Laura

Jul 202016
 

Harvest Grape StompLakeridge Winery picked the latest crop and its ready for stomping. Travel through the rolling hills of Clermont to Lakeridge Winery to squish, smash and stomp grapes at the Annual Harvest Grape Stomp. The two-day outdoor festival, August 13 and 14, will feature live music, grape stomping competitions and award-winning Lakeridge wines. Entry is $2 and benefits The Boys & Girls Club. As always, there will be complimentary wine tours and tastings.

Lakeridge Winery

19239 US Highway 27
Clermont, FL 34715


 

Jul 172016
 

LEGOLAND FloridaThis summer, LEGOLAND Florida Resort is inviting kids throughout the state to visit for free! The theme park has rolled out an exclusive, limited-time offer just for kids. Florida residents who buy a full-price, single-day adult ticket to LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park and LEGOLAND Water Park get a kid’s ticket absolutely free. The ticket is only available when booking online by July 31, 2016 and must be used by September 5, 2016.

Jul 132016
 

Orlando Summer free things to doSummer in Central Florida brings free or cheap kids’ movies, free days at museums and a chance for kids to bowl free. All of the summer things to do in Orlando we’ve listed below are free or inexpensive (less than $20 each). And if it’s in the budget, we’ve added in water parks that are offering special Florida Resident discounts. Whether you are looking to cool off at the Central Florida springs or chill out ice-skating at RDV Sportsplex, we have plenty of ideas for a fun and inexpensive summer in Orlando.

Here are 32 free or cheap things for kids to do in Orlando this summer:

MOVIES

  • Free outdoor movies. Round up the crew for a cozy evening of family-friendly flicks Enzian Popcorn Flicks in the Parkunder the stars. There are many free movie options in Orlando throughout the year. Movieola at Lake Eola offers a free family-friendly outdoor movie on the last Friday of the month through August.
  • Free and cheap summer movies at the theater. 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 a $1.
  • 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.
  • Catch 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.

BOWLING

Kids can sign up to bowl free this summer through these two programs:

  • Summer Games Program at participating AMF Lanes now through September 5 allows kids to bowl three free games per day (Monday – Friday before 8 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday before 4 p.m.) at participating AMF Bowling Centers with a Summer Games Pass registration.
  • Kids Bowl Free is offering two free bowling games for kids, every day, now through August 31, 2016. The participating Orlando location is Colonial Lanes, 400 N. Primrose Drive, 407-894-0361.

ATTRACTIONS

  • Gatorland provides affordable-priced family fun with thousands of alligators, crocodiles, an Gatorlandaviary, breeding marsh with observation tower, petting zoo, nature walk, educational wildlife programs and more. Florida Residents can enjoy 50% off through June 30, 2016.
  • Central Florida Zoo is home to more than 500 animals and has a splash pad for your little ones to cool off. Tickets: $19.50 for adults, $13.75 for kids.
  • RDV Sportsplex Ice Den in Maitland is a family-friendly ice rink that is open for public skating seven days a week. Admission is $6.99 plus tax and $9.81 for Friday or Saturday night.
  • Indoor play areas.On rainy days, take your little kids to Gymboree in Orlando, Amaya Papaya in Casselberry or Lucky Monkey in Altamonte Springs.
  • Hawaiian Rumble Adventure Golf challenges golfers with a Hawaiian-themed course featuring a waterfall, volcano and musical fountain. The course costs $9.95 per person.
  • LEGO Imagination Center lets kids explore their creativity by building with colorful bricks. Plus, on select days throughout the month, the Lego Store offers free special events for the LEGO fanatic in your family.
  • Free Disney experiences. Disney Springs is fun-filled escape, brimming with unique boutiques, culinary surprises and lively entertainment. Parking is free, and it’s free to walk around and explore. Disney’s BoardWalk, a quarter-mile of shops offering free live entertainment in the evenings. Gather around Fort Wildernessas the sun goes down for old-fashioned fun at Disney Resorts. Roast marshmallows next to a crackling fire and then cozy up for an outdoor family-friendly movie. This experience is free to all Disney guests.
  • Old Town Car Cruises. Hot rods, street rods, antiques and muscle cars roll down the street at Old Town in Kissimmee a few nights every week.

ARTS & CULTURE

  • Ride the SunRail for a fun tour of Orlando and it’s surrounding cities. Kids under 6 ride for free with a paying adult.
  • Mennello Museum offers free admission to the galleries, craft stations and mini-tours every second Sunday of the month.
  • The Orange County Regional History Center offers a wide variety of creative exhibits and programs designed for children. Tickets are $6 for kids and $8 for adults.
  • Free entry to Orlando museums. Take the kids on a cultural journey for free withOrlando Science Center 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 fun events, interactive presentations and free story time for various age groups from babies to 5 years old.
  • Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading Triathlon rewards kids (grades one through six) with a free book, after they’ve answered three questions in the Triathlon journal.

