The weather in Orlando is finally cooling down and the holidays are about to be in full swing. This month, we have compiled a list to help you close out your year on a high note. Whether it is an outdoor market, virtual class or holiday event, here are our top date night picks for events in Orlando this December 2020.
Looking for more Orlando events? Check out our guide to 40+ Festive and Free Holiday Events in Orlando and Outdoor Arts Experiences: Concerts, Movies, Theater and More.
December 1 – 6
Santa Workshop Experience at ICON Park
December 1 – 24
Experiences include free parking, free Wheel ride in private holiday capsules for all children with photo purchase, 50% off admission offer for additional riders, train ride on Santa’s North Pole Express, holiday beverages and treat offerings and 40+ restaurants, shops, and attractions to explore around the park. See Santa through December 23rd: 10am – 8pm daily and on December 24th: 10am – 6pm.
Select dates through January 2, 2021, 6-10pm
Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
Experience the outdoor Holiday Festival created by furloughed Disney and Universal entertainers. Enjoy live Christmas concerts by the Society Orchestra and more, holiday food & beverage, meet santa, see it snow, and more!
$15 and up
Through January 3, 2021
A 3/4 mile journey of awe-inspiring light experiences.You’ll journey through a forest of light and fog, as if walking through the aurora borealis. Food and beverages are available for purchase.
Design Your Own Christmas Wreath
Thursday, December 3, 5:30pm
JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa
Design with the pros and learn to master the “art” of wreath making and create a stunning unique creation that will stand out on your front door this Christmas.
Bubbles From Around The World
Thursday, December 3, 5:30pm
Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House and Culinary Garden
Employing all five senses, Kcuvée brings the terroir of the world to you through an experiential, tactile wine education experience. Discover unknown grapes, learn the stories behind the labels, and most importantly, discover what you truly enjoy so you won’t have to punish your palate again. Bubbles represent celebration and joy. Discover the main producing sparkling wine regions of the world and new trends of the industry. Learn the differences between Prosecco, Cava and Champagne and join us to taste our favorite ones.
1st Thursdays at OMA: Deck the Walls
Thursday, December 3, 6-8:30pm
Orlando Museum of Art
This local art show features unique works that cost $200 or less. Enjoy beer, wine, and beverages in the outdoor bar along with live entertainment by the Holiday Show On Wheels, hot holiday themed beverages by Milk ‘n Honey Tea and delicious desserts from Gelato-Go.
Front Porch Concert Series featuring The 502s
Thursday, December 3, 6-8:30pm
The Plaza Live
Orlando Ballet Presents The Nutcracker
December 4 – 20
Dr. Phillips Center
Orlando Ballet presents the beloved holiday tradition, The Nutcracker. As the lights dim and the music soars, let the magical world of Clara’s dreams take you on a journey through sparkling snowflakes, waltzing flowers and dancing sweets!
Tickets start at $54
The Milky Way Neighborhood Crawl: Krampus is Coming
Friday, December 4, 6-10pm
The Milk District
Find the adventure in your own backyard! This new event takes you through The Milk District, with stops at favorite spots and exciting new places. Tickets include a tasty sample-sized drink at each participating business. All samples will be served outdoors and masks are to be worn at all times while not eating and drinking.
First Fringe Friday
Friday, December 4, 7pm
*Virtual event hosted by Orlando Fringe
Tune in on the first Friday of each month for special Orlando Fringe programming streamed live. The theme for First Fringe Friday in December is “2020 All Bets Are Off!” Watch on the Orlando Fringe website, Facebook or YouTube.
FREE; donations accepted
Pinots and Poinsettias
Saturday, December 5, 3-8pm
Harris Landscaping Services
An afternoon of holiday cheer featuring beautiful plants from Harris Ladscaping and Pinot Noirs from Swirlery Wine Bar. Enjoy live music while you sip on your favorite wine.
