Entertainment: The Holiday Season in Florida Warms the Heart

Central Florida loves to get its merry on, from quaint neighborhood celebrations to theme park extravaganzas.

“A Christmas Carol” at Orlando Shakes is a lovely holiday tradition. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF ORLANDO SHAKES)The holiday season in Central Florida can be quirky. It can be ironic. It can even be traditional if you can forgive the lack of snow.

For many who embrace the Florida aesthetic, Christmas comes dressed in North Pole-themed Hawaiian shirts and the “good” flip flops. Our family pets humor us, mostly, and agree to wear fuzzy reindeer antlers and Santa Claws outfits.

Yard decorations run the gamut from the subtle to the Griswold and displays often touch on the Florida theme. Who wouldn’t be proud of Santa and his eight tiny flamingos (or manatees or alligators) pulling a toy-laden sleigh as snowmen made of beach sand ride short boards?

We may not have the snowbanks and freezing temperatures, but we have the holiday spirit, and we love a celebration emphasizing childhood dreams and family togetherness.

So, if you’re new to the Orlando area, our love of the holiday may pleasantly surprise you. If you are a seasoned resident, you already know.
Orlando magazine’s Holiday Guide introduces you to the oldest parade in Central Florida and the most sought after experiences that offer the warmest holiday wishes.

Being the world’s theme park capital means locals and visitors can experience the best holiday entertainment, decor, and gastronomic delights, all with a huge helping of thrills, chills, and family fun.

If you like your holiday cheer with a side of irreverent humor, Universal Orlando Resort will make you, as they say, “scream, laugh, and shout your jingle bells off.”
Walt Disney World Resort’s four parks launch their Christmas celebrations in November, ending on New Year’s Day. There isn’t a more beautiful (or crowded) time of the year to visit one or all of the parks.

SeaWorld Orlando melds marine life and Santa for a holiday celebration featuring millions of lights, a sea of trees, and dinner with Kris Kringle himself.
Christmas is “bricktacular” at LEGOLAND, Florida. The theme park is geared toward younger family members, but almost everybody would be in awe of a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree made entirely of LEGO bricks.

From boat parades to marathon days at the parks, look at all that Central Florida has to offer. CV

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