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A lifestyle magazine for Central Florida's modern parents

Florida Tour: The Places that Make this State So Great

Florida is one of the most diverse states in the country – diverse in its people, in its plant and animal life, and in the variety of experiences and activities you can enjoy without ever having to leave the state. Orlando is literally in the center of it all – in every direction, you’ll find an example of the embarrassment of riches the state has to offer. So, take a spin around Florida and find out for yourself what makes the Sunshine State so great.

Take a Spin Around Florida

Click on the plus (+) sign next to any of the areas below to see what made the list!

Treasure Coast & Broward County

  • While Palm Beach is famous for its residents’ literal riches, the natural ones are even more impressive. Exhibit A is Peanut Island, the most family-friendly snorkeling spot in Florida. The island’s sheltered location – set like a jewel in the mouth of Lake Worth Inlet – lets beginning snorkelers enjoy unlimited visibility without having to battle choppy seas. Accessible by an inexpensive, 15-minute ferry ride from the Riviera Beach Marina, it is both easy to get to and a world apart.

  • Just up the coast in Hobe Sound is Blowing Rocks Preserve, where the ocean waves force water through holes in a limestone outcropping, creating 50-foot geysers.

  • Treat yourself to dinner at the best tiki bar in the world, the Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale. Sip on colorful cocktails while marveling at the hula dancers and fire eaters.

  • Stroll, bike or rollerblade down the 2.5-mile beachfront promenade in Hollywood. Strung with cafes, souvenir shops and ice cream joints, it’s a great place to hang out and people watch, and the beach itself is not too shabby.

  • Get a babysitter and head to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino & Hotel, also in Hollywood. Sure, there’s every type of gaming you can think of and plenty of entertainment, but it’s worth a visit just to check out the resort’s 35-story guitar-shaped hotel tower, the only one of its kind in the world.


The Keys

Most people don’t know this, but the Keys were born when Ernest Hemingway rubbed a genie’s lamp and told Barbara Eden “I love the turquoise water and laid-back vibe of the Caribbean islands. I just wish I could drive there.” Wish granted, Mr. Hemingway.

  • On the northernmost key along the Overseas Highway, Key Largo, snorkeling charters at John Pennekamp State Park take you out to the Florida Reef, the third largest reef system in the world. At Key Largo Dry Rocks reef, you can SCUBA down to the famed Christ of the Abyss statue.

  • Marathon is world-famous for deep sea fishing and another snorkeling spot, Sombrero Reef. From August through March, try your luck at lobstering.

  • Further down the highway sits Bahia Honda State Park, home to the first Florida beach to be rated #1 in the country by good old “Dr. Beach.” Snorkel right off the beach, rent a kayak, or admire the view from a section of the old bridge, looming 80 feet above the water. The park also has cabins and a campground, but you’ll need to book in advance. Like, YEARS in advance.

  • At the end of the road, literally, sits Key West. The southernmost point in the continental U.S. inspired the works of Jimmy Buffet, Shel Silverstein and Tennessee Williams, among many others. If you’re bringing the kids along, make sure you plan around Fantasy Fest, a celebration of some other things Key West has inspired: drunkenness and public nudity. The throngs of nearly-naked revelers woozy on gallons of booze and body paint might just scar your youngsters for life.

  • If Key West isn’t far enough off the beaten path for you, jump on a high-speed ferry for the 75-mile ride out to the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson – you know, that huge brick fortress rising out of impossibly blue waters that you’ve seen on every “beautiful places” screensaver. Once you’ve toured the fort – the largest brick masonry structure in the Americas – hit the white sand beach for a well-deserved dip. If you want to spend a night waaaay off the grid, you can even camp here.


Miami

Next time your ignorant uncle from up north tells you Florida lacks culture, you can point out that our very own Miami is ranked by the Globalization and World Rankings Research Institute as an “Alpha” level city, alongside L.A., Mumbai and Moscow. So there!

  • Lined with vibrant restaurants, shops and art galleries, Calle Ocho (“Eighth Street” in Spanish) is the center of life in the Cuban enclave of Little Havana. A guided walking tour is the best way to explore this unique and dynamic area.

  • Lincoln Road: This pedestrian mall between 16th and 17th Streets in Miami Beach, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011, is perfect for people watching over Sunday brunch.

  • Take a dip in the country’s biggest freshwater pool. Carved out of an abandoned coral rock quarry back in the 1920s, the four-acre Venetian Pool in Coral Gables features a family-friendly beach and shallow spots for the kids, plus ‘grammable waterfalls and grottoes. Like Lincoln Road, it too is on the National Register of Historic, the only pool listed on the register.

