Enjoy Dinner Plus a Ride on the ICON Orlando with Fly & Dine Package

Enjoy Dinner Plus a Ride on the ICON Orlando with Fly & Dine Package

ICON Orlando Fly & Dine package

Want to do date night on International Drive on a budget? ICON Orlando is currently offering seasonal deals and packages perfect for date night.

The deal we’re most excited about is the Fly & Dine dining package being offered through December 20, 2018. Each Fly & Dine ticket includes one flight aboard the ICON Orlando, plus a voucher for a multi-course dinner at one of seven fast-casual and full-service restaurants. 

Participating restaurants include:

  • Tapa Toro
  • Tin Roof Orlando
  • Shake Shack
  • Sugar Factory
  • iCafe de Paris
  • UNO Express
  • Grill I-Drive

The cost is $32/person for fast casual and $45/person for full-service restaurants. For an extra $4.99/person, you can add an adult beverage to your flight. 

Check out the menus for each participating restaurant here.

More Seasonal Deals

In addition to Fly & Dine, make sure to check out some of ICON Orlando 360’s other seasonal deals:

Florida Residents Anytime Flight
Florida residents save 25% on ICON Orlando flights when purchased online. Florida Resident tickets are $19.99/adult and $14.99/child. Available for flights October 1 – December 24, 2018, January 7 – April 12, 2019, and April 22 – December 20, 2019.

Fly Before 4 and Save
Pay only $14.99 per person on any flight on ICON Orlando before 4 p.m. **Block out dates are November 24 and 25, 2018 and December 24, 2018 – January 1, 2019.

Sky Bar 360
Enjoy two full rotations (44 minutes) on the ICON Orlando plus unlimited beer and wine for up to 10 guests in a private beverage capsule. Pricing begins at $29/person. **Not available December 31, 2018. 21+ only.

BOGO Black Friday Sale
From November 23 – 26, 2018, buy one General Admission or Florida Resident Anytime ticket online and get a second free. Tickets must be used between November 23, 2018 and January 31, 2019. 

Holiday Light Show
Set to your favorite holiday tunes, the Holiday Light Show is a 10-minute spectacle of over 64,000 LED lights on one of the tallest observation wheels in the world. The show runs nightly now through January 6, 2019. Show times are 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Holiday Friends & Family Pass
Groups of three can ride for $22/person, and each additional rider after that will only pay $14.99.

Parking is available for free in the on-site garage. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit iconorlando.com.

All images courtesy of ICON Orlando

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New Experiences at This Year’s Christmas at Gaylord Palms Featuring ICE!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms

Considered one of Central Florida’s most quintessential holiday experiences, Christmas at Gaylord Palms returns today for 52 days of Christmassy excitement inside one giant festive wonderland. As always, Gaylord Palms raises the bar year after year, adding new experiences and elevating its annual traditions. Christmas at Gaylord Palms presented by Pepsi is open daily from November 16, 2018 through January 6, 2019, including holidays. Here’s what’s new this year:

ICE! Featuring A Christmas Story

For the first time ever, the resort’s signature experience ICE! will feature the beloved holiday film “A Christmas Story.” Brought to life by ice artisans from Harbin, China, this year’s theme is recreated in a colorful frozen showcase, with hand-carved ice sculptures depicting movie scenes throughout the immersive (and very chilly) 9-degree attraction. 

A few tips: bring a hat and gloves to keep cozy while inside, and switch your phone over to airplane mode to preserve battery life while you take photos and video.

Tickets are $28.99 per adult (use promo code FLR18 to save $3 on ICE! tickets when purchased online in advance).

Fra-ra-ra-ra-ra

Dreams of Christmas Light Show

Gaylord Palms’ St. Augustine atrium is home to a brand new dazzling light show, Dreams of Christmas, making its debut. This multi-sensory experience features a new musical score accompanied by millions of dancing, choreographed lights surrounding the resort’s six-story Christmas tree. Shows are free and happen nightly. 

Adults-Only Polar Dash Party

This year Gaylord Palms has added something just for grown-ups. On Thursday, December 13, 2018, the resort will host its first nighttime Polar Dash party, an adults-only evening featuring the chance to experience the frozen world of ICE! in an unconventional way – in your swimsuit! Grab your sweetie and your friends and don your beachwear for this mishmash of Florida fun in a winter wonderland as you dash through the 9-degree attraction. You’ll also have access to eight snow tubing lanes and themed cocktails at the cash bar. Guests will also enjoy free hot chocolate and a live DJ. Details and tickets here

Santa Scavenger Hunt

Scour the resort decoding clues to find hidden Santa characters during the all-new Secret Santa Scavenger Hunt. Guests will utilize a Santa’s Secret Service Decoder Ring to decipher clues hidden throughout the resort’s atrium. $9.99 per booklet

Naughty or Nice Escape Room

Great for participants of any age, the new Naughty or Nice Escape Room has guests finding clues and cracking codes with a (sometimes mischievous) Jack Frost in the room to help or heed the sleuthing. Teams work together to follow the clues and solve the puzzles before the time on the clock runs out!
$15.99 per person

RETURNING FAVORITES

Sounds of the Season Concert Series
For the second year, Christmas at Gaylord Palms will host its Sounds of the Season Concert Series presented by Celebration Golf Club.

