Enchanted Christmas Village opens doors for its first year


The Keeler Property kicked off the holiday season with its inaugural Enchanted Christmas Village celebration Nov. 25, welcoming First Coast residents to its lakefront barn for an evening alight with food, live entertainment, holiday-themed attractions and more than one million Christmas lights.

The family-oriented experience featured an igloo chalet, a carousel, a Christmas craft marketplace and several Santa-stops in addition to hourly presentations of “Candela: The Evolution of Light” on the 30-foot village Christmas tree. Visitors were also encouraged to pen letters to Santa and servicemen and women.

Rounding out the activities were face painting, hayrides, a mini-petting zoo and a gingerbread house village where children decorated homes of their own.

For many guests, the village was a journey through time to a world of simple holiday traditions.

“The one thing I remember most vividly growing up is … going around with my parents and just looking at Christmas decorations at night,” said visitor Alison Garrett. “And coming here really brought me back. The lights are just completely dazzling and it feels almost magical looking at them, so I really want to make a new tradition of being here.”

The Enchanted Christmas Village is open Tuesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The village will operate through Dec. 31 and will be closed Christmas Day. For tickets, attraction prices and hours, visit www.jacksonvillechristmas.com. The Enchanted Christmas Village is located on The Keeler Property at 17255 Normandy Blvd. in Jacksonville.