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A lifestyle magazine for Central Florida's modern parents

Mom’s Guide to Diagnosing Developmental Disabilities

Photo by Jessica Friend

Early Intervention Is Key! Three Central Florida families share their stories, struggles and information about how they found help for their children.

At 18 months old, Barclay was like any other toddler. He was thriving and meeting all developmental milestones on time. Each morning, Barclay would wave and say, “Bye!” when his dad left for work. One morning, he thrilled us when he said, “Bye, Dada!” He was combining two words! But it would be a very long time before Barclay would speak a two-word phrase again. In fact, he would begin a speech regression that put our family on a course we never would have imagined. Eventually, Barclay was diagnosed with a severe language delay called childhood apraxia of speech. A year later, he was also diagnosed with profound attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When Barclay was 3 years old, mild autism spectrum disorder (ASD) became diagnosis number three.

So many well-intentioned friends and family members have asked how — and sometimes why — Barclay was diagnosed so early. He looks like a normal toddler — do you think maybe he’s just a late bloomer? Why not just wait and see if he catches up? Do you really want to label your son? Can doctors even correctly diagnose young toddlers with these types of developmental delays? Is there any real benefit to therapy at such a young age?

While trying to understand my son, I have learned that children like Barclay are in a race against time when it comes to maximizing the benefits of therapy. Early intervention is crucial.

What Is Early Intervention?

The term early intervention refers to services such as speech, occupational and physical therapy provided to babies and toddlers who have been diagnosed with or who are at risk of  developmental disabilities. Early intervention simply means being proactive and intervening early as opposed to taking a wait-and-see approach. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developmental disabilities affect approximately 1 in 6 children between the ages of 3 and 17. Early intervention programs aim to identify these children prior to age 3 and provide services to them in a natural environment utilizing a family approach. Florida’s state-funded early intervention program is called Early Steps. There are no income requirements for Early Steps. Families may allow Early Steps access to insurance or Medicaid benefits, but there is never an expense for the family.

In addition to state-funded early intervention programs like Early Steps, many private providers offer early intervention services to very young children. A child can receive services through the state’s early intervention program and through private pay or insurance-covered providers simultaneously, making the most of that very critical window of opportunity where children can show the maximum growth.

The Nielsen Family (L to R): Brent, Barclay and Amy

Barclay’s Story
Barclay is a cheerful and spirited 3-year-old boy. He has been in speech therapy, occupational therapy and behavior therapy since age 2. Despite his severe language delay, profound ADHD and mild ASD, Barclay continues to surprise his doctors and therapists and his family with how much he is learning. He loves the ABCs, counting and acting out nearly every scene of his favorite movies, the most beloved being Toy Story. Because of the quick action of his family, Barclay has been able to receive early intervention services, and it has made a huge impact on his success. He still has a long way to go, but according to his father, “He has already accomplished so much in a short time thanks to early diagnosis, early intervention and the hard work of Barclay’s team of therapists.”

Why Is Early Intervention So Important?

According to Lourdes Quitana, director of Central Florida Early Steps, more than 85 percent of brain development happens within the first three years of life. However, she says that more than 50 percent of the kids that Early Steps sees are late referrals. Due to delays in identifying their need for services, many children are aging out of early intervention services before receiving the maximum benefits that programs like Early Steps help provide. Bobbi Barber, co-founder of ABC for Autismand author of Autism, Adolescence and Adulthood, says the research shows that the brain displays the most plasticity and neural development before age 5. When it comes to the benefits of early intervention therapy, the younger the child, the greater the benefit. Unfortunately, the average age of children referred to Barber’s center is age 7. Amy Mahanna, an ESE pre-kindergarten teacher in Seminole County and the parent of a child with ADHD says, “As with most things, the earlier you can intervene, the better the outcome will be. Children who receive early intervention for developmental delays can often go on to blend in with their neurotypical peers and reach age-appropriate milestones. Even those children who require more intensive support show more progress with early intervention when compared to those who did not receive it.”

