Are you spending Christmas in Turks and Caicos and worried if it will truly capture the festive spirit? Will it feel like Christmas at all? We can assure you it does. Learn what you can expect when traveling to Turks and Caicos for the holiday season.
Christmas in Turks and Caicos is a truly exceptional experience. Having been fortunate to experience the magic of Christmas and New Year's Eve for ourselves we can say, without a doubt, you’re in for a holiday season that will leave you with unforgettable memories in Paradise.
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Traditional Christmas In Turks And Caicos
You might be wondering, “Can I still experience a traditional Christmas atmosphere on the islands of Turks and Caicos?” The answer is a gigantic yes! While you won't find snow covered streets or chilly temperatures, you'll discover a fantastic mix of holiday spirit and tropical festivus that will tick all your boxes for a traditional Christmas.
Plus, if you’re anything like us, and you usually have to endure frigid temps over the holiday season, the white sand quickly overrides any thoughts you might have about missing the snow back home.
Is Christmas A Popular Holiday In Turks And Caicos?
Yes! Turks and Caicos Islanders celebrate Christmas just as emphatically as you do. While you won't find the traditional wintery scenes, you'll find a warm and festive spirit that makes Christmas in Turks and Caicos truly magical. The only thing missing is the snow, and we have to say, we were not disappointed by that.
Shops, restaurants, resorts and more, all enjoy and partake in the festive spirit just as much as you’d expect to see in your own home town.
5 Benefits Of Choosing Turks And Caicos For Christmas
1. Escape The Holiday Rush And Madness
Imagine a Christmas where you’re not fighting crowds of other shoppers and circling parking lots for a simple space to park. In Turks and Caicos, you can experience just that. The holiday rush and madness are simply memories of the past.
Now don’t get us wrong, you might still end up in a small traffic jam while waiting to get around the Seven Stars roundabout, but it'll be nothing like trying to get out of a crowded shopping center.
The Island setting offers a peaceful and festive escape for Christmas vacation goers. Turks and Caicos trades crowded shopping malls and hectic schedules for powdery white beaches and swaying palm trees. There’s no better place to relax and steer clear from the stresses of the holiday season.
2. No Obligations
One of the joys of spending Christmas in Turks and Caicos is the freedom to choose your holiday activities with no obligations. While we all cherish time with our families, sometimes having specific deadlines for gatherings can be stressful and that ends up taking the fun and joy out of the season.
In Provo, you're free to celebrate at your own pace. As regular Turks and Caicos visitors, we love nothing more than sipping cocktails at a beach bar, heading out on a snorkeling adventure, or simply lounging on the beach. No deadlines, no obligations.
3. Make Lifetime Memories
A Turks and Caicos Christmas offers you the freedom to create incredible memories with your loved ones. You have the opportunity to discover new adventures that your family wouldn't necessarily have the chance to experience in your hometown.
From exploring the coral reefs at the world's third largest reef system, to enjoying water sports and island tours, there's a fantastic selection of family friendly activities and experiences available during Christmas time in Turks and Caicos.
You might even be among the lucky few who end up swimming with JoJo The Dolphin and his family! Now that would make an epic Christmas memory.
4. Gifting An Experience
Through our own travel adventures over the years, we've found that the best gifts aren't always wrapped in shiny paper and bows. Instead, they come in the form of unforgettable experiences.
Turks and Caicos offers you a treasure trove of these moments that will outlast any gadget or trinket. Think about it: watching the sunset over Grace Bay on Christmas Eve. Building snowmen in the sand on Christmas Day. Taking a clear kayak tour to the mangroves to see baby turtles and baby sharks. These aren't just fun family activities, they're lasting memories you just can't put a price tag on.
We get it, though. If you're traveling with little ones, they’re still going to be hopeful that Santa will be able to find them in Turks and Caicos. While Santa still holds the holiday magic for all of us, perhaps you can let him know he doesn’t have to go all out with big, bulky gifts. He might want to consider delivering some fun stocking stuffers instead. That way, the kids still wake up to a little holiday magic, and you can focus on building your perfect Christmas Itinerary in Turks and Caicos filled with incredible experiences.
If Santa does plan to visit you in Turks and Caicos, you will want to pack an extra bag to bring those gifts (and souvenirs) home.
This Samsonite Foldaway Tote is lightweight and easy to pack in your luggage. It folds neatly into a little pouch and won't take up much room.
5. Less Clean Up
At last, you can bid farewell to the post Christmas cleanup blues. I think we can all agree that this is probably the worst part of the Christmas Season. You’ve had a great day with family and friends at home. Eating, drinking and sharing gifts and laughs. You’re exhausted and can’t wait to collapse into bed but the dreaded clean up still has to be tackled.
