top of page

Quick Guide: 2021 Holiday Events & Family Outings in Orlando

It’s definitely the best time of the year in Orlando! The weather is perfect and every town comes to life with exciting holiday events to celebrate the season. Fortunately, you don’t have to shell out a theme park ticket price to have an amazing holiday experience. In fact, the best holiday events are happening everywhere. From snow sledding to festive parades, get in the spirit with these free holiday happenings near Orlando.

Check out our Quick Guide to every holiday events & family outings.

8th Annual Violectric Holiday Show

Saturday, December 12, 7pm-9pm

Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola, Orlando

Info: FREE family-friendly holiday concert.

35th Annual Festival of Trees

Daily, Nov. 13 – Nov. 21, 2021

Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL

Info: Presented by Council of 101, the 35th anniversary celebration of the Festival of Trees brings glitz, glitter and glam, to the Orlando Museum of Art with designer inspired trees, decorated wreaths, exquisite gingerbread creations, holiday decor and so much more. Show features include live entertainment, pop-up shops, a variety of special events and visits from Santa.

68th Annual Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 5, 9am – 10:30am

Downtown Winter Park

Info: FREE to watch holiday-themed floats, Santa Claus, and well-known local figures as they make their way down the avenue. Reserve your socially distant parade pod by accessing the Chamber of Commerce’s website.

Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony & Winter on the Avenue

Friday, December 4, 5pm – 9pm

Central Park, Winter Park

Info: FREE. Santa Claus, Popcorn Flicks in the Park, live music, take home crafts from the Parks & Recreation Family Fun Program, take home s’mores from the Winter Park Fire-Rescue Department, and so much more.

Apopka Tree Lighting & Farmers’ Market

Thursday, December 3, 5:30pm – 8pm

Kit Land Nelson Park, Apopka

Info: FREE. At 6pm, the City will light up Kit Land Nelson Park for the holidays. While there, you can shop for the holidays at the market.

Cranes Roost Holiday Lights

November 26, 2020 – January 3, 2021

Cranes Roost Park

Info: FREE. More than 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. Holiday Fountain Show with dazzling lights and dancing water 6pm-9pm every hour. Meet elves, stilt walkers, Santa and more! Check the schedule.

Live Holiday Music

December 4, 11 & 18, 7pm – 9pm

Cranes Roost Amphitheater

FREE. Artist information coming soon. Registration is required

College Park’s Season of Sparkle

November 28, December 5, 12 & 19

Albert Park, College Park

Info: FREE. Four Saturdays of celebrations with live music, vendors, activities and holiday decorations.

Daytona Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Saturday, December 5 at 6pm

Info: FREE to find a spot along the Halifax River and watch the festive boats float by.

Dazzling Nights 2021

Nightly, Nov. 19, 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022

Leu Gardens, 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando

Info: Orlando’s 50-acre Harry P. Leu Gardens will transform once again into a stunning winter wonderland featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, music and beautiful sculptures during Dazzling Nights — a family-friendly adventure from Creative City Project that gives guests the opportunity to embark on an unforgettable, three-quarter-mile, interactive holiday experience. Leu Gardens is minutes from downtown Orlando in the Audubon Park Garden District.

Drive-Thru Santa & Christmas Wonderland

Sat Dec 5, 9:00 AM - Sat Dec 5, 12:00 PM

Blue Jacket Park, 2501 General Rees Ave, Orlando, FL 32802

Info: You will remain safely in your vehicles and “drive-thru” our Christmas Wonderland that includes decorations, carolers, Bernie (our mascot), and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus! You will pause briefly for a professional photo with Santa from your car at this unique, special holiday event.
We encourage you to tune into WCSF 88.7 FM “Spirit of Christmas” on the radio, pack the hot chocolate, dress in holiday pajamas, and decorate your vehicle (passenger side) with your family for the photo. The kids will receive a complimentary candy cane, reindeer kit, and coloring page (while supplies last) from our masked helpers. We will also collect “Letters to Santa” in our North Pole mailbox and each child will receive a response from Santa himself!
RSVP is required | Limited Tickets Available
Saturday, Dec. 5
9 a.m. to Noon (register for specific time)
Motherhouse Welcome Center, 520 Plainfield Rd.
$10 per vehicle
($5 of each transaction is a USF donation)

Gatorland’s Holiday Ho Ho Ho-Down

Select dates November 27 – December 20

Info: An all-new holiday event with festive holiday carolers, a Very Merry Train ride and interactive holiday displays, all with enhanced social distancing.

Gaylord Hotels Original Experience, Mission: Save Christmas

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

Info: Journey to Buddy the Elf's world to help save the holiday!

