With Christmas just a few days away, it's time to put on your Santa hat and get in the Christmas spirit. Deck the halls and crank the Mariah Carey Christmas album. Here are some of the best things to do in Gainesville and Ocala this weekend 12/20-12/23 right before Christmas!

Thursday, December 19th

Phantasmagoria's 'A Christmas Carol' - Mount Dora Community Ctr

A Christmas classic comes to life through the wild eyes of PHantasmagoria. This is the third year of Phantasmagoria’s acclaimed adaptation of Dickens immortal classic - Phantasmagoria’s “A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas”

Friday, December 20th

Sounds of Christmas at The Oaks Mall

The choir will be bringing the Sounds of Christmas to The Oaks Mall on Saturday, December 20th starting at 6 p.m. The family-friendly Christmas event is free to the public. 

Saturday, December 21st 

3rd Annual Christmas On The Square

If you're looking for the perfect family-friendly event that's also free, look no further! The Newberry Christmas Parade and Christmas on the Square is the 3rd annual Christmas on the Square immediately following the Newberry Christmas Parade. The parade will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. Not only will you be able to experience the beautiful floats in the parade but you'll also be able to see Santa Claus, listen to Christmas music, drink hot cocoa, go on carriage rides, play in the bounce house, and eat at the food trucks!

Get in the holiday spirit just in time for the Christmas festivities. Big Top Brewing Company in Gainesville is hosting the Naughty or Nice Party! This event will be held on Saturday December 21st from 7p.m. until midnight. Everyone who comes dressed up will receive 10% off as well as other food and drink specials that will be offered. Clay Brooker will also be performing live! Registration is free and can still be done online.

Sunday, December 22nd

Dance Alive National Ballet will be performing The Nutcracker at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts this weekend! The Nutcracker will be performed on Sunday, December 22nd from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. "The all-time family favorite with beautiful dancing, sets, and costumes. Sheer magic! It truly wouldn’t be the holiday without the tiny soldiers, giant mice, swirling snowflakes and exquisite Sugar Plum Fairy!" Tickets are still available online and range from $15 per person to $45 per person.

Blackadder Brewing Company in Gainesville will be hosting a Christmas Cookie Competition. The competition will be held on December 22nd from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. and is completely free for all participants! Simply bring by your best homemade holiday cookies and prizes will be awarded to the top three cookies. Blackadder has fantastic beers on tap that you can sip on while you wait and the occasional food truck will pop-up right outside!

Before all of your family members and friends come back into town, relax and take a deep breath. This guided meditation, Yoga Nidra: Holiday Reset and Journey Through the Chakras will be the perfect place for you to do so! This 70-minute class will take you through an incredible relaxation journey of Yoga Nidra. "Yoga Nidra is an old ancient technique that is being used today to help reduce stress, heal anxiety and calm the mind." Tickets to the event are still available online for $15 per person. The best part of the event? There are two different Saturdays you can choose from whether it be from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday the 21st or the 28th!

Even though it's Florida, some of these activities are outside and in the evening. Be sure to bundle up and bring a warm coat. Hot cocoa is always highly recommended! 

For more things to do in Gainesville and Ocala, register at 352area and stay up-to-date on all things Gainesville and Ocala.