It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and you can find festive fun all over Central Florida.
As a community mainstay, we at the Zoo love to see how the Orlando area comes alive every year with so many unique takes on the holidays for families to enjoy. We also stay busy with our own special holiday celebration (see more below)!
From our world-famous theme parks’ all-out-festivities to local holiday traditions, there’s no shortage of things to do in holiday events this winter. Here are some of our favorite can’t-miss Orlando holiday events and activities that are sure to put you in a jolly mood.
One of the most popular and unique Orlando holiday events and experiences has returned to dazzle guests at the Zoo this holiday season! Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild, presented by Publix is back for its third year, and you won’t want to miss this celebration of traditional Asian culture. Experience the Zoo like never before as you explore a ¾-mile path to discover dozens of larger-than-life, hand-constructed illuminated lantern displays. This special take on Christmas lights in Orlando will leave you in awe of the colors and sound. The event runs on select nights from November 18, 2022, to January 15, 2023, and you can purchase your tickets online, here.
Central Florida locals love to visit our friends over at Wekiva Island year-round for its natural beauty and outdoor activities, and The Island’s holiday offerings don’t disappoint. All December long, Wekiva Island transforms to host Winter Wonderland, a month-long celebration full of things to do near Orlando. Winter Wonderland kicks off on December 2 when Santa and Mrs. Claus visit Wekiva Island for the Tree Lighting Ceremony to help light the grand 30-foot-tall Christmas tree. Breakfast with Santa and outdoor movie nights will keep kids in the holiday spirit. Adults can eat, drink and be merry at the exclusive VIP Party on December 17. To learn more about the lineup of joyful events, click here.
Master artisans come together to create a wonderland of sculpted ice for this iconic Orlando holiday event. This year, ICE! tells the story of the Grinch through colorful, grand ice sculptures. Gaylord Palms turns the temperature all the way down to 9 degrees Fahrenheit and provides their signature blue parkas to keep guests warm as they explore the immersive experience. Don’t forget to take a ride down the ice slide!
The famous Orlando attractions draw thousands of visitors to Central Florida every winter with their holiday offerings. Walt Disney World Resort goes all out and decorates the four theme parks with stunning lights, trees and much more. Their events for families in Orlando are sure to create magical memories visitors and residents alike will never forget. Universal Orlando Resort hosts the Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, Grinchmas and a holiday tree hunt that are great things to do in Florida with kids this holiday season.
For a relaxing holiday experience, visit Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs for a beautiful display of holiday lights. The Light up the Holidays event kicks off on December 3 with live music, dance performances and a spectacular fireworks display. All month long, the park spreads holiday cheer with sparkling Orlando Christmas light displays, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, concerts and movies.
One things is for sure. We love making our home in beautiful Sanford! Historic Downtown Sanford comes to life every year with holiday happenings. The town hosts a Parade of Lights with exciting holiday floats and music and a Holiday Window Display contest for local businesses. Just strolling through the quaint downtown and doing some holiday shopping at the local boutiques is enough to put you in the spirit. Visiting Sanford during the holidays promises plenty of fun family activities makes it clear why residents love calling this Central Florida town home.
The holidays are full of fun Orlando holiday events for kids and adults to enjoy this winter, and we know you’ll make magical memories this season. With the cooler weather moving in, we hope to see you soon for a fun and educational day at the best zoo in Florida!