Things to do in Orlando at Christmas
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50 Plus Free Things To Do In Orlando at Christmas

Orlando at Christmas is a magical time, and there are plenty of free things to do in Orlando that are not hard to find!  Here are tons of FREE things to do in Orlando at Christmas to get you into the mood without spending any money! Check each event before attending for dates, limitations, and regulations.

free things to do in Orlando

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Here Are 50 Plus Free Things to Do in Orlando at Christmas

Altamonte Springs

Holiday Fountain Show

Always a crowd favorite, the Plaza Fountain features special shows with dancing water and dazzling lights choreographed to classic holiday tunes. Performances run nightly from November through January.                    

Light Up the Holidays

The City of Altamonte Springs, Duke Energy, and Magic 107.7 light up Cranes Roost Park with fireworks, Santa and Mrs. Claus, train rides, holiday performances, and more. 

Christmas Lights in Florida

Holiday Light Displays

Enjoy over 200,000 lights powered by Duke Energy on over 100 holiday displays. The Park’s highlight is the 60-foot tall Christmas tree with over 8,000 energy-efficient LED lights, 2,600 ornaments, and over one mile of garland.  The lights are turned on each night at dusk.


Apopka Farmers Market with City Tree Lighting

The City lights up Kit Land Nelson Park for the holidays. Go out and shop for the holidays at the market. 

Kit Land Nelson Park – Address: 10 S Forest Avenue Apopka, FL 32703

Avalon Park

Avalon Aglow 

This free community event features a community performance, pictures with Santa, a bounce park, real snow, vendors, and train rides. All folded by fireworks! Avalon Aglow is typically held on the first Saturday of December.


Celebration’s Winter Wonderland

An annual snowing event with the town of Celebration. This free magical event includes Santa’s arrival, the first “snow” fall, tree lighting, and carolers. Holiday lights and experiences throughout the month include live performances, “snow” falling nightly every hour, horse-drawn carriages, train rides, a synthetic ice rink, and a Santa meet and greet.

free things to do in Orlando

College Park

College Park Main Street Holiday on the Drive

Edgewater Drive is alive and full of holiday spirit at this much-loved annual family event! Adults and children fill Edgewater Drive, enjoying complimentary activities, photos with Santa, arts & crafts, and much more. Shops, restaurants, artisans, and food trucks join the fun, ready to welcome holiday shoppers and diners!


Believe it or not, there is an endless amount of free Christmas activities at Disney. Sure, you can’t get into the parks for free, but that does not mean you can’t enjoy and participate in the festivities.

Disney At Christmas

Disney Springs

Disney Springs might be the most festive of all the Disney resorts. Walk around Disney Springs and take in all the decorations.

Christmas Tree Trail

Discover over 27 holiday trees—each inspired by a Disney character or theme. 

Beach & Yacht Club

Go here to see the chocolate gingerbread carousel. This is a real working gingerbread merry-go-round with almost life-size horses. Each pony has a name and theme, and the details are unique. It is worth visiting the resort to see this fantastic creation.

Wilderness Lodge

Relax and sit in the rocking chairs in front of the massive fireplace, with a drink in front of the fantastic (and massive) fireplace at The Wilderness Lodge.

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Display

The iconic Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is a 20-plus-year-old tradition. This life-size gingerbread house is in the resort lobby throughout the holiday season. Featuring hidden Mickeys, gingerbread shingles, and more, this 14-foot tall display houses a sweet little shop selling freshly baked house-made items.                                                                                          

free things to do in Orlando

Note: Parking at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels is for the exclusive use of staying guests, but you can take a bus to any of the resorts from Disney Springs.

Downtown Orlando

The City of Orlando Christmas Tree

View the 72-foot Christmas tree at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando. The tree is lit in November, and there is a lighting event. Regardless, you can view the tree anytime. There is a daily show near the Amphitheater where the tree comes to life with music! It runs hourly, starting at 5:45 p.m. through 9:45 p.m.

Annual Holiday Concert at Lake Eola

The concerts are presented by News 6 and feature the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra. This is a free event, but you are encouraged to donate a new unwrapped toy. This event is held on the first Saturday of December.

Holiday Movies at Lake Eola Park

Grab the kids and drink of your choice and head Downtown to watch a Christmas movie. The movies start at 7 pm. Check Holiday Movies at Lake Eola Park for dates and what’s showing.

Santa Claus at the Eola House

Santa will be available Friday to Sunday from December 1 to December 23.

free things to do in Orlando

The Nutcracker, performed by the Russian Ballet Orlando

Celebrate the holiday season with The Nutcracker, featuring unforgettable characters, dazzling costumes, onstage blizzards, timeless choreography, and Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Russian Ballet Orlando. 

Deck the Downtown

Get festive this holiday season by participating in “Deck the Downtown.”  Downtown Orlando will be “decked out” in 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 participating business location.

Annual Violectric Holiday Show

A 90-minute live concert, presented by the City of Orlando Department of Families, Parks and Recreation, will feature traditional holiday songs like “O Christmas Tree,” “The First Noel,” and “Hanukkah, O Hanukkah” mashed up with classic rock tunes and modern hits like “Born to Run,” “Heroes” and “Sweet Dreams,” delivering a fun-filled, energetic and highly unique holiday show unlike anything seen and heard before. The concert will be simulcast around all of Lake Eola.

Fort Christmas

Christmas Orlando

Annual Cracker Christmas

Fort Christmas Historical Park costs nothing, and there is free parking across the street. Community groups serve baked goods, beverages, hotdogs, gators, sweet pickles, etc. You will see demonstrations of pioneer crafts such as broom making, blacksmithing, basket weaving, rope making, spinning, quilting, lace making, and wood carving. There will be a large craft fair with over 150 crafters selling homemade items, a Christmas Post Office booth offering hand-stamped Christmas cards, an antique engine and tractor display, and much more.


Family Movie Night at Old Town

Bring the entire family to Old Town for free movies on our big screen next to A&W Restaurant Old Town Kissimmee. Get settled around dusk to catch all the action under the stars. Bring a chair, grab some snacks from your favorite Old Town store, and spend the evening watching a flick under the stars.

**Family Movie Night event, movie selections, and start times are subject to change without notice. Certain movies selected may be unsuitable for younger children, and viewing will be at the parent’s discretion.

Sample Movies: 

  • The Polar Express
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  •  A Christmas Story (1983)
  • Elf

City of Kissimmee Festival of Lights Parade

The City of Kissimmee presents the Festival of Lights Parade. Residents, groups, and businesses are invited to participate in this unique evening parade illuminating Downtown Kissimmee’s streets. Parade participants exhibit their holiday spirit by decorating a float or entertaining the crowd with strolling performances.

Night of a Million Lights

A dancing lights show, tram tours, and unique behind-the-scenes experiences highlight an array of exciting additions guaranteed to make this year’s second annual Night of a Million Lights holiday lights spectacular, another dazzling success scheduled to illuminate the Central Florida skyline from November through Sunday, January.  Night of a Million Lights gives the public a rare glimpse inside Give Kids The World Village, an 89-acre, whimsical nonprofit resort that provides critically ill children and their families with magical weeklong wish vacations at no cost.

Night of a Million Lights is not only an opportunity for Give Kids The World Village to share holiday cheer with the community; it is their largest fundraiser of the year; the event brings together treasured partners, donors, volunteers, and caring supporters to raise funds that will make magical dreams come true for wish families.

Orlando at Christmas

Lake Mary

Holiday in the Park Lake Mary

The annual Holiday in the Park lights up downtown Lake Mary with beautiful tree lighting, thousands of twinkling lights, a dancing light show, “Snow Zone” in Central Park & a Santa & Mrs. Claus visit!

You will also enjoy the following activities:

  • DJ Entertainment
  • Face Painting
  • Balloon Artist
  • Traditional Holiday Carolers
  • “Snow” Zone
  • Tree Lighting
  • Ice Skating
  • Food Vendors & MORE…


Celebrate the Season & Tree Lighting

 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, ice skating for $1 per person, pony rides for $7 per person, food, shopping opportunities at Santa’s workshop, and a laser light show for the finale.


Ocoee Christmas Parade

Through the support of the City of Ocoee and the local Lions Club, this event will welcome this festive time of year again. The event tends to be well received, and organizers hope this year will be no exception.

Christmas Parade

Various bands, marchers, floats, and other entries will be displayed during the procession, and it will be a genuine community effort as many businesses, organizations, and individuals participate. If inclement weather occurs, a rain date has been set for Enterprise Street and Maguire Road. Ocoee City Hall is located at the Municipal Lakefront Park. 

Evening with Santa

At the Ocoee Lakeshore Center. Meet and greet Santa, a magician show, arts and crafts, and other fun activities. Pizza and light refreshments will be served. Pre-registration is required; space is limited. 

Holiday Tree Lighting

The event features the countdown to the tree lighting, Santa’s Village, a kids zone, special guests, and much more. This is a free event.

Things to do in Orlando at Christmas


Light Up UCF

The annual event will feature 45 days of movies, light shows, rides, ice skating, and other activities — plus more than 200,000 pulsing lights and snowfall.

Holiday Film Festival

Enjoy classic holiday films screened outdoors on a substantial two-story movie screen. Don’t forget chairs and blankets!

Holiday Light Show

Guests and skaters will be immersed in a magical glow as lights pulse and strobes perfectly synchronize to festive holiday music.! Holiday light shows begin at 7 p.m. daily and continue hourly through closing. And there is snow at the hour!

Other activities at Light Up UCF are not free but inexpensive.

Movie Night at Leu Gardens: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Gardens open at 6:00 p.m., and movie time is at 8:30 p.m. Enjoy an outdoor movie in a beautiful garden. Blankets or chairs are recommended. You may bring a dinner picnic basket. Alcohol is permitted. This movie is rated PG13. Under 13 years of age requires an accompanying parent or adult guardian. Leu Members receive free admission.

Gaylord Palms

This is a favorite for me. The decorations are out of this world, and Gaylord Palms hosts ICE. Ice is not free, but we have been several times and find ourselves wandering around the atrium, gawping at the decorations. The variety of Christmas trees alone makes a visit here worthwhile. Some of which are made from stacks of Poinsettias and some traditional art. Gaylord Palms is an excellent holiday choice if you plan a Christmas dinner or just a dinner night.

Cirque Dreams Unwrapped Stage Show

Be dazzled by an array of seasonal characters brought to life in a dreamscape of imaginative costumes and creativity in Florida—November through January. Free seats are first-come, first-served. We’ve been to Gaylord Palms many times. Don’t buy a seat to watch the shows. Hang out. Even if you are standing, you will see the show. Grab a drink and enjoy a magical night.

The Orlando Citrus Bowl Parade

This event is held on the last Saturday of December. The Orlando Citrus Parade, an annual tradition started in 1980, has grown to become one of the largest sports-affiliated parades in the nation. Currently planned and produced by Florida Citrus Sports and Parades R Us, the event occurs each year between the Camping World Bowl and the Citrus Bowl games during the last week in December.

Highlights of the Orlando Citrus Bowl Parade include high school and college marching bands, specialty performance groups, Disney cartoon characters, giant helium balloons, and colossal citrus floats decorated with oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and tangerines.

Note: You do not need a ticket to watch the parade.

Valencia College Music Department Holiday Show

Being held on the SAE Outdoor Stage, East Campus, This event is free. No ticket is required.

Nearly the entire music department presents the annual Holiday Concert Event with the Valencia Singers, Contemporary Ensemble, String Ensemble, and Symphonic Band. The ensembles will perform a collection of lighter, heart-warming Holiday favorites this year. Each group is featured, and then we combine the students as a large group, choir, and orchestra. 

Things to do in Orlando at Christmas

The Nutcracker Performance by the Russian Ballet of Orlando

The Russian Ballet of Orlando will present a gift to the Orlando community with a free performance of the traditional ballet, “The Nutcracker.

Valencia College Winter Choral Concert

The Valencia Singers will feature sacred and secular works by Elgar, Runestad, and Harris, arrangements by Kirchner and Harris, and beloved carols and holiday favorites to usher in the season.

The Contemporary Ensemble will perform musical theatre favorites from Sister Act, Waitress, Memphis, Annie, and other musicals.

The Grove’s Winter Wonderland

The Grove’s piazza transforms into a winter wonderland with none other than Santa and Mrs. Claus! There is fresh-blown snow, face paintings by Santa’s helpers, stilt walkers, train rides, and more!

Light up SoDo Orlando at Christmas

This event is Family-Friendly AND Pet-friendly, so grab the kids and your furry friends and head down to the SoDo Shopping Center for a night full of Holiday Fun!

There are tons of fun activities for everyone in your family! Get ready to experience Face Painting, Writing Letters to Santa, Stilt Walkers, Train Rides, Princesses, Bounce Houses, a Santa and Mrs. Claus visit, live performances, and more. 

Retro City Cycles Annual Christmas Light Ride!

Ride through Ivanhoe Village and College Park to enjoy the fantastic light displays. The ride starts and finishes at Retro City Cycles and will be about 6 miles at a casual pace; all bikes are welcome! Don’t forget to decorate your bike!

free things to do in Orlando


Frosty’s Winter Wonderland

A spectacular night has been planned, combining two of the most popular events! Food Truck Thursday will be held with Center Lake Park’s annual tree lighting ceremony. Join Oviedo on Thursday, November 30, from 5 pm to 9 pm as Oviedo lights up Center Lake Park with their giant Christmas tree and serves a delicious dinner at one of the ten food trucks.  You won’t want to miss the live reindeer, carolers, and characters like Frosty and Karen!  

In addition to Santa, we can take FREE professional photos with him.

Mount Dora

Mount Dora offers many Christmas events that are worth checking out. The Lights will be on during weekends until the Art Festival in February.

Celebrate the holidays against a backdrop of two million+ sparkling lights in beautiful downtown Mount Dora! Here are Mount Dora’s annual Chrismas events:

  • Light Up Mount Dora
  • Mount Dora Christmas Walk
  • Annual Christmas Parade
  • Christmas Lighted Boat Parade
  • Christmas Tour of Homes
  • Children’s Christmas in the Park with Snow

There are also many other activities, such as the Polar Express. While not free, this is great for kids!

Annual Mount Dora Christmas Walk

A family-friendly street party in downtown Mount Dora featuring music, food vendors, toy vendors, shopping (shops open until 9:00 PM), and Free pictures in Sunset Park with Santa! 


Jingle Jam

Festivities include LIVE MUSIC on 3 Stages, Holiday Vendors, Carnival Games, A Magic Show, Pictures with Santa, 15+ Gourmet Food Trucks, LIVE Wrestling Acts & much more! Here are some additional events going on in Sanford:

  • Christmas in the Square
  • Movie Night at Tuffy’s Bottle Shop
  • Christmas Parade
  • Light Up Sanford Tree Lighting
  • Sanford Holiday Window Display Contest
  • Holiday Trunk Show
Sanford Annual Holiday Tour of Homes

Jazz-Mass Jubilee

The evening will feature dynamic, show-stopping jazz artists, Central Florida’s hottest DJ, food & dessert vendors selling rich & savory eats, upscale merchandise vendors, a full bar, and more! Make sure you bring your lawn chairs!

Wekiva Island

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland

See the Christmas Tree Forest with a 20-foot Christmas tree! Plus, they have nightly “snow” flurries, sparkling holiday décor, visits from Santa and other holiday characters, and special events for the whole family from December 3 through Christmas Day.

  • Snow Slide
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Stories w/ Santa
  • Snow Flurries
  • Thousands of Lights
  • Decorations Galore
  • Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland Movies
free things to do in Orlando

Winter Garden

Light Up Winter Garden 

Come celebrate the holiday season at our 37th annual Light Up Winter Garden on Friday, December 1, 6-9 pm. Holiday entertainment, children’s activities, and lots of holiday fun are included in the free event!

Winter Garden Christmas Parade 

Enjoy this annual holiday event in your favorite spot with a lawn chair or blanket. As spectators enjoy a long-standing Winter Garden tradition, holiday cheer will fill the air! After the parade, look for the Big Guy himself!

Orlando at Christmas

Holiday Market at Downtown

Pedestrian-only streets of historic downtown will be lined with seasonal decorations, crafts, jewelry, apparel and accessories, sweet treats (including Gingerbread), and free Childrens holiday entertainment.

Winter Garden Christmas Golf Cart Parade 

This spectacular parade of elaborately decorated golf carts spreads holiday cheer through historic downtown as they walk through the streets. The parade enters eastbound from Park Avenue and loops westbound around West Plant. Bring a comfortable chair and choose your favorite viewing spot along West Plant Street.

De-light-ful Decorations Contest 

During the City of Winter Garden De-light-ful Decorations Contest, put up your outdoor holiday yard decorations, hang lights, and hang garlands!

Winter Garden Fire Rescue Annual Santa Run

Santa and his sleigh tour the City of Winter Garden neighborhoods during the Winter Garden Fire Rescue’s annual “Santa Run.”. During the parade, Santa and his elves (firefighters, police, and city helpers) spread holiday cheer, music, and treats.

Winter Park

Even if you don’t attend an event at Winter Park, a stroll down Park Avenue is enough to capture the essence of Christmas. All the store windows are decorated much like New York. The street is all decorated, and there is a lovely tree.

Sounds of the Season Winter Park Holiday Pops

Bring your blanket and a picnic for a concert program of holiday favorites that will be sure to put everyone in the spirit of the season! This free concert is made possible by the Charlotte Julia Hollander Trust. The show begins at 5 PM. Parking is free for this event. Tents and pets are not permitted.

Free Friday Nights at the Morse Museum

The Museum provides free admission every Friday from 4 pm to 8 pm from November through April. For consecutive Friday evenings during the holidays and spring, the Museum offers live music from 5 pm to 8 pm to enhance the gallery experience.

Popcorn Flicks in the Park: The Muppet Christmas Carol

Popcorn Flicks in the Park, presented by the Enzian Theater and the Community Redevelopment Agency, will feature Frosty’s Winter Wonderland beginning at 7 p.m., followed by The Santa Clause. Bring your blanket or chairs to watch the movies, and pick dinner from one of our local restaurants to enjoy a picnic in the Park with your movie. 

free things to do in Orlando

Annual Christmas in the Park

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and the City of Winter Park will again help launch Winter Park’s holiday season by lighting Tiffany windows in Central Park and presenting the Bach Festival Choir and Brass Ensemble in concert. 

Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Winter Park Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade. The event has been held each December for over 65 years, making it the oldest continuous holiday parade in Central Florida. Over 80 organizations participate, including marching bands, local police and fire departments, scouting groups, local dignitaries, and Santa Claus.

Winter Park Holiday Boat Parade

Sit at the Dinky Dock or the Rollins College campus behind the Cornell Fine Arts Museum to see the impressive boat and dock holiday decorations created by residents and local business sponsors.

Winter Springs

Winter Wonderland Parade

There’s no better time to celebrate than now! Don’t miss Winter Wonderland’s holiday festivities this season! The annual Holiday Parade features local talent and businesses, as well as the annual lighting of the Christmas tree! Enjoy local entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus!

Light Up Central Winds!

‘Light Up Central Winds’ will put you in the spirit of the holiday season! Drive through Central Winds Park and experience a winter wonderland tradition on December 8, 9, 10, 15, and 17, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it, 50 plus FREE things to do in Orlando at Christmas. Now, there is no excuse for staying home over the holidays. There is too much to see and do!

Looking for more seasonal things to do in Florida? Start here:

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