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A lifestyle magazine for Central Florida's modern parents

Rae’s New Sunshine

Photo: Love Is Me Photography

Sondra “Rae” Valentino, a popular radio personality on iHeartRadio’s
Johnny’s House, beams about transitioning into parenthood. 

As a new parent, waking up at 3 a.m. to feed and change a hungry baby is nothing unusual. But waking up at 3 a.m. to feed and change two hungry babies before leaving the house for work by 4 a.m.? That’s another story… Welcome to the life of radio personality Sondra Rae from Johnny’s House at 106.7. Most days begin this way for Sondra Rae and her wife, Missy, who recently became parents to Siena and Leonardo. 

The Backstory

Photo: Love is Me Photography

When Sondra Rae and Missy met through mutual friends in 2011, the instant connection was something neither could deny. It wasn’t long before the couple realized they wanted this relationship to be their last.  

In 2015, Missy surprised Sondra Rae with a picture-perfect Disney World proposal. Sondra Rae, of course, said yes. They were married in late 2016 at Mission Inn in Clermont, which offered a European-themed vibe that the couple adored. 

After a several years together, a fairy-tale wedding, an amazing honeymoon in Italy and spending parts of the next year traveling, these two were ready to start a family. 

Decisions

Photo: Love is Me Photography

Sondra Rae and Missy both knew they wanted to be parents. Being a same-sex couple meant this would involve challenges and choices. They weren’t sure what their pathway to parenthood would look like, but one thing was clear: they were both committed to making it happen.

Ready to explore their options, the couple contacted Advanced Reproductive Specialists in Orlando to discuss fertility treatments such as IUI (intrauterine insemination) and IVF (in vitro fertilization). After much contemplation, Sondra Rae and Missy elected to try IUI. They decided that Sondra Rae would undergo the procedure.

IUI and Pregnancy

Photo: Love is Me Photography

After several months of medical tests, Sondra Rae got the all-clear to begin the IUI process. Her days were often filled with challenging yet exciting doctor visits, medications, shots and tests. She and Missy also needed to choose a sperm donor. They originally chose a donor from Fairfax Cyrobank in Virginia. Missy is from Fairfax, so they felt the choice had a meaningful connection. However, a blood test showed that Sondra Rae and the donor were incompatible, so the process of poring over multiple donor profiles began again. This time they, chose a donor from Seattle Sperm Bank. 

When it was time for the IUI procedure. Sondra Rae felt excited and nervous. As always, Missy was supportive and encouraging. Following the procedure, the anxious couple waited two weeks for the results. Unfortunately, the procedure was unsuccessful. This was tough news, but Sondra Rae and Missy remained optimistic and decided to try a second round of IUI. Because of the failed first attempt, the fertility doctors adjusted the treatment plan. This time, the IUI procedure was a success. 

In addition to a positive pregnancy test, the doctor also had some other news. Sondra Rae’s HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) numbers were high, which can mean the mother is carrying twins. Although they knew the probability of twins was increased with IUI, Sondra Rae and Missy were still shocked when it was confirmed that they were indeed expecting twins. But Sondra Rae said that initial shock quickly turned to gratitude. They knew caring for twins would be challenging, but they felt so fortunate. 

Sondra Rae and Missy wanted their gender reveal to be extra special, so they surprised their family and friends by hosting this important moment at ICON Orlando 360. Guests waited anxiously as the observation wheel’s colors changed first to blue and then to pink — a boy and a girl!

To prepare their beloved fur baby, Marlo, for the twins’ arrival, Sondra Rae and Missy hired Kim Bissing, a certified personal dog trainer with Beyond the Leash. Kim recommends beginning this process early to help make the transition easier on the family pet. Marlo learned verbal commands, such as “Leave it” (which instructs Marlo to ignore baby items such as dropped pacifiers or baby bottles) and “Easy” (which tells Marlo it’s OK to explore gently). Kim also recommended exposing Marlo to scents such as baby blankets and diapers. Finally, she instructed the couple to hold a life-like doll while playing audio clips of a baby crying to help Marlo become accustomed to sharing his mamas with the new babies.

