20+ Relaxing Things to Do Thanksgiving Weekend in Orlando

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Things to do for Thanksgiving Weekend in Orlando 2021

Forget going on a shopping frenzy. Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time to slow down, unwind, and cherish time with your loved ones. While Thursday is all about connection and bonding over great food, the long weekend is another opportunity to explore and connect. Here's a list of relaxing suggestions for maximizing your quality time together this Thanksgiving weekend in Orlando.

More ideas for Thanksgiving weekend fun:

Unwind

Black Friday Wine + Foot Massage

Friday, November 26, 2-8pm
Quantum Leap Winery
Skip the Black Friday shopping and relax with some wine and a pampering foot massage at Quantum Leap Winery. The Tasting Room will be open from 12-8pm with professionals from The Barefoot Spa onsite from 2-8pm. Foot massages can be made for 30, 45, and 60 minute sessions. To make your reservation, call Harris at 407-539-1491.
Prices vary

Saturday Yoga in the Garden

Saturday, November 27, 9-10am
Mead Botanical Garden
Press reset on body and mind with an outdoor yoga session at Mead Botanical Garden. Classes are held Saturdays on the Grove Stage. Bring your own water bottle and yoga mat.
$10

Image credit: Mead Botanical Garden

Yoga in Lake Eola Park

Sunday, November 28, 11am
NE Lawn at Lake Eola Park (corner of Robinson St & Eola Dr)
Join this weekly outdoor community yoga class for a relaxing flow to help you continue the holiday weekend relaxation. Bring your own yoga mat and water.
$10 cash

Other ways to relax:


Get Outdoors

Bok Tower Gardens

Thanksgiving weekend in Orlando marks the beginning of the Holidays at Bok Tower Gardens. Listen to carillon concerts at 1 and 3pm, see holiday foliage, and partake in special holiday events. Bok Tower Gardens is open daily from 8am-6pm with the last admission at 5pm. Tickets are $16 per adult.

Horseback Trail Rides

At Hidden Palms Ranch in Sanford, enjoy a leisurely guided trail ride through the Lake Jesup Conservation Area. You'll be guided through tree-canopied trails and scenic floodplains dotted with palm trees. Tours are available November 26, 27 and 28 at various times. The cost is $218/couple for a private tour, and $150/couple for a group tour (max 5 guests). Private tours must be booked over the phone at 407-620-7880.

Take a Hike

Fall is the perfect time to get out and try a new hiking spot together! A few of our favorite spots include Lake Lotus Park, Lake Louisa State Park (try glamping!), Washington Oaks Garden State Park, Flat Island Preserve (Lake County), Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve, and these secluded hiking spots in Central Florida. Hours and admission prices vary.

Boardwalk at Flat Island Preserve in Lake County, FL
Boardwalk at Flat Island Preserve

Escape to the Beach

Soak up those Florida holiday vibes with a mini beach getaway. Spend the afternoon unwinding, hiking, and exploring the coast with your love. A few of our favorite beach destinations are Anna Maria IslandNew Smyrna BeachCocoa Beach and Indian Shores.

Bikes & Brews

Spend an afternoon coasting along the West Orange Trail in search of your next favorite brew. Bring your own bicycle or rent one from West Orange Trail Bikes and Blades. Rentals are available starting at $9 per hour or $35 for the day. Check out our West Orange Trail itinerary for all the best stops along the 4.5-mile trek to Crooked Can Brewery in Winter Garden.


Continue the Feast

Holiday Harbor Nights

Friday, November 26, 6:30-9pm
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
Discover la dolce vita on this Italian-inspired date night along the picturesque harbor of the Portofino Bay Hotel. Enjoy select wines and unlimited gourmet bites from the resort's top restaurants, along with a live band and incredible opera performances. VIP tickets include additional hors d’oeuvres, exclusive food and wine stations, and special reserved seating. Dance beneath the twinkling lights and witness the illumination of the piazza's grand Christmas tree on this holiday edition of Harbor Nights. You must be 21 or older to attend this event.
$69-99 per person

Gingerbread School

Saturday, November 27 and Sunday, November 28, 9am, 12pm, 3pm
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
Join the pastry team at the Ritz-Carlton to build your very own gingerbread house! Customize your creation with dozens of candies and edible details, using the life-size gingerbread house in the lobby for inspiration. Call 407-393-4034 to reserve.
$195 per family (up to four people)

Image credit: Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

Holiday Appetizers & Desserts Cooking Class

Saturday, November 27, 10am-1pm
Truffles & Trifles
Not cooking Thanksgiving dinner this time around? Have fun and pick up a few new culinary tricks at a holiday-themed cooking class from Trifles & Truffles. The Holiday Appetizers and Desserts course is perfect for your next big gathering, whether you prefer to host the big meal or simply bring a side dish to the party.
$110 per couple

Related: Skip the Cooking! Restaurants Serving Thanksgiving Dinner

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

Through December 30, 2021
EPCOT
Epcot's annual holiday festival kicks off on Thanksgiving weekend. Sample dishes and take part in holiday traditions from around the world on this cultural tour of World Showcase. Get the full scoop in our Complete Guide to the Holidays at Walt Disney World.
1-Day, 1-Park Ticket from $139

DIY Thanksgiving Leftovers Picnic

Head to a local park, garden, or even your own backyard with your leftovers for an intimate lunch with your love. A few favorite picnic spots:

  • Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Garden – $10/adult admission
  • Kraft Azalea Garden
  • Mead Botanical Garden
  • Bok Tower Gardens

Check out this post for more of our favorite picnic destinations and ideas.

