Laura

May 202015
 

Blue Spring_Suzanne-RidenourThis summer, take advantage of Florida’s natural cooling system – the local Central Florida springs. With water temperatures in the low 70s, a dip in the 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 springs.

 

Rainbow SpringsRainbow Springs
$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
$6 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

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

Wekiwa SpringsWekiva Springs State Park
$6 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

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

De Leon Springs
$6 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

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

Rock Springs RunRock-Springs-Run
$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
Entry is $1 per person on the weekends and free on the weekdays.

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

May 192015
 

Aquatica Orlando Water ParkSeaWorld Orlando’s Water Park, Aquatica, is offering hot deals for Florida Residents to cool off this spring and summer.

Weekday Ticket – $28
Visit Aquatica during the week for the biggest savings with entry priced at just $28 (savings of $29). Purchase this pass in advance, and then it’s valid for one weekday admission within a year of the date of purchase.

Orlando Any Day Ticket – $47
The Aquatica Orlando Any Day Ticket lets you enjoy one visit to Aquatica any time within one year of purchase. Must be purchased in advance. With this pass, you will save $10.

Aquatica Annual Pass – $108
With a Florida Resident Aquatica Annual Pass, you’ll receive unlimited admission to Aquatica’s Water Park without date restrictions for one entire year. The pass also grants you complimentary parking, discounts on food, beverages and more. The cost is $108, but if you plan to visit a few times throughout the warmer months, it’s worth it.

Whether it’s tiny tots splashing around in Kata’s Kookaburra Cove, teens sliding down Taumauta Racer or adults relaxing on the laid-back beaches, guests can enjoy Aquatica on the cheap, all year long. Aquatica Orlando is the type of waterpark experience that could only come from SeaWorld. Aquatica mixes animal experiences, waters from serene to extreme, high-speed waterslide thrills and wide, sandy beaches to create a day of non-stop fun.

May 182015
 

Disney Water ParkFlorida Residents can dive into a cool deal at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach water parks. For $65 plus tax, you can enjoy admission after 2 p.m. (during normal operating hours) for an entire year at Disney Water Parks with the Florida Resident After 2 p.m. Annual Pass. From serene to extreme, there’s an experience for everyone at these 2 distinctive destinations — overflowing with thrill rides, chill rides, relaxing lounge areas, wave pools, snorkeling adventures and much more.

 

May 182015
 

Wet 'n WildWet ‘n Wild Orlando is offering a great Florida Resident annual pass deal through the rest of 2015. Florida Residents can buy one day and get the rest of the year free for $57 (single-day admission is $39). The offer is only available online and must be purchased in advance. Depending on how many times you plan to go, you might want to consider the annual pass option that includes parking, which is $89.50 (parking costs $13 per visit). Florida Residents can visit Wet ‘n Wild as many times as they want through the end of 2015 with this offer.

With your discounted tickets, experience high-speed, seriously twisted, multi-person adventures, including signature hits like Disco H2O™, Brain Wash™, Bubba Tub, Flyer and the Blastaway Beach™, the largest family water play area in Florida. You can also take your place at the starting line of the new Aqua Drag Racer, the tallest and fastest ride of its kind in Florida.

May 122015
 

MovieolaOn the last Friday of the month through August, enjoy an evening of family-friendly entertainment and a free 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 p.m.

Movieola Schedule
Friday, May 29: Brave
Friday, June 26: Maleficent
Friday, July 31: Spiderman 2
Friday, August 28: Cinderella

May 072015
 

WMMO concert seriesPat Benatar is a four-time Grammy Award winner who’s best known for hits like “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and “Love Is a Battlefield.” The local radio station, 98.9 WMMO, is giving you a chance to see Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo in concert for free at the downtown concert series on Saturday, May 23. The location is on Orange Avenue in front of City Hall. Gates open at 4 p.m. and the concert will start closer to 8 p.m. But we suggest arriving early, as this will probably be a popular free event.