  • Grammy award winner Sandi Patty (Dec. 5)
  • Vocalist Deejay Young (Dec. 6)
  • A cappella group Voctave (Dec. 12)
  • Christmas movies Holidays in Hollywood (Dec. 18)
  • Pop star moms 4eva29 (Dec. 19)
  • Theatrical vocals of VoicePlay (Dec. 20)

All performances include a concert patron-exclusive admission to the ICE! attraction. Tickets start at $25 per person. 

Cirque Dreams Unwrapped
“Holiday thrills” take on a whole new meaning during Cirque Dreams Unwrapped, a 25-minute action-packed experience featuring soaring acrobatics, theatricality and imagination that will have guests on the edge of their seats. Cirque Dreams Unwrapped features new acts and performers each year to bring to life a magical and timeless Christmas wonderland, all imagined by Broadway director and renowned Cirque Dreams founder Neil Goldberg. FREE (guaranteed seating from $15.99 per adult)

Christmas Tree Trail
Guests exploring the meandering paths inside the resort’s Everglades atrium will find the Christmas Tree Trail, a display of nine magnificent trees provided by Balsam HillTM. FREE

Holiday Dining and Decor inside the Atrium
Gaylord Palms’ 4.5-acre soaring glass atrium is decked out beyond compare. Plan to spend some time wandering through the festive space and consider dining at Moor, Old Hickory Steakhouse or Socio as part of your visit. 

Also returning this year:

  • Gingerbread Decorating Corner (now located inside the NEW Alpine Village Sweet Shop)
  • Santa’s Snow Throw
  • Snow Tubing

OVERNIGHT PACKAGES

One-night packages start at $250 plus tax, resort fee and parking. Packages include ICE! tickets for two (with option to add additional adults or children) plus a souvenir family photo. Overnight guests may also schedule a visit to ICE! during the daily hotel guest-exclusive Extra Cool Hour from 9am to 10am.

DETAILS

Christmas at Gaylord Palms
November 16, 2018 through January 6, 2019

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
6000 W Osceola Pkwy
Kissimmee, FL 34746

For additional information and to book packages or tickets, visit ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com.

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60+ Festive and Free Holiday Events in Orlando

Holiday Events in Orlando

Our annual list of the best free holiday events in Orlando!

2018 has flown by and the holiday season has nearly arrived. You and your honey may be in a panic realizing that the year is wrapping up and the list of holiday chores is ramping up. The great news is there are a ton of free holiday events in Orlando to enjoy. From holiday lights to free movies and concerts, check out some of our favorites below!

Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs
Through January 6, 2019
Disney Springs Marketplace near Once Upon a Toy store
Discover 27 holiday trees each inspired by a Disney character or theme. A short, but festively packed walking trail amid the hustle and bustle of Disney Springs at Christmas time.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Display
November 15, 2018 – January 1, 2019
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort lobby
Additional resorts with gingerbread displays in their lobbies: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel.
Note: Parking at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels is for the exclusive use of guests with confirmed rooms, dining and recreation reservations. However, bus transportation is available from each of the four parks and Disney Springs. Guests may also park at the Ticket and Transportation Center and visit Epcot, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort via the Walt Disney World Resort Monorail.

Image credit: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Holiday Light Show at Light Up UCF
November 16, 2018- December 31, 2018
Starts at 7pm and continues hourly until closing
CFE Arena

Cranes Roost Park Holiday Fountain Show
November 24, 2018 – December 31, 2018
Performances hourly from 6-9pm
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

Snow Falling Nightly in Celebration
November 24, 2018 – December 31, 2018
Nightly “snowfall” at 6, 7, 8 and 9pm.
Celebration Town Center

Celebration becomes a winter wonderland with nightly snow falls. (©Whitney Bilodeau)

A Merry Winter Garden Light Show
December 1, 7, 8, 15 and 22
6-9pm
Winter Garden City Hall

Deck the Downtown
December 1 – 31, 2018
Downtown Orlando
Downtown Orlando businesses will be “decked-out” with festive lights and window decorations. A map will guide residents and guests as they walk the streets of Downtown, enjoying the creativity and holiday spirit of each of the participating business locations. Deck the DTO location maps can be found online or at the Downtown Information Center.

Holiday Lights around Cranes Roost Park
December 1, 2018 – January 1, 2019
6-11 pm
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree Show
December 1, 2018 – January 5, 2018
Nightly at 5:45, 6:45, 7:45, 8:45, and 9:45pm
Lake Eola Park

orlando Holidays LightsLake Eola Christmas Tree | Image credit: Matthew Paulson Photography

Jingle Eve 2018
November 17, 2018
5-10pm
Ivanhoe Village

Lake Helen Christmas Parade & Santa’s Village
November 24, 2018
4-9pm
Christmas Parade 4pm (parade viewing along New York Ave. & Lakeview Dr.). Santa’s Village following the parade at Lake Helen Equestrian Center

36th Annual Light Up Mount Dora
November 24, 2018
5-6:30pm
Donnelly Park and Downtown Mount Dora

Celebration Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 24, 2018
5:30-9pm
Celebration Town Center

Celebration | Image credit: Stephanie Patterson

Light Up Viera
November 24, 2018
Parade starts at 6:10pm
Route takes place near Viera High School

Food Trucks, Tree Lighting, and Santa
November 29, 2018
5-9pm
Center Lake Park – Oviedo