Picnic at Bok Tower Gardens
Pack your own picnic to enjoy at Bok Tower Gardens, or ask for food and wine to go from the Blue Palmetto Cafe

Go to a Farmer’s Market

Windermere – Fridays 9am-1:30pm
Winter Park – Saturdays 8am-1pm
Winter Garden – Saturdays 8am-1pm
Clermont – Sundays 9am-1pm
Orlando Farmer’s Market – Sundays 10am-3pm

Related: A Guide to Orlando Farmers Markets


Listen to Live Music

Home for the Holidays

Saturday, November 27, 3:30pm and 7:30pm
Festival Park
Celebrate the sounds of the season in a beautiful outdoor concert from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. This year's production also features the Holiday Singers, the Opera Orlando Youth Company, and special guests Heather Thorn and Vivacity. Special pricing is available for first responders, students, and teachers.
$40 per adult

Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker

Saturday, November 27, 7pm
Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts
Celebrate diversity in Central Florida with this urban adaptation of the classic Nutcracker story. This exciting production mingles ballet, jazz, gospel, and hip-hop dance styles for a fresh take on a holiday classic.
$34.50 per person

Weekends at the Winery

November 27 – 28, noon-4pm
Lakeridge Winery
Head to this Central Florida winery's expansive vineyard green each weekend for delicious food, live entertainment, complimentary wine tastings/tours, and Lakeridge wines by the glass at the outdoor bar.
FREE admission

Orlando events January 2019
Image credit: Lakeridge Winery

Attend a Relaxing Thanksgiving Weekend Event

Night of a Million Lights

Through January 2, 2022
Give Kids the World Village
Immerse yourself in magic at Give Kids the World Village, aglow for the holidays in over three million sparkling lights. This 89-acre non-profit resort provides critically ill children and their families with magical weeklong vacations at no cost. For 52 nights this holiday season, the resort takes on an extra festive feel, with a holiday marketplace, dazzling light displays, unique photo spots, and delicious food and beverages. Several new upgrade options are also available, including dessert parties, behind the scene tours, and private event offerings. Proceeds from all ticket, merchandise, and food and beverage sales enable Give Kids the World to continue to make magical dreams come true.
Thanksgiving weekend tickets are $40 per person
Non-holiday dates are $25-35 per person

Dazzling Nights at Leu Gardens

Through January 9, 2022
Leu Gardens
Dazzling Lights returns to Leu Gardens for a second year, transforming the garden into a sparkling winter wonderland. From the creators of Immerse Orlando, this year's completely redesigned event includes a 3/4 mile immersive stroll through a 7,000 square foot light maze, a forest of neon trees, woodlands lit with hundreds of hand-made Moroccan lanterns, and more. See the Rose Garden illuminated with 150 balls of light as you savor this exclusive opportunity to experience Leu Gardens after dark. In addition to the creative light displays, enjoy beautiful sculptures, music, and brand new entertainment and food offerings. 
$22-25 per person, plus $12 for parking

Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild

Through January 16, 2022
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Celebrate the culture, art, and beauty of traditional lantern festivals at the Asian Lantern Festival at the Central Florida Zoo. This dazzling after-hours holiday spectacular features over 30 handmade illuminated sculptures along a 3/4 mile trail.
In addition to stunning LED lanterns depicting plants, animals, and traditional Chinese figures, enjoy live music, artisan crafts, and local food and beverage available for purchase.
$18.50 – $20 per person

Asian Lantern Festival at Central Florida Zoo
Image credit: Central Florida Zoo

Brew & View: Elf

Friday, November 26, 6pm
Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company
Love Christmas classics? Bring blankets and lawn chairs to Ivanhoe Park Brewing for brews, food trucks, and a cozy outdoor viewing of Elf. Perfect for entertaining any visiting family, there will be kid's activities and special guest appearances starting at 6pm. The movie begins at 7:15pm.
FREE Admission

Related: 50+ Festive and Free Holiday Events in Orlando for 2021

Evening Exchange at East End Market

Friday, November 26, 6-10pm
East End Market
After a long hiatus, the Evening Exchange returns! This special Black Friday edition will bring together some of Orlando's top makers, creatives and food vendors for a night of shopping local while listening to live music.
FREE Admission

Small Business Saturday Sidewalk Sale

Saturday, November 27, 11am-11pm
Downtown Winter Garden
The annual Downtown Winter Garden Small Business Saturday Sidewalk Sale is great for finding one-of-a-kind gifts, while enjoying special savings. Stroll and shop the outdoor sale racks in the festive-decorated historic district this Thanksgiving weekend in Orlando. Stick around for lunch or dinner with expanded outdoor patios for dining – many restaurants will also offer specials on this day — and for enjoying the fall weather.
FREE Admission

Shop Small Sip and Stroll

Saturday, November 27, 2-5pm
Aubudon Park Garden District
Shop small and enjoy wine, cider, and craft beer samples on a self-guided stroll throughout the Audubon Park Garden District. Grab a bite at one of the many fabulous eateries in the area, or DIY a picnic lunch beforehand in nearby Leu Gardens.
$15

FusionFest

November 27 – 28, 2021
Seneff Arts Plaza at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
This free two-day celebration is a sensory fusion of sights, sounds, flavors and more that honor the diverse origins and heritages of our Central Florida community. Celebrate diversity with impressive cultural displays, films, marketplaces, music, and more.
FREE Admission; VIP Passports can be purchased online for $25

FusionFest - Thanksgiving Weekend in orlando
Image credit: FusionFest; photo by LL Productions