Celebrating the season

Cayman may not have little snow-globe Christmas scenes all around, but when it comes to ways to enjoy the festive season there is no shortage of events.

From Christmas movies for the kids (or the inner child) to New Year’s Eve parties that will have you partying like the world might end in 2012, the selection of events is as varied as the people who make up the population of the Cayman Islands.

Family events
There is a wide selection of family-friendly events planned for the season.

On 3 December the Barnes Dance Academy will hold their Christmas parade at Camana Bay, with talented local performers putting on a show of dances choreographed to Christmas tunes. The event will kick off at 6.30pm at The Crescent.

A grand event for kids of all ages is the Teddy Bear Tea at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. The event, which takes place on 4, 11, 18, 22, 23, and 24 December, takes the form of a child’s tea party with sandwiches as sweet as well as Santa, of course.

There will also be tea, freshly baked scones and other delights for adults, all to the accompaniment of holiday melodies. Each day will feature two seating times, the first from 12pm to 2pm and the second from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

Camana Bay will play host to a Christmas evening market on 7 December from 3.30pm to 8pm, with local vendors setting up stalls along Market Street. Shoppers can enjoy live music while children can spend their time at the kids’ craft area.

For more shopping it will also host Drop and Shop events where parents can drop the little ones off for supervised Christmas crafts while they get on with some last minute shopping. The event will take place on Thursday 8 and 15 December from 5.30pm to 7.30pm and on Saturday 10 and 17 December from 1pm to 3pm.

A firm family favourite is the Parade of Lights, which will take place at Camana Bay on 10 December from 6pm to 8pm. The event sees boats decorated with Christmas lights sail through the harbour, while on the shore a Christmas craft market will delight and entertain. After the parade there will be a live musicians’ showcase as well as an outdoor art exhibition.

Another fun family event is Scubaluminations at Rackham’s on 15 December. The event starts at 6.30pm and will see Scuba Santa and his scuba-diving reindeer light up the water as he makes his way to the dock at Rackham’s. The event will feature carol singing as well, with donations being accepted for the Cayman Islands Humane Society.

Camana Bay will also be hosting a special Christmas series of Moonlight and Movies events, with festive movies shown on a giant screen in Gardenia Court. On Monday 19 December the featured movie will be Elf, followed the next evening by How the Grinch stole Christmas. Wednesday 21 December will feature the classic The Nightmare before Christmas, with Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer closing off the series on Thursday 22 December. All shows start at 7pm.

New Year’s Eve will see Camana Bay host a spectacular fireworks display as well, which will take place from 8pm.

Parties and turkeys
There will of course be a wide selection of festive feasts to choose from over the season, so picking a favourite can be a challenge.

The Brasserie will kick the festive dining off early as it hosts a Christmas Eve dinner on 23 December.

On 24 December, the Westin Casuarina will host two Christmas Eve dinners, one at Ferdinand’s and one at Casa Havana.

On Christmas Day, brunch will be the order of the day at many venues. The Ritz-Carlton will host two brunch events, one at 7 Restaurant and another in the Cayman Islands Royal Ballroom.

Both events are certain to live up to the already spectacular Sunday brunch at the Ritz, and then add something extra special for the festive season. Brunch in the Ballroom starts at 11am and serves Moët & Chandon Champagne, with brunch in 7 starting at 12pm and serves Taittinger Champagne.

The Westin will also be hosting a holiday champenoise buffet with two seatings, the first seating from 12pm to 3pm with the buffet remaining open until 4pm and the second seating from 5.30pm to 8.30pm, with the buffet open until 10pm.

New Year’s Eve will see a variety of events all over the island. Abacus in Camana Bay will be hosting a New Year’s Eve dinner featuring a special five course set menu with a wine pairing option.

At The Brasserie New Year’s Eve will be celebrated with a dinner, live easy jazz and party favour goody bags.

The Westin will be hosting two events, one at Casa Havana featuring a five course gourmet dinner, while the other is their famous Around the World New Year’s Eve party at the pool deck, featuring live entertainment and food stations featuring dishes from around the world.

The Ritz-Carlton will be hosting a Jewels of the Caribbean beach party featuring dinner, dancing, live music and of course the Ritz-Carlton’s famous fireworks display at midnight, setting the perfect background for a Champagne toast to 2012. WH