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The Best Family Events in Orlando this December 2022

Dino in Lights at Orlando Science Center

Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite Orlando events to take your kids and visiting guests, to end your year with a bang!

<<< November 2022January 2023 >>>

Check out our Holiday Lights Guide 2022 here.

Theme Park Holiday Events

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
Select Days, November 11–January 3
SeaWorld is overflowing with good tide-ings this year. View over 3 million lights, learn about animal friends, watch (our favorite) enchanted ice-skating show, nosh on decadent delights and sip holly jolly cocoa under faux snowfall, and you can even meet Santa in the Wild Artic. PLAY Tip: Non-driving adults should try the Mistletoe Margarita, Jingle Juice or Caramel Mule. 

SeaWorld Christmas Celebration

EPCOT International Festival of Holidays
Now–December 30
Travel around the World Showcase to see how different countries ring in the season through Storytellers sharing their country’s holiday legends and folklore. While you’re there, taste-test an array of sweet treats by partaking in the Holiday Cookie Stroll, set off on a merry quest with Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt and take a peaceful cruise through Living with the Land’s special sparkling boat tour.   

Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
November 13–January 2
Universal Resort Orlando

Universal Resort Orlando is bursting with holly jolly celebrations. Get in on seasonal fun at The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular in Suess Landing at Universal Studios and celebrate Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Hogwarts Castle (Islands of Adventure) and Diagon Alley (Universal Studios). Through January 2, visitors will experience special shows and enjoy holiday treats and drinks like the addicting hot Butterbeer.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Select nights, now through December 22
The Magic Kingdom
This might be the most magical time of the year for Disney goers. During this special ticketed event that runs on select nights until December 22, the Magic Kingdom is bursting with holiday cheer thanks to snowfall on Main Street, sweet treat pop-up stations, special shows and holiday makeovers for several rides (like the Jingle Cruise!).

Submit an event here.

New!

True North: A Magical New Holiday Musical
The Orlando Repertory Theatre
Now through December 22

This broadway-style performance is for young audiences.

A Christmas Carol
November 30-December 24
Orlando Shakes

Enjoy the story of the ghosts of Christmas, Tiny Tim and Scrooge’s redemption. Plus, grab some fresh hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies at intermission and hear gorgeous carols. 

All Month Long

Scuba Claus
Wednesdays in December, 1 p.m.
Sea Life Orlando Aquarium

What’s better than listening to the Florida holiday story of Fishmas? Hearing a holiday story with Scuba Claus underwater surrounded by spectacular sea creatures!

Dazzling Nights
November 25–January 1, 5:30–10 p.m.
Leu Gardens

Walk through an interactive experience of light shows, faux snow fall, live caroling performances and more interactive exhibits that are bursting with light, joy and holiday spirit. Tickets are required.

Dinos in Lights
Now through January 3, 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Orlando Science Center

Visit DinoDigs as your favorite fossil friends show off their twinkling talent in a festive display of music and light. Each family-friendly show will run for four minutes and is included in general admission. Shows begin every 30 minutes between 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily. 

Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild
Now through January 15, 2023
Central Florida Zoo

This year there is nearly all new, hand-constructed lanterns lit by more than 10,000 LED lights. Enjoy a ¾ mile walk around the zoo filled with a spectacular display of color, light and sound that celebrates the art, culture and beauty of traditional Asian lantern festivals. Buy tickets online at centralfloridazoo.org/lanterns. Watch this Instagram Reel of our visit.

Photo: Playground Magazine

Downtown Orlando Snowfall
Friday, December 2–December 23, select evening
Lake Eola House
Experience snowfall in downtown Orlando this holiday season! Snow will fall on Washington St. by the Lake Eola House (located near the intersection of E. Washington St. and N. Eola Dr.). The 15-minute snowfall schedule is: Fridays and Saturdays: 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.; Sundays:  5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

Holiday Movies
Mondays at 6 p.m., November 28December 19
A La Carte

We love this time of year, the slight chill in the air (it’s coming, we just know it!), the festive music all around, the time with family and friends… and maybe some of our favorite things about the holidays, are the movies! That’s why we’re going to show two holiday classics every Monday between today and Christmas! ✌️🎥🎄Each Monday we will kick things off with a family-friendly animated short. These movies are no longer than 30 minutes, the perfect length to get the kiddos back home in time for bed! 😉 Then at 7 p.m. we will start our full length holiday classic. 🎅🏼🐰

December 1-4, 2022

The Santa Workshop Experience
ICON Park
Now–December 24
Santa’s favorite stop in town is ICON Park! The entertainment hub is magically transformed into the North Pole. Beyond taking beautiful holiday photos and meeting the jolly old elf, families can also ride on the fan-favorite Pearl Express train, which is decked out in its holiday best. Reservations required.

