🔓Ultimate Holiday Guide: County-by-county events

Tree lightings, holiday events and more in your community

With the calendar flipping to December, holiday events are in full swing. Before you know it we will usher in a new year.

No matter where you live around Central Florida, gather your family and friends and head out to enjoy an event near you.

Click on your county below to skip down to your local events.

Orange County

2nd Annual Costumes for Christmas (12/11)

Members of the public are invited to attend Jeremiah Hope children’s costume Christmas party sponsored by DJ Khaled’s The Licking Orlando location. The Christmas party will take place on Saturday, December 11, 2021, from 10am – 1 pm at Rosemont Community Center located at 4872 Rose Bay Drive, Orlando, Florida 32808. There will be karaoke, ornament decorating, a station for children to make Christmas cards for children at the local hospital, and much more. The mission of Jeremiah’s Hope is “to serve as an advocate and support to families living with and impacted by critical childhood diseases.” For more information about Jeremiah’s Hope, call Jeremiah’s Hope at 407-986-1149.

Lake Eola Park (12/3)

On Dec. 3, Orlando’s 72-foot Christmas tree will be lit up at Lake Eola’s Washington plaza. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will include holiday performances at the Walt Disney Amphitheater, as well as food trucks and a holiday market. (512 E Washington Street, Orlando)

I-Drive District Holiday Tree Lighting (12/1)

I-Drive will have a glittering 50-foot holiday tree lighting ceremony. Expect special performances by I-Ride Trolley Chorus, Dr. Phillips High School Dance in Motion Company and Orlando Ballet. The ceremony will be held on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m., and the tree will be available for viewing until New Year’s Day. Free (8375 International Drive, Orlando)

Lake Nona Town Center (11/26-1/2)

Pay a visit to the Lake Nona Town Center peppermint forest tree lot, Santa’s cottage, and starlight stage until Jan. 2. There’ll be a chance to capture the perfect family photo in front of a 24-foot Christmas tree at peppermint square. Free (6900 Tavistock Lakes Boulevard, Lake Nona)

Leu Gardens (11/19-1/9)

Leu Gardens’ 50-acre lush greenery will transform into a holiday wonderland with its Dazzling Nights event. Lights can be seen from Nov. 19 to Jan. 9, and tickets must be purchased in advance. 1920 N. Forest Avenue, Orlando

City of Apopka Tree Lighting (12/2)

The City of Apopka welcomes guests to join in on the annual Tree Lighting, as they light up Kit Land Nelson Park for the holidays. Plan to shop at the Apopka Farmers Market: Holiday Market while enjoying the sounds of the season. Pictures with Santa and more. You are encouraged to bring ring an unwrapped toy (all ages) to this event. Free 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (10 N Forest Avenue, Apopka)

Meet Mr. & Mrs. Claus plus the Grinch (12/10)

Meet Mr. & Mrs. Claus plus the Grinch! Head to the Ballroom at the Pavilion for photos with Santa, the Grinch, craft making, snacks, and holiday music! 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (13401 Tanja King Boulevard, Orlando)

Bass Pro’s Santa Wonderland (11/6-12/24)

Experience the magic of Christmas at Santa’s Wonderland! Families who visit Santa receive a free 4x6 studio-quality photo, as well as a free digital video greeting card to share on social media. During your visit, families can mail their letters to Santa and receive free giveaways while supplies last. Families can also enjoy the amazing aquariums and wildlife displays found in every Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s store. Free (5156 International Drive, Orlando)

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll

Discover a collection of elaborately decorated Disney Christmas trees at the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll. Almost every tree is themed to a beloved Disney character and story with trees spread throughout three Disney Springs neighborhoods. Ready to see them all? Pick up a Disney Christmas Tree Stroll map activity and enjoy the sights and sounds of holidays as you meander through a winter wonderland. This complimentary activity can be picked up at participating locations throughout Disney Springs. Once you complete your scavenger hunt, bring it to a redemption location for a special surprise. Free (1486 Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista)

Orlando’s Jingle Trees 11/27-12/27)

Jingle Trees is Orlando’s premier Christmas Tree Decorating Contest with a display of dozens of live Christmas Trees in Ivanhoe Village in conjunction with weekly family events throughout December. On various dates throughout the month, there are family-friendly vendors, scavenger hunts, Santa, dancing with the Sugarplum Fairy, and more. This event is free to the public! (1236 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando)

