Trade pine trees for palms, snow for sand, and ice skating for water skiing. If you haven't spent a Christmas and New Year's in Turks & Caicos yet, it might be time for you to start thinking about 2018.
The holiday season is a busy and festive one for us in Turks. Our island of Providenciales comes to life as the holidays approach, as it seems like there's something to do every night—and we like it that way. Here are a few of our favorite things to do over the holidays in Turks & Caicos.
ART SHOWS & CRAFT FAIRS
The annual Arts & Crafts Fair has been held every year on Providenciales since 2010. The fair, usually held a few weeks before Christmas, features a variety of different local artisans, from painters to jewelry makers and more. Make sure to check a local calendar about a month before to find out when the fair will be in 2018. Aside from the annual fair, local art shops usually open the doors on a Friday night to showcase their work as you shop for Christmas—and you'll get a chance to meet the artists themselves.
SANTA DROP-OFF ON THE BEACH
Every year on Christmas morning, the 70-foot sailboat known as the Atabeyra pulls up to the beach in front of Grace Bay Club with some precious cargo to deliver—Santa Claus. This annual tradition is a fun way to spend Christmas morning, especially if you have kids. Sit back on the beach with a mimosa and watch as Santa makes his grand entrance on Grace Bay Beach, then grab some brunch and spend the day lounging in the sun.
MASKANOO ON BOXING DAY
The annual street festival on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) known as Maskanoo is one of the biggest parties of the year in Turks & Caicos. The festival runs along the Grace Bay strip, where local vendors set up shop to sell food, drink and souvenirs. There's live music and other entertainment, and the night culminates in a Junkanoo-influenced parade, featuring colorfully costumed musicians and dancers.
The Junkanoo parade is traditionally held on Boxing Day every year in the Turks & Caicos and Bahamas, and Maskanoo blends this tradition with another of costumed balls hosted by Bermudian salt rakers who worked in our islands' salt ponds in the 18th and 19th centuries.
If you're here on Dec. 26, you have no choice but to attend Maskanoo—and you'll be glad you did.
NEW YEAR"S EVE ON THE BEACH
It goes without saying that in the Turks & Caicos, we celebrate New Year's Eve on the beach. But we don't have just any other party. There's a tradition on the beach at Flamingo Cafe (also known locally as Rickie's) on Grace Bay, where partygoers celebrate with a big bonfire and fireworks by the sea. Somewhere Cafe on Grace Bay also hosts a New Year's Eve party on the beach, featuring live music and DJ's. No matter where on Grace Bay you decide to celebrate, you're sure to see the fireworks on the beach—multiple hotels and other businesses put on their own display, so the sky lights up at midnight with several firework shows all at once. It's a sight to behold and the perfect way to ring in the new year in Turks & Caicos.
So only one question remains now: When are you booking your ticket to Turks & Caicos for Christmas 2018? It's never too early to start planning!