Holiday calendar

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  • | 9:07 a.m. November 3, 2011
Photo by: Tina Russell - Nicole Knapp, 30 and Melanie, 8 months, wait for the 58th annual Winter Park Christmas Parade to start on Dec. 4.
Photo by: Tina Russell - Nicole Knapp, 30 and Melanie, 8 months, wait for the 58th annual Winter Park Christmas Parade to start on Dec. 4.
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Scroll down for events happening in:

Winter Park/ Maitland/ Baldwin Park

Oviedo/ Winter Springs/ Sanford/ Lake Mary

Avalon Park/ Waterford Lakes

Winter Park/ Maitland/ Baldwin Park


The season begins with “Winter in the Park” ice skating rink in Central Park West Meadow from Friday, Nov. 18, through Sunday, Jan. 8. “Winter in the Park” will include a full calendar of joyful events including holiday music, games, family nights, youth nights, carolers and so much more. The rink will be open Monday thru Thursday, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, from noon to 8 p.m. For more information, please call 407-599-3203.

Orlando Fashion Square welcomes back Santa Claus for visits and pictures with children this holiday season. Santa photos will be taken daily through Saturday, Dec. 24. Also, Fido and Fluffy can sit with St. Nick on Pet Nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays from Nov. 14 through Dec. 19.

Nov. 20

Orlando-area vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday at the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida's annual Thanksgiving dinner potluck, to be held at Mead Gardens on Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. There will be children's games, entertainment and, of course, delicious vegan food. Cost is $5 with a dish to share, $10 without.

Nov. 23

The Art & History Museums – Maitland invites you to kick-off your holiday celebration with the Waterhouse family at the annual exhibition, Holidays at the Waterhouse, beginning on Nov.23 and continuing through Jan. 15. The exhibition takes place at the historic Waterhouse Residence Museum, 820 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. Museum hours are Thursday – Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults; $2 for seniors (55 and older) and for children (4-18 years). A&H members and children 3 and under are free.

Nov. 27

A special Holiday Pops concert performed by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will take place on Sunday, Nov. 27, at 4 p.m., in beautiful Central Park. Bring a blanket and a picnic for a concert program of holiday favorites that will be sure to put everyone in the spirit of the season. Guest conductor Albert George Schram will lead the Philharmonic along with the Holiday Singers and the Florida Opera Theatre Youth Program Singers. This free concert is made possible by the Charlotte Julia Hollander Trust. For more information, please call 407-896-6700.

Dec. 1

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art continues their holiday tradition with the 33rd annual Christmas in the Park Celebration on Thursday, Dec. 1. Central Park creates the beautiful backdrop for the lighting of eight turn-of-the-century Tiffany windows as the Bach Festival Choir performs in concert from the main stage. The two-hour program begins at 6:15 p.m. For more information, please call 407-645-5311.

To compliment the annual Christmas in the Park Celebration, Friends of Casa Feliz will present Christmas at the Casa on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Casa Feliz located at 656 N. Park Ave. Santa Claus will be on hand to greet everyone, the house will be decorated for the season, and costumed carolers will lead attendees in holiday favorites. For more information, please call 407-628-8200.

Dec. 2

On Friday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m., the festivities continue in Central Park with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Stroll presented by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. The night will begin with carols from several local ensembles, followed by the award ceremony for the 2011 Holiday Card Competition winners. Central Park will come to life with beautiful bright lights and Santa Claus will make a special appearance. For more information, please call 407-644-8281.

In conjunction with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Stroll on Friday, Dec. 2, the City of Winter Park and Enzian Theater will present Popcorn Flicks in Central Park featuring “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” and “A Christmas Story.” The animated film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” will begin at 7 p.m. and precede the holiday classic “A Christmas Story.” For more information, please call 407-629-0054.

Dec. 3

Before and after the Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 3, Leadership Winter Park Class 22 will host the 13th annual Leadership Winter Park Pancake Breakfast at the Central Park main stage from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Enjoy hot pancakes, sausage and beverages for just $6 per adult and $4 per child, with proceeds benefiting Winter Park area elementary schools. For more information, please call 407-644-8281.

