58 Free & Festive Holiday Events in Orlando

Holiday Events in Orlando 2017

**This list is for 2017 events. View our updated guide to free & festive holiday events in Orlando for 2019 here.

Our annual list of the best free holiday events in Orlando!

The most wonderful time of year is upon us and Orlando shines during the holidays. There’s a lot to do, and it can be overwhelming. The great news is there are a ton of free holiday events to enjoy. Check out some of our favorites below!


Holiday Light Show at Light Up UCF
November 17, 2017- December 31, 2017
Starts at 7pm and continues hourly until closing
CFE Arena

Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Display
November 15, 2017 – January 1, 2018
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort lobby (pictured in feature image)
Additional resorts with gingerbread displays in their lobbies: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel.

Note: Parking at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels is for the exclusive use of guests with confirmed rooms, dining and recreation reservations. However, bus transportation is available from each of the four parks and Disney Springs. Guests may also park at the Ticket and Transportation Center and visit Epcot, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort via the Walt Disney World Resort Monorail.

Snow Falling Nightly in Celebration
November 25, 2017 – December 31, 2017
Nightly snowfall at 6, 7, 8 and 9pm
Celebration Town Center

holidays in orlando

Cranes Roost Park Holiday Fountain Show
November 25, 2017 – December 31, 2017
Performances hourly from 6-9pm
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

Celebration Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 25, 2017
From 5:30-9pm
Celebration Town Center

Light Up Viera
November 25, 2017
Parade starts at 6:10pm
Route takes place near Viera High School

36th Annual Light Up Mount Dora
November 27, 2017
Donnelly Park and Downtown Mount Dora

Holiday Events in Orlando
Light Up Mount Dora. Image credit: mount-dora.blogspot.com

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland
December 1 – 30, 2017
Nightly snow flurries from 6-9pm
Wekiva Island
$1 entrance fee on weekends

Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree Show
December 1, 2017 – January 6, 2018
Nightly at 5:45, 6:45, 7:45, 8:45, and 9:45pm
Lake Eola Park

2017 City of Orlando Tree Lighting Celebration
December 1, 2017
From 5-9pm
Lake Eola Park

Winter on the Avenue
December 1, 2017
From 5-10pm
Central Park on Park Avenue, Winter Park

Holiday in the Park Lake Mary
December 1, 2017
Central Park Lake Mary City Hall
Filled with thousands of colorful lights, a Holiday Tree lighting, dancing light show, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Holiday lights will continue to be on display throughout the rest of the holiday season.

Christmas in the Square
December 1, 2017
From 6-8pm
Magnolia Square, Downtown Sanford

Celebrate the Season & Tree Lighting
December 1, 2017
From 6-9pm
Downtown Historic Longwood

30th Annual Light Up Winter Garden
December 1, 2017
From 6-9pm
Downtown Winter Garden – Plant Street

25th Annual Mount Dora Christmas Walk
December 1, 2017
From 6-9pm
Downtown Mount Dora

Deck the Downtown
December 1 – 31, 2017
Downtown Orlando
Downtown Orlando businesses will be “decked-out” with festive lights and window decorations. A map will guide residents and guests as they walk the streets of Downtown, enjoying the creativity and holiday spirit of each of the participating business locations. Deck the DTO location maps can be found online or at the Downtown Information Center.

2017 Ocoee Christmas Parade
December 2, 2017
From 10am-12pm

Ocoee’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration
December 2, 2017
From 5-8:30pm
Withers-Maguire House and Lakeshore Center & Grounds, Ocoee

40th Annual Cracker Christmas
December 2-3, 2017
Fort Christmas Historical Park

65th Annual Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade
December 2, 2017
Starts at 9am
Central Park Park Avenue, Winter Park

57th Annual Christmas Parade
December 2, 2017
Starts at 10am
Streets of Mount Dora

The Grove’s Winter Wonderland
December 2, 2017
11am – 3pm
The Grove Orlando

Winter Garden Christmas Parade
December 2, 2017
South Dillard Street & Plant Street

Avalon Aglow
December 2, 2017
From 3-9pm, fireworks 9pm
Downtown Avalon Park

Light Up the Holidays – Altamonte Springs
December 2, 2017
From 5-9pm
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

Casselberry Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 2, 2017
From 6-9pm
Lake Concord Park

Holiday Lights around Cranes Roost Park
December 2, 2017 – January 1, 2018
6-11 pm
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

Cranes Roost Park holiday lights
Cranes Roost Park. Image credit: Altamonte Springs

25th Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade
December 2, 2017
Starts at 7pm
Lake Dora; the parade begins at Lighthouse on Grantham Point

Holiday Indie Art, Crafts & Vintage Bazaar hosted by Big Bang Bazaar
December 3, 2017
From 11am-5pm
Sanford Civic Center