Holiday Teatime Dance Party
Friday, December 2, 10 a.m.
Infusion Tea, College Park

Bring your littles to sing along and dance to all your Yuletide favorites with Mr. Richard!

The Nutcracker in the Park
Friday, December 2, 5 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Center Lake Park, Oviedo

Kick off the holiday season with a free, family-friendly performance of The Nutcracker by University Performing Arts Center. There are no tickets needed for this event. Seating is first come, first serve, so plan to arrive early to secure your seats on the family lawn. The front half of the lawn will be for blankets only, while the back half of the lawn will allow you to use your own chairs. Snacks will be available for purchase at the show. Parking is free around Center Lake Park, and the large parking lot off Oviedo Boulevard.

A Big Band Christmas
Friday, December 2, 8 p.m. & Saturday, December 3, 6 p.m.
Lake Buena Vista High School

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we invite you to kick-start your holiday season with the biggest, baddest Big Band in town! The 40-piece CFCArts Big Band is going to ring in the Christmas season with a night full of your favorite holiday tunes. Packed full of all of the Christmas music you love, performed in classic Big Band style, we know you’ll love rockin’ around with us at A Big Band Christmas!

Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 3, 9 a.m.
Park Ave, Winter Park

An old time tradition for one of the most prestigious communities in the Orlando area. The brick streets, amazing shopping and beautiful park make Park Avenue one of the best locations to kick of the Christmas cheer with festive hometown holiday parade.

Longwood Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 3, 3 p.m.

The City of Longwood will host the 8th annual Christmas Parade through Longwood by way of Ronald Reagan Blvd., north of SR 434. The parade will kick off at 3:00 pm on Saturday, December 3rd, and will feature stunning cars, seasonal characters, bands, and much more.

Avalon Aglow
Saturday, December 3, 3–9 p.m.
Downtown Avalon Park

Avalon Park transforms into a winter wonderland with real snow, train rides and even an appearance by Santa Claus. After enjoying the festivities, make sure to grab a bite to eat from one of the many vendors and watch the holiday parade or even one of the local live performances. Finish off the night at Avalon Lake to enjoy Orlando’s premier fireworks show! This event is free for everyone to enjoy.

City of Oviedo Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 3, 6–9 p.m.
Along Oviedo Boulevard

Parade starts at 7 p.m. at the Oviedo Gym & Aquatics Center. Vendors, food, drinks and alcohol will be available for purchase starting at 5 p.m. at Center Lake Park.

Story Stroll
Saturday, December 3, 9 a.m.
Orlando Repertory Theatre

This fun and engaging class is for guardians and their toddlers to experience a journey of creative play through Lach Haven Park. Reserve your spot ahead of time or walk-ups are also welcome! Parents, grandparents or caregivers are welcome. Enjoy complimentary coffee, tea or water after class in the lobby.

Christmas Golf Cart Parade
Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m.
Plant Street, Winter Garden

The best place to view the parade BEST from downtown Winter Garden on South Dillard Street and Plant Street. Spectators must use all parking areas in downtown.

Musical Mayhem Family Day
Orange County Regional History Center
Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m.3 p.m.

Rock out with the whole family while exploring Central Florida’s musical past! View the latest special exhibition, Figurehead: Music & Mayhem in Orlando’s Underground, and enjoy exciting activities throughout the museum. Admission is free all day. 

The Nutcracker by Orlando Ballet
Saturday, December 3, 11 a.m.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

This beloved annual tradition, offers tickets to a one-hour Family & Sensory Friendly Show on December 3, 10 & 17.

Light Up the Holidays
Saturday, December 3, 5–9 p.m.
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

The City of Altamonte Springs is bringing back the tradition of lighting up Cranes Roost Park. Watch as the park comes alive with spectacular holiday displays featuring 200,000 lights and a 60-foot tree decorated with thousands of ornaments and over a mile of garland. There will also be a fireworks show, ice skating, live music & dance performances, photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus and kids’ activities. Admission is free.