Merry Christmas Extravaganza (12/3)

It’s fun for the whole family with free bicycles (need to register 321-586-3902), photos with Santa, Mrs. Santa and Three Kings, unique props, music, Christmas food and goodies, lights, and much more. Kids free, adults $5. (14152 Boggy Creek Road, Orlando)

Holiday Market (12/4)

Come out to Back to Nature’s one-of-a-kind Holiday Market on Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shop unique gifts and enjoy delicious food from our local craft, food and market vendors. Take your own photos with Santa Claus and The Grinch inside Santa’s Enchanted Forest. Plus enjoy story time tails with Mrs. Claus and her woodland friends inside Mrs.Claus’ Cottage. Kids’ activities include crafts, face painting, and wildlife encounters. Play to win raffle prizes and holiday gifts. Admission is free, Santa’s Enchanted Forest is $5 per person ages 4 and over. (10525 Clapp Simms Duda Road, Orlando)

City of Maitland’s Season of Light (12/4)

Celebrate the holidays with snow, fireworks, Santa, games, festive music and much more at the City of Maitland’s Season of Light event from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Lake Lily Park. The annual tradition will feature holiday decorations and performances from Maitland Middle School, Dommerich Elementary School, Suzuki Music Institute and Chance 2 Dance. Take photos with Santa. Slide down a snow-covered hill. Enjoy carnival games with prizes. Catch the grand tree lighting on Lake Lily. Then wrap up the evening with fireworks at 8 p.m. Food and craft vendors will be available. Admission is free. (701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland)

Reindeer Games at MGV Sports Complex (12/4)

There’s Dasher and Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, but that’s not the only reindeer games we know of (and no they aren’t talking about Rudolph). Orlando’s Vibe Dealer, Ronnie Hartfield and State Representative Travaris McCurdy are bringing are starting off the Holiday season with something fun for the whole family “Reindeer Games”. With field day games, vendors, live music, food trucks and holiday cheer. Santa Claus will be out there so hopefully, no one is on the naughty list! This event is free for everyone from age one to 92 so be sure to rsvp (407-445-5254) because all they want for Christmas is you. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (7334 Riverside Place, Orlando)

Town of Oakland’s “2021 Santa’s Lane” (12/4)

The Town of Oakland’s “2021 Santa’s Lane” event is returning bigger and jollier than ever with more lights and new activities. At “Santa’s Lane,” guests will have the opportunity to sit with Santa and the elves once again for a jolly photo and they will even get to go home with a special treat from the North Pole, while supplies last. Plus, guests can see Santa’s arrival in a horse-drawn carriage from the comfort of their homes. With more than double the lights of previous years, families will be treated to a new and festive display of twinkling lights, A DJ will play merry music, a Snow Zone where guests will play in flurries of snow on, *”Rudolph Rides,” allowing guests to meet, pet and ride ponies dressed for the holiday season, Holiday photo backdrops throughout the event, milk & cookies, crafts, games and much more. Free. 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Fort Christmas’ Cracker Christmas (12/4-12/5)

Experience early 1800-1900′s Florida in the Country at Cracker Christmas. Stroll through 5-acres as you experience pioneer demonstrations, a full-size replica of Fort Christmas with seven restored historical homes preserve the ‘Cracker’ architecture of East Orange County. The houses are interpreted to show pioneer life from the 1870s through the 1930s. The park includes a replica of a fort built in 1837 during the Second Seminole Indian War; a traditional Florida “Cracker” house and eight pioneer homes; a schoolhouse and lunchroom; a sugar cane mill and other historical farming equipment. Local vendors will be selling gator meat, stew, biscuits, and more! Guests can also purchase holiday keepsakes from our vendors that are nostalgic such as historical toys, games, books, candy, and other unique items. Free 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (1300 North Fort Christmas Road, Orlando)

Gatorland’s Holiday Ho Ho Ho-Down (12/4-12/19 weekends)