Childbirth and NICU

Photo: Love is Me Photography

On September 20, 2018, Sondra Rae was 33 weeks and 5 days pregnant. When she returned home from work that morning, she felt something was off. A scare in the second trimester had kept her on high alert. Half joking, she texted Missy that she felt like the babies were coming that day. In fact, Sondra Rae and Missy had just packed their hospital bags the night before. It turns out Sondra Rae was right; mother’s intuition is real!

The babies were born several hours later by emergency C-section at The Baby Place at AdventHealth for Women in Orlando. Siena was born first, and the delivery room was suddenly filled with the sweet and innocent cry of new life. However, when Leonardo was born, he was alarmingly silent. The pediatric team quickly started him on oxygen. To Sondra Rae and Missy’s relief, Leonardo’s cry soon followed. 

Because the babies were premature, they were whisked off to AdventHealth for Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with Missy following close behind. Sondra Rae felt alone and scared. Sensing her uneasiness, one of her doctors played a Jimmy Buffet tune, and a nurse illuminated a beach scene on the ceiling above her. As she laid in the delivery room, the uplifting sights and sounds of an island paradise gave her hope that everything was going to be okay.

Siena spent 13 days in the NICU, and Leonardo spent 15. It was heartbreaking for Sondra Rae and Missy to leave the hospital without their babies. However, the NICU nurses were available 24/7, and the new parents were encouraged to call around the clock for updates. Sondra Rae and Missy spent up to 10 hours per day at the hospital during the twins’ stay. To help families of NICU babies cope, the hospital offered art classes. Sondra Rae and Missy made items such as personalized jewelry and burp cloths for Siena and Leonardo, which helped them feel connected. They celebrated each milestone the twins reached until their babies were finally ready to come home. 

Sondra Rae and Missy stayed close to home for their babymoon at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando. 

Making It Work

Photo: Love is Me Photography

Like all new parents, Sondra Rae and Missy spent the first few weeks trying to figure things out. When the twins initially came home, both parents would wake up at night to do feedings and diaper changes. Then they began to stagger the feedings so each baby would eat at a different time. Neither parent was getting much sleep, and they each began to experience severe fatigue. Eventually, Sondra Rae and Missy settled into a routine where they would rotate feeding and changing both babies while the other parent slept. They also used the Twin Z Pillow, which Sondra Rae says is a must-have. It’s a single pillow designed to angle both babies just the right way to be fed at the same time — a total game-changer! For this couple, working together to find solutions is one of their greatest strengths. 

So how do the new parents split up the childrearing responsibilities? Sondra Rae laughed as she replied, “Missy says I have the mom sway.” If one of the twins is fussy, she snuggles the baby closely and sways. “Missy has the magic when it comes to burping the babies,” she says. Sondra Rae isn’t sure how, but Missy can get the babies to burp every time. Although each parent has a few specialties, for the most part, this couple splits their parenting duties 50/50, each respectful and supportive of the other.

Sondra Rae shared that even though she loves being a mother, it hasn’t always been easy. She struggled with postpartum depression, but Missy was quick to recognize this and step in to make sure Sondra Rae got the help she needed. She said that Missy has been there every step of the way, supporting her through the IUI process, pregnancy, childbirth and now in this wonderful new world of parenting that they are beyond ecstatic to share.


Visit sondrarae.com for YouTube videos, blog posts and more. Listen to Sondra Rae each weekday morning on Johnny’s House at 106.7 from 6 a.m.–10 a.m. or listen to podcasts at iHeartRadio. Follow Sondra Rae on Instagram @sondrarae.

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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October 1

Enjoy complimentary admission the last Friday of the month May through September compliments of Wawa. Committed to the communities they serve, Wawa is keeping the Gardens growing with their generous support.
To receive complimentary admission, please come to the Entrance Gate. Visitors do not need to make a purchase. No voucher or reservation necessary.

