ORLANDO, Fla. - The holidays are upon us and things are looking merry and bright around Central Florida! From life-size gingerbread houses to dazzling nights and millions of twinkling lights, there are plenty of family-friendly events that are sure to fill you with yuletide cheer!
Drive-thru holiday lights show at Dezerland Park Orlando
What: Christmas Nights and Lights at Dezerland Park is the largest drive-thru immersive light show in Orlando. The show stretches about a mile and a half and takes about 20 to 30 minutes to go through. Those who attend can listen to the synchronized light show on the radio in their car.
Where: 5250 International Dr, Orlando
When: Now through Jan. 1; open daily from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park
What: This is Florida's only snow park and features a 60-foot tall, 400-foot long snow tubing hill with single, double, and 10-person snow tubing. You can catch nightly music on the Snowy Slopes and a light show visible throughout the park.
Where: 27839 St Joe Rd, Dade City
When: Open daily through holiday season; hours vary
ICE! at Gaylord Palms
(Doug Scaletta, photographer)
What: This year, the popular frozen exhibit ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee brings the Dr. Seuss Christmas classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" to life through hand-carved, colorful ice sculptures. Guests will walk through 10 different scenes from the Grinch story, encountering The Grinch, his dog Max, and the residents of Who-ville.
Where: 6000 W Osceola Pkwy, Kissimmee
When: Now through Jan. 1; open daily
Dazzling Nights at Leu Gardens
What: The walkthrough holiday experience at Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando takes guests on a journey through a stunning winter wonderland filled with millions of lights, magical displays and gorgeous shining forests.
Where: 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando
When: Now through Jan. 1; open daily (except Christmas Day) from 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll
What: Sip hot cocoa and stroll around leisurely at Disney Springs checking out 20 themed Christmas trees celebrating Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Super Hero favorites. The best part: it's free!
Where: 1486 Buena Vista Dr, Orlando
When: Now through Dec. 30; open daily
Kennedy Space Center Holidays in Space
What: Kennedy Space Center is launching its annual Holidays in Space, which will feature festive decor, six-foot-tall astronaut nutcrackers, live performances, and a brand-new projection mapping show, "Starflake’s Holiday Voyage." The 6-minute-long show will take guests on a journey "through the stars, earth, and beyond."
Where: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island
When: Dec. 16 - 30 (closed on Christmas Day)
Stetson Mansion in DeLand
What: The Stetson Mansion "Christmas Spectacular!" holiday home tours take guests through the 10,000-square-foot 1886 Victorian estate, which is completely decked out in beautiful holiday lights, Christmas trees, wreaths, and much more.
Where: 1031 Camphor Ln, DeLand
When: Now through Jan. 21; hours vary, reservations required
Life-size Gingerbread House at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Walt Disney World
What: Talk about a holiday treat! Walt Disney World's famous life-size gingerbread house is on display at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, pumping clouds of cinnamon out of its chimney! The house is decorated with white chocolate, candy canes, sugar poinsettias, edible snowflakes, and 25 hidden Mickeys. Along the porches, you’ll find an 85-pound chocolate Santa, nutcrackers, toy soldiers, and snowmen that have all been hand-painted by the resort's talented bakery team.
Where: 4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista
When: Now through the holiday season; open daily from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Night of a Million Lights
What: A dazzling winter wonderland awaits guests in this fully interactive holiday experience benefiting Give Kids the World, a nonprofit resort that provides critically ill children and their families with magical week-long wish vacations at no cost. This year's event features a life-size snow globe, an all-new dancing lights show on a five-story water slide, tunnels of lights, and maybe even some snow!
Where: Island H2O Water Park 3230 Inspiration Dr., Kissimmee
When: Now through Jan. 1; 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. OR 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. depending on the night