Back to the Future Art Show
Saturday, December 5, 4-6:30 pm
End 2020 with this BACK TO THE FUTURE art show! Come drink and browse work created by local artists inspired by the legendary film!
Ring the Holidays Concert
Saturday, December 5, 6pm
Bok Tower Gardens
Ring in the holidays with an evening jazz concert with the 10-member Silver Bells Big Band and Geert D’hollander. The concert begins with jazz and ends with a special holiday carillon concert. You can also preorder a holiday charcuterie box. All you’ll need are chairs or a blanket!
Twisted Krampus Party
Saturday, December 5, 8pm-2am
Add a little twisted mischief to your Christmas cheer. ‘Tis the night for the wicked, ’tis the night for naughty debauchery at “TWISTED KRAMPUS 3”! Contests and drink specials.
SOKO Marketplace Monthly Market
Sunday, December 6, 11-4pm
The SOKO Marketplace
On the first Sunday of every month from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. come and enjoy The SOKO Marketplace at Shady Park in Winter Park, FL in the beautiful African American neighborhood of Hannibal Square! Come support businesses created by people of color, entertainment, and great food!
Classic Movie Series: It’s a Wonderful Life
Sunday, December 6, 6:30pm
Winter Garden Theater
Gather your friends and family and join the theater to watch your favorite classics. This month they are showing It’s a Wonderful Life.
Meet the Authors: Holiday Romances
Sunday, December 6, 8-9pm
*Virtual event hosted by Orange County Library System (OCLS)
Meet the authors of some of your favorite Holiday Romance books. Featuring Nancy Naigle, Priscilla Oliveras, Christina Lauren, and Farrah Rochon. Moderated by Racquel Henry.
December 7 – 13
Ole Red’s Battle of the Bands
Wednesday, December 9, 7pm
Ole Red Orlando
Experience live music from every Ole Red with the Battle of Bands competition that lets you be the judge and receive special offers when you vote. Join us every Wednesday night in venue or on Facebook live at 7/6c, as artists compete from Nashville, Gatlinburg, Tishomingo, and Orlando for the top spot.
FREE admission; menu prices vary
Bossa Nova Night at Pointe Orlando
Thursday, December 10, 6-8pm
Pointe Orlando – Rodizio Grill
Enjoy Bossa Nova under the stars with K. Diva Jazz Trio. Katrina Mena Rick will be performing in the courtyard outside of Rodizio Grill with her favorite Brazilian bossanova, Latin and jazz standards. Sit on Rodizio Grill’s patio and enjoy dinner or cocktails and enjoy the open air performance. Reservations for dinner can be made here. Limited seating will be available outside. Show the Pointe Orlando rep your eventbrite ticket for free parking.
FREE; menu prices vary
Holiday Boutique Stroll and Sale
Thursday December 10, 8am-9pm
Downtown Winter Garden
Make holiday shopping a memorable experience! Find great sale and seasonal merchandise at the outdoor sidewalk sale, expanded outdoor dining patios for sipping hot chocolate and enjoying holiday desserts, and a newly painted Holiday Mural Wall and themed photo locations throughout to capture those holiday memories. Holiday music will fill the air, including a live performance by a quartet of traditional Dickens carolers from 5:00-7:00 pm at the Centennial Plaza.
The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge
December 10 – 20
*Virtual Video On Demand event by Orlando Shakes
In this hilarious, twisted take on the holiday classic, it’s one year after A Christmas Carol and Scrooge has returned to his miserly ways… The Ghosts of Christmas are on trial for breaking and entering, kidnapping, slander, pain and suffering, attempted murder, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress as Scrooge rants and raves to the court. Both silly and sweet, The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge is a heartwarming comedy for the whole family!
