Laura

Jun 292015
 
City of Orlando

City of Orlando

There’s no need to shell out a ton of cash to buy your own fireworks for Independence Day in Orlando. Experience magnificent fireworks displays without spending a penny. Nothing compares to the amazing fireworks shows that will burst all around Central Florida this weekend for the 4th of July. Bring along chairs, a blanket and picnic…and be prepared for the crowds. We’ve rounded up 10 places for you to watch fireworks shows for free.

Fireworks at the Fountain
Lake Eola Park
Saturday, July 4 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (fireworks at 9:10 p.m.)

Watch as fireworks burst over the iconic Lake Eola Fountain at the official Orlando 4th of July celebration with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Enjoy a family-friendly evening filled with music, kids’ activities and food and beverages for purchase. This free event begins at 4 p.m. and is capped off with a patriotic light, sound and water show from the Lake Eola Fountain and a spectacular fireworks finale at 9:10 p.m.

Red Hot & Boom
Cranes Roost in Altamonte Springs
Friday, July 3 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. (fireworks at 9:30 p.m.)

The biggest and brightest Independence Day event in Central Florida is Red Hot & Boom! Altamonte Springs brings the best fireworks show and entertainment year after year. And the best part is that it’s the day before the big holiday – on July 3rd at Cranes Roost from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. The 20th annual free event is bursting with an exciting entertainment lineup brought to you by XL106.7, kids’ activities, vendor booths, food, drinks and an amazing 25-minute firework display synchronized by music starting at 9:30 p.m.

Star Spangled Sanford
Fort Mellon Park
Saturday, July 4 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The night will sparkle along the Riverwalk on July 4th during Star Spangled Sanford. The city of Sanford is celebrating Independence Day with entertainment, food and drinks. Cool off at the Splash Pad and watch a spectacular fireworks display over Lake Monroe.

Mount Dora Freedom on the Waterfront
Downtown Mount Dora, Elizabeth Evans Park
Friday, July 3 at 5 p.m. (fireworks at dusk)

Experience a vibrant display of fireworks and special effects on Lake Dora. Enjoy live music, activities for the kids and food vendors.

The City of Oviedo Independence Day Celebration
Oviedo Mall
Saturday, July 4 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Free admission, free concerts and free fireworks. An inflatable games wristband can be purchased for $5 before the event or $7 the day of.

Winter Garden Party in the Park
Newton Park
Saturday, July 4 from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (fireworks at 9:15 p.m.)

Bring a chair or blanket and pick a spot on the grass to watch Winter Garden’s fireworks show. Enjoy live music, family activities and food during this free event for the entire family. Parking available at Health Central Park and Dillard Street Elementary.

Celebration A Sci-Fi 4th of July
Celebration Town Center
Saturday, July 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. (fireworks at 9:30)

Start off your 4th of July with a parade in Celebration at 9 a.m. and then return in the late afternoon for more activities like a Sci-Fi themed costume contest, bounce houses, inflatable games, live music and a fireworks spectacular. Parking and admission are free.

Kissimmee’s Monumental July 4th Celebration
Kissimmee Lakefront Park
Saturday, July 4 from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (fireworks at 9:10)

The celebration will feature fun and entertainment for the entire family including live music on stage, a beer garden, food trucks and a spectacular fireworks display over Lake Tohopekaliga.

Baldwin Park Independence Day Bash
Village Center of Baldwin Park
Friday, July 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Village Center will come alive with nearly 100 participants and sponsors of all kinds offering lots of fun including; shopping, a showcase of artisans and craftsman with works for sale, festival snacks/food trucks, a beer garden, face painting, balloon art, interactive activities, and more. End the evening with a fireworks show over Lake Baldwin.

4th of July Celebration at Avalon Park
Downtown Avalon Park
Saturday, July 4th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Celebrate with a line up of community events including an apple pie bake-off, hot dog eating contest, bike parade, wet/dry bounce park and fireworks.

Jun 272015
 

Orlando SummerSummer 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 under $10 each (approximately). 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 under 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.
    • Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse: Every Tuesday or Wednesday (depending on the individual theater) at 10 a.m. through Aug. 14. $1 at select locations.
    • Cobb Theatres’ Summer Kids Shows: Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. through Aug. 1. free, all locations (mostly in the Southeastern United States).
    • Regal Cinemas’ Summer Movie Express: Every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. through Aug. 7, $1, select locations.
    • Garden Theatre’s Milk Money Movies: Tuesdays at 10 a.m. through July 2015, $2 admission includes a kid’s 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 through September 7. AMF 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. Shoe rentals are not included. To sign up, click here to find a participating AMF bowling center near you.
  • Kids Bowl Free. The participating Orlando location is Colonial Lanes, 400 N. Primrose Drive, 407-894-0361. They are offering free bowling for kids through August 31, 2015.

