If you’re in Orlando around the holidays, you’ll find the city overrun with holiday decorations and special events. Fill an empty evening or afternoon without shelling out the kind of cash you’ll spend on a Disney holiday event by hitting up one of these lesser-known options around the city.

1. ICE! at the Gaylord Palms

Image: Gaylord Palms

Every year the Alpine Village at the Gaylord Palms hosts a walk-through ice exhibit. This year, the theme of the event is The Nutcracker. In the chilly 9-degree space you’ll find two million pounds of ice sculptures carefully carved by hand. The exhibit spans six rooms and includes four ice slides, The Frostbite Factory live carving zone, and a clear crystal ice nativity for the finale.

Adult visitors can also check out the On the Blocks ICE Bar while they’re there. Admission to the bar is separate.

2. Light Up UCF

Image: UCF

Light Up UCF is a holiday event held at the CFE Arena. Attractions include an ice rink pavilion, arctic glide slide, Ferris wheel, and Light Up Express. The Winn Dixie community Stage hosts the UCF Marching Knights as well as local musicians and high school bands and choirs from around Central Florida. Classic holiday films are shown on an outdoor screen Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Beginning at 6pm every night, a holiday light show illuminates the area with thousands of lights strobing in synchronization to holiday tunes.

3. Legoland Florida Resort Christmas Bricktacular

Image: Merlin

On weekends throughout December, the Legoland Florida Resort hosts a special Christmas celebration that includes a 30-foot-tall Lego Christmas tree, Lego Santa, and Lego toy soldiers. Visitors can participate in the Lego model build activity and help construct a tree that will ultimately stand more than 20 feet tall by Christmas. A Lego Santa scavenger hunt offers even more fun as families search for Santa in Miniland USA.


Add new comment

About Theme Park Tourist

Theme Park Tourist is one of the web’s leading sources of essential information and entertaining articles about theme parks in Orlando and beyond.

We are one of the world’s largest theme park guide sites, hosting detailed guides to more than 80 theme parks around the globe.

Find Out More About Us...

Plan Your Trip

Our theme park guides contain reviews and ratings of rides, restaurants and hotels at more than 80 theme parks worldwide.

You can even print them.

Start Planning Now...