Laura

May 262016
 

MovieolaOn the last Friday of the month through August, enjoy an evening of family-friendly entertainment and a free outdoor movie at Lake Eola’s Movieola. Bring the entire family to downtown Orlando for games like croquet and cornhole followed by an outdoor movie on the East Lawn between Washington St. and Central Blvd. right next to the playground. The fun begins at 6 p.m. with the movie starting at 8:15 p.m.

Movieola Schedule
Friday, May 27: Goosebumps
Friday, June 24: Cinderella
Friday, July 29: Jurassic World
Friday, August 26: Minions

May 252016
 

Blue Spring_Suzanne-Ridenour The Central Florida Springs, Florida’s natural cooling system, is one of those must-see destinations. With water temperatures in the low 70s, a dip in the Central Florida Springs is incredibly refreshing. A day at the springs is also cheap with entry starting at $2 for a Florida State Park. For an inexpensive fun day in the sun, check out one of these beautiful parks near Orlando.

Rainbow SpringsRainbow Springs
Archaeological evidence indicates that people have been using this spring for nearly 10,000 years…and it continues to be a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, canoeing and kayaking. $2 per person at the headsprings entrance and $5 per vehicle, up to eight people, at the tube entrance. Children under six years old are free.

19158 S.W. 81st Place Road
Dunnellon, FL
(352) 465-8555

Blue Spring
Blue Spring State Park covers more than 2,600 acres, including the largest spring on the St. John’s River. Blue Spring is a designated Manatee Refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. $6 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

2100 W. French Avenue
Orange City, FL
(386) 775-3663

Wekiwa SpringsWekiva Springs State Park
Just one hour from most central Florida attractions, Wekiwa Springs offers visitors the opportunity to relax in a natural setting, enjoy a picnic, or take a swim in the cool spring. $6 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka, FL
(407) 884-2008

De Leon Springs
Go in the morning to cook your own pancakes at the Sugar Mill Restaurant, and then stay for the day to take a dip in the swimming area or rent canoes. $6 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

601 Ponce de Leon Boulevard
De Leon Springs, FL
(386) 985-4212

Kelly Park/Rock Springs RunRock-Springs-Run
A favorite park for tubing, Kelly Park features a free-flowing natural spring and Rock Springs a clear, swift creek. $3 per vehicle. Use the honor box to pay fees. Correct change is required. Limit 8 people per vehicle.

30601 CR 433
Sorrento, FL
(407) 884-2008

Wekiva Island
Play volleyball, corn toss, enjoy live music and swim in the refreshing Wekiva River. This eco-recreation destination has an old Florida feel, a bar that serves beer and wine, riverside cabanas and a dog-friendly policy. The park usually fills to capacity around noon on Saturdays and Sundays. Entry is $1 per person.

1014 Miami Springs Road
Longwood, FL 32779
(407) 862-1500

May 252016
 

Milk Money Movies Garden TheaterCatch a family-friendly flick for the cost of milk money – just $2. Garden Theatre’s Milk Money Movies features kids’ favorites on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. in June and July. Admission includes a snack pack with a kids’ sized popcorn and juice. Kid-friendly titles include Curious George, Home Alone, Minions and Happy Feet 2.

Garden Theatre
160 West Plant Street
Winter Garden, Florida 34787
407-877-GDRN (4736)

May 182016
 

Mako SeaWorld OrlandoFrom the colossal return of King Kong, to a “Galaxy Far, Far Away” coming closer than ever, to the launch of the tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster — Orlando’s newest attractions are bigger, bolder and better-than-ever. The theme park capital of the world introduces must-see additions for visitors to create unforgettable summer vacations.

Visitors this summer can save an additional 5% on already discounted attraction tickets from the visitors’ bureau, Visit Orlando, at VisitOrlando.com/tickets with the New For Summer promo code: NFS2016. Offer available until June 15, 2016.

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT

  • At Universal’s Islands of Adventure “Skull Island: Reign of Skull Island Universal StudiosKong” will honor one of the most monumental figures in movie history, King Kong. Guests will board massive off-road vehicles and explore ancient temple structures while encountering hostile natives and fending off unspeakable terrors.
  • A new tropical oasis will welcome guests at Universal Orlando Resort: the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. The new property is the fifth onsite hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, featuring 1,000 rooms and suites with an old-world Caribbean theme, built around a 16,000 square foot, resort-style pool and towering waterfall. Rooms will be available for booking starting July 14.

WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT

  • Epcot guests can cool off in the kingdom of Arendelle when the Frozen Ever Afterhighly-anticipated attraction “Frozen Ever After” opens in the Norway Pavilion. The family adventure set in the magical world of “Frozen” will feature the popular story of the royal sisters, hit songs and new technology for an icy trek that is sure to warm hearts.
  • A new flight path will open for the popular attraction “Soarin'” at Epcot this summer. The updated version of the ride, called“Soarin’ Around the World,” includes a whole new film, taking guests on a journey to far-flung lands, and accommodating more guests with the addition of an extra theatre.
  • Guests will discover new entertainment around every corner this Star Wars at Hollywood Studiossummer with the debut of four new shows across the parks. The Force has awakened at Hollywood Studios, including a new character-filled stage show already open, “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away,” and the upcoming nightly “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” combining fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections to be the most elaborate fireworks display to take place in the history of the park. Animal Kingdom will feature a new night time show starting at the end of May, “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” Show, inspired by the live-action film. Meanwhile, Mickey Mouse and his friends will welcome favorite characters from some of Disney’s newest classics in the live stage show “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire,” debuting in June at the Magic Kingdom.

SEAWORLD ORLANDO

  • Thrill-seekers have a new challenge coming on June 10: “Mako,” a Mako SeaWorld Orlandobrand new 200-foot-tall coaster. Named for one of the ocean’s fastest known sharks, it will be Orlando’s tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 73 mph as it races along 4,760 feet of steel track. The hypercoaster will be the centrepiece of the newly-themed two-acre plaza. The surrounding realm will be fully shark-themed, providing guests with the opportunity to learn about the impact humans have on sharks and why these animals are critical to the environment.

LEGOLAND FLORIDA RESORT

  • As Central Florida heats up, guests can cool off at the new Creative   Creative Cove Legoland Florida Cove at LEGOLAND Water Park. Now open, the new area invites young visitors to build and race their own LEGO boats.
  • Premiering this May, a new 4D movie is coming to LEGOLAND: “LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS 4D: The Book of Creativity.”Characters from the popular LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS series battle forces of evil in this new immersive experience, combining 3D computer animation with “4D,” real-world effects that bring the high-tech action bursting off the screen and into the audience.

CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE

  • A colorful summer is in store for visitors of Crayola Experience, with crayola experiencethe opening of Rockin’ Paper, an all-new attraction that will bring personalized paper creations to life. Guests will start by decorating paper creatures, then watch as they come alive and rock out in a show all of their own, complete with lights and music. Each new set of paper stars will dance to a different song, for a new experience every time.
May 112016
 

Wet 'n WildWet ‘n Wild Orlando is going out with a splash. The Orlando water park is offering a special deal exclusively for Florida residents where they can buy one day admission and get access to the water park for the rest of 2016 FREE. Here are the details for the Wet ‘n Wild Florida Resident discount:

Florida Resident Offer: Buy a Day and Get the Rest of 2016 FREE

  • Cost: $39.99 per person, plus tax – less than a regular one-day ticket.
  • Offer available for purchase now through May 31
  • Pass valid for admission to Wet ‘n Wild through December 31, 2016

 

May 062016
 

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 7.30.21 PMIt’s the first weekend of the month, and that means Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers can visit museums for free in Orlando through the bank’s Museums On Us  program. Just show your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card Saturday or Sunday and you’ll get free admission to more than 150 museums and attractions in cities across the United States.

In Orlando, enjoy free admission to these museums:

If you’re traveling, you can also get free entry to other Florida museums in Jacksonville, Tampa, St. Petersburg, West, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

May 042016
 

Orlando Spring DiscountsSpring is a great time to be a Florida resident in Orlando. The tourism association, Visit Orlando, has launched new perks and exclusive deals for Florida residents. From now through June 15, Florida Residents can take advantage of savings up to 50% at more than 50 theme parks and attraction offers, discounted hotel rates, dining deals and more. You’ll have to sign up for Visit Orlando’s email program in order to view the deals.

