With year-round summer it seems a little crazy to think about a 75-degree sunny Florida during your holiday vacation. However, in Orlando, Florida we locals have figured out getting in the festive season even though we don’t have snow and cold to remind us that its’ winter. Here are some of the best ways to celebrate the Holidays in Orlando, Florida in 2022.
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Weather During The Holidays In Orlando
Florida winter is special while we do get a few cold days a year that dip into freezing temperatures we honestly have a pleasant winter where swimming year-round is a possibility.
December, January, and February often have high temperatures around 74 degrees, and lows averaging 51-54 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity is at an all-time low during the winter, which makes it pleasant to experience the outdoor holiday festivities.
How To Celebrate the holidays in Orlando Florida Beyond The Parks
Give Kids The World Night Of A Million Lights at Island H20
This is a favorite since it debuted in 2020 when the non-profit Give Kids The World celebrates in a big way by creating a light spectacular. Not only will you get amazing photos and videos for your Florida holiday memories, but you will also be giving back to a great cause. It was named by USA Today as being the number 1 thing to do in December in Orlando, Florida.
Tickets: $30 on non-peak dates for Adults and $15 For Kids
Peak Date $35 for Adults and $18 for kids
Holiday Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for kids
When? Nov 11, 2022 – Jan 1, 2023
Dazzling Nights At Harry P Leu Gardens
Explore Harry P. Leu Gardens at night below dazzling lights to celebrate the holidays in Orlando. Over 1 million lights take over the gardens and make for a magical experience beyond the parks. Orlando during the holidays is special because we can enjoy our gardens and the outdoors year-round.
When? Nov 25 – January 1, 2023
Tickets: $25 per adult, $22 per child ages 3-13 years old, click dazzlingorlando.com
Gaylord Palms Ice! Featuring how the Grinch Stole Christmas
The holidays beyond visiting the parks in Orlando are special because we have to find ways to make it feel like its’ winter. That is where Gaylord Palms comes through with their 20,000-square-foot experience Ice! This year the theme is “ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and my inner child is here for it.
The ice sculptures are carved out of 2 million pounds of ice over 7000 miles away in Harbin, China. Stay warm with a cup of hot cocoa and wear the signature blue parkas for guests to escape the 9-degree Fahrenheit weather.
There is also a Cirque-style Christmas show during the evenings (separate ticket) called “Cirque: Spirit of Christmas). Make it an evening at the Gaylord and have a staycation or make it the perfect place to stay if you are visiting Orlando for the Holidays.
If you want more winter fun, check out the Snow Flow and hop on a tube down an ice slide.
When? Nov 18- Jan 1, 2023
Tickets: $23.99 for Kids and $36.99/$40 for Adults for ICE!
Cirque is $4.99 on weekdays for kids, $13.99 for kids on weekends, $7.99 on weekdays for adults, and $19.99 for adults on weekends and peak dates in December.
Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art
The Festival of Trees at Orlando Museum of Art is celebrating its’ 36 years in Central Florida. With over 40 designer-inspired trees, wreaths, and more this will surely fill you with holiday spirit.
See exquisite gingerbread houses, enjoy pop-up shops, and have a meal in the onsite cafe after you enjoyed the art. The Council of 101 hosts the event each year at the Orlando Museum of Art and they have donated over $13 million since 1986 to support the museum.
Many events occur for the holidays at the Orlando Museum of Art including Breakfast with Santa on Nov 12 and Nov 19, 20. (Click here to purchase tickets for Breakfast with Santa) as well as the Reindeer Romp – Friday, November 18th – 5 pm-8:30 pm and Family day with an Ugly Sweater theme Saturday, November 10 am- 5 pm.
Tickets: Adult $20, Children $12, Senior $12, and Military personnel $12
When? Nov 11-22, 2022
Orlando Tree Lighting Ceremony Lake Eola
Every year the Mayor of Orlando hosts the Orlando Tree Lighting Ceremony. With nutcrackers lining up towards a gigantic tree located right off the famous Lake Eola this event will surely put you in the holiday spirit.
The 72 Foot tree towers above Washington Square Plaza and gets all lit up on Dec 2, 2022. From 5 pm – 9 pm, there will be festivities, entertainment, food trucks, and holiday cheer. Plus this event is FREE!
Winter Park Boat Parade and Water Ski Extravaganza
Nothing screams spending the holidays in Florida like the Winter Park Boat Parade. Where else could you enjoy amazing weather, and sun, and still get a boat day, but make it Christmas with lights adorning boats? The parade takes a route through Lake Virginia and viewers can post up at Dinky Dock Park, which has been decorated by residents and businesses.
Not only that, Winter Park hosts a water skiing extravaganza where water skiers don their favorite holiday suits. The holiday festivities are organized by The Rotary Club of Winter Park and offer prizes to the best-decorated boats.
Snow in Celebration Florida
I have been a fan of the snow and festivities in the most picturesque town in Central Florida- Celebration. Each year they have snow on Main Street nightly on the hour starting at 6 pm and ending at 9 pm. Have a traditional white Christmas (well if you count suds of soap as snow), and even enjoy a horse-drawn carriage, train rides, and ice skating.
Young ones and families can also enjoy photos with Santa. Plus, Celebration offers a lot of great restaurants like Colombia Restaurant which always has the best decorations.
When? Nov 26- Dec 31, 2022
Oh What Fun at Lake Nona
One of the favorite winter festivals in Central Florida is located in Lake Nona. Another place where you can see “snow” in Central Florida, with live entertainment, have photo ops, and story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Cottage.
The closest thing you can find to a Christmas market is the holiday market at Lake Nona. After you find your holiday trinkets, head through the Christmas tree lane up til the main 24-foot Christmas tree.
If you want a traditional holiday celebration this is a great way to enjoy carolers, local school performances, and live shows with musical holiday music. Plus, enjoy food and fun at Boxi Park with food stalls, bars, and a great place to enjoy “Florida winter”.
When? Dec 7-24,2022
Ivanhoe Village Jingle Eve
Jingle eve is a celebration of the holidays on Nov 19, 2022, located in Ivanhoe village. Holiday festivities in this Orlando neighborhood span from Orange Avenue to Virginia Drive. Enjoy meandering the streets were food vendors, beer gardens, craft vendors, and more come alive to create an amazing night exploring some local Orlando businesses.
Get some unique crafts to spruce up your tree, or give them as holiday gifts for Secret Santa. There is also some adult fun that happens at this event with a 12-wine Christmas walk. While I will stick to the hot chocolate and warm apple cider this is sure to be a great night out with friends.
When? Nov 19, 2022
Tickets: Free unless you are going to do the wine walk for $50.
Visit Fort Christmas in Christmas, Florida
Want a fun and quirky way to celebrate the holidays and take them outdoors? Head to Fort Christmas State Park in Christmas, Florida. Free, Fun, and educational plus it has Christmas in its name so it could not be left off the list of things to do in Central Florida for the holidays.
Located 20 miles east of Orlando it makes for a quick day trip to enjoy a quirky way to get in the holiday spirit in Florida. Why is it named Fort Christmas? On Dec 25 1837 soldiers arrived to start construction of the fort and named it after the day of their arrival. After perusing the fort head out to check out the quirky and aptly named streets: Cupid, Blitzen, and St. Nicholas Avenues. Also, don’t forget to send out your holiday postcards from here!