When we think of winter in Florida, we think of sunshine, light sweaters, and snowbirds coming down to escape the icy winters of the North. We rarely see snow in the Sunshine State and when it does occur, it surprises the Florida residents every time. For locals who want to experience the typical winter wonderland without traveling far, look no further than an hour or two outside of Central Florida for those snowy cold experiences.
Enchant Christmas – St. Petersburg, FL
Located at Tropicana Field, Enchant is a winter experience featuring a light maze, ice skating trail, and a winter village filled with vendors and all things holiday. It also features visits with Santa and a kid zone where children can play in the winter wonderland while parents relax and unwind. They offer special ticket opportunities like special rates for groups and special theme nights like ‘Paws and Claus,’ where you can bring your furry friend, and Enchant will donate a meal to a shelter dog. According to their website, tickets are $34 for adults and $25 for juniors (3-17), and the event will run from now until December 31.
WinterClub Ski and Snowboard – Winter Park, FL
Right in Central Florida, WinterClub gives Floridians the opportunity to ride the slopes without having to travel to the nearest mountain range. According to their website, their “state-of-the-art ski center features two indoor ski slopes plus an interactive panoramic ski simulator built specifically for training and advancing your skills in winter sports.” Whether you’re brushing up on your skills or have never stepped on the slope before, WinterClub has the experience for you. Their sessions are priced at $79/ person for a group session, $89/ person for a semi-private, and $129/ person for a private session. They also have a season pass for six sessions for the price of five.
ICE! At Gaylord Palms – Kissimmee, FL
Also located in Central Florida, ICE! features iconic and spectacular scenes from ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ According to their website, the entire attraction is carved from 2 million pounds of ice. It features 10 scenes with sculptures of the loveable characters from Charlie Brown like Snoopy, Sally and Linus, as well as two-stories-tall slides made of ice. Inside is held at nine degrees and the Gaylord Palms signature blue parkas are provided with the tickets. Tickets start at $32.99 for adults and $22.99 for children, and the event runs until January 3.
Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park – Dade City, FL
Snowcat Ridge is a park with many fun activities for all ages. With an admission ticket, patrons can ride a tube down a 60-foot tall and 400-foot long icy slope, play with real snow in arctic igloos, and ice skate around their Crystal Ribbon. Snowcat Ridge also features a village with a food court and shopping and a private igloo rental for a personal experience. The snow park opens December 3 and is open for select dates through February 25.
Tickets start at $30.95 online and are $5 more at the box office. Running until December 24, Snowcat Ridge will hold Santa’s Christmas Lane. Access to this attraction includes an admission ticket and features many winter activities for the family. They have a meet and greet with Santa, storytime with Mrs. Claus and Peppermint Play Zone, a candy-themed play area.
St. Armands Circle Winter Spectacular – Sarasota, FL
Located on the West coast of Florida, the St. Armands Circle Winter Spectacular is the perfect day-cation for the family. The event runs from now until January 3, and tickets are $10 for Winterland admission and $20 for Winterland admission and Candy Cane Ice-Skating Rink tickets. It features entertainment from local performers, a carousel, a Polar Palm Express train ride, a photo opportunity in a life-sized snow globe, and arts and crafts in the Winterland Workshop. The event also features a Reindeer Scavenger Hunt within the shops around the circle for guests to win prizes.