May 062015
 

LEGOLAND FloridaLEGOLAND ® Florida Resort is once again honoring police officers, fire fighters and EMS employees with a free single day admission to the park during the month of May. LEGOLAND Florida’s special offer gives first responders a chance to experience the park’s more than 50 rides, shows and attractions with their friends and family.

The program is valid for all police officers, fire fighters, and EMS employees working and serving in the United States. Active and retired LEGOLAND Floridapersonnel with identification are eligible. Eligible personnel should present their employee ID or professional organization membership card to LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s ticket window the day they plan to visit to redeem their one free admission ticket and purchase up to four additional tickets at only $40 per ticket. The valid dates run from 5/1/15-5/31/15.

This new offer runs alongside the park’s active duty military personnel offer, which gives members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists free single day admission to LEGOLAND Florida and the LEGOLAND Water Park. To redeem their free admission ticket, active duty military personnel should present their military identification card to LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s ticket window the day they plan to visit. Family and friends of military personnel also receive substantial discounts on admission tickets and should make purchases in advance through participating military base ticket offices.

Also during the month of May, LEGOLAND Florida Resort will open LEGOLAND® Hotel on May 15.  LEGOLAND Hotel features 152 highly colorful and fully themed rooms and is located just steps from the main entrance of LEGOLAND Florida Resort.

May 042015
 

International DriveThe American Society of Travel Agents recently named Orlando the No. 1 “Hot Spot for Summer Travel” in 2015. After a multi-year surge of blockbuster expansions at Orlando’s world-class theme parks, International Drive (I-Drive) is following suit with the addition of new retail, dining and entertainment venues. Visit Orlando, the destination’s official tourism association, is sharing 10 new ways this summer’s visitors to Orlando can experience I-Drive 360:

I-Drive 360

In the heart of Orlando’s tourism corridor, I-Drive 360 is a new entertainment complex and home of The Orlando Eye. The massive project will include SEA LIFE Aquariumattractions, restaurants, music venues and retail locations.

1.    SEA LIFE Orlando delivers breathtaking views of over 5,000 underwater creatures from the three oceans of the world. Guests can experience face-to-face encounters with sharks in Orlando’s only 360° Underwater Tunnel as well as touch the velvety back of rays during the touch pool experience. Interactive educational talks will guide guests through the wonders of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans while providing majestic views of the creatures that roam these mysterious waters.

2.    Madame Tussauds, the world’s most famous celebrity wax attraction, offers guests a star-studded experience with its signature red carpet treatment. Visitors will move through themed rooms where they can observe and interact with waxworks of their favorite film, music, sport and historical celebrities.

Orlando Eye3.    The Orlando Eye is a 400-foot-tall observation wheel providing breathtaking panoramic views of Central Florida within fully enclosed, air-conditioned glass capsules. Before entering the 20-minute ride, guests will enter a 4D theatre and watch a short film about Florida.      

4.    Skeletons Animals Unveiled!, a first-of-its-kind museum, exhibits over 400 skeletons in creative poses and dioramas. The 7,750-square-foot space will feature exotic animals from all over the world as well as eight human skeletons. The walk-through experience will last about 90 minutes and will include interactive exhibits.

5.    Naru Restaurant & Sushi Bar, a Brazilian sushi chain, debuts its first U.S. location at I-Drive 360. The 140-seat restaurant blends the best of Japanese and Brazilian cuisine and features Sakerinhas, a perfect fusion of Japan’s sake and Brazil’s caipirinha drink.

6.    Tin Roof is a bar, eatery and music venue welcoming its first Florida location on I-Drive 360. Promising live music every night, guests can expect local and regional rock and country bands on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with acoustic acts during the week. The legendary Nashville venue will bring an eclectic environment as well as creative food offerings and signature cocktails.Tin Roof

Dining Hot Spots

7.    Mango’s Tropical Café, one of Miami’s hottest dance clubs, will open a new location on International Drive. The 55,000-square-foot entertainment space features a stage, dance floor and restaurant serving Floribbean Cuisine and tropical cocktails. Drawing inspiration from Caribbean and South American carnivals, the nightlife destination features high-energy dance performances featuring diverse genres of Latin music.

