With cooler weather and Christmas near, the holiday season lends itself to uniquely romantic date ideas. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel out of state or go to a big city to experience the holiday magic. These small towns have plenty of romantic things to do during the holidays in North Central Florida from seeing Christmas lights to beer and wine tasting.

Dade City

Church Street Christmas

Bundle up and take a stroll down Dade City’s Church Avenue at night to see stunning Christmas lights while the sounds of church choirs and holiday music drift through the chilly night air. For 40 years, Church Street Christmas has attracted thousands each year, so take your date to experience this romantic tradition from December 21st through the 23rd. Get dinner beforehand at one of Downtown Dade City’s many great restaurants like the eclectic Kafe Kokopelli, a local favorite with a seasonally-changing menu.

Related content: Where to See Holiday Lights in North Central Florida


Downton Abbey Christmas Tea

The Tilted Teacup Tea Room in Brooksville is perfect for elegant and cozy dates, but their popular Downton Abbey Christmas Tea every December is especially romantic. Inspired by the popular BBC show, this tea whisks you away to Christmas Past with lavish holiday decorations and the staff dressed in Edwardian attire. You and your date can also join the fun and dress in period-inspired clothing as well!

The 4th Annual Downton Abbey Christmas Tea will take place the first three Saturdays of December with evening sittings. Tickets are $31.95 a person and include a full high tea with a delicious assortment of sweets and savories; there will also be music, lively entertainment, fun photo ops, and romantic carriage rides (the last is an additional $10).

Call the Tilted Teacup Tea Room today and make your reservation for a romantic holiday evening. If you are from out of town, you may also want to book a room or suite at the new Dolan House Bed and Breakfast, which is just minutes away from the tea room.

Related content: Spend an Enchanted Afternoon at The Tilted Teacup Tea Room and Boutique in Brooksville

Spring Hill 

Painting with a Twist

Share some drinks and laughs together while creating a holiday masterpiece at Painting With a Twist in Spring Hill. You and your date will have a blast painting a simple but pretty Christmas picture in your choice of red or green. In addition to a painting lesson, you’ll walk away with a truly unique holiday painting that you can hang up in your home or gift to someone. A Painting With a Twist couple’s class is sure to be a fun, romantic evening for both of you.

This particular class is $35 per person and takes place on December 8th from 8:30 - 10:30 p.m.


Celebration of Lights 2017

On Central Florida’s Nature Coast, the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park makes a walk in the park even more romantic with their annual Celebration of Lights. December 19th through Christmas Eve, you and your date can walk through the park and enjoy spectacular synchronized light and sound show between 5:30 - 9 p.m. There will also be a variety of entertainment and refreshments available each night. Whether you’re a nature lover or not, The Celebration of Lights makes a great date to get away from all the hubbub while still enjoying the holiday season. This event is free to the public, but a donation to the park of $5 per person is suggested.


Early Holiday Jazz

This small town in North Central Florida is a gem with outstanding musical talent appearing regularly at their gorgeous Old Courthouse Heritage Museum. Spend a romantic evening listening to Early Holiday Jazz with the smooth sounds of Kim Evans and Southern Exposure, which will definitely be a treat for the ears. This concert will be on December 7th from 7- 9 p.m., and tickets are $25 a person. Make it a dinner-and-show date by getting dinner beforehand at Stumpknockers or Mcleod House Bistro, both of which are within a short walking distance from the museum.

Mount Dora

Maggie's Wine and Beer Tasting

Near Orlando, Mount Dora has a New-England style downtown full of charm as well many restaurants, shops, and businesses. In addition to the festively-decorated streets, Maggie's Attic brings a little extra holiday cheer with their beer and wine tastings in December. The beer tasting is on the 9th at 6 p.m. and includes a tasting of more than 20 craft beers and a pizza appetizer as well as live music. The wine tasting is on the 16th at the same time, and you will get to sample more than 20 fine wines and get a discount on bottles to take home. Tickets for each tasting are $15 at the door and $13 in advance. There’s a lot to explore in Mount Dora, so turn your date into a romantic rendezvous and stay at the historic Lakeside Inn ​ in one of their 90 beautifully-decorated rooms.

For more romantic things to do during the holidays in North Central Florida, check out our Christmas page, and visit our events page for date ideas year-round. Also, register on 352area and connect to shopping in North Central Florida, sports, and much more around North Central Florida. It's free!

Cover photo from Unsplash