20 Ways To Enjoy Christmas in Florida

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As one of the hotter parts of the United States, Florida is a destination most people will not associate with Christmas, as it can’t provide that traditional winter wonderland that the season is known for. Now, while you may not get the experience you are used to in Florida, it is still a place that takes Christmas seriously and has plenty of fabulous events and attractions for you to enjoy.

There’s a range of seasonal activities that you can enjoy in Florida to encourage you to try a different style of Christmas this year. Do something different, unique and make some new memories this winter.

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Christmas In Florida

20 Best Things To Do In Florida At Christmas

1- Enjoy A Santa Workshop Experience At ICON Park

Santa Claus in hammock
If you’re spending Christmas in Florida, you’re likely to find Santa Claus in a hammock slung between two palms.

The Santa Workshop Experience is an excellent opportunity for children to help their little ones see the true magic of Christmas.

A special train takes guests to Santa’s workshop, where they can meet the man himself, enjoy festive beverages and treats, ride in a private capsule on the Christmas Wheel, and take photos and videos that will bring back wonderful memories throughout their childhood.

ICON Park is at 8375 International Drive, Orlando, 32819

2- Enjoy The Disney Very Merriest After Hours

Christmas light displays in Florida Disney's Magic Kingdom fireworks
A beautiful display of fireworks at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

The Disney Very Merriest After Hours Christmas experience is an opportunity for people of all ages to ring in the festive season with all of their favourite Disney characters.

Attractions like Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks and Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime parade combine with artificial snowfall, festive treats, and express access to rides to make this a fun and festive experience for all to enjoy.

Magic Kingdom Park is at Lake Buena Vista, 32836

3- Enjoy Christmas At The EPCOT

best Christmas towns in Florida
The Epcot centre is a fun place to be at Christmastime.

The EPCOT allows you to experience festive foods and traditions from around the world at Christmas.

There will be plenty of wonderful flavours for you to enjoy, from the Holiday Kitchens that spring up around the park to the Holiday Cookie Stroll event that spring up around the park.

Performers dressed in festive attire help immerse you in the spirit of the season, while the Candlelight Processional is a Christmas storytelling event with a live orchestra and choir, as well as narration by a celebrity guest.

EPCOT is at 200 Epcot Center Drive, Lake Buena Vista, 32830.

4- SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration

things to do in Florida for Christmas SeaWorld aerial
An aerial view of SeaWorld, where you can enjoy some fun family time during Christmas in Florida.

SeaWorld pulls out all the stops at Christmas, decorating the legendary aquarium with more than three million twinkling lights and playing host to several festive attractions.

Enjoy a spectacular ice skating performance with Winter Wonderland On Ice, visit Santa Claus in the Wild Arctic, pet his faithful sidekick Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, or do all of this and more to create a wonderous Christmas experience for the whole family.

SeaWorld Orlando is at 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, 32821.

5- Watch Parades At Universal Orlando Resort

Christmas things to do in Florida
The famous Universal Globe at Universal Studios in Florida. Visiting the theme park is a fun thing to do for Christmas in Florida.

Universal Orlando Resort is an excellent stop for anyone who wants to ring in the Christmas season, surrounded by many of their favourite movie characters.

The central attraction is Universal’s Holiday Parade, featuring Macy’s.

Macy’s hosts many of the best Christmas parades across the United States, and this is no different.

Floats and balloons are paraded through the streets, surrounded by characters from films like Despicable Me, Madagascar, and Shrek.

Combine that with festive attractions themed around The Grinch, as well as several other seasonal offerings, and Universal Orlando Resort becomes a truly unique Christmas experience.

Universal Orlando Resort is 6000 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, 32819.

Looking for something fun to do this Christmas? Try these:

6- Festival Of Trees At The Orlando Museum Of Art

Christmas lights in Florida
Enjoy Christmas in Florida by seeing the Festival of Trees.

For more than 35 years, the Orlando Museum Of Art has held the Festival Of Trees each December.

Visitors can see elaborately decorated trees, wreaths, and gingerbread shapes, fashioned in the style of famous artists and designers.