  • Not far from the Venetian Pool sits the 50-acre Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, a waterfront estate built by tractor magnate James Deering. Yet another National Historic Landmark, the 50-acre property includes a ten-acre formal garden and 38,000 square-foot mansion, which now serves as a museum featuring more than seventy rooms of antique furnishings and artwork.

  • Opened in 2017, the Frost Museum of Science in downtown Miami offers visitors a unique perspective on marine life – through the 31-foot diameter oculus at the bottom of the museum’s 500,000-gallon aquarium.

  • Find a babysitter and join the jet-setters relaxing in teepees at the sexy, tops-optional Nikki Beach Club. This is the essence of chic Miami distilled in one place, nightlife and beach life served with a soundtrack of the latest in underground music.

  • West of Miami, you’ll find an ecosystem that exists nowhere else on Earth. Recognized by UNESCO as an area of global importance, the Everglades is actually a wide river fed by runoff from Lake Okeechobee, emptying into Florida Bay. Enjoy the unique landscape, flora and fauna on a hike, in a canoe or on an airboat tour.

 

The Greater Orlando Area

Nowhere else in the country will you find such a huge variety of family-friendly resorts for every budget. Most have over-the-top swimming pools and other amenities, while a few take it to another level, with their own wave pools, lazy rivers and water slides, not to mention golf courses and day spas. Plan a staycation and play like a tourist in your own backyard.

  • Disney Springs and CityWalk are great, but for an authentic local experience, head to one of Orlando’s “Main Streets” districts, like Church Street, Thornton Park, Downtown Winter Garden, Edgewater Drive, Park Avenue, Ivanhoe Village or Historic Downtown Sanford, for an endless variety of shops, restaurants and bars.

  • Like a sandy roller coaster, the Snowhill Mountain Bike Trail twists, turns and plunges through pine flatwoods and along the shore of the Little Big Econ River. If you prefer a flatter ride, check out Orlando Wetlands Park for wide-open vistas and guaranteed gator sitings. Or, ditch the wheels and rent a canoe at Wekiva Springs State Park. It’s an easy paddle downstream to the riverside Wekiva Island restaurant, where you can tie up and enjoy lunch and a thirst-quencher.

  • Have your turn at Stomping grapes, then take a winery and wine tasting tour at Lakeridge Winery in Clermont during their Annual Harvest Grape Stomp (event) in August. It’s a quick hop from there to Mt. Dora’s quaint main street, or head to Tavares for a ride on a steam train or seaplane.

  • There’s a reason Central Florida is one of the most visited destinations in the world. Disney! Universal! SeaWorld! Legoland! I sometimes have to remind myself how amazing it is that we have these places at our fingertips to explore at off times, when no one is there, like right before (or during) a hurricane.

 

The Panhandle

Florida’s panhandle stretches 200 miles, the same distance as going from Cocoa to Miami, and just like the peninsula, it’s studded with a variety of unique towns and sites to experience.

  • Nestled between its big brothers Panama City and Destin sits the idyllic and IG-friendly town of Seaside. Home to some of the whitest sand and clearest water in Florida, Seaside is so neurotically perfect that it was used as the setting for the Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show.

  • Stop in the state capital, Tallahassee, to take in the views from the Capitol tower observation deck and check out the Museum of Florida History.

  • You’ve heard of the lowest of the lows and the highest of the highs, but only in Florida can you see the lowest of the highs. At 345 feet, Britton Hill is the lowest state highpoint in the U.S.

 

Ocala, Gainseville & the Nature Coast

  • The best way to see a spring is to jump in with a mask and snorkel, but for those who prefer to stay high and dry, the glass-bottom boat ride at Silver Springs is a great alternative.

  • The oldest national forest east of the Mississippi River, Ocala National Forest is 607 square miles of hiking, biking, canoeing and camping fun. With eighteen lakes, 13 campgrounds and numerous springs, it would be the crown jewel of many other states.

  • Go tubing and snorkeling at Ginnie Springs, north of Gainesville.

  • Thought you had to go out west to see bison in the wild? Payne’s Prairie has herds of wild bison and horses, along with the Sunshine State’s signature beasties.

  • Off the beaten path, Cedar Key is a fishing village-turned-tourist center with excellent seafood restaurants and funky shops. Time your visit for either the sidewalk art festival in the spring or the seafood festival in the fall.

  • If you’re not content just to watch the manatees, you can swim alongside them in the wild in Crystal River. While you’re there, explore Three Sisters Spring, where Jacques Cousteau and his cohort rehabilitated a manatee that had been trapped in the Miami sewer system.

  • Summertime is scalloping season along the Nature Coast. If your kids can swim to the bottom of a pool, they can dive down to scoop the delicious little morsels off the shallow sea floor.