Colin’s Story
Colin’s mother describes him as a ray of sunshine who loves drawing, music and his goldendoodle, Luca. Colin and his twin brother, Jonah, were hitting all developmental milestones simultaneously when their mother, Deana, noticed something different about Colin. At around 16 months of age, unlike his twin brother, Colin wasn’t responding to his name and made repetitive motions. He was evaluated at age 2 by Early Steps and showed several signs of ASD. A neurologist later confirmed the ASD diagnosis. Colin began receiving services through Early Steps immediately and showed great progress. Colin is now 8 years old and attends ABC for Autism in Longwood, where he is thriving. Deana’s advice for any parent who is concerned their child might have a developmental delay is, “Act on it immediately. You are losing precious time. Go with your gut.”

How Would a Parent Know if Their Child Has a Developmental Delay?

Parent’s must know what milestones typically developing children meet and when. Quintana recommends following your pediatrician’s guidelines. Pediatricians monitor developmental milestones during well-child visits. However, parents can’t rely totally on their child’s pediatrician to catch a delay, especially early. “Parents must also monitor this at home using a checklist such as the Ages & Stages Questionnaire,” says Quintana. The ASQ-3 is the most widely used and researched developmental screening tool for monitoring developmental milestones. There are 21 intervals of questionnaires for children from 2 months to 60 months of age. It is designed to celebrate milestones as well as catch delays in communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving and personal-social skills. The ASQ-3 is easy to use and only takes about 15 minutes to complete and 3 minutes to score.

In addition to routine visits to the pediatrician and closely monitoring developmental milestones using a checklist tool, Barber also adds that observing how a child plays is a key component of identifying some developmental delays, especially disorders like ASD. She says, “Observe their social play — their interpersonal play. Is it stereotypical? Hard to interrupt? Children should be very responsive to their environment and interested in everything going on around them and seek out the attention of others. If not, that can be a red flag.”

The Navarro Family (L to R): Marcello, Shirliene, David, Julian

Marcello’s Story
Marcello is an intelligent and competitive 9-year-old boy. His mother, Shirliene, says he puts 100 percent effort into everything he does, from soccer to playing the drums. But Marcello’s life could have turned out very differently had his mother not been the amazing advocate she is. As an infant, Marcello suffered from severe eczema, but Shirliene noticed other things too. He wasn’t responding to his name, and he wasn’t babbling. Marcello’s pediatrician attributed the developmental delays to distraction from the eczema, but Shirliene wasn’t so sure. She contacted Early Steps, and they brought Marcello in for an evaluation. By the end of the evaluation, Marcello was diagnosed with ASD. Shirliene went on to not only uncover every resource possible for her son, but ultimately ended up working for Early Steps as a family resource specialist. She now helps connect families like hers with the resources they need. Marcello’s dream is to play for Orlando City Soccer. Thanks to early intervention, Shirliene sees no obstacles in his way.

What Should Parents Do if They Are Concerned Their Child May Have a Developmental Delay?

No parent wants to hear their child may have a developmental delay. As a result, parents and even some pediatricians take a wait-and-see approach. Developmental pediatrician, Dr. Sandra Cely, says that early diagnosis and intervention can prevent later complications in learning, development and self-esteem. Barber says the first thing parents should do if they believe their child may have a developmental delay is seek out a developmental pediatrician like Dr. Cely. Another first step is to contact their local early intervention program. In Florida, that program is Early Steps. In addition, parents should reach out to private practice therapists. For example, if you are concerned your child may have a speech delay, contact a speech therapist. Julie Lashbrook, speech therapist and president of Central Florida Therapy, says her practice offers a low-cost screening that doesn’t require a physician’s referral. The screening is meant to determine if a child is a candidate for a more extensive evaluation in the areas of speech, occupational or physical therapy.

