ORLANDO, Fla. – The holidays are almost upon us and things are looking cheerful and bright in Central Florida! From life-size gingerbread houses to dazzling nights and millions of twinkling lights, there are plenty of family-friendly events that are sure to get you in the Christmas spirit!
Drive-Thru Christmas Light Show at Dezerland Park Orlando
What: Christmas Nights and Lights at Dezerland Park is Orlando’s largest drive-thru immersive light show. The show spans a mile and a half and lasts around 20 to 30 minutes. Participants can listen to the synchronized light show over the radio in their car.
Where: 5250 International Dr, Orlando
When: Now through January 1; open daily from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m
Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park
What: This is Florida’s only snow park and features a 60-foot, 400-foot snow tubing hill with single, double, and 10-person snow tubing. You can see nightly music on the Snowy Slopes and a light show that can be seen throughout the park.
Where: 27839 St Joe Rd, Dade City
When: Open daily during the holiday season; hours vary
ICE! at Gaylord Palms
(Doug Scaletta, Photographer)
What: The popular frozen food exhibition ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee brings the Dr. Seuss Christmas classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” brought to life by hand-carved, colorful ice sculptures. Guests will walk through 10 different scenes from the Grinch story and meet the Grinch, his dog Max and the residents of Who-ville.
Where: 6000W Osceola Pkwy, Kissimmee
When: Now through January 1; open daily
Dazzling nights at the Leu Gardens
What: The walk-through vacation experience at Orlando’s Harry P. Leu Gardens takes guests on a journey through a breathtaking winter wonderland filled with millions of lights, magical displays and beautifully glowing forests.
Where: 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando
When: Now through January 1; Open daily (except Christmas Day) from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m
Christmas tree walk in Disney Springs
What: Sip hot cocoa and leisurely stroll around Disney Springs and check out 20 themed Christmas trees dedicated to Disney, Pixar, war of stars and superhero favorites. The best part: It’s free!
Where: 1486 Buena Vista Dr, Orlando
When: Now through December 30; open daily
Kennedy Space Center vacation in space
What: Kennedy Space Center kicks off its annual Holidays in Space with festive decor, seven-foot-tall astronaut nutcrackers, live performances and a brand new projection-mapping show, Starflakes Holiday Voyage. The 6-minute show takes guests on a journey “through the stars, the earth and beyond.”
Where: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island
When: December 16 – 30 (closed on Christmas Day)
Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration at Lake Eola
What: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer invites Central Florida residents and visitors to ring in the holiday season and help count down to the lighting of the City of Orlando Christmas tree at Washington Plaza in Lake Eola Park.
Where: Lake Eola Park, Orlando
When: December 2nd; 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m
Stetson mansion in DeLand
What: The Stetson Mansion “Christmas Spectacular!” Cottage tours take guests through the 10,000-square-foot Victorian estate, which dates back to 1886 and is completely adorned with beautiful Christmas lights, Christmas trees, wreaths and more.
Where: 1031 Campher Ln, DeLand
When: Now through January 21; Hours vary, reservation required
Life size Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
What: Talk about a holiday treat! Walt Disney World’s famous life-size Gingerbread House is on display at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, pumping clouds of cinnamon out of its chimney! The house is decorated with white chocolate, candy canes, candy stars, edible snowflakes and 25 hidden Mickeys. Along the porches you’ll find an 85-pound chocolate Santa, nutcrackers, toy soldiers and snowmen, all hand-painted by the resort’s talented bakery team.
Where: 4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista
When: Now during the holiday season; open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 9.30 p.m
Night of the Million Lights
What: A dazzling winter wonderland awaits guests in this fully interactive vacation experience benefiting Give Kids the World, a non-profit resort that offers critically ill children and their families magical week-long wish vacations for free. This year’s event features a life-size snow globe, a brand new dancing light show on a five-story water slide, tunnels of light and maybe even some snow!
Where: Island H2O Water Park 3230 Inspiration Dr., Kissimmee
When: Now through January 1; 6pm to 10pm OR 6pm to 11pm depending on the night