Come out to the “Alligator Capital of the World” and enjoy holiday festivities at Gatorland’s Holiday Ho, Ho Ho-Down event weekends starting Dec. 4 through the 19. Enjoy family-friendly holiday un, included in the regular price of admission. The event will feature holiday displays, interactive characters, the most Floridian holiday photo opportunity of the season with Gatorland’s own Gator Claus, on his very unique sleigh, his merry elves, and the Krampus Croc along with other holiday characters. Specialty festive food items will also be available for purchase. And be sure to visit the craft vendors and award-winning Gatorland gift shop to find that perfect holiday gift for anyone on your list. And of course, all the alligators, animals and awesomeness that a day at Gatorland has to offer. The event is included with Gatorland Park admission. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (14501 S Orange Blossom Trl, Orlando)

Lake Nona Social Winter Wonderland Festival (12/18-12/19)

Snow is coming to Lake Nona for the first time! Let it Snow is a Winter Wonderland Festival featuring a dual 100-foot long Snow Slide, “snow” flurries, Santa’s Village, FroZone with winter princess, LED Dance party, and more, Santa’s Village, Cirque performers, holiday market, a hidden village by the North Pole filled with magical characters, holiday crafts, food trucks, reindeer games, photos with Santa, live entertainment, as well as plenty more exciting activities and attractions. $11.99 and up (14086 Centerline Drive, Orlando)


Seminole County

Casselberry Tree Lighting Ceremony (12/4)

The City of Casselberry is hosting its annual tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, December 4, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Lake Concord Park, behind City Hall. It’s going to be a night of great singing and holiday festivities. South Seminole Academy, Winter Springs Elementary, Lake Howell High School and Emerging Dance Academy will be performing and Santa Claus will be there to turn on the tree lights. Besides the singing and dancing, there will be a host of children’s activities and vendors, and attendees can take free portrait style photos with Santa using their own cameras. Parking is available at adjacent businesses. Free (95 Triplet Lake Drive, Casselberry)

Lake Mary’s Holiday in the Park (12/3)

Hosted at Central Park on Dec. 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., this event will feature a holiday tree lighting ceremony, dancing light show and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus. There will also be plenty of activities such as a winter maze, balloon artists, holiday carolers, food vendors and more. Free (100 N. Country Club Rd., Lake Mary)

Altamonte Springs’ Light Up the Holidays (12/4)

Live music, fireworks, train rides and Santa will all be present at Cranes Roost Park on Dec. 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Take a stroll surrounded by 200,000 lights and pay a visit to a 60-foot Christmas tree, decorated with thousands of ornaments. (150 Cranes Roost Blvd. Suite 2200, Altamonte Springs)

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland (12/3-12/31)

Winter Wonderland has been supersized and the sparkling Christmas Tree Forest will feature a 20-foot Christmas tree. There are nightly “snow” flurries, sparkling holiday décor, visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus, The Grinch, Cindy Lou, and other special characters, sleigh rides on the water, arts and craft days, holiday movies, stilt walkers, tree forest trail, tree lighting ceremony, live music, stories with Mrs. Claus, breakfast with Santa, and SNOW much more for the whole family to enjoy. Winter Wonderland is open to the public with a $2 admission fee, and select events require an additional ticket. Throughout the month, the venue will be filling canoes with toys donated to Toys for Tots. (1014 Miami Springs Drive, Longwood)

City of Altamonte Springs’ Light Up the Holidays (12/4)

The City of Altamonte Springs will celebrate the tradition of lighting up Cranes Roost Park with live music, entertainment, fireworks, train rides, along with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Watch as the park comes alive with spectacular holiday displays featuring 200,000 lights and a 60-foot tree decorated with thousands of ornaments and garland. Admission is free and food and beverages available for purchase. (274 Cranes Roost Boulevard, Altamonte Springs)

Oviedo at Snow Mountain (12/11)

A Winter Wonderland in Oviedo will transform Center Lake Park into Snow Mountain. Fresh from the North Pole, tons of wonderful white snow will fall once again on Center Lake Park. With the purchase of an all-inclusive wristband, guests will have unlimited access to different snow activities, rides, and attractions. The event costs $25 per person and is on Dec. 11 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. (299 Lake Lane, Oviedo)


Brevard County

Brevard Zoo Jolly Days (12/22-12/23)

Put on your jingle bells and head to the Zoo for a flurry of festive fun! Enjoy a blizzard of activities, music and watch the animals “unwrap” holiday treats! Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos on both days from 11 am to 1 pm. All Jolly Days activities are included with general Zoo admission. Timed-entry tickets or reservations are required for non-members. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Holidays in Space 12/17-12/31)

Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is turning 10! This December 17 - 31 (closed December 25), step into the Pepsi® Zero Sugar Holiday Village full of galactic celebrations. Between 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM, live stage performances from Chris, our resident “Astro-Nut” and a DJ dance party are sure to entertain all ages, while immersive and festive photo opportunities create share-worthy memories. Plus, participate in engaging and educational activities throughout the day, like trivia to impress your friends back home and science experiments.