In Turks and Caicos you can forget all about the clean up, even the dishes! Sure, you might still have a few bits of wrapping paper to put in the trash, but you most certainly won’t have a sink full of dishes to tend to.
Spending Christmas Day at the beach then heading out with your family to enjoy a fantastic feast is by far the best way to avoid all those pesky chores that come with the holidays.
Things To Do In Turks And Caicos At Christmas Time
If you're wondering about things to do in Turks and Caicos during Christmas, here's a few suggestions from our Christmas trip to help you discover how the Islands celebrate this festive season.
Share The Festive Spirit Of Christmas In Turks And Caicos
The festive spirit is alive and well in Turks and Caicos. Head out and about in Providenciales and share all your joy and excitement just as you would at home. When it comes to celebrating Christmas in Turks and Caicos, you'll find a delightful blend of traditional holiday cheer and unique island charm.
The Christmas Tree At Seven Stars Roundabout
Located in the heart of Grace Bay, the most awe inspiring Christmas Tree in Turks and Caicos stands tall and proud. It's impossible to miss, positioned right at the gateway to Seven Stars Resort, where Allegro Road and Grace Bay Road intersect.
We chose Christmas Eve to venture out and capture the essence of this towering Christmas Tree. Adorned with twinkling lights that appear to dance like stars, this tree is a Provo showstopper. It's more than just a visual treat, it's a backdrop to a magical evening. As we strolled along Grace Bay Road, the air was filled with the sights and sounds of Christmas, live music and the excitement of families tracking Santa's global journey.
This is just one of the many things to do during Christmas in Turks and Caicos that will make your holiday unforgettable. The atmosphere was fantastic and so, so festive.
Keep an eye out for vehicles though! The roundabout is not closed to traffic, so watch where you’re going when taking pictures. The sidewalks offer a safe vantage point for capturing those picture perfect moments, so you can focus on the holiday magic without playing dodge-the-traffic.
Christmas Lights On Grace Bay Beach
Don’t let your evening stroll stop at the Christmas Tree. One of the best things to do in Turks and Caicos over Christmas is hit the powdery sands of Grace Bay Beach, and see the soft glow of Christmas lights reflecting on the gentle waves. It's a magical and calm scene that captures the heart of Christmas in Turks and Caicos. The shimmering lights create that festive twinkle, perfect for a romantic evening stroll or a family outing.
As you walk along the beach, you'll also notice that the holiday decorations at the resorts add an extra layer of charm to the scene. During the daylight hours, these decorations are already beautiful, but they truly come to life in the evening when they're lit. The resorts along Grace Bay Beach display many festive adornments from twinkling lights and wreaths to elegant ornaments, creating the perfect holiday ambience.
PRO TIP: Pop into one of these resorts for an evening cocktail under the Christmassy twinkle lights, where you can savor the magic of Christmas while taking in views of the beach.
Christmas Art Expo: A Celebration Of Local TCI Talent
The Christmas Art Expo is held the first weekend in December (specifically December 2nd and 3rd 2023 from 10am to 4pm). Now in its 14th year, the Christmas Art Expo is a cherished tradition that brings together nearly 40 local artisans from across the Turks and Caicos Islands.
From intricate paintings and hand poured candles to bespoke jewelry and unique bags, the expo offers a diverse array of handcrafted treasures. It's not just a shopping experience, it's an opportunity to delve into the rich creativity and craftsmanship that define the local TCI community. And what better way to find one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones?
The event also features festive entertainment, including performances from local schools, carol singing, and yes, even a visit from Santa himself!
Best of all, the vendor registration fees go directly to the Turks and Caicos Arts Foundation, making it a win-win for everyone involved. Don't miss this vibrant celebration of art, community, and holiday spirit.
Special Thanks to Lucie Stubbs (event organizer) at Driftwood Studios for providing us with all the details for this years Expo!
Christmas Shopping In Turks and Caicos
For a taste of local shopping and unique Island treasures, head to Salt Mills Plaza, Regent Village, Ports Of Call and Grace Bay Market. These are fantastic places for things to do over the holidays in Turks and Caicos. While enjoying the warm island breeze, you can wander through the charming boutique shops and eateries.
Keep an eye out for other pop up markets located in and around these areas during the Christmas Season. Ask your resort if they know of any happening during your stay as they too feature handmade crafts and local specialties, perfect for finding authentic souvenirs or last minute stocking stuffers.
Maskanoo Parade: A Unique Christmas Tradition
One of the most unique Christmas traditions in Turks and Caicos, The Maskanoo Parade is a holiday festival celebrated on December 26th. If you find yourself in Grace Bay during the holiday season, Maskanoo is an event you won't want to miss. It's a vibrant fusion of Carnival (‘Mas') and Junkanoo traditions, offering a rich display of culture. From the rhythmic sounds of cowbells and horns to spirited revelers filling the streets, the atmosphere is electric.