PARKS & NATURE

  • Central Florida Springs, Florida’s natural cooling system, is a fun place to visit year round. Wekiva Springs State ParkIn the summer, take a dip in the refreshing water. In the winter, go on a picnic or a canoe trip. Admission is around $6 per person or $2 per person, depending on the park.
  • Bok Tower Gardens, a picturesque park atop one of Florida’s tallest hills, is crowned with a Gothic bell tower that rings daily with carillon music. Guests can enjoy the tranquil and expansive gardens, museum and Pine Ridge Trail. Entry is $3 for kids and $12 for adults.
  • Big Tree Park in Sanford features 11 acres of natural vegetation, wetlands and is the home to a 2,000-year-old Bald Cypress Tree, “Lady Liberty.” Entry is free.
  • Leu Gardens offers free entry and a special story time event for little ones starting at 10 a.m. on the first Monday of the month (next one is August 1st). Stroll through the lush gardens or bring a blanket to relax in the shade while the kids play. Regular ticket price is $3 for kids and $10 for adults.
  • 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 and take a stroll around the lake. 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.
  • Bike and nature trails. It’s free to journey through the trails of Central Florida: Seminole Seminole County TrailsCounty trails, Orange County trails, Lake County trails and Volusia County trails.
  • The Beach. We are located in the middle of Florida, but the beach is just 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 and pools. Cool off at one of Central Florida’s free (or small-fee)splash pads. Or take a dip in one of the City of Orlando’s four year-round pools: College Park Pool, Dover Shores Pool, James R. Smith Pool or Wadeview Pool.
  • Black Hammock Adventures on Lake Jessup offers free live alligator and bird exhibits and free live music every weekend.

WATER PARK & THEME PARK DISCOUNTS

READ MORE:

Jul 102016
 

Wekiva Springs State ParkOrlando boasts more than 100 attractions including affordable options that start at $6 or less per person. There’s plenty to do in Orlando to fit any budget. From museums to outdoor adventures, you can enjoy popular Central Florida destinations for less than $30 per person.

Note: double check ticket cost before you go as prices are always subject to change.

$6 OR LESS PER PERSON

Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens in beautiful Winter Park features one of America’s Albin Polasekmost prominent sculptors of the 20th century.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including his famed leaded-glass lamps. Admission is free on select holidays and on Friday evenings November – April.

The Mennello Museum of American Art stocks a diverse collection of sculptures and paintings, including contemporary American folk art and works by Earl Cunningham.

Central Florida Springs, Florida’s natural cooling system, is a fun place to visit year round. In the summer, take a dip in the refreshing water. In the winter, go on a picnic or a canoe trip.

Lakeridge Winery is an unexpected Florida wine experience. One weekend every month, the Lakeridge Winery entertains visitors with free (or $2 donation entry) events featuring live music, artist vendors, crafts and food. You can also stop by any day of the week for complimentary wine tours and tastings.

$10 OR LESS PER PERSON

Enzian is Central Florida’s only full-time alternative cinema, presenting independent and classic Enzianfilms as well as hosting annual film festivals and a variety of community events.

Harry P. Leu Gardens boasts three miles of paved scenic walkways, a butterfly garden, bamboo gardens and a museum.

Orlando Museum of Art displays local, national and international art work. The museum also features two discovery centers for children, devoted to interactive activities and educational programs.

West Orange Trail Bikes and Blades Co. offers hourly, daily and weekly road bike rentals for visitors to explore Central Florida’s scenic trails, including the 22-mile West Orange Trail.

WhirlyDome lets you be a kid again with WhirlyBall, laser tag and race car simulator games.

The Orange County Regional History Center offers a wide variety of creative exhibits and programs designed for children, including art stations and free family guides for exploring the museum.

Kings Bowl Orlando is the perfect spot to eat, bowl or lounge in retro luxury.

$15 OR LESS PER PERSON

Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf has two swash-buckling 18-hole miniature golf courses with price varying by location.

Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour provides a relaxing narrated cruise through the lakes and canals of Winter Park boat tourhistoric Winter Park, showcasing natural wildlife and mansions that line the waterways.

SAK Comedy Lab has improv players take suggestions from the audience to create show-stopping scenes.

Bok Tower Gardens, a picturesque park atop one of Florida’s tallest hills, is crowned with a Gothic bell tower that rings daily with carillon music. Enjoy the tranquil and expansive gardens, museum and Pine Ridge Trail.

$20 OR LESS PER PERSON

Orlando Repertory Theater presents performances based on classical and contemporary children’s literature.

Orlando Science Center is a hands-on science museum with educational exhibits, programs, giant screen films and planetarium shows.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium invites visitors to explore the weirder side of things, from art to interactive exhibits in 16 galleries of the odd and unusual from around the world.

Crayola Experience has more than 70,000 square feet of colorful adventures with 25 hands-on crayola experienceactivities. Located at the Florida Mall.

Central Florida Zoo is home to more than 500 animals and has a splash pad for your little ones to cool off.

