50+ Festive and Free Holiday Events in Orlando for 2021

You don't have to break your budget to have festive fun. It’s time again for our annual list of the best free holiday events in Orlando! We just love the holiday season in Orlando.

This list of free holiday events in Orlando is sure to get you on the nice list with your honey.

2023 details are added as announcements are made. And if you've got kids along, check out 25 Free Kid-Friendly Christmas Events in Orlando.

Free Holiday Lights and Displays

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Decorations
November 12, 2023 through January 1, 2024
Multiple Walt Disney World Resorts
Each Walt Disney World Resort is decorated for the holidays.
Check out our Top 5 of the Disney hotels with the best holiday decorations.
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 Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort via the Walt Disney World Resort Monorail.

Christmas Tree Stroll at Disney Springs
November 10, 2023 through January 1, 2024
Disney Springs
The Christmas Tree Stroll has each tree at its own individual location. Maps for the Stroll can be obtained at House of Blues, 12 Days of Christmas Store, The Marketplace Co-Op, and The Welcome Center. Each tree is inspired by a Disney character or theme.

Holiday Light Displays at Cranes Roost Park
November 25, 2023 through January 1, 2024
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs
Enjoy over 200,000 lights on more than 100 holiday displays powered by Duke Energy. Displays can be viewed all around Cranes Roost Park nightly until January 1, 2024. 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.

Free holiday events - Holiday lights in Cranes Roost Park
Image credit: City of Altamonte

Snow Falling Nightly in Celebration
November 25, 2023 through December 31, 2023
Nightly snowfall hourly from 6-9pm
Celebration Town Center
Celebration Town Center offers “Now Snowing-Celebration’s Winter Wonderland”, a family-friendly holiday experience with some of the best “snow” you can find in Central Florida. Festive music, decorations, and adorable shops make this a great holiday tradition.

I-Drive District Holiday Tree Lighting
December 1, 2023, 6pm
ICON Park on International Drive
Kick off the Holiday Season with the I-Drive District at ICON Park! Check out how I-Drive Dazzles with a glittering lighting ceremony of the 50-ft Holiday Tree. Special performances by the I-Ride Trolley Chords, Dr. Phillips High School Dance In Motion Company & Orlando Ballet. Make a reservation at The Santa Workshop Experience to meet and take holiday photos with Santa and the Jolly old elf!

Children participating in The Santa Workshop Experience will receive a FREE ticket to ride the Wheel at ICON Park. The Holiday Tree will be present for viewing at ICON Park through New Year’s Day.

Light Up DeLand
December 1, 2023
Downtown DeLand
Join the City of DeLand & MainStreet DeLand Association as they reimagine the DeLand tradition of Light Up DeLand as part of the City of DeLand's Winter Wonder DeLand season-long festivities! They'll have carriage rides, shopping, seasonal food and drinks, a skating rink, live entertainment, Santa's Workshop, and Santa will even be skydiving in to light the beautiful DeLand City Hall (120 S Florida Ave., DeLand) Christmas tree at 5:30!

Light Up Winter Garden
December 1, 2023, 6-9pm
Winter Garden City Hall
The tree lighting will take place at 6:15 pm at City Hall followed by various activities for all to enjoy.

City of Orlando Tree Lighting Celebration
December 1, 2023, 5-9pm
Ring in the holiday season with Mayor Buddy Dyer at the City of Orlando’s Tree Lighting Celebration. The event will include holiday performances at the Walt Disney Amphitheater, food trucks and a holiday market, and an opportunity to meet Santa until 9pm at the Eola House.

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

Light Up Clermont 2023 – Claus in Clermont
December 1 – 2, 2023, 5:30-9pm
Downtown Clermont
Schools, organizations, businesses, and families will be showing their creativity by individually decorating over 50 trees. Drop letters to Santa in Santa’s Mailbox which will be delivered to the North Pole and enjoy holiday photo ops.

Casselberry Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 2, 2023
Lights and decorations November 10, 2023 through December 26, 2023
Lake Concord Park, Casselberry
Stroll through Lake Concord Park to enjoy charming vignettes of holiday displays and brilliant lights. This small community park is perfect for a simple evening of enjoying light displays and a lakeside park. Santa will light the tree at 5:35pm.

Avalon Aglow
December 2, 2023, parade at 3pm, Fireworks at 9pm
Avalon Park Town Center
Gather together to enjoy loads of holiday fun in Avalon Park. Activities include a bounce park, food truck, special performance, a parade, and fireworks.