On Saturday, Dec. 3, Park Avenue comes to life at 9 a.m. with the 59th annual “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade, presented by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. This family-friendly occasion showcases holiday-themed floats, Santa Claus and well-known local figures as they make their way down the avenue. For more information, please call 407-644-8281.

Kids, ages 6 – 12, are invited to join us as we create green decorations for the holiday season at Whole Foods Winter Park on Dec. 3 from 1 to 3 p.m. We will be using recycled and reusable materials. Online registration required.

Frontier Civitan Club 1st Annual Tour of Homes is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 3 and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 4. Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season by touring festive holiday home designs in local neighborhoods including Winter Springs, Baldwin Park and Winter Park. Explore traditional and modern ways homes are being decorated in our community and walk away with some ideas for your holiday decor! Net proceeds to benefit local charities and community projects as supported by the Frontier Civitan organization. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the tour. Visit or call 407-359-8941.

Count down with Santa Claus and Mayor Schieferdecker as they throw the switch to light up Lake Lily Park at 5 p.m. on Dec. 3. Maitland Middle School & the Colby Dance Studio will be on hand providing holiday entertainment for the evening.

Dec. 8

Block Party: Holiday Favorites at Whole Foods Winter Park is Thursday, Dec. 8 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Join us for a celebration of sampling as each of our departments features their holiday favorites. No pre-registration required. Help us choose the winning department, vote for your favorite sample and enter to win a Whole Foods Market gift card.

Dec. 10

On Saturday, Dec. 10, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens will become the official judging and viewing site for the 8th annual Winter Park Boat Parade & Festival of Lights including a water ski show on Lake Virginia near Rollins College. This free event will begin at dusk and parking fees will apply. For more information, please call 407-647-6294.

Maitland Public Library proudly presents the 2nd Annual Winter Wonderland on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 2 – 4 p.m. Visit with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus and enjoy the snow, snacks, crafts and live music. Call 407-647-7700 or visit

Dec. 11

Maitland residents should be on the look out for Santa Claus. The Maitland police will be escorting Santa though our City’s street on Dec. 11. For more details and times in your neighborhood, visit

Dec. 17

Enjoy the rich sounds of Christmas as tuba, euphonium, sousaphone and baritone players of all ages gather to perform a FREE concert from the main stage in Central Park beginning at 1 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 17. Winter Park’s 16th annual Merry Tuba Christmas has become a must see on the holiday list of things to do. Registration for musicians begins at 9:30 a.m., with rehearsal running from 10:30 a.m. to noon. For more information, please call 407-599-3463.

Dec. 24

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art will hold a FREE Christmas Eve Open House on Saturday, Dec. 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please call 407-645-5311.

Dec. 25

Chabad of Greater Orlando will present Chanukah on the Park on Sunday, Dec. 25, at 5 p.m., in Central Park. The evening will include singing performances, live music, dancers, face painting, jugglers and food. For more information, please call 407-644-2500.

Dec. 29

To wrap up the holiday season with a bright red bow on top, the City of Winter Park will proudly host the 5th annual Champs Sports Bowl® Parade of Bands on Thursday, Dec. 29, at 11 a.m. As a prelude to the Champs Sports Bowl® game on Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl, school bands from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Big East championship teams will march through downtown Winter Park and perform a “Bandastic Game Day Preview” in Central Park. For more information, please call 407-599-3463.



Pretend that you're in Rockerfeller Center with Light up UCF and enjoy the only outdoor skating rink in Orlando, holiday movies, music and a world-class holiday light show. The event starts on Nov. 11 and runs through Jan. 1. Enjoy music, ice skating and carnival-style rides. Entry is free, with skating and ride prices varying. Call 407-823-6006 for more details or visit

Nov. 12

It’s Oviedo’s largest festival of the year. The 38th annual Great Day in the Country arts and crafts festival runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Lawton House in downtown Oviedo. Admission, parking and shuttle are all free. Visit for more information.

