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Things to do on Thanksgiving Day

Open Thanksgiving Day in Orlando.  More: AboutOrlando.com
© TJohnston – Leu’s Holiday House at Leu Gardens

So the feast is finished and out of town guests, kids, and family members are looking for something else to do. What is open on Thanksgiving Day in Orlando? Shopping is always an option since many Orlando stores and shopping centers will be open on Thanksgiving Day already touting Black Friday sales. In the magical land of Orlando, theme parks stay open 365 days a year, offering a day of touristy fun.

This year, how about something a little different? Someplace to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and perhaps walk around a bit after the Thanksgiving dinner. Orlando does offer a few lovely outdoor places to visit on Thanksgiving Day, some a little more laid back – and less expensive than the theme parks. Here are a few indoor and outdoor venues that will provide a day’s entertainment while even getting a little exercise after the big holiday meal.
  • Consider a visit to beautiful Leu Gardens in Orlando which is open from 9 am until 5 pm on November 23, 2017. Admission is $10 for adults and $3 for children grades K-12.
  • Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales is open 365 days a year. Enjoy Thanksgiving Day Carillon Concerts at 1 & 3 p.m. featuring classic favorites on the amazing 60-bell carillon. Unfortunately, the Pinewood Estate will be closed on November 23, 2017 as it is being decorated for the holidays and will reopen on Nov. 24th. Admission charge.
  • Get into the holiday spirit at ICE! at the Gaylord Palms. This year’s theme is ‘ICE!® featuring Christmas Around the World’ brings to life in 2 million pounds of colorful ice sculptures.
  • Spend a few hours relaxing while watching a new holiday movie. Check out the Top Movie Theaters in the Orlando area.

FREE Things to do in Orlando on Thanksgiving Day

  • Start the day bright and early at Lake Eola for the annual Seniors First Turkey Trot 5k where some 5000 runners, joggers and walkers (some in costume) raise money to support Meals on Wheels and other senior programs in the community.
  • Head out to Disney Springs (formerlly Downtown Disney) Festival of the Seasons for a holiday preview, combining seasonal decorations and live entertainment for families and children along with exclusive Disney dining and shopping.
  • Visit Light Up UCF for a wide array of holiday themed events. The free evening light show begins at 6 pm. The event also has ice skating and family attractions for a fee.
  • Take a brisk walk around Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando. The one mile trail offers plenty of pleasant distractions along the way. Children can use up some extra energy at the large, shaded playground. Be sure to pack some leftover dinner rolls to feed the ducks.
  • Though there is a charge to preview ICE! at the Gaylord Palms Resort, there is no charge to preview the extensive holiday decorations throughout the hotel. Please note that self parking is $20 but can be validated if dining at the restaurants.
  • Check out the outdoor urban art project, See Art Orlando. A nice stroll that should take about an hour and clocks in at just under two miles to preview the eight sculptures are scattered throughout the Downtown Orlando area.

More: Orlando Restaurants Serving Thanksgiving Dinner

Do you have a someplace that you like to visit on Thanksgiving Day? Share your comments below.

About Theresa Johnston

Living and Loving the Orlando area since 1970. From family adventures to hidden treasures getting the most out of Central Florida for visitors and residents. Enjoy!
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