Celebrate the Season at Theme Parks across the U.S.A.


All across the country, theme parks are being transformed into winter wonderlands to the glee of children and families. These are special and time-limited events. Trekaroo wants to make sure that you know a few of the ways to spend the holidays at theme parks across the U.S.A.

Holidays at Theme Parks: All the Details

Disney Parks

Disney Parks Holidays at Theme Parks

Disney Parks know how to celebrate the season with an amazing amount of Mickey magic. So much so, we have an entire article devoted to all things Holiday Disney.

Busch Gardens

flickr jared422_80

Photo by: Flickr/jared422_80

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is hosting “Christmas Town.” Christmas Town opens on November 26th and is open Fridays-Sundays through December 2017 and weekdays between December 19th-31st. Sing carols while riding on the Christmas Town Express. Visit with Santa. Watch “Elmo’s Christmas Wish”, and enjoy holiday décor throughout the park.  Trekaroo families praise the park for its attention to detail catering to families of all ages.  Families can now meet Rudolph and the cast of the 1964 movie. New for this season in the first week of January Busch Gardens will put on a Three Kings celebration as well.

Look for current hotel deals in Busch Gardens

Meanwhile, a little further north at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, “Christmas Town” opens on November 26th and is open Fridays-Sundays from the opening day through December and weekdays between December 12th-January 2nd. During their visit, guests can eat a meal hosted by Santa and Mrs. Claus, ride the Peppermint Twist, or watch one of the several live shows. Trekaroo families rave about the holiday lights.

Cedar Fair

Theme Park at Christmas

Photo Courtesy of: Orange County Archives

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company runs amusement parks across the country and they are gearing up to bring some incredible holiday fun.

As shown in this historic photograph of Santa riding the log ride at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, Knott’s knows about winter holiday fun. It transforms into Knott’s Merry Farm starting November 17th. Guests will love seeing Snoopy light the Christmas tree every night, and watch the Peanuts crew in a holiday-themed ice show.

Northern California’s Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park comes alive with thousands of lights for the Holiday@night display, Santa, a “Charlie Brown Christmas” show, and ice skating from now through the holidays.


(AP Photo Sandy Huffaker, Legoland)

Photo Courtesy of: AP Photo Sandy Huffaker, LEGOLAND

Join families as they experience “Christmas Bricktacular” at LEGOLAND Florida. Running December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-25, 2017, the festivities include an incredible Christmas tree and accompaniment made of LEGO and Duplo bricks.  Also, join the hunt for LEGO Santas. Kids can write letters to Santa  as well. For families who like to venture out on New Year’s Eve, you are in luck. LEGOLAND Florida will be hosting a fireworks display for “Kids New Year’s Eve” with a full party just for younger kids including a ball drop on December 26th-31st in the evenings.

Look for current hotel deals in Legoland Florida

On the other side of the country at LEGOLAND California, come explore Brickacular November 18th- January 1st. Take a picture with LEGO Santa. Eat holiday themed treats. Enjoy holiday entertainment with the LEGO Friends. Join LEGOLAND California for the “Kids New Year’s Eve” as well on December 31st.

Look for current hotel deals in Legoland California


SeaWorld Christmas

Photo by: Flickr/Theme Park Mom

All three SeaWorld parks, located in Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego, are offering a variety of winter-themed events for young and old. All three parks are participating in “SeaWorld Christmas Celebration”. They will be featuring several Christmas Celebration shows including: “Shamu’s Christmas: Miracle,” which will showcase the park’s most famous residents in shows set to holiday music. Trekaroo families especially enjoy the decorations and shows during the holiday season. The dates of the holiday events do vary by location.

SeaWorld Orlando’s celebration will happen on select nights between November 24th- December 31st. The special events are included with the price of admission. SeaWorld Orlando is also offering families an all-you-can-eat dinner show with Santa.

SeaWorld San Antonio’s holiday events will run on select dates from November 18th- January 2nd including all of Thanksgiving week as well as the week before and after Christmas. Families will enjoy five million holiday lights, Santa, and Rudolph. For added fun, catch the “Pets Ahoy” show pets from local animal shelters.

SeaWorld San Diego will be taking on the holiday spirit between November 18th and January 6th. New for 2017, is a live nativity musical. Families visiting SeaWorld San Diego can also see Rudolph and for an extra cost having a meal with Shamu and Santa!

Check out the SeaWorld Park in your neck of the woods for park-specific information and tips:  Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego.

Six Flags

Sylvester: Photo Courtesy of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

The Six Flags amusement parks are gearing up for the holiday season. New for 2017, s’mores for the whole family at a winter outdoor scene complete with sleigh and trees and pumpkin spice churros! With shows featuring the holiday spirit and visits with Santa, Six Flags is sure to pack a punch of its namesake exhilarating rides, all with a holiday spin. Santa and his reindeer will be at Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Six Flags Fiesta Texas has a holiday train, carolers, and a live nativity. Trekaroo families bragged about the Looney Tunes and Christmas characters and the “Holiday in the Park” experience.

“Holiday in the Park” is available at the following parks November 18th- December 31st. The parks have varied operating dates and hours that are subject to change so please double check prior to planning your trip. Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA, Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, TX, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA accommodate the holiday cheer with the temporary closures of some of the usual attractions.

Universal Studios

Universal Florida Macy's

Photo by: Flickr/jared442_80

Universal Studios Orlando offers an unique experience for families. New York City Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade floats and balloons make their way down to Florida each year. Universal Studios then adds its own flair, and voila, a parade of epic proportions without the chill of NYC. Catch the parade on November 18th- January 6th. Universal Studios Orlando’s holiday experience is expanding in 2017 to include Harry Potter. Experience Christmas in Rowling’s London. Universal Studios is continuing Grinchmas as well.

Look for current hotel deals in Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Islands of Adventure (next door to Universal Studios Orlando) is putting on “Grinchmas”: a tribute to the Grinch and the Whos of Whoville. Take a picture with the Grinch and catch a holiday themed play. Guests can have breakfast with the Grinch. Also, be sure to fly over to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts for more holiday cheer.

Adding a visit to a theme park may just add the little sparkle to your family this holiday season.

Pin this to bookmark all the holiday fun; we update it yearly:

Christmas-and-Holiday-fun-for-families-Theme Parks

Christmas & Holiday ActivitiesFind holiday activities and events in your neck of the woods.  We’ve got the inside scoop on cities across North America.

Featured photo by: Shutterstock

About the author

Heather Erquiaga is Trekaroo’s Assistant Blog Editor. She can usually be found on Southern California’s trails with her husband and two boys. Her family is on a mission to earn as many Jr. Ranger Badges as possible. In winter, chances are she’s obsessively checking the weather for a chance of snow while curled up with a good book. Follow her travels on Instagram.

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