The weather forecast calls for 100 percent chance of snow. At 4 p.m. on Dec. 10 it will snow in Oviedo! Come sled and play in 60 tons of snow, shipped in straight from the North Pole to the Oviedo Mall. Participants will enjoy sled rides down the mountain, snow play area, great entertainment, carnival games, bounce houses, craft & food vendors, pictures with Santa, and much more. This very special event offers families the opportunity to experience real snow in Central Florida. Surely a cherished experience they will never forget. For more information please call 407-971-5575.

Dec. 2

The Candlelight Tour of Homes is Friday, Dec. 2, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. starting at the Sanford Welcome Center, 230 E. 1st St., Sanford. The Day Tour of Homes is Saturday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Candlelight tour-goers will be entertained by actors from Sanford's Celery Soup Folk Life Play, while they are transported by trolley from tour headquarters to the Mayfair neighborhood. Mayfair, formally designated in 1924, was originally intended to include homes only of Spanish architecture, is an eclectic neighborhood now. The Candlelight tour will feature the elegantly decorated homes of Mayfair on streets lined with luminaries and trees illuminated with large handcrafted holiday lights. Sounds of smooth saxophone will fill the night air and carolers in period costume will add to the festive atmosphere. Food and beverage samples will be offered from local restaurants. Tickets are $25.

Dec. 3

International Holiday Festival presented by AFS Central Florida is Dec. 3 from 2-5 p.m. Experience holiday traditions, food, music and games from around the globe with our hosted students. Auction proceeds will establish a scholarship for high school international exchange. Bring your friends and neighbors and join us at 4725 E. Lake Dr., Winter Springs (Willow Creek Church). For more information, call 407-977-0286.

Dec. 4

Pet lovers can have their companion animal’s photo taken with Santa at the Seminole Towne Center Santa set located in the mall’s Center Court during the Claus & Paws Pet Photos event from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. All pets will receive a special treat after each visit with Santa. For more information about Seminole Towne Center, call 407-323-2262, visit or become a fan on Facebook at!/SeminoleTowneCenter


Dec. 10

Breakfast (or brunch) with Santa is 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Dec. 10 at the Central Florida Zoo. There will be lots of fun holiday cheer and activities for the whole family. Share your holiday wishes with Santa and enjoy up-close animal encounters. After breakfast everyone can enjoy creating a special animal treat and then watch as the Zoo Keepers give the animals these special holiday gifts that were made. Call 407-323-4450 extension 123 for seating times, reservations and pricing.

Dec. 13

Healthy Holiday Baking: Learn how to bake healthy holiday treats. Start a new Family Tradition! The class is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13 at the Seminole County Extension, 250 West County Home Road, Sanford. Cost is $10. Pre-registered/Pre-paid required.

Call 407-665-5560.


Dec. 13

Enjoy the Sounds of Holiday Music at a festive Holiday Luncheon on Dec. 13 at 11 a.m. The Heathrow Women’s Club will host Holiday Music “First Take,” one of the many choruses from Seminole High School, under the direction of Bob Maguire. The chorus will present an entertaining program sure to get you into the Holiday Spirit. Luncheon will be held at the Heathrow Country Club. It’s open to all. Register online at by Dec. 8. Cost is $21.

Dec. 18

Ballet South and The School of Performing Arts, a student dance company based in the Maitland/Fern Park area, will be presenting a benefit performance of Clara's Nutcracker Dream on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. at the Trinity Preparatory School Auditorium at 5700 Trinity Prep Lane, Winter Park. The ballet is being performed with proceeds to benefit Trinity Prep’s Fine Arts Department for student performances at the world-renowned Edinburgh International Festival. Ticket prices are $15 and may be purchased at the door only on the day of event. There is no reserved seating available. For more information, please contact 321-282-2508 or at [email protected]


Dec. 3

Join the city of Winter Springs as it kicks off its holiday festivities with the Holiday Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting. The event will feature fun, games, music, and a visit by Santa Claus. The parade starts at 5 p.m. Dec. 3, followed by the Christmas Tree Lighting event which happens at 6:30 p.m. It's all free, and it's all at the Winter Springs Town Center. For more information call 407-327-1800


