Wellington FL: The International Polo Capital's Events & Lifestyle

Wellington FL: The International Polo Capital's Events & Lifestyle

Photo Courtesy of Jumper News

The name Wellington, Florida, has some strong associations. The strongest is with horses. In fact, the village is home to the only premier polo ground in the U.S. The Wellington equestrian scene comes with a social vibe and a very specific lifestyle that all residents can become involved with and learn to appreciate. The "season" for equestrian events is winter — when the polo tournaments run, and national and international stars in show jumping and dressage descend on Florida to train in warmer weather.

Of course, horses are not the only thing Wellington has to offer in terms of events and lifestyle, but they are certainly a big part of the culture. Living in Wellington, Florida, gives you access to an incredible social life, and Wellington real estate agent Darlene Streit can help you enjoy it. First, find out what Wellington is all about.

The Winter Equestrian Festival and Global Dressage Festival

For twelve weeks, the Winter Equestrian Festival takes over Wellington and is joined by the Global Dressage Festival. The Wellington Equestrian Festival is not just a horse show — it is an entire winter season where some of the best show jumping and dressage riders in the world come to compete, hang out, train young horses, and escape winter. There are also hunters and equitation. Competitors range from the best in the world to kids on their ponies.

Held at Wellington International, the festival is open to spectators from Wednesday to Sunday, and some events are also live-streamed. The 500-acre equestrian center also hosts concessions and vendors selling everything from expensive tack to unique clothing, jewelry, housewares, and pet supplies. Every week, Saturday Night Lights adds live music and kid's activities.

The equestrian center also hosts spring and fall shows. More events are hosted at Deeridge Farms, home of the Palm Beach Masters Series.

Palm Beach International Polo Season

From January through April, the Wellington International Club presents a full series of polo matches, sometimes with games happening daily. While not well known in the U.S. (or associated with British royalty), polo is a classic equine game. It is a fast (and sometimes dangerous) sport played using mallets, a ball, and, of course, well-trained horses. It may be over 2,000 years old in some form, invented by Persian nomads and brought to the west from India.

Polo is the only professional contact sport today that is co-ed. Like most equestrian sports, polo is enjoyed by both men and women. The International Polo Club also has a polo school and gives lessons to people of all levels.

The best part of the season for those who don't play is the Sunday brunch. This is a champagne brunch held in an open pavilion. The cost ($140 in 2022, or $225 for good seats) includes the brunch and the polo match. It's a great way to watch an interesting sport while enjoying an ever-changing array of delicious items and, of course, champagne.

The International Gay Polo Tournament

Photo Courtesy of South Florida Gay News

This unique event is the finale of the Gay Polo League (GPL) season. This league is the only LGBTQ polo club in the world. Come over, watch two polo matches, and either enter or just admire the tailgating contest, which often features drag queens, wedding chapels, DJs, and giant rubber ducks.

Splash out and enjoy the VIP pavilion with gourmet food and an open bar. The GPL also runs other events throughout the year, including brunches and Wigstock, where you should wear your finest wig while enjoying live music and an open bar. See, it's not just about the horses, but appreciating them certainly helps.

Looking for some events with fewer hooves in Palm Beach? Darlene Streit can point you in the right direction.

Wellington Classic Brew Fest

Craft beers have taken over America. The Wellington Classic Brew Fest takes place in February and features beer and hard ciders, food trucks, live music, and other entertainment. It's strictly a 21 and up event, so there won’t be any kids running around. The 2022 fest included local modern country band Whisky Six and a fantastic array of brewers (and a distiller or two to go along with the band). The VIP pass includes early admission, exclusive sampling, and a commemorative pint glass.

The Wellington Father Daughter Dance

Psst, grandfathers and stepfathers are allowed. Every year, the village hosts a Father Daughter Dance for girls aged five to 14. The event includes a dinner with dessert, dancing, and all kinds of fun games. The dance has a different theme each year, so make sure to find out what it is well in advance to dress appropriately.

This event is a great way to give dads and daughters some quality time together and a fantastic place for girls to meet potential new friends. Each duo gets keepsakes at the end.

The Wellington Historical Society

Wellington has an interesting history, which includes Flying Cow Road. No, there was no flying cow, but the Wellington after whom the village was named had the initials C.O.W. — and a plane.

The Historical Society runs a variety of events throughout the year, which might include watching historical videos with hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, lunch and learn with historians, discussion events, and picnics. If you are interested in Wellington's past, then it's worth checking to see what they might be planning.

The Wellington Amphitheater

The Wellington Amphitheater is a state-of-the-art outdoor theater that hosts a variety of plays, concerts, and movies. The venue is also used by local schools for shows and functions.

Many of the events are free or come with small charges. In spring 2022, the amphitheater hosted "The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy." Many events are child-friendly, and when there isn't an event, you can often find some high-quality food trucks parked in the lot.

Art Cellar Wellington

Like viewing art? How about making art? The Art Cellar runs classes for kids, teens, and adults and is available for private parties. The adult classes are Paint & Sip. Bring your own beer or wine or buy what they have available, create a painting to take home, and make new friends.

Kids’ programs include family classes and anime character design for teenagers. Most classes are for drawing or painting, but other media sometimes show up.

Wellington Bacon & Bourbon Fest

Photo Courtesy of Sun Sentinel

Food festivals are always exciting, but this one has a somewhat narrow focus. Sample from a selection of more than 30 bourbons from Florida and around the world, enjoy an eclectic menu of bacon-infused culinary delights, and shop local artists and crafters. Wines, beer, and other liquors are offered for those who aren't into bourbon, but the bourbon is the star of the show.

The 2022 menu, if you're curious, included flavored bacon on a stick (including chocolate), bacon and corn fritters, battered bacon with fries or loaded fries with bacon, and assorted other food trucks.

Neil S. Hirsch Wellington Golf Classic

For forty years, this annual golf tournament has benefited the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club. It's an open tournament where players get boxed lunches and enjoy a hole-in-one contest. Afterward, there's an awards celebration with light bites, cocktails, and a golf-themed charity auction.

Of course, if you just want to watch golf, Wellington National does host professional tournaments as well as amateur ones. Check out the Wanderers Club for more possibilities.

The Wycliffe Golf & Country Club is the perfect place for golf enthusiasts and is home to four excellent restaurants and a full calendar of events. Platinum members get full use of both golf courses throughout the year, have tee time priority, and can compete in all the tournaments. However, there's also a non-golfing membership tier, which grants access to the luxurious country club lifestyle.


Florida is one of those places where winter is oftentimes nicer than summer. The annual Winterfest, held at the Wellington Amphitheatre, reflects this. In 2021, it was headlined by Vanilla Ice (he's local, by the way)! Admission is free, but bring your wallet to get your last-minute holiday shopping done and enjoy delicious food vendors. Designated lounges are set up for adults who’d like a drink, and there's plenty to do for the kids.

It's not all about horses, but for those few months in winter, it pretty much is. Wellington's quiet village location (and proximity to the big city) makes for a lifestyle that many learn to appreciate while enjoying the many events and opportunities that this village brings.

If making Wellington, Florida, a home base appeals to you, Darlene Streit can help you pick out the perfect home in this wonderful, tight-knit community. Darlene is a luxury home Realtor® well-versed in everything Wellington. Consistently ranking as one of the top brokers in the nation, she has the skills and expertise to guide you along your real estate venture.

For more information about relocation services to Wellington or for a free home market evaluation, contact Darlene Streit at (561) 531-2727 or e-mail [email protected] today!

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