A Teddy Bear Affair
December 3 & December 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dr. Dare’s Lab, Level 4, Orlando Science Center

Nemours Children’s Health will be hosting a Teddy Bear clinic in Dr. Dare’s Lab to teach children about the importance of health and wellness and help familiarize them with the healthcare setting. Medical professionals from Nemours Children’s Health will be on hand and young visitors are encouraged to bring their Teddy Bears, or favorite stuffed animal, for a check-up to make sure they’re in tip top shape. Not only does this event educate children about the importance of health and wellness, but it helps them become more comfortable with visiting a medical professional, both inside and outside of a healthcare setting. Teddy Bears will be provided for children who didn’t bring “patients” to be examined. This event is included with admission to Orlando Science Center.

A Teddy Bear Affair at Orlando Science Center

Storytime, Hot Chocolate & Pony Ride
Sunday, December 4, 10 a.m. & 12 p.m.
Cheyne Ranch, Oviedo
A local Oviedo author will be reading her children’s book at Cheyne Ranch! Enjoy hot chocolate, take a photo with a unicorn, kids get a pony ride, and Interact with farm animals! Registration is required.

7th Annual Light Up SoDo
Sunday, December 4, 26 p.m.

Grab your family, friends and pets for this annual holiday classic! There will be tons of fun activities for everyone. Get ready to experience Santa and Mrs. Claus, a maker’s market, food trucks, appearances from local SoDo businesses, the Bubble Bus, bounce houses, face painting, stilt walkers, beer and wine garden, live performances and SO MUCH MORE! 🎅🏼🤶🏼 This year, they’re asking for a $5 individual donation or $10 per family to enjoy the day‘s events and to support your non-profit SoDo Main Street District. Purchase tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/7th-annual-light-up-sodo-2022-tickets-404970677197

Letters to Santa featuring The Polar Express
Sunday, December 4, 11 a.m.2 p.m.
The Enzian

In addition to the kid-friendly December matinee screening of The Polar Express, children will receive a goodie bag including a letter writing kit to craft their wish list for Santa, coloring pages and candy canes. A special menu including cookies and hot cocoa will be available in-theater. On the way out of the movie, kids will drop their letters in Santa’s mailbox!

Submit an event here.

December 5-11, 2022

Oh, What Fun! Holiday Festival
December 7–24
Lake Nona Town Center

Holiday magic awaits the whole family at Central Florida’s favorite winter festival. Watch as Lake Nona Town Center transforms into a winter wonderland, known as Peppermint Square, with nightly snowfalls, live entertainment, photo ops and a calendar full of celebrations and events. See more details here.

Oh, What Fun! at Lake Nona Town Center

Grand Opening Celebration
December 9, 5-8 p.m.
December 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Whimsy Emporium

You’re invited to bring your kids to The Whimsy Emporium grand opening in Lake Mary. Guests can shop party supplies, books and unique gifts while also enjoying grand opening discounts, giveaways and special activities for kids!

Holiday Movie: The Nightmare Before Christmas
December 9, 7 p.m.
East Lawn at Lake Eola Park 
Pack your blankets, chairs and snacks for the whole family to enjoy The Nightmare Before Christmas.  

Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, December 10, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Wekiva Island

Get some quality time with the head elf himself, plus enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet at Wekiva Island’s Breakfast with Santa. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tickets include breakfast buffet with made-to-order omelets, pancakes, sausage, bacon and carved ham, biscuits and gravy, home fries, fruit and juice and coffee. Advanced registrations are required. Tickets are $17.95 for adults and $12.95 for children 10 and under.

Winter Wonderland Family Day & Children’s Art Workshop
December 10, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Art & History Museums of Maitland

Your family is invited to celebrate the arrival of a new season. Children will create wintery snowflake art mobiles! After the workshop there will be snowflake face painting, a scavenger hunt and free admission to museum attractions. Reserve your spot here.

Nutcracker Cookie Workshop
Saturday, December 10, 10:30 a.m.
Our Suite Village, Oviedo Mall

Don’t miss Ale & Ele Bake’s (@aleandelebake) holiday cookie event. One adult and one child can work together during this festive event for $35 per child/adult couple.

Ale and Ele Bake’s Nutcracker Cookie Workshop

The Nutcracker by Orlando Ballet
Saturday, December 10, 11 a.m.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

This beloved annual tradition, offers tickets to a one-hour Family & Sensory Friendly Show on December 3, 10 & 17.

Holiday on the Drive Parade
December 10, 5 p.m.
College Park

The entire community is invited to celebrate the excitement of the holiday season along Edgewater Drive. Be sure to keep an eye out for a very special guest … Santa Claus!

Winter Park Holiday Boat Parade
December 10, 6 p.m.
Family and friends can gather at Dinky Dock Park to see the impressive boat and dock holiday decorations created by residents and local business sponsors. 

