75+ Festive and Free Holiday Events in Orlando

Free Holiday Events in Orlando 2019

It’s time again for our annual list of the best free holiday events in Orlando! Don’t let the holiday season fly by without making time for you and your honey. The holidays can be hectic and expensive, but there are loads of great free holiday events in Orlando. Check out some of our favorites below!

HOLIDAY LIGHTS AND DISPLAYS

Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Display
Through January 1, 2020
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort lobby
Additional resorts with gingerbread displays in their lobbies: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel.
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 Epcot, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort via the Walt Disney World Resort Monorail.

Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs
November 8, 2019 through January 5, 2020
Disney Springs Marketplace near Once Upon a Toy store
Discover over 25 holiday trees each inspired by a Disney character or theme. 

Holiday Light Show at Light Up UCF
November 22, 2019- January 5, 2020
Starts at 7pm and continues hourly until closing
CFE Arena

#LIT Light Show
November 25 – January 5, 2020
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
Multisensory experience featuring a new energized musical score accompanied by millions of dancing, choreographed lights displayed around the resort’s six-story Christmas tree. 

Image credit: Gaylord Palms

Cranes Roost Park Holiday Fountain Show
November 28, 2019 – January 1, 2020
Performances hourly from 6-9pm
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs
Always a crowd favorite, the Plaza fountain features special shows with dancing water and dazzling lights choreographed to classic holiday tunes. 

Snow Falling Nightly in Celebration
November 30, 2019 – December 31, 2019
Nightly snowfall hourly from 6- 9pm
Celebration Town Center

Celebration becomes a winter wonderland with nightly snow falls. (©Whitney Bilodeau)

CHECK OUT OUR GUIDE TO WHERE TO FIND ORLANDO’S BEST HOLIDAY LIGHTS!

Deck the Downtown
December 1 – 31, 2019
Downtown Orlando
Downtown Orlando businesses will be “decked-out” with 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 of the participating business locations. Deck the DTO location maps can be found online or at the Downtown Information Center.

Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree Show
December 6, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Nightly at 5:45, 6:45, 7:45, 8:45, and 9:45pm
Lake Eola Park

A Merry Winter Garden Light Show
December 7, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21
From 6-9pm
300 W. Plant St.
Spectacular animated holiday light show synchronized to music projected onto the front façade of Winter Garden City Hall. 

Holiday Lights around Cranes Roost Park
November 28, 2019 – January 1, 2020
Nightly at dusk
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs
The park comes alive with spectacular holiday displays featuring over 200,000 lights and a 60-foot tree decorated with 8,000 lights, 2,600 ornaments and over one mile of garland.

Cranes Roost Park during the holidays
Cranes Roost Park | Image credit: Altamonte Springs

HOLIDAY PARADES AND CELEBRATIONS

LIGHT UP EVENTS

38th Annual Light Up Mount Dora
November 30, 2019
From 4:30-6:30pm
Donnelly Park and Downtown Mount Dora

Holiday Events in Orlando
Light Up Mount Dora. Image credit: mount dora.com

Celebration Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 30, 2019
5:30-9pm
Celebration Town Center

Light Up Viera
November 30, 2019
Fireworks at 6pm followed by a parade
Route takes place near Viera High School

Food Trucks, Tree Lighting, and Santa
December 5, 2019
From 5-9pm
Center Lake Park – Oviedo

Light Up Clermont
December 6 and 7, 2019
Downtown Clermont
Community tree-lighting ceremony at 6:30pm Dec. 6 at City Hall Park
A Hometown Holiday Parade at 10am Dec. 7 downtown

2019 City of Orlando Tree Lighting Celebration
December 6, 2019
From 5-9pm
Lake Eola Park

Annual City of Orlando Tree Lighting Celebration
Image credit: City of Orlando

Light Up Baldwin Park + Baldwin Park First Friday Festival
December 6, 2019
5:30-9:30pm
Baldwin Park First Friday Festival (New Broad Street)

Holiday in the Park Lake Mary
December 6, 2019
6-8pm
Central Park Lake Mary City Hall
Filled with thousands of colorful lights, a Holiday Tree lighting, dancing light show, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Holiday lights will continue to be on display throughout the rest of the holiday season.

