Downtown For the Holidays 2021

Downtown for the Holidays

Experience the sights and sounds of the season when visiting Downtown for the Holidays. Throughout the entire month of December, downtown Orlando is offering free holiday events for all to enjoy! 

See the beautifully illuminated Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree and watch in wonder as the lights dance to popular holiday music. Experience snowfall and shop local at our holiday Merry Market. Grab a blanket and enjoy a free holiday movie on the East Lawn at Lake Eola. And be sure to stop by the Eola House to see Santa!  

Please see below for holiday events. We look forward to seeing you Downtown for the Holidays!

Augmented Reality App

Download the Explore DTO app to enjoy augmented reality (AR) content, like dancing with a gingerbread man or snapping a selfie with a swan in a Santa hat!  

Step 1 

Download the app 



Step 2 

Select an AR experience and watch it come to life! 

Step 3 

Have fun! Be sure to tag us on social and share your photos!  

Christmas Tree Show Schedule

Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree Show | December 1 - January 6 | Lake Eola Park

Beginning December 1, the Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree comes alive with synchronized light and music. The show will take place at the following times: 5:45 pm, 6:45 pm, 7:45 pm, 8:45 pm, and 9:45 pm. The Christmas Tree is located by E. Washington St. and N. Rosalind Ave.


November 16 |City District Tree Lighting & Gingerbread Building | 127 W. Church Street  

Be the first to celebrate the holidays in downtown Orlando! Join City District Main Street as they kick off their annual tree lighting and gingerbread building contest.  

November 19 | Jack Kazanzas Star Installation | Intersection of Orange Avenue and Pine Street 
An Orlando holiday tradition, the raising of the Jack Kazanzas Star 50 feet over Orange Avenue will take place the morning of Sunday, November 19 at 7 am. The more than 50-year tradition of raising the 600-pound golden star started in the 1950s. Since then, the Star has come to symbolize the start of the holiday season in downtown Orlando.  

November 25 | Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker | Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts  

Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker is an urban adaptation of the classic Nutcracker ballet, taking the audience on a magical journey through cultural lands to the Kingdom of Toys. 

This production is described as soulful, bold, colorful, exciting, lively and delightful! A holiday treat for the entire family! 

November 26 | Handel’s Messiah | Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts  

Handel’s Messiah is widely regarded as one of the finest and most well-known classical music works ever written. With this performance, Messiah Choral Society celebrates 51 years of gifting the Central Florida community with free performances of this masterwork, accompanied by a professional orchestra and soloists, and conducted by music director John V. Sinclair. The concert has become a holiday tradition and is viewed by many as the kickoff to the holiday music season. 

December 1 | Tree Lighting Celebration | Lake Eola Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park 
Kickoff the holiday season on at the City of Orlando's annual Tree Lighting Celebration at Lake Eola Park. The highlight of the event is the lighting of the six-story Christmas tree featuring 88,000 animated lights. The event will include holiday performances at the Lake Eola Amphitheater, food trucks and a holiday market.  

If you’re unable to make it to the tree lighting, you can catch the synchronized light and music Christmas Tree Show every evening thru January 6. The show will run each hour from 5:45 pm - 9:45 pm.  

December 8 | Holiday Movie at Lake Eola Park – The Polar Express | East Lawn at Lake Eola Park  
Pack your blankets, chairs, and snacks for the whole family to enjoy The Polar Express. Showtime is at 7 pm.  

December 9 | Violectric Holiday Show | Lake Eola Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park  
Performing together live on stage, renowned “Vinylinist” and Founder of Violectric, Michelle Jones, and the talented musicians of the Central Florida strings super-group, announce the exciting milestone 10th Annual Violectric Holiday Show rocking into the Lake Eola Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park on Saturday, December 9, 2023 starting at 7pm. Free and open to the public, the 90-minute live concert presented by the City of Orlando’s Department of Families, Parks and Recreation will feature traditional holiday songs like O Christmas Tree, The First Noel and Hanukkah, O Hanukkah mashed up with classic rock tunes and modern hits like Born to Run, Heroes and Sweet Dreams, delivering a fun-filled, energetic and highly unique holiday show unlike anything seen and heard before and simulcast around all of Lake Eola.  

Violectric has also teamed back up with Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando for the pet-friendly show. Attendees are encouraged to bring their pets and a cash donation for Pet Alliance. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also return for meet-and-greets and family and pet photos, plus more surprises.  

December 15 | Holiday Movie at Lake Eola Park – Elf | East Lawn at Lake Eola Park  
Pack your blankets, chairs, and snacks for the whole family to enjoy Elf. Showtime is at 7 pm.  

December 22 | Holiday Movie at Lake Eola Park – The Nightmare Before Christmas | East Lawn at Lake Eola Park  
Pack your blankets, chairs, and snacks for the whole family to enjoy The Nightmare Before Christmas. Showtime is at 7 pm. 

Holiday Drone Show

This show will feature a dazzling display of synchronized drones flying in formation to create beautiful holiday-themed designs in the night sky. Attendees will be able to sit back and watch the 12-minute light show from the comfort of their own blankets and lawn chairs. It will begin at 8 pm, Saturday, December 23 at Lake Eola Park.

