23 essential holiday activities in Orlando everyone should do at least once

We've rounded up all the best wintertime activities in the Central Florida area. From celebrating Christmas with Mickey to seeing real snow in Florida we've included every winter wonderland we know.

Scroll down to view images
Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail 
Nov. 8-Jan. 6
Holiday display of Christmas trees, along with Santa's Chalet and other activities. disneysprings.com.
Photo via Disney Springs

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail

Nov. 8-Jan. 6
Holiday display of Christmas trees, along with Santa's Chalet and other activities. disneysprings.com.


Photo via Disney Springs
Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland 
Nov. 8-Jan. 6
Wekiva Island gets decked out in holiday spirit with snow slides, movies, train rides, Santa Claus visits and more. wekivaisland.com.
Photo via Wekiva Island/Facebook

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland

Nov. 8-Jan. 6
Wekiva Island gets decked out in holiday spirit with snow slides, movies, train rides, Santa Claus visits and more. wekivaisland.com.


Photo via Wekiva Island/Facebook
The Stetson Mansion 
Nov. 15-Jan. 15
Fun fact, the Victorians actually started many of our modern Christmas traditions, including gift giving and Christmas trees. Therefore, it would only be fitting to visit this 1880’s Victorian mansion all decorated for the holidays. A tour costs $25, and reservations are required. stetsonmansion.com.
Photo via Stetson Mansion Tours/Facebook

The Stetson Mansion

Nov. 15-Jan. 15
Fun fact, the Victorians actually started many of our modern Christmas traditions, including gift giving and Christmas trees. Therefore, it would only be fitting to visit this 1880’s Victorian mansion all decorated for the holidays. A tour costs $25, and reservations are required. stetsonmansion.com.


Photo via Stetson Mansion Tours/Facebook
Christmas at Gaylord Palms 
Nov. 16-Jan.6
Gaylord Palms has a wide variety of events they put on for the holidays, including snow tubing in real snow. Their most popular event is ICE!, an annual walkthrough of ice sculptures and ice slides. This year’s theme is Christmas Around the World. For adults, tubing is $20 and ICE! is $30. marriott.com.
Photo via Gaylord Hotels/Facebook

Christmas at Gaylord Palms

Nov. 16-Jan.6
Gaylord Palms has a wide variety of events they put on for the holidays, including snow tubing in real snow. Their most popular event is ICE!, an annual walkthrough of ice sculptures and ice slides. This year’s theme is Christmas Around the World. For adults, tubing is $20 and ICE! is $30. marriott.com.


Photo via Gaylord Hotels/Facebook
Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest 
Nov. 17-Dec.22
No one celebrates the holidays quite like Disney, the world’s superpower for fun. At their Epcot theme park, you can find a number of novel attractions, including the decked out decorations of their 11 ‘nations’: mini-Mexico, Norway, Canada, and more. And yes, that does include holiday-themed menus. Included with admission, 1-day tickets are $99. 
santaschristmastreeforest.com.
Photo via Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest

Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest

Nov. 17-Dec.22
No one celebrates the holidays quite like Disney, the world’s superpower for fun. At their Epcot theme park, you can find a number of novel attractions, including the decked out decorations of their 11 ‘nations’: mini-Mexico, Norway, Canada, and more. And yes, that does include holiday-themed menus. Included with admission, 1-day tickets are $99. santaschristmastreeforest.com.


Photo via Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest
Seaworld’s Christmas Celebration 
Nov. 17-Dec. 31
Meet Rudolph and Santa, see christmas themed animal shows, and view christmas trees and lights display at this event included with admission to SeaWorld. seaworld.com.
Photo via SeaWorld Orlando

Seaworld’s Christmas Celebration

Nov. 17-Dec. 31
Meet Rudolph and Santa, see christmas themed animal shows, and view christmas trees and lights display at this event included with admission to SeaWorld. seaworld.com.


Photo via SeaWorld Orlando
Grab a drink at Frosty’s Christmas Time Lounge 
Open Year Round
For those who aren’t into the gift giving and tree decorating side of the holiday, come to Frosty’s to instead get into the Christmas spirit by getting blasted with Christmas-themed cocktails and beers. frostys-orlando.com.
Photo via Frosty’s Christmastime Lounge/Facebook

Grab a drink at Frosty’s Christmas Time Lounge

Open Year Round
For those who aren’t into the gift giving and tree decorating side of the holiday, come to Frosty’s to instead get into the Christmas spirit by getting blasted with Christmas-themed cocktails and beers. frostys-orlando.com.


