With its mix of culture and country, Ocala has a wide range of activities for couples to enjoy, especially around Christmas time. From attending a ballet to horseback riding, there are plenty of romantic things to do during the holidays in Ocala.
Just because it doesn’t snow in Florida doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on a romantic holiday pastime like ice skating. Through December 31st, Tuscawilla Park has a skating rink where you and your date can go ice skating hand-in-hand. In addition to skating, you can walk around the beautiful park and spot many of the colorfully-painted horse statues that Ocala is known for. You can also bring a picnic basket for lunch if you go ice skating during the weekend. If you happen to go at night, dinner at Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar in nearby Downtown is the next best thing with their barbecue and comfort food.
For added fun, there will be theme nights at the skating rink on select Fridays from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM throughout the holiday season. Theme nights include “Paradise on Ice” (12/8), “Santa’s Workshop” with a screening of Elf (12/15), Superheroes (12/22), and Disco Night (12/29).
The skating rink is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Fridays from 5:00 PM to 10 PM, Saturdays from noon to 10:00 PM, and Sundays from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Admission is $5 a person for a 30-minute skating session.
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A night at the theatre is always romantic, so take your date to see famous ballet The Nutcracker at Ocala Civic Theatre this holiday season. The Marion Ballet Theatre company has been performing The Nutcracker 37 years now, and they say that this years' will be the most magical production yet! Visit the Ocala Civic Theatre’s website to see performance dates and times as well as buy tickets, which are $25 each. Need to get dinner before the show? Head to Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille just ten minutes away in Downtown for upscale dining New Orleans-style.
Another romantic thing to do during the holidays in Ocala is going to their weekly Downtown Market. Just a couple of blocks from the square, the market has a diverse array of farmers, artisans, craftspeople, and food trucks selling their goods under a comfortable pavilion. The holiday season is an especially good time to go to a market like this because you may find a Christmas gift or two. The Ocala Downtown Market is open every Friday from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM and every Saturday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
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You and your date can enjoy Christmas time in the country at Cottom Farm's Christmas Village just 30 minutes outside of Central Ocala. This December at the farm, See elaborate light displays and holiday decor, take tours of Santa’s Southern Home, and go on romantic hayrides. The Christmas Village is open from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM during the week and 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM on weekends, and tickets are $5 each for adults. The tour of Santa’s home is an extra $5 per adult and also includes hot cocoa and cookies! The house will be closed for tours on Friday, December 8th for a private event.
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Ocala is known for its equestrian community, so take advantage of the cool weather and go on a romantic date horseback riding in the country! Go through a company like Cactus Jack Trail Rides, which has experienced guides who will take you down shaded, scenic trails where you can experience Florida’s natural beauty firsthand. Horseback rides start at $50 per person for a one hour of riding, and they typically take people on rides from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM or 3:30 PM depending on the day. Book your reservation this holiday season online at the Cactus Jack Trail Rides website.
For more romantic things to do during the holidays in Ocala, check out our holiday events page, and visit our Things to Do in Ocala page for date ideas year-round. Also, register on 352area and connect to events, sports, and much more around Ocala. It's free!