Looking for more free holiday events? Check out our guide to Where to Find Orlando’s Best Holiday Lights

Winter Wonderland – Parade and Tree Lighting
December 2, 2023, 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 2, 2023, 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 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, and 23, 2023, 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.

Ocoee Tree Lighting
December 9, 2023, 4-8pm
Downtown Ocoee
Countdown to Tree Lighting, photos with Santa, Santa’s Village, Kid Zone with rides and games, and more. Food trucks will be onsite.

Citrus Tower Holiday Light Show
Now – December 31, 2023, 7-9pm
Citrus Tower, Clermont
The Citrus Tower's enchanting light show, a cherished tradition started by the Homan family, is back and brighter than ever! While the light show itself is a gift to the community, for those looking to add a bit more sparkle to their evening, the tower offers rides to the top along with delicious treats like hot cocoa and sugar cookies for purchase.


Annual Light Up Viera Holiday Parade
December 2, 2023, 6pm
Downtown Viera
This wonderful annual community event begins with a fireworks display at 6 p.m. The parade begins immediately following the fireworks. Music along the parade route will be presented by 5 High School Marching Bands.

Winter Garden Christmas Parade
December 2, 2023, 10am
The Winter Garden Christmas Parade kicks off at 10:00 am on Dillard Street at the Palmetto Street intersection (by Wells Fargo) proceeds north on Dillard Street, then heads west/left on Plant Street through historic downtown and concludes at Park Avenue. Do not forget to look for the Big Guy himself at the end of the parade!

DeLand Rotary Christmas Parade
December 2, 2023, 6pm
DeLand High School
Enjoy a time-honored tradition at the annual DeLand Christmas parade presented by the Rotary Clubs of DeLand.

Annual Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade
December 2, 2023, starts at 9am
Central Park Park Avenue, Winter Park
The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is proud to host the 71st annual Winter Park Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade. The event has been held each December for more than 65 years, making it the oldest continuous holiday parade in Central Florida.

Annual Christmas Parade
December 2, 2023, Starts at 10am
Downtown Mount Dora
Enjoy this annual parade through the streets of downtown Mount Dora. Pets are not allowed.

Longwood Christmas Parade
December 2, 2023, 3-5pm
Ronald Reagan Boulevard, Longwood
The City of Longwood will host the 7th annual Christmas Parade through Longwood by way of Ronald Reagan Blvd., north of SR 434. The parade will kick off at 3:00 pm on Saturday, December 2nd, and will feature stunning cars, seasonal characters, bands, and much more.

Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade
December 2, 2023, Starts at 7pm
Lake Dora, Mount Dora
Come enjoy the lighted Christmas Boat Parade on Lake Dora beginning at the Lighthouse across from Gilbert Park on Tremain Street and Liberty Street. Best places to view include Grantham Point (311 S Tremain Street) and Elizabeth Evans Park (100 N Donnelly Street).

Sanford Parade of Lights
December 9, 2023, 6-7:30pm
A favorite annual tradition in historic downtown Sanford returns! This parade is special since it is held at night and most parade floats are illuminated. Grab an early dinner at one of the many wonderful restaurants or head to one of the breweries for a cup of Christmas cheer after the parade.

Santa passes by at Sanford Parade of Lights
Sanford Parade of Lights – Dani Meyering

Winter Park Boat Parade
December 9, 2023, 6pm to 8pm
Dinky Dock Park
Organized by the Winter Park Notary Club, head to Dinky Dock Park to see the impressive boat and dock holiday decorations created by residents and local business sponsors. Parking is extremely limited, we recommend using a ride share service.

20th Annual Light Up the Lake Boat Parade
December 9, 2023, 6pm to 10pm, Boat Parade starts at 7:30pm
Lake Fairview Marina
This isn't just a boat parade – it is a party! Pack a picnic dinner and enjoy live music while waiting for the boat parade to start.

DeLand Christmas Boat Parade
December 9, 2023, 6pm
Whitehair Bridge
Celebrate Christmas in true Florida style! The festive boats will start at the Whitehair Bridge (State Road 44) and travel south on the St. Johns River to Lake Beresford.


“Holinights Celebration” at Promenade – Sunset Walk
Select nights from Friday, November 17 to Monday, December 25, 2023, 6pm
Promenade at Sunset Walk
Live Music & Tree Lighting Nightly, Snow Ball Fights with the Mischievous Elves, Holinights Craft & Street Markets, Car Show and More

Light Up Sanford
December 1, 2023, 7pm – 8pm
Downtown Sanford

Winter on the Avenue
December 1, 2023, 5-9pm
Central Park on Park Avenue, Winter Park
An annual tree-lighting, strolling carolers, and jazz on Park Avenue, the announcement of holiday art contest winners and Santa Claus.