Baldwin Park First Friday Festival and Tree Lighting Event
November 30, 2018
5:30-9:30pm
Lighting of the tree at 7:30pm.
Baldwin Park First Friday Festival (New Broad Street)

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland
November 30 – December 23
Nightly snow flurries from 6-9pm
Extra entertainment and activities offered on select days and evenings, including outdoor movies and visits from Santa Claus. Be sure to check out Wekiva Island’s website for more details.
Wekiva Island
$1 entrance fee on weekends

Image credit: Wekiva Island

2018 City of Orlando Tree Lighting Celebration
November 30, 2018
From 5-9pm
Lake Eola Park

Christmas in the Square
November 30, 2018
From 6-8pm
Magnolia Square, Downtown Sanford

31st Annual Light Up Winter Garden
November 30, 2018
From 6-9pm
Downtown Winter Garden – Plant Street

26th Annual Mount Dora Christmas Walk
November 30, 2018
From 6-9pm
Downtown Mount Dora

Fun and Free Holiday Events in Orlando 2018Mount Dora Christmas Walk | Image credit: Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce

41st Annual Cracker Christmas
December 1-2, 2018
10am-4pm
Fort Christmas Historical Park

58th Annual Mount Dora Christmas Parade
December 1, 2018
10am
Streets of Mount Dora

Winter Garden Christmas Parade
December 1, 2018
10am
South Dillard Street & Plant Street

The Grove’s Winter Wonderland
December 1, 2018
11am – 3pm
The Grove Orlando

2018 Ocoee Christmas Parade & Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration
December 1, 2018
From 1-4pm
The Parade will start at the intersections of Maguire Road and Enterprise Street, and end at Municipal Lakefront Park at Ocoee City Hall. The tree lighting will take place at Withers-Maguire House and Lakeshore Center & Grounds, Ocoee.

Avalon Aglow
December 1, 2018
From 3-9pm, fireworks 9pm
Downtown Avalon Park

Winter Wonderland Winter Springs
December 1, 2018
4:30-9:00pm
Winter Springs Town Center

Light Up the Holidays – Altamonte Springs
December 1, 2018
From 5-9pm
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

Cranes Roost Park during the holidaysCranes Roost Park | Image credit: Altamonte Springs

Casselberry Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 1, 2018
From 6-9pm
A showing of the movie “Prancer” follows the tree lighting.
Lake Concord Park

28th Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade
December 1, 2018
Starts at 7:30pm
Lake Dora; the parade begins at Lighthouse on Grantham Point

Christmas at the Casa
December 5, 2018
4-7pm
Casa Feliz
Free to attend, but a donation of $2-$5 is suggested

Annual Great Latke Cook-off
December 6, 2018
From 1-2pm
Rosen JCC

College Park Main Street Holiday on the Drive
December 6, 2018
5-9pm
Edgewater Drive

Winter on the Avenue
December 7, 2018
From 5-10pm
Central Park on Park Avenue, Winter Park

Winter on the Avenue Park Avenue Winter ParkWinter on the Avenue | Image credit: Winter Park Chamber of Commerce

Holiday in the Park Lake Mary
December 7, 2018
6-8pm
Central Park Lake Mary City Hall
Filled with thousands of colorful lights, a Holiday Tree lighting, dancing light show, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Holiday lights will continue to be on display throughout the rest of the holiday season.

Celebrate the Season & Tree Lighting
December 7, 2018
6-9pm
Downtown Historic Longwood

Lake Nona Holiday Festival
December 8 – December 30, 2018
Thursdays – Sundays from 3-10pm
Holiday movies, occasional snowfall, live performances, visits with Santa and more.
Lake Nona Town Center

66th Annual Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade
December 8, 2018
Starts at 9am
Central Park Park Avenue, Winter Park

Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade

Nehrling Gardens Holiday Amaryllis Festival
December 8, 2018
9am-3pm
Santa arrives, in a red Corvette, at 10am.
Nehrling Gardens, Gotha

Rotary Club of Orlando Christmas Parade
December 8, 2018
Starts at 4pm
Parade starts at Orange and Robinson, ends at Robinson and Rosalind

Winter Spark Baldwin Park
December 8, 2018
4-8pm
Holiday festival from 4-8pm and lighted parade beginning at 7pm
New Broad Street, Baldwin Park

Sanford’s Annual Illuminated Christmas Parade
December 8, 2018
From 6-8pm
Downtown Sanford

City of Kissimmee Festival of Lights Parade
December 8, 2018
Starts at 7pm
Historic Downtown Kissimmee

Chanukah on the Park
December 9, 2018
Starts at 5:00pm
Central Park on Park Avenue, Winter Park

2nd Annual Sanford Jingle Jam
December 15, 2018
4-10pm
Downtown Sanford

11th Annual Holiday Lights Ride
December 15, 2018
From 6-9pm
Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux Cafe

Winter Garden Christmas Golf Cart Parade
December 16, 2018
4-7pm
Bradford Park

Winter Garden Golf Cart Parade

7th Annual Christmas Light Ride!
December 22, 2018
From 7-8pm
Retro City Cycles

Orlando Flea Holiday Makers Market
November 18, 2018
12-4pm
Celine Orlando

Holiday Makers Market – Windermere
November 25, 2018
11am-5pm
Handcrafted goods, craft beer, and music
The Pines of Windermere on the Lake (3409 Maguire Rd)

