25 ideas for Holiday fun in Orlando

25 ideas for holiday fun in orlando

Looking for local family fun in Orlando this December?  We’ve got you covered.  Check out our list of 25 ideas for holiday fun in Orlando!

December 6:  Check out Christmas at the Casa at Casa Feliz in Winter Park.  Walk through the historic home, get your photo with Santa, and entertain the kids with a variety of holiday crafts, carolers, and treats.

December 7: 39th Annual Christmas in the Park, on Park Avenue (Winter Park) includes century-old Tiffany windows and a free outdoor concert of holiday favorites by the Bach Festival Choir.

December 8:  Once upon a December will be music to your ears as the CFCArts Community Choir and Symphony Orchestra serenade you with songs of the season.  (multiple dates available)

December 9: Visit Winter Spark in Baldwin Park.  There will be food, music, vendors, kids zone, Mr. & Mrs. Claus, and a parade!

December 10: Letters to Santa featuring The Polar Express will get you in the holiday spirit at the Enzian Theater in Maitland.

December 11: Check out a brand new holiday experience, Daytona International Speedway is among seven cities that will host the all-new 1.5-mile long Magic of Lights holiday experience. (Multiple dates available)

December 12:  Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa Tuesday in Uptown Altamonte and take a walk around Cranes Roost to see the magnificent holiday lights display.

Happy Hannukah!  (December 12-20)

December 13: Take in a basketball game at Jewish Heritage Night with the Orlando Magic!

December 14:  What could be better than Santa Claus and ice cream?  Take your family to Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream Holiday Party!

December 15: Grab a blanket, chairs, and snacks and head downtown to Lake Eola for Holiday Movies in the Park: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

December 16: Sanford’s hosting a Jingle Jam full of holiday vendors, carnival games, magic show, pictures with Santa, music and so much more.

December 17: Build a gingerbread house at the Orlando Science Center’s young makers workshop at Gingerbread Lane.  (Multiple dates available)

December 18: Teach your littles how to cook at Little Chef: Teddy Bear Toast at the downtown Orlando Public Library.

December 19: Take a ride on the Polar Express! Your magical train ride will take you to the North Pole with all the characters from The Polar Express movie.  (Multiple dates available)

December 20: Visit the live nativity, arts and crafts, and Christmas carols at the San Pedro Center’s Family Night.

December 21: Take your littles toToddler Thursdays at the Mennello Museum for story time and holiday themed art activities.

December 22:  Full of nostalgia and holiday cheer, you’ll become part of the live studio audience of a 1940’s radio show at It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at Orlando Shakes.  (Multiple dates available)

December 23: Take in the The Nutcracker, a timeless holiday classic, with the Orlando Ballet. (Multiple dates available – this date is billed as the family show)

December 24: Celebrate the Season in Florida style by heading to the beach for Surfing Santas.  Watch surfers of all ages dressed as Santa!

December 25:  Merry Christmas!

December 26: Don’t forget a jacket when you head to Christmas at Gaylord Palms, featuring ICE! It’s only 9 degrees in there and the snow tubing and snowball tossing will make you feel like you’re really in a winter wonderland! (multiple dates available)

December 27: Head downtown to the Orlando Public Library’s for sweet treats and arts and crafts at Peppermint Pals.

December 28: It’s snowing in Celebration’s winter wonderland(multiple dates available)

December 29: Joyful noise and lots of laughs are high on the list of the Orlando Rep’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical.  Get your tickets for this holiday hit.  (Multiple dates available)

December 30: Visit the Florida Citrus Parade for a truly unique Central Florida tradition.  Floats made of citrus and marching bands abound!

December 31: Ring in the New Year long before bed time at the Baby Boogie Bash at Amaya Papaya in Casselberry.

Have holiday fun in Orlando all December long all over Central Florida!  And tell us what your family plans to explore and do!

Beat the Heat: Keeping a toddler entertained and mommy sane in a Florida Summer.

It’s that time of year again, the long end of a Florida summer.  It’s hot, sticky, and sweaty.  Except for the portion of the day it’s torrentially downpouring.  Before kids, I could just hide out on my couch binge watching shows.  But toddlers don’t like that.  Something I’ve learned as a mom of littles is that I cannot just sit all day in the house with them.  I get stir crazy by the late afternoon.  I like a plan, an outing, an adventure.  That’s not always possible.  But we’re making it work.  Here’s what we’re up to right now to keep us entertained and out of the heat.