8.    Del Frisco’s Double Edge Steak House features chef-driven cuisine paired with the best aged, hand-cut USDA Prime Beef and fresh-off-the-boat seafood including Australian cold-water lobster tails with an extensive award-winning wine list and genuine hospitality.

Attractions and Shopping

9.    Orlando International Premium Outlets adds four new stores to their retail lineup with DKNY, the retail store for fashion designer Donna Karan, along Escapologywith high-end watchmaker, Citizen, handbag and accessory maker, Vera Bradley and Italian fashion brand, Diesel.

10.  Escapology Orlando and America’s Escape Game, are the two escape game locations on International Drive. Both venues offer guests the exciting opportunity of being locked in themed rooms where they must rely on clues and their wit to solve puzzles and find the key to escape. With new rooms being introduced periodically, there’s always something new to unlock on International Drive.

Apr 292015
 

Alive After 5There’s always a reason to celebrate in Orlando, giving life to a variety of reoccurring community events from monthly gatherings outdoors to social events at museums. Discover the cultural side of Orlando while you mix and mingle at these special events. Check out one of these events in Orlando:

1st Thursdays at Orlando Museum of Art
The first Thursday of each month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Orlando Museum of Art showcases a new theme of art by local artists accompanied by live music, a cash bar and café with selections by area restaurants. With an entry price of $10 each, it’s an inexpensive way to meet up with friends or invite a date. 

Science Night Live
Orlando Science Center reserves an evening just for adults to play featuring grown-up inspired programming. General admission tickets are $15 and food and beverages are available for purchase. The event is scheduled on select nights throughout the year.

Art & Music in the Park & Food Truck Bazaar
Spend an evening at the beautiful Lake Concord Park in Casselberry enjoying live music, artisan booths and a variety of culinary flavors from 15 food trucks. Held the second Friday of every month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free admission and parking.

Lake Mary WineArt Wednesday
On the first Wednesday of every month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Lake Mary WineArt Wednesday features local artists, food trucks and a beer and wine garden. Stroll along the sidewalk lined with displays by local artists, sip on wine and listen to live music in Central Park. Entry is free. Some of the wine and food samples are free, but bring cash to purchase full glasses and meals.

Thornton Park Wine & Art Crawl
On the second Thursday of every month, celebrate the arts with an evening of food, wine, shopping and showcases by Orlando-based artists at the Thornton Park Wine & Art Crawl. For $10, you get a wristband, wine glass and a map of locations where you will be greeted with a complimentary pour of wine.

Winter Park Sip & Stroll
Sip wine paired with appetizers at more than 20 boutiques, galleries and restaurants while strolling along beautiful Park Avenue during Winter Park Sip & Stroll. This special event is scheduled three times a year. Tickets are $25 in advance. Each reservation includes a commemorative wine glass and lanyard.

Sanford Art Walk
The Historic Sanford Welcome Center invites you to the Sanford Art Walk, a juried art show in the Historic Sanford Welcome Center (230 East First Street, Sanford, FL 32771), and a walking tour of the art venues located in historic downtown Sanford. Mingle with Central Florida artists at the Sanford Art Walk on the fourth Friday of every month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in downtown Sanford.

Alive After 5
Alive After 5 is Central Florida’s largest recurring monthly street party with live music, local artists, food and beverage sampling in the beautiful historic town of Sanford. It is scheduled for the second Thursday of each month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 and includes food and beverage sampling throughout the event.

Lakeridge Winery
Every month the Lakeridge Winery in Clermont hosts free (or $2 donation entry) events featuring live entertainment from local musicians, artist vendors, crafts and food. Make sure to take advantage of the complimentary wine tours and tastings.

Culture Pop!
Culture Pop at the Art & History Museums – Maitland is a social event for art lovers and a perfect spot for date night on the second Friday of each month (select months November – April) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For only $5 each, you will receive one drink ticket and experience an evening of art, live music and poetry.