As always, the visitor complex will be full of new holiday decor to explore. Limited edition Holidays in Space souvenir cups can be purchased at our cafes, and be sure to grab a complimentary 2021 Holidays in Space collectable pin all while supplies last. Dec 17, 2021 - Dec 31, 2021 11 AM - 5 PM | excluding December 25 

Skydiving Santas: Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier (12/12)

SAVE THE DATE! Every year we get a group of skilled and professional skydivers from around the country and around the world, to put on a show for locals and visitors who are in Cocoa Beach the Saturday before Christmas. The event is Presented by the men and woman of the Air Sports Parachute Team. 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.https://facebook.com/events/s/skydiving-santas-of-cocoa-beac/539461647034630/

Surfing Santa’s of Cocoa Beach: Coconuts on the Beach (12/24)

We are calling all the tribes to gather again in Cocoa Beach on Surfing Santa Day to surf together. We want hundreds of surfing santas to show up and surf and thousands of spectators to come and watch. Let’s all share the love, joy, and hope on the beach, together again, 8am, December 24th, in front of Coconuts, on Cocoa Beach. Free

Space Coast Lightfest: Wickham Park (11/19-1/2)

6:30pm-10:00pm Nightly.  Yes we are open Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve and New years. Come and enjoy the lights any night of the week from 6:30pm until 10:00pm.

More than 3 million twinkling holiday lights will ignite the night sky at Wickham Park in Melbourne , Dates to be announced soon. The “Space Coast Lightfest” is a holiday themed drive-through event transforming Wickham Park into a virtual winter wonderland. This family oriented celebration features shimmering lights and animated displays and draws more than 15,000 vehicles annually.

A journey through the 1.1 mile park will take your breath away as your family experiences the wonders of the holiday season. The climax of your journey will begin as you enter and pass through a 200 foot “Light Tunnel” exploding with light.

We are excited to be partnering with Toys for Kids for a fourth year.  Anytime you bring in an unwrapped toy you will get a discount at the gate. $20/car

Holiday Tours of Historic Homes (weekends)

Travel back in time to the celebrations of yesterday at the Museums of Brevard’s 2nd Annual Holiday Tour of Historic Homes. See unique architecture and gorgeous seasonal decorations! This opportunity should be a must on every list of things to do this holiday season! Pick up your PastPort at the first historic home you visit and use that as your ticket for the remaining houses. Tickets are only available through this website. No tickets at the door.

Covid-19 precautions are being taken. Many homes require reservations, please call or visit websites for details.- weekends in December (tickets are going fast) 

Those are the major events here on the Space Coast this holiday season - you can find more at https://www.visitspacecoast.com/space-coast-2021-holiday-event-preview and our event page; https://www.visitspacecoast.com/events

Meet the Grinch with Melbourne Police Department (12/2-12/4)

Come meet the Grinch, enjoy free raffles, crafts, and a selfie station. The event takes place Dec. 2 and 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Dec. 4 from noon to 4 p.m. Register at Eventbrite (1700 W New Haven Avenue, Melbourne at the Melbourne Square Mall)

Cocoa Beach Winterfest (12/4)

A winter wonderland is coming to downtown Cocoa Beach. Snow blowing will take place from 10 a.m. to noon, while Santa will be there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. along with live music, craft and food vendors. The Christmas Parade starts at 2 p.m. All this is happening on Minutemen Cswy, Cocoa Beach.

