Top Holiday Events to Experience in South Florida & Washington, D.C.

November 9, 2023

As the year winds down and the festive spirit takes over, there's no better way to celebrate than by experiencing the holiday events in Miami, Orlando, and Washington, D.C. Each city, with its unique cultural offerings, lights up in its own special way during this season. From the sun-drenched beaches of Miami to the theme park capital of Orlando, and to the historical landscape of Washington, D.C., there's a wealth of attractions to explore. In this blog, we'll be taking you on a journey through some of the must-see holiday events in these vibrant cities. So, get ready to step into the holiday season with style as we guide you through these unforgettable experiences.

Top 2023 Holiday Events in Miami, FL

The holiday season is a spectacular time to experience Miami, with a host of festive events to explore. Immerse yourself in the vibrant holiday parades, lively music festivals, captivating light displays, and gourmet food markets that South Florida has to offer. Whether you're a local or a holiday visitor, these unforgettable experiences are not to be missed. For reliable and luxurious transportation to all the best holiday events in Miami, look no further than U.S. Sedan Service Worldwide. Experience the enchantment of the holiday season in South Florida - secure your transportation now with our curated list of top events below!

Santa’s Enchanted Forest: November 9 - January 7 @ 7500 NW 87th Avenue

It doesn't truly feel like Christmas in Miami until you've snapped a photo in front of the tunnel of lights leading to Santa's Enchanted Forest. This local holiday tradition, held in Doral, features thrilling midway rides, elaborate Christmas scenes, music, animals, and hundreds of thousands of lights. Despite the lack of winter chill, a visit to Santa's will immerse you in the holiday spirit. The attraction is usually open from 5 p.m. to midnight, with extended hours on busy nights and weekends.

This all-ages holiday fest returns to its location at 7500 NW 87th Avenue, on the northwest corner of 87th Avenue and 74th Street, for the 2023 season. The venue spans over 40 acres and includes more than three entrances and ample parking.

The park offers over 100 rides, shows, games, and attractions. Revel in the spectacular lights and dazzling displays, and bring the kids to meet Santa. With over 50 food stands, there's a wide variety of treats to enjoy. Hailed as the world’s largest holiday theme park, Santa’s Enchanted Forest is a must-visit for everyone this holiday season.

Thanksgiving Dinner in Miami: November 23 @ Various Locations

Perhaps this year, you've decided to break away from the traditional setting of Thanksgiving and instead, enjoy your holiday under the warm, comforting shade of palm trees. Or, perhaps you're already a local inhabitant who has chosen to stay put for the festive season. Regardless of your circumstances, one thing is certain - the locale is positively bustling with an array of fantastic dining establishments, each ready to host spectacular Thanksgiving dinners.

Whether you're in the mood for a classic turkey dinner served in an upscale steakhouse setting like Bourbon Steak, or you're thinking of a more relaxed, breezy buffet experience at the Biltmore Hotel's Fontana, the choices are abundant. So, whether you are just visiting or calling it home, this destination is ready to serve you a delightful Thanksgiving feast, ensuring a memorable holiday experience.

Miami Beach Holiday Festival Of Lights: December 1-23 @ Multiple Venues

Celebrate the holiday season at the Miami Beach Holiday Festival of Lights. This series of live musical performances is presented by the Miami Beach Classical Music Festival (MMF) and produced by Artistic Director, Michael Rossi. The event runs on select nights from December 1 through December 23. It features a combination of music, lights, and projection mapping displays, all celebrating various international holiday traditions. Attendees can enjoy a live music program spanning diverse genres, and appearances by holiday characters like Santa Claus, The Grinch, and Elsa.

The outdoor performances take place at iconic Miami Beach venues, including Lincoln Road, The Gabriel South Beach, and The Betsy Hotel. MMF uses innovative projection mapping technology to turn the venue building facades into interactive displays filled with vibrant imagery triggered by live music.

Performances start at 6:30 PM, 7:30 PM, and 8:30 PM. Here's the schedule:

December 1 - 2

Lincoln Road at Euclid Oval

Euclid Ave. and Lincoln Road

December 15 - 16

The Gabriel South Beach

640 Ocean Drive

December 22 - 23

The Betsy Hotel

1440 Ocean Drive

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker: December 15-24 @ Arsht Center


Showtimes Vary.

Experience the magic of Miami City Ballet's (MCB) production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® this holiday season. With Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, stunning set designs by Cuban-American artists Ruben and Isabel Toledo, breathtaking stage effects by Wendall K. Harrington, and a cast of over 100 dancers, this celebrated classic truly comes to life. MCB's The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition that should not be missed. In the upcoming 2023 / 24 season, this holiday favorite will return to the Arsht Center for 13 performances. It's recommended for ages 4 and up.