Light up SoDo (South Downtown)
December 3, 2017
From 2-6pm
SoDo Shopping Plaza Main Street 

Annual Great Latke Cook-off
December 7, 2017
From 1-2pm
Rosen JCC

College Park Main Street Holiday on the Drive
December 7, 2017
Edgewater Drive

Nehrling Gardens Holiday Amaryllis Festival
December 9, 2017
Nehrling Gardens, Gotha

Children’s Christmas in the Park with Snow
December 9, 2017
Donnelly Park, Mount Dora

Sanford’s Annual Illuminated Christmas Parade
December 9, 2017
From 6-8pm
Downtown Sanford

10th Annual Holiday Lights Ride
December 9, 2017
From 6-9pm
Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux Cafe

Annual Holiday Lights Ride by stevenmillerpix.com

City of Kissimmee Festival of Lights Parade
December 9, 2017
Starts at 7pm
Historic Downtown Kissimmee

Sanford Jingle Jam
December 16, 2017
Downtown Sanford

6th Annual Christmas Light Ride!
December 16, 2017
From 7-8pm
Retro City Cycles

Chanukah on the Park
December 17, 2017
Starts at 5:30pm
Central Park on Park Avenue, Winter Park


Light Up UCF Holiday Film Festival
Select nights November 17 – December 30, 2017
Movies begin at 7pm and 9:30pm
CFE Arena

  • November 17 – The Santa Clause
  • November 25 – It’s a Wonderful Life
  • December 1 – Miracle on 34th Street
  • December 2 – White Christmas
  • December 8 – Home Alone
  • December 9 – Home Alone 2
  • December 15 – A Christmas Story
  • December 16 – The Polar Express
  • December 22 – Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas
  • December 23 – Elf
  • December 29 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • December 30 – Frozen

Popcorn Flicks in the Park: The Muppet Christmas Carol
December 1, 2017
Movie starts at 7pm
Central Park, Winter Park

Family Movie Night at Old Town
Sunday nights November 19 – December 17, 2017
Movie begins at 7pm
South Entertainment Area at Old Town, Kissimmee

  • November 19 – The Polar Express
  • December 3 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • December 10 – A Christmas Story (1983)
  • December 17 – Elf

Movie Night at Leu Gardens: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
December 1, 2017
Gardens open at 6pm and the movie starts at 7:30pm
Harry P. Leu Gardens
Free for Leu members ($6 for non-members)

Holiday Movie Night at Cranes Roost Park
Thursday nights December 7 – 21, 2017
Movie begins at 7pm
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

Holiday Movies at Lake Eola Park
Select nights December 8 – 22, 2017
Movie begins at 7pm
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park

  • December 15 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • December 17 – Elf
  • December 22 – The Nightmare Before Christmas

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland Movies
Select Friday and Saturday evenings December 8 – 30. 2017
Movie begines at 7pm
Wekiva Island

  • December 8 – The Grinch
  • December 15 – Elf
  • December 22 and 23 – The Polar Express
  • December 29 and 30 – Frozen

Oviedo Movie in the Park: A Charlie Brown Christmas
December 15, 2017
Movie begins at 6:30pm
Center Lake Park, Oviedo

Windermere Holiday Food Truck Movie Night
December 22, 2017
Starts at 5pm
Movie: TBD


Sounds of the Season Winter Park Holiday Pops
November 26, 2017
4 – 6:30pm
Central Park

Free Friday Nights at the Morse
Friday evenings November – April 
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
From November through April, the Museum provides free admission every Friday from 4pm to 8pm. For consecutive Friday evenings during the holidays and in the spring, the Museum provides live music from 5pm to 8pm to enhance the experience in the galleries.

Valencia College Winter Choral Concert
November 29, 2017
From 7:30-9:30pm
East Campus Performing Arts Center

Valencia College Music Department Holiday Show
December 1, 2017
From 7:30-9:30pm
East Campus Performing Arts Center

8th Annual Holiday Concert at Lake Eola
Presented by News 6 and featuring the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra
December 2, 2017
Starts at 6pm
Walt Disney Amphitheater in Lake Eola Park

39th Annual Christmas in the Park
December 7, 2017
From 6:15-8pm
Central Park, Winter Park

Image courtesy of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, Florida

5th Annual Violectic Holiday Show
December 9, 2017
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park
LIVE concert featuring holiday songs mashed up with classic rock tunes and modern hits; pet-friendly!

Marc With a C’s Annual Holiday Marathon Show!
December 9, 2017
Doors at 7pm, music approximately 8:00-11:59pm
The Geek Easy

The Nutcracker Performance by the Russian Ballet of Orlando
December 16, 2017
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park
The Russian Ballet of Orlando will present a gift to the Orlando community with a free performance of the traditional ballet, “The Nutcracker.”


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