Inexpensive but Wonderful Holiday Events Around Orlando

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Though it doesn’t snow in Florida (well usually) we Floridians never let that deter us from getting into the holiday spirit, after all, when you live near places like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, whipping up snow is easy as pie.  The best part of this snow is that you don’t need to shovel it!

Speaking of snowflakes, our wonderful city beautiful has as many diverse celebrations of the holidays as there are unique patterns in snowflakes.

It’s a treat to explore all the creativity, splendor and beauty that abounds right outside your door.

Here’s a list of what’s happening now:

Holiday Lights

Lake Eola

 The Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree comes alive with a synchronized light and music show every night at: 5:45 p.m.; 6:45 p.m.; 7:45 p.m.; 8:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

Saturday, December 1 – Saturday, December 30, 2018

Deck the Downtown
Downtown Orlando

 The Downtown Orlando Partnership, Downtown Arts District Orlando, Church Street District, Thornton Park District and Downtown Development Board are hosting “Deck the Downtown” December 1 – 31. Throughout this time, Downtown Orlando businesses will be “decked-out” with festive lights and window decorations. A map will guide residents and guests as they walk the streets of Downtown, enjoying the creativity and holiday spirit of each of the participating business locations. Deck the DTO location maps can be found online

Lake Mary
Close to a million lights dance to music in the park every evening in downtown Lake Mary. Shows every half hour, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Downtown Orlando for the Holidays
The Eola Wonderland 72–foot Christmas tree will come alive with a synchronized light and music show while the Lake Eola fountain displays red, green and gold lights to celebrate the holiday season.

Cranes Roost Lights
Dec. 1 – Jan. 1
Cranes Roost park comes alive with over 100 spectacular holiday displays featuring over 200,000 lights and a 60-foot tree decorated with 8,000 lights, 2,600 ornaments and over one mile of garland. Lights go on nightly at dusk. Holiday Fountain Show 6pm-9pm every hour.

Mount Dora
The quaint downtown and Donnelly Park are perfectly decorated in 2 million sparkling lights for the season.

Jeater Bend Drive
Nightly now – Jan. 1, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
11 homes featured on the show, The Great Christmas Light Fight.

2nd Annual Holiday Train Lights
Select weekend evenings, Dec. 14 – Dec. 23
RC&G Railroad, Osceola. Parking is $10 per car.

Oh What Fun! Lake Nona Holiday Festival
Thursdays – Sundays, now through December 30
Lake Nona Town Center
Free event with live performances, free outdoor movies, ice skating, festive food, snow fall, and more.

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland Events
Now through December 30
Wekiva Island in Longwood
Enjoy a snow slide, snow flurries, free movies, visits by Santa and Mrs. Claus, and more. Free during the week, $1 admission on weekends.

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail
Now through January 6
Catch the spirit of the season without a theme park admission. Follow the Christmas Tree trail to discover 27 trees decorated with a different Disney character or theme.


Events of the Season

Saturday, December 22, 2018

7:30 p.m. – The Nutcracker, performed by the Russian Ballet Orlando
Walt Disney Amphitheater, Lake Eola Park

 The Russian Ballet Orlando will perform Tchaikovsky’s arrangement of the Nutcracker live, featuring unforgettable characters, dazzling costumes, onstage blizzards and timeless choreography.

Snow in Celebration
Now through December 31
The town transforms with holiday experiences throughout the month including live performances, snow falling nightly every hour, horse drawn carriages, train rides, a synthetic ice rink, and a Santa meet and greet.

Light Up UCF
Now through January 1
Free fun for all ages including a holiday light show and FREE film festival on select Friday and Saturday nights featuring classics like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Elf.” On select nights, Santa will make a special appearance. Ice skating $12 (discounts available for students and military).

Santa’s Winter Wonderland Village
Select days, Dec. 7 – Jan. 6
Waterford Lakes Town Center
Christmas lights, holiday displays, a Santa’s Workshop and unique European amusement rides.

Friday Nights at the Morse
Fridays, 4pm-8pm
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Free admission to the museum with live music, tours, and art demonstrations.

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro
Now through Dec. 24
FREE 4×6 studio-quality photo with Santa, games and fun activities.

Mall at Millenia Santa Experience
Now through Dec. 24
Meet Santa and take a photo using your own device with a $10 donation to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital.

Meet Santa at the Eola House
Share your wishlist with Santa at the Eola House in downtown Orlando weekend evenings through December 23.


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