Celebrating the Holidays with Exploria Resorts As the 2020 holiday season approaches, drawing a challenging year to a welcomed close, many families are seeking – even craving – unique ways to celebrate the season. Among the destinations where Exploria Resorts operates, there is plenty to do to get in the spirit of the season. So, as an entire nation strives to stay safe and healthy in the unprecedented environment, there is also a desire to bring a little traditional fun into our holiday activities. Here are a few options from each destination we serve at Exploria Resorts: Orlando, Florida Night of a Million Lights at Give Kids The World Located in Kissimmee just South of Orlando, Give Kids The World is an 89-acre vacation village that hosts children with life-threatening health issues and their families so they can visit Orlando-area attractions. During the Night of a Million Lights, which runs through January 3, 2021, the village will be decorated with 3.3 million festive lights and guests are invited to enjoy the show. Ticket purchase is required. Health and safety measures are in place. For more information, click here. Dazzling Nights at Harry P. Leu Gardens To experience a magical environment with a million dazzling lights, along with shimmering forests and beautiful sculptures, visit Harry P. Leu Gardens between December 1, 2020 and January 3, 2021. Journey through a forest and feel as though you're walking through the aurora borealis, thanks to amazing light and fog effects. In some areas, the ground lights up and rings like holiday chimes with each step. Ticket purchase is required. Health and safety measures are in place. Plan your visit here! Colorful Christmas at Crayola Experience The holidays get a giant splash of vibrant color at the Crayola Experience's Colorful Christmas. Life-sized animatronic characters share holiday secrets about what life is like in the North Pole, including Edwin the Snowman, who loves to talk about how elves enjoy their free time! And kids always enjoy creating unique gifts, using their own creativity and imagination, as well as a Holiday Scavenger Hunt. General Admission tickets are required. Health and safety measures are in place. For more information, visit them online. Daytona Beach, Florida Deck Your Boards Christmas Caroling Paddle Tour This parade of holiday-decorated paddle boards festooned with colorful lights launches from Callalisa Park in New Smyrna Beach on December 12, 2020 and proceeds through the residential canals adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway. View rows of beautiful homes spectacularly decorated for the season. Participants dressed in holiday costumes will sing carols and spread cheer through the neighborhoods. Ticket purchase is required to participate. For info and tickets, visit Eventbrite.com and search for “Deck Your Boards.” Rockin' Country Christmas This event, which takes place on December 5, 2020 starting at 7 p.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, features the Reed Foley Band and Hayfire, two beloved and energetic bands. Admission is free, but RSVP is required. Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots. For more information and to RSVP, visit rockincountrychristmas.eventbrite.com. The Poconos, Pennsylvania Santa's Winter Village Be sure to visit the Country Junction – known as the World's Largest General Store – located in Lehighton, Pennsylvania and spend some time in Santa's Winter Village. This unique event runs on Saturdays and Sundays through December 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Take a tour through Santa's workshop and get your picture taken with Jolly Old St. Nick! For more information, visit www.countryjunction.com. Downtown Jim Thorpe Named for the legendary athlete, Jim Thorpe, whose athletic career started less than 100 miles from this area, the town of Jim Thorpe is a favorite destination during the holidays. As you stroll through this charming Victorian-style mountain town, be sure to check out the many local shops for that perfect gift and stop for a bite to eat at one of the unique restaurants. For more information, visit jimthorpe.org. Crèches From Around The World A crèche is a tableau or model depicting the birth of Jesus in the stable in Bethlehem. This collection contains more than 100 crèches, varying in size, from all over the world. While there is no admission fee required for entry, donations may be made to Hands-On Disaster Relief. Check website for ongoing updates, including health and safety protocols. For more information, visit Shawnee Inn online. Gatlinburg, Tennessee Pigeon Forge Winterfest The entire region – Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and surrounding towns – is transformed into a true seasonal celebration during the Pigeon Forge Winterfest, which runs through February 15, 2021. Festive displays made from millions of twinkling lights adorn the streets, complemented by a variety of holiday shows and parades. A highlight of this wide-reaching event is the Driving Tour of Lights along the Pigeon Forge Parkway, as well as the trolley rides through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. For more information, visit pigeonforgewinterfest.com. The Great Smoky Mountain Arts & Crafts Show Running from November 30 to December 6, 2020, The Christmas craft show takes place at the Gatlinburg Convention Center and it is a great opportunity to pick up unique last-minute gifts. Dozens of crafters and artisans – members of the Great Smoky Mountain Arts & Crafts Community – will be in attendance selling handcrafted gifts and unique trinkets. For more information, visit www.gatlinburgcrafts.com and click on the “Events” tab. Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade The 45th annual Fantasy of Lights parade is set for December 4, 2020, and it will travel through downtown Gatlinburg along East Parkway. This award-winning celebration has been enjoyed by more than 20 million people, visiting from around the world, and will include marching bands from throughout the eastern United States, as well as balloon displays, dancers, live music, and more. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.gatlinburg.com/events. With beautiful resorts in all four of these magical destinations, Exploria Resorts can help you enjoy all the holiday excitement. Find your home resort's featured offers here!