Christmas through the eyes of a child is pure magic and there are plenty of ways to see your kids light up this holiday season with a handful of family-friendly Christmas events in Orlando. Here's a list to help get your family's Christmas festivities started.
University of Central Florida glows with thousands of twinkling lights during Light Up UCF, starting Nov. 16. The event features carnival rides such as a Ferris wheel, the Arctic Glide Ice Slide, and the Winter Whirl. Take a photo with Santa or grab some skates and hit Orlando's largest outdoor ice rink. On Dec. 15 and 21, enjoy a Christmas market, featuring crafts from local artisans. Tickets are available at the CFE Arena box office. Some attractions are free.
Santa has been kidnapped and it's up to you to save him! Do you think you can solve the puzzles and find Santa? Work as a team and look for the clues throughout the house. It’s up to you. If Santa doesn’t leave in 60 minutes time, Christmas will never happen! This attraction is available throughout the whole holiday season 9AM - 11:45PM. $35 per person.
Winter Spark Baldwin Park returns to New Broad St this holiday season on December 8th. This family-friendly event begins with a small holiday festival (4-8pm) with artists, vendors, food, and an opportunity for pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus. At 7pm sharp, a fantastic lighted parade will march down New Broad Street toward the lake. Be sure to stay after the parade to enjoy music and holiday shopping until 8pm.
The Nutcracker Family Show is the perfect way to introduce this Christmas classic to the kids. The performance by the Orlando Ballet is shortened to just one hour. Before the show, kids can partake in fun holiday activities in the lobby. The Nutcracker Family Show takes place at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts from Dec. 7th - 16th at various times.
Orlando's Christmas tree at Lake Eola Park will shine bright starting Nov. 30. Festivities begin at 6:45 p.m. with a performance by the The Orlando Concert Band. The six-story Christmas tree lights up with more than 88,000 dazzling lights. Kids love the animated lights that dance along to Christmas tunes. The event is free.
Who doesn't want to take a trip to the North Pole this Christmas? Passengers on The POLAR Express will relive the magic of this classic story. Passengers read along with the children's book, as a host punches your golden ticket and dancing chefs serve cookies and hot chocolates. Santa also climbs aboard and greets passengers with a gift-- a silver sleigh bell. The train runs Nov. 9 through Dec. 30.
This street party takes over Park Avenue in Winter Park on Friday, Dec. 7. Festivities kick off with performances by local children’s choirs at 5 p.m., followed by the lighting of the Tree of Lights in Central Park at dusk. Santa will make his entrance at 6:30 p.m. and take photos with kids until 8 p.m. The event is free.
You'll definitely catch the Christmas spirit at one of these family-friendly holiday celebrations in the Orlando-area. Looking for other Christmas fun? Check out our full guide to Christmas in Orlando.