Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice took to the stage. He declared November 9, 2019, Alden Suites Day in Pinellas County. Commissioner Justice declared: “We absolutely love the Renfrow family, and we appreciate how they represent Pinellas County to our visitors. We appreciate how involved they are in the community. We appreciate that they’re good corporate citizens; they give back every single day. And we’re so proud to declare today. November 9, Alden Suites Day.”

After the speeches ended on this high note, it was time to PARTY! Messenger took to the stage and guests got their groove on, dancing to hits from the hippie era. It was a party for the ages that no one will ever forget. We’ve posted a few hundred pictures from the party on our Facebook page, feel free to check them out and see if we captured anyone you know!

We are so grateful to the many St. Pete Beach businesses who partnered with us to make our 50th Anniversary celebration a resounding success.

  • DJ Les Weiss – karaoke
  • Bob Schlesinger of Tropical Focus – photography
  • Suncoast Water Sports – Sunset Cruise Friday night
  • Sand Dune Beach Services – Beach Cabanas
  • Tradewinds Island Resort – additional parking for guests
  • Cheers Events – decor
  • Carter’s Florist and Events – centerpieces and decor
  • Island Flavors & Tings – Caterer
  • Ward’s Seafood – Caterer
  • Mike Boni – Lighting
  • Pretty  Sweet – Dessert (Stephanie Frank’s company)
  • Stephanie Frank, “Sky”
  • Chris Donovan – VW Bug
  • Messenger – Band
  • Safeway Parking – Valet
  • Dunkin Donuts, St. Pete Beach – Saturday morning sweets
  • ArtPool Gallery- outfitting guests

St. Pete Beach Things to Do In November 2019

With Turkey Day just around the corner, there are many things to be thankful for! We are excited for all the fall festivities in our area this November. Take a look at all St Pete has in store for this Thanksgiving season.

Tarpon Springs Seafood Festival

November 8th -10th

The Tarpon Springs Seafood Festival is a ‘can’t miss’ with plenty of tasty choices to please everyone’s palate! Enjoy live music all weekend, tons of local seafood, an arts and crafts show, and more! It all goes down along Dodecanese Blvd with a food court provided at 615 Hope St.

St. Pete Festival of Trees

November 22-24

Stroll through pathways lined with hundreds of trees and wreaths created by local artists, businesses, community leaders and families, all available for purchase. Enjoy festive music, live entertainment, and visits with Santa while you get an early start on your holiday shopping at a variety of vendor booths. Bring the kids to our Children’s Village for face painting, arts & crafts and story-time. All tree and wreath sales benefit those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) served by The Arc Tampa Bay.

Sundial’s Annual Tree Lighting Celebration + Arrival of Santa!

November 23

Mark your calendars and get ready to kick off the holiday season at Sundial. Make the season merry and bright with Sundial’s Annual Tree Lighting Celebration + Arrival of Santa on Saturday, November 23 from 5:30-8:30 pm!

Join in the festivities as Santa makes his grand arrival! This magical night will be filled with the first snowfall on Sundial (yes, it’s really going to snow!), a tree lighting, Holiday musical entertainment, face painting, arts + crafts from Sundial Gift Shoppe, cookie decorating from Locale Market + much more!

St. Pete Beach BikeFest 2019

November 20- 24

Experience this year’s St. Pete Beach BikeFest! Enjoy a free beach party and concert featuring national headliners including Bret Michaels, Fuel, Soul Asylum and Charlie Daniels Band. Catch regional favorites perform during free afternoon beach concerts. Other events include a nightly bar crawl, Builder’s Row Custom Bike Expo, fireworks, poolside biker games and so much more!

Enchant Christmas

November 22 – December 29

Ready to get in the Holiday spirit? If you love Christmas, you’ll delight in Enchant! at Tropicana Field, November 22nd through December 29th! Enchant is the world’s largest Christmas light maze and a one-of-a-kind holiday experience! Tickets are now on sale!

Santa Parade + Tree Lighting

November 30

Join the City of St. Petersburg, Florida USA and St. Petersburg Parks & Recreation for the illuminated Santa Parade & Tree Lighting on Saturday, November 30 at 6 p.m. PARADE ROUTE: Albert Whitted Park, 480 Bayshore Dr. SE., and runs along Bayshore Dr. to Fifth Ave. NE.

Following the Santa Parade, Mayor Rick Kriseman lights up the downtown waterfront in North Straub Park for St. Petersburg’s annual Tree Lighting. Stay after the Santa Parade & Tree Lighting to enjoy a night in the park with activities, concessions and more!

10th Annual Shopapalooza Festival

November 30

Shop Local at the 10th annual Shopapalooza Festival to downtown St. Petersburg. The event takes place from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday Nov 30 and 10 am to 5 pm Sunday, Dec 1.

This year they are at a NEW venue, just a few blocks from their old stomping grounds! Join Shopapalooza at beautiful waterfront Vinoy Park for the best and biggest celebration of local artists, crafters, makers, and small businesses.

We hope you enjoy the many holiday events this month at the Alden! If you have any suggestions of more great events leave a comment below!