Being in Florida during December, it is hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit. All of the palm trees, 80 degree days, and flip flops are not what you picture when you think of the holidays. However, I have found a few places in Florida that are full of Christmas cheer.
Over Thanksgiving break, I went to Disney World for a couple days. Of course, Disney is always decked out for the holidays! The parks have incredible Christmas trees and decorations, while Disney Springs has amazing Christmas themed merchandise. One of my favorite things to do is to go to all of the resorts to look at the gingerbread houses. They are incredible! The one at the Grand Floridian is a working sweet shop! They sell gingerbread cookies, chocolates, and gingerbread houses. I also enjoy looking at the gingerbread carousel that is at the Beach Resort. Another one of my favorites is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios, which is where they decorate an entire street in the park with Christmas lights. All of the lights dance along with the Christmas music that is playing. The street is always packed with people wanting to get some Christmas cheer. This is my favorite holiday activity to do in Florida, as it is always a good time. Sadly, this is the last year that Disney is putting on the light display, due to the new additions to the park that are being built.
Christmas tree at the Animal Kingdom
Decorations in the Magic Kingdom
Decorations in the Contemporary Resort
Gingerbread house in the Grand Floridian Resort
Chocolate from the gingerbread house
Gingerbread carousel in the Beach Resort
Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights
Once Finals were over, I headed up to St. Augustine to see their Night of Lights. The entire historic district is decorated with Christmas lights. You can walk around the city and look at the lights, or ride on one of the trolleys. I had never been to the Night of Lights before, so it was fun to see something new. There were a lot of visitors walking around, all enjoying the Christmas music and lights. After, I had to go to the Milkshake and Waffle Bar for a Nutella and Banana milkshake. They’re delicious.
Christmas tree in St. Augustine
One evening I went down to the Halifax River to watch the Christmas Boat Parade. It is a parade that the Yacht Club puts on, which includes approximately 30 boats that are decorated in lights. I was amazed at the amount of people who were out by the river watching. I had never experienced a Christmas boat parade before, as I am normally in Washington during December. It was a cool experience, and a fun, free way to get in the holiday spirit!
Most recently, I traveled to Fort Myers for the weekend and saw the Edison and Ford Estates lights. Each of the houses are decorated for Christmas, as well as the entire property. It was interesting to be able to see inside of the houses, while also getting in the Christmas spirit. I learned a lot about the two inventors, who both resided in Florida just over 100 years ago.The Estate is a beautiful piece of property on the river in Fort Myers, and is decorated every year for Christmas. I would definitely recommend going!
Inside Henry Ford’s house
As of now, there are only 11 days until Christmas, and I am sure I will find even more fun things to do before then! It may be weird singing “Winter Wonderland” while driving in Daytona Beach on an 80 degree December day, but there are many ways to get into the Christmas spirit in Florida… you might just have to look at little harder to find them!
Wishing you a happy holiday season!