Annual Light Up Winter Garden
December 6, 2019
From 6-9pm
Downtown Winter Garden – Plant Street

Best Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Winter Garden
Image credit: City of Winter Garden

Light Up the Holidays – Altamonte Springs
December 7, 2019
From 5-9pm
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

Casselberry Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 7, 2019
From 6-9pm
Lake Concord Park

Celebrate the Season & Tree Lighting
December 13, 2019
From 6-9pm
Downtown Historic Longwood
Ice skating, trackless train rides, and a Holiday laser light show.

HOLIDAY PARADES

67th Annual Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade
December 7, 2019
Starts at 9am
Central Park Park Avenue, Winter Park

Ocoee Christmas Parade
December 7, 2019
From 10am-12pm
Ocoee

58th Annual Christmas Parade
December 7, 2019
Starts at 10am
Streets of Mount Dora

Winter Garden Christmas Parade
December 7, 2019
10am
South Dillard Street & Plant Street

Winter Wonderland and Parade at Winter Springs
December 7, 2019
From 4:30-9pm
Winter Springs Town Center
The Holiday Parade will begin at 4:30pm at Keeth Elementary School and end at Magnolia Square Fountain at the Winter Springs Town Center, followed by tree lighting and live entertainment throughout the evening.

29th Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade
December 7, 2019
Starts at 7:30pm
Lake Dora; the parade begins at Lighthouse on Grantham Point

Winter Park Christmas Boat Parade
December 14, 2019
Starts at 5:30pm
Dinky Dock and the Rollins shore north of the boathouse for viewing

Sanford’s Annual Illuminated Christmas Parade
December 14, 2019
From 6-8pm
Downtown Sanford

City of Kissimmee Festival of Lights Parade
December 14, 2019
Starts at 7pm
Historic Downtown Kissimmee

Winter Garden Holiday Golf Cart Parade
December 15, 2019
Staging of participants: 4:00 pm, Bradford Park, 220 W. Division St.
Parade Viewing: begins 5:45 pm along Plant St. from Central Ave. to Main St.
Golf carts adorned with impressive holiday decorations will parade through downtown Winter Garden to amaze viewers.

Image credit: Winter Garden Golf Cart Parade

Lake Monroe’s Lighted Boat Parade
December 21, 2019
From 6-9pm
Viewing along Veterans Memorial Park, and along the Riverwalk in Sanford from Park Ave to 17-92

CELEBRATIONS

Jingle Eve 2019
November 23, 2019
5-10pm
Ivanhoe Village
12 Wines of Christmas, Santa’s Village, live music, food trucks, vendors and more—all FREE and open to the public.

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland
November 29 – January 1, 2020
Wekiva Island
Nightly snow flurries plus extra entertainment and activities 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.

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland | Image credit” Wekiva Island

Oh What Fun! Lake Nona Holiday Festival
November 29, 2019 – January 5, 2020 
Thursdays and Fridays 4-10pm, Saturdays 11am-10pm and Sundays 11am-9pm
Lake Nona Town Center will transform into a true winter wonderland with one of Central Florida’s only outdoor, open-air skating rinks surrounded by Christmas trees, twinkly lights, a mailbox for letters to Santa and more. Each week is packed with activities including classic holiday movies, jolly appearances from Santa Claus, strolling carolers, kid’s crafts and the occasional snow fall.
Lake Nona Town Center

Image credit: Lake Nona

Light Up SoDo! 2019
December 1, 2019
4-8pm
SODO Shopping Center

41st Annual Cracker Christmas
December 6-7, 2019
From 10am-4pm
Fort Christmas Historical Park

