The holidays are here! From dazzling lights to festive shows, there are so many fun seasonal events happening in our area that you don’t want to miss. Check out our festive guide to 10 holiday events in Central Florida this season ⬇
*To purchase tickets or read further details, please click on the title of the event.
Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens | Nov 17-Jan 14
The Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild is Central Florida’s own take on the historic lantern festivals of Asia. This first-of-its-kind Orlando event is brought to life in partnership with Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc., a leader in event design from Zigong, Sichuan, China.
Guests at the festival can wander through a luminous display of over 30 grand light-up sculptures. These sculptures celebrate animals, plants, and iconic Chinese themes. The festival also offers a taste of local foods and drinks, live music, and the chance to purchase unique crafts made by artisans. Additionally, the event promises an immersive cultural experience, blending the traditional with the modern in a spectacular evening setting.
Gaylord Palms | Nov 17-Jan 3
Take a delightful trip into the magical world of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’ carved from more than two million pounds of ice! This is one of the most unique holiday events in Central Florida! ICE! lets you slide down two-story-tall ice slides, walk through tunnels and archways made of ice, and see bright, lively scenes with the well-known Peanuts characters like Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and their friends. Over 40 skilled ice artists from around the world take six weeks to carefully carve about 6,700 ice blocks, each weighing 300 pounds, to put together this undeniably amazing 20,000-square-foot ice wonderland.
Harry P. Leu Gardens | Nov 17-Jan 6
Dazzling Nights turns Leu Gardens into a breathtaking winter wonderland with radiant lights, enchanting exhibits, music, and exquisite sculptures. This season, visitors are welcomed back by some of the most loved features. Enjoy Moroccan Lanterns that glow along tree-lined paths, interactive lights with each leap and bound, a 70-foot-long light tunnel, an interactive space with 8-foot-tall rollable ornaments, laser-lit paths, and snowfalls throughout the evening.
The event will also unveil new attractions! New this year: a night show with 100 light pillars, a 30-foot sequin tree, and a Wintery Florida display crafted by the talented Leu Gardens Horticulture Team. Besides these visual delights, there will be delicious sweet treats to savor and a selection of holiday and adult drinks to enjoy.
Celebration Town Center | Nov 25-Dec 31
Central Florida’s first and biggest “snowing” event brings a unique winter experience. It hosts one of the few synthetic ice rinks around, performances by local youth, and special concerts. This month-long event turns into a Winter Wonderland Spectacular every evening! There are roaming carolers, Santa photo ops, horse-drawn carriage rides, train rides, ice skating, and snow falling each hour. It’s a nostalgic nod to classic family holiday celebrations.
In addition to the regular activities, the event includes a Holiday-themed Art Festival (Celebration Art Walk) on December 3rd. On the 10th, the Hearts of Reality event brings together over 100 celebrities from shows like Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and The Circle. This special gathering is held to support Give Kids The World.
Wekiva Island | Dec 1-25
The eagerly awaited Winter Wonderland is here! You’ll love the daily “snow” falls, forest of Christmas trees with a 24-ft tall centerpiece, and beloved Christmas character visits. Additionally, for the first time, Santa is opening his Workshop at Wekiva Island for all the good boys and girls!
The island is donating to Kids House of Seminole to help children in need this holiday season. Help make the season bright for our community by bringing new, unwrapped toys to the Island until Dec 6.They’ll also be offering specials and discounts at its General Store, along with free gift wrapping for any presents you bring. Relax with a drink while the island elves take care of the wrapping.
Lake Nona Town Center | Dec 7-23
Lake Nona Town Center becomes Peppermint Square for their 6th Oh, What Fun! holiday event. Expect delightful snowfalls, lively entertainment, and unique photo opportunities. Oh, What Fun! will captivate and charm you as one of the top holiday events in Central Florida.
On Fridays, experience Santa’s Toy Box Live Acrobatics Show—a 20-minute North Pole adventure with circus performers including aerialists, gymnasts, and dancers.
Saturdays are for Peppermint Square Snow Days at “Lake Snow-na.” The Town Center turns into a snowy paradise. Slide down the snow tube, enjoy snow-themed shows, and savor frosty treats.
Sundays are Family Fun Days, packed with activities suitable for all ages. The day ends with performances from local school groups, perfect for a family evening.
Dr. Phillips Center | Dec 8-24
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, Orlando Ballet announces the premiere of a spectacular new version of The Nutcracker. This will be the biggest-ever production by an Orlando arts group. It includes new choreography, extraordinary costumes, incredible sets, and magical stage effects.
This fresh take on the classic tale of a young girl’s cherished Christmas gift, crafted by the town’s toymaker, is set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. It’s designed to start new holiday traditions for years ahead.
Artistic Director, Jorden Morris, spent three years reimagining the production. He collaborated with top designers, including Associate Artistic Director Lisa Thorn Morris, acclaimed Costume and Set Designer Robert Perdziola, and Lighting Designer Joseph Walls.
Downtown Orlando | Dec 9
It’s time to bar crawl in your favorite Christmas gear, from Santa hats to ugly sweaters, while spreading holiday cheer! This year, Orlando Pub Crawl will be donating a portion of the proceeds to HOPE Helps, aiming to support families in Orlando with a minimum donation of $2000.
Check-in at Hooch on Wall St Plaza then visit the following venues: Casey’s, Stagger Inn, Eden Lounge, The Patio, Aero, Corner Bar, Chillers, High Tide, Cahoots, Wall St Cantina, Wai Tiki, Hooch, Shine, and Other Bar. *Times can be found on website.
Tickets include admission, 4 complimentary Coors/Miller Lite, Tito’s Vodka cocktails, or Crown Apple shots (discounted rates to follow), and free soda with the purchase of a slice of pizza from Planet Pizza.
Amway Center | Dec 13, 7:30 pm
Snag tickets to see the three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning and Daytime EMMY® Award-nominated vocal group, Pentatonix, at the Amway Center! This fall, Pentatonix released their 12th album and seventh holiday collection, The Greatest Christmas Hits. It includes 23 of their most popular holiday tracks and eight new songs – featuring an original holiday piece!
Pentatonix, known for their unique and groundbreaking A Cappella style, have revolutionized vocal music. Since their debut in 2011, members Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado, Kevin Olusola, and Matt Sallee have achieved extraordinary success. They’ve sold over 10 million albums worldwide, garnered billions of streams, and performed at prestigious venues and events including The White House, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and The Hollywood Bowl.
The Nook on Robinson | Dec 17
Milk Mart’s annual holiday market is coming up on December 17th! It’s the perfect lazy Sunday destination and stop to add to your holiday events in Central Florida. As both an indoor and outdoor market, it’s filled with local and handmade goods, food trucks, music, and fun. As the holidays approach, it’s the ideal spot for last-minute shopping. Stop by for a festive day of eating, shopping, and being merry at Milk Mart! They’re hosting over 250 local vendors, artists, and businesses, ensuring you’ll find something special for everyone on your list.