Fun Things to Do During Winter Break in Orlando with Kids
Most schools in Central Florida are closed for winter break between December 20, 2021 and January 3, 2022, leaving two weeks for family fun. This is a great time to take some day trips from Orlando, catch up on holiday events, and enjoy the time to sleep in!
From festive holiday activities to family-friendly New Year's Eve events, Mommy Poppins Orlando has you covered. Here are some ideas to help plan those days: Be sure to check our events calendar for other local things to do as they develop.
Check out our roundup of must-do seasonal events for added inspiration. And don't forget our lineup of the best holiday lights in the Orlando area. Lastly, don't miss out: Sign up for our FREE newsletter and stay up to date on the best things to do in the Orlando area with kids.
Celebrate New Year's Eve with a brick drop at Legoland Florida. Photo by Chip Litherland/Legoland Florida/Merlin Entertainments Group
Things to Do During Winter Break in Orlando: Theme Parks
1. Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail — Lake Buena Vista
Visit Disney Springs and stroll the trail of more than 15 themed Christmas trees. Kids can also dig for dinosaur fossils at T-Rex Café, ride the Marketplace carousel and Express Train, and watch toy soldier stilt-walkers and snowflake skaters. Tweens and teens can enjoy a bowling alley, movie theater, the NBA Experience, and more. Guests can take photos with Santa.
2. Holiday Decorations at Disney Resorts — Lake Buena Vista
Visit the deluxe Disney resorts at Christmastime to see stunning decorations, including a lifesize gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian, and then boarding the monorail to the Contemporary Resort to see more intricate gingerbread displays. Bonus: If you visit at night, you can view the Magic Kingdom fireworks on the outside balcony at the Contemporary Resort.
3. New Year’s Eve — Lake Buena Vista, Kissimmee, and Elsewhere
Head to the Magic Kingdom for DJ dance parties and a special Fantasy in the Sky fireworks display. At Epcot, countdown to the new year again and again as you travel around the World Showcase as the clock strikes midnight in each country, and enjoy the debut of a new fireworks display.
Head to Universal CityWalk to ring in the new year at Hard Rock Cafe for a celebration set to the music of The Beatles. Festivities at SeaWorld include music, entertainment, and a fireworks display at midnight. For younger kids, Legoland Florida offers a brick drop at an earlier kid-friendly hour as well as dance parties and special building activities throughout the day.
Grab your skates and head out to RDV Ice Den. Photo courtesy of RDV Sportsplex Ice Den
Things to Do During Winter Break in Orlando: Close to Nature
4. Leu Gardens — Orlando
5. Asian Lantern Festival at the Zoo — Sanford
This Central Florida Zoo's event is based on Asian lanterns and showcases more than 30 larger-than-life illuminated sculptures. Each sculpture is lit by thousands of LED lights, creating an amazing ambiance. Sample from food trucks, and peruse Asian crafts for sale. This event runs through January 16, 2022.
6. Visit the Manatees at Blue Springs State Park — Orange City
Every winter, hundreds of manatees from the St. Johns River migrate to Blue Springs State Park, seekipng shelter from the cold. Visitors can walk along the boardwalk and watch these gentle giants in the clear water. Blue Springs also has a small playground area, gift shop, cafe, and historic frontier house.
7. Winter Wonderland at Wekiva Island — Longwood
Now through New Year's Eve day, Wekiva Island is transformed into a Winter Wonderland with snow slides and real snow flurries. Kids will love tubing down the slides. Families can enjoy a movie on the river on select nights surrounded by thousands of lights.
Thrill to the dazzling lights display at the Asian Lantern Festival. Photo courtesy of Central Florida Zoo
Things to Do During Winter Break in Orlando: Indoor Fun
8. Orlando Science Center — Orlando
Kids love the expansive KidsTown area with seven interactive play stations. Permanent exhibits include Nature Works, where there are several animals to visit; Kinetic Zone, with engineering activities; Our Planet, complete with a six-foot suspended projection sphere to learn about space; and Dino Digs, with large fossil replicas, a dig play area, and a holiday lights show.
9. RDV Ice Den — Orlando
RDV Ice Den offers public ice skating seven days a week for ages 3 and older. Be sure to check its website as hours for public skating vary. The rink offers winter break figure skating camp and learn to skate camp December 20-23 and 27-30
10. Maitland Sport Winter Break Camp— Maitland
Working parents and kids into sports will love attending Maitland All Sports Winter Camp, teaching good sportsmanship and skills in activities like kickball, dodgeball, soccer, and more sports. Camp runs 9am-3pm from December 20-23 and 27-30
11. Crayola Colorful Christmas — Orlando
Elementary-age kids will love this colorful Christmas event at Crayola Experience, complete with multiple holiday activities, including a life-size snowglobe, Christmas light show, a Save Santa adventure, and more. Kids enjoy the indoor color playground and dozens of hands-on activity stations offered year round.
Gaylord Palms is a holiday lover's delight! Photo courtesy of Gaylord Palms
Things to Do During Winter Break in Orlando: Christmas in the Air
12. Christmas at Gaylord Palms — Kissimmee
There are so many holiday activities at Gaylord Palms! Have a great time with the Christmas light displays, taking photos with Santa, watching Cirque: Spirit of Christmas, ice tubing, and experiencing Mission: Save Christmas featuring Elf.
Enjoy a traditional holiday season, snow included, in Celebration. Photo courtesy of Town of Celebration
13. Now Snowing in Celebration — Celebration
Through New Year's Eve, this annual event brings nightly snowfall to Florida. Stroll the streets of downtown Celebration while enjoying Charles Dickens-style carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating, train rides, and seasonal performances.