But it's not all about the spectacle. The event also features local vendors serving up authentic island cuisine and drinks, adding another layer to the experience. And as the night closes in, a fireworks display lights up the sky.
Tours In Turks And Caicos At Chrsitmas
If you're an adventure seeker, you'll be delighted to know that Christmas in Turks and Caicos doesn't skimp on epic excursions. Whether it's snorkeling in crystal clear waters or embarking on island hopping adventures, you can still enjoy all the heart pumping excursions during your Christmas vacation.
However, remember to confirm operating hours before booking, as it's a popular season for travelers. Booking in advance ensures you secure your spot and make the most of your holiday adventure.
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Christmas Day In Turks And Caicos
Waking up on Christmas day in Turks and Caicos is nothing short of magical. Instead of the usual hustle and bustle associated with the holiday season, you'll be greeted by the soothing sound of the waves and the spectacular views of those mesmerizing turquoise waters. It's a perfect way to start the most festive day of the year.
Take A Festive Stroll On The Beach
After you’ve enjoyed your Christmas morning with your family or that special someone, it’s time to step outside where you'll find the beach coming alive with holiday spirit.
Kids and adults building sandcastles and playing in the surf, couples take leisurely strolls along the shoreline, and you'll spot more red swimsuits and swim trunks in one place than ever before!
Don your Santa hats and elf slippers, and join in the festive merriment as you make the best of a great Christmas Day at the beach. There’s such a great sense of happiness at the beach on Christmas Day. An impromptu Christmas beach party is inevitable with locals and visitors sharing stories, Christmas Carols and most definitely a rum punch or two!
Watch For Santa On Grace Bay Beach On Christmas Day
One of the most awesome surprises of spending Christmas in Turks and Caicos is the chance to spot Santa himself on Grace Bay Beach.
Santa makes several stops along the shores of Grace Bay on Christmas Day. You can expect to see him arriving on The Good Shipl Atabeyra looking to spend some much needed time off from his busy night of gift giving.
When Santa chooses Turks and Caicos as his destination to relax after delivering all those presents, you know it's the place to be. It's a heartwarming and exciting sight for both kids and adults, that adds an extra touch of magic to your Turks and Caicos Christmas.
Can You Enjoy A Traditional Christmas Dinner In Turks and Caicos?
When it comes to Christmas dinner in Turks and Caicos, the Islands offer a fine array of dining options, ensuring that your Christmas dinner is not only a feast, but also a memorable part of your holiday celebration. Whether you're craving that classic turkey and stuffing or you're up for a Caribbean twist, there's something for everyone.
Many resorts and restaurants go all out for Christmas. It’s safe to say that any resort with an onsite restaurant will be hosting a Christmas Dinner. Whether that dinner will be traditional, local or a mix of both won’t be determined till the venue releases their special menus.
Tips For A Memorable Christmas Dinner In Turks And Caicos
- Timing Matters: Many restaurants don't release their Christmas dinner details until after American Thanksgiving. You must keep an eye on social media or contact the hotels or restaurants directly to stay in the loop so you don’t miss out on booking your Christmas Feast.
- Book Ahead, Even At Your Resort: Don't assume you'll automatically get a table at your resort's Christmas event just because you're a guest. Make sure to book your reservations well in advance to secure your spot.
- Ask For Recommendations: If you’re not staying in a resort with a restaurant, don’t worry. Your resort concierge or vacation rental host is a wealth of information. They can point you to the best spots for a wonderful Christmas Dinner.
- Dine In: If you're staying in a villa, you likely have access to a full kitchen. Why not make the most of it? Pick up some local ingredients and cook up your own Christmas dinner. It's a fun way to blend home traditions with island flavors.
Where We Enjoyed Christmas Dinner In Turks And Caicos
When we spent the holiday season in Turks and Caicos, we were taken in by friends for Christmas Dinner. We had fully intended to simply sit on the beach with a picnic of rotisserie chicken and cheesecake for dinner, and we were more than ok with that.
We chose against a big fancy meal at the resorts, because well, we just didn’t want the fuss.
However, our friends wouldn’t take no for an answer, and before we knew it, a bag of brussel sprouts were thrown into our beach cooler and we were told to cook those and bring them with us! I’ve honestly not enjoyed cooking or eating brussel sprouts more in my entire life! Still one of our favorite and hilarious Turks and Caicos Christmas memories.
Experience Local Cuisine During Christmas In Turks and Caicos
Indulging in local cuisine is an essential part of any travel experience. During Christmas time in Turks and Caicos, be sure to try some of these Island classic dishes:
- Conch: A local delicacy in Turks and Caicos. Be sure to try fresh Conch Salad, Conch Fritters and Cracked Conch (our fave!)
- Peas and Rice: A flavorful combination of pigeon peas and rice, often served as a side dish.