Annual Christmas Walk
December 1, 2023, 6-9pm
Downtown Mount Dora
Enjoy this family-friendly street party in downtown Mount Dora featuring music, food vendors, toy vendors, shopping (shops open until 9pm), Free pictures in Sunset Park with Santa! Entertainment includes Mount Dora High School jazz band, carolers, bungee jump, rock climbing, stilt walkers, jugglers, and more!

Wekiva Island's Winter Wonderland 
December 1 – December 25, 2023
Wekiva Island
Nightly snow flurries plus extra entertainment and activities are 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.
*Note: a $5 admission fee applies

Winter Wonderland at Wekiva Island
Image credit: Wekiva Island

Maitland Season of Light
December 2, 2023, 5pm – 8:30pm
Lake Lily Park
This annual event will include live music performances, carnival games, fireworks, snow sledding, a tree lighting ceremony and a visit from Santa. Entertainment will feature the Maitland Middle School wind ensemble, jazz band, orchestra and chorus/music theater as well as the Suzuki Music School and chorus groups from Dommerich Elementary School and Lake Sybelia Elementary School.

44th Annual Cracker Christmas
December 2 & 3, 2023, 10am-4pm
Fort Christmas Historical Park
Experience early period 1800's-1900's Florida Christmas in the Country at Cracker Christmas. Stroll through the five-acre complex and experience seasonal decor, music and traditions in 10 original buildings. You can purchase holiday keepsakes from craft vendors and community clubs.

Light Up SoDo
December 3, 2023, 2-6pm
SODO Shopping Center
This event is Family-Friendly and Pet-friendly so grab the kids and your furry friends and head on down to the SoDo Shopping Center for a night full of Holiday Fun!

Oh, What Fun! Holiday Festival
Select nights December 7 – 23, 2023
Lake Nona Town Center
This year's winter wonderland features photos with Santa, holiday movies, a Christmas tree lot, live entertainment, special holiday events and more. Nightly snowfall too!

Hanukkah Celebration of Lights
December 7, 2023, 5:30 to 10:00 p.m.
Lake Nona Town Center
The first of the eight nights of Hanukkah as the menorah is blessed and lit in a special ceremony featuring traditional songs to celebrate the festival of lights. Additional entertainment includes a live DJ, stilt walker, children’s performers, face painters, and more. Enjoy traditional foods while the kids make dreidels and learn the story of the holiday.

Celebrate the Season
December 8, 2023, 6-9pm
Reiter Park, Longwood
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, and a laser light show at the end of the night. Snow maze for $2 per person, petting zoo $2 per person, food, and shopping are also available.

Nehrling Gardens Holiday Amaryllis Festival
December 9, 2023, 9am-3pm
Nehrling Gardens, Gotha
This free annual Holiday Amaryllis Festival features live music, nature-themed vendors, food, eco-activities for the children, and a great holiday photo opportunity on the front porch of the historic home. The Holiday Amaryllis Festival will feature beautiful amaryllis bulbs for sale as well as blooming amaryllis plants for the holidays.

2023 St. Lucia Festival
December 9, 2023, 12pm-4pm
Museum of Seminole County History
Food, fun, music, and a good time for the entire family! Free and open to the public. Donations for the museum are accepted
For more information, please visit: www.sanfordstlucia.com

Chanukah on the Park
December 10, 2023, 5:30-7pm
Central Park in Winter Park
Featuring an amazing Art Acrobat Show, Menorah Parade, our Famous Chasidic Dancers, Strolling Magic, the freshest Sufganiyot Donuts in town, and of course the Grand Menorah Lighting!

Jingle Jam Community Holiday Party
December 16, 2023, 1-7pm
Downtown Sanford
Featuring multiple stages of live music, award-winning food trucks, carnival games, holiday artisanal vendors, drink specials and more! See Santa himself and create lifelong memories and take some family pictures.


Kaleidoscope Artisan Market at Celery City Craft Sanford
Select Sundays – November 26, December 3, December 17, 2023
Celery City Craft, Sanford
Shop 10 unique vendors of handmade items and art in downtown Sanford, with great food and drink from Celery City available to purchase.

A Very Merry Market
December 2, 17 2023 8am-1pm
Winter Garden Downtown Pavilion
Shop for holiday/gift-related hand-crafted ítems at special guest vendors.

