Guide to Christmas in Florida: Parades, Theme Parks, and Things to Do

Nights of Lights Christmas celebration in St. Augustine, Florida

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The weather outside may not be frightful, which is exactly makes Christmas in Florida so delightful. While balmy breezes and swaying palms may not be everyone's idea of a typical Christmas, Floridians have found some unique ways to celebrate the season. During the month of December, the Sunshine State is home to fun seasonal events like Santa sightings, ice sculptures, holiday parades, and even a town called Christmas.

Visit the Night of Lights in St. Augustine

The town of St. Augustine celebrates Nights of Lights from November 23, 2019 to February 2, 2020. The origins of the festival harken back to the Spanish tradition of placing a white candle on the windowsill of a home during the holiday season. The town transforms the downtown historic district by decorating every building, tree, and awning with over three million white lights from the bay to the town square. Bundle up, grab the kids and make some memories.

Celebrate the Holidays at Disney World

If you've ever struggled with getting your own holiday decorations in place before guests arrive, just imagine decking the halls of the 40-square-mile Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. It takes an entire year of planning, but the results are spectacular. Additional theme park celebrations include the fireworks spectacular Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, Holiday Cheer in Toy Land, dining with Minnie Mouse, and the transformation of the outside of the Tower of Terror into a laser projection storytelling canvas. You'll find Santa in Walt Disney World holding court along Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios until Christmas Eve.

Marvel at Gaylord Palms' ICE! Exhibit

In Kissimmee, Florida his holiday attraction is hand-carved from nearly two million pounds of ice that create a winter experience like no other in Florida. The popular family experience gives guests a chance to visit a whimsical winter wonderland of interactive environments and larger-than-life, three-dimensional ice monuments and sculptures. The enormous structure used to house Gaylord Palms' ICE! (dubbed "The Florida Fridge") is cooled to a chilly 9 degrees making it necessary for the resort to provide winter coats for visitors to wear. The exhibit will be on display from November 25, 2019 to January 5, 2020.

Get Creative at the LEGOLAND Christmas Bricktacular

Festive decorations and sounds of the season highlight LEGOLAND Florida's Christmas Bricktacular celebration. Children will meet and greet with LEGO Santa, help create a giant Christmas mosaic, enjoy a 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas tree, and send letters to the North Pole. The Holly Jolly Jubilee stage show features a chorus of singing and dancing elves. Holiday events at LEGOLAND occur on select days in November and December.

Splash Around at the SeaWorld Holiday Celebration

A very different take on celebrating the Feast of Seven Fishes happens at sunny Florida's SeaWorld Orlando from November 23 to December 31, 2019. Holiday guests can meet-and-greet Santa and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, plus enjoy seasonal performance shows like O Wonderous Night, a retelling of the nativity story featuring a cast of life-size puppets and live animals.

Catch the Universal Orlando Parade

If you didn't get to New York City this year for Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, there is no need to pout. Each evening during December, all of the floats, performers, costumes, and marching bands that make up the Macy's tradition return to fill the streets of Universal Studios Orlando. Islands of Adventure celebrates with Grinchmas, featuring the Grinch himself and the Whos. In addition, specially themed holiday shows feature live music and entertainment like a holiday theme at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The holiday season is in full swing from November 16, 2019 to January 5, 2020. The parade takes place once per day up until December 30, although the time of day my differ depending on the date.

Hear the Choirs Sing at Epcot

Epcot's Candlelight Processional is one of the most popular holiday traditions at Disney World. The grand musical performance comes from a mass choir and a full orchestra, but the real treat of the evening is when a celebrity narrator retells the traditional Christmas story. Daily performances run from late November through the end of December at America Gardens Theatre. In 2019, you can catch the Candlelight Processional every night from November 29 through December 30.

Visit the Town of Christmas, Florida

Yes, there really is a Christmas, Florida. Florida may not see much snow, but the small post office near historical Fort Christmas sees plenty of activity before the holiday. People come from miles around to have their Christmas cards postmarked "Christmas, Florida". If you go, expect to wait in longer-than-usual lines for what has become a holiday tradition for many. Christmas, Florida is located about 20 miles east of Orlando on Highway 50. The historical park and museum are located a few miles north of Highway 50 at 1300 Fort Christmas Road (C.R. 420).

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