When you think Christmas, you probably don’t think about the beach and palm trees. Even if Florida isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about those heart-warming winter holidays, it doesn’t keep us from over-compensating in the sunshine state, and the ironic result is some of the best Christmas events you can attend in the entire country!

Last year, we traveled to 25 Christmas events all across the state to try to discern which of them were the absolute best.

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! To make the most out of your next Florida vacation as a family, check out these passes from Groupon which allow you to have the most amount of fun for the least amount of money!

Be sure also to check out our BEST DEALS AND ATTRACTION TICKETS page for a full list of the best prices on all of the top Florida theme parks and attractions.

With that being said, event all of those fantastic Christmas events are not created equally, so we’re here to break it all down for you, and here are six Florida Christmas events which are totally worth driving to!

Gaylord Palms Christmas

Every year, the Gaylord Resorts all across the country host some pretty incredible Christmas events. The one in Kissimmee is a favorite even for locals.

The first year we went was 2020 and the theme was Christmas movies. In this immersive experience, we had the opportunity to walk through the sets of our various favorite Christmas movies including Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Elf, and more!

In 2021, our second year attending, the entire theme was Elf which allowed us to walk through the plot of the entire movie beginning in the north pole in Santa’s Workshop and then making our way to New York to search for Buddy’s Dad.

This Year’s Theme is the Grinch, and the ICE! Has returned, which for those of you who do not know, this event includes giant indoor ice sculptures—IN CENTRAL FLORIDA! As I understand, parkas are available for borrowing, which is great because we Floridians don’t typically have an extensive winter wardrobe collection.

Activities include ice tubing, gingerbread decorating, and a performance of Cirque Spirit of Christmas.

Each year that we have been, there has been a clear, musical presentation of the Biblical narrative of the birth of Christ.

This year, the even takes place November 18th , 2022 through January 1st, 2023

Discounted tickets are available from Groupon.

Space Coast Lightfest

This is primarily a drive-through Christmas event which previously has taken place at Wickham Park in Melbourne, FL. This year (2022), the event has relocated to Fred Poppe Regional Park, Palm Bay, FL.

We went to so many drive-through events last year, and one or two of them can be exciting, but most of them include light tunnels, certain holiday scenes with themes, etc. There are numerous events like this all throughout Florida, and many of them have been running in the same locations for a very long time.

What made this one stand out from the rest, though, is that there were other activities available. The cost is $20 per vehicle and included with that admission, there are photo rooms and hands-on activities.

Other ticketing options include select stroll nights where you can walk through the event on-foot, and also hayride tickets as well!

It runs from November 25th, 2022 through January 1st , 2023, 6:30-10pm nightly. Visit for more details.

Night of A Million Lights

Now, we haven’t been yet this year, our previous experience = Imagine a whole subdivision of homes absolutely drenched in Christmas lights which are synchronized to music; a Christmas village complete with concessions, live musicians, and Santa Clause; AND a train ride tour of homes which are professionally sponsored and decorated by major corporations like Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, Travel & Leisure, Perkins, and more! This is hands-down the best Christmas lights event we have ever been to!

Each of the homes which are sponsored by major corporations have a theme which is relevant to that corporation or company. Universal, for example, had a house which was surrounded by minions. Ripley’s had statues of some of their most famous oddities. Perkins had a giant pie and mixer in the front yard. You might be getting the picture. The creativity was amazing!

This event benefits Give Kids The World Village, which is a fantastic charity. Give Kids The World Village is an 89-acre, nonprofit resort that provides critically ill children and their families with magical, week-long wish vacations at no cost.

Night of A Million Lights runs from November 12th , 2022 through January 1st , 2023. Ticket costs vary depending upon the night that you purchase as there are standard nights, peak nights (typically surrounding holidays and weekends), and holiday night pricing.

Visit for more details.

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

This event takes place in Miami every year. It is perhaps the largest Christmas fair that we have ever been to. There are all sorts of circus-type performances, fair-type rides, food trucks, and vendors.

Various ticket and pricing options are available on their website: . All tickets include carnival rides, roller coasters, shows, lights, displays, and parking, and the event runs November 9, 2022 – January 8, 2023 from 5pm until midnight regularly although there are special Holiday Hours.

Sandi Tree

There are several civic events and town Christmas tree lighting ceremonies across the state. The St. Augustine Nights of Lights is worth mentioning (buy tickets for the Red Train Ride), but it was just a couple of laps around the block singing Christmas carols with strangers. If you live in the town or already have plans to vacation there, this is a nice treat to enjoy locally, we didn’t find that it was worth the drive in any way.

BUT let me tell you about SandiTree in West Palm Beach, Florida! Sandi tree is arguably the best civic holiday event in all of Florida. This is a 35-foot, 800-ton tree made entirely of sand located at the end of Clematis street. The lights all around the plaza are synchronized to festive music, and while we wouldn’t drive out of our way just to see it on it’s own, it’s worth heading to the giant kick-off event, which is complete with concert performances and so much more.

The official lighting event will take place this year on December 1st, 2022 from 6 pm until 10 pm.

We recommend that you arrive pretty early to get a good parking spot and to actually witness the lighting of the tree which takes place at exactly 6pm. Last year, we were running a little behind due to work obligations and had to park really far away and walk to the event. We had planned our arrival for exactly 6 pm. By the time we arrived, we felt like we had missed a bunch of stuff, so learn from this and arrival a little before the tree is actually lit.

There are also a variety of other sand sculptures, a Santa Clause photo opportunity, various vendors for food and crafts, and this year, there will also be a 60-foot tall Ferris wheel. How cool is that!

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SeaWorld Christmas

The SeaWorld Christmas event is actually really good! It’s included with your park admission for the day, which makes it a great value as opposed to “certain other” theme parks (*cough* Disney) where you have to purchase an entirely separate, very expensive ticket to enjoy the Christmas event.

At SeaWorld, there are numerous special Christmas-specific experiences throughout the day including a whole Christmas food menu which can be sampled all around the park. Just purchase a lanyard, which can be purchased prior to your arrival on their website and redeemed at a Kiosk in front of the Seafire Grill, and walk your way around the park eating as you go, who wouldn’t want to do that for hours and hours—this year, we recommend the turkey and dressing, the handheld chicken and waffles, and the Rosey Cheeks Cheesecake! We find that one 10-sampler lanyard is enough for us to share as a family and all of us get entirely full!

There are also elf interactions, snoap, photos with Santa, photos with Rudolph and his friends, a Elmo and Friends Christmas Concert, and a Sesame Street Parade!

At the end of the day, find your way to Bayside Stadium to enjoy the absolutely beautiful figure skating performance followed by a heart-warming Christmas fireworks display!


While we will probably never again do 25 nights of lights because it was insane! We are looking forward to heading to these events and a few more. Also, on our plans for this year will be our first ever visit to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, about which we are super excited, and while we know it’s not in Florida, we plan also to go to the Biltmore Estate because it’s amazing and the Christmas event there is absolutely unforgettable!

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! To make the most out of your next Florida vacation as a family, check out these passes from Groupon which allow you to have the most amount of fun for the least amount of money!

Be sure also to check out our BEST DEALS AND ATTRACTION TICKETS page for a full list of the best prices on all of the top Florida theme parks and attractions.

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