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Making Christmas Memories with Tweens & Teens

As kids reach a certain ‘age of knowing,’ the enchantment of familiar holiday traditions can wane. During this transitional stage, many parents seek new activities to infuse excitement into Christmas. Here are our ideas to cultivate your holiday traditions, ensuring they evolve with your growing family.

Gaylord Palms Resort
If you’ve frequented Ice! numerous times, consider skipping it this year. Instead, indulge in dinner at the onsite Wrecker’s Sports Bar and secure seated tickets for the Cirque: The Spirit of Christmas show in the Gaylord Palms hotel atrium. Learn more here.

Give Back
Teens and tweens are at the ideal age to embrace the spirit of giving. Volunteer as a family to make a difference and create lasting memories that surpass material gifts. Explore volunteer opportunities at Central Florida charities here.

Jingle Run
Strap on those jingle bells and participate in the closest 5K to your neighborhood. Challenge the kids to outrun or walk alongside their parents. Consider events like AdventHealth Santa’s Twilight 5K (Clermont on December 16) or The Ritz-Carlton Holiday GLO 5K (The Ritz-Carlton Orlando on December 30).

Holiday Boat Parade
If the traditional PJ-clad Christmas lights expedition is losing its appeal, try attending one of Florida’s Holiday Boat Parades. Better yet, rent a pontoon boat and join the parade yourselves!

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
Since their palettes have (hopefully) expanded beyond chicken tenders and mac ‘n cheese, it’s a great time to treat your family to the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays! Your family can taste exotic foods and learn about holiday traditions from around the globe. Plus, they’re probably the perfect age to appreciate the Candlelight Processional Christmas concert.

The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays
Dress to the nines and head to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate the holidays at The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays on December 15 at 8 p.m. This mind-blowing spectacle features the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth.

Change the Theme for Christmas Dinner
Let your kids pick a country to shape your Christmas dinner around. Whether it’s an Italian or Dutch Christmas, dress according to the theme, cook the cuisine, play music and even include white elephant gifts from that region.

Get Outta Dodge
Surprise your family with a gift of a few nights in a new town. Exploring holiday traditions in a different area can bring a refreshing excitement to the season. Consider Florida destinations like Amelia Island’s Christmas Festival or West Coast spots like Downtown St. Pete and Gasparilla Island.

Wall Crawl
Revamp the Santa photo tradition with a Santa Mini Session at the Wall Crawl, offering a modern and teen-friendly way to visit Santa and capture cherished photos.

Let Them Host
As teens want to spend more time with friends, let them host a ‘Christmas With Friends’ gathering at home. They can plan, decorate and prepare for events like a cookie-making social, PJ & Christmas movie night, or a holiday lights bike parade around the neighborhood. Let them try their hand at creating this Hot Cocoa Party Board for their guests.

A New Treat
Experience JoJo’s shakeBAR at Pointe Orlando for a sweet, high-energy holiday hangout. Indulge in treats like JoJo’s Winter Wonderland Peppermint Shake or the Snowflake Grilled Cheese & Roasted Tomato Bisque. Visit their Instagram here.

Let them Shop
Turn Christmas upside down by having teens shop for their own gifts. Allocate a budget, and let them return the gifts for wrapping. This not only brings joy but also fosters valuable life skills such as finding the best deals, budgeting, calculating sales tax and responsible spending.

Written by
Heather Reneau

Heather Reneau is an Oviedo mom of two and a graphic designer/art director with a natural flair for writing. Her entrepreneurial spirit has led her down many business paths, including conceiving and producing PLAYGROUND Magazine back in 2007. It's her passion to celebrate local people and spread the word about quality family businesses, services and events in Orlando and beyond.

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Written by Heather Reneau


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