  • Devil’s Den, near Williston, is hands down the coolest place to snorkel or scuba dive in Florida. This underground spring with a skylight is a magical place unlike anywhere else. Camping is available on-site.

  • Not far from Devil’s Den is another weird and wonderful must-visit attraction, Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens. A botanical garden set in a deep rock quarry, visitors follow a pathway that winds over bridges, through grottoes and under waterfalls. Highly recommended for a picnic lunch.

 

Tampa, St. Pete & Clearwater

  • Ride Cheetah Hunt right after you watch a cheetah hunt, at Busch Gardens, home to some of the thrillingest thrill rides in the country.

  • Join in the annual Gasparilla Pirate Invasion in Tampa.

  • Another adult playground that’s a must-do for Florida sinners is Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Tampa. If you blow your life savings here, at least you can take comfort in knowing that you’re supporting the native Seminole Tribe.

  • In the late 1800s, Ybor City, near downtown Tampa, was home to cigar factories and the thousands of immigrants who worked in them. Today, this national historic district is home to restaurants, nightlife and shopping.

  • In St. Petersburg, the Salvador Dali Museum houses the largest collection of the artist’s works outside Europe. Also in St. Pete is the Chihuly Collection at Morean Arts Center. If you’ve ever visited the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas and admired the colorful glass ceiling in the lobby, you know Chihuly’s mesmerizing work.

  • Visit the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs and soak in the vibrant Greek community in what is considered to be the Sponge Capital of the World.

  • Skip the traffic and ride between Tampa and St. Pete on the Cross-Bay Ferry. If you’re looking for more of a p(arrrrrrgh)ty, book a spot on Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise.

  • At idyllic Fort DeSoto Park, enjoy white sand and turquoise waters with a view of the majestic Sunshine Skyway bridge.

  • In the early 1900s, many of the springs around the state were developed into tourist attractions, offering things like “submarine” and forest-canopy monorail rides. While most of them have shut down, Weeki Wachee – north of Tampa – is still going strong. The mermaid show is classic Florida.

  • Just a few miles from the mermaids and water slides, and just off I-75, Croom Motorcycle Area is Mecca for Floridians who love to ride all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes. Rent the off-road vehicle of your choice and explore some of the trails, jumps and sand bowls in this 2,600-acre park.
  •  

Volusia & the Space Coast

In Volusia county, you can start out your day watching a relative of the elephant move at one mile per hour, then drive a half hour up the road to see a relative of your Camry going 200 times as fast. And to the south, Brevard county is so synonymous with spaceflight that, even the area code is a countdown (“3-2-1 liftoff!”)

  • Feel the rumble in your bones as you watch a rocket take off AND (thanks to SpaceX) land at the Kennedy Space Center. Plus, check out the Visitor Complex for the coolest and most underrated “theme park” ever. The “reveal” when you enter the Atlantis exhibit will give you goosebumps, and you’ll be awestruck at the immensity of the rocket in the Apollo/Saturn V annex.

  • Get up close and personal with pods of dolphins on a pontoon boat in Melbourne, or supersize that idea with a whale watching excursion from Cape Canaveral. Or go microscopic and try a nighttime bioluminescence kayak tour in Mosquito Lagoon.

  • Cape Canaveral National Seashore – do you know how many national seashores there are? Not many. With all of Florida’s overdeveloped areas, we’ve managed to keep 25 miles of natural beach and coastal scrubland.

  • Visit Blue Springs, near Orange City, in the fall and winter to see the spring run teeming with dozens of manatees.

  • Make your own pancakes at your table at the Sugar Mill Restaurant located inside DeLeon Springs State Park.

  • Take the kids to see a race at Daytona International Speedway, but remember to bring earplugs!

 

Lake Wales, Sebring, Lake Placid & Arcadia

    • Solomon’s Castle, north of Arcadia, was built entirely with recycled materials. While you’re there, grab a bite at the Boat in the Moat restaurant. Seriously.

    • Sebring hosts races year-round, including the famous 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race.

    • Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake Wales, features a 250-acre garden and a 205-foot-tall Singing Tower, topped by a 60-bell carillon.

 

Northwest Florida

  • At Boneyard Beach, in Little Talbot Island State Park, large, knotted pieces of driftwood make for a one-of-a-kind natural playground.

  • Contrary to popular belief, Jacksonville – not Miami – is actually the most populous city in Florida. The city merged with Duval County in 1968, creating the largest city by area in the U.S. (If Orlando pulled the same trick, it would be the 10th most populous city in the country, right behind Dallas.) Visit the Riverside/Avondale district for outdoor cafes, nightclubs, galleries and more.

