After growing up in Michigan, you would think I wouldn’t like a “snowless” Christmas holiday. However, living in Florida for nearly 20 years, I’ve come to appreciate the effort and uniqueness that comes with celebrating the holidays in Florida. In fact, there are so many ways to celebrate the holidays in Florida, that I didn’t cover them all when I wrote this post last year. With that, I bring you at least 4 more ways to celebrate the holidays in Florida.
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More at the Theme Parks
If you’ve read my original post, How to do the Holidays in Florida, you’ll notice that theme parks heavily feature there. And with good reason. The theme parks do everything bigger, especially for the holidays.
New this year at Universal Studios is Holidays at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Both Diagon Alley at Universal Studios and Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure are decked out with lights and garland. Even better, however, is the projection mapping light show on Hogwarts Castle. After dark, the castle takes on a whole new appearance with scenes from Christmas and the Yule Ball along with memorable tunes from the movies. It truly is magical!
Additionally, Wizarding World Celestina Warbeck and the Frog Choir perform holiday-themed shows.
If you’re not a Harry Potter fan like we are, the Macy’s Parade at Universal Studios along with Mannheim Steamroller performances is bigger and better than ever.
Projection mapping is also taking over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, both at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Chinese Theater (former home to the Great Movie Ride). These buildings transform into takeovers from Disney Holiday movie scenes to a Toy Story Takeover. Click here to see all the holiday events at Walt Disney World.
Legoland in Winter Haven, Florida brings in Christmas Bricktacular, a holiday celebration of everyone’s favorite brick. In addition to a large lego Christmas tree, the park has seasonal shows and treats. My favorite is the Lego Mini Land area, all decked out for the holidays.
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa brings Rudolph and Friends to town for meet and greets, ice skating shows and a Christmas town village full of lights and market shopping. Busch Gardens is part of the Tampa Bay City Pass. If you plan to pay for a ticket here, essentially, you’ll get four additional attractions included with your City Pass.
Not to be outdone by the theme parks, area wildlife attractions bring also bring the holiday cheer to Florida. Two to note:
- Winter’s Wonderland at Clearwater Marine Aquarium – Read my review here.
- Christmas in the Wild at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo (also included in the Tampa City Pass)
If you’re not at one of the many theme parks that produce their own snow, you can still get your fill by visiting places such as Celebration. Each night, the town comes alive with lights, carols, and snow. They even have an ice rink!
Several other towns across the state feature falling snow and holiday activities. Simply check out the town’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website.
If you can’t make it to Germany for an authentic Christmas Market, check out the Germany Society’s Christkindlmarkt in Cape Coral, Florida. Find traditional German food, a beer garden, horse-drawn wagon rides, village crafts, and Gluwien, a Christmas Market must.
The Polar Express Train Ride
Yes, you can really ride the Polar Express on a real train. This one-hour ride on the rails departs Tavares, near Orlando. this is truly a one of a kind experience. If you’re fans of the book or want a unique way for the kids to meet Santa, this would be an experience they won’t forget!
Bonus – Holidays in Florida at the Beach!
Seriously, any time at the beach is a good time. But if you need a little Christmas, build a sand snowman!
Have you spent the holidays in Florida? What’s your favorite thing to do? Comment below and share!