ATTRACTIONS

  • Gatorland provides affordable-priced family fun with thousands of alligators, crocodiles, an aviary, breeding marsh with observation tower, petting zoo, nature walk, educational wildlife programs and more. Florida Residents can enjoy $9.50 admission for kids and $13.50 for adults this summer. You can also meet live alligators at Gator Spot on I-Drive for $6.
  • Fun Spot Attractions has more than 100 games, a multi-level go-kart track, 13 rides and more. Go-Kart and single ride tickets can be purchased for less than $10 each.
  • RDV Sportsplex Ice Den in Maitland is a family-friendly ice rink that is open for public skating seven days a week. Admission is $6.71 plus tax and $9.53 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 $7.95 for kids and $9.95 for adults.
  • 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, 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. There are also weekly car cruises on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

ARTS & CULTURE

  • Ride the SunRail for a fun tour of Orlando and it’s surrounding cities. Kids under 6 ride for free.
  •  Mennello Museum offers free admission to the galleries, craft stations and mini-tours for kids from noon to 2:30 p.m. every second Sunday of the month.
  • 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. Tickets are $6 for kids and $9 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 fun events, interactive presentations and free story time for various age groups from babies to 5 years old. Get your card.
  • Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading Program rewards kids (grades one through six) with a free book, after they’ve taken just eight literary adventures.

PARKS & NATURE

  • 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. 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 $10 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • Bike and nature trails. It’s free to journey through the trails of Central Florida: Seminole County trails, Orange County trails, Lake County trails and Volusia County 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 at one of Central Florida’s free (or small-fee) splash pads.
  • Black Hammock Adventures on Lake Jessup offers free live alligator and bird exhibits.

WATER PARK DISCOUNTS

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Jun 232015
 

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.

  • Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse: Every Tuesday or Wednesday (depending on the individual theater) at 10 a.m. through Aug. 14. $1 at select locations.
  • Cobb Theatres’ Summer Kids Shows: Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. through Aug. 1. Free.
  • Regal Cinemas’ Summer Movie Express: Every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. through Aug. 7, $1, select locations.
  • Garden Theatre’s Milk Money Movies: Tuesdays at 10 a.m. through July 2015, $2 admission includes a kid’s sized popcorn and juice. Located in Winter Garden.
  • Paragon Theaters: Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. through Aug. 21. Free. Location in Daytona Beach, Ocean Walk.
Jun 182015
 

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. Most of the performances start at 7 p.m. and most are free, but check the schedule before making your plans. Plus, every Saturday night from Memorial weekend to Labor Day, 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.

Jun 132015
 

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. from June – July, 2015. Admission includes a snack pack with a kids’ sized popcorn and juice.

June 16: Paddington
June 23: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
June 30: Penguins of Madagascar
July 7: Turbo
July 14: Epic
July 21: Rio 2
July 28: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

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

Jun 122015
 

GatorlandGatorland is one of those must-see, unique Florida attractions. Chomp down on a limited time Florida Resident deal of 50% off admission. Now through August 31, 2015, admission is just $13.50 for Florida Residents ($9.50 for kids).

The 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve, combines “Old Florida” charm with exciting new exhibits and entertainment.  The park opened as a roadside attraction in 1949.  Today, it provides affordable-priced family fun with thousands of alligators, crocodiles, an aviary, breeding marsh with observation tower, petting zoo, nature walk, educational wildlife programs and more.

14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32837
800-393-5297

Jun 022015
 

Orlando Science Center Science Night LiveOrlando Science Center kicks off the summer with an eclectic evening of fun and discovery reserved just for grown-ups during Science Night Live on Saturday, June 6 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The evening boasts a live presentation by mummy expert Dr. Heather Gill-Frerking, craft beer sampling with local and national breweries, craft beer mini seminars, a Pink Floyd laser light show, a nighttime viewing of the Crosby Observatory and more!

Experience Science Night Live at the special evening rate of $15. To enjoy craft beer sampling and the mini beer seminars, an additional $10 fee applies. Sampling includes 12 two-ounce pours. Parking is free in the Science Center parking garage. Members can enjoy admission to Science Night Live at no charge.

Orlando Science Center
777 E. Princeton Street
Orlando, FL 32803

May 302015
 

Lakeridge WineryTake a short trip through the rolling hills of Clermont to Lakeridge Winery for the annual Harvest Festival. This three-day outdoor event, June 12 – 14, will feature live music, grape stomping, an arts & craft show, and award-winning Lakeridge Wines. Relax outdoors, sip on beer and Lakeridge wine, and enjoy complimentary wine tours and tastings. Entry fee is a $2 donation to benefit the Hospice Foundation.

Lakeridge Winery
19239 US Highway 27
Clermont, FL 34715

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.