Holiday events in Florida worth the drive
By Mandy Carter
It’s that time of year again; holiday celebrations are taking place across Florida. While known for year-round warmth, the Sunshine State has tons of attractions to get your entire family into the winter holiday spirit. Here are my top four events that are worth the road trip.
ICE at Gaylord Palms
For the most frigid attraction in Florida, take a drive to Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando for ICE!, the award-winning display of millions of pounds of ice hand-carved into amazing sculptures by artisans from China. This year, the all-new theme, The Polar Express, will take your family on a journey of imagination on a magical adventure to the North Pole. The resort also offers indoor snow tubing and snowball fights plus a character meal with Elf on the Shelf!
All Disney theme parks are magical this time of year. But on select nights at the Magic Kingdom, the Walt Disney World Resort brings extra holiday cheer with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Spectacular decorations, Christmas parade with characters, and an appearance by Santa Claus himself! There’s also a special Christmas fireworks show, complimentary cookies and hot chocolate, and even wintry snowfall on Main Street.
Santa’s Enchanted Forest
The world’s largest holiday theme park is a suitable spot to experience Christmas magic and adventure. With a combination of more than 100 carnival attractions, from rollercoasters to a petting zoo, and light-decked holiday displays, including South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree, your family will be immersed in seasonal cheer.
Surfing Santas in Cocoa Beach
Surfing Santas is an annual Cocoa Beach Christmas Eve tradition that now brings hundreds of surfers of all ages dressed up as Santa. The costumes are diverse, fun, and often tropical! It is fun to watch them ride in on the waves. If you are looking for a fun and unique way to spend your holiday beach-side, then you will love this free event that benefits local charities. Whether you surf or you’re looking to join in the holiday spirit, there’s no other beach having this much fun on Christmas Eve!
EXTRA SPOT TO VISIT: While you are in Orlando, drive 25 miles east to a town named “Christmas.” The city has an old spirit. It is worth the drive to send out a letter from its famous post office with the postmark of yes, “Christmas, Florida.”
Mandy Carter is a mother of two. She owns her own freelance marketing business, is a travel writer, speaker and mommy blogger who loves to share her passion for family travel. Follow her family adventures at acupful.com and connect with her on Instagram @mandymcarter