The bottom line is simple: if you suspect your child may have a developmental delay, get help now. Having your child evaluated doesn’t create a developmental delay, and identifying a developmental delay early will help your child receive much-needed intervention at the most critical period of brain development.

cdc.gov/ncbddd/developmentaldisabilities/facts.html

Written by
Amy Nielsen

Amy is a former educator of 20 years. She has four children ranging in age from 3 to 30. In addition to being a mother, she enjoys watching sports and traveling. She is also a special needs advocate and you can read her blog Big Abilities.

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Written by Amy Nielsen

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9:00 am / 6:00 pm
November 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.

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November 1
Creative PLAY is so imporatant and Creative Jane's offers the perfect to have some fun!  
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Educational / Nature Play
October 6 to November 1

Discover something amazing at the new Spooky Seas Event at Sea Life Orlando Aquarium from October 1st - 31st. Watch divers carve jack-o-lanterns underwater Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:00 p.m., participate in a scavenger hunt and discover spooky sea creatures - all complete with Halloween décor! Purchase tickets online to reserve your entry time at https://www.visitsealife.com/orlando/whats-inside/events-experiences/spooky-seas-event/

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November 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
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9:00 am / 6:00 pm
November 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
Class / Educational
November 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
November 3
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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9:00 am / 6:00 pm
November 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
November 3
Creative PLAY is so imporatant and Creative Jane's offers the perfect to have some fun!  
Read More
Nature Play
November 3

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
November 3

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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November 4
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
Class / Educational
November 4
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.
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Festivals

Altamonte Mall Carnival

Altamonte Mall
November 4
There's something for everyone at this family-fun event, from whimsical kiddie rides to state-of-the-art thrill rides, midway games, and deep-fried treats, sweets and other tasty carnival eats. Event parking and admission are free. Unlimited ride wristbands (for riders 36 inches and taller) are $35 on site and online pre-sale (before 5 pm Thurs., Nov. 4) for $29 each, 2/$55 or 4/$99. See website for Saturday ride wristband restrictions. Ride tickets are also available at the carnival for $1.50 each, $30/20 tickets, or $60/50 tickets plus 1 free ride. (Rides take 2 or more tickets each.) Online pre-sale special: $45/50 tickets (includes 1 free ride) Visit the website for coupon savings on rides and food. Midway hours: 5-10 pm Monday - Thursday, 5-11 pm Friday, noon-11 pm Saturday, noon-10 pm Sunday Parent/guardian supervision is required for guests ages 17 and younger. Please check the website for event updates. For more information, call 866-666-3247.
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9:00 am / 6:00 pm
November 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.

Read More
9:30 am / 10:00 am
November 4
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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November 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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November 4

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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November 4

Please RSVP: jfleming@thechristschool.org

Thursday, November 4, 6:00 pm
106 E. Church St., Orlando, FL 32801
407-849-1665
Located in the heart of Downtown Orlando

Are you seeking an engaging, project-based learning environment infused with a Christian Worldview for your child? The Christ School students thrive in a STEAM-based learning environment that focuses on collaboration, communication, creative problem-solving and critical thinking across all subject areas.

Come and explore The Christ School to learn how your child can thrive!

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Class / Educational
November 5
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
November 5

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.

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9:00 am / 6:00 pm
November 5

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
November 5
Creative PLAY is so imporatant and Creative Jane's offers the perfect to have some fun!  
Read More
November 5
Don't miss this rocking' teatime with Orlando's Favorite host with the most, Mr Richard! October 1 10 a.m. Infusion Tea
Read More
November 5

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
November 5
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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7:00 pm / 9:00 pm
November 5

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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November 6

Celebrate the season with this epic event you don't want to miss.

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November 6
  • 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
November 6

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 / 10:00 am
November 6
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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9:00 am / 6:00 pm
November 6

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
10:00 am / 2:00 pm
November 6

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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November 6

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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November 6

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
November 6
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.
Read More
Nature Play
November 6

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)

Read More
4:00 pm / 5:00 pm
November 6

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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November 6

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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November 6

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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