21 Pontoon Boat Owner Gifts, Ideas, & Suggestions...
...They Will Absolutely Love!
Whether it’s Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, a birthday, Christmas, or you just want to spoil the pontoon lover in your life, what can you get them as a gift?
Let’s be honest, pontoon boat owners are notoriously hard to buy for. At least that’s what my family tell me! Maybe it’s something about the perfectionism and attention to detail. I don’t know. All I do know is that it can hard to find the perfect pontoon boat owner gifts.
I wanted to fix that problem and offer some advice with some great pontoon boat gifts.
What I did recently was canvas opinion at the local marina with some of the guys and gals who have pontoons. I had some great present and gift recommendations and suggestions. Some were good, some were inspired, and some where downright strange.
Gifts for Pontoon Boat Owners
Below you can see a list of gift idea for pontoon boat enthusiasts and owners that won’t break the bank and will make their day when they open it. I have listed them in order of price and cost bracket so it should mean you can find the perfect present idea this year for the man or woman in your life whether for Christmas, a birthday, or just as a gift.
Fishing Rod Holders – Under $15
They do exactly what they say, and I can’t really go into too much detail other than they work. The ones I use are the Extremes on Amazon. They last long and have never broken on me and have a simple mechanism to fit them onto to boat – you don’t need to screw or glue anything.
At this price it would be crazy not to get some as a gift for your pontoon boat owner or lover if they love to fish. Go check them out, they are cheap, but essential accessories. I have also recently put together a list of the best pole holders that will give you some additional ideas.
Captain’s Hat – Under $20
We all know what he’s like when out on his pontoon boat. He’s the captain of the ship, and the master of seas – at least he likes to think so anyway!
Let’s stroke that ego a little bit, with the addition of his very own pontoon captain’s hat. It certainly makes him look the part, even if is about as authoritative and seaworthy as the captain of the Titanic.
Go take a look at one that I like on Amazon. It’s in navy blue and has an anchor embroidered onto it – see latest prices.
Floating Beer Pong Game – Under $20
Elevate your party with this brilliant game which can be played on the still water. It comes with 5 beer pong balls and two inflatable beer pong racks.
It’s definitely one that the adults will enjoy whilst out on the pontoon boat, but perhaps is best left for when the kids aren’t with you! Take a look on Amazon.
Pontoon T-Shirts – Under $20
Whether it’s the captain of the boat you’re looking to buy a shirt for, or a pontoon boat t-shirt that anyone can wear, we’ve got something for you. Browse the captain t-shirts here, or browse all pontoon t-shirts. They come in various sizes, colors, and prices.
Fishing Shirt – Under $25
It’s important to wear a shirt with a breathable fabric when out fishing. This fishing shirt is a great gift idea. It will help you to keep cool, but also comes with plenty of pockets for all those small fishing accessories.
It will dry quickly in the sun and offer UV protection to help keep those harmful rays of your pontoon loving friend or family member.
Cup Holders – Under $30
Any pontoon boat owner will love these cup holders and will wonder how they did without them once they’re fitting onto the boat. These one fit all sizes of cans and bottles, and are really simple to attach and fit. They just hook onto rails.
Check out the SkiffDaddy cup holders on Amazon (view current prices) and read some of the reviews which will soon tell you how great these are. I’ve got 2 sets, positioned on either side of my deck – they are invaluable, and at a good price too.
Telescopic Boat Hook – Under $40
Accidents will happen, and I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have dropped things into the water whilst out on my pontoon. Thankfully I have a handy boat hook which has a telescopic handle, letting me hook almost anything up and out of the water.
I have a Davis boat hook which can reach out to 12 feet once fully extended. Amazing eh! Go take a look at this boat hook on Amazon, it won’t cost the earth, and will be an invaluable accessory for any pontoon boat owner.
The Plano Fishing Tackle Box – Under $40
Is the pontoon boat owner in your life a fan of fishing? If so, then I have the perfect gift for him or her. It’s the Plano fishing tackle box, and it’s absolutely huge.
The lucky owner of one of these bad boys is never going to lose a single essential fishing item or tool again, as this box comes with a ridiculous amount of storage to suit any fishing trip you could imagine. View the latest prices on Amazon.
Inflatable Portable Rescue Device – Under $40
Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the recreational pontooner in your life? How about giving them the gift of increased safety and visibility with a wearable portable rescue device – view now on Amazon.
I don’t’ have one of these myself but am seriously considering buying it for my kids whilst they are out on the inflatable tubes behind the boat.
It might look odd, but it can save lives.
It’s quite a simple, yet intriguing concept. You strap it to your wrist whilst out in the water, or even on the boat, and inflates in just one second with one pull of a lever. It can support the weight of up to 275 pounds, so whilst I like it for kids, it will suit most adults too.
