With the great weather and holiday season beginning in November and continuing through the months of December and January, the city of Orlando comes alive with great Christmas and holiday events in Downtown Orlando and Lake Eola each year. This is Orlando Local Guide’s recommendations on the best way to celebrate the Christmas Season and New Year in Downtown Orlando and Lake Eola.
Christmas in Downtown Orlando
Fall Fiesta in the Park
The Christmas season in Downtown Orlando kicks off at the beginning of November with the Fall Fiesta in the Park arts and crafts festival at Lake Eola that features many vendors selling Christmas decor, ornaments and gifts. The festival takes place on November 7th and 8th, 2015.
Home for the Holidays
After Thanksgiving Day is celebrated and Black Friday shopping is complete, the Orlando Philharmonic presents their annual Home for the Holidays Christmas concert at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. This year’s event will held on Saturday, November 28th, 2015 at 2 PM and 8 PM.
Holiday Lights Orlando / The Gift
The annual lighting of the city of Orlando’s Christmas Tree takes place at the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola as part of Holiday Lights Orlando. A special Christmas show and festival called The Gift will take place in conjunction with Holiday Lights Orlando this year. The event will take place on Friday, December 4th, 2015 at 5 PM.
Holiday at Heritage Square
Just outside the Orange County History Center in Downtown Orlando, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs will light up Heritage Square with caroling, crafts, and a visit by Santa Claus. Holiday at Heritage Square is on Saturday, December 12th, 2015 at 2 PM.
Each year, the heavy metal Christmas spectacular Trans-Siberian Orchestra makes it way to the Amway Center in Downtown Orlando. The orchestra has sold over 8 million concert tickets and 8.5 million albums over 19 years. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will play the Amway Center on Saturday, December 12th, 2015 for two shows at 3 PM and 8 PM.
The Nutcracker at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center
This year the Orlando Ballet presents their performance of the Nutcracker at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center. A full production of the Nutcracker will take place on December 17th through the 20th, 2015 with a modified shorter family version on December 19th and the 20th, 2015.
The Nutcracker at Lake Eola
Each year the Russian Ballet of Orlando presents a free performance of the Nutcracker at the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola as their gift to the city. Performers of all ages participate in this great Christmas event. The Russian Ballet of Orlando’s presentation of the Nutcracker took place on Saturday, December 19th, 2015 at 7:30 PM.
Christmas Eve Services
The city of Orlando has many thriving churches in Downtown Orlando across all denominations that have been celebrating Christmas together in the same location as far back as the 1800’s in some cases. I welcome you to join our family at the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando to celebrate Christmas at their Christmas Eve services that will be led by Senior Pastor David Swanson. Christmas Eve services will take place on Thursday, December 24th, 2015.
Russell Athletic Bowl
The Russell Athletic Bowl is the first of Orlando’s two bowl games that traditionally features a team from the ACC playing a team from the Big East. The Russell Athletic Bowl takes place at the Citrus Bowl in Downtown Orlando on Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 at 5:30 PM.
Florida Citrus Parade
The City of Orlando’s largest annual parade televised nationally is the Florida Citrus Parade that features the marching bands of the 4 teams participating in Orlando’s two major bowl games of the Capital One Bowl and Russell Athletic Bowl along with floats and other entertainment. The Citrus Parade will be held on Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 at 10 AM.
New Years Eve
Downtown Orlando is best place to be for New Years Eve in Orlando. Downtown Orlando is filled with thousands of visitors and locals mixed in with college students and alumni participating in the annual bowl games. New Years Eve takes place on Thursday, December 31st.
Orlando Magic around New Years Eve
The Orlando Magic will be playing the Brooklyn the day before New Years Eve at the Amway Center at 7 PM. Click here for more Orlando Magic home games during the weeks of Christmas and New Years.
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl is Orlando’s largest annual sporting event of the year featuring two of the best teams from the Big Ten and SEC. The Capital One Bowl will be played on Friday, January 1st, 2016 at 1 PM.
Click Here for a list of nice restaurants to dine at around Downtown Orlando while you enjoy the holiday events.
Click Here for our recommendations for celebrating Christmas in nearby Winter Park and Baldwin Park.
Christmas in Downtown Orlando and Lake Eola
Downtown Orlando Map
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