40+ Best Things to do in Orlando in December: Events and More!

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Snowflake lights at Dazzling Nights at Leu Gardens

OUR MONTHLY GUIDE TO THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN ORLANDO FOR DATE NIGHT


There are so many fun events happening in the City Beautiful. Enjoy the cooler weather at a market, try an art class or explore the foodie scene. The holiday season is here and 2023 is on the horizon.

There’s a lot on our curated guide of things to do in Orlando, so keep scrolling! It starts with event highlights for things to do this week, followed by our top picks for things to do in Orlando for the rest of the month. You'll also find an ongoing events section for even more ideas.

Check back often as we add more Orlando events to this listing throughout the month.

For even more things to do in Orlando, check out these trending stories:

–> PS: Want to see your Orlando events listed here? Submit your event to us here.

This guide is updated throughout the month. 
Scroll down for a look ahead to the big events of 2022, and a peek into 2023


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Road Trip: Events in Tampa Bay this month

Planning to head to Tampa this month? Here's a guide to the best Tampa Bay events this month from Tampa Bay Date Night Guide. If you're planning to bring the kids, check out this guide to family-friendly events and activities in Tampa Bay from our sister publication Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

Save the Date!

First Friday Wine, Cheese, and Shop
Dec. 2, 5-8pm
Head over to The Old Red Barn of Geneva this Friday for some good food, great music, and shopping, shopping, shopping! Bring a toy and receive 10% off any item!

Geneva Blessings Toy Drive and Winter Carnival
Dec. 3, 9am to 3pm
Join The Old Red Barn of Geneva for a fun filled day of Christmas cheer. There will be lots of activities for the kids and Santa and the Grinch will be there! Be sure to bring a toy or two to receive 10% off of any item.

Winter Wine Dinner at Hemisphere Restaurant
Located on the 9th floor of Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
Dec. 9, 6:30pm
Join Hemisphere Restaurant on December 9th at 6:30pm for their next quarterly wine dinner featuring BV Wines, including a pairing with Georges de la Tour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Be a part of a rotating event that happens once every three months. Price per person, $165 excluding tax & gratuity. Valet parking is complimentary.

One Five Two Productions presents their annual Holiday Shows! Live Music, Performers, Holiday Theming, Photo Ops, and more!
The Haven: 6700 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, FL 32792

NIGHT 1 – Saturday, Dec. 10 (Genre: Rock)
Doors open at 5:30pm, Show starts at 6pm
Seven Year Witch – Cinema Stereo – Ace Monroe – Surf Witch – Little Lazy – Paper Doors – The Dirty Jane's
Tickets: $20 ADV / $25 DOS

NIGHT 2 – Friday, Dec. 16 (Genre: Heavy Metal)
Doors open at 7pm, Show starts at 7:30pm
Left To Suffer – Tactosa – Thirst – Tombstone – Fatal Frames – The Haven
Tickets: $20 ADV / $25 DOS

Grand Glow Atlantis New Year’s Eve 2022
Saturday, December 31, 8pm to 1am
A night of celebration awaits this New Year’s Eve as the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach takes you into the lost city of Atlantis. This New Year's Eve the depths come to life with live entertainment from Tampa Bay's own “The Black Honkeys”. Let the Sirens lure you in with live music, grand glow food stations, and deep dive bars. This event will feature tiered tickets offering the experience of your choosing.
Tickets start at $75 per person.


December 1 – 4, 2022 Things to Do / Events in Orlando

Christmas Nights in Lights Immersive Light Show
November 11, 2022 – January 1, 2023, 6pm – 11pm
Dezerland Orlando
A dazzling drive-thru light show fully synchronized to popular holiday classics tuned directly to each vehicle’s car stereo on a private radio frequency. The all-new seasonal attraction will take guests through a showcase of holiday displays and more than 1.5 million “dancing” lights. Guests never have to exit their cars; they can simply sit back, relax, and take in the spectacle of the synchronized light show before them.
$45 per vehicle (not per person)

Dazzling Nights Presented by AdventHealth
November 25, 2022 – January 1, 2023
Harry P. Leu Gardens
Back for its third year and bigger and more interactive than ever! Orlando’s 50-acre Harry P. Leu Gardens transforms once again into a stunning winter wonderland featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, music and beautiful sculptures during “Dazzling Nights” – a family-friendly adventure that gives guests the opportunity to embark on an unforgettable, interactive holiday experience.
$22 – $55

Snowflake lights at Dazzling Nights at Leu Gardens
Dazzling Nights at Leu Gardens – Image of Editor Dani Meyering's family, taken by Leu Gardens staff

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.