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October 1

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
9:00 am / 6:00 pm
October 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
9:00 am / 2:00 pm
October 1
WonderWorks Welcomes Homeschoolers & Virtual Learners! WonderWorks offers discounted rates during Homeschool & Virtual Learning Days! Homeschool & Virtual Learning Days: September & October 2021 Only $15 per person +tax or $13 per person +tax if you have a group of 10 or more! · Students will explore over 100 interactive educational exhibits and build confidence on our indoor ropes course challenge! · Classroom activities, lesson plans and scavenger hunts are available upon request. · The $13 ticket only applies to groups of 10 or more and advanced registration is required. · The rate is available only on weekdays before 2pm, when school is in session. · These special promotional rates cannot be combined with other discounts or offers and is not valid on holidays. Please email schools@wonderworksonline.com to make a new reservation or call group sales at 407-351-8800. For updates on homeschool promotions or other educational promotions or programs that may be of interest to you please sign up for our homeschool newsletter.
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October 1
Creative PLAY is so imporatant and Creative Jane's offers the perfect to have some fun!  
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October 1
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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October 1

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
October 1
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
October 1
Kissimmee Utility Authority will begin its 2021-2022 Movie in the Park series on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, at Kissimmee Lakefront Park. The event will feature free admission, free popcorn, contests, prize giveaways, and the showing of Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon on a 50-foot screen! Activities begin at 5:30 pm; movie at 7 p.m. Bring your blankets or lawn chairs and a picnic-style dinner! The movie series is a partnership between KUA and the City of Kissimmee.
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September 20 to October 31
This spooky season, party like every day is Halloween! Enjoy fun games, ghoulish goodies, and Free Game Play for kids in costume*. Plus, don’t miss Boo-tacular Nights with our new show and candy every night starting at 6 p.m. *PURCHASE REQUIRED. For a limited time and only at participating locations. 10 FREE Play Points for kids (no age limit) in costume with minimum $5 games purchase. Card activation cost not included and required. Families, birthday parties or group events with multiple kids will only be required to make one $5 games purchase to receive the offer. For a limited time and only at participating locations. Two candies per child present in a location immediately after the 6:30, 7:30 or 8:30pm show. While supplies last.
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7:00 pm / 9:00 pm
October 1

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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Date Night / Educational

Longwood Haunted History Tour

Bradlee-McIntyre House
7:00 pm / 10:15 pm
October 1

Join us for a Hauntingly Historic event!

This October, the renowned Bradlee-McIntyre House of Longwood, Florida will play host to an exciting experiment in the supernatural.

Every home has its secrets! Hidden behind locked doors lurk disturbing facts that want nothing more than to remain buried in the shadows. Some doors should never be unlocked and, once opened, can never be closed. There are worse things than skeletons in a closet. Some closets are passageways to other realms. Desk drawers can hold strange prophecies. A kitchen pantry may be well-stocked... with deadly poison. The mysteries behind the history of the Bradlee-McIntyre House have been unearthed and now we are opening the doors to all who dare to enter.

You are invited on an immersive journey into the unsettling past of Longwood, Florida. Storyteller and Supernatural Enthusiast, Michael Matson, will lead brave souls on this frighteningly fun-filled theatrical walking tour of the Bradlee-McIntyre House featuring the best of both worlds; the world of the living and the world of the dead, bringing them together for a ghoulishly good time!

Follow in the footsteps of the house’s former owners and hear stories of their lavish lifestyle. Learn about the unusual traditional folklore, legends, and superstitions that were common in the 1800s to early 1900s. Discover concealed rooms filled with potentially scandalous secrets. Catch a glimpse of the afterlife as we explore the weird world of paranormal phenomenon through stories of spooky spiritual encounters and bone-chilling ghostly manifestations. Take part in unbelievably bizarre demonstrations of ill-fated illusion. Shed your mortal worries and face your fears with an enchanting evening of eerie entertainment that is guaranteed to thrill and chill this October!

 

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October 2
  • 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
October 2

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
9:00 am / 10:00 am
October 2
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.
Read More
9:00 am / 6:00 pm
October 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
10:00 am / 2:00 pm
October 2

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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October 2

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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October 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.

Read More
1:00 pm / 7:00 pm
October 2
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
October 2

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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October 2
Ready for a spooky fun time with the family? The Grove Orlando will host the 2021 Boo Bash Halloween Party! This FREE Halloween Family event will feature 24K pieces of candy, a Halloween Costume Contest at 4 p.m., FREE Kids Craft Station and a DJ Dance Party. Come dressed in your Halloween Costume and enjoy great food and shopping all around the complex!
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4:00 pm / 5:00 pm
October 2

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.