Photo via Frosty’s Christmastime Lounge/Facebook
Light Up UCF 
Nov.17-Jan.1
Visit the CFE Arena for ice skating, light shows, carnival rides, and holiday films daily until Dec. 31st. Prices vary for skating and rides, but the films and light shows are free! Daily hours and events vary, so make sure you check their site before you head out. lightupucf.com.
Photo via Light Up UCF/Facebook

Light Up UCF

Nov.17-Jan.1
Visit the CFE Arena for ice skating, light shows, carnival rides, and holiday films daily until Dec. 31st. Prices vary for skating and rides, but the films and light shows are free! Daily hours and events vary, so make sure you check their site before you head out. lightupucf.com.


Photo via Light Up UCF/Facebook
Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter 
Nov. 17-Jan.6
Who doesn’t wish they could spend every Christmas at Hogwarts? While 75 degrees of Florida sunshine doesn’t exactly live up to the magic of haunted English castles, you can still relish in the Wizarding World’s Christmas light show at Hogsmeade Village and Diagon Alley. universalorlando.com.
Photo via Universal Orlando

Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Nov. 17-Jan.6
Who doesn’t wish they could spend every Christmas at Hogwarts? While 75 degrees of Florida sunshine doesn’t exactly live up to the magic of haunted English castles, you can still relish in the Wizarding World’s Christmas light show at Hogsmeade Village and Diagon Alley. universalorlando.com.


Photo via Universal Orlando
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays 
Nov. 18-Dec.30
No one celebrates the holidays quite like Disney, the world’s superpower for fun. At their Epcot theme park, you can find a number of novel attractions, including the decked out decorations of their 11 ‘nations’: mini-Mexico, Norway, Canada, and more. And yes, that does include holiday-themed menus. Included with admission, 1-day tickets are $99. disneyworld.disney.go.com.
Photo via rowanb73/Instagram

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

Nov. 18-Dec.30
No one celebrates the holidays quite like Disney, the world’s superpower for fun. At their Epcot theme park, you can find a number of novel attractions, including the decked out decorations of their 11 ‘nations’: mini-Mexico, Norway, Canada, and more. And yes, that does include holiday-themed menus. Included with admission, 1-day tickets are $99. disneyworld.disney.go.com.


Photo via rowanb73/Instagram
Pinewood Estate 
Nov. 23-Jan. 6
Take a step back in time as you tour this 20-room 1930’s estate and see how families celebrated the holidays in a bygone era. Admission is $25 for adults and $12 for kids over 5. Hours go from 10a.m. to 5p.m. boktowergardens.org.
Photo via Visit Central Florida

Pinewood Estate

Nov. 23-Jan. 6
Take a step back in time as you tour this 20-room 1930’s estate and see how families celebrated the holidays in a bygone era. Admission is $25 for adults and $12 for kids over 5. Hours go from 10a.m. to 5p.m. boktowergardens.org.


Photo via Visit Central Florida
Winter Garden’s Tis The Season 
Nov. 24-Dec. 22
Winter Garden offers a whole month of events in December, including a Christmas Farmer’s Market, light shows, the Santa Run, and horse-drawn carriage rides. cwgdn.com.
Photo via thewmagazine/Instagram

Winter Garden’s Tis The Season

Nov. 24-Dec. 22
Winter Garden offers a whole month of events in December, including a Christmas Farmer’s Market, light shows, the Santa Run, and horse-drawn carriage rides. cwgdn.com.


Photo via thewmagazine/Instagram
Celebration Town Center 
Nov. 25-Dec. 31
If you’re one of the native-born Floridians desperately wishing you could see snow, this nightly event at Celebration Town Center may be the answer. In addition to an ice skating rink, every night through Dec. 31 visitors can experience "snow" falling on the street. celebrationtowncenter.com.
Photo via Experience Kissimmee/Facebook

Celebration Town Center

Nov. 25-Dec. 31
If you’re one of the native-born Floridians desperately wishing you could see snow, this nightly event at Celebration Town Center may be the answer. In addition to an ice skating rink, every night through Dec. 31 visitors can experience "snow" falling on the street. celebrationtowncenter.com.


Photo via Experience Kissimmee/Facebook
Lake Eola 
Nov. 30-Jan.6
Through Jan. 6, evenings at Lake Eola will come alive with Christmas music, decorations, and a holiday light show. So bring a blanket, lay out, and enjoy hearing favorites like “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town”. Check their website for additional events, like a special appearance from the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra. cityoforlando.net.
Photo via City of Orlando

Lake Eola

Nov. 30-Jan.6
Through Jan. 6, evenings at Lake Eola will come alive with Christmas music, decorations, and a holiday light show. So bring a blanket, lay out, and enjoy hearing favorites like “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town”. Check their website for additional events, like a special appearance from the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra. cityoforlando.net.


