Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Free Christmas Events in Orlando, 2011 Edition

There are so many holiday events in Central Florida every year that for this post I decided to narrow them down by price and only include events that are FREE.  Here are some of Orlando's most popular holiday season events that you can enjoy without spending any money.  Come see fireworks, parades, and tree lighting ceremonies; visit Santa, a museum, or a concert; play in the snow, socialize, and much more.  Disclaimer: Most events do serve food and drinks, which are probably not free.  Any other free events you know of that aren't listed?  Leave a comment!


Free Ongoing Events

Although it was already mentioned in the Thanksgiving post, Light Up UCF is going all month.  In addition to ice skating, rides like the Ferris wheel, Christmas train, and ice slide cost money, but there are also free activities, including a musically-synchronized light show every night and the Holiday Film Festival (see below for details).  Parking is free and check the site's calendar for 2-4-1 Tuesdays on ice skating and other combo deals.

Although it's become a nightly event since the Lake Eola fountain renovations earlier this Fall, stop by the park  any night at 8:00pm or 9:30pm to see a four-and-a-half minute light show choreographed with some lively jazz music.

Santa's Winter Wonderland Village will be going on at the Waterford Lakes town center from December 2nd, 2011 to January 2nd, 2012.  Come see seasonal displays, visit Santa's workshop, and enjoy the thousands of lights.  In addition to food and drink stands, there are also twenty different rides (usually $3; $15 daily wristband), including a Ferris wheel and scooter track.

Scenic Mount Dora has an ongoing calendar of holiday events, including movies at the park, lighted boat tours, performances, and lots of opportunities to visit with Santa Claus.

A nightly event in Trumanshow-esque Celebration, Florida, is Now Snowing.  The month-long event (November 26th through December 31st - including Christmas Eve and Day) includes, hourly snowfalls, skating, carolers and other live music, visits by Santa, carriage rides, and other surprise events.


Free Special Events

Tuesday, November 29th

Holiday Film Festival at Light Up UCF, Orlando
     -  7:00pm and 9:30pm
     -  Showing of Fred Claus on five-story outdoor movie screen

Wednesday, November 30th

Holiday at Heritage Square, Orange County History Center, Downtown Orlando
     -  6:00pm to 8:00pm
     -  Tree lighting at 6:15pm
     -  Choirs, crafts, Santa

Thursday, December 1st

Christmas in the Park, Winter Park
     -  6:15pm to 8:00pm
     -  Lighting of the Morse Museum's Tiffany Windows
     -  Concert by Bach Festival Choir, Youth Choir, and Brass Ensemble

Holiday on the Drive with Light up College Park, Orlando
     -  5:00pm to 9:00pm
     -  Tree lighting, Santa, karaoke, live music

Cornell Fine Arts Museum Open House, Rollins Campus in Winter Park
     -  11:00am to 6:00pm

Friday, December 2nd

Holiday Lights Orlando 2001 with Mayor Buddy Dyer, Lake Eola Park Band Shell
     -  4:00pm Tree lighting
     -  Choir, "The Gift" play, live music
     -  Outdoor showing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Morse Museum of American Art Open House
     -  4:00pm - 8:00pm
     -  Harp concert, 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Cornell Fine Arts Museum Open House, Rollins Campus in Winter Park
     -  11:00am to 8:00pm

Holiday Film Festival at Light Up UCF, Orlando
     -  7:00pm and 9:30pm
     -  Showing of The Nightmare Before Christmas on five-story outdoor movie screen
     -  Mayor of Oviedo coming; skating discount for residents of Oviedo

Popcorn Flicks, Central Park in Winter Park
     -  7:00pm
     -  Outdoor showing of A Christmas Story and How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Family Fun Night, Lake Concord Park in Casselberry
     -  6:00pm to 9:00pm
     -  Tree lighting and movie in the park

Holiday in the Park, Lake Mary
     -  6:30pm Tree lighting with Santa
     -  Face painting, games, prizes, food, entertainment
     -  Bring canned goods or toys and get free cookies

