The weather outside may not be frightful, so Christmas in Florida is so delightful. While balmy breezes and swaying palms may not be everyone's idea of a typical Christmas, Floridians have found some pretty unique ways to celebrate the season. And, for those who just can't do without ice and snow, there is that too...and even a town named Christmas.
Yes, Virginia...there really is a Christmas, Florida, so there must be a Santa Claus.
Florida may not see much snow, but the small post office near historical Fort Christmas sees plenty of activity prior to the holidays. 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 is located a few miles north of Highway 50 at 1300 Fort Christmas Road (C.R. 420).
Holiday Lights Brighten Attractions
Wondering where to find the brightest lights in Florida this season? Bundle up, grab the kids and a camera, and make some memories.
If you've ever struggled with getting your own holiday decorations in place before guests arrive for that holiday party, just imagine decking the halls of the 40-square-mile Walt Disney World Resort where hundreds (if not thousands) of guests arrive daily.
It takes an entire year of planning, but the results are spectacular.
Gaylord Palms' ICE!
This holiday attraction is hand-carved from nearly two million pounds of ice that create a winter experience like no other in Florida. The enormous structure used to house Gaylord Palms' ICE! (dubbed "The Florida Fridge") is cooled to a chilly nine degrees making it necessary for the resort to provide over-sized winter coats for visitors to wear.
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.
LEGOLAND Florida Christmas Bricktacular
Festive decorations and sounds of the season highlight LEGOLAND Florida's Christmas Bricktacular celebration. Children get a meet and greet a LEGO Santa and Toy Soldiers and can help create a giant Christmas mosaic, as well as send letters to the North Pole.
SeaWorld Holiday Celebration
Celebrate the holidays like never before at sunny Florida's SeaWorld Orlando. Holiday guests can enjoy shows, meet-and-greet Santa, and more.
Universal Orlando Holiday Celebrations
If you didn't get to New York 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 will fill the streets of Universal Studios Orlando. Islands of Adventure celebrates with Grinchmas, featuring the green one himself and the Whos. In addition, specially themed holiday shows feature live music and entertainment.
Epcot's Candlelight Processional is one of the most popular holiday traditions at Disney World.
It is also one of the most beautiful and meaningful celebrations. The grand musical performance by a mass choir and orchestra is filled with pageantry, but the real treat of the evening is when a celebrity narrator retells the traditional Christmas story. 2017's celebrities include Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kurt Russell.
Ho, Ho, Ho... Santa Sightings
It isn't hard to believe that after Santa spends much of the year at the North Pole that he would enjoy the warmer climate of Florida. It seems he gets away to the Sunshine State about this time every year for a little R&R before his all-night Christmas Eve sleigh ride because he is sighted in the most unlikely places.
- Find Santa in Walt Disney World at Disney's Hollywood Studios until December 24. For December 25-31, Goofy takes over.
- You might see Santa riding the rails...Florida Gulf Coast Railroad's annual Christmas Trains to the North Pole depart Parrish Station on select afternoons and evenings through December.
- Every day until January 7, 2018 is a fair day at Santa's Enchanted Forest in Miami. We're talking midway games and rides, attractions, themed displays, a 92-foot Christmas tree, over three million twinkling holiday lights and all the fun Santa and his elves can create.