Winter on the Avenue
December 6, 2019
From 5-10pm
Central Park on Park Avenue, Winter Park

Christmas in the Square
December 6, 2019
From 6-8pm
Magnolia Square, Downtown Sanford

Annual Mount Dora Christmas Walk
December 6, 2019
From 6-8pm
Downtown Mount Dora

Fun and Free Holiday Events in Orlando 2018
Mount Dora Christmas Walk | Image credit: Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce

The Grove’s Winter Wonderland
December 7, 2019
11am – 3pm
The Grove Orlando

Avalon Aglow
December 7, 2019
From 3-9pm, parade at 3pm, fireworks 9pm
Downtown Avalon Park

3rd Annual Sanford Jingle Jam
December 7, 2019
From 4-10pm
Downtown Sanford

College Park Main Street Holiday on the Drive
December 12, 2019
From 5-9pm
Edgewater Drive

It’s Lit, Sanford! Holiday Lighted Bike Ride
December 13, 2019
6:30-9:30pm
Ride begins at Pedal Driven Co.

Naughty or Nice Boxi Park Holiday Party
December 13, 2019
7pm – midnight
Boxi Park
Dress in your best holiday inspired Naughty or Nice outfit and receive a complimentary welcome drink.

The Skydiving Santas of Cocoa Beach
December 14, 2019
10am – 3pm
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 accuracy 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.

Skydiving Santas at Cocoa Beach Pier
Image courtesy of Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier | Image by Billy Ocker

Nehrling Gardens Holiday Amaryllis Festival
December 14, 2019
9am-3pm
Nehrling Gardens, Gotha
Nature themed vendors, live music, German food, and Santa & Mrs. Claus on the porch.

11th Annual Holiday Lights Ride
December 14, 2019
From 6-9pm
Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux Cafe

7th Annual Christmas Light Ride!
December 14, 2019
From 7-8pm
Retro City Cycles

Image credit: Retro City Cycles

Annual Country Christmas Car Show
Sunday, December 15, 2019
From 10am-5pm
Horsepower Ranch Barn Venue (280 Campbell Ranch Run, Geneva, Florida)

Search for Santa with Emil Buehler Planetarium
December 20, 2019
From 6-9pm
Crane’s Roost Park
Come view the solar system with Santa’s elves as they hunt for his sleigh.

Annual Santa Bike Ride
December 21, 2019
From 3-8pm
Winter Garden Wheel Works
All ages event complete with Santa and elves meet and greet from 3-5:30pm, 2-mile leisurely bike ride with Santa (lights required) plus snacks and drinks after the ride.

Ugly Sweater Holiday Party at Boxi Park
December 21, 2019
6:30pm – midnight
Boxi Park
Dress in your best ugly holiday sweater and receive a complimentary welcome drink.

Chanukah on the Park
December 22, 2019
Starts at 5pm
Central Park on Park Avenue, Winter Park
Includes a grand menorah lighting

HOLIDAY MARKETS

Vintage Holiday Market at The Abbey
November 24, 2019
2-6pm
The Abbey

Holiday Market at Winter Garden Farmers Market
November 30, 2019
9am-2pm
Winter Garden Downtown Pavilion
Shop for holiday/gift-related hand-crafted ítems at special guest vendors.

Holiday Makers Market – Windermere
December 1, 2019
11am-4pm
Windermere (3409 Maguire Rd)

Will’s A Faire Vintage & Indie Art Holiday Market
December 1, 2019
1-8:30pm
Will’s Pub

Holiday Boutique Crawl
December 5, 2019
5-8pm
Downtown Winter Garden
Join downtown Winter Garden retailers specializing in women apparel and accessories for a fabulous evening of shopping, sips and snacks.

