18 Most Thrilling Winter Activities in Florida

Are you tired of the same old winter activities in the cold and snowy north? Why not shake things up and head south to Florida for fun in the sun? Despite being known for its warm weather, there are still plenty of winter activities in Florida. From outdoor adventures to indoor entertainment, there’s something for everyone to experience during the Florida winter.

Picture yourself kayaking through crystal clear springs, spotting manatees and alligators, or even taking a hot air balloon ride over the orange groves. And if you’re looking for something more low-key, there are plenty of indoor Florida winter activities such as visiting museums, shopping, or even trying some delicious local cuisines. So pack your bags and get ready to enjoy the most thrilling winter adventure you’ll never forget!

Is Florida Worth Visiting in The winter?

Florida is definitely worth visiting in the winter. Despite the state’s reputation for warm weather, there are still plenty of exciting activities to enjoy during the colder winter months. From outdoor adventures to indoor entertainment, there’s always something to experience for people of all ages. You can also get involved in plenty of free activities whether you go solo or with your family.

How Do You Start Enjoying Winter in Florida?

There are many ways to enjoy winter in Florida, depending on your interest and preferences. Florida offers many outdoor activities that are perfect for you to make the most of the winter weather. You can go hiking, biking, and kayaking, or go on more warm and relaxing indoor activities. Florida also offers diverse wildlife and fantastic nature views you can enjoy during winter.

BEST Winter Activities in Florida

1. Sip, Savor, and Troll At Epcot International Festival Of The Arts 

Epcot International Festival (Source : gottagoorlando.com)

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is an annual event at Disney World and can be the best Florida winter activity to attend. This exciting festival features a wide range of art forms, including visual art, performing arts, and culinary arts. Visitors can enjoy live performances, workshops, and interactive exhibits, as well as sample delicious food and drink from around the world. Ticket price varies, but it ranges from $109 to $189 for a 1 day ticket.

2. Sunset Sail On A Catamaran In The Florida Keys

A sunset sail on a catamaran in the Florida Keys is an unforgettable experience. The crystal-clear Caribbean waters offer a serene and peaceful setting, while the colorful sky provides a stunning backdrop as the sun dips below the horizon. Guests can enjoy the gentle rocking of the boat, the salty sea air, and the company of friends and family while they watch the sunset over the water. Head to Key West Snorkeling to book a trip. Tickets start from $43,20 per adult for a 3 hours afternoon tour.

3. Manatee-Watching Tour In Crystal River

Manatees are an endangered species and one of Florida’s most beloved animals. Manatee-watching tours are offered in Crystal River, the only place where you can legally swim with them. The tour will take you to the best spots to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn about their biology, behavior, and conservation. Tickets vary depending on your tour, but it starts from $75 per person for a 3-hours manatee tour.

4. Attend The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival

The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is one of the country’s most prestigious and highly anticipated art festivals. This annual event features more than 200 top artists from around the world, showcasing their work in a wide range of media, from painting and sculpture to photography and jewelry. Visitors can purchase original works of art, attend artist demonstrations, and enjoy live music and other entertainment. The festival is usually held in March, towards the end of the winter months in Florida.

5. Skate At The Outdoor Rink At Winter Park Resort

Ice skating at the outdoor rink at Winter Park Resort is a classic Florida winter activity that is perfect for families and friends. The rink is open to skaters of all ages and skill levels, and rental skates are available for those who need them. The rink is surrounded by charming shops and restaurants, making it the perfect spot to spend the Florida winter weather. They are open daily from 08:00 A.M to 05:00 P.M., and the rental price is affordable, only $16 for kids and $19 for adults.

6. Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Central Florida

Hot air balloon rides offer a unique perspective on the world, and a ride over Central Florida is an experience you will never forget. Balloon rides are typically taken at sunrise or sunset when the light is most beautiful, and you’ll have the opportunity to see the landscape from a whole new angle. You’ll float above towns, lakes, and forests and get a sense of the actual size and scale of the area. Head to Bob’s Balloons which already has 20 years of hot air balloon experience. You can get tickets for $250 per adult and $150 per kid for a 1 hour ballooning. Check their website for date availability and book your tickets prior.

7. Go On A Bird-Watching Tour in The Everglades

Florida is a birdwatcher’s paradise, and the Everglades is one of the best places to see a wide variety of species. A guided bird-watching tour will take you through the wetlands, where you’ll have the chance to spot rare and exotic birds like the roseate spoonbill, white ibis, and wood stork. You’ll learn about the birds’ behavior, habitat, and conservation status, and you might even get to see some of the alligators and other wildlife that call the Everglades home. The admission fee starts from $99 per person for a private eco-tour.

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8. Attend The Key West Food and Wine Festival

The Key West Food and Wine Festival is an annual winter activity event in Florida that celebrates the island’s rich culinary heritage and the world-renowned seafood of the Florida Keys. You can indulge in delicious food and drink from local restaurants, sample wines from around the world, and attend cooking demonstrations and other culinary-themed events. The festival is usually held in January; tickets start from $75 and go up depending on the events.

