11 12. 2018
10 FESTIVE THINGS TO DO IN CENTRAL FLORIDA THIS HOLIDAY
#1 – CHRISTMAS TREE TRAIL AT DISNEY SPRINGS 🎄
Ever seen a Jungle Book inspired Christmas tree? Disney Springs has put together a Christmas tree trail featuring music, falling snow, and, of course, Disney-themed Christmas trees—27 to be exact. From now until January 6th, you can tour Disney Springs and see trees decked out in everything from Alice in Wonderland to Star Wars.
The best part of the Christmas tree trail: it’s free. And parking is free too. So you can spend your money in the wide selection of shops and restaurants. Disney Springs is open from 11:00 AM until 11:00 PM.
#2 – EOLA WONDERLAND CHRISTMAS TREE SHOW 🦢🎄
Every night at 5:45, 6:45, 7:45, 8:45, and 9:45 at Lake Eola, the Christmas tree comes alive with a synchronized music and light show. But the holiday spirit extends beyond the Eola Christmas tree; head down to the park on the weekend to watch a Christmas flick in the park. The Santa Clause is playing Saturday, December 15th, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on Friday, December 21st. Or you could watch The Nutcracker, performed by the Russian Ballet Orlando on Saturday, December 22nd, at the Amphitheater.
This is another wonderful free event. After watching the Christmas tree light show, you could also stroll through the city for the 3rdannual Deck the Downtown. Deck the Downtown features multiple businesses with festive window décor. Check out these other downtown events happening during the month of December.
#3 – HAVE A COCKTAIL AT FROSTY’S 🍹☃️
Frosty’s Christmas Lounge is a holiday-themed bar in downtown Orlando—holiday-themed 365 days a year! The lounge is decked out in lights, garland, ornaments, and nutcrackers. Frosty’s is known for their craft snow cones—delicious frozen concoctions like the Nightmare Before Christmas: Jamaican dark rum, light rum, orange liquor, with fresh lime, housemade black sesame orgeat, and squid ink! Or you could try the Coconuts Roasting on an Open Fire.
If craft snow cones aren’t your thing, they have a great selection of winter beers, Delirium Noel; Abita Christmas Ale; and 21stAmendment Fireside Chat…just to name a few. Stop in while you’re downtown enjoying the season and have a shot of Frosty’s Nog or the Klondike Bar to warm your tummy. Cheers! 🍻
#4 – MIRACLE ON ORANGE AVENUE 🥃🤶🏻
Stop into Courtesy Bar in downtown Orlando to see the craft cocktail haven transformed into “Miracle on Orange.” Courtesy is one of the bars from around the world that was selected to participate in “Miracle” by Cocktail Kingdom. “Miracle” is a worldwide, Christmas-themed, pop-up cocktail bar concept.
Until December 30th, Courtesy Bar will feature holiday décor, music, and holiday specialty cocktails like a Snowball Old Fashioned or Naughty and Nice Shots. The bar is open Monday through Sunday until 2AM, but opening hours vary. While you’re there, ask about their craft cocktail classes on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month…no need for the fun to end after Christmas!
#5 – WEKIVA ISLAND WINTER WONDERLAND 🐊🌨
The whole month of December, Wekiva Island is dripping with Christmas spirit. Head down to the waterfront to watch movies on the river; enjoy snow slide rides, train rides; and face painting.
The bar will be open and on select nights, you and the family can meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus (I hear they arrive by boat). Other holiday characters like the Grinch and Buddy the Elf make occasional appearances as well. Check their calendar for more details. And for those of you who’ve never seen snow, there will be snow fall every night beginning at 6 PM!
#6 – ✨LIGHT UP UCF ✨
This year is the University of Central Florida’s 11thannual Light Up UCF holiday festival. Head over to the CFE Arena from now until January 1stto marvel at a choreographed light show sponsored by Duke Energy. The light show features over 200,000 lights synchronized to holiday songs…under snowfall!
The festival will also showcase ice skating, live music, and FREE holiday movies on a 2-story high screen. The kids (or the kid in you) will love the Arctic Glide Ice Slide, a 100-foot ice hill, or maybe a ride on the Ferris Wheel 🎡. Santa will be on location during select nights. After telling him your Christmas wish, you can take a stroll through the Christmas tree forest or catch a ride on the Light Up Express kid’s train. 🚂 Choo-choo.
#7 – ICE!® AT THE GAYLORD PALMS RESORT ❄️🏨
ICE!® is a holiday experience like no other. Artisans from around the world hand-carve 2 million pounds of ice into interactive sculptures and displays. This year’s theme is A Christmas Story (if you haven’t seen the movie, watch it right now…it’s a classic). Experience scenes from the film: Aunt Clara’s Pink Nightmare, the Triple Dog Dare, and Old Man’s Major Award. The entire exhibit is an ice fantasia.
It’s a chilly 9 degrees inside, but they provide the parkas. You’ll need them, especially if you’re going to slide down one of the 5 two-story ice slides. Check out all of the Special Experiences you can have at ICE!® here. And while you’re there, don’t miss you chance to tour the resort’s massive glass atrium featuring Florida-themed areas like Key West, the Everglades, and St. Augustine. You may just spot Santa! 🎅🏾
#8 – NOW SNOWING IN CELEBRATION ⛸🛷
The Celebration Town Center has been putting on their Now Snowing event for the past 20 years. The nightly event runs through December 31st. If you’re in the mood for snow, this is your opportunity. It snows nightly during this Winter Wonderland Spectacular at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 PM.
You’ll see Charles Dickens-style carolers, free special concert events, local talent, and Santa. Or you can take a ride on the train or in horse-drawn carriage. Now Snowing features one of the area’s only synthetic ice rinks, so get out those skates and practice your triple Lutz. Parking for the event is free in open lots or at the Celebration K-8 School for a $5 donation.
#9 – CANDLELIGHT PROCESSIONAL AT EPCOT 🕯🎶
If you live in Central Florida, you’ve heard of the Candlelight Processional at the Epcot World Showcase. This annual event features the telling of the story of the biblical tale of Christmas by a celebrity narrator. Neil Patrick Harris and Whoopi Goldberg were back again this year. The event is daily through December 30th(Cal Ripken Jr. will be narrating the last 3 days of the festival).
The Candle light Processional also showcases a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir performing stunningly beautiful songs at 5:00, 6:45, and 8:15 PM. This event is a bit expensive as it requires a valid park admission, but if you maximize your day by hitting the park early, you’ll get the most bang for your buck. And since you’re going to be there all day, you might as well check out the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages. Bon Appetit…or Itadakimasu if you decide to dine in Japan! 🍽
#10 – NIGHTS OF LIGHTS 🌴🌟
Okay, okay…Nights of Lights isn’t exactly in Central Florida, but it is well worth the drive. This year is the 25thannual lightshow that the historic city of St. Augustine puts on. The event runs through February 3rd, which gives you plenty of time to plan short road trip to see the spectacular display of over 3 million lights hung around the city! The city’s trains and trolleys are offering special seasonal tours, and many of the shops and restaurants extend their hours so you can browse and dine under the holiday glow.
In 2011 and 2012, National Geographic deemed Nights of Lights one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world. Drive in early, grab a hotel, and tour the city to take in all the history of Florida’s oldest city. You won’t be disappointed!
From the team here at Home Clicks Realty, we’d like to wish you a Happy Holiday and a Wonderful New Year!