Note: The above video gives you a taste of what the holidays are all about in Bermuda, but it’s a little different this year. Read on to see how to get in the spirit safely and responsibly in 2020. There’s always holiday magic to be found in Bermuda.
Christmas on the beach, pop-up performances by Gombey dancers and uniquely Bermudian dishes: the holidays in Bermuda are a blend of European traditions and island culture, all under a warm sun. And let’s face it: we could all use an extended holiday escape to a safe and welcoming place. Here's how locals from each of the island's three main regions enjoy the holidays in their own way – even in years when they have to do it a little differently.
Celebrating Christmas in the East End
While beloved events like the holiday walkabout and boat parade will not be happening here in 2020, Town of St. George and the East End still teem with holiday cheer.
Dive deeper into Bermuda’s history at Carter House, one of Bermuda’s oldest homes, constructed back in the 1640s. Its annual Carter House Family Christmas celebration on St. David’s Island offers festive food in an atmosphere decked out in fascinating period décor, with Father Christmas bringing sacks of gifts in a wheelbarrow.
On Christmas Eve, experience the hushed majesty of a candlelight service at St. Peter’s Church in the Town of St. George. Originally built in 1612, it’s the oldest Anglican church in the Western Hemisphere.
Festivities in Central Bermuda
In the City of Hamilton, a socially distanced event featuring Santa Claus himself invites you and the little ones to share your holiday wish lists before getting a photo before the city’s famously illuminated holiday tree. Then thousands turn out to welcome Jolly Old St. Nick at the Santa Claus Parade. Themed floats, dancing majorettes and Gombey troupes travel through the capital before he makes his merry appearance.
Starting in 2020, Hamilton also will host three nights of drive-in holiday movies, featuring festive classics like Elf and Home Alone. Sing holiday karaoke from the comfort of your vehicle, do a drive-through photo booth and more. A receipt from a local Hamilton shop of $35 or more gets you in – a jolly good way to enjoy the holidays while supporting the local economy.
On Christmas morning, locals, ex-pats and visitors gather at Elbow Beach to watch the sunrise, drink Champagne and take a dip in the 68-degree waters. (You can always observe this tradition while socially distancing on one of Bermuda’s blissfully low-key beaches.)
Holiday Fun in the West End
In Royal Naval Dockyard, don’t miss Carols with the Dolphins, an adorable family-friendly event at Dolphin Quest. Find even more holiday fun with a tree-lighting ceremony, Mistletoe Market and a Christmas showcase.