Dec. 7 – The Orlando Philharmonic presents Bach’s brilliance
In an all-Bach program that bursts with brilliance, the talent of the Philharmonic’s new Maestro Eric Jacobsen will join with the orchestra’s beloved Concertmaster Rimma Bergeron-Langlois as she takes on Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Pedja Muzijevic will solo in the Concerto for Harpsichord in D Minor, and Colleen Blagov and Sandra del Cid-Davies will be featured on the flute in the Brandenburg No. 4 – a work that will once again call upon the artistry of Ms. Bergeron-Langlois. Another example of the Philharmonic’s not-to-be-missed season, this concert will be performed at 7 p.m. at The Plaza Live at 425 N. Bumby Ave. Call 407-770-0071 or visit Orlandophil.org
Dec. 8 to 13 – 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' – the musical
Ask all the Whos in Whoville – he’s a mean one (and as cuddly as a cactus). Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale comes to life on stage featuring the hit songs "You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas." But the Grinch discovers there’s more to Christmas than he bargained for in this heart-warming holiday classic. Max the Dog narrates as the Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Whos, a cheerful bunch who teach the Grinch a thing or two about the holiday spirit. At the Dr. Phillips Center, call 844-513-2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
Dec. 10 and 11 – CFCArts presents 'Christmas in Toyland'
Join the CFCArts Community Choir and Orchestra as they embark on a musical journey into the magic, joy and fantasy of Christmas. Enter the world of Toyland, where Christmas comes to life through the music and songs from your favorite Christmas movies, stories and characters. “Christmas in Toyland” will be presented at Northland Church at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 and 11. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Call 407-949-7170 or visit cfcommunityarts.com
Dec. 11 to 22 – 'Dickens by Candlelight'
"Dickens by Candlelight" is a unique holiday tradition in Central Florida as this three-person play presents an up-close portrayal of "A Christmas Carol." Actors John DiDonna, Morgan Russell, and Monica Tamborello portray all of the roles, transforming themselves from character to character as Dickens famous holiday story envelops the audience. Guests are seated at tables witnessing visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future while enjoying homemade cookies and a pot of hot tea, involving the audience in a most welcoming and timeless way. Call 407-222-7669 or visit dickensbycandlelight.com
Dec. 11 – Holiday wreaths at the Winter Park Garden Club
As part of their Fun with Flowers series, Cathy Bowers of the Winter Park Garden Club will demonstrate how to create holiday wreaths that can hang on a door or wall, or be used as a table centerpiece. Greens will be provided, but participants will need to bring own their own clippers to the Winter Park Garden Club at 1300 S. Denning Drive in Winter Park. The fee is $25. Please call 407-644-5770.
Dec. 12 – Free fourth annual Holiday Amaryllis Festival
The special folks who are renovating the home (and legacy) of Florida’s historic gardener-extraordinaire Henry Nehrling, will celebrate on Dec. 12 at Palm Cottage Gardens (the Nehrling Estate), at 2267 Hemple Ave. in Gotha. The 6-acre site was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Their annual event features rare amaryllis bulbs for sale as well as blooming amaryllis for the holidays. Santa and Mrs. Claus promise to be there along with live music, vendors, food, and eco-activities for children. Call 407-445-9977 or visit Nehrlinggardens.org
Dec. 11 and 12 – Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s winter tour in Florida
Fans of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra are legendary, and Floridians will have opportunities in Jacksonville and Orlando to understand the devotion as TSO’s 2015 Winter Tour is based on the multi-platinum DVD and long-time PBS fundraiser, the "The Ghosts of Christmas Eve." The story of a young runaway who breaks into an abandoned theater seeking shelter from the cold, and the ghostly visions she experiences, "Ghosts" features TSO crowd-pleasers including "O’ Come All Ye Faithful," "Good King Joy," "Christmas Canon," "Music Box Blues," and "This Christmas Day." Visit trans-siberian.com for details
Dec. 12 and 13 – Silver Bells: Orlando Gay Chorus 25th anniversary concert
Silver Bells, featuring holiday music from the past 25 years, will be performed by the Orlando Gay Chorus at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 and at 4:30 p.m. on Dec 13 at The Plaza Live at 325 N. Bumby Ave. in Orlando. “I think the highlight of Silver Bells is the variety of pieces OGC is performing,” says Director James Rode. “There are holiday standards, popular favorites, and our own arrangement of ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ to get everyone into the holiday spirit.” Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign. Call 407-841-7464 or visit orlandogaychorus.org
Dec. 12 – Free mommy and me class making mini masterpieces
Meagan and Jose Henao invite you to the new Henao Contemporary Center for an artist-led, kiddo-powered, mommy-and-me experience. Have fun and meet new people while talking color and using stencils to create wonderful artworks. No experience is required, and all materials will be provided. All you have to do is show up ready to get messy. Coffee, toast, and bottled water will be served. This event is limited to 10 mommy-and-me groups, more than one child is welcome, and reservations are a must. It all starts at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 12. Please call 407-272-0317 or email [email protected]
Dec. 12 and 13 – 'The Nutcracker' by the Central Florida Ballet
Central Florida Ballet’s "Nutcracker" holds the title of “most entertaining 'Nutcracker'” as featured in ABC Nightline News; named as “one of five outstanding productions in the entire nation” by CNN Headlines News; and – thanks to some on-stage fireworks – it was called “the pyrotechnic 'Nutcracker'” by USA Today. This fusion of "The Nutcracker" – with a little bit of Cirque and on-stage fireworks – makes this the fun version of the holiday classic. In performance at the Orange County Convention Center, call 800-345-9845 or visit centralfloridaballet.com
Current – The Capen-Showalter House open for public tours
Reunited, restored, and ready for tours, The Polasek Museum announces the long-anticipated opening of the historic Capen-Showalter House for public tours. The home is now open for tours twice a week at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Built in 1885 by James Capen, the house is one of the few remaining homes of Winter Park’s founding decade. Docents will immerse guests in its 130 year-old historical and architectural story including the home’s journey to the museum’s gardens. Please call the museum at 407-647-6294 to confirm availability.