You don't have to break your budget to have festive fun. It’s time again for our annual list of the best free holiday events in Orlando! We just love the holiday season in Orlando.
This list of free holiday events in Orlando is sure to get you on the nice list with your honey.
Free Holiday Lights and Displays
Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Decorations
November 11, 2022 through January 1, 2023
Multiple Walt Disney World Resorts
Each Walt Disney World Resort is decorated for the holidays.
Check out our Top 5 of the Disney hotels with the best holiday decorations.
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 Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort via the Walt Disney World Resort Monorail.
Christmas Tree Stroll at Disney Springs
November 11, 2022 through January 1, 2023
This year the Christmas Tree Trail is now a Stroll, with each tree at its own individual location to make social distancing possible. Maps for the Stroll can be obtained at House of Blues, 12 Days of Christmas Store, The Marketplace Co-Op, and The Welcome Center. Each tree is inspired by a Disney character or theme.
Gingerbread Fantasy Holiday Light Display
November 18, 2022 – January 5, 2023, nightly
Rose Villa Southern Table & Bar
This holiday season, Rose Villa Southern Table and Bar will transform into a Gingerbread Fantasy decorative light display. Everyone is encouraged to enjoy Gingerbread Fantasy for an outdoor photo opportunity, entry inside the restaurant is for diners only with reservations.
Holiday Light Displays at Cranes Roost Park
November 24, 2022 - January 1, 2023
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs
Enjoy over 200,000 lights on more than 100 holiday displays powered by Duke Energy. Displays can be viewed nightly until January 1, 2023. The lights are turned on each night at dusk. Be sure to check the City of Altamonte's calendar as some nights have appearances of Santa Claus, snow fairies, and more.
Snow Falling Nightly in Celebration
November 26, 2022 – December 31, 2022
Nightly snowfall hourly from 6- 9pm
Celebration Town Center
Celebration Town Center offers “Now Snowing-Celebration’s Winter Wonderland”, a family-friendly holiday experience with some of the best “snow” you can find in Central Florida. Festive music, decorations, and adorable shops make this a great holiday tradition.
I-Drive District Holiday Tree Lighting
December 1, 2022, 6pm
ICON Park on International Drive
Kick of the Holiday Season with the I-Drive District at ICON Park! Check out how I-Drive Dazzles with a glittering lighting ceremony of the 50-ft Holiday Tree. Special performances by the I-Ride Trolley Chords, Dr. Phillips High School Dance In Motion Company & Orlando Ballet. Make a reservation at The Santa Workshop Experience to meet and take holiday photos with Santa and the Jolly old elf!
Children participating in The Santa Workshop Experience will receive a FREE ticket to ride the Wheel at ICON Park. The Holiday Tree will be present for viewing at ICON Park through New Year’s Day.
Light Up Winter Garden
December 2, 2022, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Winter Garden City Hall
The lighting will take place at 6:15 pm at City Hall followed by various activities for all to enjoy.
Citrus Tower Holiday Light Show
Light Up Ceremony on December 3, 2022, 7pm
Nightly light show December 3 – 23, 2022 6-9pm (except Sundays)
Citrus Tower, Clermont
City of Orlando Tree Lighting Celebration
December 2, 2022, 5-9pm
Ring in the holiday season with Mayor Buddy Dyer at the City of Orlando’s Tree Lighting Celebration. The event will include holiday performances at the Walt Disney Amphitheater, food trucks and a holiday market, and an opportunity to meet Santa until 9pm at the Eola House.
Light Up Clermont 2022 – Claus in Clermont
December 2 & 3 2022, 5:30-9pm
Schools, organizations, businesses, and families will be showing their creativity by individually decorating over 40 trees. Drop letters to Santa in Santa’s Mailbox which will be delivered to the North Pole and enjoy holiday photo ops.
Light Up DeLand
December 2, 2022
Santa will ride in on a fire engine to light the beautiful DeLand City Hall (120 S Florida Ave., DeLand) Christmas tree at 5:30. He will continue on to Pioneer Park (corner of E. Rich Ave. & N. Woodland Blvd.) at 6pm to light the Downtown wreath.