To make your experience seamless, plan your route in advance to ensure you're there on time to catch the show!


Parking Made Easy: Knowing where to park is easy! Check out nearby parking options here to make your arrival stress-free.


Ride for Free with SunRail: On Saturday, December 23, SunRail is offering free rides! Hop on and enjoy a hassle-free journey to the show.


Holiday Stroll Bonus: Why not make it a festive evening? After hopping off SunRail, explore the holiday stroll on your way to the lake, soaking in the joyful atmosphere and spreading holiday cheer.

Holiday Light Show on Luminary Green

Starting November 9, you can enjoy a 20-minute light show at the Orlando sign (located on the north end of the park) at Luminary Green Park. Watch as lights are projected onto the sign with a holiday twist.  

437 N. Terry Ave.  

Holiday Stroll

A festive journey awaits as you embark on a holiday stroll between scenic Lake Eola Park to the vibrant Central Business District in downtown Orlando. The path is adorned with whimsical ornaments and oversized holiday decor, transforming the cityscape into a winter wonderland. Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere as you meander through the heart of downtown Orlando, taking in the dazzling lights and joyful decorations that line your route. This holiday stroll promises a delightful fusion of nature, urban charm, and festive spirit, creating unforgettable memories along the way.


Enjoy the stroll between December 1, 2023 - January 6, 2023.
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Holiday Train Schedule

The train will be running on the North East Lawn at Lake Eola Park on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings beginning December 2 - 23 at 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Merry Market

Merry Market | Select Dates December 1 – December 23 | East Side of Lake Eola Park
Support local this season when shopping the Merry Market. Here, you'll shop from local vendors with products ranging from soaps, candles, jewelry, and more! You will find the market on the east side of Lake Eola Park beginning Friday, December 1 and every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday following. The final day for the market is Friday, December 23. The market will be open from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm.

Interested in vending? 
The Merry Market is at maximum capacity. Please contact Red Top Productions (321.202.5855) to be added to the waitlist and consideration for future years. In the event a market vendor has to cancel, an opportunity may become available. Thank you for your interest in the Merry Market! 

Luminary Green Park

'Tis the season for enchantment and wonder, and Luminary Green Park (437 North Terry Avenue., Orlando, FL 32801) is pulling out all the stops to make this holiday season unforgettable. At dusk, and twinkling through January 3, 2023, the park will be illuminated with captivating holiday activations, featuring the mesmerizing art installation, Loop, and a dazzling holiday light show segment.


Picture this: a retro-futuristic spectacle, a marriage of the music box, zoetrope, and railway handcar—welcome to Loop. This temporary art installation is an 8-foot-tall marvel that beckons visitors to step inside and become part of the magic. As you sit within the giant zoetrope, you are given the power to bring the animated images to life. Pump the bar, and watch as the two-meter diameter cylinders spin, unleashing hand-drawn animations inspired by Quebec literature. The speed of the whirring pictures, the flickering strobe effect, and the tempo of the accompanying music are all under your control, creating a unique and personalized experience.


Whether you're captivated by the enchanting Loop or mesmerized by the holiday light show, Luminary Green Park is a must visit this holiday season. So mark your calendars, gather your loved ones, and step into the magic at Luminary Green Park—it's an experience you won't want to miss!


Explore our interactive map.

Santa Letter Drop-off

Drop off your heartfelt letters to Santa by Saturday, December 23 at the Eola House (512 East Washington Avenue)! Our magical mailbox awaits your wishes, creating a memorable experience for both young and old. Join us in making this holiday season truly special as we come together to celebrate the joy of giving, sharing, and believing in the magic of Santa Claus.

Santa Schedule

Meet Santa | Select Dates December 2 – December 23 | Lake Eola House 
Meet Santa at the Eola House (512 E. Washington St., Orlando, FL 32801) on select dates in December. 

Santa will be at the Eola House every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Best of all, the experience is absolutely free!


Sensory Night

On Sunday, December 17, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm, immerse yourself in the magic of the holidays in a sensory-friendly environment. We've curated an evening of joy and comfort for everyone, featuring:
  • No/Low Music: Enjoy the festive atmosphere without stimulating sounds.
  • Quiet Place: A serene space with water, snacks, and calming vibes.
  • Fidget Spinners: Engage and relax with tactile sensory tools.
  • Noise-Canceling Headphones: Find tranquility amidst the holiday cheer.
  • Santa Line System: A thoughtful approach to meet Santa with ease.
  • Train Ride Line System: Hop aboard the holiday train stress-free!
Come and celebrate the magic of the season with us in a warm and inclusive setting.


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Snowfall Schedule

Snowfall | Select Dates December 1 – December 23 | Lake Eola House 
Experience snowfall in downtown Orlando this holiday season! Snow will fall on Washington St. by the Lake Eola House (located near the intersection of E. Washington St. and N. Eola Dr.).  

Snow will fall for 15 minutes on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings beginning December 1 – Saturday, December 23 at 6:15 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m., 9:15 p.m.