A Fringemas Carol
December 11 – 13
Loch Haven Park
Join Orlando Fringe for a new holiday event based on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. This socially-distanced creative adaptation will take place live and outdoors, utilizing Orlando’s Loch Haven Park. The story will be told through stationary scenes that you will travel to in small groups throughout the park in a 60-minute immersive tour. Your group will be led by holiday carolers and Ebenezer Scrooge. Along the way, you will visit moments from the classic tale through the eyes of five local arts groups, retelling the story through multiple genres.
Pasta from Scratch Cooking Class
Saturday, December 12, 4-6pm
Learn how to make homemade pasta in the comfort of your neighborhood brewery. Chef Michael of Colom Catering will teach you how to mix, cut, and cook perfect fettuccine noodles followed by a demonstration on how to make beef bolognese. Classes will be held in the beer garden and all social distancing requirements will be met. Masks required.
Darling Authority Boutique Holiday Sip + Shop
Saturday, December 12, 4-8pm
Darling Authority – Longwood
Darling Authority is celebrating Christmas early with our first annual Holiday sip + shop event. Come see our new space, enjoy FREE drinks+snacks, and shop til you drop for you and your loved ones! There will be a photobooth, a discount Christmas tree, Christmas music, and more.
12 Wines of Christmas
Saturday, December 12, 5-9pm
Enjoy curated wines from Tim’s Wine Market at up to 20 locations in Ivanhoe Village. With a red and a white at each stop, attendees can choose at each location. Attendees receive a reusable wine glass to be used at each location throughout the night.
A Taste of France Dinner
Saturday, December 12, 6pm
3-course dinner and wine tasting with Jim Colbert and Friends.
8th Annual Violectric Holiday Show
Saturday, December 12, 7-9pm
Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola Park
This family-friendly and pet-friendly concert has been a Central Florida favorite for 8 years. Please bring an item or a few dollars to donate to Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. Arrive early for amphitheater seating, or enjoy the concert anywhere around the lake in the park. The show will be simulcast live on the entire park’s audio system.
Elf Movie Night
Saturday, December 12, 7-10pm
The Veranda at Thornton Park
Enjoy the holiday classic Elf at the park.
Frontyard Festival: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Party
Saturday, December 12, 8pm
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Part of the Frontyard Festival—six months of live, outdoor entertainment and unique experiences in a socially distant environment. After 27 years, 11 records and 3,000+ live shows, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy continues to fuse classic American jazz, swing and Dixieland with the energy and spirit of contemporary culture.
$35 and up
CFB Presents “Nutcracker in your Neighborhood”
December 12 – 13
*Outdoor event; locations vary
Enjoy excerpts from the treasured Nutcracker Ballet in a socially-distanced outdoor setting at three distinct and beautiful Central Florida parks!
Multiple dates December 12 – 22, times vary
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
Join the Ritz Carlton Bakery Team to build your very own gingerbread house. You can even take a to-go kit if you want to create another one at home. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 407-393-4034 to reserve your space.
$195 for up to four people
Godiva Chocolate & Wine Pairing Night
Wednesday, December 16, 6:30pm
Swirlery Wine Bar
Join Chocolatier Aimee Kahn and Sommelier Melissa J. McAvoy for a night of indulgence and giving to others featuring 3 Godiva Chocolates and a flight of 3 wines.
3rd Thursday at CityArts
Thursday, December 17, 5-9pm
Join us for 3rd Thursday at CityArts. Come check out all our new exhibitions.
Virtual Wine Tasting – Introductory Wine Course
Thursday, December 17, 5:45-7:15pm
*Virtual event hosted by Kcuvée
Join this Virtual tasting course for an introduction to Kcuvee’s five senses approach to wine tasting. Discover unknown grapes, learn the stories behind the labels, and discover what you truly enjoy so you won’t have to punish your palate again. During this course, you will taste five different wines and will be given a printed study guide where you will be able to take notes. All course materials must be picked up the day of the event at Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House & Culinary Garden. – College Park. With a purchase of two tickets, you’ll get a romantic package with a candle and red rose!