Casselberry Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 3, 2022
Lights and decorations November 19, 2022 through December 26, 2022
Lake Concord Park, Casselberry
Stroll through Lake Concord Park to enjoy charming vignettes of holiday displays and brilliant lights. This small community park is perfect for a simple evening of enjoying light displays and a lakeside park.
December 3, 2022, parade at 3pm Fireworks at 9pm
Avalon Park Town Center
Gather together to enjoy loads of holiday fun in Avalon Park. Activities include a bounce park, food truck, special performance, a parade, and fireworks.
Ocoee Tree Lighting and Jolly Jamboree
December 10, 2022, 4-8pm
Countdown to Tree Lighting, photos with Santa, Santa’s Village, Kid Zone with rides and games, and more. Food trucks will be onsite.
Looking for more free holiday events? Check out our guide to Where to Find Orlando’s Best Holiday Lights
Winter Wonderland – Parade and Tree Lighting
December 3, 2022, 4-8pm
Winter Springs Town Center
Enjoy an annual Christmas parade starting at Keeth Elementary. Then enjoy entertainment by local youth groups and Winter Springs Dancers with Class, and the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Shuttle buses will begin running at 3 p.m. at Winter Springs Elementary. The last shuttle will depart from the Winter Springs Town Center at 8:30pm.
Light Up the Holidays
December 3, 2022, 5-9pm – fireworks at 6:30pm
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. Plus, fireworks, ice skating, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
A Merry Winter Garden Light Show at City Hall
December 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 2022, 6-9pm
Winter Garden City Hall
Enjoy a very merry light show at Winter Garden’s City Hall. Plus, there will be a Winter Wonderland area for children at City Hall on the nights of the light show. The entire downtown Winter Garden area will be festive and decorated.
Lake Mary Museum's Christmas Open House and Festival of Trees
December 4, 2022
Lake Mary Museum
This building was built in 1926 and is on the National Registry of Historical Places. The Christmas open house is a great way to explore this historic building as it is decorated for the holidays.
FREE HOLIDAY PARADES
Annual Light Up Viera Holiday Parade
December 3, 2022, 6pm
This wonderful annual community event begins with a fireworks display at 6 p.m. The parade begins immediately following the fireworks.
Winter Garden Christmas Parade
December 3, 2022, 10am
S. Dillard Street to East Plant Street, Winter Garden
DeLand Rotary Christmas Parade
December 3, 2022, 6:00 p.m.
DeLand High School
Enjoy a time-honored tradition at the annual DeLand Christmas parade presented by the Rotary Clubs of DeLand.
70th Annual Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade
December 3, 2022, starts at 9am
Central Park Park Avenue, Winter Park
The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is proud to host the 70th annual Winter Park Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade. The event has been held each December for more than 60 years, making it the oldest continuous holiday parade in Central Florida.
2nd Annual Light Up Clermont Holiday Parade
December 3, 2022, beginning at 10am
Historic Downtown Clermont
Parade runs through historic downtown Clermont, starting at Waterfront Park.
Annual Christmas Parade
December 3, 2022, Starts at 10am
Downtown Mount Dora
Enjoy this annual parade through the streets of downtown Mount Dora. Pets are not allowed.
Longwood Christmas Parade
December 3, 2022, 3-5pm
Ronald Reagan Boulevard, Longwood
The City of Longwood will host the 7th 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 4th, and will feature stunning cars, seasonal characters, bands, and much more.
Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade
December 3, 2022, Starts at 7pm
Lake Dora, Mount Dora
Come enjoy the lighted Christmas Boat Parade on Lake Dora beginning at the Lighthouse across from Gilbert Park on Tremain Street and Liberty Street.
Sanford Parade of Lights
December 10, 2022, 6-7:30pm
A favorite annual tradition in historic downtown Sanford returns! This parade is special since it is held at night and most parade floats are illuminated. Grab an early dinner at one of the many wonderful restaurants or head to one of the breweries for a cup of Christmas cheer after the parade.
