Jan 282015

Old Florida Outdoor FestivalEnjoy a weekend outside celebrating some of the best Florida activities and entertainment February 14-15, 2015 in Apopka. The Old Florida Outdoor Festival will feature birding, fishing, hunting, Highwaymen art, kids’ activities, chili cook-off, a local farmer’s market, beer tents and more. The kids can jump on a bounce house and meet animals at a petting zoo. Stay through the evening for concerts headlined by national country music recording artists. General admission is $15 in advance ($20 day of event) and $5 for kids (under 5 are free).

Northwest Recreation Center
3710 Jason Dwelley Parkway
Apopka, FL 32712

Jan 282015

Lake EolaBy Kristen Manieri, founder of Orlando Date Night Guidea website that’s been giving date night ideas to Orlando couples since 2007. 

1. Date Night at Leu Gardens
On starlit evenings, you and your sweetie can snuggle up on a blanket in the beautiful 50-acre Harry P. Leu Gardens. Hundreds of lovebirds flock to Date Night at Leu Gardens on the first Friday of most months when the outdoor screen shows romantic flicks and blockbuster hits. Tickets are just $6.

2. Wine Room at Winter Park
Wine aficionados and newbies alike will enjoy a DIY wine tasting experience at The Wine Room at Winter Park, where the Enomatic Wine Serving System gives guests the chance to sample selections of over 150 different types of wine simply with the touch of a button. Couples load up a debit card with cash and then wander through the living room-esque locale sipping wines and noshing on gourmet cheese plates.

3. The Food Truck Bazaar
With over a dozen starlit shindigs scheduled each month, The Food Truck Bazaar offers couples an atypical dining experience with a reputation for gourmet food like lobster rolls, chorizo tacos and root beer flavored cupcakes. Don’t forget chairs or a blanket; seating is typically scarce.

4. Trivia Nights
Engage the heart and the mind with a little mental stimulation on your next date night: Earth Trivia is played at bars and restaurants all over the Orlando area seven nights a week. The game is divided into rounds of ten random questions that you answer as a team. You write your answers on the sheets provided and then hand them in at the end of each round. Winners are announced and prizes (usually gift certificates to the restaurant) are given away.

5. Wednesday Night Pitcher Show
Arguably one of the prettiest bars in Orlando, Enzian’s Eden Bar hosts the weekly Wednesday Night Pitcher Show, a laid-back cocktail party featuring a retro classic film on a giant outdoor screen. Jell-O shot movie trivia add to the fun.

6. Stargazing
Take your date night out of this world, literally, with a visit to the Planetarium at Seminole State College where weekly interactive shows bring thousands of stars and the stories behind them into clear view. Cost per person is typically $6.

7. Friday Night Live
The Eddie Rose Amphitheatre at Uptown Altamonte hosts local bands for Friday Night Live, a weekly live music most Friday nights beginning at 7 or 8pm. Free and open to all music lovers, the outdoor concert features an ever-changing line-up of musical styles, from calypso to rock to jazz. Afterward, take a stroll through Cranes Roost Park, where a 1-mile lakeside trail winds through the 45-acre park.

8. RDV ice-skating
Don’t forget your sweaters and socks when you visit to RDV’s Ice Den, where the Olympic size ice skating rink is kept at a chilly 50 degrees Fahrenheit. On Friday and Saturday evenings DJs fill the rink with TOP 40 tunes for the coupled-up skaters gliding across the ice. Skate rentals, as well as hot chocolate, are available on site.

9. Lake Eola Swan Boats
Paddle out onto the 29-acre body Lake Eola via a swan boat during the next warm evening. Boat rentals, which cost $15 per half hour, can be secured at the swan dock across from Relax Grill until 7pm Sunday – Tuesdays, and until 10pm Wednesdays – Saturdays. Reservations are not required.

10. The Great Outdoors
Think about renting a canoe at Wekiwa Springs, a tranquil and untouched state park north of Orlando where a beautiful spring and river gives couples the option for swimming and kayaking. Or perhaps rent some bikes and head for a ride along the West Orange Trail.

Jan 272015

Mount Dora Art FestivalA colorful array of art will fill the quaint downtown streets of Mount Dora February 7-8, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mount Dora’s annual Art Festival is one the best and biggest festivals in the area attracting hundreds of artists from around the world. Stroll through endless rows of fine art, including oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, clay and photography. Enjoy live music at a main stage in Donnelly Park, grab lunch at a local restaurant and soak up the views of Lake Dora. This is a very popular event, so get there early to find parking. Entry is free.