$75/person; add a delicious Italian meal from Chef Kevin Fonzo for $25/person
Front Porch Concert Series featuring Mistletones
Thursday, December 17, 6-8:30pm
The Plaza Live
Sippin’ with Santa (& friends) Happy Hour & Toy Drive
Thursday, December 17, 6:30pm
Pointe Orlando – The Pub
Join Santa, Mrs. Claus & The Grinch for some safe Holiday Cheer at The Pub. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy to get your picture with Santa & Mrs. Claus. You’ll get a raffle ticket for each toy brought in. Prizes include free drinks, gift certificates and more! Holiday drink and food specials will be available in addition to the full menu. Tables are spaced for socially distanced dining. Free parking validation with dinner or bar tab.
FREE Admission; menu prices vary
Finish the Lyric Trivia
Thursday, December 17, 7-9pm
Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company
Do you know all the lyrics to your favorite songs, or do you just make noises with your mouth that match the beat? Time to find out with some Finish the Lyric trivia!
FREE Admission; menu prices vary
The Laura Hodos Holiday Cabaret
December 18 – 23
*Outdoor event hosted by Orlando Shakes
For an outdoor performance in the Darden Courtyard, Laura Hodos brings you a heartwarming, musical cabaret.
$60 for 2-person table; $90 for 3-person table
Yoga Under The Stars
Friday, December 18, 7-8:30pm
Orlando Brewing parking lot
This class is taught by Sarah Burnett, aka AcroSarah and each ticket includes a 16 oz. Orlando Brewing organic beer of your choice. There is plenty of room for safe physical distancing while still being plenty social with new and old friends! Dogs welcome too. Bring your own yoga mat.
$12 in advance; $14 walk-in
SubRosa Pop-Up Dining Experience: Le temps des Fêtes
December 18 and 19, times vary
Secret location near Lake Ivanhoe (revealed 24 hours before event to attendees)
Travel to the Canadian Province of Quebec, where during le temps de Fete, you will explore a cuisine that boasts warm and rich flavors with a French flair. Tickets include 4-course dinner, complimentary glass of champagne, and entertainment. Read more about this new pop-up dinner series here.
$96/person (includes gratuity)
The Foreigner Experience Dinner
Saturday, December 19, 7:30pm
Chef Bruno and team will present a 5-course omakase style dinner with a contemporary approach to food and wine.
$100 (add wines for $35)
Christmas at the Market
December 19-20, 9-5pm
Renningers Mount Dora Flea Market
A wonderful gathering of vendors selling antiques, vintage and crafts themed for Christmas decorating, entertaining, and giving.
Holiday Matinee: A Christmas Story
Wednesday, December 23, 1:30pm
Holiday weekday matinee films will not have food service available inside the theater. Come early and enjoy lunch at Eden Bar before these beloved holiday classics!
Frontyard Festival: El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico
Wednesday December 23, 8pm
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Part of the Frontyard Festival—six months of live, outdoor entertainment and unique experiences in a socially distant environment. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, commonly known as El Gran Combo, is a Puerto Rican salsa orchestra based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and one of the most famous bands in Latin America.
$35 and up
Dance Music Party on Wave Terrace
Saturday, December 26, 7pm
Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
Join in for a night of dance music. Doors open at 7pm! Entertainment by DJ Smiley, DJ Cliff Potts, Mia, Chrissy I-eece & Special Performance by George Lamond. This is a reduced capacity Outdoor Event on the amazing ocean front Wave Terrace Stage.
$40 and up
Howey Mansion Music Series
Sunday, December 27, 4pm
The Howey Mansion – outdoors on the Mansion Lawn
Jazz dive Michelle Amato will perform a combination of classic jazz and holiday songs. Bring your own chairs and a picnic. Guests are invited to decorate their chairs in a holiday theme and the winner will receive a prize. A cash bar will be available.