Holiday Season with Ballet Stars: December 29-30 @ Arsht Center

Starting: 7:00 PM

Experience a holiday showcase of superstar dancers from premier dance companies worldwide at the Arsht Center on Friday, December 29, and Saturday, December 30. The Holiday Season with Ballet Stars features an all-star cast including Natalia Osipova, Ludmila Pagliero, Christine Shevchenko, Mira Nadon, Xin Ying, Anastasia Matviienko, Mathieu Ganio, Aran Bell, Denis Matviienko, Lloyd Knight, Jason Kittelberger, Peter Walker, and others. These dancers hail from Israel, Ukraine, The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Martha Graham Dance Company, New York City Ballet, and Opera de Paris. Their performances will showcase choreography by Mikhail Fokine, George Balanchine, Roland Petit, Kenneth MacMillan, Alexei Ratmansky, Wayne McGregor, Justin Peck, Edward Gluck, and Jason Kittelberger.

The Ballet Support Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports dancers and dance projects internationally, presents the show.

Top 2023 Holiday Events in Orlando, FL

The magic of the holiday season is also alive and thriving in Orlando, with a myriad of festive events that fill the air with joy and cheer. Renowned for its theme parks, Orlando offers a unique blend of entertainment, vibrant parades, magnificent light displays, and unforgettable holiday experiences. U.S. Sedan Service Worldwide is now serving the Orlando region with our exceptional fleet, providing safe, reliable, and luxurious transportation to all the best holiday events. So sit back, relax, and let us take care of your travel needs as we guide you through some of the top holiday events to look forward to in Orlando, FL.

Holiday Makers Market: December 2 @ St. Luke’s UMC

From 10:00 am – 3:00 pm 

Get ready for another fantastic, festive Holiday Makers Market on December 2nd. The event will feature over 50 local makers and artists.

The Holiday Makers Market will offer a carefully curated selection of handcrafted gifts, ranging from bespoke jewelry to artisanal foods. Whether you are looking for a unique gift for a special someone or a treat for yourself, you're sure to find something delightful.

While visiting, enjoy lunch from one of the delicious food trucks and meet with local organizations and businesses that support Orlando’s art community. The market will showcase Art, Pottery, Wood, Textiles, Glass, Metal, Jewelry, Leather, Paper, Upcycle products, and more!

Admission is free, so bring the whole family for a day of fun!

Epcot International Holiday Festival: November 23-December 30 @ Disney World

The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, presented by AdventHealth, is a special event hosted at the EPCOT theme park in Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The festival is a celebration of the holiday season and offers a variety of unique experiences for attendees. One of the main highlights of the festival is the stirring story of Christmas, narrated by a surprise celebrity and accompanied by a glorious massed choir. This performance also features a 50-piece orchestra and herald trumpets, providing a truly festive and immersive experience

In addition to this, EPCOT is known for its exciting attractions, themed festivals, international cuisine, and live entertainment. Therefore, attendees can expect to enjoy these offerings enhanced with a holiday twist. For instance, the park's various international pavilions may offer special holiday-themed food and drink options, and the live entertainment will include holiday music or performances.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: November 9-December 23 @ Disney World

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event that takes place at Magic Kingdom on selected nights throughout the holiday season at Walt Disney World. The park fills with joyful music, Disney Characters dress in their most festive attire, and enchanting holiday entertainment is found almost everywhere.

Guests with tickets can enjoy the festive Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks show, watch Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade travel down the parade route, and take holiday photos with beloved Disney friends in their Christmas attire. The elaborate decorations bring the spirit of the season to life, offering a multitude of additional experiences.

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: November 17-December 31 @ Universal Studios

For the seventh year in a row, Christmas is being celebrated at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The holiday festivities span across both Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida. These experiences have become a favorite among both muggles and wizards over the years.

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter consists of four parts. A variety of holiday decorations, including unique decor for each of the wizarding shops, adorn both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Festive live entertainment includes yuletide performances by the Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. The day ends with The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle, a projection-mapping show that dazzles guests.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration: November 10-January 2 @ SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Celebration is much more than a regular holiday event; it's a magical winter spectacle that brings the joy and spirit of Christmas to life in the most extraordinary way. As soon as you step into the park, you're greeted by a sea of sparkling lights and festive decorations that instantly transport you to a yuletide wonderland. The atmosphere buzzes with excitement and anticipation, making it impossible not to get swept up in the holiday spirit.

Live shows are held throughout the event, each one promising a unique and memorable experience. These performances range from enchanting holiday-themed productions to spectacular aquatic shows, all designed to amaze and entertain visitors of all ages.

But the magic doesn't stop there. A special feature of SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is the opportunity to meet and greet Santa Claus himself. Whether you've been naughty or nice, Santa is always ready to listen to your holiday wishes, making this a cherished experience, especially for younger visitors.

The immersive experience continues as you stroll through the park, with its transformation into a winter wonderland. The captivating holiday displays are designed to dazzle and impress, each one more spectacular than the last. From beautifully lit Christmas trees to enchanting holiday scenes, these displays are a feast for the eyes.

The grand finale of the celebration is a breathtaking fireworks display that lights up the night sky in a riot of colors. It's a fitting end to a day filled with joy and celebration, leaving visitors with lasting memories of a truly magical Christmas event.

Top 2023 Holiday Events in Washington, D.C.

As we turn our attention to the capital, Washington, D.C., it is also brimming with a host of festive holiday events. From the iconic National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony to the festive ice skating rinks, there's something for everyone in the nation's capital. And, let's not forget the beautiful displays at ZooLights and the unique holiday boat parades at The Wharf. U.S. Sedan Service Worldwide is your go-to for luxurious, reliable transportation to all these events and more. With our exceptional fleet of vehicles, we're ready to transport you to these festive experiences in style and comfort. Stay tuned as we unveil our top picks for the holiday season in Washington, D.C.

Run America's Trot for Hunger - November 23 @ Freedom Plaza

The event includes both timed and untimed 5Ks, and a Little Turkey 1-Miler, making it suitable for various skill levels.

Upon completion of the race, participants can enjoy family-friendly activities, including music, food tastings, live entertainment, and more.

DC Holiday Market: November 17-December 23 @ Downtown DC

This race has been held in DC for the past 22 years, with the funds raised going towards SOME, an organization supporting DC residents in need. The race begins at Freedom Plaza in Downtown DC and follows a route along the National Mall, past the US Capitol and other notable DC sites.The 19th Annual Downtown Holiday Market, an outdoor shopping village in Washington D.C., begins the holiday season on Friday, November 17. This cherished outdoor market continues to bolster small businesses and entrepreneurs from around the region, inviting shoppers to a safe, secure, and enhanced shopping experience in the city's heart this year.

Managed by the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) and Diverse Markets Management, this year's market will span two whole blocks of F Street NW, from 7th to 9th Streets NW. The main grand entrance, located on the sidewalk in front of the National Portrait Gallery, leads to the outdoor shopping village's wide aisles for shopping, browsing, and enjoying food and live entertainment.

This year's retail lineup includes over 70 exhibitors, featuring Black-owned and minority-owned businesses from the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development’s (DSLBD) Made in DC program. Six food vendors will be spread across the market, offering tasty treats and hot beverages. Additional new features include a live stage showcasing exceptional regional performers.

Ice Skating in DC @ Various Locations

During winter, public ice skating rinks are popular in DC. Here are the best:

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink

  • Skating amidst art and sculptures.
  • Romantic atmosphere with string lights.
  • Open from Nov. 20 to Mar. 3, 2024.
  • Tickets sold in 45-minute sessions.
  • Cost: $12 adults, $9 children/elderly/students/military, $6 rentals.

Washington Harbour Ice Rink

  • Fountain transforms into ice rink.
  • Open from mid-November until March.
  • Offers classes for kids and adults.
  • Cost: $10 adults, $9 children/seniors/military, $7 rentals.

The Wharf Ice Rink

  • On The Wharf's Transit Pier.
  • Offers seasonal events.
  • Serves foodies, families, and friends.
  • Accessible by Metro, free shuttle bus, and water taxi.
  • Cost: $12 adults, $9 children, $6 rentals, group rate $14.

Canal Park Ice Rink

  • In the middle of the three-acre neighborhood park.
  • Offers two-hour sessions and skating lessons.
  • Discounts and packages available.
  • Cost: $15 adults, $12 children/elderly/students/military, $5 rentals.

Zoolights at the National Zoo: November 24-December 30 @ Smithsonian National Zoo

The much-loved holiday tradition at Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian’s National Zoo is back, and it's brighter than ever!

Now in its 15th year, ZooLights will immerse thousands of visitors in a winter wonderland lit by over half a million environmentally-friendly LED lights. Visitors can journey through lantern displays showcasing various habitats - rainforest, grassland, desert, ocean, and polar - and the animals that inhabit them. With live music, tasty treats, and ample holiday shopping opportunities, this event promises a dazzling experience for families and nature enthusiasts alike.

Get in the holiday spirit with U.S. Sedan Service Worldwide!

As you plan to immerse yourself in the festive spirit and partake in the incredible holiday events in Miami, Orlando, and Washington, D.C., remember to secure your transportation with U.S. Sedan Service Worldwide. Our reliable and luxurious service ensures you can enjoy these unforgettable experiences without the hassle of navigating traffic or searching for parking. Whether you're a local resident or a holiday visitor, U.S. Sedan Service Worldwide is your go-to for all your transportation needs this holiday season. Don't wait! Book your rides now and make your holiday season a memorable and stress-free one.

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