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.

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
November 25, 2022 – December 31, 2022
Epcot
Attend a holiday event that surrounds you in the wondrous sights, sounds and flavors celebrated by cultures near and far.
Included with theme park admission; food and beverage extra

RELATED: Complete Guide to the Holidays at Walt Disney World

Holiday Open House at Prometheus Esoterica
November 25 – December 3, 5pm
Prometheus Esoterica
Come celebrate creepy Xmas, ghoulish Yule, and have a wicked winter with your favorite local oddities shop!

The Nutcracker – Orlando Ballet
December 2 – 18, 2022
Steinmetz Hall, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
The enchantment of Orlando Ballet’s annual favorite makes The Nutcracker a not-to-be-missed holiday tradition.
Full length show as well as Family and Sensory Friendly Show available (December 3, 10 & 17, 2022)

Lunch & Learn – Figurehead Exhibition Showcase – Deep Cuts & B-Sides
Friday, December 2, noon – 1 pm
Orange County Reginal History Center
$5 for non-member, members FREE. With lunch: $14, members $9. – lunch must be ordered by 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 1.

A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas and The Canterville Ghost
Friday, December 2–4
Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Dr. Phillips Center
Victorian Troupe Phantasmagoria celebrates two well-loved classics as they bring to life “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde’s’ “The Canterville Ghost” – a whimsically haunted way to bring in the holidays.
Tickets start at $35

Christmas Cocktails + Pictures w/ Santa
Saturday, December 3, 2pm – 5pm
Christmas cocktails, Christmas beer tap takeover and bring the entire family to take free pictures w/ one of the most popular real-beard Santas in Central Florida. Bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots
FREE

READ MORE: Sip Christmas Cocktails at Festive Bars in Orlando

3rd Annual Christmas Festival at Black Willow
Saturday, December 3, 9am – 3pm
The Vineyards at Black Willow
Letters to Santa, make your own reindeer food, make your own snow globe ornament, jingle bell necklace craft, Florida Snow Foam Party, and more
$10

Krampusfest
Sunday, December 4, 1pm – 9pm
Sideward Brewing
The event will feature live music, vegan and non-vegan food, Christmas vendors, costume contests, a krampuslauf parade, and plenty of punishment.
FREE

7th Annual Light Up SoDo 2022
Sunday, December 4, 2pm – 6pm
SoDo Shopping Plaza
Santa and Mrs. Claus, a maker’s market, food trucks, appearances from local SoDo businesses, the Bubble Bus, bounce houses, face painting, stilt walkers, beer and wine garden, live performances and more.
$5 individual donation or $10 per family is requested to enjoy the day‘s events and to support non-profit SoDo Main Street District.

Budweiser Clydesdales at ICON Park
Sunday, December 4, 11am – 1pm
Guests can meet and take photos with the regal horses – all dressed up in their holiday best – as they pose in front of The Wheel.

December 5 – 11, 2022 Things to Do / Events in Orlando

Christmas Trivia Night
Tuesday, December 6, 7:30pm
Crooked Can Brewing Company
Christmas related questions from anything and everything about the most wonderful time of the year!
FREE to play

Wine and Paint
Wednesday, December 7, 6pm – 8pm
Wekiva Island
Artist Elisabeth Ferber will guide you step by step through creating your own masterpiece. 2 glasses of wine, all your supplies and gourmet charcuterie are included.
Reservations are required. Limited Reservations are available.
$40

Holiday Craft Beer & Cookie Pairing
Friday, December 9, 4pm – 9pm
Deviant Wolfe Brewing
Flights include five Deviant Wolfe beers paired with five classic holiday cookies by Insomnia Cookies. This is not a guided tasting. Ticket holders may come anytime between 4:00-8:30 PM on Friday for their pairing.
$23 – purchase online

407 Food Fair – Deck the Halls
Saturday, December 10, 2022
Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company
Each month will feature a different food theme and you will be able to sample the food offerings from 8-12 food vendors and shop from local vendors all while enjoying the views and brews of Ivanhoe Park Brewing.
FREE

READ MORE: 50+ Festive and FREE Holiday Events in Orlando

Christmas Time on the Farm
Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11
Amber Brooke Farms – Eustis
Decked-out with festive decor for a fun-filled winter day. Take your picture with Santa, enjoy browsing our holiday arts & crafts fair for last-minute holiday shopping, experience our fun farm activities together, listen to live music, and more.
$13 in advance, $15 at door

Lewis Black: Off the Rails
Saturday, December 10, 2022
Hard Rock Live Orlando
$45 and up

For King + Country's A Drummer Boy Christmas
Saturday, December 10, 2022
Amway Center

Celebrate the Holidays in Orlando: Christmas Events, Lights, and More!

Monthly FilmSlam
Sunday, December 11, 2pm
Orlando Museum of Art
FilmSlam has been a favorite of Florida's independent filmmakers since 2004 and continues to be a very popular screening series and networking community for independent and student filmmakers of all skill levels
$11

Art & History Book Club
Sunday, December 11, 4pm – 6pm
The Cottage at Lake Lily
Make new friends at the A&H Members-Only Book Club! Join A&H Director of Advancement Jessi VanPelt every other month in scenic Cottage at Lake Lily to share your opinions on fascinating topics in the realms of art and history. At the end of each meeting, we’ll vote on what book to read together next.

At the third meeting, discuss The Secrets of Art: Uncovering the mysteries and messages of great works of art, by Debra N. Mancoff.

December 12 – 18, 2022 Things to Do / Events in Orlando

Hadestown
December 13 – 18, 2022
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Hadestown intertwines two mythic tales—that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone—as it invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back.
Tickets on sale in 2022

Tibetan Meditation with Puja Mandan
Wednesday, December 14, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Timucua Arts Foundation
Tibetan healing meditation designed to help you fall in tune with yourself, and bring harmony to your whole being, utilizing music, sound, and the beautiful acoustics of Timucua.
FREE – Donations encouraged

Wine Stroll
Friday, December 16, 6:30pm – 9pm
Historic Downtown Clermont
Explore historic Downtown Clermont while sampling wine at various shops.
Tickets are $20 and will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Optima One Realty.
Photo ID is required.

December Movie Under the Stars – “The Grinch”
Friday, December 16, 8pm
Avalon Park
Bring your chairs and blankets to Avalon Park Town Park for a showing of The Grinch!

Airport Lanes hosts Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
Saturday, December 17, Noon – 2pm
Airport Lanes
Guests wearing their ugliest holiday sweater will receive two free games of bowling. Dress up the whole family and come down for a morning of holiday fun
FREE

Milk Mart Holiday Market
Sunday, December 18, 12pm – 6pm
The Nook on Robinson
Eat, shop, and be merry in The Milk District
FREE

READ MORE: 50+ Festive and FREE Holiday Events in Orlando

Authentic Selves : Poetry and Open Mic
Sunday, December 18, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Timucua Arts Foundation
FREE

December 19 – 25, 2022 Things to Do / Events in Orlando

Boardwalk Bowl hosts Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
Saturday, December 24, 9am – 11am
Boardwalk Bowl
Guests wearing their ugliest holiday sweater will receive two free games of bowling. Dress up the whole family and come down for a morning of holiday fun
FREE

December 26 – 31, 2022 Things to Do / Events in Orlando

Last Wednesdays at A&H
Wednesday, December 28, 5:30pm-8:00pm
Enjoy free admission to the current exhibition of the Maitland Art Center Gallery. Then grab a drink (a broad selection of both nonalcoholic or alcoholic beverages) and watch the sun set over the iconic lily pond in the Main Gardens.
FREE – Cash Bar available

Last Wednesdays at A&H at Maitland Art and History

Where to Celebrate New Year's Eve 2022

Grand Glow Atlantis New Year’s Eve 2022
Saturday, December 31, 8pm to 1am
A night of celebration awaits this New Year’s Eve as the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach takes you into the lost city of Atlantis. This New Year's Eve the depths come to life with live entertainment from Tampa Bay's own “The Black Honkeys”. Let the Sirens lure you in with live music, grand glow food stations, and deep dive bars. This event will feature tiered tickets offering the experience of your choosing.
Tickets start at $75 per person.

Enzian's James Bond New Year's Eve Party
Saturday, December 31, 2022
Enzian Theater
Bond is back! Toast to 2023 with your closest friends and family at our signature New Year’s Eve bash. Come in your most impressive Bond fit and you could win a prize. Enjoy some bubbly, light hors d’oeuvres and our special NYE cocktails while dancing your way into the new year!
Tickets TBA

Enzian Theater entrance – Dani Meyering

More Ideas: Ongoing Orlando Events

50+ Festive and Free Holiday Events in Orlando

Holiday Blooms
Now – January 2, 2023
Leu Gardens
Thousands of poinsettias along with beautiful, seasonal flowers and foliage creating a wonderful, magical garden for the holiday season, included with daytime garden admission.

The Office Party Musical Extravaganza Show
Select Nights December 1-23
Renaissance Theatre Company
$30

Orlando Local Makers Pop Up Markets
Most Fridays and Saturdays
20+ local makers in the delightful backyard of The House on Lang in the Mills 50 neighborhood

Bazaar Botanica Markets
Third Sunday of each month – October 16, November 20 etc. 1pm – 6pm
Ivanhoe Park Brewing
30+ Artisan Vendors ; And hundreds of products to shop. Plants, Vintage, art, handmade, oddities, and more.
Live and Local performers & entertainment
FREE Admission

Kamayan Supper Club
The supper club will release tickets for weekly Kamayans out of our @taglishfl UCF location. Private dinners and lunches will be available for parties of 6 or more with advance notice.
$45 per person

Movie Mondays
A La Cart Orlando
Monday nights, 7pm or sunset (whichever comes first)
Enjoy a FREE outdoor movie every Monday evening while enjoying food for purchase from the resident food trucks. Sign up for A La Cart's email list to find out which movies are playing each week.
FREE Admission

Tasty Takeover in The Milk District
Tuesdays from 6:30-10pm
The Milk District – E. Robinson St
THE food truck block party in Orlando! Find it in The Milk District every Tuesday night behind the bars and shops of E. Robinson St.
FREE Admission

RELATED: How to Have an Orlando Food Truck Date

Piano Bar Show at Jewel
Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nights
Jewel Orlando
Dueling Piano players take the stage for a fun night of song requests and sing-alongs! Call (321) 444-5306 after 5pm to get your password for speakeasy entry.
FREE admission with password

Image credit: Jewel Orlando

Weekends at the Winery
Saturdays and Sundays, 11am – 5pm
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

Check out multiple Farmers' Markets around Orlando every weekend.

Saturday Exhibition Highlights Docent-Led Tour
Every Saturday, 1pm – 2pm
Rollins Museum of Art
Docent-led tours of highlighted works from the season’s exhibitions at the Rollins Museum of Art.
FREE

Painting With Primates
Chase Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservatory (Webster, FL)
Most Sundays, 10am
A memorable morning surrounded by some incredible endangered species. Lemurs and a local artist will help you paint a chosen picture on a canvass while sitting amongst the grandfather oaks that reside in a 5 acre open habitat. All materials will be included. This consists of paint, the canvass, easel, and brushes. Each participant will leave with their own work of art.
All participants must be 13 and over when painting with adult only.
Class lasts 2-3 hours in total
$75

Beauty And The Beast Cocktail Experience
December 14 – February 22, 2023
The Oliv Bar
Across 90 minutes you will create two bespoke themed cocktails, solve riddles and challenges to lift the curse, and much, much more! Tickets include entry, theatrics, 2x bespoke cocktails, and a sweet treat.
$47

2023 Highlights

Hard to believe it's already time to start thinking about the things to do in Orlando in 2023. Get those date ideas rolling with these great events in Orlando in 2023.

Take your pick of the endless options: a stellar concert lineup, Broadway shows, festivals to delight foodies, theme park happenings, sporting events, and so much more.

The Great American Orchestra Series in Steinmetz Hall:

The Cleveland Orchestra
Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m.
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Friday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Riccardo Muti, conductor

Neil deGrasse Tyson – The Search for Life in the Universe
January 8, 2023
Walt Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips Center
Join America's greatest astrophysicist as he guides you through the search for habitable planets, liquid water and intelligent life in the cosmos.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Mid January – late February
Epcot
Sample creative and visually stunning food while enjoying live entertainment, meet and greets with artists, immersive art experiences and more.
Included with theme park admission; food and beverage extra

Central Florida Scottish Highland Games
January 14 – 15, 2023
Central Winds Park, Winter Springs
Experience traditional highland athletics, dance, art, music, culture, food and a Gaelic spirit that can be felt throughout this multi-acre festival. Pack folding chairs, water, sunscreen, and get ready for a full day. Get there early and consider using a ride-share service to avoid a parking hassle.

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras
February 4 – April 16, 2023
Universal Orlando
The parades and beads are back. The concerts are back with incredible performers including Khalid, Marshmello, Jason Derulo and more. And every day and night you can enjoy lip-smacking foods from New Orleans as well as mouth-watering dishes inspired by tastes from around the world.
Included with theme park admission; food and beverage extra

RELATED: How to Have an Epic Date at Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2022

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band
Sunday, February 5, 2023
Amway Center

Moulin Rouge®The Ballet
February 9-12, 2023
Steinmetz Hall, Dr. Phillips Center
Step into the romantic world as Jorden Morris’ original work, Moulin Rouge®The Ballet returns for a full staging. Originally presented in Orlando in 2020, a full 40 minutes has been restored so audiences can revel in the glory of the Bohemian nightlife.
Tickets from: $29

The Important Problem: A Social Justice Opera
Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4, 7pm
Timucua Arts Foundation
The Important Problem is a Social Justice Opera funded by the State of Florida Arts and Culture department through their grant rewards. The opera is set in a subway with 4 victims who represent political/social issues and 2 main characters who represent two different interpretations of the law.

Something Rotten!
April 21 – May 21, 2023
Garden Theatre – Winter Garden
Brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are writing their way through the Renaissance, but are stuck in the shadow of famed playwright William Shakespeare. Sick and tired of failure, Nick visits a less-than-reputable soothsayer, who predicts that musicals will be the next big thing in theatre.
Only Season Ticket Packages are currently available

Dreamgirls
July 7 – August 6, 2023
Garden Theatre – Winter Garden
Meet the Dreams: Effie, Lorrell, and Deena, three young and talented African-American singers in the revolutionary 1960s. Dreamgirls will take you on a journey as the three friends embark on a musical roller coaster through the ruthless world of show business.
Only Season Ticket Packages are currently available

Creative City Project 2023

NEVERLAND: The Lost Adventure
(January through March 2023)
Harry P. Leu Gardens

Follow the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning and learn to fly in an all-new immersive experience for imaginations both young and old. Explore the wilds of Neverland and come face-to-face with the characters who call it home encountering surprises along the ¾-mile theatrical journey. Discover what it truly means to become one of Peter Pan’s “Lost Boys”… and Girls. From the creators of Dragons and Fairies and Down the Rabbit Hole, comes a new adventure that brings you into the classic tale of Neverland.

RE: CHARGE
(April 7-8-9, April 14-15-16, 2023)

Returning for its third year, Re: Charge is an ambient, relaxing event meant to rejuvenate with amazing sounds and soft lighting. Guests will leave feeling refreshed as they bring their own pillow and blanket to lay down in an individual 6’x8’ square for this restorative night of live music. Harpist Timbre Cierpke will lead a live ensemble of orchestral musicians playing a 60-minute concert of peaceful and reflective music.

IMMERSE will return in 2023. “As we approach the 2022-2023 season, Creative City Project is taking a moment to reflect on the last decade of innovative, creative and immersive experiences,” says Evans. “As we navigate the 2022-2023 season, the event known as IMMERSE will be put on pause and brought back during our 2023-2024 season, in order to make room for Airplay in 2022. We look forward to collaborating with existing and new community partners throughout our 2022-2023 season and look forward to spending a year envisioning how we can serve our community through new programming while producing IMMERSE 2023 and beyond.”

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Disclosure: Some, but not all, of the Orlando events featured in this post are hosted by our valued advertising partners.

Orlando Museum of Art NYE
Gaylord Ice