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‘Tis The Season

With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s time to take a look at the festivities happening around us. From merry musicals and illuminating light displays to cheery parades and holiday markets, there’s so much to do and so much to celebrate.

Magical Night of Hope

Aquanauts to Astronauts
While Santa claims the sky, delivering presents to good boys and girls, brave men and women venture into the depths of the sea and space to further human understanding of the world beyond our own. Visit the History of Diving Museum’s newest exhibit to learn more.
History of Diving Museum, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $7-$15, Islamorada,

The Christmas Mansion
The Stetson Mansion is Florida’s most historic private residence and had one of the first trees ever decked out with electric lights. During the Christmas season, the owners deck the halls and invite in visitors to tour the home and their impressive displays. 
Stetson Mansion, times vary, $15-$38, Deland,

NOV. 10-DEC. 16
A Swingin’ Christmas: The Holiday Music of Tony Bennett
Ring in the holidays with Tony Bennet’s 18 classic holiday tunes plus Bennett’s most popular numbers like “The Good Life” and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
Winter Park Playhouse, times vary, $20-$46, Winter Park,

NOV. 13-DEC. 23
Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!
Based on the best-selling book series, Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park, Allison Gregory’s holiday show follows Junie B. as she prepares for her school’s Holiday Song-Along and Secret Santa—after drawing the name of her first-grade nemesis. 
Orlando Family Stage, times vary, $15-$45, Orlando,

NOV. 17-DEC. 25
Holinights Celebration
Come together for the Promenade’s Holinights Celebration, featuring Santa Claus and his mischievous elves, toy soldiers, live music and the nightly lighting of their 42-foot Illuminated Christmas tree.
Promenade at Sunset Walk, 6-9:30 p.m., free, Kissimmee,

NOV. 17-JAN. 3
Christmas at Gaylord Palms Resort
Check out Gaylord Palms’ signature holiday event “ICE!” featuring scenes from A Charlie Brown Christmas carved from more than 2 million pounds of ice.
Gaylord Palms Resort, times vary, $22.99-$32.99, Kissimmee,

NOV. 17-JAN. 6
Dazzling Nights
Back for its fourth year, Orlando’s 50-acre Harry P. Leu Gardens transforms once again into a stunning winter wonderland featuring Moroccan lanterns, interactive light-up pads, a brand-new light show and so much more.
Harry P. Leu Garden, various entry times from 5:30-9 p.m., $19-$27, Orlando,

NOV. 18-JAN. 7
Colorful Christmas
Unleash your creative side as you undergo SNOWtastic adventures and create unique gifts in order to help Santa and his friends save the holiday. 
Crayola Experience, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., $25.99, Orlando,

NOV. 18-JAN 31.
Night of Lights
Don’t miss your chance to see one of the top 10 holiday light displays in the world as millions of lights shine down on downtown St. Augustine.
Downtown St. Augustine, 6 p.m., free, St. Augustine,

NOV. 24-DEC. 23
Moonshine and Mistletoe
Moonshine & Mistletoe is a musical valentine to a bygone era with a touching family story and is a wholesome holiday theatrical event for the entire family. 
Garden Theatre, times vary, $45-$75, Winter Garden,

NOV. 25
Home for the Holidays
Experience a reimagined and lively Home for the Holidays under the baton of Assistant Conductor Mauricio Céspedes-Rivero with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.
Steinmetz Hall, 3:30 & 7:30 p.m., tickets from $46.54, Orlando,

NOV. 26
Handel’s Messiah
With this performance, Messiah Choral Society celebrates 51 years of gifting the Central Florida community with free performances of what is widely regarded as one of the finest and most well-known classical music works ever written.
Steinmetz Hall, 2 p.m., free, Orlando,

NOV. 29-DEC. 24
A Christmas Carol
Discover the true meaning of Christmas alongside the miserable Ebenezer Scrooge as the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet attempt to show him the errors of his ways and fill his heart with compassion and joy.
Orlando Shakes, times vary, $27.30-$37.80, Orlando,

NOV. 20-DEC. 3
It’s A Wonderful Life
Reimagined for the stage as a live radio broadcast, this unique adaptation will be sure to warm hearts as it reconnects audiences with its universal tale of love and redemption.
Teco Theater, 7 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. and 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun., $26.25, Tampa,