Will’s A Faire Vintage & Indie Art Holiday Market
December 2, 2018
1-9pm
Will’s Pub

Light Up UCF Holiday Market Under the Stars
December 8 and 21, 2018
6-10pm
CFE Arena

Holiday Art and Music in the Park and Food Truck Bazaar
December 14, 2018
6-9pm
Lake Concord Park, Casselberry

Holiday Pop Swap Market
December 16, 2018
1pm
Dear Prudence Shop and The Lovely Boutique Market

Light Up UCF Holiday Film Festival

Select nights November 15 – December 29, 2018
Movies begin at 7pm and 9:30pm
CFE Arena

  • November 15 – Mickey’s Christmas Carol (Short Film)
  • November 16 – Elf
  • November 23 – It’s a Wonderful Life
  • November 30 – The Santa Clause
  • December 1 – White Christmas
  • December 7- Home Alone
  • December 8 – Home Alone 2
  • December 14 – A Christmas Story
  • December 15 – The Polar Express
  • December 21 – Disney’s A Christmas Carol
  • December 22 – Elf
  • December 28 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • December 29 – Frozen

Image credit: Light Up UCF

Family Movie Night at Old Town

Sunday nights November 11 – December 30, 2018
Movie begins at 7pm
South Entertainment Area at Old Town, Kissimmee

  • November 18 – A Christmas Story
  • November 25 – The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • December 2 – The Santa Clause
  • December 9 – The Santa Clause 2
  • December 16 – The Santa Clause 3
  • December 23 – Christmas Vacation
  • December 30 – The Polar Express

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland Movies

Select Friday and Saturday evenings November 30 – December 21, 2018
Movie begins at 7pm
Wekiva Island

  • November 30 – The Polar Express
  • December 7 – How The Grinch Stole Christmas (live action)
  • December 14 – The Santa Clause
  • December 21 – A Christmas Carol (starring Jim Carey)

Popcorn Flicks in the Park in Winter Park

Select nights in December
Movies starts at 7pm
Central Park, Winter Park

  • December 1: Christmas with the Kranks
  • December 7: Miracle on 34th Street

Movie Night at Leu Gardens

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
December 7, 2018
Gardens open at 6pm and the movie starts at 7:30pm
Harry P. Leu Gardens
Free for Leu members ($6 for non-members)

Orlando Events for September 2018Leu Gardens movie night | Image credit: Leu Gardens

Holiday Movies at Lake Eola Park

Select nights December 7 – 21, 2018
Movie begins at 7pm
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park

  • December 7 – Polar Express
  • December 15 – The Santa Clause
  • December 21 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Holiday Movie Night at Cranes Roost Park

Thursday nights December 8 – 22, 2018
Movie begins at 7pm
Cranes Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

  • December 8 – Arthur Christmas
  • December 15 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas (live action)
  • December 22 – The Flight Before Christmas

Lake Nona

Select nights December 8 – 28, 2018
Movie activities begin at 5pm, movies start at 7pm
Lake Nona Town Center

  • December 8 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • December 14: Home Alone
  • December 21: The Polar Express
  • December 28: Frozen

Winter Garden Holiday Movie Night

Polar Express
December 15, 2018
6-9pm (carolers before the movie)
Winter Garden Downtown Pavillion

Windermere Food Truck and Holiday Movie Night

December 28, 2018
Starts at 5pm
Movie: TBD

Holiday Friday Nights at the Morse
Friday evenings November – April
4-8pm
November through April, admission is free every Friday from 4-8pm. Enjoy live music during the holidays beginning at 5pm. 
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

  • November 23 – Harpist Bizarre Quartet
  • November 30 – Victoria Lynn Schultz
  • December 7 – Beautiful Music Chamber Trio
  • December 14 – Beautiful Music Jazz Quartet
  • December 21 – Beautiful Music Three Flutes Only
  • December 28 – Beautiful Music Jazz Trio

Free things to do in Orlando this springImage credit: Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

What’s Up Downtown for the Holidays
November 29, 2018
11:45am-1:15pm
Featuring performances from the Russian Ballet Orlando, Mad Cow Theatre, Dr. Phillips Center Premier Performance Ensemble Docs & Dellas, Howard Middle School Jazz Band and Howard Middle School Show Choir.
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park

9th Annual Holiday Concert at Lake Eola
Presented by News 6 and featuring the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra
December 1, 2018
Starts at 6pm
Walt Disney Amphitheater in Lake Eola Park

Sounds of the Season Winter Park Holiday Pops
December 2, 2018
4 – 6pm
Central Park

Valencia College Winter Jazz Concert
December 4, 2018
From 7:30-9:30pm
East Campus Performing Arts Center

40th Annual Christmas in the Park
December 6, 2018
From 6:15-8pm
Central Park, Winter Park

Image courtesy of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, Florida

Winter Garden Fridays on the Plaza – Holiday Music
Friday nights December 7 – 28, 2018
7-9pm
Downtown Winter Garden

  • December 7 – Nicole Equerme w/Sam Trawick
  • December 14 – Key Harmony
  • December 21 – Safia Hudson Trio
  • December 28 – Paint it Black Quartet

Marc With a C’s Annual Holiday Marathon Show!
December 8, 2018
Doors at 7pm, music approximately 8:00-11:59pm
The Geek Easy