Jan 232015

Seaworld OrlandoSeaWorld Orlando is offering a special BOGO deal for Annual Passes. When you buy one annual pass to SeaWorld, you will get one free. This BOGO deal is available when purchased by February 28, 2015. One annual pass is $156 and you can add on access to the Aquatica water park for $24 more. Pass holders enjoy these theme park perks: 1-year unlimited access to SeaWorld Orlando, free parking, 10% off food, drinks and merchandise and discounts for accompanying guests.

If you have a little one in your house, the Preschool Pass has returned at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay theme parks. Kids five and under can explore the depths of the ocean and the wonders of Africa for FREE with their own special pass now through December 31, 2015.

Jan 212015

LegolandBuild family memories at LEOGLAND Florida for less. Florida Residents can enjoy 12 months of fun at both LEGOLAND Florida and LEGOLAND Waterpark for just $99. This Florida Resident 2-Park Annual Pass is a great deal with more than 50 rides, shows, attractions, water park access and entry to all the special events. The annual pass gives you free parking, discounts and doesn’t have any blackout dates. Offer available for a limited time.

Jan 202015

Orlando Bike ShareThe Orlando Bike Share program has rolled into town and is a great transportation alternative to experience downtown or commute to work. For $5 an hour, you can explore the City Beautiful without paying for gas or sitting in traffic. Simply reserve a bike online or through the app, release the bike to ride and then return at any one of the designated stations.

For more details, visit the FAQ page on the City of Orlando’s website.

Jan 202015

StrawberryThe Florida Strawberry Festival celebrates the abundant strawberry harvest with tons of fun activities February 26-March 8, 2015. Travel to Plant City for an exciting line-up of entertainment, competitive contests, youth events, thrilling rides and of course—delicious strawberries.

Regular gate admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids (6-12, 5 and under are free). Participating Publix locations are offering advance tickets January 29-March 8 for $8 for adults and $4 for kids. There will be plenty of options to save on tickets with special discounts for kids, seniors, farm workers and more.

303 North Lemon Street
Plant City, FL 33563

Jan 192015

Manatee FestivalBlue Spring State Park is a designated Manatee Refuge. During the winter months, it’s the perfect time to catch a glimpse of the growing population of manatees. The Manatee Festival celebrates this exciting time of the year with a festival to benefit the Friends of Blue Spring State Park on January 24 & 25 at Valentine Park in Orange City. It’s an event for the entire family with lots of entertainment and activities. Enjoy presentations by Central Florida Zoo, live music, rides, food and walk-on-water balls. Admission is $8 for adults, $2 for kids (3 and under are free).

Jan 162015

Fort WildernessOrlando is well known for amazing theme parks, but there are also many inexpensive ways to entertain your kids in Central Florida. You don’t need a ton of money for a fun weekend with the family or a play date adventure. We’ve found plenty of free and cheap things to do with your kids in Orlando.

Free things to do with kids in Orlando:

Lake Eola
Lake Eola Park is a 43-acre recreational area in the heart of downtown Orlando. The kids will love the large playground with activities for every age. Picnic along the shore, feed the resident swans, catch a free concert at the amphitheater and take a stroll around the lake. Enjoy spectacular views of Orlando’s skyline and marvel at iconic fountain, which comes to life with dancing bright lights accompanied by jazz music every night at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Bike and nature trails
Seminole County’s award-winning recreational trail system is a Central Florida best kept secret with more than 60 miles of paved and natural trails. Whatever adventure you choose, it’s free to journey through the trails of Central Florida. Explore Central Florida’s trails:

The Beach
We might be in the middle of Florida, but the beach is still only a 45-minute drive away. Pack the car with toys, an umbrella and a cooler of snacks for a day trip to Cocoa or New Smyrna Beach.

Central Florida is home to many beautiful parks and recreational facilities. One of the easiest ways to find parks closet to you is to log on to Yelp to explore your options and read reviews. You can also search on Seminole or Orange counties’ websites.

Splash Pads
Cool off when it’s hot outside at one of Central Florida’s free (or small-fee) splash pads.

Free outdoor movies
Round up the crew for a cozy evening of family-friendly flicks under the stars. There are many free movie options in Orlando throughout the year.

Mennello Museum
Every second Sunday of the month, Mennello Museum offers free admission to the galleries, craft stations and mini-tours for kids from noon to 2:30 p.m.