Fishing Rod Racks and Storage Ideas – Under $50
If your pontooner is out on the water fishing all day, then there are going to be times when they just want to sit back, relax, and crack open a beer. At times like this it’s essential that they have a solution to store their rods that is robust, secure, and won’t damage the poles.
I’ve put together a list of just a few storage ideas that you might want to consider. Click here to see rod racks and storage ideas.
Fancy Boat Registration Numbers – Under $50
On most pontoon boats, the registration numbers never really look like much. They are very standard from boat to boat. So how about something that will let your pontoon owner’s boat stand out from the crowd?
These ones on Amazon are raised up in a 3D chrome design and will look stunning when stuck onto the boat. They are sure to be a talking point down at the marina or by the side of the lake from jealous pontoon owners. An ideal and affordable gift.
Waterproof Speakers – Under $70
When at home I use a pair of AOMAIS Go waterproof Bluetooth speakers for our backyard movie nights, but they also perfect for taking on my pontoon. Easy to carry, very robust, and with a clear sound quality, it’s possible to hook them up to a phone or similar device.
If the pontoon owner doesn’t have a stereo sound set-up already on his boat, then these speakers are perfect. Even if they happen to fall in the water they will be fine, as they can go up to 33 feet under for half an hour and still work. Have a look at the Amazon reviews to see for yourself.
Alternatively have a check through my list of the best waterproof speakers which come with Bluetooth functionality, making them ideal for boating.
Wetsuit – Under $70
The NeoSport wet suit on Amazon is designed for all forms of water sports including diving, scuba, paddle boarding, surfing, and kayaking – and so is the perfect gift idea for a pontooner who loves to get into the water.
It will keep them warm and dry and is considered one of the best in this price range due to the protection that it offers when the wearer slaps against the water. That is an essential safety feature for any person being pulled on a tube or water skis.
Captain’s Life Vest – Under $90
It’s important that your loved one if safe whilst out on the water, and if they don’t have life vests already on their pontoon, you must, must, get them one – it could even be a legal requirement in your state to do so.
Unfortunately, many pontoon captains don’t wear life vests, I see it all the time. They seem to think that they are safe from harm due to the design of the boat, but it’s simply not true. Take a look at this exceptional life vest kit on Amazon and have the peace of mind your loved one if safe with this recommended gift suggestion.
A great solution to this that encourages pontoon captains to wear a vest is a waist pack manual inflatable life vest. It’s small and discreet, but a quick pull of the rip cord and you’re safely floating.
Tide Indicator Watch – Under $100
This watch is a perfect gift idea for a pontoon boat owner as not only is it rugged and waterproof, this watch will also show the tide times – essential information for any boater when planning a trip or out fishing.
The best one available to buy is the Shark Tide Classic on Amazon. It comes in black and has a clear digital interface with plenty of options. It looks good enough to wear whilst on-shore too.
Specialist Boat Shoes – Up to $100
But the pontoon boat owner in your life already has perfectly fine shoes, why would you buy specialist boat shoes? Good question! They offer great grip, are waterproof, and really rugged meaning your pontoon lover can skip around the boat in all weathers with ease.
Garmin Fishfinder – Under $110
Something a little bit more expensive now, but an amazing gift for any fishing fan who loves to catch from their pontoon boat. I am massive fan of the Garmin Striker on Amazon. It is simple to use and leads your boat straight to where the best catches are.
If you want more gift ideas for a pontoon owner who like fishing then check out this guide, and scroll down to the bottom.
Inflatable Kayak – Under $100
Your pontoon might already be equipped with inflatables such as inner tubes that you pull behind the boat, but how about an inflatable kayak that lets you explore narrow channels or just get out on the water for some free paddling fun?
The Intex Explorer Kayak (see on Amazon) is the best that money can buy at this price, is made from a durable rubber, and has two seats meaning kayaking needn’t be a solo activity.
Cooling Carry Bag – Under $110
For a reasonably low cost, yet robust cooling bag, how about the RTIC 20 Soft Pack? It holds up to 20 cans and ice, won’t leak on you, and can keep things cool for up to 5 days. Crazy huh?
You can also buy larger ones which will hold between 30 and 40 cans of drinks, but for me the RTIC 20 soft pack bag is perfect for the guy who loves to fish at the weekends with a buddy but will also be taking the family out on trips.
Fish Finder Maps – Under $150
Looking for a gift for a fisherman who already has a fish finder or depth finder on-board? If yes, then you might want to gift them some new fish finder maps so that can find the best catches no matter where on the water they are.
