Christmas in Orlando


If you are looking for something a bit unusual—yet traditional—to do on your Central Florida vacation this year, here are a few suggestions to delight the entire family.

Festival of Trees

Looking for an afternoon of art and sophistication? Head downtown to the Orlando Museum of Art (OMART) during their Festival of Trees.

For the past 32 years, the Festival of Trees event has transformed OMART into a glistening wonderland of sparkling trees, vignettes and beautiful décor. This year’s theme is It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and OMART showcases designer Christmas trees as well as holiday vignettes, custom hand-designed wreaths and table décor, a gingerbread village (my favorite), tabletop displays and more. Each piece is designed by Orlando’s finest designers and, if you are looking for a holiday treat that is truly unique to bring home as a souvenir, is available for purchase.

The Festival also offers daily musical performances, fun family entertainment and delightful programs for people of all ages throughout the week. For more information, check out the calendar of special events. All proceeds benefit the Orlando Museum of Art. Festival of Trees runs November 9-18, 2018.

Stetson Mansion Christmas Tour

The Stetson Mansion is a spectacular Victorian “Gilded Age” residence (not a museum) built in 1886 that, each holiday season, highlights designer decorations from around the world. This year’s themes are Angels We Have Heard on High, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, Let There Be Peace on Earth (a tribute to our Military), We Three Kings, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, Pretty as a Peacock, The Magic of Christmas and A Stetson Christmas. You will be guided through the first and second floors of the home by a knowledgeable tour guide who provides lively commentary as the baby grand piano player fills the home with holiday music. Check out their website for all necessary information. The tour runs from November 15 – January, 15, 2019.

Santa Photo Experience

Just because you won’t be on home turf leading up to Christmas doesn’t mean the kids can’t meet Santa here in Orlando. His sled, a hybrid, is so fast these days he can be anywhere and everywhere all at the same time. It’s like magic. The place to meet him is at the Mall at Millenia which is convenient because while the kiddies are on Santa’s lap, Mom or Dad can be crossing off items on your little elf’s wishlist. And if watching the happy faces of your kids is not enough, you can bring home professional photographs of them telling Santa exactly what they want. You can also take a few photos of your own when you donate $10 to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, a worthy cause and a way to help those in need this holiday season. A win-win for everyone involved. For information, because lines can be long, visit their website before you go. Runs now through Christmas Eve.