Sunshine, sandy beaches, and temps in the 80s don’t invoke Christmas, but Orlando has a lot of ways to get into the holiday spirit. From theme parks to resort spectaculars to winter carnivals, Central Florida has plenty of ways to enjoy the holidays.
Here are our picks for the ten best ways to celebrate Christmas week in Central Florida:
The 9th annual Central Florida Earth Day will take place at beautiful Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando on April 19.
This free event will feature speakers, food demonstrations, environmental education, an Earth Kids Zone, an artist corner, an animal haven, live entertainment, and many Earth-friendly sponsors and vendors.
This event runs from 10am to 6pm, and is family-friendly, dog-friendly, and smoke-free.
Join the SPCA of Central Florida on Saturday, February 8th, 2014 for the 20th Annual Paws in the Park, from 9am until 3pm at Lake Eola Park.
This free fun family event will have something for everyone – even your four-legged family members. That’s right, dogs are welcome to attend, but must be at least 6 months old, on a collar and leash, and no females in heat.
Animal Planet’s Victoria Stilwell will be in attendance, and there will be a walk around the lake to raise money to support the SPCA of Central Florida. There will also be a Disney Kids Zone for the little ones.
This free event will feature the 6th annual presentation of Trinity Lutheran Downtown’s musical celebration, “The Gift,” along with a Christmas festival that includes food trucks, gift vendors and an outdoor showing of the classic cartoon version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Festivities start at 4pm, with Mayor Buddy Dyer officiating the tree lighting ceremony at 6:15pm.
Travelocity recently named Orlando as the #1 destination for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. If you’re going to be in town, here’s a list of some of the celebrations happening.
Red, Hot and Boom takes place Sunday, July 3, at Crane’s Roost Park. This annual fireworks show is enhanced by an all-day concert presented by WXXL-fm radio. This year’s musical line-up includes Paper Tongues, Mat Kearney, Shontelle, Cody Simpson, Hot Chelle Rae and All Star Weekend. The concert starts at 4pm and the fireworks at 9:30pm, but if you want a place to sit anywhere, you’d best get there in the early am because this free show is usually attended by over 100,000 people.
The city starts with a Fourth of July parade at 9am. The festivities resume at 5pm with Celebration Town Center’s “A Flashback 4th of July,” an 80’s-themed event featuring music from that decade played by Kattyshack and a live DJ, headlined at 8:30pm by A Flock of Seagulls. Fireworks are at 9:30pm, and the whole event is hosted by actor Justin Smith (“Vampire Diaries”; Meet the Spartans). It’s free to attend.
The City of Orlando is hosting the annual Fireworks at the Fountain from 4pm to 10pm on July 4. There will be food, live entertainment and fun for the whole family, around Lake Eola Park, culminating with fireworks at 9:30pm.
A special performance of the “Reflections” show featuring expanded fireworks set to patriotic music will start after dusk. Free with park admission.
The Fourth of July celebrations will start with a sunrise hot air balloon launch at the lakefront. It will resume at noon with live entertainment, games, kids events and more. The city of St. Cloud will then launch fireworks over the lake at 9:30pm, for this day-long free event.
On July 4, the Studios side of Universal Orlando will present the Universal360 show, starting at 9pm at the lagoon. Margaritaville’s Blue Stone Circle will also be performing from 5pm on at the Music Plaza Stage inside the park. Free with park admission.
Walt Disney World – Magic Kingdom:
The park will present a special showing of “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” fireworks at 9pm on July 3 and July 4. Free with park admission.
Walt Disney World – Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
DHS presents “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration” with fireworks and a special light show set to live music performed by Mulch, Sweat, and Shears, starting at 9:45pm on July 4. Free with park admission.
Walt Disney World – Epcot:
The park’s regular “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” laser light and fireworks show will be extended with “The Heartbeat of Freedom,” a special overture of traditional Americana themes, July 4, starting at 10pm. Free with park admission.