- Lobster: December is lobster season, so indulge in succulent lobster dishes prepared in various styles.
- Spicy Jerk Chicken: A Caribbean favorite, this chicken dish is marinated in a blend of spices and grilled to perfection. It's a must try for those who like a little heat in their local food.
- Whole Fried Fish: Experience a Caribbean classic with a whole fish, fried until crispy and golden. It's a local staple that captures the essence of island cuisine.
- Rum Cake: A sweet and boozy treat, often enjoyed as a dessert during the holiday season.
- Bambarra Rum: Sip on some locally produced Bambarra Rum to celebrate the holidays with a Caribbean twist. And don't forget to bring a bottle home at Duty Free!
- Turks Head Beer: The Turks and Caicos Islands locally brewed beer. Choose from a wide range of brews to satisfy every traveler.
So there you have it. Whether you're dining out or cooking in, Turks and Caicos offers a range of options to make your Christmas dinner as traditional or as unique as you'd like it to be.
Planning Your Christmas In Turks And Caicos
When To Book Flights And Accommodations
To secure the best deals on flights and accommodations for your Christmas trip to Turks and Caicos, planning ahead is not just recommended—it's essential.
Airlines and resorts fill up quickly during the holiday season, so booking well in advance is key. Consider reserving your flights and accommodations at the very least six to eight months before your intended travel dates to ensure availability and potentially find more budget friendly options.
Extra Tips For Early Planning
- Villa Bookings: Most villas are fully booked by July, so if you're eyeing that perfect beachfront property, you'll need to secure it early. If you already know in January or February that you plan to visit Turks and Caicos for Christmas the following year, that's the time to start locking in your accommodations.
- Resort Deals: Start scanning your desired resorts on search engines like Expedia and Tripadvisor as early in the year as possible to catch any deals that may come up. It's also a good idea to subscribe directly to the resorts' email lists, as they sometimes release special deals exclusively for their subscribers.
- Flight Sales: Keep an eye out for seat sales and flight deals to Turks and Caicos early in the year. While many airlines have blackout dates over Christmas, you can still snag some good deals if you're vigilant. Also consider traveling mid week to open up more affordable fare options.
- Budget Considerations: Turks and Caicos is not known for being a budget friendly destination. Last minute deals are rare, so don't bank on those when planning your travels. The earlier you book, the better your chances of finding something that won't break the bank.
By planning ahead and keeping an eye on deals, you can make your Christmas in Turks and Caicos a dream come true without turning it into a financial nightmare.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Experience A Traditional Christmas Atmosphere In Turks And Caicos?
ABSOLUTELY! While Turks and Caicos may lack the wintry scenes, the Islands embrace the holiday spirit just as you would at home.
What Are Some Unique Christmas Traditions In Turks and Caicos?
Turks and Caicos has its own special holiday traditions, including the lively and exciting Maskanoo Parade on December 26th, where colorful costumes, music, and dancing take center stage.
Are Restaurants Open On Christmas Day In Turks And Caicos?
Yes, many restaurants in Turks and Caicos remain open on restricted hours for Christmas Day. However, it's a good idea to make reservations in advance to secure your spot.
How Can I Make Restaurant Reservations For Christmas Dinner?
To ensure a spot at your chosen restaurant or resort for Christmas dinner, we recommend contacting them directly or using popular reservation platforms provided on the restaurant websites well in advance of your visit.
What Activities Can I Enjoy On Christmas Day In Turks And Caicos?
Christmas Day in Turks and Caicos is perfect for beach strolls, water sports, and even spotting Santa on Grace Bay Beach. Many excursions also operate, but it's best to confirm their availability and hours beforehand.
What's The Weather Like In December In Turks And Caicos?
December in Turks and Caicos offers delightful weather with warm temperatures averaging around 77-83°F (25-28°C). You can expect plenty of sunshine and a gentle breeze, making it an ideal destination for a sunny and pleasant Christmas getaway.
Is Turks And Caicos Expensive In December?
December is considered the high season in Turks and Caicos, which definitely means higher prices for accommodations and activities. However, with careful planning and booking well in advance, you can find options that suit various budgets. But honestly, in our opinion, the island's festive atmosphere make it a worthwhile investment for your Christmas vacation.
Wrapping It Up
Christmas in Turks and Caicos is more than just a holiday, it's an experience that combines traditional festivities with island charm. From the lights on Grace Bay Beach to the Maskanoo Parade, there's a variety of activities to make your season special.
If you're like us, you can enjoy a Christmas in Turks and Caicos as low key as you like, or you can go all in with as many fixings and trimmings you desire. It's the ideal setting for a memorable holiday, offering both relaxation and excitement. We hope you enjoy your Turks and Caicos Christmas as much as we did!
A Turks and Caicos Christmas is one to be remembered forever.
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