Light Up Sanford, Magnolia Square in Sanford
     -  6:00pm - 8:00pm Tree lighting
     -  Christmas music

Mount Dora Christmas Walk, Downtown Mount Dora
     -  6:00pm to 9:00pm
     -  Holiday street party with music, Santa, and shopping

Saturday, December 3rd

Winter Park Christmas Parade, Park Avenue, Winter Park
     -  9:00am Parade

Holiday Film Festival at Light Up UCF, Orlando
     -  7:00pm and 9:30pm showing of Veggie Tales on five-story outdoor movie screen

Avalon Aglow, Avalon Park in Orlando
     -  3:00pm Parade
     -  9:00pm Fireworks
     -  Live music, food, rides, story telling

Light Up the Holidays, Crane's Roost Park in Altamonte Springs
     -  5:00pm to 9:00pm
     -  Music, entertainment, fireworks, fountain show

Lighted Boat Parade, Lakefront Mount Dora
     -  Sundown (around 6:00pm)

Friday, December 9th

Morse Museum of American Art Open House
     -  4:00pm - 8:00pm
     -  Classical guitar concert, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
     -  Family tour, 5:15pm - 6:00pm
     -  Sculpture demonstration, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Holiday Film Festival at Light Up UCF, Orlando
     -  7:00pm and 9:30pm
     -  Showing of A Christmas Story on five-story outdoor movie screen
     -  Mayor of Winter Springs coming; skating discount for residents of Winter Springs

Saturday, December 10th

Holiday Concert by the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, Lake Eola Park Band Shell
     -  2:00pm
     -  Bring a present or cash donation

Winter Park Festival of Lights Boat Parade, Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
     -  4:30pm, parade at sundown (6:00pm)
     -  Boat parade, live music, food and drink stands

Baldwin Park Festival of Lights, New Broad Street, Orlando
     -  6:00pm to 9:00pm
     -  Parade, live music, carriage rids

Holiday Film Festival at Light Up UCF, Orlando
     -  7:00pm and 9:30pm
     -  Showing of Home Alone 2 on five-story outdoor movie screen

Illuminated Christmas Parade, Sanford
     -  6:00pm Parade with live music

Sunday, December 11th

Mills50 Jingle 'n' Mingle, Mills Ave & Lake Highland
     -  2:00pm - 5:00pm
     -  Live music, stiltwalker, balloon artist, magician
     -  Art, craft, food, and drink stands; Santa photos

Friday, December 16th

Morse Museum of American Art Open House
     -  4:00pm - 8:00pm
     -  Piano concert, 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Holiday Film Festival at Light Up UCF, Orlando
     -  7:00pm and 9:30pm
     -  Showing of Polar Express on five-story outdoor movie screen
     -  HOA President of Avalon Park; discounts for Avalon Park residents

Saturday, December 17th

The Nutcracker Under the Stars, Lake Eola Park Band Shell
     -  7:30pm
     -  Performed by the Russian Ballet of Orlando

Holiday Film Festival at Light Up UCF, Orlando
     -  7:00pm and 9:30pm
     -  Showing of Mickey's Magical Christmas on five-story outdoor movie screen
     -  Radio Disney night with giveaways

Tuesday, December 20th

Holiday Film Festival at Light Up UCF, Orlando
     -  7:00pm and 9:30pm
     -  Showing of Miracle on 34th Street on five-story outdoor movie screen

Friday, December 23rd

Morse Museum of American Art Open House
     -  4:00pm - 8:00pm
     -  Flute concert, 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Holiday Film Festival at Light Up UCF, Orlando
     -  7:00pm and 9:30pm
     -  Showing of A Christmas Carol on five-story outdoor movie screen

Saturday, December 24th

Morse Museum of American Art Open House
     -  9:30am - 4:00pm
     -  Music by Raintree Chamber Players, 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Friday, December 30th

Holiday Film Festival at Light Up UCF, Orlando
     -  7:00pm and 9:30pm
     -  Showing of Santa Claus 2 on five-story outdoor movie screen

1 comment:

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