With stalls and live entertainment that includes shows, themed events, and appearances by Santa himself, the festival is an excellent option for those who want to enjoy a stylish, artistic take on Christmas.

Orlando Museum Of Art is at 2416 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, 32803.

7- Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade

Christmas in Florida weather
Scour the beaches and you’re likely to see a sandman Santa on the beach during Christmastime in Florida.

The oldest continuously running Christmas parade in central Florida, the Winter Park Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade, has run each December for 70 years.

With attractions including Mr and Mrs Claus riding on a traditional fire truck, it offers an excellent opportunity to experience some Florida Christmas traditions and see some of the festive staples that occur outside of the big cities.

Winter Park Chamber Of Commerce is at 301 South Park Avenue, Winter Park, 32789.

8- Cruise Through Santa’s Drive-Thru Village

Christmas activities in Florida
Spending Christmas in Florida means time at the beach but to get a traditional Christmas feeling, head for Santa’s Drive-Thru Village.

For those who dream of taking their children to see Santa Claus in Lapland but can’t, Santa’s Drive-Thru Village is the next best thing.

From the comfort of your vehicle, you can drive through a magical world and see attractions like Mrs Claus’ Village, Singing Carollers Town, the Elves Toy Factory, and the North Pole itself.

With falling snow and visits from angels, reindeer, and even Father Christmas, Santa’s Drive-Thru Village is a magical option to bring out your inner child.

Santa’s Drive-Thru Village is at 16805 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, 33027.

9- Watch The Nutcracker Ballet

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet has been a classic Christmas story for generations, and there isn’t a better place to see it in Florida than Miami.

Performed by the Miami City Ballet, the Nutcracker has been entertaining audiences annually from mid to late December for the past 30 years and is a must-see for any fans of the festive arts.

Au-Rene Theater is located in the Broward Center For The Performing Arts at 201 SW 5th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, 33312.

10- See A Live-Action Nativity Recreation In Miami Shores

things to do in Christmas Florida
South beach is a great place to visit in Florida for Christmas.

Those wanting to experience the best version of the traditional Christmas story should visit the Miami Shores Presbyterian Church.

Their live-action retelling of the nativity is held in the fresh air and features real camels, donkeys, goats, and sheep, to completely immerse you in the incredible story and performance you are seeing.

Miami Shores Presbyterian Church is at 602 Northeast 96th Street, Miami Shores, 33138.

11- Winterfest Boat Parade

Christmas boat parades in Florida
A nautical Christmas in Florida is something to look forward to each year.

A yearly tradition for more than half a century, the Winterfest Boat Parade sees festively decorated boats travel along New River and the Intercoastal Waterway.

One of the most popular Florida festive events is the three-hour boat procession in Fort Lauderdale, which offers spectators the chance to see spectacularly decorated vessels.

Boat owners can apply to get in on the fun themselves and help create an experience to remember.

Winterfest Boat Parade Start Point is at Stranahan House, 335 SE 6th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, 33301.

12- Explore Christmas Town In Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Christmas events in Florida
A holiday arch designed in the shape of a Christmas ornament.

Christmas Town takes over Busch Gardens throughout November and December, transforming it into a winter wonderland.

Thrilling roller coasters combine with dazzling light shows, festive performances, and visits from Santa and Rudolph, creating a unique Christmas experience for all to enjoy.

Busch Gardens is at 10165 McKinley Drive, Tampa, 33612.

13- Enjoy Christmas In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

The Universal Orlando Resort provides the unique opportunity for Harry Potter fans to experience Christmas at iconic locations from the franchise, such as Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and Diagon Alley.

Sip some hot butterbeer, enjoy festive performances by characters from the movies, do a little Christmas shopping, and see the castle decorated with trees, ornaments, and fairy lights, before enjoying a Christmas dinner in the great hall to complete a truly magical experience.

The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is at 6000 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, 32819.

14- Explore Santa’s Enchanted Forest

Christmas vacations in Florida
The city skyline of Tampa, which is a cool place to spend Christmas in Florida.

