The Best Holiday Experiences in Orlando North

Hear that? Those jingling sleigh bells can only mean one thing — the holidays are (finally) here! It’s time to get excited for hot cocoa on cool nights, crossing off items on your holiday shopping list, and festive events popping up around Orlando North all season long. If you’re looking for holiday fun in Orlando, keep reading for family activities, live entertainment, and new holiday traditions to start this year.


Asian Latern Fest


When: November 19, 2021 – January 16, 2022
Where: Central Florida Zoo, 3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771
Cost: Starting at $18.50 (separate from regular Zoo admission)
The Central Florida Zoo’s Asian Lantern Festival can only be described with one word — breathtaking! This cultural celebration features over 30 unique, handmade illuminated lanterns sure to inspire awe. Lining a path just under a mile throughout the Zoo, this lantern display lands among one of the top recommended holiday events in Seminole County for guests of all ages.


Crane's Roost


When: Every Night on the Hour from 6 pm-9 pm, Starting November 25, 2021
Where: Cranes Roost Park, 274 Cranes Roost Blvd., Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
Cost: Free
Once the sun sets during the holiday season, Cranes Roost Park transforms into a dazzling wonderland. Stroll along the lake and boardwalks, where you’ll find over 200,000 lights on more than 100 displays. The star of the show? A 60-foot Christmas tree featuring 8,000 LED lights, 2,600 ornaments, and over one mile of garlands. Don’t forget to catch the choreographed holiday fountain show every hour on the hour from 6 pm to 9 pm while you’re there.


Winter Wonderland


When: December 3, 2021 – December 25, 2021
Where: Wekiva Island, 1014 Miami Springs Dr, Longwood, FL 32779
Cost: $2
Winter Wonderland and Florida don’t usually go together, but Wekiva Island works to change that every year. Where else can you experience daily snow flurries, sleigh rides on the river, and a Christmas tree forest? Plus, little ones can expect visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus, and even The Grinch! Check out Wekiva Island’s events calendar for special holiday functions, including breakfast with Santa, holiday movies, and more festive fun!


When: December 11, 2021, 6 pm-7:30 pm
Where: Downtown Sanford
Cost: Free
Get ready for 100 illuminated floats, bands, performances, and more lighting up downtown Sanford’s historic streets. The family-friendly Sanford Parade of Lights is one of Orlando North’s most highly anticipated holiday events, with no shortage of cheer and charm! Make a day of it and grab lunch at one of the area’s eateries, then grab your spot along the parade route and get ready to be wowed.


Santa at the Zoo


When: Friday, December 17, 6 pm to 9 pm & Wednesday, December 22, 6 pm to 9 pm
Where: Central Florida Zoo, 3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771
Cost: Free with admission
Red suit, white beard, fluffy hat — your kids know him as Santa; now it’s time to meet him face to face! Father Christmas himself will be making an appearance at the Central Florida Zoo on select dates during the holidays. Don’t miss your chance to grab a photo with the big guy and let the little ones make sure he knows what’s on their wish list. Plus, you’ll also get to enjoy the rest of the zoo and holiday-themed attractions like a candy cane hunt!

Add these festive events to your holiday calendar of things to do in Orlando North this season!

If you are ever out exploring any of these places or find yourself in Orlando North, make sure to tag us on social media for a chance to be featured on their page! @DoOrlandoNorth #DoOrlandoNorth