Lights seem to be mandatory at Christmas, but since we’ve strung lights for three weddings this year, we decided viewing others hard work would be the best way to satisfy the need for a festive light display.
In addition to lighted trees, reindeer and toy soldiers, for the first time I saw a rainbow featured prominently in a Christmas display, but I guess a rainbow isn’t any stranger than a toy soldier. Especially since we were at Rainbow Springs State Park.
This was much better than driving through neighborhoods. Mainly because we walked with my parents through the park instead of sitting in a car, but I am glad we were able to avoid the long line of children waiting to see Santa.
Thanks to all of the volunteers who lit up the park and provided a night of holiday spirit.
Instead of driving through the neighborhoods of Ocala, we cruised up the highway to White Springs for the park’s 20th annual Festival of Lights. Over five million lights decorate the trees, museum, and Carillon Tower.
For a $3.00 fee per person, cars can drive the loop, but then at the Gingerbread Village visitors are treated to complimentary hot cocoa, popcorn, and marshmallows on sticks ready for roasting.
Musical performances, snow flurries, a craft village, one of the largest train displays in the state, as well as Christmas carols emanating from the bells of the Carillon Tower provide plenty of entertainment.
You can even catch a movie shown on an outdoor screen.
The Festival of Lights continues to illuminate the park through December 31st so there’s time to join in the fun.
The final day of school in 2013 deserved a celebration. What better way to begin the holiday than immersed in over a million Christmas lights decorating Mount Dora?
First, dinner at Lost Parrot, located in the middle of Mount Dora, the outdoor patio seemed like the perfect place for a relaxing meal to kick off the holiday break. Not a bad place for dinner, but overpriced and nothing special. Not a place we’ll visit again.
However, the trip was worthwhile. Great lights.
And window decorations.
Mount Dora offers a number of Christmas events for anyone looking for a special way to celebrate including the Christmas Cannonball Express Train, Christmas Boat Tours and Guided Food Tours. It may be worth another trip to Mount Dora.