Florida brings a special kind of MAGIC to Christmas! There are lots of great towns with many things to enjoy during this beautiful season! Winter Park is such a quaint town, only 3 miles north of Orlando, that has an Old World European flair. There is a LIVE Christmas tree that continues to live and grow, but is decorated each year. Check out the calendar of events at http://cityofwinterpark.org/calendar
Another great place to take in the beauty is Cranes Roost Park, in Altamonte Springs, Florida. It is only 15 minutes north of Downtown Orlando (just off Interstate 4 at Exit 92). Cranes Roost Park celebrates "Light Up The Holidays" with all sorts of wonderful events throughout the month.
The Lighting Ceremony takes place just after Thanksgiving and the displays can be viewed until January 1.
The Christmas Tree measures 60 feet tall and 27 feet in diameter. The tree has more than 8,000 lights. There are more than 2,600 ornaments on the tree and over 1 mile of garland.
There is a beautiful walkway around the lake that measures approximately one mile around. There are over 175 holiday displays throughout the diameter of the lake. Some of the other 2012 events included each week are: Nightly Holiday Fountain Show at 6p, 7p, 8p & 9p. On Tuesdays, Santa & Mrs. Claus are available to pose for pictures under the tower. On Thursdays, enjoy "Holiday Movie Nights. On Fridays, enjoy Free Live Holiday Concerts.Free movies, live musical performances and all sorts of events happen throughout the year here- check out their Events Schedule at: http://uptownaltamonte.com/events
Another interesting town that I found to be FUN this year was Leesburg, located around an hour drive Northwest of Orlando. The City of Leesburg does a neat light show with a great Christmas tree that is synchronized to music. I like some of the odd animals that they have on display and was especially attached to the bunny, as I felt like it found the wrong holiday...but it made me SMILE! I also enjoyed the train and snowman display that has various sizes for you to get a FUN picture alone or up to a family of four.
And my FINAL stop on this tour of "A FLORIDA CHRISTMAS" is on Christmas Tree Lane in Leesburg - this is such a great FLORIDA thing to do! The residents of this retirement community of Leesburg Lakeshore Mobile Home Park have been transforming Christmas Tree Lane into a winter wonderland for over 54 years. Residents take turns dressing up as Santa & Frosty the Snowman and hand out candy canes to everyone in the vehicles that pass through. Carolers sing as you drive by, some sit on their doorstep enjoying the faces of people who admire their work. The residents do this for around 2-3 weeks around Christmas. Beware of the long line to get on the street, but enjoy this "feel good" Christmas tradition for locals.
I think that I will always have a magical feeling when I see a palm tree. It just makes me FEEL like I am in a special place when I see it. So, with this in mind, I am now enjoying every moment of my tropical Christmas!
In our own yard, my hubby said "Nothing says Christmas like palm trees, blooming roses, a blow up Polar Bear & a rotating Christmas tree in the front window. I tend to agree - From our family to yours, May you have a very Merry Christmas!