6th Annual Violectric Holiday Show
December 14, 2018 from 7pm-9pm
LIVE concert featuring holiday songs mashed up with classic rock tunes and modern hits; pet-friendly! Anyone who brings a pet supply or makes a donation for Pet Alliance will receive a pet photo opportunity with Santa and Mrs. Claus making a special visit to the show. View Pet Alliance’s wish list here.
Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola Park

Vioelectric Holiday Show

The Nutcracker Performance by the Russian Ballet of Orlando
December 22, 2018
7pm
The Russian Ballet of Orlando will present a gift to the Orlando community with a free performance of the traditional ballet, “The Nutcracker.”
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park

Feature image credit: mount dora.com

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Shop Local at the Orlando Flea Holiday Makers Market November 18

Orlando Flea Holiday Makers Market 2018

Orlando Flea, the indoor market put together by The Daily City, is back for its second go-round in downtown Orlando, this time with a holiday flare!

This Sunday, November 18, you can peruse goods from 45 carefully-selected local vendors and designers to help you get a head start on holiday shopping. The event will take place from 12-4pm at Celine, a beautiful 2-story venue in downtown Orlando. There is no fee to enter.

Expect to find an assortment of local gifts including ceramics, coffee, macramé, posters, jewelry, plants, vintage clothing, soap, candles and more.

Orlando Flea returns to downtown Orlando for Holiday Makers Market November 18, 2018Orlando Flea returns to downtown Orlando for Holiday Makers Market November 18, 2018

Don’t forget to bring your appetite; there will also be an array of locally-produced snacks for sale along with a full bar. The venue even has a rooftop bar. All ages are welcome to check out the fun-filled event. It’s even dog friendly!

Orlando Flea returns to downtown Orlando for Holiday Makers Market November 18, 2018

Additions and improvements for this installation of Orlando Flea include wider aisles, more bars throughout the venue, two additional shopping rooms and more space for mingling.

Note: The venue is not stroller friendly.

Orlando Flea returns to downtown Orlando for Holiday Makers Market November 18, 2018

Details

Orlando Flea
Sunday, November 18, 2018, 12-4pm
Celine – 22 S. Magnolia Avenue
Orlando, FL 32837
http://www.orlandoflea.com

Parking information:
cityoforlando.net/parking

About Orlando Flea
The Orlando Flea is the latest project of The Daily City, creators of TheDailyCity.com Food Truck Bazaar, The Daily City Cardboard Art Festival, and Orlando’s first pop up shop Big Box of Orlando. The Daily City was founded in 2007 by Mark Baratelli. 

Orlando Flea has a mission to create a community around supporting and celebrating our region’s creative small business owners as well as creating a cool event for all to enjoy! There’s an inspiration and energy that comes from being around creative people doing what they love and Orlando Flea wants to be the hub for that energy and experience.

All images provided by Orlando Flea

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New Year’s Eve 2019 Event Preview

Already envisioning how you plan to ring in 2019 with your love? New Year’s Eve is just over a month away but already the party plans and celebrations are being announced. Here’s a little preview of some of our favorite upcoming New Year’s Eve events in Orlando for waving goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019.

Note: our full 2019 New Year’s Eve event coverage will be posted in just a few weeks!

Nouveau: A Glamorous New Year’s Eve

9:30pm-1:30am
Orlando Museum of Art
Fancy a night at the museum? This year, the Orlando Museum of Art is hosting a swanky NYE bash with a red carpet entrance, open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts, live music, a DJ, full museum access and a champagne toast during the midnight fireworks display. Jorge Estevez of WFTV will be in attendance to count down to the New Year.
$225/couple, $125/person, $180/person VIP

Enzian’s James Bond New Year’s Eve Party

8pm-1am
Enzian Theater
Pretend you’re James Bond and one of his famous Bond Girls, if only for the evening. Enzian’s themed soiree is back this year with a costume contest, open bar, live music, hors d’oeuvres, a confetti cannon and ball drop at midnight and a live DJ. VIP tickets upgrade your experience to include a reserved table in the private VIP area, an exclusive VIP bar, plated hors d’oeuvres, party favors and complementary champagne. 21+ only.
$99 general admission
$325 VIP for two
$650 VIP for four

Image credit: Enzian Theater

Rock ‘Til the Drop New Year’s Eve Party

8pm
Hard Rock Live Orlando
Music lovers, take note. Hard Rock Live Orlando is opening its doors for an evening bash complete with live music, dinner buffet, dancing, a champagne toast and more. Entertainment for the evening will be Epic Evolve: The Decades Show. VIP access gains you entry to the exclusive John Lennon Room and Terrace as well as a dinner buffet and select open bar.
$125 general admission ($135 day of)
$225 VIP

EVE at Universal CityWalk

8pm-2am
Universal CityWalk
An annual tradition, EVE includes unlimited gourmet eats, access to six CityWalk clubs (each with live bands or DJs), signature drinks, a champagne toast at midnight, a pyrotechnics show and an epic outdoor dance floor.
$109.99 – $194.99 in advance

Orlando New Year's Eve 2019 Event PreviewImage credit: Universal Orlando Resort

New Year’s Eve at Topgolf Orlando

9pm-1am
Topgolf Orlando
Kick off the new year with a little friendly competition! Topgolf is hosting a fun party with live entertainment and midnight fireworks. The NYE package includes all of this plus unlimited game play for the duration of the event for up to 6 people. Upgrade to VIP for access to the premium NYE feast complete with a carving station and a bottle of bubbly to share. Pricing is per bay, not per person.
$225 per bay (general admission); $450 per bay (VIP)

