20 Things That Should Be On Your Orlando Bucket List For December

20 Things That Should Be On Your Orlando Bucket List For December

For anyone who is running out of ideas on how to spread holiday cheer.

December is a time to spread holiday cheer. Finals are over and Christmas is drawing near. It's about that time where there's no more school papers, things are starting to slow down, and it seems as though everyone has more free time than ever. But what's the point of having free time when there is nothing to do? In Orlando, the holiday season brings countless opportunities to soak in all of the Christmas cheer. Luckily, I mapped it all out for my fellow Orlando residents. Get out your calendars and grab your sweaters because here is the ultimate bucket list for the rest of December.

1. "Light Up UCF" at the University of Central Florida

Ice Skating in Florida? Who would have guessed! The University of Central Florida has everything you need to get ready for Christmas. Light Up UCF has fun for all ages. Besides a public ice skating rink and a light show, visitors enjoy the Holiday Film Festival where anyone can watch movies for free. Attractions include a Ferris Wheel, a performance stage and photos with Santa. There's even a Holiday Market where you have the opportunity to support local businesses by purchasing gifts for the Holidays.

2. "Holidays Around The World" at Epcot

Get a glimpse at how 11 different nations celebrate the Holiday season during the entire month of December. With performers celebrating the sounds of various countries and food and beverages from all over, celebrating at Epcot is like no other! Purchase tickets to the annual Candlelight Processional and witness a 50-piece orchestra, a choir, and a celebrity narrator tell the biblical story of Christmas.

3. "Christmas At Gaylord Palms"

Bring the entire family to witness more than 2 million Christmas lights and acres of decorations. At Gaylord Palms, there is fun for everyone. Come see "Ice!" at Gaylord Palms where you can see two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures tell the story of how Charlie Brown rediscovers the meaning of Christmas. But bundle up! The attraction is kept at 9 degrees! The chill continues at the Alpine Rush Snow Tubing where you can slide down a tubing hill in real snow! Other attractions for the holidays include a Christmas light show, a Cirque Dreams show, and story time with Mrs. Claus.

4. "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party" at the Magic Kingdom

Marvel at the lights and decorations as the Magic Kingdom becomes a winter wonderland! Watch a parade, meet characters, watch a Frozen performance, eat yummy sweets!

5. "Winter In The Park" on Park Avenue

Experience reasonably priced ice skating for all ages on Park Avenue in Winter park during "Winter In The Park" all through the month of December. Besides "Winter In The Park," there are various other events held on Park Avenue. On Saturday, December 22nd, The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art will have a free Holiday Weekend Open House from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. then again on Sunday, December 23rd from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

6. "Grinchmas" at Universal's Islands of Adventures

Visit Universal's Islands of Adventures where you can meet the Grinch, see a live retelling of Dr. Seuss's story of the Grinch, and witness all of the year round attractions at the park.

7. Sak Comedy Lab's "Invasion: Christmas Carol"

Visit Sak Comedy Lab in downtown Orlando to witness a traditional Christmas story with a twist. Each night, the cast will perform a scripted version of the Christmas Story, but an improvised character that is chosen by the audience "invades" the show. As the improvised character alters each scene, the cast must adapt their lines to make sense of the invader.

8. "Holiday Movies In The Park" at Lake Eola

On December 23th at 7 p.m., "A Christmas Story" will be playing at the Walt Disney Amphitheater. Grab a blanket and enjoy this free showing!

9. "Holiday Movie Nights" at Cranes Roost Park

Florida Hospital Altamonte will be putting on "The Christmas Story" on the Plaza lawn. Food and beverages can also be purchased!

10. "Now Snowing" in Celebration

Come to Celebration to witness "Now Snowing." Every night through December 31st there is snowfall and an event planned. There is an ice rink, horse drawn carriage rides, carolers, and even photos with Santa!

11. SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration

Meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends, shop, watch an ice skating show, see Shamu and more at SeaWorld.

12. "Singing Christmas Trees" at First Baptist Orlando

Get a glimpse at one of Central Florida's Christmas traditions. Two Christmas trees that are 40-feet tall each, carry an entire choir! The show is packed with an orchestra, singing, dancing, and lights!

13. "Macy's Holiday Parade" at Universal Studios

After the Thanksgiving Day Parade, many floats and balloons are sent to Orlando Florida. These floats along with marching bands and Santa, come together to create a parade that most would think they would only see on TV.

14. Wekiva Island's "Winter Wonderland"

Throughout the month, Wekiva Island is spreading holiday cheer! Every single day brings new and exciting fun. On December 21st, there will be "Wine Down Wednesday" from 6 to 8. $20 gets you wine samples, appetizers and a wine glass to take home. On December 23rd at 7 p.m., the Grinch will be projected on a 16-foot screen. Hot Cocoa and popcorn will be available! There's even snowfall every night starting at 6 p.m. until December 31st.

15. Christmas at The Leu House

Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical garden that attracts locals all year round. During the month of December, the Leu House spreads some holiday cheer. Local interior designers decorate the estate just in time for the holidays. The Leu House Museum was a home built in the 19th century owned by four different families before it was open to the public. In honor of the holiday season, tours are held inside the 11-room estate starting at 10 a.m. to showcase the house's decorations and Christmas trees.

16. The Holy Land Experience

Truly experience the stories of the bible at the Holy Land Experience. Year round you are able to walk the streets that Jesus walked. For the Christmas season, there are special events including a re-telling of the events leading up to Jesus's birth.

17. Winter Film Festival

The Orlando Public Library is getting into the holiday spirit! On December 23rd at 11 a.m., adults are welcome to the showing of "Little Fockers."

18. Twas The Party Before Christmas

The Improv is a comedy club in Orlando for ages 21 and up. On December 22nd, at 8 p.m., "Twas The Party Before Christmas" will be showing. In its attempts to relieve some pre-holiday stress, the show guarantees endless laughter.

19. "Christmas Spectacular!" at the Stetson Mansion

Tour the Stetson Mansion and witness all of its spectacular holiday decorations. The home is transformed head to toe with decorations from around the world to celebrate the holidays.

20. Florida Citrus Parade

On December 29th at 11 a.m., Downtown Orlando will be hosting another Florida Citrus Parade. Over the past 36 years, the parade has been known for its amazing floats made from over 100,000 pieces of citrus. Crowds of up to 60,000 people come out to watch the televised event.

Cover Image Credit: cdn.com

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15 Things You Should NOT Say To Pale Girls This Summer

From some of my most recent texts to what I have heard over the years.

1. "Wow, you're so pale."

Yes, yes, I know. You don't have to remind 365 days in a row.

2. "Don't forget your sunscreen."

Trust me, I won't...even my chapstick has SPF in it.

3. "C'mon, let's go outside and tan."

LOL. Me? Tan? Fake Bake doesn't even work on me. I'll burn after five minutes in the sun.

4. "Aren't you hot in those jeans?"

Very hot, but I’d rather be hot than sunburned.

SEE ALSO: 42 Poems Every Female College Student Needs To Read

5. "Wow, you have so many freckles."

It's the only color I get..

6. "You remind me of Casper."

Unless you're a part of my family or have known me my whole life, please refrain from calling me Casper. It is very rude and you're acting like I can help being this pale.

7. "You are blinding me, cover those up!!"

Seriously?! Do I even have to explain this one?

8. "Why don't you go to a tanning bed?"

Um, still can get burnt in a tanning bed and I'm not putting myself through that WILLINGLY.

9. "How about a spray tan?"

Hahahahahaha, only Oompa Loompa's and our president can pull off that kind of color.

10. "No one needs a flashlight to see you in the dark."

I really had someone tell me this the other day....but I don't understand how that is possible. SO, just don't say it.

11. "Is everyone in your family this pale?"

Kinda, sorta. BUT I am by far the palest and darn proud too.

12. "All white girls ever do is tan, drink Starbucks, and complain."

HA HA, not this white girl. Must be nice though.

13. "You're not only pale because you're a redhead. So why not dye your hair?"

Yeah, that's what they say but the whole dying my hair? I do not believe that is how it works, but A for effort?

14. *takes off makeup* "OMG, are you OK? Are you sick?"

No, I'm okay. I am not sick, just extremely pale.

15. "I feel like pale skin looks good on you but you should really go to the tanning bed because you are just too pale and it's kind of unattractive."

Do you really want to know what is unattractive? When we are 35 years old and your skin is already wrinkling because of how many times you have been to the tanning bed or have slathered yourself with tanning lotion to get this “perfect” skin color, yet my skin will still be tight and in place. I will be the grandmother who looks 30 at 50 and you will look 70 at 50. (I mean my mom looks 21 still, so I have some good genes.)

Yes, I did take some of these from my most recent texts, so they are accurate and yeah, a few of my friends are pretty rude.

Please think of how you are going to compliment me, and other fair skinned people, this summer. We're not lucky; we burn easily then go right back to being pale. When in a group of people, everyone always says "Just look for the pale one" to describe where we are. I like being pale with my red hair and blue eyes.

Cover Image Credit: Jayden Trotter

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Keep Your Wellbeing On Track This Summer With These 5 Health Hacks

Don't waste your time off, use it!


Summertime is here, and for many of us, these three months of vacation mean more room for slacking off with our usual health routines. Between sleeping in through the morning gym alarm, and consuming too many tempting party foods and drinks, it is easy to fall into a euphoria of laziness and lose health as a top priority.

Here's the good news — believe it or not, summer is actually the easiest time of the year to get and stay in killer shape because of all of the extra time you have!

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started.

1. Try using the five-to-two rule.

It's easy to forget the difference between weekdays and weekends during summer when every day feels the same. But sometimes it is actually helpful to be aware of what day of the week it is. Just like you would do in school, try to stay on track during weekdays. Wake up at a reasonable time, exercise, find ways to be productive throughout the day, and be conscious of eating healthy. This way when the weekend rolls around, if you choose to indulge in sleeping in, or going out and having a few extra drinks, it's more acceptable than choosing to do so every single night. You will feel more in control, and trust me, your body will thank you for the moderation.

2. Skip the junk food and embrace the fresh seasonal produce.

Summer is the season where all of the nutrient-dense fruits and veggies are in their prime season. Take advantage of this! Skip the fast food, and try cooking since you now cannot use the excuse that you don't have time! Go to the grocery to stock up on fresh produce. There is nothing better than homemade, healthy food, and with so much time on your hands why not try some fun new recipes? Cooking is actually really enjoyable and rewarding. Here are some of my favorite healthy summertime recipes that keep my body feeling fresh and energized.

Healthy green smoothie

Quinoa Salad

Chia Pudding

Salmon and Apple Kale Salad

3. If you're tired of the gym, try alternative forms of exercise. 

Whether it is hiking, kayaking, swimming, or playing a family game of kickball, summer presents you with many more fun active opportunities than the colder, rainier months of the year. Take advantage of that if you are getting bored or unmotivated sitting in a stuffy gym.

4. Build a new routine.

During the school year, we all fall into a fairly consistent routine. We have classes at the same time every week, we have responsibilities, deadlines, and all of those other things that may seem pesky but actually, serve in giving our lives some major structure. For many of us, that structure is much needed. When summer arrives and suddenly we don't have those obligations calling us to get up and be productive, we fall into a slump of doing nothing. That's when it is helpful to set a new routine. Our bodies like routine and regularity and the best part about a summer routine is that you set it how you like it.

How do I build a new routine? Decide on a general bed and wake up time, at least for weekdays. Choose which days of the week you will exercise and stick to them! Plan out your week at the beginning of the week. I like to keep a weekly calendar. Before the week begins I write down all of the things I would like to get done that week and place them on the days I plan to do them. You can even write down your plans with friends or social events.

5.. In general, spend time outside.

Did you know that spending time in the sunshine and fresh air actually has an impact on your health? Nature can boost our moods, make us feel more energized and productive. And everyone knows that a healthy mindset leads to a healthier life. The great thing about summer is that we have endless opportunities to be outside because of the close weather. You can really take almost any activity you want and move it outside. Even as I sit here writing this blog I am sitting outside on our beautiful porch looking out over a lake.

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