Snow Days on the Space Coast (12/18-12/19)

Snow, snow slides, snowball arena, hayrides, kids craft, an elf hunt, mega darts, bumper balls, human bowling, vendors, and memorial lighting are unlimited and included in purchase price. There are also Christmas train rides (unlimited rides, included in purchase price) and Santa. This takes place Dec. 18 to 19 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Cost of entry is $17 per person, while children 3 and under are free. (101 N Washington Avenue, Titusville)

Light Up Rockledge: Festival of Trees (12/4)

At the Rockledge Civic Hub annual Light Up Rockledge & Festival of Trees, guests get in free by bringing a canned food item,. Enjoy the Christmas Tree Stroll and Christmas tree silent auction to benefit 2-1-1 Brevard. Enjoy holiday music and a reading of The Night Before Christmas on Dec. 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (530 Barton Boulevard, Rockledge)

Light Up the Gardens: Rockledge Gardens (12/4, 12/11, 12/18)

During the Light Up the Gardens evenings this season, you can enjoy all festive décor and twinkle lights, shop for gifts in the gardens or farmers market, purchase your Christmas tree or poinsettias, and more. With festive music playing, s’mores by the firepit, classic holiday movies on the lawn, and limited admission, Light Up the Gardens will make for the perfect, safe, and sweet evening picnic. The event is select nights from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (2153 US-1, Rockledge)

Reindeer Games: Play Melbourne Parks & Recreation (12/10)

Youth are invited to take a break from the holiday rush for some outdoor fun and games at the playground, as well as various contests inside the building. Refreshments will be served. Children ages 6 to 12 are welcome to attend for $4 per person. The event is Dec. 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 321-608-7450. (3316 S. Monroe Street, Melbourne)

Breakfast With Santa (12/11)

Visit with Santa and enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. There’s limited seating and advanced ticket purchase required. Buy tickets online. Wickham Park Community Center (2815 Leisure Way, Melbourne)

Christmas in the Park (12/17)

Mr. and Mrs. Claus will arrive on a Firetruck. There will be music from the Palm Bay High Band and Chorus, kid games, refreshments like hot dogs, desserts, hot chocolate, and more. The event is Friday, Dec. 17, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Lipscomb Park, 3316 S. Monroe St., Melbourne)

Trinkets and Treasures Shopping Event (12/18)

Crafts, candles, jewelry, name-brand Items, treasures and so much more will be at Trinkets and Treasures Shopping Event. Craft vendors will be located inside, and craft and rummage sale vendors will be outside.

Cowboy Christmas: LaPorte Farms (12/18)

At LaPorte Farms Cowboy Christmas on Dec. 18 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. view over 35,000 twinkling lights and more than 35 decorated trees. Santa will arrive on horseback at 7 p.m. (7700 129th Street, Sebastian)


Volusia County

Stetson Mansion “Christmas Spectacular” Holiday Home Tour

Located in DeLand in West Volusia, the “Christmas Spectacular!” journey through Stetson Mansion features 10 elaborate themed rooms with 23 Christmas trees, over two dozen nativity scenes and several peacocks – a nod to Stetson’s love of the birds. Decorations change every year. The room themes this year include “Angels Appear When Cardinals Are Near,” “A Rockwell Kind of Christmas,” “Heroes Tribute,” “Snowbabies...It’s Cold Outside” and “Hallelujah, The Christ Child Is Born.”

The Christmas Spectacular at Stetson Mansion offers seven self-guided tour times daily through January 22, 2022. Reservations are required. Tickets are $27. This special annual event is expected to bring more than $3 million to the West Volusia economy this year. Click here for more information and booking.

Light Up Deland (12/3)

Santa will ride on a fire engine to light the beautiful DeLand City Hall Christmas tree at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 3. Santa will continue on to Pioneer Park (corner of E. Rich Ave. & N. Woodland Blvd.) at 6 p.m. to light the downtown wreath. (120 S Florida Ave., DeLand)

North Pole Drive-Thru (12/3)

Drive through the North Pole at Reed Canal Park and see Santa. Treats will be given along the way. Enter at Reed Canal Road. This is open on Dec. 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (919 Reed Canal Road, South Daytona)

Santa and Friends at the Pavilion at Port Orange (12/3)

Head to The Pavilion at Port Orange for an evening of holiday festivities, visit with Santa, free treats, entertainment, train rides and face painting. It’s on Dec. 3 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (5501 South Williamson Boulevard, Port Orange)

Bass Pro Shops’ Santa’s Wonderland 2021

Experience the magic of Christmas at Santa’s Wonderland at your local Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Online reservations are open for families who want to visit Santa. Each family receives a free 4x6 studio-quality photo, as well as a free digital video greeting card to share on social media. Additional photo packages are also available for purchase and print instantly in the store. Families can mail their letters to Santa and receive free giveaways while supplies last. Families can also enjoy the aquariums and wildlife displays found in every Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s store. (1880 Checkered Flag Lane, Daytona Beach)