DEC. 1
Holiday Traditions Around the World
This fast-paced musical takes the audience on a world tour to experience traditions, dances, songs and stories from Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and more. The show is part of the Straz Center’s Field Trip Series and is recommended for grades K-3.
Ferguson Hall, 10:30 a.m., $8.50, Tampa,

Handel’s Messiah

I-Drive District Holiday Tree Lighting
Kick off the holiday season with a glittering 50-foot tree-lighting ceremony.
ICON Park, 6 p.m., free, Orlando,

Light Up Winter Garden 2023
The 36th annual Light Up Winter Garden will turn downtown into a winter wonderland and kick off the city’s 39 days of “Tis the Season.”
City Hall, 6-9 p.m., free, Winter Garden,

A Christmas Carol
The CFCArts Youth Theatre Troupe is ringing in the holidays and spreading Christmas cheer with the classic and beloved tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.
Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, 7 p.m., $20-$25, Orlando,

DEC. 1-23
Winter Wonderland
With new and exciting events happening every day, this wonderland is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
Wekiva Island, Sun.-Thurs. 8 a.m.-7 p.m. & Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m.-11 p.m., $5, Longwood,

DEC. 1-31
The DeLand Christmas Light Show
View more than 10,000 LED lights from your car and listen over the radio as the music coincides with the illuminated display.
Stetson Baptist Church, 5:30-8:30 p.m., free, DeLand,

Merry Market
Tidy up your holiday shopping list while supporting local businesses at this holiday market featuring products from candles and soaps to jewelry and more. 
East Side of Lake Eola Park, Fri.-Sun. 5:30-9:30 p.m., free, Orlando,

DEC. 2
71st Annual Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade
Celebrate the holidays with Central Florida’s oldest continuous holiday parade featuring over 80 organizations including marching bands, emergency services and, of course, a guest appearance by Santa Claus. 
Park Avenue, 9-10:30 a.m., free, Winter Park,

Holiday Photo Shoot
Remember the holidays with free holiday-themed portraits. Registration required. 
Orange County Library System, Orlando Public Library, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., free, Orlando,

Holiday Car Show
Take a trip down memory lane during Waterford Lakes’ car show with a holiday twist featuring prizes, collectible license plates, a Santa Claus photo op and more.
Waterford Lakes Town Center, 4-7 p.m., free, Orlando,

DEC. 2-3 & 7-9
Journey Thru Christmas
Follow the story of Jesus Christ with a 25-minute outdoor dramatic walk featuring live animals and over 100 cast members before enjoying some homemade cookies and hot chocolate.
Volusia County Baptist Church, 6 p.m., free, Orange City,

DEC. 3
Light Up SoDo
Get ready to experience Santa and Mrs. Claus, a maker’s market, food trucks, stilt walkers, a beer and wine garden, live performances and more at this family fun event. 
SoDo Main Street District, 2-6 p.m., suggested donations of $5 for individuals and $10 for families, Orlando,

Krampusfest 2023
In some cultures, Santa Claus is accompanied by Krampus who instead of giving presents to good kids, snatches the bad ones. This holiday season, Krampus is headed to Orlando.
The Milk District, 1-9 p.m., free, Orlando,

DEC. 5
Elder Luncheon
Windermere residents 60 and older are invited to celebrate the holidays over lunch at Town Hall.
Town Hall, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., free, Windermere, Town.Windermere.Fl.Us

DEC. 7-8
Christmas At The Movies: A Very Merry Sequel
Join the Central Florida Community Choir in festive merriment while enjoying a 300-voice choir and powerful symphony orchestra.
Northland Church, 7:30 p.m., $10-$30, Longwood,

DEC. 7-17
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids—probably the most inventively awful kids in history.
Theatre Winter Haven, times vary, $33-$36, Winter Haven,

DEC. 7-23
Oh, What Fun! Holiday Festival
With nightly snowfalls, live entertainment, photo ops and memorable encounters that will amaze and enchant, this event promises a magical holiday experience for all. 
Lake Nona Town Center, times vary, free, Lake Nona,

DEC. 8-10
Sounds of the Season Christmas Concert
St. Luke’s UMC’s annual Christmas concert is sure to delight with a massive Community Choir, vibrant dancers and a melodic live orchestra.
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Friday and Saturday 7 p.m. & Sunday 2:30 p.m., $7-$30, St.Lukes.Org/ChristmasConcert

