Monday, November 21, 2011

Orlando Thanksgiving Week 2011 Rundown, by Melinda Carter

In Orlando, many of the large holiday festivities in the area take place out at some of the large amusement parks, however there’s still plenty to do without having a to spend a big buck throughout the winter. As Thanksgiving approaches next week, Orlando will be home to some great events to showcase the last fall holiday as it gives way to winter. There will be festivals and events to celebrate thanksgiving and other fun events throughout the week for residents and their holiday guests.
This upcoming weekend will be the last to get out and see the 25th Annual Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art. Running through Sunday, November 20, the event will include a beautiful display of vignettes and trees throughout the museum. Ticket prices are between $6 and $10, as guests will be treated to daily entertainment by choirs and dance groups, as well as plenty of food options.

Although it stretches into December, one great tradition for November is Light Up UCF. This event over at the University of Central Florida is a three year old tradition that helps to kick off the holiday season in November. The nightly event takes place in front of the UCF Arena and allows visitors to enjoy ice skating, movies, light shows, and other attractions. This is a great chance for Thanksgiving week visitors to get in some ice skating and prep for the celebration of the holidays in December.

One great Thanksgiving week tradition is turkey trot 5k’s on the holiday morning. The 22nd annual Track Shack Turkey Trot 5k will be the highlight event in Orlando at Lake Eola Park. There will be a regular 5k beginning at 8:00am and a Kid’s Trot starting at 9:15am. Some runners will have fun with the event by dressing up in turkey or pilgrim costumes, but that’s certainly not required. The trot will be a great way for local residents to get out on Thanksgiving morning and get some exercise before feasting back in their Orlando apartments and homes.

Even though it’s a bit north of the city, a weekend trip up to Silver Springs in Ocala could work for a great experience. Ocala will be host to the Native American Festival that will feature a variety of activities including vendors, canoe displays, art contests, a hunting camp and historic exhibits. The festival will be highlighted by performances from tribe members from North and South America, as well as crafting displays and storytelling.

If you don’t have a plan for a thanksgiving dinner or simply don’t feel like putting the effort into preparation this year, there are plenty of dinner events available in the Orlando area. Mimi’s locations, as well as a number of hotels in South Orlando will be hosting their own dinners open to everyone. Be sure to get out with your family and friends this week in Orlando as there will be plenty to do around the city for little to no price at all.

Melinda Carter is a creative writer from the University of Texas El Paso. As an aspiring writer she specializes in writing about travel detestations and tourism.

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