Cool Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Florida

How to Have a Cool Florida Christmas

It may feel like summer, but believe it or not, it’s Christmas in Florida, too. However, since we’re more about white sandy beaches than a blanket of snow, getting into the spirit requires some creativity. Take it from a lifelong Sunshine Stater, celebrating the holidays in Florida is as easy as key lime pie.

A Very Disney Christmas

As the resident Disney Mom, a trip to Walt Disney World always makes my holiday wish list. After all, nothing says Florida Christmas like Disney. The parks and resorts glisten with holiday cheer, from amazing lights and decorations to special treats. Visit the Magic Kingdom to experience all the magic of a Disney holiday, or do some shopping at Disney Springs. Plus, don’t miss the larger-than-life gingerbread creations at select hotels. I guarantee you’ll have visions of sugarplums dancing in your head in no time.

Christmas at Walt Disney World
Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom is draped in festive ice lights during the holidays. This view never gets old.

Can’t make it to the parks this year? Hakuna matata! Instead, curl up at home and watch streams of Disney holiday fireworks courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog. It’s the next best thing to being there.

Light it Up

Maybe you need a plethora of twinkling lights to spark your Florida Christmas spirit. Well, look no further than our roundup of holiday light displays all around the Tampa Bay area! Then, once you’ve “ooohed” and “aaahed” to your heart’s content, it’s time to enjoy the holiday displays a little closer to home. Whip up a frozen hot chocolate, hop in the car, blast the A/C, and check out the lights in your neighborhood. Seriously, Christmas lights on palm trees is a longstanding Florida tradition.

Light mazes and more at Enchant St. Petersburg
Need a holiday light fix to get you in the spirit? Tropicana Field sports a massive display this year at Enchant St. Petersburg.

Florida Holiday on Ice

If you came here from colder climes, you probably carry fond memories of ice skating during the holidays. And now you can glide into Christmas here in the Sunshine State, too! Lace ‘em up at ice rinks from Enchant Christmas in St. Petersburg to the Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park. In addition, you can skate year-round at Westfield Coutryside Mall, in case your cool-weather mojo stretches into January. Or, you know, June.

For even more frozen fun, be sure to cheer on our Tampa Bay Lightning this season. Here’s hoping Christmas in Florida brings our boys in blue good luck this season!

Florida Christmas on ice
When a native Floridian tries ice skating for the first time, you never know what can happen!

The Ultimate Christmas in Florida

Let’s face it, you probably moved here to bask in the Florida sun, right? Of course, that means a visit to the beach! Park your beach chairs, put your toes in the sand, and take part in the nightly sunset celebration at Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach. Then head down to the Trop to wander the light maze at Enchant Christmas. It’s the best of both Christmas worlds. Just don’t forget to share lots of beach selfies with your friends and family stuck up North. Trust me – they’ll love you for it!

Kathy’s family moved to Tampa when she was 5, and aside from a few years at the University of Florida (Go Gators!), she’s never lived anywhere else. She’s Irish by heritage, Greek by marriage, and mom to one brilliant little boy. She’s an avid sports fan and lived her Disney-geek dream as a member of the 2015 Disney Parks Moms Panel. A former TV producer and PR pro, Kathy now proudly sports the title of stay-at-home mom. Follow her sports-loving, Disneyfied, Tampa-centric antics on Twitter @kathyk671.