Santa swaps his sleigh for a surfboard on Florida’s Space Coast

If you didn’t know Santa’s favorite pastime was catching a wave then you probably haven’t been to Cocoa Beach Florida on Christmas Eve. If you’re spending the holidays at any of the Orlando-area theme parks and looking to explore and see a bit more of Florida, taking in the Surfing Santas event on Christmas Eve day just might be the touch of whimsy to make your Florida Christmas extra special.  

surfing santa

By Jill Robbins

A unique Christmas celebration is a short drive from Orlando

If you find the idea of shaking up your theme park trip with some ocean views appealing, head to Cocoa Beach on Christmas Eve to check out the Surfing Santas. Cocoa Beach is an easy drive from most of the Orlando-area theme parks, about 66 miles and roughly an hour each way from the heart of Lake Buena Vista. If you’re up for a bit of a side trip, here’s your chance to see hundreds of surfers dressed like Santa gliding across the waves. I dare you to find a more unusual Santa-themed encounter!

florida space coast surfing santas
surfing santa florida space coast

14 years, hundreds of Santas and thousands of spectators

2022 marks the 14th year of Surfing Santas and the second year former NFL player Doug Flutie (Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, and Buffalo Bills) has joined the event. The event has steadily grown over the years, with more than 600 participating surfers dressed up like Santa (or reindeer or Santa’s elves). The event draws spectators from around the globe and supports two nonprofits; Grind for Life, which provides financial assistance to cancer patients and their families who incur travel expenses to receive treatment, and the Florida Surf Museum, which preserves and documents the history of Florida surfing.

santa florida space coast

The Surfing Santa event takes place at 3 Minutemen Causeway Beach on Dec. 24 from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. The event includes a costume contest and a raffle to win a 1996 Toyota Hilux Surf SUV. It’s free to participate and to watch. Stand up paddle boarders can also take part in the fun.

Learn more about the event at


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