Photo via City of Orlando
Winterclub Indoor Ski and Snowboard 
Open Year Round
Ski and snowboard without ever leaving the comfort of the indoors. Although it may cost you $49 minimum for a 60 minute session, it’s definitely cheaper than those expensive ski lodge trips that some people take this time of year. Plus, this place is open year-round. winterclubski.com.
Photo via Winter Club Indoor Ski and Snowboard/Facebook

Winterclub Indoor Ski and Snowboard

Open Year Round
Ski and snowboard without ever leaving the comfort of the indoors. Although it may cost you $49 minimum for a 60 minute session, it’s definitely cheaper than those expensive ski lodge trips that some people take this time of year. Plus, this place is open year-round. winterclubski.com.


Photo via Winter Club Indoor Ski and Snowboard/Facebook
Winter in the Park 
Until Jan.1
One staple of winter time is ice skating, and usually Floridians are limited in their participation. However, each year Winter Park hosts an ice rink in Central Park West Meadow. You can skate around for $13 (price includes skates). cityofwinterpark.org.
Photo via City of Winter Park/Facebook

Winter in the Park

Until Jan.1
One staple of winter time is ice skating, and usually Floridians are limited in their participation. However, each year Winter Park hosts an ice rink in Central Park West Meadow. You can skate around for $13 (price includes skates). cityofwinterpark.org.


Photo via City of Winter Park/Facebook
Deck the Downtown 
Dec. 1-30
For the whole month of December, Downtown Orlando is getting a Christmas-themed makeover. Take a walk along Lake Eola or stroll through the downtown business center; you just might believe you’re rolling right through the North Pole. Maps of decorated areas are available at the Downtown Information Center, on 400 S Orange Ave. cityoforlando.net.
Photo via City of Orlando/Facebook

Deck the Downtown

Dec. 1-30
For the whole month of December, Downtown Orlando is getting a Christmas-themed makeover. Take a walk along Lake Eola or stroll through the downtown business center; you just might believe you’re rolling right through the North Pole. Maps of decorated areas are available at the Downtown Information Center, on 400 S Orange Ave. cityoforlando.net.


Photo via City of Orlando/Facebook
Legoland’s Christmas Brick-tacular 
Dec. 1-31
Taking place each weekend up to and including Christmas, this annual holiday celebration is home to a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree made entirely of thousands of Lego bricks, as well as meet-and-greets with Lego Santa. The event is included with park admission, with upgrades such as a fireworks dessert party available. legoland.com.
Photo via LEGOLAND Florida/Facebook

Legoland’s Christmas Brick-tacular

Dec. 1-31
Taking place each weekend up to and including Christmas, this annual holiday celebration is home to a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree made entirely of thousands of Lego bricks, as well as meet-and-greets with Lego Santa. The event is included with park admission, with upgrades such as a fireworks dessert party available. legoland.com.


Photo via LEGOLAND Florida/Facebook
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 
Dec. 7-21
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at the happiest place on earth on select nights through Dec. 22. In addition to Disney’s nightly christmas parade, guests can see special shows and fireworks, meet characters in their festive outfits, grab some holiday treats, and ride Magic Kingdom attractions. Tickets start at $89 per person. disneyworld.disney.go.
Photo via Comfort Inn Maingate/Facebook

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Dec. 7-21
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at the happiest place on earth on select nights through Dec. 22. In addition to Disney’s nightly christmas parade, guests can see special shows and fireworks, meet characters in their festive outfits, grab some holiday treats, and ride Magic Kingdom attractions. Tickets start at $89 per person. disneyworld.disney.go.


Photo via Comfort Inn Maingate/Facebook
Singing Christmas Trees 
Dec. 7-16
Take a trip to First Baptist Orlando and see the ‘singing Christmas trees’ - 45-foot marvels of engineering, complete with stacked rings of choir singers, hidden below the neck so as to make their heads appear as ornaments. Human heads decorating a Christmas tree? Now that’s the Christmas spirit! If that’s not exciting enough, then how about the 250,000 Christmas lights to boot? firstorlando.com.
Photo via First Baptist Church Orlando

Singing Christmas Trees

Dec. 7-16
Take a trip to First Baptist Orlando and see the ‘singing Christmas trees’ - 45-foot marvels of engineering, complete with stacked rings of choir singers, hidden below the neck so as to make their heads appear as ornaments. Human heads decorating a Christmas tree? Now that’s the Christmas spirit! If that’s not exciting enough, then how about the 250,000 Christmas lights to boot? firstorlando.com.


Photo via First Baptist Church Orlando
Page 1 of 2