Despite the absence of snow, Florida is still a very merry place to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Winter is an ideal time to visit the Sunshine State because the weather is simply glorious despite the absence of snow. The northern and central parts of the state can get chilly, while the southern half offers mild temperatures and bright sunny days. And with this beautiful moment people rush to Florida to make their Christmas holidays best. But they do not know what to do in Christmas Florida?
According to the 2020 census, Christmas is home to barely over 1,300 residents, with no stores and only a few public buildings, including a post office. Orlando Wetlands Park is the community’s major year-round attraction. With a spectacular use of water management land, this park is filled with easily accessible wildlife.
For those passing through the area around the December holidays or any time of the year, we offer you a nearly dozen reasons to stop and explore Christmas Florida.
History of Christmas Florida
In the 1820s and 30s, as settlers came to this Florida area, they found a simple Seminole population living here and called for them to be resettled west of the Mississippi. Few of the native Americans refused to give up their land, resulting in the Second Seminole War, which lasted from 1835-1842.
For troops moving south along the St. Johns River, 200 forts, including Christmas, were built to protect and hold supplies. On Christmas Day, 1837, the construction of Fort Christmas began when the U.S. Army and Alabama Volunteers arrived in the area. Over a week, they finished building.
In January 1838, until the fort was abandoned, a fixed garrison of two companies was maintained. In Orange County, Christmas is an unincorporated area today.
Fast Fact: In Florida, Christmas is one of many settings in John Green’s novel Paper Town (2008). In the book, three Orlando high school students journey to find their missing friend. At Christmas, an abandoned mall is one of the places where they search for her and find clues regarding her case.
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What to do in Christmas Florida? Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Florida
If you’re sick of the cold and want to trade pine trees for palm trees and white stuff for white sand, here are our favorite ways to celebrate the holiday season in the Sunshine State.
Celebrate with Mickey at Walt Disney World
It doesn’t get better during the most wonderful time of the year than “Most Magical Place on Earth.” From early November until just before Christmas, Mickey’s Merry Christmas Party takes place on a certain night in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park. You can also find exclusive attractions at Cinderella Castle, including Minnie’s Parade and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.
All the attractions will be decked for the season, and you’ll find plenty of themed food, drinks, and merchandise to make your holiday visit unforgettable. Whereas other Walt Disney World theme parks like Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Holiday Studios have special events planned for the season.
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The Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays is one of the most notable. Here, you can sample seasonal dishes and hear stories about unique Christmas traditions worldwide as you visit 11 countries of its World Showcase, including Canada, the UK, France, Morocco, Japan, the U.S., Italy, Germany, China, Norway, and Mexico.
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Explore Santa’s Enchanted Forest in Miami
Forget cozy pajamas and staying home during holidays. Explore the world’s largest themed park, Santa’s Enchanted Forest, which sports over 100 rides, shows, and games.
Find other attractions to remember your holiday visit, such as Mistletoe Lane, Christmas karaoke, South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree, a life-size holiday display, and a spectacular light show. If you opt to spend Christmas in Miami, there are numerous things to see during the holidays.
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Christmas Spirit year-around
While driving around Christmas, you’ll get holiday spirit by reading names like Rodolph Street, Dasher Street, and Blitzen Street. You can also find Antler Street, Bethlehem Street, Jingle Road, Hobby Horse Lane, and Reindeer Road.
Finding others won’t take much time. As you drive these streets, notice some homeowners never take down Christmas decorations. On the southwest corner of East Colonial Drive and Fort Christmas Road, you’ll find a decorated Christmas tree and crèche.
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Post office perks in Christmas, Florida
The post office ramps its holiday spirit from December 1 through Christmas Eve. Drop off mail at any time of year, and it will be sent to Orlando, where it will be marked “Orlando.” However, during the holidays, mail dropped off here will be sent to Orlando and postmarked “Christmas FL.”
If you can’t make it to Christmas to get the postmark in person, just box and mail your stamped, addressed card to this post office and let them handle it. During holidays, more than 1,000 cards and packages arrive here daily.
If you do make it here, you can make your mail look even more festive by decorating envelopes and packages with holiday rubber stamps supplied by the post office.
A special mailbox in the lobby for kids’ letters to Santa. These are sent to Orlando and answered by the jolly big guy himself (wink, wink).