Parade of Lights
December 10, 6–8 p.m.
Historic Downtown Sanford’s

A dazzling evening of exciting parade floats, lights and music along 1st Street to celebrate the holidays.

10th Annual Violectric Holiday Show
December 10, 7 p.m.
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park 
Performing together live on stage, renowned “Vinylinist” and Founder of Violectric, Michelle Jones, and the talented musicians of the Central Florida strings super-group, announce the exciting milestone 10th Annual Violectric Holiday Show rocking into the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park. Free and open to the public, the 90-minute live concert presented by the City of Orlando’s Department of Families, Parks and Recreation will feature traditional holiday songs like O Christmas TreeThe First Noel and Hanukkah, O Hanukkah mashed up with classic rock tunes and modern hits like Born to RunHeroes and Sweet Dreams, delivering a fun-filled, energetic and highly unique holiday show unlike anything seen and heard before and simulcast around all of Lake Eola. 

Pinocchio’s Christmas Journey
Saturday, December 10 & 17, 1 p.m.

The Little People’s Theater at Penguin Point Productions, Oviedo Mall
Join Pinocchio on his journey to the North Pole to ask Santa to make him a real boy! Water the classic fairytale come alive before your eyes as you spend a meaningful Saturday afternoon with your children watching a magical Christmas play. Perfect for kids 3-8!

Ugly Sweater Cookie Decorating at the Farm
December 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Green Acres Farm, Oviedo

They will be decorating cookies (shaped like sweaters). And, don’t forget to leave yourself some time to visit with the farm animals. Show up anytime between 10 a.m.-2 p.m., as everyone doesn’t need to start at the same time. We have plenty of cookies for our participants. Cost – $15 per child & $5 per adult. Tickets ARE LIMITED and must be pre-purchased! 

The Naked Cupcake’s 1st Birthday Party
Sunday, December 11, 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
The Naked Cupcake, Lake Nona

You are invited to The Naked Cupcake’s 1st Birthday Party! The first 40 people will get a free celebration cupcake. There will also be free goodie bags, giveaways and raffles, face painting, a photo booth, and cupcake decorating stations available (starting at just $6). Click here for more info.

December 12-18, 2022

Winter Wonderland
December 1516, 7:30 p.m.
Northland Church

Step into a snow-filled, holiday festival as the Central Florida Community Choir presents its annual holiday extravaganza, Winter Wonderland! This year’s concert will feature holiday favorites specific to the cold and snow-filled fun of the season including “Winter Wonderland,” “Let It Snow,” “White Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and more! Also featured in this two-act concert will be the traditional telling of the Nativity story, as well as favorite tunes from Christmas and holiday movies and television specials from this time of year!

CFCArts Youth Theatre Program Presents Elf the Musical
Friday, December 16, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 17, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Trinity Preparatory School Auditorium

Everyone’s favorite elf in this timeless holiday classic. Make Buddy the Elf part of your holiday tradition. You’re invited to enjoy cocoa, games and more during Buddy’s Holiday Bash on December 17 at 12:45 before the Saturday matinee show.

The Nutcracker by Orlando Ballet
Saturday, December 17, 11 a.m.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

This beloved annual tradition, offers tickets to a one-hour Family & Sensory Friendly Show on December 3, 10 & 17.

Mr. Richard’s Holiday Musical Lunchtime
Saturday, December 17, 12-1 p.m.
Chick-Fil-A, Waterford Lakes

Sing and dance along with Mr. Richard during a live performance of his original music for kids and holiday favorites. Chicken + Santa songs = Holiday Musical Lunchtime

Holly Jolly Stocking Party
Saturday, Dec. 17 from noon to 3 p.m.
Boardwalk Bowl

Get creative and decorate your stocking to take home just in time for the holidays. The free event is open to all ages and supplies will be provided.

Free Performance of The Nutcracker
December 17, 7:30 p.m.
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park 
The Russian Academy of Ballet presents a gift to the Orlando Community with a free performance of the traditional “The Nutcracker.”

Submit an event here.

December 12-18, 2022

Sunday Holiday Market
Sunday, December 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Foxtail Coffee, Howell Branch

We are so excited for this holiday pop-up market with live music, specialty coffee beverages from Foxtail Coffee, delicious ice cream from Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream, fresh squeezed lemonade, pizza and more from 30+ of your favorite local vendors and treat makers!

