Christmas is definitely one of the most magical times of the year, a time of fellowship, family, and frivolity for many. While many intend to travel to relatives’ homes or stay at their own homes, for some, Christmas break means one thing: family vacation! And Florida is an ideal location for a Christmas vacation. With its temperate climate, it is a welcome break from the harsh, cold winters elsewhere. Winters in Florida are milder in temperature, versus the heat of summer when most tourists visit. Also, you are out of rainy, hurricane season, so there is less risk of that too. While, when you think of Florida you may instantly think and gravitate towards the bigger theme parks so popular there, there are also many other attractions that are popular at Christmastime for you to visit and see. We will review several of the places in this article and their highlights for you.
Located just 23 miles from Orlando, this town is the home of Fort Christmas Historical Park, where the artifacts and exhibits tell the story of the Second Seminole War. It is home to the world’s largest alligator-shaped building. People come from all over to bring their letters to Santa so they can be postmarked from the town.
Check out this great video from Christmas, Florida’s biggest attraction:
Santa’s Enchanted Forest
In central Miami, in Hialeah Park, is the largest holiday theme park in the world, with over 100 rides, attractions, shows, and games for all ages. It has been named one of the best things to do in Florida for Christmas. Don’t forget to visit South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree, too!
With an incredible light show and a LED-lighted tree, the Miami Zoo is lit up for your enjoyment at Christmastime. There is a snowman river boat ride, hot chocolate, and cookies, as well. This popular attraction sells out fast, so it is best to book early.
Gaylord Palms ICE
Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, FL holds its annual ICE! show of over 2 million pounds of ice carved into beautiful, Christmas sculptures. Because of the freezing temperature inside of 9 degrees, they offer everyone a calf-length coat to keep warm- sizes available from infant to 4X. This is a popular place to cool off from the warm Florida air and get into the holiday mood. Also at the Gaylord Palms is the Naughty or Nice Escape Room and the Cirque-styled show, Cirque: Spirit of Christmas.
Space Coast Light Festival
The Space Coast Light Festival is located in Palm Bay’s Fred Poppe Regional Park in Palm Bay, Florida. This drive-thru trail is 1.3 miles long and has animated and special effects. Then there is a 200-foot lighted tunnel full of colors and lights for everyone to enjoy. There are even special days allotted where you can walk the trail.
Learn more about great things to do on Florida’s Space Coast Here.
Holiday Tour of Lights
Holiday Tour of Lights is located in Sarasota, Florida. You can catch a trolley and view arch-lit streets, a copy of National Lampoon’s house, and a full-sized gingerbread house outside of Regions Banks. Book different-sized trolleys for just yourself and family or friends or ride with others.
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens
In Tampa, Florida, Busch Gardens decorates Christmas Town with tens of millions of lights. You can find Rudolph, Santa and Christmas treats here as you take in the lights and decorations. This African-themed park is where you can visit Santa’s Workshop, see shows, ride a sing-along train, enjoy fine dining, and go shopping. Take a picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Also, you can stroll through the lighted tunnel walkway.
Hallmark Channel Presents Holidays At Legoland
Legoland on Lake Dexter is home to a life-sized, ginormous Lego Christmas tree. There are Christmas treats and lights to enjoy as well as holiday characters and shows. A visit here is included in your park admission.
Christmas at Disney World
Attractions at Disney World for Christmas include a twist on Christmas at Hollywood Studios, Christmas tree hunting at Disney Springs, a candlelight processional at EPCOT, the Holiday Cookie Stroll at EPCOT and Holidays Around the World, also at EPCOT, life-sized gingerbread houses and a chance to meet the Disney characters dressed in Christmas attire.
Enjoy the Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios during Christmastime. Enjoy meeting the Grinch at Grinchmas. Meet Santa Claus or go on a Christmas Tree hunt or go on a holiday tour of Universal Studios to see all the decorations and lights. Enjoy all these things while Mannheim Steamroller plays all of your favorite holiday music.
Over 3 million lights and decorations are on display at this famous theme park. They decorate the entire park for the holidays. Enjoy the Sesame Street Christmas Parade, O’ Wondrous Night, and Winterwonderland on Ice. Meet Rudolph and Santa Claus over at the Wild Arctic area of the park. Everything is included with your park admission. Eat everywhere in the holiday food festival, go ice skating, play in the snow or go ice skating or watch the Christmas parade. Don’t forget to watch the holiday fireworks show!
Winterfest is located in Pensacola, Florida, and adds a Cajun flair to the Christmas theme. The Winterfest Trolley takes you through the 2-mile route and lets you see some of the 400,000 lights that decorate the path. Grinch, Elvis, Charlie Brown, and other characters come to meet you aboard the trolley. You can reserve an extra package for a Santa Photo Party, Polar Express Tour, Puppet Magic Tour, or Scrooge Tour. Enjoy gator karaoke, with an alligator and mini-shows, and the Winterfest Plaza, Plenty of decorations and lights to enjoy here.
While this is by no means a complete list of all the attractions available in Florida during the Christmas holiday, it gives you a solid start to things to do if you want to take a holiday vacation in Florida. Between the moderate climate and weather, the dazzling lights and decorations, many places go out of their way to decorate and invite visitors to come and experience Christmas with them. Spending the Christmas holidays in Florida is an amazing opportunity you don’t want to pass up. There is lots to do and several places to see. Happy Vacation and Happy Christmas and Holidays!
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