Inflatable 4-Person Tube – Under $350
I’ve previously written a guide to what the best 4-person tubes are, and you can take a look at that if you want further options. But for me, the best one you can buy would be the SportsStuff Bandwagon 2+2 (view on Amazon). The way that it’s designed means it seems to be far safer than anything comparable out on the water.
If you want a gift idea that can work for the whole family then look no further than this inflatable tube. It’s made from great materials that won’t tear and rip under the strain of being pulled behind a pontoon boat at speed.
Pontoon Boat Slide – Under $400
For maximum fun, invest in a pontoon boat water slide. I have reviewed and rated 3 of the best pontoon slides elsewhere on the website, so go take a look at those and see for yourself just what a great investment a slide can be. They are great fun for kids and adults alike!
Portable Cooler – Under $500
Yes, it’s expensive, and I know what you’re thinking… it’s just a cooler right? Well, yes, you are correct, but when it comes to coolers this is the best on the market for taking on your boat. It’s called the Yeti – go take a look.
Not only will it let a fisherman keep and store bait or fish correctly, but also has room for up to 50 cans of drink. Just imagine the kind of parties they could have on their pontoon boat with that!
Pontoon Diving Board – Under $1,300
This is an awesome gig, but please don’t let the price tag put you off. If you can afford it and you think it’s going to be a great accessory to enhance the fun your pontoon lover will have whilst out on the water, then for me, it’s money well spent.
The Lillipad Diving Board on Amazon is one of the most well-respected and reviewed boards that you can find online. It’s constructed from stainless steel, and can take weights of up to 250 pounds. It’s simple to store and dock, and will result in hours of fun.
Pontoon Boat Brands to Avoid – Read This Before You Buy
A question I’ve been asked a few times over the last year is if there are any pontoon boat brands to avoid. It’s understandable, as even a used pontoon boat is going to cost you a fair whack, so you don’t want to end up making a mistake.
But here’s the thing; I personally would not avoid any of the current pontoon boat brands.
Virtually anything that has been manufactured in the last couple of decades will have been engineered to the highest standards and passed the relevant safety ratings.
Where pontoon boats will truly tend to differ will be the quality of the fixtures and fittings plus how they have been constructed overall.
It’s very easy to get distracted by all the shiny functionality you see on the deck. When looking at a pontoon boat, don’t just take in the seating, carpets, accessories, tech, and gear that gets thrown in.
You need to do your own due diligence by looking under the console and deck to see what the workmanship is like.
As an example, some pontoon boats will have rails and decks that have been screwed in. Other will be bolted through. Through bolting will give you a much better boat that’s going to last a lot longer, possibly with a reduction in overall maintenance costs.
Another thing to look at is the brackets on the pontoon tubes. The M shaped brackets are much better. But don’t stop there, also look at how the welding has been done, and on used boats, look for signs of damage and patching.
These are just a couple of tips; there’s a lot more to it.
You will need to do a lot of research before deciding whether a certain pontoon boat brand and model is one that you avoid or choose to go with. That includes talking to other pontoon boat owners.
To help you with your decision-making process, I’d like to refer you to some of the more in-depth content on Pontoonopedia that I encourage you to read in full before you pull the trigger on a purchase.
Must-read buyers guide for buying a new pontoon boat
If you are looking to buy new, and don’t know what pontoon boat brands to avoid, then this buyer’s guide won’t tell you that, as all brands make great models. What it will do is give you some insight into:
- What to avoid when buying new.
- Size and capacity considerations.
- Pros and cons to buying a new pontoon versus used.
- How you know if it’s a good pontoon boat or not.
- Which factory options you should choose for you.
I suggest reading the entire buyer’s guide in full before you start your search this year.
What to look for when buying a used pontoon boat
I’ve put together a checklist of questions and things to avoid when buying in the used market. This includes aspects such as:
- What will you be using the boat for?
- How much deck space will you need?
- How to search for great deals and prices.
- What elements on the pontoon boat you need to check out.
- What state the engine is in and how many hours it’s done.
- What the fixtures and fittings are like.
- What additional features will you need.
- How to compare prices and get better price.
- Whether a manufacturer warranty is important or not.
- How to ensure you get a log of receipts and work done.
- Taking a used pontoon boat for a test drive.
- Asking for proof of ownership and the seller’s reputation.
- What you need from a survey and insurance.
To read the guide in full so you know what pontoon boats to avoid when buying used, read the full used buyer’s guide.
Some pontoon boat basics
If you’re still undecided on whether to take the plunge, you might want to get to grips with some pontoon boat basics. I have listed advice on:
- Passenger capacity.
- Launching and driving.
- Beaching and anchoring.
- Parking in slips and marinas.
- Safety basics and tips.
- Trailer and towing basics.
- Fishing set-ups and layouts.