DEC. 8-24
The Nutcracker
In this universally beloved ballet, follow young Clara as dreams of her favorite Christmas gift—a nutcracker from the town’s toymaker.
Steinmetz Hall, Thurs.-Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. & Sun. 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., $29-$525, Orlando,

DEC. 9
Magical Night of Hope
Help to provide critically ill children and their families weeklong magical vacations while enjoying a dazzling Christmas concert featuring personalities from the Disney YouTube community. 
Give Kids The World Village, 6 p.m., $50-$150, Kissimmee,

Holiday Golf Cart Street Parade
Gather around as residents from Sherwood Forest RV Resort decorate and present their personal golf carts in full holiday flair. 
Old Town’s Main Street, 6:30 p.m., free, Kissimmee,

11th Annual Violectric Holiday Show
Violectric’s energetic holiday concert combines popular holiday songs with classic and modern rock hits. 
The Walt Disney Amphitheatre, 7 p.m., free, Lake Eola,

DEC. 13
Pentatonix: The Most Wonderful Tour of The Year
Celebrate the holidays with Grammy Award-winning American a capella group Pentatonix as they perform holiday hits from their 2017 deluxe album “A Pentatonix Christmas.”
Amway Center, 7:30 p.m., $55.50+, Orlando,

A Christmas Symphony 
English soprano singer Sarah Brightman has performed on Broadway, the West End, and the Barcelona and Beijing Olympic Games. Now she’s headed to Orlando to spread some holiday cheer with her Christmas symphony.
Walt Disney Theater, 8 p.m., $49.50-$1,225, Orlando,

DEC. 13-31
Holiday Nights
Head over to Margaritaville Resorts, Island H2O Water Park for some family fun including nightly entertainment, dazzling lights, photo ops, s’mores kits and more. 
Island H20 Live!, 6-10 p.m., $29.99-$34.99, Kissimmee,

DEC. 15
Magic of the Holidays
Celebrate the holidays with the entire family at The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays, a mind-blowing spectacle featuring the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth.
Walt Disney Theater, 8 p.m., $30-$89, Orlando,

Sugar Plum Fairy’s Winter Tale
Join the Orlando Metropolitan Ballet as they enchant audiences with the elegance and charm of a winter-themed ballet.
Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, 7 p.m., tickets from $52.75, Orlando,

DEC. 15-30
Magic of McKee Festival of Lights
Walk through a dazzling light display, experience the magic of a snowy day, view holiday movies and more at McKee Botanical Garden this holiday season.
McKee Botanical Garden, 6-8 p.m., $10-$15, Vero Beach,

DEC. 16
Santa Social
Come out for bilingual story time with Santa, enjoy a holiday movie and more during the festive fun event. 
Waterford Lakes Town Center, 5-9 p.m., free, Orlando,

Florida Philharmonic: Home for the Holidays
Get in the holiday spirit with the exquisite sounds of the Florida Philharmonia—made up of 50 professional musicians from around the state and guest musicians of international renown.
Clermont Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m., $20-$30, Clermont,

Witness a heartwarming and classic adventure that’s brimming with wonder and joy.
Lake Eola Amphitheater, times TBD, prices TBD, Orlando,

DEC. 17
Orlando Big Band: A White Christmas
The Orlando Big Band will perform classic Christmas tunes from “Jingle Bells” to “Santa Baby.”
Ritz Theater, 3 p.m., $28-$35, Sanford,

DEC. 20
Holiday DIY Crafts
Create holiday crafts and simple gifts during this fun for the whole family event.
Orange County Library System, Washington Park Branch, 4-5 p.m., free, Orlando,

DEC. 22
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Join the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for their special show “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve.”
Amway Center, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., prices vary, Orlando,

DEC. 26-JAN 8.
Winter Art Camp
Looking for a fun and engaging way to keep your kids entertained over winter break? Enroll them in a winter art camp where they’ll create using textures, colors, shapes, and more as they discover the magic of art.
Orlando Museum of Art, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. p.m., $55-$60 per day or $445.50-$486 for all nine days, Orlando,

DEC. 31
Midnight Kiss: A Winter Wonderland New Year’s Eve Celebration
Welcome 2024 with a winter wonderland themed New Year’s Eve bash featuring specialty cocktails, a midnight buffet, live DJ and entertainment, ice sculptures, free digital souvenir photo and raffle giveaways.
Ice Bar, 7 p.m., $50-$150, Orlando,