We may not have snow, but that doesn’t mean we lack holiday cheer. Floridians are experts at making our own winter wonderlands, with help from lots of lights. The weather isn’t what makes the season for us, it’s the joy we share with family and friends. If you know anyone who still needs some convincing, these spectacular displays will get anyone in the holiday spirit.
1. St. Augustine Nights of Lights
During the holiday season, our nation's oldest city really shines. Every night from November 19th through the end of January, the city is decorated with millions of tiny lights. Take a trolley tour or a romantic carriage ride to take in all the magic.
2. Downtown Mount Dora
Whether you already know and love the town of Mount Dora or you've never been before, you should schedule your next visit soon. The town is decorated with more than two million twinkling lights from November 26th through the month of December. There will be various events throughout the month, including bus tours, a boat parade, and a magical train ride.
3. Pensacola Winterfest
Pensacola Winterfest: Falling snow, hot chocolate, holiday performances and magical train rides. November 25, 26, December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 - 24 (with different events on different nights). Elf parade: November 25th. Santa's Express Tours: December 19th through 24th.
221 S Palafox St, Pensacola, FL 32502.
4. Santa's Enchanted Forest, Miami
Santa's Enchanted Forest: The World's Largest Holiday Theme Park, featuring over 100 rides, shows, games and attractions. November 3rd through January 8th, 5:00 p.m. to midnight.
Located in Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155.
5. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World
This magical celebration includes a spectacular parade, live entertainment and fireworks. November 7th through December 22nd, 7:00 p.m to midnight.
6. Edison & Ford Winter Estates
At the vacation homes for Thomas Edison and Henry Ford you can tour the homes and the 21-acre botanical garden. During December, the houses are lit up and hours are extended for Edison Ford Holiday Nights. This event begins November 25th, with the annual tree lighting ceremony. Nightly tours, river cruises, food service and entertainment (and on certain dates, visits from Santa), will run from November 25th through January 1st, 5:30 p.m - 9:00 p.m. Admission for adults (with tour) is $30.
2350 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33901
7. Festival of Lights, Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center
This park has so much holiday spirit, with marshmallow roasting, carol singing, millions of lights twinkling in the majestic oaks. The Festival of Lights will run through December 2nd through 24th this year, with some nights open for drive-through viewing only. 11016 Lillian Sanders Dr, White Springs, FL 32096
8. The Oakdale Christmas House, St. Petersburg
This huge light display, with half a million lights, is famous for its quirky charm. It's sure to put a smile on the face of even the grumpiest Scrooge out there.
2719 Oakdale St S
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
9. Rainbow Springs State Park
If you thought there was no way this park could be more enchanting, you should see it decorated for the holidays.The park is decorated with 500,000 lights, with music, stories, visits from santa, and food and crafts for sale. It takes place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the two weekends before Christmas and on December 26th and 27th.
10830 SW 180th Avenue Rd, Dunnellon, FL 34432.
10. Stetson Mansion, DeLand
Florida's first luxury home, built by the famous hatmaker blends different architectural styles and Gilded Age decorations. The house is especially charming dressed up for the holidays. Christmas tours are given November 15th through January 15th. Tours run 75 to 90 minutes long, at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 5:00 p.m., every day except on Sunday mornings. Reservations required.
11. Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo
These gardens are always full of color and beauty, and their holiday lights are no exception. Bright lights cover this tropical paradise, making a stunning combination. November 25th through December 31st, 5:30 p.m to 9:30 p.m., suggested donation of $4 for adults.
12520 Ulmerton Rd, Largo, FL 33774
12. Space Coast Lightfest, Melbourne
The Space Coast Lightfest is a holiday light spectacular that takes place November 20th through January 1st. It's a drive-through experience in Wickham Park ($15 per carload), 6:30 p.m - 10:00 p.m. But you can walk through the lights on December 3rd and 4th and enjoy entertainment, food, and fun, for $5 per person. 2785 Leisure Way, Melbourne.
Have you visited these displays before? What are your favorite Christmas light displays in Florida?