Celebrate the start of the winter holiday season in Central Florida at Orlando's premiere event, the Annual Festival of Trees, held the week before Thanksgiving. For nine magical days, the Orlando Museum of Art is transformed into a glittering holiday wonderland with trees, wreaths, and gingerbread houses that ignite the holiday spirit. For more than thirty years, the museum has ushered in the holidays with themed displays decorated by local designers and special events. Every tree, wreath, and gingerbread house is available for purchase, and all proceeds benefit the museum.
Ticketed Events for Everyone
- Light Up Reception and Gala: The Festival of Trees is packed with special events beginning with this elegant party, an elite black-tie affair held on the opening Friday evening. There's live music, food, and VIP access viewing of the designer trees. Tickets are pricey and quantity is limited.
- Reindeer Romp Children's Party: Children have an evening of their own at Reindeer Romp. The event includes a visit from Santa, storytellers, and live music. All ages are welcome. A limited number of pre-purchased Rudolph's VIP Passes provide priority entry to the party one hour early.
- Ugly Holiday Sweater Date Night: Visitors don their finest, ugliest holiday sweaters for an evening of music, tree viewing, and art exhibits. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the Pearson's Festival Cafe.
- Breakfast With Santa: Children of all ages meet with Santa for breakfast, photo-taking opportunities, caroling, and various fun-filled holiday activities. Daily North Pole workshops for kids are offered in conjunction with the museum's educational department.
- Seniors: One festival day is designated for seniors 65 and older with special discount pricing and entertainment.
Exhibits and Displays
Deck the Halls, Designer Trees, and Vignettes, and Gingerbread Village are the three main exhibition areas. Imaginative wreaths — think seashells and alligators — and small tabletop trees are on view in the Deck the Halls area. Orlando has unique holiday trees and holiday scenes are offered in the Designer Tree and Vignette area. One entire section of the museum is given over to the aroma of gingerbread, where local culinary artists exhibit their talents designing elaborate gingerbread houses, which can be purchased. Past creations have included a Swiss chalet with a roof made of colorful Necco candies and a Candy Land board game house.
Florida guests can purchase holiday gifts and decorative accessories at the Holiday Boutique. Daily entertainment features a wide array of talent and holiday spirit, ranging from choir performances, dance groups, and caroling.