Christmas is in trouble and Santa needs your help! For the first time this Christmas, journey into Buddy the Elf's world to help save the holiday in our all-new, multi-sensory experience. Team-up with Mr. Narwhal and friends in the candy cane forest, stay ahead of the toy quota in the North Pole, prepare for Santa's arrival at the iconic department store, and take part in an epic virtual snowball fight in Central Park. These are just a few of the fun, interactive challenges you'll need to complete to muster enough Christmas cheer to power the Kringle 3000 and Santa's sleigh!

Holiday Movie at Lake Eola Park - The Santa Claus

Fri Dec 11, 7:00 PM - Fri Dec 11, 11:59 PM

Yoga In Lake Eola Park- 512 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

Info: Pack your blankets, chairs, and snacks for the whole family to enjoy Santa Claus. This free, family-friendly event is a fun and safe way to enjoy the holidays.
Movie Theme: Bring your best holiday Santa Hat.

Holiday Pops by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

Sunday, December 6 at 5pm

Central Park, Winter Park

Info: FREE. Bring your blanket and a picnic for a concert program of holiday favorites that will be sure to put everyone in the spirit of the season. Reserve your 10’x10′ socially distant pod for up to six family members via the Parks & Recreation Eventbrite page one week prior to the event.

Home for the Holidays: A Midnight Clear

November 28 at 3:30pm and 7pm

Festival Park, Orlando

Info: $10 general admission tickets for an outdoor holiday concert by Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

Horsepower Ranch Christmas Event

Sun Dec 13, 10:00 AM - Sun Dec 13, 4:00 PM

Horsepower Ranch and Events- 280 Campbell Ranch Run , Geneva, FL 32732

Info: Join us for a fun filled day of snow, Santa, reindeer and many activities at the Horsepower Ranch. Live Hula Dancers, Fire Performers, Live Band, local dance companies, Clydesdales, Santa, Reindeers, Stilt walkers, and more!
Enter through the snow to visit with Santa after he arrives in his carriage being pulled by the Legendary Clydesdales.
Take a slide down the REAL snow slide, visit the LIVE Reindeer, Tractor Pulled Hay Rides, Carriage Rides, Pony Rides, Ride a Mini, Train Rides, Petting Zoo, Art N Crafts, Bounce Houses, Obstacle Course, Polar Plunge Slide, Face Painting, Mechanical Bull, and The ALL NEW Racing Ziplines! All available with the purchase of tickets.
$5 Admission (2 and under free) includes entry, entertainment, Dj, Reindeer visits, food trucks, vendor, yard games, and more!
Activities Tickets $1 Each
Obstacle Course 2 Passes 2 Tickets
Frozen or Xmas Tree Bounce House 5 Minutes 2 Tickets
Polar Plunge Slide 2 Tickets
Petting Zoo Adult Free w Child 2 Tickets
Train Rides Lap Child Free 3 Tickets
Arts N Crafts Decorate ornament 4 Tickets
Face Painting 5 Tickets
Hay Rides Lap Child Free 5 Tickets
Pony Rides 5 Tickets
Mini Rides 35lbs or less 5 Tickets
Carriage Drawn Clydesdale Rides 7 Tickets
Mechanical Bull 7 Tickets
Groom & Decorate your own Mini 20 Minute Slots 10 Tickets
Racing Zip Lines 10 Tickets
Please text 407-402-1015 if you are interested in being a vendor
Thank you Life Storage and Del- AIr for providing the snow slide and Reindeer! Think Life storage for all your storage needs!

Memories of Christmas in the Park

Thursday, December 3, 5pm to 8:30pm

Central Park Winter Park

Info: FREE to stroll through the park and enjoy prerecorded sounds of the Bach Festival Choir during a 10-minute video loop. Two luminous Tiffany windows will grace the stage.

Mount Dora’s 60th Annual Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 5 at 10am

Info: FREE Christmas parade along the streets of downtown Mount Dora.

Mount Dora’s Lighted Boat Parade

Saturday, December 5 at 7pm

Info: FREE parade begins at Lighthouse on Grantham Point, Across from Gilbert Park on Tremain Street and Liberty Avenue, Downtown Mount Dora.

Night of a Million Lights at Give Kids the World Village

Nightly, Nov. 12, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022

210 South Bass Rd., Kissimmee, FL

Info: During Give Kids the World Village’s Night of a Million Lights, watch a dancing lights show in a fairytale neighborhood, stroll amidst millions of lights and a sparkling tree trail, enjoy festive music and holiday treats, take a tram ride through the storybook village, visit a holiday marketplace, and create unforgettable memories at the place where happiness inspires hope. Minutes from Walt Disney World Resort, Give Kids the World Village is an 89-acre, whimsical, non-profit resort that provides critically ill children and their families from around the world with magical, weeklong wish vacations at no cost.

Snow in Celebration

November 28 through December 31

Downtown Celebration

Info: FREE admission.The town transforms with holiday experiences throughout the month including snow falling, train rides, a synthetic ice rink, and photos with Santa.