Winter Park Boat Parade
December 10, 2022, 6pm to 8pm
Dinky Dock Park
Organized by the Winter Park Notary Club, head to Dinky Dock Park to see the impressive boat and dock holiday decorations created by residents and local business sponsors. Parking is extremely limited, we recommend using a ride share service.
Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, December 17, 2022, 6pm
Lake Monroe Sailing Association – Sanford
Details TBD – See Facebook event
FREE HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS
November 21 – December 20, 2022
Downtown DeLand shops
Find toy soldiers hiding in shops around Downtown DeLand and enter to win prizes. Pick up a Passport at participating locations.
“Holinights Celebration” at Promenade – Sunset Walk
Select nights from Friday, November 25 to Saturday, December 24, 2022, 6pm
Promenade at Sunset Walk
Live Music & Tree Lighting Nightly, Snow Ball Fights with the Mischievous Elves, Holinights Craft & Street Markets, Car Show and More
Donation Rotation – FREE Rides on The Wheel at ICON Park
Saturday, November 26, 11am – 9pm
The Wheel at ICON Park
ICON Park will support the efforts of The Salvation Army by waiving the ticket cost for all guests who wish to take the 20-minute ride with Captain Chapman of The Salvation Army. Guests can instead donate the cost of the admission ticket to the Red Kettle Campaign. Additionally, ICON Park will donate a dollar for every ticket it sells during the Red Kettle Kickoff event to The Salvation Army for riders who choose not to ride with Captain Chapman.
The Red Kettle kickoff event is free and open to the public. Attendees can enjoy live Christmas music from The Salvation Army Band, photo opportunities with local celebrities and mascots.
FREE Parking and FREE Rides on The Wheel when riding along with The Salvation Army
Light Up Sanford
December 2, 2022, 7pm – 8pm
Friday, December 2, 2022 5pm – 9pm
631 Sycamore Street, Celebration
Fun for all ages, including a holiday movie and a visit from the North Pole's number one resident. A portable slide – complete with snow! Grab an inner tube and prepare for the ‘coolest’ ride around.
Winter on the Avenue
December 2, 2022, 5-9pm
Central Park on Park Avenue, Winter Park
An annual tree-lighting, strolling carolers, and jazz on Park Avenue, the announcement of holiday art contest winners and Santa Claus.
Annual Christmas Walk
December 2, 2022, 6-9pm
Downtown Mount Dora
Enjoy this family-friendly street party in downtown Mount Dora featuring music, food vendors, toy vendors, shopping (shops open until 9pm), Free pictures in Sunset Park with Santa! Entertainment includes Mount Dora High School jazz band, carolers, bungee jump, rock climbing, stilt walkers, jugglers, and more!
Wekiva Island's Winter Wonderland
December 2 – December 25, 2022
Nightly snow flurries plus extra entertainment and activities are offered on select days and evenings, including outdoor movies and visits from Santa Claus. Be sure to check out Wekiva Island’s website for more details.
*Note: a $2 admission fee applies
Maitland Season of Light
December 3, 5pm – 8:30pm
Lake Lily Park
Bring the family for snow sledding, carnival games, fireworks, vendors, a tree lighting ceremony, and a visit from Santa.
Music and entertainment will be provided by the Maitland Symphony Orchestra, Maitland Middle School, Lake Sybelia Elementary School, Dommerich Elementary School and Chance 2 Dance.
10th Annual Christmas Light Ride
December 4, 2021, 7pm (2022 Info TBA)
Retro City Bikes, Orlando
Ride through Ivanhoe Village and College Park to take in the great light displays. Ride starts/finishes at Retro City Cycles and will be about 6 miles at a casual pace, all bikes welcome! Don't forget to decorate your bike!
43rd Annual Cracker Christmas
December 3 & 4, 2022, 10am-4pm
Fort Christmas Historical Park
Experience early period 1800's-1900's Florida Christmas in the Country at Cracker Christmas. Stroll through the five-acre complex and experience seasonal decor, music and traditions in 10 original buildings. You can purchase holiday keepsakes from craft vendors and community clubs.