  • Step aside, Texas. Eight flags have flown over Amelia Island. The island is, however, home to only five golf courses. Still, check out the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival each May.  

  • Other than Splash, Space and Thunder, there are no real mountains in Florida. But if you’re a fan of climbing, we do have lighthouses. One of the “highlights” (get it?) on the Florida Lighthouse Trail is the St. Augustine Light. Book the nighttime ghost tour for a little added excitement to help you up the scares – I mean, stairs.

  • With so much of the development in Florida happening only in the last hundred years, it seems odd that the state would also be home to the oldest city in the country. But, lucky for us, it is! Founded in 1565, today St. Augustine is both a tourist trap (see: Ripley’s Museum, Fountain of Youth and Trolley Tours) and a charming, walkable city with great bars, restaurants and cultural opportunities, not to mention an old Spanish fort to explore. Visit in early December to see the holiday boat parade and decorations.
  •  

Southwest Florida

  • Did you know that Florida has a designate state art museum? Now you do! The Ringling Museum in Sarasota showcases more than 10,000 paintings, sculptures, photos and other artworks, from ancient to contemporary. Also on the museum’s campus sits the winter home of the circus king John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Ca’ d’Zan (“House of John” in the Venetian language) is five stories tall and 36,000 square feet, with 56 rooms and an 81-foot tall observation tower.

  • The charming beach city of Venice, just south of Sarasota, is known as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World” thanks to the millions of shark teeth and other fossils strewn along its beaches, free for the finding. Start your hunt at Caspersen Beach (which also happens to be one of the best snorkeling spots on Florida’s west coast.)

  • Supposedly, Captiva Island was where the pirate Jose Gaspar held his female prisoners captive. But try not to think of it as the island version of Matt Lauer’s office, just enjoy strolling along quiet beaches and searching for seashells.

  • Captain Jonas Grumby. That’s the full name of the skipper from Gilligan’s Island. Catch the high-speed ferry from Ft. Myers or Marco Island to Key West for a three-hour tour, a three-hour tour.

  • Get a selfie in front of the smallest post office in the U.S., in Ochopee, near Everglades City.

 

Anywhere in Florida

  • Most Floridians live within an hour of the Florida Trail, which stretches 1,000 miles from south Florida to Pensacola. Inspired by the Appalachian Trail, it’s a livewire for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the state. It’s also a great option if you want to plan a getaway around volunteer opportunities. It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain and improve a trail that would stretch from Orlando to New York City.

  • Legend has it that in Florida, you’re never more than a few feet away from a campground. Totally true.

  • Fishing in Florida is like that old adage about smiling and frowning: With 30,000 lakes and 8,436 miles of coastline, it actually takes more muscles to NOT fish.

  • Watch the wildlife: Step out your front door and count how many animals you can see. Seriously, the place is crawling with lizards, frogs, beetles, deer, bears, alligators and lots of other critters. Grab some binoculars and a camera and set out on a neighborhood wildlife scavenger hunt, or bingo!

  • Though many golf courses in the state have been abandoned or developed into apartment complexes, we still have more than any other state. There are 1,250 to choose from, not including the ones where you have to putt through a windmill.

  • Boating: See above regarding lakes and coastline. If you don’t have a boat, find someone who does and commence the charm offensive.

  • Watch sports: Florida has nine professional sports teams, more than any other state except California. So, don your foam finger and put on a show for the Kiss Cam! We also have 12 state universities, each with a plethora of men’s and women’s sports competitions to experience. Go _____s!

  • Get schooled: Speaking of colleges and universities, if you’re looking for an endless source of culture, art and enrichment, check out your local post-secondary educational institution.


  •  

Reader’s Choice: There’s so much to see and do, we couldn’t even pack it all into one, extremely large list. If you’re thinking “What about this?” or “They forgot that!,” we’d love to hear from you. Leave your suggestions in the Comments and we’ll include some of our favorite submissions in our May/June 2020 Travel issue. 

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December 1
We are continuing to limit our sessions to allow for social distancing and comfort; masks are optional at this time. Admission is valid for the date of the reservation only! Play Session is for 1 child & 1 adult, for the 2 hours you select. You MUST stay with your children to ensure your safety & the comfort of others! We will sanitize all toys & play areas. We have also added sanitization stations all around the facility & will maintain sanitation throughout the day! We are trying to open more sessions when possible, as more bookings are made we will offer more sessions to accommodate. To allow us to operate with such small guest numbers, sessions are non-refundable & non-transferable should you choose not to attend or arrive late. We appreciate your support through this trying time, and we cannot wait to see you at Millie Moos! Book Online OPEN PLAY SESSION 1 child & 1 adult 2 hrs Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
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Class / Educational
December 1
October is here and that means KINDERMUSIK $1 DEMO DAYS at Grow and Sing Studios are coming!! Have you been meaning to come try out a class, or are you just finding out about our program for the first time? We invite you to come check out one of these classes FOR ONLY $1, have some fun, make some music and hopefully fall in love with the magic of Kindermusik! Kindermusik is a music and music class aimed towards children from birth-age 7. Reservations are required and space is limited. We are “traveling minstrels” so our classes are offered at different locations around town throughout the week. To see what classes are available and where, visit growandsing.com/registration.
Read More
9:00 am / 6:00 pm
December 1

Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.