New Year’s Eve at Tapa Toro
Thursday, December 31, multiple seatings available
Two parties are better than one! Say ‘adiós’ to 2020 with a scrumptious Spanish meal, and ‘hola’ to 2021 with a champagne toast. Plus, enjoy live flamenco dancing all night long.
$45 – $95
A Boogie Nights New Year
Thursday, December 31
We’re taking it back to the ’70s this New Year’s Eve with a delicious dinner and special screening of Boogie Nights. Come in your grooviest disco attire and you could win a prize. Enjoy some bubbly and boogie your way into the new year! 21 & up only.
More details and tickets TBA
Hard Rock Live: The Beatles
Thursday December 31, 10pm
Classic Albums Live will ring in the new year at Hard Rock Live Orlando playing The Beatles: Abbey Road in its entirety followed by The Beatles greatest hits.
Ongoing Orlando Events
TPD Thursday Night Market
Thursdays from 6-10pm
Thornton Park District
A family and dog-friendly weekly outdoor market with local vendors, food trucks, outdoor seating and adult libations. Located by World of Beer in the Osceola Circle.
Live Music Thursdays at VINIA
Every Thursday, 6-8pm
VINIA Wine & Kitchen
Enjoy Jazz and Bossanova live music every Thursday while you dine. Other specials include a special 3 course menu on Tuesdays for $29 (Vegan option for $22) and happy hour pricing all night long on Wednesdays.
Menu prices vary
Magical Fridays at DoveCote
Every Friday, 6pm-close
Every Friday, enjoy a special three-course menu plus live music beginning at 7pm.
$35; wine pairing add-on $30
Weekends at the Winery
Saturdays & Sundays through December
Pack a picnic blanket and some chairs to enjoy an afternoon of wine, food trucks, complimentary wine tours, an outdoor wine bar, lawn games and more.
Dueling Piano Dinner Show
Weekends in December
Tin Roof Orlando
Enjoy a high energy, all-request Dueling Pianos show every Sunday night in the Green Room.
Menu prices vary; reservation required
Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll
Through December 30, All day
We’ve taken all the holiday magic and spread out the fun with the new Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth featuring a collection of elaborately decorated Disney-themed Christmas trees. As in year’s past, each tree is themed to a popular Disney character, attraction, or story, with trees now spread throughout all four Disney Springs neighborhoods.
Christmas at Gaylord Palms
Through January 3, 2021
Explore acres of twinkling lights & decorations and exciting holiday activities, shows, and events, from Cirque Dreams Unwrapped and Feast with The Grinch to our all-new I Love Christmas Movies™ pop-up and Snow Factory experiences!
Night of a Million Lights
Through January 3, 2021
Give Kids the World Village
Stroll the 84-acre nonprofit resort, aglow with more than three million lights; savor delicious treats; and enjoy the accessible rides and storybook attractions that have brought happiness and hope to critically ill children and their families from around the world for 34 years. Guests will experience a 150-foot lighted tunnel, the entire Avenue aglow, 45 decorated resort villas, 150 larger-than-life holiday-themed wireframe displays; an enchanting, illuminated gingerbread arch; and four photo spots in addition to the Village itself being a picturesque backdrop for your holiday memories. Santa will spread holiday cheer from a socially distant location. Three accessible attractions along with ice cream and hot chocolate are included with ticket price.
$25 – $40
Pompeii: The Immortal City
Through January 24, 2021
Orlando Science Center
This remarkable exhibit is coming to the Science Center for a limited run. Orlando will be one of only three sites in the United States to host Pompeii: The Immortal City. Through artwork, interactive mechanical devices, and multimedia experiences, you will embark on a journey through time into the daily life of a first-century Roman town.
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Disclosure: Some, but not all, of the Orlando events featured in this post are hosted by our valued advertising partners.
Feature image credit: Dazzling Nights at Leu Gardens; photo by ODNG contributor @thisfloridalife