Dec 152011

The holidays are approaching and there are plenty of ways to experience a Florida Christmas without going far or breaking the bank.

UCF transforms into a winter fun zone with free light shows, free outdoor holiday movies, ice skating, ice slide, rides and photos with Santa at the annual Light Up UCF event running now through January 1st. Tickets for the rides start at $4.25, the ice slide is $6.50 and ice skating is $12. Parking is free. Tickets are available online or at the UCF Arena Box Office.

When: Now through January 1st
 UCF Arena
Gemini Blvd. North in Orlando

Snow falls from the Florida sky every night in Celebration.  Strolling holiday carolers, photos with Santa, an ice rink and entertainment top off a magical snow-filled evening.

When: Every night through December 31st
Where: Celebration, Florida
Cost: Free to enter

Stroll down the festive street, take family photos with Santa and shop for holiday gifts at Old Town Christmas.  If you are visiting on Friday or Saturday evening, check out the free car cruises too.

Where: Old Town in Kissimmee
When: Now through December 23rd
Monday – Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Most don’t think of ice skating when dreaming of a Florida winter, but Winter Park has created a tradition of gliding on ice in Central Park. The city’s annual holiday ice skating rink is open now through Sunday, January 8th.

When: Now through January 8th
Monday-Thursday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 8 p.m.

Where: Central Park West Meadow
The West Meadow is located at 150 North New York Avenue on the corner of Morse Boulevard and New York Avenue in downtown Winter Park.
Cost: $10 per skater, includes skate rental

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus are taking time out of their busy schedules to visit Winter Park, Florida. You better have been nice this year—he will make rounds on his sleigh through Winter Park neighborhoods.  Continue the holiday fun at the holiday ice skating rink.

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus appearances:

Thursday, December 15th
Briarwood Drive, 6:45 p.m.
Harland Park on Blueridge Road, 7:30 p.m.
Chelton Circle, 8 p.m.

Monday, December 19th
DePugh Nursing Center, 6:30 p.m.
Margaret Square, 7:30 p.m.

Light up your holidays with a festive laser light show at Orlando Science Center. Bright lasers, favorite Christmas songs and magical graphics will totally immerse you in the holiday spirit.

Access to the Holiday Laser Light Show is included with general admission, which costs $17 for adults and $12 for youth (ages 3-11). Tickets also provide access to all the Science Center’s films, exhibits and live programs.

When: Showing daily now through January 8th
Where: Orlando Science Center
Dr. Phillips CineDome
777 E. Princeton Street
Cost: $17 for adults and $12 for kids

 Morse Museum is offering free admission every Friday night from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. through April.

December 23
5–8 p.m.  Beautiful Music—Three Flutes Only
7 p.m.  Curator tour of the new Tiffany wing

Christmas Eve Open House
Free admission from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Music by Raintree Chamber Players

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
445 North Park Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 645-5311

Share holiday greetings from the Sunshine State. Create and send a free Florida-themed Christmas card from Orlando Sentinel.

Pack a blanket and bring the entire family for free outdoor holiday movies in Orlando.

Wednesday Night Pitcher Show
Presented by Enzian Theater
Date: Wednesday nights
Time: 8 p.m.
Where: Enzian’s Eden Bar
1300 South Orlando Avenue
Maitland, FL 32751
Upcoming free films:
December 21st – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Cranes Roost Sunset Cinema
Produced by St. Stephen Lutheran Church
When: Select Saturdays, except for during the holidays
Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Cranes Roost Plaza in Altamonte Springs
Holiday Movie Nights:
December 15th – Christmas in Wonderland
December 22nd – Elf

Light up UCF
50 Nights of Music, Lights & Ice
When: Select evenings now through January 1st, showings at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Where: outside of the UCF Arena
Upcoming holiday films at Light up UCF:

December 16th – Polar Express
December 20th – Miracle on 34th Street
December 23rd – A Christmas Carol
December 30th – Santa Claus 2

From feel-good parades to festive shows, the Orlando theme parks know how to celebrate the holidays. Make sure to add these on-the-cheap experiences to your Christmas list.

Disney Annual Pass
There’s something even more magical about Disney during the holidays. Embrace that warm, fuzzy feeling with an annual pass–the gift that keeps on giving. Florida Residents have access to all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks for $27 per month after a down payment.

Florida Residents save up to 35% on Disney hotels
Florida Residents save up to 35% on select Disney Resort hotels this holiday season. Offer is available when you book and stay through December 24th. Make it a staycation for an unforgettable Christmas vacation.

Theme park deals: SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
The best way to experience SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is with a SeaWorld Fun Card, which includes unlimited visits now through 2012, all for the price of a single day’s admission.
Florida Resident deal: Universal Studios annual pass
The holiday cheer has arrived at Universal Orlando Resort and will fill the theme parks through January 1st. Get access to all of the excitement at both Universal Orlando theme parks with Florida Resident deals. Florida Residents get 2 months free on a 2-park annual pass with a UPC code from any Coca-Cola product. Blockout dates apply.

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