For more detailed information on each point, go check out my pontoon boat basics 101.
Making your final selection on a pontoon boat
There’s also a lot more information you need to get to grips with on how to make your final selection. This selection guide includes advice on:
- How to choose the right pontoon boat for your needs.
- What size you need depending on your plans.
- Whether you will need a fishing set-up, or just leisure, or both.
- How much your ideal pontoon boat should cost.
- What makes a good quality pontoon boat design.
- Question to ask the boat dealers before you buy.
Selecting the right pontoon boat for a family
And finally, if you are family-focussed, and looking for something to suit your and your brood, I’ve put together a guide specifically for this market. Tips include:
- Why plenty of seating is of paramount importance.
- How a pop-up changing room will be needed.
- The protection a decent Bimini will offer.
- How storage space should be a huge consideration.
- Why vinyl flooring might be better than carpeting.
- How watersports might change which boat you buy.
- The types of inflatables you can buy.
- What safety gear you will need for your family.
- Why a boarding ladder will be essential for kids.
Read my family-friendly guide to choosing a pontoon boat if you have kids.
The last word…
So there you have it. If you’ve read through all those guides you will now be in a far better position to choosing the best boat and brand to suit your needs. As mentioned, currently I wouldn’t say there were any pontoon boat brands to avoid. It all comes down to suitability, budget, and your individual needs.
Winter Boating Activities: December 2018 Harborside Events
Cheers to December! The holiday season is in full-swing, with boatloads of harborside events to help spice up your December.
December may be booking up with end-of-the-year errands, but our boaters always seem to find time to get down to the waterfront. Find a harbor town winter celebration near you with this month's events round-up!
Jump to your region: East Coast | Florida & The Keys | Gulf Coast | Inland Waterways | The Great Lakes | West Coast | The Islands
Know of events happening in your area for the months of December or January? Get in touch: tweet at us, message us on Facebook, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 2: The 3rd annual Tidings Craft + Art Fair at Portland's Ocean Gateway. There will be 40 local makers and artists offering unique gifts to purchase. There will also be kids activities, local food offerings + live music.
December 9: Portland Trails Holiday Dash Winter 5K.
December 14 - 16: Vintage Bazaar New England - Holiday Edition. Celebrate the spirit of the season with 75 talented vendors offering thoughtfully decorated and curated booths with exceptional vintage treasures, holiday treats, and unique homemade gifts.
December 31: The 11th annual Polar Bear Dip + Dash. Walk or run a 5K, plunge into the Atlantic Ocean or both!
December 7: Bangor Water's Holiday Tour at Thomas Hill Standpipe.
December 22: Miss Trudi's Gingerbread House Workshop at the Maine Discovery Museum. Decorate a dream Gingerbread House!
Waterville – December 8: Joy to the Ville. Community holiday celebration which includes a family-friendly holiday film, art activities, story time, and holiday giveaways.
December 1: The 2018 Manchester Christmas Parade. Join in for a rocking parade full of light, fun, and music.
December 6, 8, 13 + 15: The Downtown Holiday Market. This is the 8th annual artisan market held in downtown Manchester. Shoppers will be able to find different types of handcrafted jewelry, glass ornaments, handmade wooden products and much more.
Massachusetts: Boston –
December 1, 2, 7, 8, + 9: The 4th annual SoWa Winter Festival. This is the biggest winter shopping village and holiday festival in Boston! There will be handmade gifts, enjoy winter cocktails, and discover the best SoWa Art + Design District.
December 1: SantaCon Boston 2018. SantaCon is free to attend. It is a pub crawl + a mass gathering where people dress in Santa Claus costumes.
December 1 - January 1: Blink! The Light + Sound Show. The world-famous light and sound show returns to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace this season.
Nantucket – December 1 & 2: Nantucket Christmas Stroll. The 45th Annual Nantucket Christmas Stroll Weekend is taking place this year. The weekend was originally meant to keep shoppers on the island to encourage them to buy local.
Rhode Island NEW Newport –
December 1 - January 1: Christmas at the Newport Mansions. The glitter of gold and the sparkles of silver will dazzle you as you tour any of the mansions.
December 1: Bowen's Wharf Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Head on over to Bowen's Wharf to see the tree being lit for the Holiday season! There will also be caroling, sweet treats + a visit with Santa.
December 1: Official Opening of Christmas in Newport. Taking place at Washington Square at 5 PM, enjoy the tree lighting, a message from the mayor and other events to mark the opening of the Holiday season.
December 1 & 2: Newport Holiday Stroll. Enjoy different events taking place throughout Newport along with dozens of holiday specials.
December 2: Hotel Viking's Annual Tree Lighting. There will be a visit from Santa, along with delicious cookies and other treats as Hotel Viking light their holiday tree.
December 15 + 27: A Rough Point Holiday. Come experience Doris Duke's Newport home during the darkest and merriest days of the year. Rooms of the museum will be spruced up for the Christmas holiday, while other rooms will be cloaked in their winter coverings.
December 27: Seafood Festival at La Forge Restaurant. Come enjoy all the seafood you can dream of!
Wickford – December 1 - 2: Wickford's 33rd annual Festival of Lights. Step back in time and enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas. There will be thousands of white lights that transform the village into a winter wonderland.
December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 + 23: Lantern Light Tours. A seasonal performance which includes a 90-minute half of a mile walking tour.
December 7: Festival of Lights at the Mystic Aquarium. Walk through Olde Mistick Village's winter wonderland from dusk until about 9:30 PM when thousands of luminaries light the walkways of the Village leading the way to Mystic Aquarium.
December 15: Santa Paddle on the Mystic River. Be sure to wear your favorite Santa or Holiday outfit!
December 26: Winterfest at the Mystic Aquarium. Watch talented artists chop, chisel and chip away at massive chunks of ice to create frozen sculptures, take photos with Santa, etc.
New York City –
December 1 - January 7: Christmas in New York City. Enjoy the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree + go ice skating!
December 1 - January 4: Luminaries. A mesmerizing holiday light installation. Visitors are immersed in the suspended canopy of glowing lanterns that change in color and intensity within the Winter Garden.
December 1 - 30: NYC Winter Lantern Festival. Enjoy seven acres of Snug Harbor Cultural Center + Botanical Garden as it will be lit up by 40 LED installations that stretch up to 30 feet tall.
December 1 - 30: Grand Holiday Bazaar. This is the holiday market to shop for unique gifts that you can't find anywhere else. Come and shop from 150+ hand-picked independent, local artisans and dealers.
December 27: WinterFest Winter Wonderland at the Brooklyn Museum. Wander through enchanted tree maze. Delight your taste buds with a chocolate tasting in a Candy Dome.
NEW Freeport – December 1: Freeport Holiday Boat Parade.
Maryland Annapolis –
December 1 - January 1: Lights on the Bay 2018. This is an annual holiday light show featuring a two-mile scenic drive along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay through Sandy Point State Park with more than 70 animated and stationary displays.
December 8: Eastport Lights Parade. Come and enjoy the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade from 6 - 8 PM
December 1: The 5th Annual Holiday Yule Log Bonfire + Christmas Market. A full evening of caroling, sipping hot cocoa, a yule log bonfire, and holiday shopping.
December 1 - 15: Million Bulb Walk. Walk through a spectacular holiday light display with family and friends to kick off the holiday season.
Cape Charles –
December 1: Grand Illumination.
December 1: Lighted Boat Parade.
Alexandria – Waterskiing Santa.
Florida & The Keys
December 1 - 20: Christmas on Third. Enjoy a tree lighting ceremony and a snow celebration.
December 5: Tree Lighting Ceremony. Featuring the illumination of the largest live tree in Southwest Florida!
December 7: Night Lights in the Naples Botanical Garden. Discover the natural beauty of plants from the tropics and subtropics as thousands of lights illuminate the Garden.
December 7: Naples Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting Ceremony. The tree lighting will be at 6 PM with Santa's arrival right after.
December 8: Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade. Pick your spot along Naples Bay to enjoy the colorful and sparkly annual Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade.
December 11: Naples Christmas Parade. Bring your chairs + Christmas Spirit to this annual Downtown Naples Christmas event. There will be floats, fire engines, school groups, bands, dance troupes, etc.
December 15: Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K. Run on paths lined with thousands of lights and dozens of lighted characters.
December 16: Seashells and Santa. A fun, ticketed event for kids to bring a new unwrapped toy, game, or book for kids in Southwest Florida.
December 1, 8, 15, 22, 23 + 24: Holiday On The Bay. Head over to The Village Shops for complimentary photos with Santa, stories with Mrs. Claus, snow shows, Dickens Carolers, and over 100,000 twinkling Christmas lights.
Key Largo –
December 1: Light Up Key Largo. The annual tree lighting and Key Largo's official kick-off to Christmas.
December 6: Prestige Sea + Shore. This is one of the most exclusive factory events - find your next yacht at this event taking place at Ocean Reef Club.
December 8 - 9: The 2018 Rick White Memorial Steeplechase Catamaran Race. A two-day distance catamaran racing event along the Intracoastal Waterway.
December 1: Lantern Light Festival. Ancient Chinese culture comes to life through dazzling lights, colors, shapes, and themes at the Miami County Fairgrounds.