Read More
Date Night / Educational

Longwood Haunted History Tour

Bradlee-McIntyre House
7:00 pm / 10:15 pm
October 2

Join us for a Hauntingly Historic event!

This October, the renowned Bradlee-McIntyre House of Longwood, Florida will play host to an exciting experiment in the supernatural.

Every home has its secrets! Hidden behind locked doors lurk disturbing facts that want nothing more than to remain buried in the shadows. Some doors should never be unlocked and, once opened, can never be closed. There are worse things than skeletons in a closet. Some closets are passageways to other realms. Desk drawers can hold strange prophecies. A kitchen pantry may be well-stocked... with deadly poison. The mysteries behind the history of the Bradlee-McIntyre House have been unearthed and now we are opening the doors to all who dare to enter.

You are invited on an immersive journey into the unsettling past of Longwood, Florida. Storyteller and Supernatural Enthusiast, Michael Matson, will lead brave souls on this frighteningly fun-filled theatrical walking tour of the Bradlee-McIntyre House featuring the best of both worlds; the world of the living and the world of the dead, bringing them together for a ghoulishly good time!

Follow in the footsteps of the house’s former owners and hear stories of their lavish lifestyle. Learn about the unusual traditional folklore, legends, and superstitions that were common in the 1800s to early 1900s. Discover concealed rooms filled with potentially scandalous secrets. Catch a glimpse of the afterlife as we explore the weird world of paranormal phenomenon through stories of spooky spiritual encounters and bone-chilling ghostly manifestations. Take part in unbelievably bizarre demonstrations of ill-fated illusion. Shed your mortal worries and face your fears with an enchanting evening of eerie entertainment that is guaranteed to thrill and chill this October!

 

Read More
October 2

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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October 2

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.

Read More
8:30 am / 10:00 am
October 3

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
11:00 am / 5:00 pm
October 3
The DeLand Indie Market is a curated event that is held 4 times a year showcasing Artists, Boutiques, Vintage and Handcrafted Vendors. We have great food and live music in the Courtyard of Cafe DaVinci too! There are Vendors from all over Florida who take part in this event! Come out and see for yourself! Shop Small, Shop Local, Shop Indie!
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October 3

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

Read More
October 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
October 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.
Read More
4:00 pm / 5:00 pm
October 3

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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Date Night / Educational

Longwood Haunted History Tour

Bradlee-McIntyre House
7:00 pm / 10:15 pm
October 3

Join us for a Hauntingly Historic event!

This October, the renowned Bradlee-McIntyre House of Longwood, Florida will play host to an exciting experiment in the supernatural.

Every home has its secrets! Hidden behind locked doors lurk disturbing facts that want nothing more than to remain buried in the shadows. Some doors should never be unlocked and, once opened, can never be closed. There are worse things than skeletons in a closet. Some closets are passageways to other realms. Desk drawers can hold strange prophecies. A kitchen pantry may be well-stocked... with deadly poison. The mysteries behind the history of the Bradlee-McIntyre House have been unearthed and now we are opening the doors to all who dare to enter.

You are invited on an immersive journey into the unsettling past of Longwood, Florida. Storyteller and Supernatural Enthusiast, Michael Matson, will lead brave souls on this frighteningly fun-filled theatrical walking tour of the Bradlee-McIntyre House featuring the best of both worlds; the world of the living and the world of the dead, bringing them together for a ghoulishly good time!

Follow in the footsteps of the house’s former owners and hear stories of their lavish lifestyle. Learn about the unusual traditional folklore, legends, and superstitions that were common in the 1800s to early 1900s. Discover concealed rooms filled with potentially scandalous secrets. Catch a glimpse of the afterlife as we explore the weird world of paranormal phenomenon through stories of spooky spiritual encounters and bone-chilling ghostly manifestations. Take part in unbelievably bizarre demonstrations of ill-fated illusion. Shed your mortal worries and face your fears with an enchanting evening of eerie entertainment that is guaranteed to thrill and chill this October!

 

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9:00 am / 6:00 pm
October 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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October 4
Creative PLAY is so imporatant and Creative Jane's offers the perfect to have some fun!  
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October 5
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
October 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.

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October 6
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
October 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
October 6
Creative PLAY is so imporatant and Creative Jane's offers the perfect to have some fun!  
Read More