Read More
December 1
Creative PLAY is so imporatant and Creative Jane's offers the perfect to have some fun!  
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Nature Play
December 1

Fables on the Farm is a children's fun time here at Wildflower Farm.

They will read a children's book in our pasture pavilion. After the book reading, the baby goats will come join for a meet and greet! We will supply fresh greens you can feed them.

Then they will ask for you to help to us give the "kids" a bottle of warm milk!

Farm products, local craft items and merchandise will be available for purchase.
Admission is $12.50 per person. (1 and under free)

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Foodie Fun
5:00 pm
December 1

On Wednesdays, kids eat free* with the Little Piglet Dinner Special.

Wednesday, starting at 5pm, stop by Pig Floyd's locations for dinner and along with your dinner purchase, your child can enjoy a Quesadilla or Chicken tender kids meal, ON US.
Don't have kids, perfect night to invite a friend that does.

See you for dinner!

*Special offer restricted to this date/time only and applies to quesadilla or chicken tender kids meals. Items cannot be substituted.
FoodKid FriendlyFood tasting

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Class / Educational
December 2
October is here and that means KINDERMUSIK $1 DEMO DAYS at Grow and Sing Studios are coming!! Have you been meaning to come try out a class, or are you just finding out about our program for the first time? We invite you to come check out one of these classes FOR ONLY $1, have some fun, make some music and hopefully fall in love with the magic of Kindermusik! Kindermusik is a music and music class aimed towards children from birth-age 7. Reservations are required and space is limited. We are “traveling minstrels” so our classes are offered at different locations around town throughout the week. To see what classes are available and where, visit growandsing.com/registration.
Read More
December 2
We are continuing to limit our sessions to allow for social distancing and comfort; masks are optional at this time. Admission is valid for the date of the reservation only! Play Session is for 1 child & 1 adult, for the 2 hours you select. You MUST stay with your children to ensure your safety & the comfort of others! We will sanitize all toys & play areas. We have also added sanitization stations all around the facility & will maintain sanitation throughout the day! We are trying to open more sessions when possible, as more bookings are made we will offer more sessions to accommodate. To allow us to operate with such small guest numbers, sessions are non-refundable & non-transferable should you choose not to attend or arrive late. We appreciate your support through this trying time, and we cannot wait to see you at Millie Moos! Book Online OPEN PLAY SESSION 1 child & 1 adult 2 hrs Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
Read More
9:00 am / 6:00 pm
December 2

Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.

Read More
9:30 am / 10:00 am
December 2
Singing, dancing and moving to rhymes and simple stories will introduce young children to the joys of language and literature. We encourage full and active participation of accompanying adults. This class will adhere to social distancing guidelines and has limited capacity. Enrollment is required per baby/caregiver and accompanying siblings should be listed in the notes. Per CDC guidelines, face masks are required. Someone will check you in at the door to confirm your reservation. No exceptions will be made. Please cancel your enrollment if you can't make it to the class, failure to do so may result in placement on the wait list for future sessions. This class is being held outside of current open hours, so enter via the south doors (Lyman Ave side) where a staff member will be waiting. Attendees may browse Library collections following the class if desired. Class is held every Thursday and registration is required.
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December 2

How long? 1.5 hours for Family Members (ages 5+)

When? Various Dates and Times

Note: Adult Family Members Must Take Class with Children 5 to 17 years old

You and your family (friends/co-workers) can learn how to throw on the potter's wheel from one of our experienced artists. Children 5 to 17 years old must take class with an adult member of the family.  We will guide you and your family members step-by-step through the process of throwing a bowl on their own.  Everyone will have the opportunity to make 1 bowl during class, and then paint it with colors from our large selection of glazes. This is a super cool and a memorable experience you can do together! Book each family member’s seat individually up to 6. (by reservation only)

$35 per person.

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December 2

You can do the $25 drop-in class rate or monthly membership is $75. There are limited spots available so please be sure to message me to reserve your spot. Social distancing will be practiced during this class.

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Kiddie Culture / Nature Play / Recurring Events
6:00 pm / 10:00 pm
December 2

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens will transform at night into the Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild!