New Year’s Eve at Tapa Toro

Seatings from 5pm-close
Tapa Toro
A five-course feast, champagne and live Flamenco dancing shows are all included in Tapa Toro’s NYE celebration this year. Bonus: you’ll receive 10% off if you book your table before November 26, 2018. You can also save a little more by dining early (between 5-7pm) for a smaller four-course menu, an early champagne toast at 6pm and priority seating for the flamenco dinner show.
$35/person (5-7pm seatings); $75/person (9pm-close)

New Year’s Eve 2019 at The Edison

7:30pm
The Edison (Disney Springs)
Head to Disney Springs for a party featuring live entertainment, food stations, passed hors d’oeuvres and multiple themed lounges and spaces. Tickets also include beer, wine and premium spirits from 8pm until midnight, desserts and a midnight toast. 21+ only.
$150/person

The Edison Disney Springs nightlifeImage credit: The Edison

New Year’s Eve at the Alfond Inn

Events beginning at 8pm
The Alfond Inn
Take your pick of two NYE parties at The Alfond Inn in Winter Park this year. The Park Avenue Ballroom New Year’s Eve Gala lasts from 8pm-12:15am and includes a live performance from The Buzzcatz, premium open bar, champagne toast at midnight and chef-attended stations. In the New England Ballroom you’ll find the Midnight and Beyond Dance Party, a chic NYE celebration with premium open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, party favors and a champagne toast. These parties typically sell out, so purchase tickets sooner rather than later.
$189/person New Year’s Eve Gala
$99/person Mignight and Beyond Dance Party

New Year’s Eve Celebration at Taverna Opa

9pm-2am
Taverna Opa
Welcome 2019 with an “Opa!” as you nosh on family-style appetizers like hummus, horiatiki (traditional Greek salad), keftedes, spanakopita & calamari, desserts and a plated lamb chop surf & turf entree with lobster tail. After your meal, dance the night away to DJ music, watch the belly dancing and fire shows, and toast to the New Year with champagne at midnight. There will also be a cigar & liquor lounge on the patio. Score 10% off tickets when purchased prior to November 26.
$65/person

New Year’s Eve Party on the Piazza

Celebrate in style under the stars in the dazzling Harbor Piazza at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. You’ll have to remind yourself you’re in Orlando, not Italy, while you take in the scenery and indulge your senses in gourmet eats, dancing, a live opera performance, beer, wine, a sparkling toast and more.
$155/person

The Best of October 2018: Our Favorite Orlando Events for Date Night this MonthImage credit: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

New Year’s Eve Bash with Preacher Lawson

9:45pm-1am
Orlando Improv
Kick off the year with a healthy dose of laughs as you celebrate with comedian Preacher Lawson. The evening includes party favors, strawberries, a champagne toast at midnight and a DJ after party at Fat Fish Blue. 21+ only.

New Year’s Eve at Reunion Resort

Event times vary
Reunion Resort
Why not treat yourselves to a memorable staycation to begin the New Year? Reunion is hosting a special New Year’s Eve Gala for resort guests and members with a live band, comedian, three-course dinner, open bar and champagne toast at midnight just in time for the fireworks display. There will also be a cocktail and dessert party, NYE dinners at the Clubhouse and Forte and more.
Gala: $150/resort guest or $110/member
Dessert Party: $50/adult

New Year’s Eve at Grande Lakes Orlando

Event times vary
For an extra swanky night out, make your way to Grande Lakes Orlando, home to Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott. Festivities include celebrations in the Lobby Lounge at both resorts (Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott), a dinner and after party at Highball & Harvest, dinner at PRIMO, fireworks, and a recovery brunch on January 1.

More events

New Year’s Eve Improv Show
7:30 and 10pm
SAK Comedy Lab
$18-$22

New Year’s Eve 2019 at Howl at the Moon Orlando
9pm-2am
Howl at the Moon Orlando
$20 – $130/person

NYE in Baldwin Park
10pm-12:30am
Baldwin Park Village Center
$20 – $30

Disclosure: Tapa Toro, The Edison, Reunion Resort and Highball & Harvest are all valued advertising partners.

Feature image credit: Howl at the Moon Orlando

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Pulptown’s Guide to a Downtown DeLand Day Trip

Pulptown's Guide to Downtown DeLand Day Trip

Admittedly, we’re kind of obsessed with Pulptown, a new daily email newsletter that’s dedicated to keeping you in the loop about all things Orlando. It covers everything from history tidbits to day trip itineraries and weekly events, plus the latest Orlando news stories. It’s truly an amazing resource for celebrating life in Orlando. So, we’re launching a new monthly series in which we’ll be sharing content from our friends over at Pulptown. Up first: DeLand…

FYI: This essay originally appeared in Pulptown, a new daily newsletter all about Orlando that will help you “live like you live here.” Sign up here.

Today, we’re traveling east to DeLand, nicknamed The Athens of Florida by co-founder Henry Deland. Henry’s desire was to make this small town mimic the positive attributes of the ancient Greek city-state — those attributes being innovation, natural landscapes and the preservation of its history.

Getting there

Historic downtown DeLand is 41 miles and approximately 45 minutes away from downtown Orlando. The quickest and most direct route is a drive along the scenic (joking) I-4. Once you’ve arrived, most everything is accessible by walking — so bring some comfy shoes.