Daytona Beach Holiday Expo (12/12)

The Daytona Beach Holiday Expo is on Sunday, Dec. 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Ocean Center. It’s free admission. Learn about amazing local businesses and resources while shopping with handmade crafters and vendors showcasing their unique products and services. There’s free face painting, a photo booth, pictures with Santa, crafts, karaoke and door prize contests. (101 North Atlantic Boulevard, Daytona Beach)

Christmas in the Country (weekends through 12/18)

This holiday season don’t miss this unique Christmas celebration. Christmas in the Country has a variety of activities for all ages. Start with a hayride through a Christmas Wonderland and lights display. You can meet and get your picture taken with Santa. Enjoy free hot cocoa, roast free marshmallows (or a hot dog for $1) over a bonfire on the beautiful lakefront. View the Christmas village and nativity displays, pet a rabbit or chicken at the ROL 4-H display. Guests can create their very own ornament to take home. The event takes place every weekend through Dec. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (130 Garfield Road, Deltona)

The Casements Annual Christmas Gala (12/3-12/5)

Don’t miss the 43rd annual Casements Christmas Gala on Dec. 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. At ”The Jewel of Ormond Beach” Tree Lighting Ceremony, Santa & Mr. Rockefeller will arrive by train on Friday, December 3rd at 6 p.m. The Casements & Rockefeller Gardens will be offering free activities for the children, free entrance to the home, gift shoppe, gourmet shoppe, handmade crafts, live music, decorations and much more on Saturday, Dec. 4 from noon to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (25 Riverside Drive, Ormond Beach)


Lake County

Light Up Mount Dora

Although the holiday pre-show was canceled, lights will be up in Mount Dora throughout December. Holiday events such as a lighted boat parade and fireworks celebration will be hosted throughout the holiday season. (230 W. 4th Ave., Mount Dora)

Light Up Clermont

This annual holiday tradition includes a community tree-lighting ceremony being led by the City of Clermont’s own Tim Murry on Friday, Dec. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 pm., and a hometown Christmas parade through downtown Clermont on Saturday at 10 a.m. The theme is Gnome for the Holidays so you can look forward to many creative costumes and decorations this year. (Click here for parade route) Dec. 10 there will be cookies and cocoa. (685 W. Montrose Street, Clermont)

City of Tavares Christmas Parade and Celebration (12/4)

The family-friendly celebration will offer live entertainment, snow, ice skating, a visit from Santa and food vendors. It’s being held Dec. 4, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. (122 E. Main Street, Tavares)

Fruitland Park Hometown Christmas (12/10)

On Friday, Dec. 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be on-site with bounce houses, food, a DJ, chorus, dance performances, vendors, and much more. (506 W. Berckman St.)

City of Groveland Christmas Festivities (12/10-12/11)

The City of Groveland Christmas Festivities on Friday, Dec. 10 will include a holiday farmers market and Christmas tree lighting ceremony from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. There will be a meet and greet with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. On Saturday, Dec. 11, there’s a parade at 10 a.m. and a festival from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This event is free. (420 S Lake Avenue, Groveland)

Howey-in-the-Hills Christmas Festival (12/10)

Howey-in-the-Hills Christmas Festival will offer fun activities for everyone of all ages. Christmas shop with more than 30 local handmade vendors, stroll through a car show, line dance, enjoy a pancake breakfast, run in the 5K Reindeer Dash with FloDash, watch a juggling show, and experience the parade. This event is free on Dec. 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For days and times for all events, click here. This event is free.


Marion County

World Equestrian Center Winter Wonderland (11/26-12/26)

With over one million twinkling lights, the World Equestrian Center – Ocala, Winter Wonderland promises to bring merriment and cheer to all. The halls of the World Equestrian Center Grand Plaza will be decked with all of the traditional regalia of the season, along with larger-than-life ornaments, a glittering, 40-foot Christmas tree and a giant polar bear, just to name a few. This family-friendly event is an opportunity to meet Santa and enjoy the evening entertainment, including carolers, face painters, balloon artists, caricaturists and a special appearance by Santa’s reindeer. Tickets are available to purchase for exclusive, limited seating events such as the Atlantic City Boys, Grande Liberté Performance with Sylvia Zerbini, Breakfast with Santa and much more. General admission is free from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and open to the public; parking will be $20 per vehicle. Attendees can find details and pre-purchase tickets for special holiday performances through the dedicated event website. Click here to get an inside look at the World Equestrian Center. (1390 NW 80th Avenue, Ocala)