Light Up UCF Holiday Market
December 6, 2019
6-10pm
CFE Arena

Image credit: Light Up UCF

A Very Merry Farmers Market
December 7, 14, 21
9am – 2pm
Visit Santa, wreath-making workshop (fee), shop for seasonal food and unique gifts, seasonal food demonstrations and podcasts, yoga classes.
Winter Garden Downtown Pavilion

Hollerbach’s Christmas Market at Jingle Jam
December 7, 2019
4-10pm
Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe

DeLand Indie Market Holiday Edition
December 8, 2019
11am-5pm
DeLand Indie Market at Artisan Alley

Orlando Art Markets We Love
Image credit: DeLand Indie Market at Artisan Alley

Art and Music in the Park and Holiday Bazaar
December 13, 2019
6pm-9pm
Lake Concord Park
Live music, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, artisan booths and Food Truck Bazaar

Christmas Bazaar
December 15, 2019
11am-4pm
Celery City Craft

The Pop Swap Holiday Market
December 15, 2019
1-6pm
The Lovely Boutique Market, Audubon Park

FREE HOLIDAY MOVIES

Family Movie Night at Old Town
Sunday nights November 24 – December 29, 2019
Movie begins at 7pm
South Entertainment Area at Old Town, Kissimmee

  • November 24 – Dumbo (2019)
  • December 1 – The Grinch (2018)
  • December 8 – Christmas Vacation
  • December 15 – ELF
  • December 22 – A Christmas Story
  • December 29 – The Polar Express

Light Up UCF Holiday Film Festival
November 26, December 6, and December 23, 2019
Movies begin at 7pm and 9:30pm
Addition Financial Arena lobby

  • November 26: A Christmas Carol & How The Grinch Stole Christmas
  • December 6: Home Alone & The Santa Claus
  • December 23: The Polar Express & Elf 
Light Up UCF - Free holiday events in Orlando 2019
Image credit: Light Up UCF

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland Movies
Select Friday and Saturday evenings November 30 – December 14, 2019
Movie begins at 7pm
Wekiva Island

  • November 30 – The Polar Express
  • December 7 – How The Grinch Stole Christmas (live action)
  • December 14 – Elf

Lake Nona Movies on the Beacon
December 5, 12 and 19
Movies begin at 7pm
Lake Nona Town Center

  • December 5: “The Santa Clause”
  • December 12: “The Grinch” (2018)
  • December 19: “Elf”

Popcorn Flicks in the Park: Elf
December 6, 2019
Movie starts at 7pm
Central Park, Winter Park

Movie Night at Leu Gardens: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
December 6, 2019
Gardens open at 6pm and the movie starts at 7:30pm
Harry P. Leu Gardens
Free for Leu members; $6 for non-members

Holiday Movies at À La Cart
Select nights December 9 – 23, 2019
Movie begins at 6:30pm
À La Cart Orlando

  • December 9: Santa Claus / Christmas Vacation
  • December 15: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer / The Grinch
  • December 23: Trolls Christmas / Elf

Holiday Movies at Lake Eola Park
Select Friday nights December 13 – 27, 2019
Movie begins at 7pm
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park

  • December 13 – Elf
  • December 20 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  • December 27 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Orlando Events - Movieola in Lake Eola Park
Image credit: City of Orlando

Lake Nona Crescent Cinema: The Polar Express
December 13, 2019
Movie begins at 7pm
Crescent Park at Laureate Park, Lake Nona

Holiday Movie Night at Cranes Roost Park
December 14, 21, and 28, 2019
Movie begins at 7pm
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

  • December 14 – Elf
  • December 21 – The Grinch (2018)
  • December 28 – Norm of the North

Movie in the Park Double Feature
December 20, 2019
6:30-9:30pm
Oviedo on the Park
The Year Without a Santa Claus / Santa Clause 2

FREE CONCERTS, PLAYS, AND SHOWS

Cirque Dreams Unwrapped
Gaylord Palms
November 25, 2019 – January 5, 2020 (various times)
Be dazzled by an array of seasonal characters brought to life in a dreamscape of imaginative costumes and creativity in Florida. Stunning feats of showmanship are performed on stage and in the air for the entire family to see. Enjoy this uniquely inspired 25-minute Christmas dream presented with the Broadway style and inventive theatrics for which Cirque Dreams is renowned.
FREE (seats are first come, first served)

free holiday events in Orlando - Gaylord Palms stage show
Cirque Dreams Unwrapped During Christmas at Gaylord Palms