December 1: Matheson Hammock Beach Cleanup. Join 4ocean in a community beach cleanup event.
December 1 - 2: The Bacardi J 70 Winter Series I. Hosted by Shake-A-Leg Sailing Club.
Palm Beach – December 7: The 62nd Annual Wirth M. Munroe Yacht Race hosted by Sailfish Club of Florida.
Tampa – December 8 & 9: The Davis Island J 70 Winter Series I hosted by the Davis Island Yacht Club.
Gulf Coast Alabama
December 8: Mistletoe Market - an outside vendor event. Taking place 9 - 4 PM, there will be tons of food options, places to shop, things to learn and many festivities.
December 8: The 34th annual Christmas Through the Ages at Fort Gaines. A living history day for the whole family. See soldiers from the 1700 - 1900s, and make seashells ornaments and other decorations.
Gulf Shores – December 8: The 33rd annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade. The parade takes off about 5 PM.
December 1 - 2: The 14th annual Christmas in the City. A fun-filled Christmas weekend of activities in downtown Biloxi, featuring many talented vendors.
December 9: Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon.
New Orleans –
December 1 - 26: Miracle on Fulton Street. Enter through the giant illuminated ornament into a beautiful new canopy of lights and trees. Experience a winter wonderland with daily "snow," lights, and attractions.
December 1 - 30: Audubon Zoo Lights. Enjoy an enchanting nighttime winter dreamland in the heart of Uptown New Orleans.
December 14: The 2018 Dashing Through The Dome. A unique 2-mile run where participants run into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and finishes on the field.
December 20: The NOLA ChristmasFest 2018. Enjoy ice skating and slides on real ice, holiday characters, amusement rides, inflatables, and more Christmas themed family-fun!
December 1 - 30: Winter Wonderland at the Circuit. The world-renowned Chinese Lantern Festival celebration includes interactive entertainment and wonderful holiday displays.
December 1: Lighted Boat Parade. Either decorate your boat or join in on the fun of watching those that did!
December 8: Lake Austin Boat Trail of Lights Parade. Join the fun + head to the Lake Austin parade of illuminated boats.
December 1 - 31: Holiday Lights Trolley Ride. The Old Time Authentic Trolley will take you + friends through the biggest and most beautiful holiday lights in Dallas.
December 1 - January 1: Dallas Zoo Lights. After the animals head in for the evening, the Dallas Zoo will transform into a winter land with over one million twinkling lights illuminating the Zoo.
December 1: Dallas Holiday Parade 2018.
December 7: 2018 BMW Dallas Marathon Weekend.
December 19 - 23: Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Celebrate Christmas the Newport Beach way in the Newport Harbor.
Newport Beach –
December 31: Holiday Lights + Boat Parade Cruise. Sail around Newport Harbor with a drink in hand and marvel at multi-million-dollar estates and vessels all decked out with impressive light displays for the holidays.
Huntington Beach –
December 1: The 22nd annual Crystal Cove Tree Lighting. Enjoy the annual tree lighting and the Holiday Bazaar complete with Santa arriving via a lifeguard vehicle to greet the crowd.
December 7 - 8: Nights of 1,000 Lights. This is the 5th annual celebration which looks to be the best one yet with all new light displays featuring more lights than ever.
December 9: Holiday Wiener Winter Festival + Dachshund Rescue Reunion. Bring your dogs and the whole family for a fun day with bratwurst, German food, drinks, and a Wiener Dog race.
Long Beach –
December 1: The 36th annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade.
December 2 - 30: Waterfront Tour of Lights. Enjoy a tour of all the Christmas lights of the holiday season along with a hot chocolate and sugar cookies!
December 13: Annual Christmas Lights Run. Join in for a three mile run through Naples to enjoy beautiful waterfront Christmas lights.
San Francisco –
December 1 - January 1: The 29th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Union Square. The celebration begins at 6 PM and performances will be followed by the tree lighting after 6:40 PM.
December 2 - January 6: Holiday Lights at SF Conservatory. Light up the holiday season with Night Bloom, a five-week light and sound exhibition at the Conservatory of Flowers.
Los Angeles –
December 1 - January 2: The 17th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at The Grove. Enjoy an evening filled with holiday cheer. Enjoy a special performance, a firework spectacular, and Santa's grand arrival.
December 1 - January 6: Los Angeles Zoo Lights. See glowing animals welcome you on an unforgettable nighttime journey that includes giants illuminated snowflakes, a disco ball forest, a whimsical herd of animated elephants, and a twinkling tunnel filled with dynamic swirls of colors.
December 1 - 31: Ice Skating at L.A. Live - Kings Holiday Ice Rink. Skate your way into the holiday season with your friends and family!