Back by popular demand, this event is stunning and special for everyone in the family!

See over 30 different, hand-constructed illuminated lanterns displayed around the Zoo on a 3/4 mile path. Celebrate the art, beauty and wonder of traditional Asian lantern festivals.

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December 3

Babies love music. With Virtual Little Music Makers, you and your baby can sing, play, and share the joy and whimsy of music while fostering language, movement, and social-emotional development milestones. Gather any instruments you have at home and engage your little ones during class time.

0-6 mo – 9am-10am

6-12 mo – 10am-11am

12-18 mo – 11am-12pm

All virtual classes held on Friday mornings during regularly scheduled hours.

Read More
Class / Educational
December 3
October is here and that means KINDERMUSIK $1 DEMO DAYS at Grow and Sing Studios are coming!! Have you been meaning to come try out a class, or are you just finding out about our program for the first time? We invite you to come check out one of these classes FOR ONLY $1, have some fun, make some music and hopefully fall in love with the magic of Kindermusik! Kindermusik is a music and music class aimed towards children from birth-age 7. Reservations are required and space is limited. We are “traveling minstrels” so our classes are offered at different locations around town throughout the week. To see what classes are available and where, visit growandsing.com/registration.
Read More
9:00 am / 6:00 pm
December 3

Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.

Read More
December 3
Don't miss this rocking' teatime with Orlando's Favorite host with the most, Mr Richard! October 1 10 a.m. Infusion Tea
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December 3
Creative PLAY is so imporatant and Creative Jane's offers the perfect to have some fun!  
Read More
December 3

How long? 1.5 hours for Family Members (ages 5+)

When? Various Dates and Times

Note: Adult Family Members Must Take Class with Children 5 to 17 years old

You and your family (friends/co-workers) can learn how to throw on the potter's wheel from one of our experienced artists. Children 5 to 17 years old must take class with an adult member of the family.  We will guide you and your family members step-by-step through the process of throwing a bowl on their own.  Everyone will have the opportunity to make 1 bowl during class, and then paint it with colors from our large selection of glazes. This is a super cool and a memorable experience you can do together! Book each family member’s seat individually up to 6. (by reservation only)

$35 per person.

Read More
1:00 pm / 7:00 pm
December 3
Join us in October for lots of fall fun on the farm! Included with admission: Pumpkin Patch & Photo Spots Farm Animal Petting Zoo Hayride Jolly Acres Play - bounce pillow, trike track, giant slide, maze, barrel train & more Saturdays and Sundays, October 8-31 - Free live performances for children Also available at additional cost: Bar, Grill, Fry Shack, & Sweets Gifts and Souvenirs Horse & Pony Rides - Saturdays & Sundays only Pumpkins for purchase Private Fire Pits & Birthday Party Area Online tickets are sold at a reduced price of $8-$15 and guarantee entry on busier days that may fill to capacity. Visit the ticketing site for more details.
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Kiddie Culture / Nature Play / Recurring Events
6:00 pm / 10:00 pm
December 3

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens will transform at night into the Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild!

Back by popular demand, this event is stunning and special for everyone in the family!

See over 30 different, hand-constructed illuminated lanterns displayed around the Zoo on a 3/4 mile path. Celebrate the art, beauty and wonder of traditional Asian lantern festivals.

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7:00 pm / 9:00 pm
December 3

Host A Family Movie Night At Home

Gather the gang for Family Night, weekly family viewing events featuring movie specials or themed programming.

Download printable Family Night movie tickets , movie marquee signs and a movie snack box !

Don't miss family night every Friday from 7 - 9 PM on PBS KIDS!

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December 4
  • The Winter Park Farmers’ Market is normally held at the old train depot, located at 200 West New England Avenue, that has been restored into an historical landmark that hosts this NUMBER ONE produce and plant market in Central Florida. The market takes place every Saturday morning from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is a popular community gathering place that provides fine produce, plants, baked goods and so much more.
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8:30 am / 10:00 am
December 4

Offered Saturdays & Sundays from 8:30 – 10:00 am
Weekday reservations available upon request.
Adventure is open to all ages but we suggest one adult per two youth.

Embark on a behind-the-scenes tour through this fan-favorite exhibit which emulates animal habitats found in nature. Throughout your guided experience, you will participate in animal touches and feedings while learning about animal husbandry and the care that goes into keeping our animals happy and healthy. Once you’re familiar with the lay of the land, it’s time to learn the ropes and become an animal keeper!

Did you know our animal ambassadors are big fans of food prep? Our animals’ diets are designed to fit each of their unique nutritional needs. Help us prepare the day’s meals and feed some of our four-legged friends!

Enrichment is also a crucial part of our animals’ health and wellbeing. Learn how keepers use enrichment to keep animals physically and mentally fit. This will be demonstrated while an animal ambassador paints a two-colored masterpiece for you to take home as a keepsake for your exciting day!

Meet an animal ambassador! Once you've finished your animal keeper training, there will be time for a special opportunity to interact with an animal ambassador* and pose for photo-ops.

*Animal encounters are just as enriching for the animals as the humans who participate in them but, like humans, sometimes they want to stick to their own schedule. Animal well-being is our top priority, so if a particular animal does not want to participate in that day’s private experiences, our staff will select another exciting animal ambassador for you to meet!

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9:00 am / 6:00 pm
December 4

Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.

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9:00 am / 10:00 am
December 4
Join us for yoga in the Garden in the midst of the beautiful Mead Botanical Garden. Take part in the opportunity to truly connect with yourself and nature. Bring a yoga mat and water.
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10:00 am / 2:00 pm
December 4

Weekly Open House every Saturday at The Orlando School of Music!!

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.!

Come visit us to view the school, receive a VIP tour of the school, and schedule a trial lesson! We have a lot of great perks for students and parents!

4968 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32803! (321) 281-8386!

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December 4

It isn’t the holidays without Clara and her sugar plum fairies. These special performances are tailored to your little toy soldier’s attention span. The whole family will enjoy this timely tale performed on stage by local talent.

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December 4

Public skating is for children 12 years old and younger and their parents.
$8.00 admission includes regular skate rental

Adults that want to skate the admission is only $5.00 with every paid child and as always non skating chaperones are free.

Need a lesson?

For $10.00, come in at 9 a.m. and have instruction from 9:15 to 10 a.m., which includes our Tiny Tot public session and regular skate rental!

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December 4

How long? 1.5 hours for Family Members (ages 5+)

When? Various Dates and Times

Note: Adult Family Members Must Take Class with Children 5 to 17 years old

You and your family (friends/co-workers) can learn how to throw on the potter's wheel from one of our experienced artists. Children 5 to 17 years old must take class with an adult member of the family.  We will guide you and your family members step-by-step through the process of throwing a bowl on their own.  Everyone will have the opportunity to make 1 bowl during class, and then paint it with colors from our large selection of glazes. This is a super cool and a memorable experience you can do together! Book each family member’s seat individually up to 6. (by reservation only)

$35 per person.

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Nature Play
December 4

Fables on the Farm is a children's fun time here at Wildflower Farm.

They will read a children's book in our pasture pavilion. After the book reading, the baby goats will come join for a meet and greet! We will supply fresh greens you can feed them.

Then they will ask for you to help to us give the "kids" a bottle of warm milk!

Farm products, local craft items and merchandise will be available for purchase.
Admission is $12.50 per person. (1 and under free)

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1:00 pm / 7:00 pm
December 4
Join us in October for lots of fall fun on the farm! Included with admission: Pumpkin Patch & Photo Spots Farm Animal Petting Zoo Hayride Jolly Acres Play - bounce pillow, trike track, giant slide, maze, barrel train & more Saturdays and Sundays, October 8-31 - Free live performances for children Also available at additional cost: Bar, Grill, Fry Shack, & Sweets Gifts and Souvenirs Horse & Pony Rides - Saturdays & Sundays only Pumpkins for purchase Private Fire Pits & Birthday Party Area Online tickets are sold at a reduced price of $8-$15 and guarantee entry on busier days that may fill to capacity. Visit the ticketing site for more details.
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4:00 pm / 5:00 pm
December 4

The Hive: A Makerspace- Join the Maker Movement! Go forth and create! In this collaborative workspace, you can try new tools, build new skills, and create something one-of-a-kind to take home. Makers are MacGuyvers. Through the simple act of making something, you are strengthening essential skills in problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. These experiences will challenge you to bring your ideas to life, and every choice you make will lead you to something new. Makerspaces cultivate community so enjoy sharing your creations with each other. Being a maker is all about creativity and experimentation, so select one of the following projects for your group’s private experience to explore and make your own: 3D Design for Printing, Make Your Own Mouse Ears, Sew a Felt Succulent Garden

Offered Saturdays & Sundays from 9-10:30am or 4-5pm however weekday reservations are available upon request. This adventure must be booked online and workshops are best suited for makers ages 8 and older.

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Kiddie Culture / Nature Play / Recurring Events
6:00 pm / 10:00 pm
December 4

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens will transform at night into the Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild!

Back by popular demand, this event is stunning and special for everyone in the family!

See over 30 different, hand-constructed illuminated lanterns displayed around the Zoo on a 3/4 mile path. Celebrate the art, beauty and wonder of traditional Asian lantern festivals.

Read More
December 4

Yee-haw! Eight seconds may not seem like a long time, but when a bull rider is trying to stay on a bucking bronc, you'll be frozen with suspense!WHAT TO EXPECT:
Get ready to be mesmerized by the excitement and unpredictable danger of the Rodeo at Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo. Known for being an unforgettable evening of family-fun, the 1,200-seat rodeo arena draws rodeo athletes from all over to compete in trick riding, barrel racing, and of course, bull riding. Our Saturday Night Rodeo is a guest favorite and allows all guests to discover talented contestants while also enjoying a patriotic tribute to our armed forces. So come on down to the rodeo for a wild Florida night!INFO & TICKETS:
Tickets can be purchased at the entrance of the Rodeo. We do not offer advance tickets.Guests staying at the resort do get priority for tickets; any tickets left after resort guests are available to the public.Adults $25 • Children (ages 5-12) $15
Children 4 and under are complimentary
All ages are welcome

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December 4

All Your Favorite Classic Cars Come Together at One Place.

Join us every Saturday and take a trip down memory lane. The Old Town Classic Car Show has been a local tradition for over 30 years, it is one of the premier weekly car shows in Central Florida.

The Saturday Classic Car Show begins at 1:00 pm and welcomes show-quality 1983 and older hot rods, street rods, and antiques. Cars will cruise at 8:30 pm and all registered cars are able to participate.

The Classic Car Show is free for participants and free for the public to attend. It's the perfect outing for families of every generation, young and old, to enjoy.

Here are some reminders and safety precautions to ensure everyone enjoys their time at Old Town:
- Practice safe social distancing between you and other guests of at least 6 feet.
- No gatherings or congregating of more than 10 individuals.
- Face masks or coverings are strongly encouraged while you enjoy Old Town.
- Face masks are county mandated inside public facilities in Osceola County.
- Old Town has placed additional sanitizing stations throughout the property and at each restroom.
- All Old Town staff, security and housekeeping are required to be temperature checked and wear masks at all times.
- Old Town requires cars be parked at least 6 feet apart to ensure cruiser and guest safety.

For more information on how to stay safe and healthy during your visit to Old Town, please visit Stay Safe.

PARTICIPATING CLASSIC CARS: enter Old Town from Highway 192 under the east (left) side of the Jukebox signs where you’ll be greeted by Event Staff. They will then direct you to a security escort down the brick streets. Please do not drive on the bricks without permission.

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Date Night / Kiddie Culture

Outdoor Movie Night at Wekiva Island: The Polar Express

Wekiva Island
December 5
Bring the family down to Wekiva Island to enjoy a Christmas classic: The Polar Express! This outdoor viewing will begin at 7 p.m. on December 5, and guests are encouraged to bring their own chair for seating. While you enjoy the holiday fun, be sure to grab a drink and a snack! Admission to Wekiva Island is $2.
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8:30 am / 10:00 am
December 5

Offered Saturdays & Sundays from 8:30 – 10:00 am
Weekday reservations available upon request.
Adventure is open to all ages but we suggest one adult per two youth.

Embark on a behind-the-scenes tour through this fan-favorite exhibit which emulates animal habitats found in nature. Throughout your guided experience, you will participate in animal touches and feedings while learning about animal husbandry and the care that goes into keeping our animals happy and healthy. Once you’re familiar with the lay of the land, it’s time to learn the ropes and become an animal keeper!

Did you know our animal ambassadors are big fans of food prep? Our animals’ diets are designed to fit each of their unique nutritional needs. Help us prepare the day’s meals and feed some of our four-legged friends!

Enrichment is also a crucial part of our animals’ health and wellbeing. Learn how keepers use enrichment to keep animals physically and mentally fit. This will be demonstrated while an animal ambassador paints a two-colored masterpiece for you to take home as a keepsake for your exciting day!

Meet an animal ambassador! Once you've finished your animal keeper training, there will be time for a special opportunity to interact with an animal ambassador* and pose for photo-ops.

*Animal encounters are just as enriching for the animals as the humans who participate in them but, like humans, sometimes they want to stick to their own schedule. Animal well-being is our top priority, so if a particular animal does not want to participate in that day’s private experiences, our staff will select another exciting animal ambassador for you to meet!

Read More
December 5

The Grinch comes down from Mount Crumpet for this celebratory shindig at the Enzian Theater for a family friendly screening and a special letter writing kit for their letter to the big man in red.

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December 5

New Weekly Indoor Sunday Market inside the Altamonte Springs Mall featuring Fresh Produce, Packaged Foods, Food Finds, Flowers, Local Artisans just off Center Court 1st floor

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