A selection of offers includes:

THEME PARKS

  • SeaWorld Orlando– Save $30 on a 2-Park Combo Ticket for SeaWorld and AquaticaSeaworld Orlando
  • Universal Orlando Resort– Save over $45 off gate prices on select multi-day tickets
  • Walt Disney World Resort– Specially priced 3-, 4-day base tickets and annual passes are available for Florida residents

ATTRACTIONS

  • Orlando Balloon Rides– $50 off for adults, $20 off for children
  • Wild Florida– 50% off all tickets plus free souvenir shot glass
  • SKELETONS: Animals Unveiled– Buy adult entry and get child entry free

ACCOMODATIONS

  • Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive– 30% off best available rate; free parking and internet; plus no resort fee on stays of two nights or more
  • CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort Orlando– 25% off; rates from $69
  • Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa –20% off standard rates and any spa service

DINING/NIGHTLIFE

  • Black Fire Brazilian Steakhouse– All-you-can-eat meat, buffet and drinks for $34.95
  • Señor Frog’s Orlando– Free cover every Friday; 20% off food and retail items and 2-for-1 10 oz. signature drinks
  • Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar –Complimentary dessert or Mojito

SPRING SPECIAL EVENTS

Orlando celebrates spring through music, art and fabulous food. Florida residents can complement their spring Orlando itinerary with a variety of special events, including:

Apr 272016
 

Thumbnail for 21230During the summer, parents are always looking for ways to keep the kids entertained on a budget. And, on a hot day, there’s nothing better than an air-conditioned theater with a family-friendly flick on the big screen, especially if it’s free or just $1. Enjoy these free & cheap summer movies for kids in Orlando:

  • Cobb Theatres’ Summer Kids Shows: Free movies every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. Orlando location: Plaza Cinema Café 12, 155 South Orange Avenue, 407-982-5444.
  • Regal Cinemas’ Summer Movie Express: $1 movies every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. throughout the summer.
  • Picture Show at Altamonte: $1 movies every Tuesday and $1.75 movies every day.

If you are looking for free outdoor family-friendly movie options, go to Lake Eola’s Movieola on the last Friday of the month through August. Or you can also check our list of outdoor movies in Orlando.

Apr 192016
 

Magic Kingdom Although ticket prices keep increasing for Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando, you can still find a reasonable deal if you are a Florida Resident. Florida Residents can save by purchasing a pass for multiple days with the Florida Resident Disney Select Ticket. A one-day ticket costs $97, but you can buy a 3-day ticket for $68 per day or a 4-day ticket for $56 per day.

The pass is good for 6 months or through December 14, 2017 (whichever comes first) and blockout dates apply. The Florida Resident deal gives you access to these Disney Theme Parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

 

Apr 112016
 

City of OrlandoThe City of Orlando has come up with a fun list of free things for families to do in Orlando this spring. With comfortable temperatures and plenty of sunshine, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of some of Orlando’s best events and activities. Here is what the City of Orlando recommends to do for free around town this spring:

Go for a Scenic Walk
Are you looking for some new scenery for your family walks? Head down to Harbor Park in Baldwin Park for its scenic path around Lake Baldwin. This 2.56-mile circle path is perfect for active families. Harbor Park includes large grassy areas for sun bathing and gazebos overlooking the water.

Explore a Botanical OasisLeu Gardens
Leu Gardens is located just minutes away from Downtown Orlando. The 50-acre gardens offer visitors not only a way to view plants, but also an understanding of how they grow. Leu Gardens offers free admission on May 2 and June 6. As an added bonus there is also free admission on Mother’s Day for Mom and Father’s Day for Dads.

Interact with Art
The 6th Annual Kidsfest in the Audubon Park Garden District is April 23. Kidsfest is a fun-filled day of creative and interactive activities for kids of all ages with an array of workshops and hands-on activities where kids can make art, create music, cook and craft.

Picnic in the Park
Demetree Park offers the prefect location for lunch with a view. The 24.6-acre park includes three lakes linked by a system of pathways and boardwalks. The walkways weave around the lakes as well as wooded areas. Stroll through the park until you find the perfect place to stop and enjoy a bite to eat.

Go Fish at Lake Underhill
Grab a fishing pole and spend the day sitting on the edge of the dock at Lake Underhill Park. Lake Underhill is one of the best places in Orlando to catch largemouth bass. Quick tip: during spring the best place to land a bass is near the bank, in about five to eight feet of water, with soft plastic bait.