 

Apr 252015
 

Free summer moviesEscape the heat this summer and head to the movies for free family-friendly films at Cobb Theaters. The movie theater is offering a free Summer Movie Series for kids June 16 – August 6.  New movies are shown every week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. The movie line-up includes: Planet 51, Hook, The Smurfs, Alpha & Omega, Astro Boy, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, The Book of Life, and Sesame Street: Follow that Bird.


Plaza Cinema Café 12
155 South Orange Avenue
407-982-5444

 

 

Apr 242015
 

When school’s out, there’s nothing better than a morning at the movies to keep the kids entertained. Thank goodness the Summer Movie Express is back on track for another season of cheap movies! Regal Entertainment Group has scheduled nine weeks of family-friendly movies at select theaters throughout Central Florida. During the Summer Movie Express, selected G- or PG-rated movies start at 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday morning for just $1.

The start dates vary for Orlando movie theaters (most begin the first week of June), so check out the dates for the theater nearest you. Movies include such titles as Rio 2, Alexander and the Very Bad Day, The Lego Movie, Dolphin Tale 2 and many more. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Will Rogers Institute.

Apr 142015
 

Orlando Weekend on the Cheap It’s possible to do Orlando on the Cheap. In fact, there are many inexpensive things to do. To help you do more with less, we created this list of the top 10 free things do to in Orlando including movies, farmers’ markets, outdoor recreation and more.

Free outdoor moviesEnzian Popcorn Flicks in the Park
Enjoy movies outdoors without charge. On a beautiful night, there’s nothing better than watching a movie under the stars on a giant screen with your friends and family. One of the most popular is Popcorn Flicks in Winter Park the second Thursday of each month. Check out the complete list of free outdoor movie options in Orlando.

Farmers’ Markets
Visiting a farmers’ market is one of the best ways to learn about a town while supporting local artisans and growers. Even if you don’t end up making a purchase, it’s a great place to people watch, enjoy beautiful weather and maybe even some live music. Two of our favorite markets are Winter Park on Saturday mornings and downtown Orlando on Sundays. Check out our list of all the Farmer’s Markets in Central Florida.

Free museum visitsOrlando Museum of Art exterior
Orlando has a long list of museums, gardens and cultural attractions. A select few offer designated free admission days. Casa Feliz in Winter Park opens its doors for Music at the Casa on Sunday afternoons. Harry P. Leu Gardens is free the first Monday of each month. See all the Orlando free museum days.

Art walks
Many artists call Orlando home, giving life to a variety of reoccurring community events. On the first Wednesday of every month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Lake Mary WineArt Wednesday features local artists, food trucks and a beer and wine garden. Mingle with Central Florida artists and enjoy live music at the Sanford Art Walk on the fourth Friday of every month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in downtown Sanford.

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 trailsSeminole County 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:

Winter ParkKraft Azalea
Winter Park boasts beautiful parks, various free events, cultural attractions and shopping. Stroll along Park Avenue for some window shopping, picnic in Central Park, and then stop at Kraft Azalea Garden to watch the sunset.

Free kids’ activities
There are plenty of cheap ways to entertain your kids in Orlando. Some of our favorites include storytime at Leu Gardens, the LEGO Imagination Center, Disney’s Boardwalk, craft workshops at local retailers, splash pads and parks. Here is our complete list of free things to do with your kids.

Beer & wine tours
Hidden amongst industrial buildings is a local microbrewery gem, Orlando Brewing. See where the fermenting magic happens on free brewery tours Monday through Saturday at 6 p.m. If wine is more your speed, take a short trip through the rolling hills of Clermont to Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards for free tours and wine tasting seven days a week. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and begins with a 12-minute video presentation that shows the growing of Florida’s grapes all the way to the wine making process.

Wekiva Island Wekiva Island
Play volleyball, corn toss, enjoy live music and a take dip in the cool waters of the Wekiva River all for free at Wekiva Island. This eco-recreation destination has an old Florida feel, a bar that serves beer and wine, riverside cabanas and a dog-friendly policy. Admission is free during the week, but the charge is only a dollar or two on the weekends.