December 1: Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade. Spend time with friends and family while watching the annual holiday boat parade.
San Diego – December 1: Hot Rum Series III hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club.
NEW Dana Point – December 7, 8, 14 + 15: Dana Point Harbor Holiday Boat Parade. Boaters from all around Orange County decorate their boats and vie for the awards of Judges Choice, Best Theme, Best Use of Lights, Best Animation, Most Colorful, Most Original, Best Sailboat, Best Powerboat, and the Perpetual Trophy for the Yacht Club with the Most Entries. Come watch as these boats light up the evening.
Port Angeles – December 7: Deck Out the Docks. All boats that reside in the Port Angeles Boat Haven Marina are eligible to participate. Help decorate boats down at the marina and compete for cool prizes!
December 1 - January 5: WildLights. There will be more than 700,000 bright and colorful lights that will sparkle around the zoo like animals! Enjoy close-up animal encounters, faux snowball fights, delicious warm treats and plenty of hot chocolate.
December 1 - 30: Enchant - The World's Largest Christmas Light Maze. Surrounded by millions of dazzling lights, the memories you make will last well beyond the holiday season. Get lost in the world's largest light maze + take some photos around the largest Christmas tree in the surrounding area.
December 1 - 16: The SnoBus to Leavenworth's Tree Lighting Festival. Embark on a journey by bus to a charming Bavarian town for its annuals Christmas Lighting festival, complete with carolers, Christmas performances and more.
December 5 - 6: South Lake Union Winter Market. Vendors will be rotating out each day so you will be able to come and shop both days and find unique gifts.
December 7 - 8: Winter Solstice Night Market. Check out Seattle's only indoor Winter Solstice Night Market. There will be over 100 local pop-ups showcasing handmade goods, foods, and music.
December 8: Winter Solstice Festival. The Festival features over 30 local and regional breweries, live music, and over 150 booths inside.
December 22: Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival.
December 1 - 2: The 25th Annual Holiday CircleFest. Shop for unique and one-of-a-kind gifts at the Holiday Markets, or lace up your skates and enjoy the ice rink.
December 2: Winter Lights Lantern Festival. Celebrate the holiday season and be inspired by the centuries-old, cross-cultural tradition of ceremonial lighting displays.
December 8: Santas in Tremont 2018. Join thousands of Santa's on the streets of Tremont for this annual party and race!
December 1 - 30: Holiday Lights. There are one million lights that will be illuminating the gardens at Cheekwood for the prettiest winter stroll of the season.
December 1: The 2018 Nashville Christmas Parade. A family-friendly annual Christmas tradition in Downtown Nashville.
December 8 - 9: Music City Winter Festival. Taking place at Centennial Park, join in for holiday cheer for the entire family. Make plans to grab breakfast with Santa or drinks with friends at the Onesie Brunch, shop in the holiday market for unique gifts, and enjoy live music.
The Great Lakes:
December 6: BrewLights at Lincoln Park Zoo. The evening will include opportunities for photos with Santa, free rides on the Endangered Species Carousel, live music and much more.
December 8: West Town Winter Festival. Shop the Blocks of West Town as local stores show off their spirit this holiday shopping season.
December 31: Zoo Year's Eve at Lincoln Park Zoo. Celebrate the countdown to 2019 with your friends and family at this fun nighttime event at the Zoo.
December 2, 9, 16 & 23: Nature's Reusable Holiday Market Pop-Up. Plan a trip to Eastern Market as it is transformed into a winter wonderland for the holiday season.
December 31: New Years Dinner Cruise on the Detroit Princess. Bring in the New Year in style on the 14th annual Rock the Boat New Years Eve Boat Party.
The Bahamas –
December 1: Coppice Festival. A street festival that brings together the people of Nicholl's Town as they celebrate one of the oldest areas in the settlement.
December 1: Mangrove Cay Seafood Festival. This event celebrates all things Seafood, from fish, conch, lobster, shrimp and much more, all prepared the down-home Bahamian way.
December 1: Annual Tree Lighting + Music in the Garden. In addition to lighting the Christmas Tree in Eleuthera, there will be dancing, live music, and poetry readings.
December 1: Abaco Christmas Festival. This festival is used to kick off the holiday season in The Abacos and helps bring together family and friends from near and far.
December 1: Grand Bahama X-Treme 13.2 Intracoastal Challenge. A half-marathon that attracts road runners, marathoners, cross-country runners, and long distance runners from around the world.
December 1: Night of Caroling. Jingle Bells, Away in a Manger, and Silent Night are just a few of the songs that you can hear through the air during this event.
December 1 - 2: The Hero World Challenge. This event will feature tournament host Tiger Woods and an invitation-only field comprised of the top-ranked golfers in the world.