Mommy and Me Nutcracker Ballet class
Sunday, December 18, 4 p.m.
Breaking Barre, Oviedo

Members: register for the class through the app (as usual) and email info@breaking-barre.com with the name/age of your little(s). Non-members: purchase a single class from the website or app (Mom and one child is included in this cost – $24) and then register for the class you want to attend through the “Get Scheduled” page on the site, or on the Breaking Barre app. Be sure to email us with the name/age of your little(s) so we have an accurate headcount. Contact us to add additional children. Contact us at info@breaking-barre.com or 407-588-4500 during class hours with questions or for help registering.

December 19-25, 2022

Mr. Richard’s Holiday tour at Kelly’s Ice Cream
Wednesday, December 21: Corrine Dr. @ 1 p.m.
Wednesday, December 21: Ferncreek Ave. @ 6 p.m.
Thursday, December 22: Foxtail Coffee Co (Howell Branch Rd., Winter Park) @ 10:30 a.m.
Thursday, December 22: Windermere @ 6 p.m.
Friday, December 23: Oviedo @ 6 p.m.
More details can be found on the Calendar page on Mr Richard’s website.

Holiday Movie: The Grinch (2018)
December 23, 7 p.m.
East Lawn at Lake Eola Park 
Pack your blankets, chairs and snacks for the whole family to enjoy the newest animated version of The Grinch.

Ugly Sweater Party
Saturday, Dec. 24, 911 a.m.

Boardwalk Bowl
Celebrate Christmas Eve with an Ugly Sweater Party! Guests wearing their ugliest holiday sweater will receive two free games of bowling. Dress up the whole family and come down for a morning of holiday fun!

Breakfast with Santa
December 24, 911 a.m.
Boardwalk Bowl, Orlando

Enjoy breakfast with Santa before his busy night delivering gifts! Guests can meet Santa and enjoy a free game of bowling and shoe rental when wearing an ugly holiday sweater. A breakfast menu will be available. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3RO7fcq.

December 26, 2022-January 1, 2023

Noon Year’s Eve Celebration
December 31, 11:30 a.m.12:30 p.m.
Orlando Science Center

Celebrate the arrival of 2023 at noon instead of midnight. Upon arrival, head up to DinoDigs for hands-on activities and the Dinos in Lights Festive Show that all lead up to a fun kiddie countdown to noon.

Jazzberry Jammin’ Noon Year’s Eve
December 31, 12–4 p.m.
Crayola Experience Orlando

Ring in the new year early with a DJ dance party, mid-day countdowns at 1 p.m. & 3 p.m., character appearances, plus special crafts and coloring pages.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Lake Nona
Saturday, December 31, 4–8 p.m.
Boxi Park, Lake Nona

Start with lunch at Boxi Park followed by a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party with live music, face painting, and kid-friendly activities from 4-8 p.m. There will be a new year countdown with a “balloon ball drop” at 7 p.m. Event entry is free until 4 p.m., with a $10 cover charge thereafter. 

Boxi Park Balloon Ball Drop | Lake Nona

Boardwalk Bowl’s New Year’s Eve Party
Saturday, December 31, 8 p.m.1 a.m.
Boardwalk Bowl, Orlando

Boardwalk Bowl is going all out to celebrate 2023 with a balloon drop, live music, photo backdrops and a champagne toast to send off 2022 in style. There are plenty of options to take part in the fun, including the All Nighters package starting at $149, two-hour package starting at $95 and walk-in rates starting at $75 with upgrades available on all packages. To learn more about the different options, visit https://bit.ly/3RO7fcq.

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens New Year’s Eve Celebration
Saturday, December 31, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Central Florida Zoo, Sanford

Families can send 2022 out on a WILD note! The Zoo has added a night at its popular Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild, New Year’s Eve. Families can stroll through dozens of larger-than-life, handcrafted lanterns around the Zoo, plus enjoy a DJ and an hourly countdown and celebration. The perfect way to start off a date night or celebrate with the family and get the kids home at a reasonable time.

New Year’s Eve Celebration at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure
Saturday, December 31, 4 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Pirates Dinner Adventure, Orlando

You are cordially invited to Treasure Bay for our annual New Year’s Eve celebration will be filled with games, songs, and fun. But best beware, danger lurks just outside the safety of Treasure Bay. The 7:30pm show will have a special early countdown at the end of the show.

New Year’s Eve Celebration at SeaWorld Orlando
Fireworks at midnight
SeaWorld Orlando

After an unforgettable evening filled with exciting shows, amazing animals, and thrilling rides, enjoy a spectacular fireworks display from a variety of viewing areas around the park. Included with park admission.

Submit an event here.

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