Saturday Sounds Concert Series & Artisan Night Market (Free Concert)
December 2 and 9, 2023, 5-7pm
Apopka Amphitheater
Concert plus local artists, vendors, food, & drinks.

DeLand Indie Market Holiday Edition
December 3, 2023, 11am-5pm
DeLand Indie Market at Artisan Alley
Stroll and browse over 70 Vendors with live music, food vendors, and more.

Milk Mart Holiday Market
Sunday, December 17, 2023, 12-6pm
The Nook on Robinson
Eat, shop, and be merry in The Milk District

Holiday Gift Market
Wednesday, December 20, 6-10pm
The Verandah Thornton Park District
Local vendors and finish off your last minute holiday shopping


Popcorn Flicks in the Park
December 1, 2023, 7pm
Central Park, Winter Park
Bring a blanket or some chairs to enjoy this outdoor holiday movie.

Holiday Movie at Lake Eola Park – The Nightmare Before Christmas
December 22, 2023, 7pm
Lake Eola, Downtown Orlando
Join the Downtown Development Board as they present Elf at Lake Eola Park. Don't forget your blankets, chairs, and snacks for the whole family to enjoy.

Holiday Movie Nights at Cranes Roost Park
December 7, 14, and 21, 2023, 7pm
Bring your chair and blankets to enjoy holiday movies in the Cranes Roost Park Plaza. Admission is free. Food and beverages are available for purchase.
December 7 – “Yogi's First Christmas”
December 15 – “Unaccompanied Minors”
December 21 – “Fred Claus”

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland Movies
Select Sunday evenings in December 2023, 7pm
Wekiva Island
Enjoy an outdoor movie in the winter wonderland of Wekiva Island.
December 3 – The Polar Express
December 10 – The Santa Clause
December 17 – Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch

Free holiday movies at Wekiva Island
Image credit: Wekiva Island

There are even more movies to see in our Guide to Holiday Movies in Orlando.


Christmas Eve Celebration
Sunday, December 24, 2023, 1-4pm
Enjoy free admission to the Morse Museum galleries with live music from 1-4pm.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, Florida © Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation, Inc.

Holiday Friday Nights at Morse Museum
Most Friday Nights November 24 – December 29, 2023, 5-8pm
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Receive free admission every Friday night, November through December, and special holiday performances during the holiday season. Live music enhances the gallery experience.

Fridays on the Plaza Holiday Music
December 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2023, 7-9pm
Downtown Winter Garden
Enjoy the classic sounds of holidays of old as live music serenades shoppers at the plaza of downtown Winter Garden.

  • December 1- Light Up Winter Garden
  • December 8- Roots & Rosin (Christmas/Holidays)
  • December 15- Paint it Black Quartet (Christmas/Holidays)
  • December 22- Safia Valines Trio (Christmas/Holidays)
  • December 29- Gilly and the Girl (Christmas/Holidays)

Della Phillips Pavilion Celebration Concert
December 2, 2023, 5pm
Della Phillips Pavilion, Packing District
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy seasonal holiday favorites performed by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Assistant Conductor Mauricio Céspedes Rivero. The program will include favorites from A Christmas Festival, Music of Frozen, The Night Before Christmas, Chanukah Overture, a festival holiday singalong, and more!

Holiday Pops
December 3, 2023, 5-7pm
Central Park, Winter Park
Featuring the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. 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!

Holiday Concerts at Cranes Roost Park
December 8, 15, & 22, 2023 7-9pm
Enjoy live music from artists performing holiday hits and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Plaza. Food and beverages available for purchase. Admission is free.

  • December 8 – Townsky’s Holiday Revue
  • December 15 – Robert Harris Group
  • December 22 – BlueMoon Holiday Band

Violectric Holiday Show
December 9, 2023, 7pm
Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola Park

Performing together LIVE on stage, renowned “Vinylinist” and Founder of Violectric Michelle Jones and the talented musicians of the Central Florida strings super-group announce the exciting 11th Annual Violectric Holiday Show rocking into the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park on Saturday, December 9, 2023 starting at 7pm. 

FREE and open to the public, the 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 and simulcast all around Lake Eola.

The Nutcracker by the Russian Ballet of Orlando
December 16, 2023, 7:30pm
Lake Eola Park
The Russian Academy of Ballet presents a gift to the Orlando Community with a free performance of “The Nutcracker”.

READ MORE: 10 Free Holiday Concerts, Plays, And Shows in Orlando

Feature image credit: Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce