ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 25, 2023) — Santa Claus is coming to Central Florida—and he’s bringing his entire workshop with him to Wekiva Island.
The Seminole County favorite is bringing back its beloved holiday tradition, Winter Wonderland. The festive event will run from Dec. 1 through Christmas Day, bringing sparkling holiday décor, thousands of twinkling lights, “snow” flurries and a calendar packed with events.
New this year is Santa’s Workshop, which will take up residence in the Island’s upstairs art gallery. The space will be fully decorated and buzzing with holiday fun, including activities for the kids and the chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The event will also be bringing back holiday favorites, including a 24-foot-tall Christmas tree that will serve as the centerpiece to the Christmas Tree Forest. There will also be nightly “snow” flurries to truly set the mood.
This is the eighth year for the event, which will kick off with the lighting of the Christmas tree and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1.
“Now in our eighth year, we’ve seen many families come to this event year after year as their kids grow up,” said Carrie Vanderhoef, Wekiva Island manager. “We’re very proud to be part of Central Florida’s holiday traditions, and we’re so excited to share all the fun we have planned for Santa’s Workshop this year.”
Other events include:
- Breakfast with Santa—Families can get some quality time with the big man himself, while enjoying a delicious breakfast buffet. 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 10. $18.95 for adults, $12.95 for children 10 and under.
- VIP Party—Celebrate the season in style with the holiday party of the year. This ticket-holder-only event offers the chance to eat, drink and be merry all evening. 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 16. $70 for single tickets, $120 for couples.
- Visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus—The head elf himself will be checking in at his workshop every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 23.
- Visit from Rudolph and friends—The movie comes to life with a visit from the red-nosed reindeer, Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, and The Misfit Toys. 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 10.
- Visit from The Grinch—A favorite event every year at Wekiva Island, The Grinch, Cindy Lou Who and the Whoville Elves will be stopping by to visit with fans. 2 to 6 p.m. Dec. 17.
- Outdoor holiday movies—Snuggle up and enjoy a holiday favorite, complete with hot cocoa and popcorn for purchase. 7 p.m. Dec. 3, 10, and 17.
- Stories with Mrs. Claus—Kids can savor a cookie and some hot cocoa while Mrs. Claus puts everyone in the holiday spirit with fun stories. 6 p.m. Dec. 6, 13, and 20. $12/child.
In addition to the fun, Wekiva Island will take part in the spirit of giving with a toy drive for Kids House of Seminole. Guests can bring new, unwrapped toys to Wekiva Island from Nov. 24 to Dec. 5, and all of them will be delivered to Kids House to be given to kids in Seminole County. Kids House will also be on site at the tree lighting on Dec. 1 collecting gifts.
Wekiva Island will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Eve and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Day.
Winter Wonderland is open to the public. Admission is $5 on Saturday and Sunday, which includes visits with Santa, face painting and glitter tattoo artists. Other events might require separate tickets and advanced registration.
To see the entire schedule and learn more, visit wekivaisland.com.