Whether you live in the sunshine state or plan to visit during the holiday season, you are bound to find at least one activity you can enjoy. From the Space Coast Light Festival to Lake Eola Tree Lighting, there are plenty of options to enjoy this season.
Lake Eola Tree Lighting
Several Orlando area venues hold annual holiday events. A few of these include The Daily City’s Food Truck Bazaar, The Orlando Museum of Art, and a flurry of concerts and entertainment. In addition to the holiday activities, several Orlando resorts and theme parks deck the halls in millions of lights.
The most popular event is the Lights at Lake Eola, which runs through January 1. The lights are a hoot to watch as they are choreographed to music. The city has a free circulator that travels through the downtown area, and a number of alternative transportation options are available, including ride share and carpooling. A few of the more impressive attractions include the Eola Park tree, the Eola Fountain, and the Festival of Trees.
The Orlando Museum of Art holds an annual holiday festival that includes live music, vignettes, and fun educational programs. The Museum also hosts the Festival of Trees, which is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. In addition to the Christmas tree, there are 50 decorated trees, and some of the best gingerbread houses around. Among the notable highlights is the Star Spangled Christmas tree, which lights up in the evening and is a showpiece in its own right.
The Eola Wonderland tree is a 72 foot tree that displays hundreds of colorful lights synchronized to music. The tree is usually decorated with more than 2,000 ornaments. The tree is also the star of the show, as it comes alive with a light show every hour on the hour.
The Festival of Trees also has the honor of being the only official tree lighting ceremony in Orlando. The event is a fun way to spend an evening, especially when it’s snowing.
During Christmas at Gaylord Palms, Florida, the resort will be transformed into a winter wonderland from mid-November until New Year. The event features over two million twinkling lights, elaborately themed Christmas trees, millions of poinsettias, and more than fifteen special events. The resort offers a virtual box office so tickets are easy to purchase.
Guests can also enjoy a variety of holiday dining experiences. Villa De Flora has a glass-enclosed atrium and offers special holiday menus. The resort offers an elaborate Christmas tree with 20,000 ornaments. The 60-foot tree will be the centerpiece of the atrium.
Gaylord Palms also hosts a variety of trade shows, business conventions, and weddings. Guests can also enjoy a variety of amenities, including 500,000 plants, a 161,000-gallon lagoon, and more than 1,500 rooms. The resort is located just outside of Walt Disney World and near SeaWorld Orlando.
The resort is also known for hosting a popular holiday attraction called ICE! This year, the attraction is returning for the first time in two years. Guests will have a chance to see nine Dr. Seuss scenes. The ice carvings are painted to look like the illustrations found in the book. The carvings will vary in size, from a tiny coin to a scene nearly 30 feet tall.
Guests can also explore the resort’s Alpine Village. This village features Bavarian storefronts, live shows, and characters. Children can also enjoy Adventure Kids: Wonders of Winter, which teaches young adventurers about wildlife. Guests can also take part in the Christmas Tree Trail. This trail will feature elaborately themed trees.
For those who love movies, the resort is also home to the I Love Christmas Movies attraction. The exhibit features thirteen festive film sets. It is free to visit all holiday season.
Space Coast Light Festival
Thousands of people flock to Melbourne, Florida to take part in the Space Coast Light Festival. The event is a monthlong affair that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Besides a plethora of lights, the festival also boasts a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, train rides, arts and crafts, and live entertainment.
While you’re at it, check out the Tioga Town Center’s annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Festival. Here you’ll find Santa Claus, train rides, arts and crafts, and live entertainment. Besides, Tioga Town Center is also home to a number of other events throughout the year. If you’re looking for something a little more active, take part in the Tacos ‘n Treats Throwdown. This is a competition between 30 of the Space Coast’s best food trucks. The grand prize is a gourmet taco.
The best part is that you can check it out from the comfort of your own home. The festival is open from mid-November to early January. If you’re a fan of the classic pastime of walking from house to house, you’ll be pleased to learn that most houses will actually have a number of different light displays.
Space Coast Light Festival isn’t for the faint of heart. Fortunately, you can drive through it for the thrill of the ride. It is also home to a number of other gimmicks including a 200-foot light tunnel, a 1.1 mile loop, and a slew of illuminated sculptures. If you’re looking for something a little more high-tech, you can also take part in a private hayride through the festival.
The Space Coast Light Festival may not be for the faint of heart, but it’s a fun way to spend a few hours. For more information on the event, check out the Space Coast Light Festival website.
Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter
During the holiday season, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando puts on a number of magical Christmas displays and festivities. You’ll see holiday decor and lights all over the place and enjoy holiday themed foods and drinks. You can even watch “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” which is a light projection show that transforms the castle. The show features holiday spirit projections and imagery from the Harry Potter films.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is spread out across two parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure. You can purchase a Park-to-Park ticket, which will allow you to explore both parks. In addition to Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando Resort also offers the Grinchmas celebration and a Universal Holiday Parade.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter includes Butterbeer, a special holiday drink. There are 27 enchanted locations where guests can use their interactive wands to create magic. They can even use their wands to levitate objects, ignite fire, and even rain.
There is also a special holiday show at Hogsmeade. It features the Frog Choir, composed of Hogwarts students and giant croaking frogs. They’ll be performing special holiday songs.
One of the coolest parts of the Wizarding World is the Hogwarts Express, a ride that connects Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure. It’s an immersive experience that features different story lines depending on which point of departure you arrive at.
Diagon Alley is also getting in on the holiday action with special Christmas decor and decorations. You can find unique holiday gifts and treats, including exclusive Potter merchandise. You can even watch a live performance of Mannheim Steamroller, which is the world’s best-selling holiday music artist of all time.
Located in Florida’s capitol city, Tallahassee is home to many family-friendly activities. From museums to scenic hikes, there are many cool things to do in this city. The city is also known for its vibrant history.
For Christmas, there are several community events. These are a great way to spread holiday cheer. The Winter Festival, for example, is an event that takes place in downtown Tallahassee on a Saturday in early December. The event includes food vendors, an arts and crafts fair, and a holiday parade. There will also be live entertainment and spectacular holiday displays. The Winter Festival also features a children’s activity area.
You can also check out the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra’s holiday show. The show features new music and aerial stunts. Tickets start at $36, but you can get a discount if you buy a ticket 30 minutes before the show.
The Winter Festival is also a great time to check out some of Tallahassee’s best light displays. There are several neighborhoods in the city that have great light displays. Other parks in the city have great light displays as well.
There are also community-wide Christmas give-away events. These give-aways are held at churches throughout Leon County. The goal is to spread holiday joy and offer basic needs to the needy. Some churches even provide free holiday meals.
The Old West Florida Primitive Baptist Association will also host an event on December 3. This is a family-friendly event that includes an all-you-can-eat pizza contest. You can also bring your pet to the event. Tallahassee’s winter markets are held on site and are also a great way to find unique and handcrafted gifts. These markets feature more than 300 artists. They also offer free handcrafted gifts, and the proceeds benefit the Tallahassee Museum.