The Oviedo Mall has the following events this holiday season:

  1. Nov. 19: The Master's Academy Medieval Holiday Music by the Drama Department, 10am-1pm, free
  2. Nov. 18-Dec. 24: Photos with Santa featuring special pet nights on Wed. 12/7, 12/14, and 12/21 and school spirits nights for UCF and SSC on Mon 11/28 and 12/5. Located in the west court near Dillard's. There will be a variety of keepsake photos and items for sale.
  3. Nov. 25 – Dec. 11: Support Toys for Tots while finding the most unique gifts at a silent auction fundraiser, open to the public, located in Oviedo Mall next to Ann Taylor Loft.
  4. Nov. 25: Oviedo Mall Friday Frenzy Shopping Spree, event 6am-9am, and shopping hours 6am -10pm. First 100 people get a free gift, DJ, prizes, snack stations, and more!
  5. Dec. 11: Oviedo Mall Food Truck Crazy. 5pm-9pm, parking lot between Chamberlin's and north entrance. Child Rescue Network will be hosting child finger printing and safety tips. Special surprise not to be missed!
  6. Dec. 17: Strolling Carolers, 11a-1p, free
  7. Dec. 18: Holiday Caricatures, 2p-5p, food court, free
  8. Gift Wrap available starting Black Friday, for donation, located near Dillard’s and the Santa Photo set.


Nov. 18

Carnival rides and food abound at Avalon Jubilee, which runs from 3-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20 at Avalon Park’s Tanja King Memorial Park. For more information, call 407-658-6565.

Dec. 3

Avalon Aglow, from 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in downtown Avalon Park, features a parade with Santa Clause at 3 p.m., hot apple cider in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, amusement rides, food and fireworks at 9 p.m. Bring an unwrapped toy valued at $10 or more for Toys for Tots to the event or drop it off anytime at Groom Grub and Belly Rub, 3702 E. Avalon Park Blvd., Orlando.


Dec. 9-10

Magic Curtain Productions, based in East Orlando, presents their adaptation of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at 7 p.m. Friday Dec, 9 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 at Discovery Middle School. Santa will be there, handing out candy canes and posing for photos. Tickets are $5 at the door.


Akersville, an elaborate miniature town decorated for Christmas, is free and open to the public at creator Fred Aker's Eastwood home at 13545 Guildhall Circle, Orlando. It's open for viewing at around 6 p.m. every day until the first week of January.

The Caroling Company will perform weekends from 2-5 p.m. in 20-minute increments Nov. 25-26 and Dec. 17-18 and 24 at Waterford Lakes Town Center. These strolling carolers will be dressed in old-fashioned Dicken’s-like costumes, wandering throughout the mall spreading holiday cheer.

Light Up UCF runs through Jan. 1 outside of the UCF Arena and features ice skating, a film festival with movies on select nights, a Ferris wheel, photos with Santa and community performances. For more information, visit

Santa's Winter Wonderland Village, running from Dec. 1 through Jan. 2 at the Waterford Lakes Town Center, includes Santa's Workshop, holiday foods, unique European amusement rides, thousands of Christmas lights and hundreds of holiday displays. Carnival times are 5-11 p.m. on weekdays through Dec. 16; 2-11 p.m. on weekdays from Dec. 19 through Jan. 2 and closed Dec. 5-7. For more information, call 407-855-4330.

Valencia will host the following events at 7:30 p.m. in their Performing Arts Center on its East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando:

-The Winter Choral Concert on Thursday, Dec. 1,

-Fall Symphonic/Jazz Band Concert on Tuesday, Dec. 6,

-Fall Opera Workshop on Friday, Dec. 9.

For more information, contact 407-582-2332.

Dec. 3

The Jingle Jam and Holiday Help Fair, hosted by Kiwanis of East Orange County, is from 8-10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec 3 at the Waterford Lakes Town Center. Activities include photos with Santa, vendors, demonstrations, live entertainment and refreshments.

The inaugural Holiday Art and Craft Show is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3-4 at the Waterford Lakes Town center. For more information, visit


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