Light Up SoDo
December 4, 2022, 2-6pm
SODO Shopping Center
This event is Family-Friendly and Pet-friendly so grab the kids and your furry friends and head on down to the SoDo Shopping Center for a night full of Holiday Fun!
Oh, What Fun! Holiday Festival
Select nights December 7 – 24, 2022
Lake Nona Town Center
This year's winter wonderland features photos with Santa, holiday movies, a Christmas tree lot, live entertainment, special holiday events and more. Nightly snowfall too!
Cookies & Cocoa Walk
December 9, 2022, 6-9pm
Take an evening stroll to sample a variety of holiday cookies along with some yummy cocoa while visiting participating businesses in Downtown Clermont. Make sure to visit shops in downtown Clermont throughout the season who will be competing for a trophy for the closest themed decorations for Light Up Clermont Holiday Gnome for the Holidays.
Celebrate the Season
December 9, 2022, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Reiter Park, Longwood
This holiday street party will feature an array of activities including the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony presenting the City’s holiday tree in Reiter Park, live music, dance performances, and a laser light show at the end of the night. Ice skating for $1 per person, pony rides for $7 per person, food, and shopping are also available.
Nehrling Gardens Holiday Amaryllis Festival
December 10, 2022, 9am-3pm
Nehrling Gardens, Gotha
Nature themed vendors, live music, food, and Santa & Mrs. Claus on the porch.
2022 St. Lucia Festival
December 10, 2022, 12pm – 5pm
Museum of Seminole County History
Food, fun, music, and a good time for the entire family! Free and open to the public. Donations for the museum are accepted
For more information, please visit: www.sanfordstlucia.com
The Skydiving Santas of Cocoa Beach
December 12, 2021, 10am-3pm (2022 Info TBA)
Cocoa Beach Pier
100+ Santa skydivers from the Air Sports Parachute Team will jump from the famous WWII aircraft “Tico Belle” C47. These talented divers will thrill you as they demonstrate accurate landings, high speed landings, wing suit jumpers and more. A large inflatable Santa chair will be placed on the beach and the Skydiving Santas will perform a skilled landing called a “paraski,” where they land directly onto the inflatable from the plane! Kids are then welcome to climb onto the chair to discuss their holiday wishes with Santa.
Chanukah on the Park
December 18, 2022, 5-7pm
Central Park in Winter Park
Featuring an amazing Art Acrobat Show, Menorah Parade, our Famous Chasidic Dancers, Strolling Magic, the freshest Sufganiyot Donuts in town, and of course the Grand Menorah Lighting!
Hanukkah Celebration of Lights
December 18, 2022, 5:30 to 10:00 p.m.
Lake Nona Town Center
The first of the eight nights of Hanukkah as the menorah is blessed and lit in a special ceremony featuring traditional songs to celebrate the festival of lights. Additional entertainment includes a live DJ, stilt walker, children’s performers, face painters, and more. Enjoy traditional foods while the kids make dreidels and learn the story of the holiday.
Candy Cane Lane: Holiday Craft & Gift Show
Saturday, November 12, 10am – 4pm
Shop, enjoy music, food trucks, pictures with Santa and more.
Kaleidoscope Artisan Market at Celery City Craft Sanford
Select Sundays – November 27, December 4, December 8, 2022
Celery City Craft, Sanford
Shop 10 unique vendors of handmade items and art in downtown Sanford, with great food and drink from Celery City available to purchase.
Sanford Avenue Block Party
November 26, 2022, 5:00 p.m.
Sanford Avenue, Downtown Sanford
Vendors, shopping, craft beer, cocktails, food and live music make this a fun block party. Free to attend, food, drink, and gifts for sale.
Celery City Monthly Craft and Vendor Market
November 27, 2022 and December 18, 2022, noon-5pm
Celery City Craft, Sanford
Meet local artists while shopping for unique, original gifts and artwork. Enjoy charming downtown Sanford and the wonderful food and drinks available at Celery City Craft located at 114 South Palmetto.
