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5 Destinations Around UCF To Help You “Charge On” Into the Holidays

With finals week looming just around the corner, it can be kind of hard to get into a festive mood in time for the holiday season. My end-of-the-year resolution for 2021 is to not be a total Scrooge and actually get my head out of the books for just a few hours every once in a while. If you have the same goal, here are some of the spots around UCF I’ll be visiting during this most wonderful time of the year.

Drive-Through Light Show

On December 5, 10, 11, and 12, head over to Central Winds Park in Winter Springs for a drive-through holiday light display. This is a great option in terms of remaining COVID safe, and is also free to everyone! The route will be open from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and you might just be able to spot Santa somewhere along the way! Click here for more info.

Oh, What fun at Lake Nona

Until January 2, Lake Nona’s Town Center will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland, with a whole bunch of cute holiday activities to join. From festive food trucks to a Christmas Tree Farm to Menorah Lighting, it’s impossible to leave without feeling a little more in the holiday swing of things. Click here for their full events calendar.

Boxi PArk Film Festival

This is an extension of the Lake Nona events, but Boxi Park is so cute that it deserves its own spot on the list. Boxi Park is right outside of the Town Center and features a variety of pop-up restaurants, each of which operates inside of a repurposed shipping container. On Wednesday evenings throughout December, they’re showing some favorite holiday movies, like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and Elf. See the previous link for more info on Boxi Park!

Asian Lantern Festival

If you aren’t celebrating any holidays this winter, or even if you are, here’s another festive event going on in the area. The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens are hosting the Asian Lantern Festival through January 16. It features traditional Asian lantern art, interactive installations and food vendors. It’s open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and tickets are about $20.

Stroll Through Disney Springs

Visit Disney Springs to see their collection of Christmas trees, each decorated with some of your favorite Disney characters and themes in mind, including Star Wars, Black Panther and The Night Before Christmas. While you’re there, you can grab a seasonal bite to eat and do some shopping for gifts, too! Find more info here.

We all know finals season can be pretty rough, but these cozy stops around UCF are sure to get you away from the stress and into the spirit just in time for winter break without breaking the bank. Good luck with your exams, and happy holidays!

Jordan Sammarco is a Biomedical Sciences major at the University of Central Florida, and is originally from the Jersey Shore. (Yes, like the TV show.) She is a vegetarian and passionate environmentalist/animal lover. Jordan spends her time listening to dad rock, obnoxiously laughing, and over-caffeinating herself.
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