The 8th Annual Violectric Holiday Show

Saturday, December 12 at 7pm

Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola Park

Info: FREE family-friendly and pet-friendly 90-minute, live outdoor concert, featuring traditional holiday favorites mashed up with classic rock tunes and modern hits performed by Central Florida’s top strings rock group. Seating at the event will be limited to 50% but the concert will be simulcast around all of Lake Eola.

The Ritz Carlton Gingerbread School

Saturday–Sunday (11/27 – 12/12) Saturday-Tuesday (12/18 – 12/21) 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 3:00pm

Info: Build your own gingerbread house with pre-baked gingerbread panels and decorate using dozens of different types of candies and other edible details.

$195 per Family (maximum 4 per group).

Space is limited, Reservations required 407-393-4034.

Wekiva Island’s Winter Wonderland
November 29 through January 1
1014 Miami Springs Drive in Longwood

Info: Wekiva Island turns into a fun holiday destination along the river with activities throughout the season including special events like Breakfast with Santa and a VIP Winter Wonderland Party.

$2 admission fee.

“Snow” flurries will fall nightly from 6pm to 9pm and noon to 9 pm on weekends.

Take a “sleigh” ride down the river on Saturdays and Sundays. $20 for adults and $10 for children.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus will make a socially distanced appearance for photos on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Catch a FREE outdoor holiday movie every Sunday starting Dec. 6 (bring your own chair).

Winter Garden’s ‘Tis the Season

Fridays & Saturdays in December

Downtown Winter Garden

Info: Downtown Winter Garden will be aglow with festive lighting and decorations, holiday-themed photo stations, painted holiday mural wall, Santa’s Workshop, Winter Wonderland, and a host of outdoor seasonal activities for all ages! All activities are FREE except for the horse drawn carriage rides, which require reservations.

Winter Park Holiday Boat Parade

Saturday, December 19, 6:30pm – 8pm

Info: FREE parade. Find by Dinky Dock, or on the Rollins College campus behind the Cornell Fine Arts Museum to see the impressive boat and dock holiday decorations created by residents and local business sponsors.

Winter Wonderland of Lights

December 4, 5, 11 & 12, 7pm – 9pm

Winter Springs Town Center

Info: Drive through Central Winds Park and view holiday lights for FREE by the City and local businesses and organizations. In the middle of the route, wave to Santa at his workshop. Theme park events:

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Sun Nov 1, 9:00 AM - Thu Dec 31, 9:00 PM

Info: In Universal Studios Florida, Diagon Alley™ and London are transformed with festive décor and brilliant lighting. There are special holiday treats and drinks, the atmosphere is brimming with excitement and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees have a special show prepared just for the occasion.

Disney Very Merriest After Hours

Select Nights, Nov. 8 – Dec. 21, 2021

Info: Ready for a little holiday joy? At Walt Disney World® Resort, join Mickey and the gang select nights during Disney Very Merriest After Hours at Magic Kingdom® Park! Here, you can marvel at Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks show. See Santa, Olaf and some of your favorite Disney pals during Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. And not only will you enjoy shorter wait times on over 20 attractions — but there’s also a sleigh full of character moments, magical “snowfalls” and complimentary treats.

EPCOT® International Festival of the Holidays

Daily, Nov. 26 – Dec. 30, 2021

Info: Starting November 26 during EPCOT® International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth, you’ll be surrounded by the wondrous sights, sounds and flavors of the season. Savor treasured recipes from around the globe at Holiday Kitchens throughout the park … and embark on a sweet Holiday Cookie Stroll while you’re at it.

Holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

Nov. 12 – Dec. 30, 2021

Info: At Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, festive decor and decked-out flotillas with some of your favorite Disney Characters (and Santa) await. And when the evening comes, Beacons of Magic and Holiday Awakenings will alternate on the Tree of Life® … one shining with a warm and glorious light as enchanted fireflies gather to call forth the magic of nature; the other coming to life with a series of wintry tales, complemented by familiar and heartwarming holiday music.

Holidays at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort

Select Dates, Nov. 26 – Dec. 31, 2021

Info: At LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, this jolly time of year features a giant LEGO® Christmas tree, unforgettable seasonal shows, holiday characters, special treats, LEGO activities, twinkling lights and more during Holidays at LEGOLAND! An extra special gift for you: This festive event is included in general admission!

SeaWorld® Orlando’s Christmas Celebration™

Nov. 13, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022

Info: Gather your family and join all of your festive friends at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. SeaWorld Orlando transforms into a winter wonderland sparkling with holiday cheer, excitement and over 3 million beautiful lights. Experience award-winning entertainment like the showstopping ice-skating extravaganza, Winter Wonderland on Ice. Meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or head to Wild Arctic® and visit with Santa himself. Create unforgettable holiday memories with a magical Christmas celebration you can only find at SeaWorld, all included with park admission!