We are lucky enough to live in an area that is literally surrounded by theme parks and attractions, all within an hour and a half of us. During the holidays, these attractions kick up the holiday spirit and excitement to a whole new level. If you are trying to find some fun things to do with your family during winter break, look no further. The general Tampa and Orlando area provides plenty of holiday fun that anyone from ages two to 92 will enjoy.

Busch Gardens is hosting several classical traditions throughout the holiday season. Their Christmas on Ice ice-skating show kicked off in November and will go through Sunday, January 1. The show, held at the park’s Moroccan Palace, truly brings a graceful winter wonderland to life. Other holiday shows include Christmas from the Heart, featuring a live choir performing holiday gospel and spiritual songs. Christmas Celebration, held in the Desert Grill, is a musical featuring seasonal songs, tap-dancing toy soldiers and more. On Saturdays, December 3 and 10, families can meet Santa and his elves for breakfast at the Desert Grill from 8:30-10:30 a.m., followed by a Christmas Celebration performance. Prices for breakfast are $18 for adults, $12 for children and includes a free commemorative family photo. For more information about holiday activities happening at Busch Gardens, visit www.buschgardens.com.

LEGOLAND Florida is holding their first annual Christmas Bricktacular, featuring festive decorations and sounds, from Thursday, December 8-Saturday, December 31, in The Beginning and Fun Town. The Beginning will be home to a truly spectacular site, a 30-ft. tall tree made from 270,000 forest green LEGO and DUPLO bricks. The parks very first tree lighting ceremony will take place on Monday, December 5, with a special master of ceremonies. Kids will be even more delighted to find that Santa Claus will be making appearances every day in the botanical gardens. For more information on the holiday activities happening at LEGOLAND Florida, visit http://florida.legoland.com/.
Lowry Park Zoo is going to provide fun and activities this holiday season that you will not be able to find at any other attraction around. On select nights in December the zoo’s Wild Wonderland is going to have two animated displays for viewers: Visions of Sugarplums and Frozen Forest. The most exciting part for both kids and adults is that not only will Santa be making an appearance, so will real live reindeer. Wild Wonderland is held on Saturday, December 3, and Fridays-Sundays, 9-11, 16-23 and 26-31 from 6:30-10 p.m. For more information on Lowry Park Zoo, visit www.lowryparkzoo.com
Magic Kingdom in Orlando has kicked off Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and the fun will continue through Sunday, December 18. Held on select nights, the celebration goes from 7 p.m.-12 Midnight. There are meet and greet opportunities throughout the park with Disney characters and many of the rides are open for riders, but the tickets also include several features that are only available during the holidays. Park goers get to see Cinderella’s castle in lights, walk down Main Street, U.S.A. in the snow, indulge in complimentary cookies and cocoa, watch special holiday fireworks and watch Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, where kids get to see Santa flying in his sleigh. For more information or to reserve your ticket, visit http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/.

Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure includes several fun opportunities to get into the holiday spirit, starting off with the chance to see the Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular, a live show starring the Grinch. Kids are able to see characters both on and off stage, as the Whos from Whoville will be strolling through Seuss Landing when not performing. They will also have the opportunity to meet the Grinch in person and get a picture. For a more up close and personal touch, make reservations for a character breakfast, happening on Thursday-Sunday, December 1-4, Thursdays-Mondays, December 8-12 and 15-19 and Wednesday-Saturday, December 21-31. The breakfast price for children, ages 3-9, is $14.95 and the price for adults is $21.95, with tax and gratuity included in the price. Premier Passholders can receive a 15 percent discount while Preferred Passholders can receive a 10 percent discount. To make reservations call (407) 224-4012 or e-mail diningreservations@universalorlando.com.

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