I intended this to be a guide to what’s on all over Florida, but as usual, most of the information I could find was in Orlando. If you know of other activities elsewhere in the state that people may like to join in, please share on the Florida Forum.
Edison Ford Holiday Nights, Fort Myers
Running nightly through December 30, the Edison Ford Holiday Nights is a magical evening stroll or guided tour through the winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The white picket fence and tall king palms along McGregor Blvd are swathed in colored fairy lights and wreaths, making the attraction hard to miss.
Admission includes access to the gardens and viewing of both the holiday homes, plus the nursery and three shops filled with Christmas gifts and goodies. For an additional $5, it is well worth taking the one-hour Holiday Nights Tour with a historian. Learn about the Christmas traditions of these two wealthy families and the impact they had on the Fort Myers community. See the homes decorated for a typical 1929 Family Holiday celebration and enjoy the singing of local school choirs and bands on the small stage beside the gift shop.
Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Beautiful gardens and the historic Pinewood Estate draw visitors to Bok Tower Gardens. Take a walking tour with a garden guide and see what’s flowering in this season. The red poinsettias and tillandsias make a beautiful display.
Enjoy the daily carillon concerts as bells ring out across the estate from the pink marble Bok Tower. Carilloneur Geert D’hollander will play Holiday music at 1pm and 3pm daily. The Mediterranean-style historic home on site, Pinewood Estate, is decorated throughout, with each room of this spacious family home decorated to a theme. If you visit on Saturdays in December, you can join in one of the workshops to make a holiday ornament or seasonal decoration for a small additional fee.
Just a short drive from Bok Tower, on the former site of Cypress Gardens, LEGOLAND is hosting the annual Christmas Bricktacular with seasonal Lego-built decorations including a 28 foot high Christmas tree containing 270,000 bricks! This interactive theme park has many rides and sights for families. On New Year’s Eve it presents a Kid’s New Year’s Eve event with fireworks at midnight KST (that stands for Kid’s Standard Time, which is 6pm!)
Walt Disney World
As usual, Disney puts on a fabulous evening event with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The Cinderella Castle is lit with hundreds of thousands of lights, there’s real snow on Main Street, fireworks and complimentary cookies and hot chocolate. This event requires a separate ticket to the daytime admission.
The charming town of Celebration turns into a winter wonderland throughout December with an outdoor skating rink and snow falls to order on the hour from 6pm to 9pm nightly! There are carol singers, rides on the Celebration Express Trains, photos with Santa and horse-drawn carriage rides.
The Gaylord Palms Resort puts on an extravaganza with many carved ice sculptures based on the cute characters from the film Madagascar! 40 ice carvers work for a month to create ice slides and sculptures in a chilly fairytale world that will take your breath away.
My Days Out in Florida books, including Days Out in Orlando, make a great gift for anyone visiting or living in Orlando!
or download the ebook version here
Day Trips Around Orlando Florida