The holiday season at Orlando’s theme parks may be pure magic, but there’s also plenty of other things to do in and around The City Beautiful this time of year. Don’t believe us? Here’s a countdown of our favorites for 2017:
1. Experience the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Amway Center.
Make plans to see this multi-platinum group’s presentation of “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” live in downtown Orlando. This year’s performances will feature new staging and fantastic special effects imagined by the late Paul O’Neill. Choose from two shows on December 16 at either 3 p.m. or 8 p.m. Learn More.
2. Send mail from Christmas, Florida.
Zip code 32709 has a special place in the hearts of Central Floridians in December — because every letter, postcard and package sent out from here receives a unique rubber stamp and postmark from the town “Where It’s Always Christmas!” Although its famous post office is about 50 minutes from our resort, you may just find it’s worth the drive to send a little extra cheer to loved ones back home! Learn More.
3. Go Christmas shopping at the Orlando outlets.
If you’re someone who enjoys dashing from store to store to find the right gifts at the best prices, you’re going to love our sprawling designer outlet malls. Choose between either location — or commit an entire day (or two) to conquering both. With over 300 upscale boutiques and shops to browse, you’re sure to find more than one perfect present.
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4. Bring your family to Light Up UCF 2017.
Here’s two words you won’t find used in Orlando very often: outdoor ice-skating. But every year, the University of Central Florida features just that — along with a kids’ train ride, Ferris wheel, brightly lit palm trees, Christmas music, and free winter-themed movies on the lawn. Pay per activity or purchase an arm band for the best deal on all the family fun! Learn More.
5. Treat someone special to dinner on Park Avenue.
A hidden gem within Central Florida, the romantic atmosphere of Winter Park makes it well worth the drive from our property. And in December, Park Avenue in particular comes alive at night with twinkling lights, festive upscale decor and the buzz of holiday shoppers. Dine together at one of the many unique, high-end restaurants, and be sure to leave time afterwards for window shopping at the boutiques. Learn More.
6. Enjoy a free outdoor holiday movie at Old Town USA.
Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit faster than watching a classic Christmas movie under the stars! Just 12 minutes from Encore Resort, Old Town USA — a family-friendly shopping, dining and amusement district in Kissimmee — invites you to do just that! Bring your own seating and your favorite snacks to showings of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (12/3), “A Christmas Story” (12/10), and “Elf” (12/17), all starting at dusk. Learn More.
7. See the nightly “snowfalls” at Celebration.
Can it snow in Florida? At Celebration, it can! If you’ll be visiting us from another warm climate, plan to make the 10-minute drive from Encore Resort to the Celebration promenade any night in December. Kids of all ages will get a kick out of the man-made snowfalls that occur on the hour, as well as the ice rink, carolers, photos with Santa, carriage rides, festive music, live entertainment and much more! (Parking and admission are free.) Learn More.
8. Catch a seasonal performance at the Doctor Phillips Center.
As an Orlando landmark, the Doctor Philips Center stands proudly in the heart of downtown and puts on dozens of exceptional performances throughout the year. This December, it will host “Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis Presents Big Band Holidays” (12/3); “Christmas is Comin’ Uptown Presented by Cultural Fusion, Inc.” (12/15-17); and “Orlando Ballet Presents The Nutcracker” (12/21-24), all excellent options for experiencing the arts during your visit. Learn More.
9. Marvel at ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World.
A local favorite, ICE! is an interactive walk-through production of the Gaylord Palms that includes two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures! Race down two-story ice slides; point out your favorite holiday cartoon characters made from ice; peek into holiday scenes from cultures around the world; watch live ice carvings by Chinese artisans; see a life-sized frozen nativity scene; and chat with the Big Man himself in his workshop! Snow tubing, gingerbread house decorating and more are also available (at added cost). Be sure to bring your camera to capture every moment! Learn More.
No matter how you plan to spend this holiday season in Orlando, one thing is certain: Our Orlando resort community offers plenty to see and do beyond the theme parks. Come experience our list for yourself — or get started on your own! Encore Resort at Reunion puts you right in the middle of all the action.