Santa’s Enchanted Forest is the largest holiday-themed amusement park in the world and is open from late October to the beginning of January.

With fairground and carnival rides, an elf writing school, a magic train, a candy house, the largest Christmas tree in south Florida, mistletoe land, karaoke, circus events, more than 6 million lights, and festive displays complete with fairy tale creatures, it is a magical experience for people of all ages.

Santa’s Enchanted Forest is at 3100 4th Avenue, Hialeah, 33013.

15- Experience Christmas In the Wild At ZooTampa

From the end of November for about a month, ZooTampa is transformed into a true winter wonderland on select evenings.

Festive activities and treats, interactions with incredible animals, and the largest light show in the city provide entertainment for all the family.

The kids then have the Twinkletown Marketplace to explore, where they can meet Santa himself and take a photo with the big man.

ZooTampa At Lowry Park is at 1101 West Sligh Avenue, Tampa, 33604.

16- Stroll Around A Magical Winter Village

The Winter Village that sets up each year in the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is an excellent opportunity for people to enjoy the season.

Seasonal events, such as ice skating and light shows, are combined with stalls from local businesses selling food, drinks, and goods, to create an event that everyone can enjoy.

There is also the fabulous Winter Village Express, which you can hop aboard to cruise through Downtown and see all of the festive highlights of the area.

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is 600 North Ashley Drive, Tampa, 33602.

17- Experience Florida’s Premier German Christmas Market

Christmas stores in Florida
Shopping at a Christmas market is one of the fun activities to do in Florida at Christmas.

German Christmas markets may not be as popular in Florida as they are elsewhere in the United States, but the Christkindlmarkt at the American German Club in Lake Worth holds its own among the best of them.

Held on a weekend in mid-December, visitors will be greeted by the aroma of German Christmas treats, such as stollen, strudel, gluhwein, and bratwurst, while carollers fill the air with beautiful festive songs.

With stalls selling handcrafted goods and German beers, live performances by musicians, singers, and dancers, and even visits from Santa Claus himself, the Christkindlmarkt is a traditional, cultural attraction for the whole family to enjoy.

Christkindlmarkt is at The American German Club, 5111 Lantana Road, Lake Worth, 33463.

18- Visit The Post Office In Christmas

Christmas in Florida santa holding a list
Post a letter from the town of Christmas in Florida.

Founded as Fort Christmas on Christmas Day in 1837, the town of Christmas, Florida, is a place where it truly is Christmas all year round.

While festive lights and decorations and other attractions are present around the town, it is the post office that is the star of the show.

Acting as Santa’s post office for the season, visitors can meet the big man himself before posting their Christmas cards from the only place in the United States where they will receive the official Christmas postage mark.

United States Post Office is at 23580 East Colonial Drive, Christmas, 32709.

19- Attend The Pensacola Winterfest

Christmas in Florida

The Pensacola Winterfest is one of the best festive events in Florida.

Attractions like rides on the Polar Express, visits with Santa and playing reindeer games combine with events like fireworks displays, puppet shows.

The ELF Parade and performances by a range of seasonal characters like Scrooge and The Grinch offer a little bit of everything that the Christmas season is known for.

Pensacola Winterfest is at Old County Courthouse, 223 South Palafox Street, Pensacola, 32502.

20- Drive Through The Cathedral District: Let There Be Light Display

A month before Christmas, the Cathedral District in Jacksonville lights up many of its iconic churches and cathedrals and other historic landmark buildings.

The area is decorated with more than 150 brightly lit and decorated Christmas trees.

Take a drive through the district and enjoy one of the most beautiful and elegant Christmas displays you will find without paying a penny.

Cathedral District is in Jacksonville, 32207.

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Steve Burden is an avid traveller and experienced writer. As a former pro wrestler, Steve used to travel frequently for work throughout the USA and Europe. Having spent the last decade travelling all over the world in search of new sights and experiences, he has turned his love for travel into a new career helping others decide on the best places to visit, as well as what to see when they get there.