Leu Gardens
On the first Monday of the month, Leu Gardens offers free entry and a special story time event for little ones starting at 10 a.m. After story time, stroll through the lush gardens or bring a blanket to relax in the shade while the kids play. Regular ticket price is $2 for kids and $7 for adults.

Free entry to Orlando museums
Take the kids on a cultural journey for free with the Museums On Us program. Just show your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card the first weekend of every month and you’ll get free admission to the Orlando Science Center, Orlando Museum of Art, Mennello Museum of American Art and Orange County Regional History Center.

The Orange County Library System hosts free story time for various age groups from babies to 5 years old. The library also schedules fun events and interactive presentations. Remind your kids why the library is cool (if “cool” is still a cool word). Get your card today.

LEGO Imagination Center
Located in downtown Disney Marketplace, the LEGO Imagination Center lets kids explore their creativity by building with colorful bricks — and it’s free. Plus, on the first Tuesday of the month, the Lego Store offers a free Mini-Model Build. There’s a limit of one free mini-model set per child while supplies last, and the event is open to children ages 6-14.

Sing-a-long at Disney’s Fort Wilderness
Roast marshmallows in front of the campfire, meet Chip n’ Dale and cozy up for an outdoor movie at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. This experience is free to all Disney guests.

Disney’s BoardWalk
Experience the timeless charm of Disney’s BoardWalk, a quarter-mile of shops offering free live entertainment in the evenings.

Old Town Car Cruises
Hot rods, street rods, antiques and muscle cars roll down the street at Old Town in Kissimmee every Friday night starting at 4 p.m.

Home Depot Kids’ Workshops
On the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to noon, Home Depot offers free Kids’ Workshops. Your kids will leave with their own craft, an orange kid’s workshop apron, a commemorative pin and a certificate of achievement.

Lowe’s Kids’ Clinics
Twice a month, Lowe’s offers free Kids’ Clinics. You will need to RSVP to guarantee that your child will receive a kit, but walk-ups are allowed if extras are available. The Kids Clinics start at 10 a.m. Participants get their craft, an apron, goggles and a patch.

Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops offers a mix of free crafts and workshops during select time throughout the year.

Michaels Crafts
Each month, Michaels offers a variety of free and cheap crafts for kids. The month’s crafts often share a theme, and you’ll find creations that are perfect for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts, spring decorations and more. Some events are free, and others are free with purchase.

Lakeshore Learning Store
Lakeshore Learning offers free crafts for kids every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Most of the activities are very simple to complete, making them perfect for preschoolers.

Pottery Barn story time
Every Tuesday at 11 a.m., kids can enjoy a free story time at Pottery Barn Kids.

Read more:
10 things to do under $10

Jan 142015

LEGOLAND FloridaBuild family memories at LEGOLAND Florida with an admission special from LivingSocial. For a limited time, you can purchase discounted one-day tickets starting at $56 for kids/seniors and $62 for adults. Regular ticket price is $82/$89. The ticket is valid through March 19, 2015.

LEGOLAND Florida, the largest LEGOLAND Park in the world, is a 150-acre, interactive theme park with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, restaurants, shopping, a breathtaking botanical garden, and the LEGOLAND Water park — all geared to families with children ages 2 to 12. Now open, The LEGO® World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network features an interactive family water ride called The Quest for CHI, a Speedorz™Arena, Cragger’s Swamp water play area, a 4D movie experience, and character meet-n-greet sessions.

Jan 122015

Universal OrlandoFlorida Residents can save up to $45 off gate prices on multi-day tickets at Universal Orlando Resort. The more days you play, the more you save. With the Florida Resident 3-day ticket, you can visit both Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida for less than $54 per day. The pass lasts for up to 180 days with some blockout dates included. The park-to-park ticket lets you ride the Hogwarts Express and visit both lands on the same day.


Jan 112015

Scottish Highland GamesKilts, bagpipes and traditional Scottish competitions will descend upon Winter Springs January 17-18, 2015. The Scottish Highland Games features live entertainment, drumming, piping, dancing, boulder tossing, hurling, kid’s games, beer tents, food and shopping. Enjoy a taste of Scotland for a reasonable price. Tickets are $15 online in advance and $20 on the gate on Sunday ($5 more on Saturday). Kids tickets are just $5.

Central Winds Park
1000 E. SR 434
Winter Springs, FL 32708