Hollywood Drive-In Golf at UniversalCityWalk Orlando is Central Florida’s newest and most outrageously themed miniature golf. The two state-of-the-art 18-hole courses, side by side, are each uniquely quirky and larger-than-life.

Canoeing and Kayaking at Wekiwa Springs, a charming way to discover the Wekiva River while experiencing the beautiful, untouched wonders of Florida.

Madame Tussauds at I-Drive 360 offers guests the chance to mingle with lifelike wax models of celebrities, historical figures and sports stars. Purchase tickets online and in advance for the best deal.

SeaLife Aquarium Orlando, featuring a 360-degree ocean tunnel, more than 5,000 creatures, a SEA LIFE Aquariumhands-on touch pool experience and more. Purchase tickets online and in advance for the best deal.

The Orlando Eye towers above the entire I-Drive 360 complex, taking guests to new heights. Purchase tickets online and in advance for the best deal.

$30 OR LESS PER PERSON

Gatorland is one of Central Florida’s oldest theme parks and wildlife preserves, with exhibits and entertainment focused around alligators and crocodiles.

Boggy Creek Airboat Ride offers a glimpse into the unaltered Central Florida wilderness while whisking across the water at 45 mph.

Island Boat Tours gives you the chance to spot herds of manatees, flocks of birds and dolphins as they cruise through the Indian River Lagoon.

WonderWorks is a fun amusement park for the mind featuring more than 100 interactive exhibits for all ages.

READ MORE:
Free things to do in Orlando
25 romantic Orlando dates under $25
Free kids’ activities in Orlando

Jun 102016
 

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.
  • Catch 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.

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.

Jun 082016
 

Fort WildernessOrlando is well known for amazing theme parks, but there are also many free kids’ activities in Orlando. 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.

Parks
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. And then it’s open house to all the galleries until 4 p.m.

Leu Gardens
On the first Monday of the month, Leu Gardens offers a free story time event indoors 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. Entry to the gardens is free on the first Monday of the month (except in Spring, check website before going). Regular ticket price is $3 for kids and $10 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. Check out this list of free museum days in Orlando and museums that are always free.

Library
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. For a fun playdate, go to storytime at the downtown Orlando library and then head to Lake Eola to enjoy the playground and picnic on the shore of Lake Eola.

LEGO Imagination Center
Located in downtown Disney Marketplace, the LEGO Imagination Center lets kids explore their creativity by building with colorful bricks. Plus, on select days throughout the month, the Lego Store offers free special events for the LEGO fanatic in your family.

Central Florida Zoo
Take your young kids to the Central Florida Zoo to meet the animals they’ve learned about in books at a special free story time event. Storytime at the Zoo is held on Wednesday mornings a few months out of the year (usually in November & April). Visit the zoo afterward ($19.50 for adults and $13.75 for kids) to explore animal habitats and play in the Tropical Splash Ground.

Campfires & Movies Under the Stars at Walt Disney World Resort
Gather around as the sun goes down for old-fashioned fun at Disney Resorts. Roast marshmallows next to a crackling fire and then cozy up for an outdoor family-friendly movie. 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.

Disney Springs
Disney Springs is fun-filled escape, brimming with unique boutiques, culinary surprises and lively entertainment. Parking is free, and it’s free to walk around and explore.

Old Town Car Cruises
Hot rods, street rods, antiques and muscle cars roll down the street at Old Town in Kissimmee a few nights every week.

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 Build & Grow
Lowe’s offers free Kids’ Clinics every month. You will need to RSVP to guarantee that your child will receive a kit. 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

Jun 072016
 

Mennello MuseumEvery second Sunday of the month, Mennello Museum offers free admission to the galleries. From noon to 2 p.m., families can enjoy make-and-take craft stations and mini-tours of the museum. The galleries are open for you to explore until 4:30 p.m.

Tucked away on a picturesque shore of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Park, just north of downtown Orlando, is the elegantly appointed Mennello Museum of American Art. The treasure of the Mennello Museum is the permanent collection of paintings by self-taught or “primitive” artist Earl Cunningham and a beautiful lakeside sculpture garden.

The Mennello Museum of American Art
900 East Princeton Street
Orlando, FL 32803
407.246.4278

Jun 022016
 

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 17, 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.

 

May 272016
 

Daytona Beach BandshellThere isn’t a better place to spend your summer nights than on the beach with friends and family. Every Friday and Saturday evening this summer, the Daytona Beach Bandshell turns up the volume with a free concerts. The lineup includes original acts and tribute bands such as U2, Elton John, and Bon Jovi. Most of the performances start around 7 p.m. and most are free, but check the schedule before making your plans. Plus, every Saturday night, you can also enjoy fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean.

This scenic amphitheater is located in Oceanfront Park on the north end of the Boardwalk amusement area and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It hosts regular free concerts for the residents of Daytona Beach and its visitors. For more information, call the Daytona Beach Cultural Services Division at 386-671-8250.

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