Oct 312014

Lake Mary WineArtFriday never comes fast enough. So why not start early? Escape to downtown Lake Mary for an evening so relaxing and fun you’ll forget you have to work the next day.

Lake Mary WineArt Wednesday features local artists, the Daily City Food Truck Bazaar and a beer and wine garden on the first Wednesday of every month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Stroll along the sidewalk lined with displays by local artists, sip on wine and listen to live music in Central Park next to Lake Mary City Hall. Entry is free but bring cash for unique finds, food and drinks.

Downtown Lake Mary
Lake Mary Boulevard and 4th Street next to Lake Mary City Hall

Oct 302014

Free movies CasselberryIf you are looking for a cheap family activity, head to Casselberry for a free movie in the park at Lake Concord. The popular Family Fun Nights: Movie in the Park is held on the first Friday of each month. Lake Concord Park is a beautiful and quiet escape right off of 17-92. Bring the family, blankets, chairs and enjoy an inexpensive night out. The movies begin at dusk and food vendors are on site.

Upcoming free movies in Casselberry:
Nov. 7: Free Birds
Dec. 12: Arthur Christmas

Call (407) 262-7700 x1507 for weather updates after 4 p.m. the day of the movie.

Oct 292014

Black HammockTake a journey off the beaten path to Black Hammock, a gem hidden beyond the citrus groves and dirt roads in Oviedo. The complex overlooks Lake Jesup, the most alligator populated lake in the country. Relax with a cocktail or sit along the jetty for one of the best views of the sunset in Central Florida. Every Friday and Saturday night, the place heats up with free live music. While there, go for an airboat ride, eat dinner or grab a drink at The Lazy Gator Bar. Check out the display of live gators, including a 35-year-old gator named Hammy who inhabits a cage all to himself near the lakeside docks.

2356 Black Hammock Fish Camp Road
Oviedo, FL 32765

Oct 282014

The free Tow To Go program, a partnership of AAA and Bud Light, works to keep drunk drivers off the road by offering free car tows on select holidays.

The program, which is offered throughout Florida on various holidays, is available Halloween night and the days surrounding the holiday (October 31 through 6 a.m. on November 2). AAA tow trucks will transport inebriated drivers and vehicles to a safe location within 10 miles, even if you aren’t a AAA member. The service is intended to be used as a last resort and is based on availability, so the best plan is to find a designated driver.

To request a ride, call 855-286-9246. Save this number in your phone!


Oct 232014

Sanford Limo CycleWhenever I travel somewhere new, I always sign up for a bike rental or tour as an inexpensive way to explore. I love to sightsee from this perspective – gliding through and taking a break whenever I discover an interesting stop. What’s better than a solo bike ride? Pedaling a party cycle with 15 of your friends!

Sanford Limo CycleI had the chance to take a tour of downtown Sanford on the Limo Cycle, the limousine of party cycles complete with comfortable seats, beverage service, speakers and a knowledgeable and fun tour guide. We rolled through Sanford at 5 MPH and received a lot of waves and honks along the way. This unique experience is affordable because you can bring your own drinks and snacks. The tour guide will keep your cup full and your wine or beer chilled in a cooler. A two-hour private tour with 15 people ends up costing about $26 per person (plus tip).

Believe it or not, downtown Sanford is happening. It boasts a lot of character — brick streets, a beautiful Riverwalk, parks, marina, art galleries, shops and restaurants. Make sure your tour of Sanford includes a stop at one of the best German restaurants in the United States, Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe. Prost with Das Boot, share a gigantic pretzel and enjoy live authentic German music.

Note: I was offered this tour as a way to educate my readers on the experience. All opinions are my own. Thanks to Claudia at Sanford 365 for setting up the tour.  

Oct 222014

EnzianEnzian Theater brings the movies outdoors for free screenings of fun flicks at the Wednesday Night Pitcher Show. On select Wednesday nights, enjoy a free outdoor movie on the lawn starting at 7:30 p.m. or  8 p.m., grab a beer and some snacks during Eden Bar’s happy hour from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and play Jell-o shot movie trivia. Answer correctly and they’ll give you a complimentary shot.

Wednesday Night Pitcher Shows:
October 22: The Last House on the Left
October 29: The Exorcist
November 5: Dumb & Dumber
November 19: Maverick
December 3: Death to Smoochy
December 17: Good Will Hunting

Enzian Theater
1300 South Orlando Avenue
Maitland, FL 32751

Oct 212014

Central Florida ZooKids of all ages are invited to trick or treat at the wildest place in town, the Central Florida Zoo.  Come dressed in costume with a bag to fill for the Central Florida Zoo Boo Bash, a safe, fun and not-too-scary Halloween event. Enjoy music story-time twice daily, a Halloween Science Show, and learn about the myths and realities of misunderstood animals. The event takes place on select nights: October 25 & 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Zoo Boo Bash is included in zoo admission, $14.95 for adults and $10.95 for kids ages 3-12.


Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens
3755 NW Hwy 17-92 Sanford, FL
For more information, call 407-323-4450 ext. 100


Oct 212014

Centra Florida Zoo StorytimeTake your young kids to the Central Florida Zoo to see the animals they’ve learned about in books. On Wednesday mornings in October and November, Storytime at the Zoo brings those creatures to life. Free reading programs are presented by the Orange County Library System Storytellers from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with a special appearance by one of the Zoo animals. The program is designed for pre-school age kids.

Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens
3755 NW Hwy 17-92
Sanford, FL

Oct 122014

Dr. Phillips CenterThis is your chance to check out the brand new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The venue is inviting the community to a free open house and family festival on Seneff Arts Plaza on Sunday, November 9 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Take self-guided tours and explore the Della Phillips Grand Lobby, the Walt Disney Theater, the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater and the Seneff Arts Plaza.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Peforming Arts
445 S. Magnolia Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801

Oct 092014

Free concert Sheryl CrowDr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is set to open in November. There are many free events lined up to celebrate the grand premiere including a free concert by nine-time Grammy winner, Sheryl Crow, on November 8 at 8 p.m. at the Seneff Arts Plaza.

Sheryl Crow has sold more than 35 million albums around the world and has performed duets with musical luminaries such as Sting and Mick Jagger, has been nominated for an additional 27 GRAMMYs and has released eight studio albums (seven charting Top 10, four of them platinum-plus), a quadruple-platinum greatest hits collection and a Christmas album. Her most recent album, Feels Like Home, captures the sound of a great and established artist enjoying a kind of fresh start.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Peforming Arts
445 S. Magnolia Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801

Oct 072014

SeaWorld HalloweenVisit SeaWorld Orlando every weekend in October for silly, spooky fun at Halloween Spooktacular. During this daytime event, families will be immersed in an underwater “fantasea” filled with trick-or-treating, dancing with sea fairies and pumpkin fish and sea-themed arts and crafts.

SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular takes place weekends throughout October from 12 to 8 p.m. (October: 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26), leaving the littlest of trick-or-treaters wide-eyed for all of the fun-filled activities. Like all special events at SeaWorld, Halloween Spooktacular is included with park admission.

For a limited time, SeaWorld Orlando is offering 50% off an Annual Pass for kids 9 and under. If you buy one full-paid Annual Pass, you’ll receive the discount off a child’s pass.

Spooktacular Highlights Include:

Waves of Trick-or-Treat Fun
Offering many kinds of sweet treats, costumed youngsters can trick-or-treat “under the sea.” Each sea-themed trick-or-treat station features an assortment of ghoulish goodies, including Tootsie Roll, jelly beans, Airheads and other candy favorites.

Penelope’s Party Zone
Located at SeaWorld’s Bayside area, this dynamic “underwater” environment comes to life each weekend with a live DJ encouraging kids to dance and sing along, a variety of interactive crafts, countless bubbles floating overhead and colorful pumpkin fish and other sea-themed characters gliding around for great photo opportunities!

Spooktacular Dance Party
End your Spooktacular day with Princess Penelope and her undersea friends as children (and adults, too) can dance along to a Spooktacular mix of line-dancing favorites at the Village Square at the front of the park.

Sweet Treat Decorating
Kids and parents alike can have a “splash” creating their own sweet treats at the cookie decorating station. Kids can decorate and devour their spooky cookie when they purchase a kit that comes equipped with a cookie, frosting and toppings. Nominal fee.

Oct 062014

Flu shotFlu shots can be costly—especially for an entire family—unless you know where to look for bargains. With flu season just around the corner, here are some tips.

Ask your employer. To cut down on sick days, employers frequently offer flu shots at no cost to their employees. If you’re employed, ask someone in your company’s human resources department if flu shots will be offered this season.

Check with your insurance company. Under the federal Affordable Care Act, all insurance plans that were created after March 23, 2010, are required to provide some types of preventive care, including immunizations, for free. If you have a new employer, or your employer recently switched insurance plans, call to find out if flu shots are covered.

Talk to your doctor. If you have Medicare Part B, your flu shot should be free. If you have private insurance, you may be able to get a flu shot either free or for the price of a copay. Even if you don’t think flu shots are covered by your insurance, ask the billing department at your doctor’s office to call and find out.

Look for free or low-cost flu clinics or events. Some hospitals or other health care organizations offer flu shot clinics where they will give free or low-cost flu shots to the public on a first-come-first-served basis. Centra Care is offering free shots on select dates now through November 2014. Many state or local health departments also offer free flu shot clinics. But keep in mind, you’ll need to get there early and you’ll likely wait in line. To find a flu shot clinic in your area, check the newspaper, plus search for your local health department online.

Try a drugstore or supermarket. Here are the current deals:

  • CVS: $31.99. You’ll also get a 20% off shopping pass (except in Arkansas, New Jersey or New York) while supplies last.
  • Walgreens: $31.99.
  • Costco: $14.99.
  • Rite-Aid: $31.99. You’ll also get 25 wellness+ points (except in New York or New Jersey.).
  • Winn-Dixie: $24.99 (with prescription drug plan).

This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.