DeLand Indie Market Holiday Edition
December 4, 2022, 11am-5pm
DeLand Indie Market at Artisan Alley
Stroll and browse over 70 Vendors with live music, food vendors, and more.
A Very Merry Market
December 10, 17 2022 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Winter Garden Downtown Pavilion
Shop for holiday/gift-related hand-crafted ítems at special guest vendors.
Winter Garden Downtown Pavilion
Saturday Sounds Concert Series & Artisan Night Market (Free Concert)
December 10 and 17, 2022, 5pm – 7pm
Concert plus local artists, vendors, food, & drinks.
Saturday, December 17, 2022, 10am – 3pm
Christmas Carnival (Auburndale / Lakeland area)
Live Music, Bounce House, Face Painting, Guest Animals including a Watusi, Smores Bar, Vendor Market, and Petting Farm
Sanford Holiday Mini Indie Market
December 18, 2022 11am – 5pm
Tuffy’s Bottleshop and Lounge, Sanford
The Sanford Mini Indie Series will have 20 specialized vendors and live music.
Milk Mart Holiday Market
Sunday, December 18, 12pm – 6pm
The Nook on Robinson
Eat, shop, and be merry in The Milk District
FREE HOLIDAY EVENTS: HOLIDAY MOVIES
Popcorn Flicks in the Park
December 2, 2022, 7pm
It’s A Wonderful Life, Preceded By Mickey’s A Christmas Carol
Central Park, Winter Park
Bring a blanket or some chairs to enjoy this outdoor holiday movie. This film is preceded by Frosty’s Winter Wonderland: An all-star cast lends its talents to this Christmas special shot in “animagic” (stop-motion animated puppetry).
Holiday Movie at Lake Eola Park – The Nightmare Before Christmas
December 09, 2022, 7:00 p.m.
Lake Eola, Downtown Orlando
Join the Downtown Development Board as they present Elf at Lake Eola Park. Don't forget your blankets, chairs, and snacks for the whole family to enjoy.
Holiday Movie Nights at Cranes Roost Park
December 8, 15, and 22, 2022, 7:00 p.m.
Bring your chair and blankets to enjoy holiday movies in the Cranes Roost Park Plaza. Admission is free. Food and beverages are available for purchase.
December 8 – “The Santa Clause”
December 15 – “Yogi's First Christmas”
December 22 – “The Polar Express”
Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland Movies
Select Sunday evenings in December 2022, 7pm
Enjoy an outdoor movie in the winter wonderland of Wekiva Island.
December 4 – The Polar Express
December 11 – A Christmas Carol
December 18 – The Grinch (live action)
There are even more movies to see in our Guide to Holiday Movies in Orlando.
FREE CONCERTS, PLAYS, AND SHOWS
Holiday Friday Nights at Morse Museum
Most Friday Nights November 25 – December 30, 2022, 5-8pm
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Receive free admission every Friday night, November through April, and special holiday performances during the holiday season. Live music enhances the gallery experience.
Jingle Jam Community Holiday Party
December 4, 2021, 4pm – 10pm (2022 TBA)
Multiple venues, downtown Sanford
Jingle Jam in Sanford has become one of the largest family events in downtown and draws thousands from all over Central Florida! Featuring four stages of live music, food trucks, carnival games, holiday artisanal vendors, a kids zone and more! Check the Facebook event for the full music lineup and performance schedule.
Violectric Holiday Show
December 10, 2022, 7pm
Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola Park
Rock in the holidays with the popular strings super-group Violectric. Free and open to the public, the concert features traditional holiday songs mashed up with classic rock tunes and modern hits. Donations for the Pet Alliance will be accepted during the event.
The Nutcracker by the Russian Ballet of Orlando
December 17, 2022, 7:30pm
Lake Eola Park
The Russian Academy of Ballet presents a gift to the Orlando Community with a free performance of “The Nutcracker”.
Feature image credit: Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce