Your 2021 Holiday Event Guide: The Best Holiday Experiences in Orlando North

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Your 2021 Holiday Event Guide: The Best Holiday Experiences in Orlando North

Hear that? Those jingling sleigh bells can only mean one thing — the holidays are (finally) here! It’s time to get excited for hot cocoa on cool nights, crossing off items on your holiday shopping list, and festive events popping up around Orlando North all season long. If you’re looking for holiday fun in Orlando, keep reading for family activities, live entertainment, and new holiday traditions to start this year.

Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild

When: November 19, 2021 – January 16, 2022
Where: Central Florida Zoo, 3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771
Cost: Starting at $18.50 (separate from regular Zoo admission)

The Central Florida Zoo’s Asian Lantern Festival can only be described with one word — breathtaking! This cultural celebration features over 30 unique, handmade illuminated lanterns sure to inspire awe. Lining a path just under a mile throughout the Zoo, this lantern display lands among one of the top recommended holiday events in Seminole County for guests of all ages.

Holiday Fountain Show and Light Displays at Cranes Roost Park

When: Every Night on the Hour from 6pm-9pm, Starting November 25, 2021
Where: Cranes Roost Park, 274 Cranes Roost Blvd., Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
Cost: Free

Once the sun sets during the holiday season, Cranes Roost Park transforms into a dazzling wonderland. Stroll along the lake and boardwalks, where you’ll find over 200,000 lights on more than 100 displays. The star of the show? A 60-foot Christmas tree featuring 8,000 LED lights, 2,600 ornaments, and over one mile of garlands. Don’t forget to catch the choreographed holiday fountain show every hour on the hour from 6pm to 9pm while you’re there.

Wekiva Island's Winter Wonderland

When: December 3, 2021 – December 25, 2021
Where: Wekiva Island, 1014 Miami Springs Dr, Longwood, FL 32779
Cost: $2

Winter Wonderland and Florida don’t usually go together, but Wekiva Island works to change that every year. Where else can you experience daily snow flurries, sleigh rides on the river, and a Christmas tree forest? Plus, little ones can expect visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus, and even The Grinch! Check out Wekiva Island’s events calendar for special holiday functions, including breakfast with Santa, holiday movies, and more festive fun!

32nd Annual Sanford Holiday Tour of Homes

When: Saturday, December 4, 2021
Where: 601 S Elm Ave, Sanford, FL 32771
Cost: $25 per ticket

Take a self-guided walking tour through Sanford’s Historic District and its stunning residences on the 32nd Annual Sanford Holiday Tour of Homes. If you’ve always wondered what it’s like to live in a historic nineteenth-century home, now’s your chance! Be part of the celebration as the downtown residents open their charming spaces to the public. Festive décor, luminaries lining brick-paved streets, and a holiday marketplace featuring unique gifts round out this can’t-miss display of seasonal cheer.

Longwood Christmas Parade

When: December 4, 2021
Where: Longwood Historic District, Ronald Reagan Blvd., North of SR 434
Cost: Free

What’s the holidays without an unforgettable parade? Mark your calendars for the annual Longwood Christmas Parade, a seasonal favorite for both locals and visitors alike. With over 100 floats, antique cars, animal performances, dance troupes, and even monster trucks, this event is sure to top your list of best holiday experiences in Orlando and Seminole County.

City of Sanford Parade of Lights

When: December 11, 2021, 6pm-7:30pm
Where: Downtown Sanford
Cost: Free

Get ready for 100 illuminated floats, bands, performances, and more lighting up downtown Sanford’s historic streets. The family-friendly Sanford Parade of Lights is one of Orlando North’s most highly anticipated holiday events, with no shortage of cheer and charm! Make a day of it and grab lunch at one of the area’s eateries, then grab your spot along the parade route and get ready to be wowed.

Santa at the Zoo

When: Friday, December 17, 6pm to 9pm & Wednesday, December 22, 6pm to 9pm
Where: Central Florida Zoo, 3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771
Cost: Free with admission

Red suit, white beard, fluffy hat — your kids know him as Santa; now it’s time to meet him face to face! Father Christmas himself will be making an appearance at the Central Florida Zoo on select dates during the holidays. Don’t miss your chance to grab a photo with the big guy and let the little ones make sure he knows what’s on their wish list. Plus, you’ll also get to enjoy the rest of the zoo and holiday-themed attractions like a candy cane hunt!

Jingle Jam Holiday Party in Downtown Sanford

When: Saturday, December 4, 2021, 4PM – 10PM
Where: Historic Downtown Sanford, 307 E 2nd St., Sanford, FL 32771
Cost: Free

Join Orlando natives and visitors and to celebrate the holidays at Sanford’s Jingle Jam Holiday Party! Enjoy live entertainment, carnival games, live wrestling, food trucks, and, of course, Santa himself! This event is the perfect holiday celebration for the entire family. Bring the kids or furry friends down to historic Sanford to take in the sights and set the stage for a holiday season you won’t forget.

Add these festive events to your holiday calendar of things to do in Orlando North this season! We’ll see you there!

If you are ever out exploring any of these places or find yourself in Orlando North, make sure to tag us on social media for a chance to be featured on our page! @DoOrlandoNorth #DoOrlandoNorth