Where: U.S Post Office; 23580 E. Colonial Dr., Christmas, FL 32709
When: Get your cards postmarked from Christmas, Florida, December 1 through December 24.
Set back in time.
Don’t miss the Fort Christmas Historical Park near the Orlando Wetlands Park.
This outdoor museum features a full-sized replica of Fort Christmas run by the county. Almost 140 years after the original fort came into service, it was finished in December 1977.
The original was a mile away along the St. Johns River. This park holds a variety of historic buildings moved to this 25-acre property. A map helps to find the exact location of buildings. You can discover the lifestyle of those living on Christmas from the 1870s to 1950s.
Every building school furnished office pieces appropriate to its period, from homes to schools, post offices, and artifacts. Being a child of the 1950s, the Partin Home and Barn were my favorite buildings. 1953, Emma and Dixie Partin built their first home in Cypress with indoor plumbing and electricity.
Now, that is part of the museum. The nearby barn was built from hand-hewn cypress poles the couple salvaged from their first home. Today, it houses a display of vintage farm equipment.
Where: Fort Christmas Historical Park, 1300 N. Fort Christmas Road
When: Open summer 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., winter 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closes Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
More Info: 407-568-4149
Tips: At the Fort Christmas Historical Park, groups of children enjoy the museum, which makes the morning busy. So, you may want to ramble through the buildings later in the day.
You won’t find any restaurant at Christmas. However, the museum property has shaded picnic areas if you wish to bring food.
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Swampy and his jungle adventure
Swampy was built in the 1980s by Hermon Brooks and welcomes you to the parking lot of Jungle Adventure. Over 200 feet, the alligator-shaped building is home to the gift shop, ticket counter, and offices of the roadside zoo.
When Brooks was in his sixties, he built an animal park that included a commercial alligator farm. It was originally named Gator Jungle.
Today, it’s known as “Real Florida Jungle,” featuring a Native American Village, a boat ride through the jungle on the Green Gator River, and guided tours with animal encounters. A good bet you’ll see alligators.
Where: Jungle Adventures and Swampy, 26206 E. Colonial Road 26205 East
When: Daily, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $25.95; seniors 60 and over, $22.95; children 3-11, $17.95; children under 3, free sales tax not included.
More Info: 407-568-2885
William Beardall Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area
While covering 30,500 acres on the banks of the north-flowing St. John River, the Tosochatchee Wildlife Management Area has attracted humans for the last 6,000 years. You can enjoy 60 miles of trails, fishing, and birding here, a stop along The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.
Primitive camping includes an equestrian camp, a group camp, and two composite camps along the Florida National Scenic Trail. RVs and car camping are not allowed; reservations should be made in advance by calling (407) 568-5893.
During the fall-winter hunting season, non-hunters should avoid this wildlife management area.
Where: Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area, Tylor Creek Road
When: Daily, 6 a.m. to sunset
Admission: The Daily-Use permit is $3 per person, with those under 16 or over 65 free. At the entrance fee kiosk, pay through cash or check. Display the hang tag on your vehicle.
More Information: 407-568-5893
Discover the story of Seabiscuit’s sculptor
It’s not inviting, but the Christmas Cemetery, visible from North Christmas Road, is the final resting place of famed western sculptor James Hughlette “Tex” Wheeler.
According to the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, From 1940 to 41, wheeler cast two bronze statues from Seabiscuit while the horse-racing legend was still alive.
Where to eat and stay
You won’t find any restaurant or overnight accommodation besides the Christmas RV Park in Christmas.
About 10 miles East, the nearest hotels are at the Titusville exit off Interstate 95. For east and west restaurants of Christmas, check this out and review it.
In Christmas, Florida, visitors can immerse themselves in a charming holiday atmosphere year-round. One of the must-visit spots is the historic Fort Christmas Historical Park, where travelers can explore restored pioneer homes, a replica schoolhouse, and an array of historical artifacts. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Orlando Wetlands Park offers a serene escape, providing opportunities for bird-watching and enjoying the natural surroundings. Additionally, the town hosts the annual Christmas Parade, a festive event that captures the spirit of the season with colorful floats, marching bands, and community cheer. Whether exploring history, enjoying nature, or partaking in local festivities, Christmas, Florida, offers a unique and festive experience for visitors of all ages.