9. Visit The Florida Botanical Gardens 

The Florida Botanical Gardens is a hidden gem that is well worth a visit. The gardens feature a wide variety of plants, including tropical flowers, succulents, and cacti, as well as a butterfly garden and a Japanese garden. The gardens are beautifully landscaped, with winding paths and tranquil ponds, and they’re the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. Visiting the gardens can be a great winter activity for Florida’s kids since they have an educational program and a children’s garden. Located at Ulmerton Road, Largo, they are open daily from 07:00 A.M. to 05:00 P.M. The free admission makes it the best free winter activity in Florida.

10. Drive On The Overseas Highway Through The Florida Keys

It is a must-do experience for any traveler. This 113-mile highway stretch of road connects the mainland of Florida to Key West, passing through a string of picturesque islands along the way. From the highway, you’ll be able to take in the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, spot marine life such as dolphins and manatees, and see historic bridges and lighthouses. It will give you an even better experience during Florida snowfall.

11. Shell Collecting On Sanibel Island

Shell Collecting On Sanibel Island

If you are looking for a non-skiing activity and opt for a sunny activity, you definitely need to go to Sanibel Island. The island’s beaches are known for their abundance of shells, including rare and unique varieties. You can spend hours walking along the shoreline, searching for the perfect shell to add to your collection. Many local tour companies also offer excursions that will take you to the best shell-collecting spots on the island.

12. Attend The Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa

Attend The Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa

The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is an annual event in Tampa and is a must-see for any traveler looking for a unique and exciting Florida outdoor activity. The festival features a parade of pirate ships, live music, food and drink vendors, and a treasure trove of pirate-themed activities and events. The festival returns during the winter months in Florida every January. Tickets for this Florida winter activity vary but start from $70 per person.

13. Sunset Cruise On The Intracoastal Waterway

Sunset Cruise On The Intracoastal Waterway

A sunset cruise is one of the best things to do in Florida in December. The Intracoastal Waterway is a protected inland waterway that runs along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. During a sunset cruise, you’ll be able to take in the area’s natural beauty and watch as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky with vibrant orange, pink, and purple hues. Head to Florida Water Tour and book your ticket for only $39 per person. 

14. Visit The St. Augustine Light Station and Museum

Visit The St. Augustine Light Station and Museum

The St. Augustine Light Station and Museum is a must-see for history buffs and maritime enthusiasts. The museum is located on Anastasia Island and features exhibits about the history of the St. Augustine lighthouse, including artifacts and photographs. The museum also offers guided tours of the lighthouse, allowing visitors to climb to the top and take in the breathtaking views of the coast. General admissions for this Florida winter activity are $14,95 for adults and $12,95 for kids.

15. Attend The Winter Music Conference In Miami

Attend The Winter Music Conference In Miami

The Winter Music Conference (WMC) is one of the most notable winter activities in Florida. It has a huge impact in the electronic music industry. Attending the WMC is a great way to experience Florida in winter weather. You’ll enjoy performances by leading DJs and producers from around the world. The event also includes educational seminars, networking events, and pool parties, making it a must-attend for anyone interested in the electronic music scene.

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16. Dolphin-Watching Tour In The Gulf Of Mexico

Dolphin-Watching Tour In The Gulf Of Mexico

A dolphin-watching tour in the Gulf of Mexico is a great way to experience one of the most intelligent and charismatic marine mammals in the wild. The Gulf of Mexico is home to various dolphin species, and on a dolphin-watching tour, you’ll be able to see them up close and learn about their behavior and ecology. Many tour operators also offer the opportunity to swim with dolphins, which is a truly unforgettable experience. You can get a ticket for as affordable as $20 per person.

17. Visit The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum 

Visit The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum 

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is a literary landmark in Key West, Florida. The home was the residence of the famous author Ernest Hemingway, and it’s now a museum where visitors can take a tour to see Hemingway’s writing studio, the six-toed cats that still roam the property, and learn about the author’s life and work. It is a great indoor activity to avoid Florida winter snow. The museum is open daily from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM, and the general admission is $18 for adults and $7 for kids aged 6 to 12.

18. Hike on The Ocala National Forest

Hike on The Ocala National Forest

A hike through the Ocala National Forest is a great snow activity for kids in Florida. They can explore the area’s natural beauty and learn about its ecology and history. The forest is home of natural springs and various wildlife you and your kids will be able to see. It is a fun and healthy activity for the whole family during winter that won’t take up too much of your money.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What activities can kids do in Florida in the winter?

Florida offers a variety of outdoor activities for kids in the winter. From visiting theme parks, go on outdoor activities like hiking and biking, or get comfy in indoor activities like visiting museums. Visiting the zoo and observing the animals are also an option along with festivals and events. And don’t forget about snow activities in Florida such as skating that is beginner friendly even for younger kids.

What winter activities can you do with your boyfriend in Florida?

There are a lot of winter activities you can do with your boyfriend in Florida. You can take a romantic stroll on the beach, try some delicious local cuisine, hike through the forest, ice skating, take a hot air balloon ride, visit museums, and attend winter festivals. With so many options, you will have a great time and a romantic memory to keep forever.

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