Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Events in Orlando, 2012 Edition

Worry not dear readers, I have returned!  I'm pleased to announ-- wait... is anyone still reading this thing?

Hopefully you'll forgive my unceremonious departure this summer that let this blog come to a screeching halt.  You'll be happy to hear, though, that I'm now a proud homeowner in beautiful Colonialtown North, a couple classes closer to finishing my master's degree, partook in an internship, and managed to stay employed throughout it all.  While I can't promise I'll be able to post regularly until after this spring, I want to use the downtime in the coming weeks to dust off the old keyboard and share some more ideas of what do to in Orlando on the cheap.

Did you feel like everything came earlier this year?  Christmas music basically started at 12:01am on November 1st.  Stores opened for Black Friday as early as Thursday night.  Holiday events are starting next week.  And I'm sitting here writing this post on November 27th.  Did I mention it's 70 out?

That's the way it goes, I guess.  So, without keeping you much longer, here are some of this year's best Christmas events in and around Orlando -- with special emphasis on the free, cheap, and fun.

Ongoing Events

Until January 6th, bring your friends and family to the annual Light up UCF.  Come for the ice skating and rides and stay for the music and shopping.  Movies (dates and times below), snow, light shows, and parking are all free; attraction prices vary, but discounts available for students and groups!

Winter Park's Central Park is hosting Winter in the Park from now until Sunday, January 6th.  Tickets are $10 and include ice skating.  Hours are Mon-Thurs 3:00pm to 9:00pm, Fri 3:00pm to 10:00pm, Sat 10:00am to 10:00pm, and Sun noon to 8:00pm.  For other Winter Park holiday events, click here.

From now until December 23rd, Theatre Downtown (2113 N Orange Ave) is putting on A Christmas Carol.  Come early to have a drink in the front room and listen to the carolers sing a few Christmas standards.  Tickets are $20 regular / $16 student/senior; call 407.841.0083 for reservations.

The Cathedral Church of Saint Luke will host its 41st Cathedral Series this year, featuring a variety of classical and holiday music performed by various choirs and orchestras.  Click here for the complete schedule.

Special Events

Below is a calendar of special holiday events in and around Orlando for the holiday season.  Unless noted otherwise, these events are free and open to the public.  I'll be adding more events as I find them, so check back often.  Did I miss any?  Let me know!

Wednesday, November 28th
5:30pm Fred Claus at Light up UCF
8:00pm Fred Claus at Light up UCF

Friday, November 30th
4:00pm Holiday Lights Orlando at Lake Eola Park Amphitheater  (choirs, play, food trucks)
6:00pm Orlando Holiday Brew Fest, Downtown ($25 includes beer, drinks, food)
6:15pm Lighting of the Christmas Tree, Holiday Lights Orlando
7:00pm How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Winter Park Central Park, by Enzian
9:00pm Elf at Winter Park Central Park, by Enzian

Saturday, December 1st
7:00pm Polar Express at Light up UCF
9:30pm Polar Express at Light up UCF

Sunday, December 2nd
2:00pm Orlando Christmas Parade & Holiday in the Park Festival (reaches downtown at 5:30)

Wednesday, December 5th
5:30pm The Santa Claus at Light up UCF
8:00pm The Santa Claus at Light up UCF

Thursday, December 6th
6:15pm Christmas in the Park with Bach Festival Choir, Winter Park

Friday, December 7th
6:00pm A Christmas Carol Date Night at Leu Gardens ($5/$2 kids)
7:00pm How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Light up UCF
9:30pm How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Light up UCF

Saturday, December 8th
3:00pm Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra's FSYO Annual Holiday Concert, Lake Eola
6:00pm Sanford's Illuminated Christmas Parade, Downtown Sanford
6:30pm Winter Park Boat Parade & Festival of Lights, Polasek Museum, Winter Park
7:00pm Veggie Tales at Light up UCF
8:00pm 11th Annual Santa Stumble, Downtown Orlando
9:30pm Veggie Tales at Light up UCF

Sunday, December 9th
11:00am - 5:00pm Handmade Holiday Market & Winter Wellness Festival, Dandelion Cafe
5:00pm Chanukah in the Park, Central Park, Winter Park

Thursday, December 13th
5:30pm The Nightmare Before Christmas at Light up UCF
8:00pm The Nightmare Before Christmas at Light up UCF

Friday, December 14th
6:00pm Treelighting and outdoor showing of Arthur Christmas, Casselberry
7:00pm Arthur Christmas at Light up UCF
9:30pm Arthur Christmas at Light up UCF

Saturday, December 15th
7:00pm Mickey's Magical Christmas at Light up UCF
9:30pm Mickey's Magical Christmas at Light up UCF

Wednesday, December 19th
5:30pm A Christmas Story at Light up UCF
8:00pm A Christmas Story at Light up UCF

Friday, December 21st
7:00pm Elf at Light up UCF
9:30pm Elf at Light up UCF

Saturday, December 22nd
7:00pm Home Alone at Light up UCF
7:30pm Nutcracker performance by Russian Ballet at Lake Eola
9:00pm Home Alone at Light up UCF

Wednesday, December 26th
6:30pm A Christmas Carol at Light up UCF
9:00pm A Christmas Carol at Light up UCF

Sunday, December 30th
5:30pm Miracle at 34th Street at Light up UCF
7:30pm Miracle at 34th Street at Light up UCF

Friday, January 4th
7:00pm Home Alone 2 at Light up UCF
9:30pm Home Alone 2 at Light up UCF

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