Free Friday Nights at the Morse
Friday evenings November – April
4-8pm
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
From November through April, the Museum provides free admission every Friday from 4pm to 8pm. For consecutive Friday evenings during the holidays and in the spring, the Museum provides live music from 5pm to 8pm to enhance the experience in the galleries.

  • November 29: Harpist Bizarre Quartet (bass, flute, guitar, and harp)
  • December 6: Victoria Lynn Schultz (harp)
  • December 13: Beautiful Music Chamber Quartet (cello, flute, viola, and violin)
  • December 20: Beautiful Music Three Flutes Only
  • December 27: Beautiful Music Jazz Quartet (bass, flute, guitar, and trumpet)

Marc With a C’s Annual Holiday Marathon Show!
December 2, 2019
Doors at 7pm, music approximately 8:00-11:59pm
Will’s Pub

Valencia College Winter Jazz Concert
December 3, 2019
From 7:30-9:30pm
East Campus Performing Arts Center

What’s Up Downtown for the Holidays
December 5, 2019
11:45am-1:15pm
Featuring performances from the Russian Ballet Orlando, Mad Cow Theatre, The Nice Guys, Howard Middle School Jazz Band, Howard Middle School Show Choir, Howard Middle School Elective Orchestra and Wesley CDC’s 4-year-old class of First United Methodist Church of Orlando.
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park

41st Annual Christmas in the Park
December 5, 2019
From 6:15-8pm
Central Park, Winter Park

free holiday events in Orlando - annual Christmas in the Park in Winter Park
Image courtesy of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, Florida

The Nutcracker
December 6, 2019
6pm – 8pm
Center Lake Park Amphitheater, City of Oviedo

Live Holiday Music at Cranes Roost Park
Every Friday in December
From 7-9pm
Cranes Roost Park
Get in the holiday mood with live music in the park. Food and beverages available for purchase.

  • December 6   – Townsky’s Holiday Band
  • December 13 – Robert Harris Band
  • December 20 – NOLA Brass Holiday Ensemble
  • December 27 – Midnight Mayhem

Sounds of the Season Winter Park Holiday Pops
December 8, 2019
5pm
Central Park

Songs of the Season
December 12, 2019
7pm
Seneff Arts Plaza at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Free holiday concert presented by Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Full Sail University and Rollins College featuring holiday favorites like Jingle Bells and Silent Night, plus dancing and entertainment. 

Holiday Music at Friday’s on the Plaza
December 13, 20, 27
From 7-9pm
Centennial Plaza Gazebo, Downtown Winter Garden – 101 W. Plant St.
Line up of talented musicians performing favorite holiday tunes:

  • December 13 – Key Harmony
  • December 20 – Roots & Rosin/Nicole Equerme/Abigail Collins
  • December 27- Paint it Black Quartet

Violectric Holiday Show
December 14, 2019
from 5pm-9pm
Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola Park
LIVE concert featuring holiday songs mashed up with classic rock tunes and modern hits; pet-friendly! Bring a pet supply or make a donation for Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. View Pet Alliance “Wish List” at https://petallianceorlando.org/ways-give/wish-list/.

Dickens Carolers on the Plaza in Winter Garden
December 21, 2019
From 6:30-8:30pm
Centennial Plaza Gazebo
101 W. Plant St.
Quartet of traditional Dickens-era carolers performing repertoire of holiday favorites.

The Nutcracker Performance by the Russian Ballet of Orlando
December 21, 2019
7pm
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park
The Russian Ballet of Orlando will present a gift to the Orlando community with a free performance of the traditional ballet, “The Nutcracker.”

Feature image credit: Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce

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


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