Check out these 16 off-the-beaten-path activities for Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas, and New Year’s.
Do you have extended family in town and you just don’t know what do with them this holiday season? This is your go-to list of local events and activities when another day in the house just ain’t gonna cut it.
Visit Winter Park’s Morse Museum to see outstanding examples of Tiffany windows and lamps. The museum also sponsors Christmas in the Park on Thursday, December 1. Call 407-645-5311.
Get away from the holiday hype on Winter Park’s scenic boat tour on Lake Osceola. De-stress in a watery wonderland just minutes from downtown. Call 407-644-4056 for tickets and information.
Songs of the Season
Seminole State College will hold its free Holiday Choral Concert during the first week of December. ‘Tis also the season for holiday classics at the Fine Arts Concert Hall at Seminole State College. Call 407-708-4722.
Rolling on the River
Take a holiday cruise from Sanford on the paddle wheel riverboat Barbara-Lee. Enjoy songs of the season as the boat makes its way along the scenic St. Johns River. Call 321-441-3030 for times and tickets.
Take a dreidel for a spin at the Roth Jewish Community Center’s Hanukarnival in Maitland on December 18. Don’t miss the potato latke cook-off. Call 407-645-5933.
Winter Park on Ice
With winter in the town’s name, you know they do the season right. Check out the downtown ice skating rink. Call 407-599-3203.
Let it Snow
It’s winter 365 at RDV Sportsplex skating rink in Maitland. The only difference is, during the holidays they add real snow. Call 407-916-2666.
Thanksgiving is not just about food and football. Gather the family to volunteer at your local church, synagogue, or community center to bring Thanksgiving Day meals to the less-fortunate. Seminole County’s own Seniors Intervention Group (407-790-1948) also runs a great Thanksgiving meal delivery service. You can also encourage your guests to volunteer at the Christian Sharing Center in Longwood (407-260-9155) or Harvest Time International (407-328-9900). It’s sure to bring home the true meaning of the holiday.
Every year, UCF gives a graduate course in holiday fun. Starting on November 18 and continuing for seven weeks, the university delights with holiday lights, music, and an outdoor skating rink. For info visit LightUpUCF.com.
Sanford Jazz Ensemble Christmas Concert
Be transported to holidays past during this showcase of big band jazz. Get tickets at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center. Call 407-321-8111.
Everyone loves a parade – especially a holiday version. Here is a sampling of parades you’ll want to attend.
-Sanford’s Annual Illuminated Christmas parade is December 10.
-Check out Longwood’s Citizen on Patrol Christmas parade December 3. Enjoy clowns, street performers, and marching bands.
-Mount Dora’s parade is December 6. That evening, enjoy a lighted boat parade on the lake.
Tour Holiday Homes
Go on a candlelight tour of Sanford’s historic homes on December 3. The event begins at 801 Palmetto Avenue.
How Swede it is! Discover the contributions of Swedish pioneers to Seminole County at Sanford’s Holiday Fest at the Museum of Seminole County History.
Explore the Stars
At the Seminole State College Planetarium, astronomers examine the facts and fancy behind the Star of Bethlehem. Take a break from the scientific by attending a special holiday planetarium show featuring indoor music under the night sky. For more information, call 407-708-2360.
If you have little ones, it’s worth a trip to the Oviedo Mall, Seminole Town Center, and Altamonte Mall. A picture with Santa is a fun way to spend the afternoon and get in some last-minute shopping. You can also see Santa at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens during a special Breakfast with Santa. Call 407-323-4450 for details.
Chill Out in December
This is as cool as it gets. Take the little ones to see Ice at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee. New for 2016 is a Charlie Brown theme. Young and old will marvel at ice sculptures and frozen creations as they tour this sub-zero playground. Call 407-586-0000.
List courtesy Lake Mary Life staff writer Peter Riley.
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