At Home

Painting

I have found that I can keep little V at the table painting for up to an hour.  Here’s how I make it work:

  • I purchased a few colors of washable tempera paints as well as a cheap set of watercolors.  She likes both but you have a better shot at ‘pretty’ with the tempera paints.  The watercolors are a more difficult medium.
  • I have a giant roll of Kraft Paper  in my guest room.  I cut off a big piece and cover the table.  I could give my Kraft Paper roll its own blog post – the uses are endless. Buy one for $20 and elevate your life.  And I always have a pack of baby wipes on hand to catch messes that can’t wait until the end.  
  • I’ve learned along the way that you can waste a lot of paper during paint time.  I bought a multi-media paper sketchbook and explained that we have to stay on the same page until it dries.  This has helped to cut down on her needing a new paper after painting just three lines.  
  • If you want to make art projects that you can hang up, you’ll need to be ready to guide your kiddo through it.  Here are a few ideas from Pinterest that I like:
  • Now before you get started, repeat these words in your head:  This will be messy.  My child is not Van Gogh.  We are going to have lots of fun.

Making necklaces

This is another fun one that’s relatively cheap.  Here’s how I make it work:

  • I bought a few bags of big pony beads and put them in a giant ziploc bag.  You can buy whatever kinds of beads you want.  But the younger your child is the bigger you want the hole to be in the beads.  
  • For string I brought bright neon elastic cord. Obviously the string needs to be thinner than the width of the holes in the beads.  But stick to big string and big beads for little hands.  
  • Pour the beads into a big plastic chip and dip.  I had a bunch on hand from a previous craft workshop.  You probably have one in your kitchen!  I also think a big gladware that you can reseal at the end would be good.  Anything that allows them to search and pick through the beads without things spilling out and over is what you’re going for.
  • Have at it, make necklaces.  And bracelets! And anklets!  
  • After we make the necklaces if my daughter isn’t in love and wearing it around the house for days, I’ll unstring what we made and put back with the supplies.  Keeps us from running through things too quickly.

Forts

I give all credit to Dadlando on this one.  But they’ve spent tons of time this summer turning the playroom trampoline and slide into a fort.  Grab some extra sheets and blankets and you’re all set!

Baking

I found this very easy banana bread recipe that we’ve been making all summer.  It doesn’t require electric mixing so we mash it all by hand.  Baking with kiddos requires extra patience that things will be messier but it’s so worth it.  She is so excited to help and to eat the things she made.

 

Out and About

Here’s where we’ve been venturing out that keeps us entertained and in the cool a/c.

  • Crayola Experience Orlando:  Built in the Florida Mall, we’ve had a great time there.  It can be very busy but there is always enough room for everyone.  There are lots of activities for toddlers and young kids.  It’s also right next to Buca di Beppo which has great lunch specials.  If you get to Crayola in the morning and then head to Buca for lunch you’ve really made a day of it!
  • Orlando Science Center:  Located in Loch Haven Park, the Science Center has activities and exhibits for all ages.  They’ve recently expanded their KidsTown (geared towards kids seven and under) and it has been a huge upgrade!  My kiddos love playing in the orange grove and digging for dinosaurs.  
  • Mall Indoor Playgrounds: A few of the malls have indoor playgrounds and that has been a godsend for our toddler to run around and get her energy out.  That said, depending on when you go they will be incredibly crowded.  So venture at your own risk.  A few we’ve been to:
    • Altamonte Mall Playground (451 E Altamonte Dr, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701 by Shoe Carnival & Sears)
      • Be careful this is right next to those ride-on animals.  So your kid will probably beg to do that too.
    • Oviedo Marketplace Playground (1700 Oviedo Mall Boulevard, Oviedo, FL 32765 in the food court)
      • This is for really little ones, like 2 and under. Don’t bother if you only have bigger kids.
    • Florida Mall at Crayola Experience (8001 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32809)
      • Another stop  in the Crayola adventure, they’ve got an indoor play space in the mall.  It’s just outside the Crayola Store.

Tell me what you’re doing to keep things fun and cool this summer!