The Christmas Holiday Season is the best time of the year to visit the city of Winter Park, Florida to take in the sites, sounds, and shopping. From outdoor ice skating, parades on land and boat, and Christmas lights displays on neighborhood homes, Winter Park is the perfect place to spend the holidays. This is Orlando Local Guide’s recommendations on how best to spend the Christmas season in Winter Park and nearby Baldwin Park.
Christmas in Winter Park
Outdoor Ice Skating
Christmas officially kicks off on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving when the outdoor ice skating rink opens in the West Meadow in Central Park. This is the only ice skating rink close to downtown Orlando to go skating at with your family. The ice skating rink is open from Friday, November 16th, 2012, through Sunday, January 6th, 2013.
Free Friday Nights at Morse Museum
Beginning on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, the Morse Museum offers free admission on Friday nights to their museum featuring the art of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The free admission will be available each Friday night beginning on November 23rd, 2012 until Friday, December 28th, 2012 from 4 PM until 8 PM.
Christmas in the Park
Each year, the Morse museum brings out several of their Tiffany pieces to Central Park for Winter Park’s annual Christmas in the Park event that features the 150-voice Bach Festival Choir, Children’s Choir, and Brass Ensemble. Christmas in the Park takes place on Thursday, December 6th, 2012 at 6:15 PM.
Christmas Tree Lighting
Each year, the city of Winter Park holds an event to light their Christmas Tree in Winter Park. The Holiday Tree Lighting takes place on Friday, November 30th, 2012 at 5:15 PM.
Winter Park Christmas Parade
Winter Park hosts the areas largest Christmas Parade called the Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade with over 100 parade units and a pancake breakfast. The annual parade will be held on Saturday, December 1st, 2012 at 9 am.
Christmas Boat Parade
The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens hosts a Holiday Boat Parade called the Winter Park Festival of Lights Boat Parade that consists of boats dressed up with Christmas lights and a water ski show. The annual boat parade will be held on Saturday, December 8th, 2012 with activities beginning around 4:30 PM.
Baldwin Park Festival of Lights Parade
On the same night of the Winter Park boat parade, Baldwin Park hosts their annual nighttime parade called the Festival of Lights. Over 40 entries have participated in the parade in years past. The 2012 event takes place on Saturday, December 8th, 2012 at 6 PM.
Jingle Bell 5K
Baldwin Park hosts the holiday Jingle Bell 5k to benefit the Arthritis Foundation fund to help find a cure for arthritis. The 5k event will be held on Saturday, December 15th, 2012 with the race time starting at 8:00 AM.
Parade of Bands
Each year, the marching bands of the participating teams in the Champs Sports Bowl do a march down Park Avenue and then proceed to Central Park to go through their string of college game day songs for the Russell Athletic Bowl Parade of Bands. The Parade of Bands event will be held on Friday, December 28th, 2012 at 11:00 AM.
Neighborhood Christmas Lights
Winter Park has one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando to view Christmas Lights. The entire neighborhood of the Winter Park Corners neighborhood near the intersection of Aloma and Lakemont goes all out to make for a great drive-through Christmas display.
Park Avenue Shopping
Outside of all of the events being held to celebrate Christmas, Winter Park’s Park Avenue Shopping District is lined with holiday lights along the strip and shopping is in full gear with many boutique upscale shops mixed in with national retailers including Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma.
Click Here for a list of nice restaurants to dine at in Winter Park while you enjoy the holiday events.
Click Here for our recommendations for celebrating Christmas and the New Year in Downtown Orlando and Lake Eola.
Winter Park Corners Christmas Lights
Winter Park Map