DeLand Day TripThe Athens Theatre | Image credit: Athens Theatre / photo by The Studio Creative Group

Main event

Want to shop, play and explore like a local? Park near Woodland Boulevard and Rich Avenue, and take a walk. Among the many places to check out: the old Athens Theatre for films, concerts and other stage performances; the neo-classical architecture at the historic Volusia County Courthouse; the idyllic campus at Stetson College — the oldest college in Florida; and the stellar vinyl collection at Groovy Records. Just for fun, peep the old DeLand Opera House that now serves as the coolest apartment building in town.

If you’re looking to get all outdoorsy, we recommend a trip to Hontoon Island State Park, located six miles west of DeLand. The park is reachable by boat or park-operated passenger ferry only, but once there, you can hike, rent a canoe, or try your hand at fishing. If you’re wondering what DeLand looks like from 14,000 feet, then check out Skydive DeLand. While the sport wasn’t invented here, DeLand is known for putting it on the map.

Pulptown's Guide to Downtown DeLandHontoon Island State Park | Image credit: Florida State Parks

Do it for the ’gram

Did you even visit DeLand if you didn’t stop for a pic in front of the infamous DeLand Wings Mural? Check out DeLand’s Historic Mural Walk, and stop at the corner of Woodland Boulevard and Rich Avenue to take a pic of the massive art mural on the side of DeLand’s Museum of Art, commemorating DeLand’s Naval Air Station.

Image credit: Hannah Green, @visitexplorerepeat

Grab a bite

For breakfast and brunch, head over to The Table for the chicken biscuit or stay for the No Turns Burger. For lunch, you can’t beat the buffet at Cook’s Buffet, Cafe and Bakery the moussaka at Santorini Restaurant and the Taylor Trash or The Boulevard at BakeChop. For dinner, look no further than Cress Restaurant — their curry is top notch and their themed dinners, exceptional.

Grab a drink, stay awhile

Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company is a local’s favorite for an iced cold brew and it regularly hosts fun evening events like bingo, yoga and trivia. It is part of the SoNY neighborhood (South of New York Avenue), where you’ll also find Artisans Alley, home of several stylish boutiques and a Friday night open-air market.

Image credit: Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company

If you have more time…

Check out Chess Park on New York Avenue. More often than not, you’ll spot locals playing an intense game of chess, along with a few works of art to admire. Lastly, the DeLand Indie Market is coming up on Dec. 2, with vintage finds that make the distance worth the drive.

THE #DELAND INSTA-GRAMMY GOES TO@adventures_of_penn because only a pup could make these wings even more frame-worthy.

Ready to go? We made a little map for you. Tag us on Instagram if you make it over there and let us know how it goes.

Feature image credit: Cress Restaurant

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Brunch Buzz: Bulla Gastrobar

Brunch Buzz: Bulla Gastrobar Winter Park

The first time I dined at Bulla, with a steady stream of tapas arriving at the table to be shared amongst new friends, I was hooked. It’s since become one of my go-to destinations for everything from weeknight book club meetings to hours-long girls’ brunches. After two memorable brunch experiences, a return trip for “research” was certainly inevitable.

There’s no wrong time to visit, but brunch hours come with definite perks. Served Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm, brunch includes bottomless mimosas and sangria ($18) plus an extensive $27 three-course prix fixe menu option.

Bulla Gastrobar Winter Park

DRINKS

Delicious sangria is a deal breaker when it comes to Spanish tapas restaurants. Thankfully Bulla doesn’t disappoint.

The classics are here (red and white sangria) alongside a refreshing and light sangria rose and a unique sangria de cerveza (made with Ommegang Witte wheat beer, St. Germain, lemon juice and pear puree).

Classic mimosas are served, along with wines by the glass and bottle, six cocktails and a selection of draft beer.

If you’re committed to sangria and/or mimosas and want to try more than one flavor, the $18 bottomless deal is a no brainer. Sangrias range in price from $8-$11/glass so it’s worth the splurge if you’re sipping one of the pricier varieties. FYI, there is a time limit of 2.5 hours from the time of purchase.

Sangria Rosé at Bulla Gastrobar Winter ParkSangria Rosé

FOOD

Dining tapas style always requires a strategy that comes down to a simple question: are you willing to share your food? Tapas are, by nature, communal dishes designed for sharing. But it’s ok; you don’t have to if you don’t want to (and in the case of the churro s’mores dish, you won’t wanna—more on that later).

If you are sharing, plan to order 1-2 dishes per person, ideally a mix of small plates and heartier larger plates.

Another option is the stellar brunch prix fixe. The $27 menu includes a three-course meal comprised of a small plate, a larger plate and a dessert. There are five to seven choices per course. This option works well regardless of your choice to share or not to share.

For this particular visit, we shared an assortment of dishes: the verde salad, garbanzo frito, ham croquettes, avocado toast, braised pork hash, grilled octopus salad, pumpkin crème brulee and churro s’mores.

Bulla Gastrobar Winter Park brunchVerde salad

From the fresh preparation (tapas come out as they are prepared) to the complex taste of each dish, freshness is a hallmark of Bulla. The verde salad combines kale, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, citrus, lemon maple dressing and Manchego cheese for a dish that expertly balances bitter, bright and mild flavors. This is the kind of delectable green veggie salad I can only aspire to make at home.

