Winter festivities: what you can do to get into the holiday spirit

Riley Green, Photographer

People may think it’s hard to find winter activities to do in Florida because of the warm climate, but there are plenty of holiday-like activities around the local area to do. Some activities to do this winter are going to pick out a Christmas tree, watching holiday movies, baking holiday treats and much more.

Going to get a Christmas tree is a very common way to start the holiday season. Going to pick a tree and then going home to decorate it is a great way to spend time with family and get into the holiday spirit. Many people have fake trees, having the fake tree still allows you to get into the feel while decorating but takes out the hassle of going to get the tree.

One thing that people can do to get in the winter spirit is go to Tradewinds Park and drive through the Holiday Fantasy of Lights. This event is a three-mile drive through that lasts from Nov. 23 through Jan. 1, 2023. It costs $24 per car and they also offer 3D glasses for $2, which make the lights pop up beautifully.

There are multiple holiday events specific to areas around the Florida area. Parkland, for example, has a Snowfest that is only open to Parkland residents. Registration is open now until the event. Snowfest will occur on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Parkland Equestrian Center. This event includes snow slides, food trucks, crafts, music and more.

Parkland is also hosting a home decorating contest that starts on Dec. 6 and the winner will be announced on Dec. 9. Coconut Creek has its Winter Extravaganza. The Winter Extravaganza is held on Dec. 8 at the recreation complex. There will be two sessions you can choose from, session one, which runs from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and session two, which runs from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

This event includes crafts, food trucks, music, and Frozen character meet and greets. It is $5 for Coconut Creek residents and $10 for non-residents. Registration is open until Dec. 7 or until it is full.

Starbucks has a vast holiday menu that includes items such as peppermint hot chocolate, peppermint mocha, caramel brulee latte, sugar cookie almond milk latte, chestnut praline and more. Every season has its own flavor set that people think of when they think of the holidays and Starbucks is helping bring those flavors to drinks.

Baking holiday treats while drinking hot chocolate is a staple to the holiday season. This could be anything from cookies to peppermint bark. They all have the taste of the holidays. Some popular things that people bake during the holiday season are gingerbread cookies, peppermint bark, sugar cookies and more.

Holiday movies have always been a staple of the holiday season. Streaming services such as Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video all have a variety of holiday movies to stream, which include, but are not limited to: Elf, A Christmas Story, The Grinch and more.

Decorating is always a major part of the holiday season for many families. Stores such as Walmart, Target, Amazon and Home Depot all have a wide variety of items you can buy to decorate your home or office, either online or in store. For more creative people, there are also DIY options for making their own decorations, such as painting, making ornaments, making a gingerbread house and making paper snowflakes. These are fun ways to get into the holiday spirit.

Many places, such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, have holiday events that allow visitors to get the holiday feel. Universal Studios has festive balloon parades and decorations all throughout the park, including in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and more. Walt Disney World has massive Christmas trees spread between its properties. Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays and all the characters have a holiday twist.

The holiday season is a great time to get into the giving spirit. Many organizations, such as Toys for Tots, hold toy drives to help less fortunate children. Toy drives are another great way to get into the holiday spirit and to give to kids whose parents may not be able to afford gifts for them this holiday season.

Even though Florida is not a perfect image of the winter scene, there are still many things to do. Whether it is going to a city event, making decorations, trying different holiday drinks and foods, watching holiday movies and more. The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, so you should embrace it.