Lunch at Loch HavenLoch Haven
Located north of Downtown is Loch Haven Cultural Park, home to everything arts. The park is surrounded by museums and performing arts centers. In the middle of all of this are acres of tranquil greenery, the perfect place to settle down for a picnic. The large lawn is perfect to run around and play or just lay on a blanket in the grass.

Springtime Swim
The weather is starting to warm up now that spring is here; out with the sweatshirts and in with the bathing suits. The City of Orlando’s four year-round pools are ready to be jumped into. Swing by the College Park Pool, Dover Shores Pool, James R. Smith Pool or Wadeview Pool for a fun way to cool off now that temperatures are getting into the 80s.

Art on the StreetsCity of Orlando
When it comes to Orlando, art is everywhere, even on traffic signal boxes. Visit Mills 50 Main Street District to check out all the hand-painted boxes. The majority of the boxes are located down Mills Avenue and East Colonial Drive, so take a look at the map and find them all.

Take a Trip to Greenwood Urban Wetlands
Located near Downtown is a park that will make you think you left Florida. Greenwood Urban Wetlands is a gorgeous 19-acre park filled with tall Cypress trees. The trees line the edge of the water and have a bit of a mysterious look. The park has a paved trail that goes around the lake. Greenwood is pet friendly.

Get Your Art On at Mennello
The Mennello Museum of American Art offers a Free Family Day on the second Sunday of every month. The whole family receives free admission from 12 to 4:30 p.m. Get there at noon and have time to walk around and see the exhibits. Then from noon to 2:30 p.m. there is a make-and-take activity the whole family can enjoy, along with mini tours happening throughout the day at the museum.

Movie Nights
Bring the whole family for a fun night under the stars at Lake Eola Park for Movieola. Come early to snag a spot on the East Lawn with some chairs, blankets and snacks. This spring Movieola is bringing you ‘Inside Out’ on April 29 and ‘Goosebumps’ on May 27. Movieola will continue into the summer with ‘Cinderella,’ ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Minions.’

Have Some Friendly Competition
Get all your friends together for a pickup game of volleyball. Orlando Festival Park has four beach volleyball courts ready for some action. Make it more fun by setting up a whole tournament. Make sure to get an early start to your game as courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Go Mountain Biking… in OrlandoCity of Orlando
Lake Druid Park, which opened in the fall, is perfect for a little bit of mountain biking. The park has three different tracks to pick from: the pump track, single-track trail and junior pump track for the kids. The park also has plenty of green space, and a fenced dog run.

Dance on the Drive
Dance your way through College Park at the College Park Partnership’s annual block party, Dancing on the Drive, on April 30. With vendors, food trucks and a DJ spinning hits from the 1960s through today, you and a few hundred of your closest friends can take part in this fun outdoor party for all ages. The event does have a $5 donation to attend.

Look to the Sky
Have a kid who loves planes? Check out Joe Kittinger Park located on the edge of Orlando Executive Airport. This park is a great place to bring a blanket and watch the planes take off. Go during the weekends to see a little more action. Joe Kittinger Park is also home to a refurbished F-4 Phantom Aircraft.

Bike the Cady Way Trail
Spring is perfect for spending time outside and a bike ride on the Cady Way Trail. Opened in 1994, the Cady Way Trail has a trailhead behind the Orlando Fashion Square Mall and continues 6.5 miles through Baldwin Park, Winter Park and Orange County to the Seminole County line. The trail alternates between a single width pathway and two paths separated by a median, providing plenty of space for pedestrians, skaters and bicyclists.

Walk Through History
Our spring weather is perfect for taking a stroll to learn about Downtown Orlando’s history. Grab your phone to view or print out the Downtown Orlando Historic Walking Tour Map and you are ready to go. The tour includes buildings dating all the way back to the late 1800s. The tour is a great way to see an array of building styles and sizes, reflecting the evolution of architecture and construction in Downtown.

See Swan LakeCity of Orlando
There are many kinds of swans at Lake Eola Park. You may spot a trumpet swan, a royal mute or maybe a whooper swan. Head down to the lake with this handy guide detailing the different types of swans and see if you can tell what kind of swan each is. The beautiful creatures walk freely around the park, just make sure to not feed them any bread or popcorn!

READ MORE:
10 things to do under $10 in Orlando
Free kids’ activities in Orlando