Marion Oaks Community Center Holiday Extravaganza (12/4)

It’s Christmas time in Marion Oaks. The annual holiday extravaganza includes dozens of booths filled with arts and crafts, businesses, direct sales representatives, organizations, clubs and food trucks. Special visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves, snowman and entertainers take place while holiday music fills the grounds along with many free games for the kids. This event is free and takes place Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (294 Marion Oaks Lane, Ocala)


Osceola County

Night of a Million Lights in Kissimmee

Night of a Million Lights is a one-of-a-kind, fully immersive holiday lights spectacular where visitors can watch a dancing lights show in a fairytale neighborhood; stroll amidst millions of lights, featuring 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. 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. Guests can immerse themselves in an exquisitely decorated fairytale neighborhood, featuring a 360-degree dancing lights show; explore a sparkling tree trail; view larger-than-life holiday displays; take photos at one-of-a-kind step-in frames and backdrops; visit a holiday marketplace, featuring visits by Santa; and enjoy a guided storytelling tour of 100 magnificently lit villas from the comfort of a tram, included in the price of the ticket. It runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (210 S Bass Road, Kissimmee)

Celebration Town Center (11/27-12/31)

Now Snowing, Central Florida’s original and premier “snowing” event, offers one of the area’s only synthetic ice rinks, special community performances by some of the area’s top young talent, and special concert events throughout the season. Now Snowing is a month-long winter wonderland spectacular featuring strolling Charles Dickens style Carolers, photos with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating, and nightly snowfall at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. It’s a true throwback to the traditional family-style holiday.

In addition to the everyday fun at Now Snowing Nightly, you can catch a Countdown to Christmas on December 11th – an evening filled with young talent from across the United States. These free concerts are in addition to the everyday fun already a part of Now Snowing. “Snow” falls nightly until Dec. 31. This event is free. (610 Sycamore St., Celebration)

Gaylord Palms Mission Save Christmas Featuring Elf

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 Gaylord Palms’ all-new, multisensory experience. Guests can 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 guests can take part in to help muster enough Christmas cheer to power the Kringle 3000 and Santa’s sleigh. Click here for ticket information and pricing. (6000 West Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee)


Sumter County

Brownwood Paddock Square Tree Lighting Festival (12/3)

The Tree Lighting Festival at Brownwood Paddock Square is the third tree lighting this holiday season, spreading holiday cheer to villagers and guests from the surrounding area. For more than 15 years, attendees have enjoyed The Villages holiday tradition. The even is free on Dec. 3 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (2705 West Torch Lake Drive, The Villages)

Winterfest in Wildwood (12/3)

Vendors, music, snow and Santa will be at the Winterfest in Wildwood! The even is free on Dec. 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (100 North Main Street, Wildwood)


Flagler County

Bright Lights, Starry Nights (12/3)

Head to Veteran’s Park in Flagler Beach on Dec. 3 as Starry Nights returns for the season with the pier lighting. Local homes, businesses and landmarks, including the iconic fishing pier, will be lit up each evening with festive lighting.

Holiday at the Beach Parade (12/4)

The Holiday at the Beach Parade will take place on Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. along A1A in Flagler Beach.

Starlight Festival (12/11)

Celebrate the holiday season with your friends and neighbors at the City of Palm Coast’s Starlight Event & Parade.

Palm Coast Holiday Boat Parade (12/18)

The Palm Coast Yacht Club is hosting its annual Palm Coast Holiday Boat Parade for the 36th year on Dec. 18, starting at 6 p.m. The parade departs from the Cimmaron Basin, past the Tidelands, Marina Cove, the Hammock, Yacht Harbor Village and the Palm Coast Legacy Vacation Resort. The parade then heads under the Hammock Dunes Bridge along St. Joe’s Walkway before dispersing at the Clubhouse Waterway.


About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a multimedia journalist who joined the News 6 team in February 2020. Crystal comes to Central Florida from WKMG’s sister station, WJXT in Jacksonville, where she worked as a traffic anchor and MMJ.