Top Holiday Attractions in Florida
Top Holiday Attractions in Florida
The holiday season is upon us again, and celebrations are taking place across Florida. While known for year-round warmth, the Sunshine State has plenty of attractions to get you into the winter holiday spirit.
Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando
On select nights at the Magic Kingdom theme park, the Walt Disney World Resort brings an extra holiday cheer with Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Amid the spectacular decorations, enjoy a parade featuring several favorite Disney Characters, along with a special appearance by Santa Claus himself! There's also a new fireworks show, complimentary cookies and hot chocolate, and even a wintry snowfall. Enjoy the magic of Disney at this enchanting time of year.
Learn more: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/magic-kingdom/special-events/mickeys-very-merry-christmas-party/
Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando
It takes more work for some to get into the spirit of the season, and you can see the heartwarming process in action with a live show of Grinchmas, as the Grinch tries to ruin the holiday for the Whos before finding the true meaning of Christmas. You can also see Macy's Holiday Parade nightly, with balloons and floats straight from New York's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, along with music, entertainment, and a spectacular tree lighting display. Winter is also when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter comes alive, with sights, sounds, and even tastes straight from the books and movies!
Learn more: http://www.universalorlando.com/Events/Holidays/
ICE! at Gaylord Palms, Orlando
For the most frigid attraction in Florida, look no further than ICE!, the award-winning display of millions of pounds of ice hand-carved into amazing sculptures by artisans from China. This year, the journey tells the story of how the beloved characters from DreamWorks' Merry Madagascar saved Christmas after Santa and his reindeer crash onto the island of Madagascar. There are also two-story-tall ice slides to take a ride on, truly a unique holiday experience in Florida! With the entire exhibit kept at a downright freezing 9 degrees, this is definitely the coolest event of the year.
Learn more: http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-palms/christmas-in-orlando/ice-experience/index.html
The Holy Land Experience, Orlando
For a more traditional take on the Christmas season, The Holy Land Experience provides a living museum and park that makes some of the most well-known stories of the Bible come to life. From the Garden of Eden to the birth of Jesus, experience the sights and sounds of the biblical world in a way you can't find anywhere else.
Learn more: http://www.holylandexperience.com/
Town of Christmas
What better place to explore than the town where it's Christmas year-round? Just outside of Orlando, the quaint town of Christmas sees visitors flock to their post office yearly to have their cards and letters postmarked from "Christmas, FL" for a unique touch to their holiday mail. The town also features a historical park with a museum showing what life was like in the original settlement from the 1800s. Let everyone else dream a white Christmas while you experience the real thing!
Learn more: http://www.nbbd.com/godo/FortChristmas/
Busch Gardens, Tampa
Not to be confused with the Town of Christmas, Busch Gardens is being transformed by Christmas Town. The theme park will have special holiday shows, Santa's house, and an entire snow-filled playground! From snowmen to penguins to the Christmas Town Village, there's an entire wintry wonderland just waiting to be explored.
Learn more: http://seaworldparks.com/en/christmastownbgt/Attractions
Gingerbread House Extravaganza, Jacksonville
You won't believe your eyes or nose when you see what amazing creations people are able to make with gingerbread, icing, and imagination. For the 11th consecutive year, the Jacksonville Historical Society is hosting the Gingerbread House Extravaganza to raise money for children's programs, but this is no ordinary bake sale. The artistry and detail of the edible creations are a real treat, providing enough awe to keep your sweet tooth in check. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can submit your own masterpiece to be part of the fun.
Learn more: http://gingerbreadjax.org/
Nights of Lights, St. Augustine
If you enjoy going to local houses to see their Christmas light displays, then St. Augustine has just what you're looking for. Every year, literally millions of holiday lights decorate the nation's oldest city, transforming it into a twinkling spectacle. With so much to see, you may be better off taking one of the several tour buses than trying to take it all in on your own. There are also a multitude of events coinciding with the brilliant display.
Learn more: http://www.floridashistoriccoast.com/nights/
Santa's Enchanted Forest, Miami
Though conventional wisdom holds that Santa makes his home in the North Pole, South Floridians know he also maintains a warmer wonderland. Santa's Enchanted Forest lays claim to the title of world's largest Christmas theme park, with more than 100 rides, shows, games, and attractions.
Learn more: http://www.santasenchantedforest.com/information.html
Florida Shopping, Statewide
This season is also the time for holiday shopping, and Florida provides a large selection of experiences to help you find everything you're looking for. Be prepared to shop 'til you drop! These are just a small sampling of Florida's tremendous range of shopping options.
Aventura Mall, Aventura — The largest mall in Florida is also the third largest in the country. Located in a northern suburb of Miami, this upscale three-story consumer paradise welcomes 28 million shoppers a year.
Learn more: http://www.aventuramall.com/
Sawgrass Mills, Sunrise — The Aventura is the largest mall in Florida by square footage, but Sawgrass Mills, located about half an hour to the north in Broward, actually has more stores. The appeal of this sprawling shopping metropolis is the outlet nature of the stores, providing a wealth of savings for an expanse of products.
Learn more: http://www.simon.com/mall/sawgrass-mills
Orlando Premium Outlets, Orlando — With two locations that combine to rival the size of Sawgrass Mills, the Orlando Premium Outlets are popular with holiday shoppers for great deals on brand-name products.
Learn more: http://www.premiumoutlets.com/orlando/
International Plaza & Bay Street, Tampa — This shopping destination is enticing because of its combination of International Plaza's traditional indoor mall model with department and specialty stores with Bay Street Plaza's outdoor, open-air village of boutique shops and restaurants. Enjoy two distinct holiday shopping experiences in one unforgettable location.
Learn more: http://www.shopinternationalplaza.com/