December 4: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: Rum Cay.
December 6: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: The Exumas. Locals and visitors gather in Regatta Park to sing carols and see performances by local talent and of course see the Christmas Tree lit.
December 7: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: Acklins.
December 7: Festival Noel. This is the Rand Nature Centre's signature holiday festival, offering an evening of wine and arts, featuring local artists of various mediums, and a varied selection of locally available wines.
December 8: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: The Berry Islands. A cultural event that will include an address by Community Leaders, Christmas Caroling, skits, poems, Santa gift delivers, Junanoo, a live band, a Disc Jockey, food, and drinks.
December 14: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: Inagua.
December 14: German Christmas Jollification. This event brings artisans and vendors together under one roof to showcase their natural and organic products, as well as sampling new wines and dishes.
December 21: The Bahamas Bowl 2018. This is the fifth-annual bowl game in Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium which will feature teams from Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference. It will be broadcast nationally in the United States on ESPN.
December 22: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: Crooked Island.
December 25 - 26: The People's Rush + Christmas Junkanoo Parade. Groups come together and invite the public to rush with them to celebrate Junkanoo, the National Festival of The Bahamas.
December 29 - January 1: Bul' Reg Regatta. The Regatta kicks off the New Year with three exciting days of sailing, featuring two series of races. The Bul Reg Cup Race and Roy Albury Cup Race takes place on December 29th and Junior racing on December 31st.
December 31: New Year's Day Junkanoo Celebrations: Cat Island.
December 31: New Year's Day Celebrations: Crooked Island. The residents of Crooked Island and Long Cay organize a Pot Luck family fun day, with games, a grill out and other social activities.
The British Virgin Islands –
December 1: Christmas on DeCastro Street. Enjoy local foods, traditional music, and local vendors.
December 1: Annual Sunrise BVI Half Marathon.
December 1: Gustav Wilmerding Memorial Challenge Regatta.
December 8 - 9: Grandma's Christmas - Virgin Gorda.
December 15: O'Neal + Mundy Commodore's Cup.
December 24 - 25: Foxy's Christmas. The decorated Christmas Coconut Palm Tree can be traced back to Foxy's ancestors who, during their winter festival, decorated the palm trees along the beach with rows of candles for visitors to see the way to the wonderful celebrations. Come to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at Foxy's.
December 31: Fireball New Year's Eve Bash. A New Year's Eve Party at Trellis Bay.
December 31: Foxy's Old Year's Night Celebrations.
Puerto Rico –
December 2: 5K Christmas Run. A 5K run to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Puerto Rico.
December 6: Saborea Winter Party. Sample Dishes from 25 different chefs, while enjoying drinks, and the music of a percussion band and DJ.
December 8: San Juan Christmas Boat Parade. Choose your best viewing spot along the waterfront in Old San Juan to watch this annual parade of decorated and illuminated boats.
December 12: Las Mananitas at Ponce Cathedral. Every year on December 12 at 4 AM, thousands head to Ponce's cathedral to sing "Las Mananitas," the traditional Mexican Christmas song.
December 15: Festival de Inflatables. This is a family event featuring "inflatables" to entertain all ages.
December 27: Hatillo Masks Festival. This festival has been celebrated since the Spaniards founded Hatillo in 1823. This is an annual event to remember the Holy Innocents. There are parades, music, food, and people in costume from head to tow.
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Boating in the Winter Months | Pontoon-Depot
By: My Boat Life
If you are lucky enough to live in a warmer climate, boating in the winter is a common practice. But in more northern areas where boating is typically 6-8 months out of the year, there are few boaters that boat in the winter months. The ultimate boating die-hard is the boater that keeps their boat in the water year round – and may even be a live aboard!
Depending on your geographic area, boating in the winter months may not actually be “boating”. Keeping your boat in the water during the winter means docking at a marina that will provide protection from water freezing around your boat and will continue basic services for slip holders in the off season.
In northern areas, there are a lot of challenges associated with keeping your boat in the water during the winter. First, you’ll need to locate a marina that offers winter docking. Then you’ll want to make sure the marina offers bubblers and de-icers at the dock as well as snow removal on docks. Also make sure that they provide mobile pump-out and water tank refilling service throughout the winter (since you will likely not be able to cruise over to the pump-out facility and running water will likely be shut-off on the dock). Heating and cooling systems may need to be winterized so you’ll need to heat your boat with portable space heaters.
In other warmer climates, keeping your boat in the water year round has many advantages. Basically there is no off season for boating. You never feel obligated to go to the boat every weekend because you have many more weekends available to boat. When the weather is not so great, you can skip a weekend. And then when the weather is particularly nice you can head to the boat and enjoy a winter cruise.