Other shareables like the garbanzo frito (a warm chickpea stew with chorizo, kale and a poached egg) and braised pork hash (a full-size dish with braised shredded pork, crispy breakfast potatoes and a poached egg) are pure fall comfort eats.

Brunch Buzz: Bulla Gastrobar Winter ParkBraised pork hash

The avocado toast (fyi, it comes with a lot of shredded cheese on top) and ham croquettes are best as individual servings or sharing amongst two people. I could have eaten the fig jelly accompanying the croquettes by itself with a spoon.

Brunch Buzz: Bulla Gastrobar Winter ParkAvocado toast (sans cheese) Brunch Buzz: Bulla Gastrobar Winter ParkHam croquettes

The octopus salad always has been one of my favorite dishes at Bulla, this time served with fresh cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and croutons.

Brunch Buzz: Bulla Gastrobar Winter ParkGrilled octopus salad

For dessert, don’t miss your chance to savor the seasonal pumpkin crème brulee (the ultimate love child of pumpkin pie and crème brulee) topped with vanilla ice cream. And while Bulla’s churros con chocolate is good, the churro s’mores is on another level. A melty Hershey’s chocolate bar and torched marshmallow come sandwiched in between four mini churros. Trust me, your life won’t be the same after you’ve tasted it.

Churro s'mores from Bulla Gastrobar Winter ParkChurro s’mores

DETAILS

Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm.

Check out the full menu and brunch prix fixe here.

Bulla Gastrobar Winter Park
110 Orlando Avenue #7
Winter Park, FL 32789
321-214-6120
bullagastrobar.com

For more brunch ideas, read our guide to the Best Restaurants for Brunch in Orlando and check out the rest of our Brunch Buzz series.

Florida food and travel photographer and writer Stephanie Patterson

About the Author/Photographer:
Stephanie Patterson is the editor of Orlando Date Night Guide. She’s a talented professional food and travel photographer and writer with a passion for creativity, the beach and great eats. When she’s not taking photos or writing, you can find her exploring the state for her Florida travel blog, Travel Taste Click. Find her online at www.spattersoncreative.com and www.traveltasteclick.com.

All photos by Stephanie Patterson

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15 Events Happening During Sanford Beer Week November 13 – 19

Sanford Beer Week 2018

Next week, the city of Sanford is celebrating its 4th Annual Sanford Beer Week with a multitude of brewtastic events! Sanford has been at the forefront of Central Florida’s craft beer scene and is home to countless breweries and taprooms, making it the perfect place for this craft beer extravaganza. From beer dinners to free tastings and even a beer and cheese pairing, we have the details on where you can celebrate each day. 

Tuesday, November 13th

Beer Week Progressive Dinner
Through November 15, 4pm-10pm
Da Kine Poke, Buster’s Bistro, and Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe
To kick things off, you’ll be enjoying a special Beer Week Progressive Dinner featuring three courses and beer pairings from Da Kine Poke, Buster’s Bistro, and Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe. Make sure to grab your punch card at any one of the three participating locations. Each location will be serving one course/pairing and you can complete your pairings in any order you choose. Once finished, drop your card off at Tuffy’s Bottle Shop & Lounge for your chance to win a Sanfording gift basket. The opportunity to partake in the progressive dinner will be available November 13-15 from 4-10pm.
A la cart; menu prices vary

Buster's BistroBuster’s Bistro | Image credit: @drinksanford

Sanford Beer Week at Luisa’s Cellar: International Beer
6pm-8pm
Luisa’s Cellar is celebrating Beer Week with a different theme every night. Tuesday’s wine tasting is free and the theme is International Beer, giving you the chance to sample beer from all over the world.
FREE tasting

Wednesday, November 14th

Brewery Walkabout – Sanford Brewers Celebrating Craft for Sanford Beer Week
November 14-30
Go on a self-guided walking tour of 5 breweries in Sanford: Tuffy’s Bottle Shop & Lounge, Deviant Wolfe Brewing, Inner Compass Brewing Company, Sanford Brewing Company and WopsHops Brewing Company. Pick up a punch card at any participating location. You’ll receive a punch for every location where you purchase a pint. Complete the full excursion and earn a special souvenir while supplies last. This beer week celebration continues through the end of the month, so you’ll have plenty of time to get your punches!
A la cart; menu prices vary

Wop’s Hops Brewing Company | Image credit: Stephanie Patterson

Beer Week Progressive Dinner
4pm-10pm
Da Kine Poke, Buster’s Bistro, and Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe
See above

Sanford Beer Week at Luisa’s Cellar: IPAs
6pm-8pm
Luisa’s Cellar is celebrating Beer Week with a different theme every night. Wednesday’s theme is IPAs, and it is free to attend and sample.
FREE tasting

Beer and Cheese Pairing
5-9pm
The Imperial at Washburn Imports-Sanford
What better combination than beer and cheese? There will be three different beer and cheese pairings offered. The event runs from 5-9pm, so aim to get there early to ensure all pairings are still available.
$8/pairing

Image credit: Imperial at Washburn Imports

Thursday, November 15th

Beer Week Progressive Dinner
4pm-10pm
Da Kine Poke, Buster’s Bistro, and Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe
See above

Sanford Beer Week at Luisa’s Cellar: Welcome to the Dark Side
6pm-8pm
Luisa’s Cellar is celebrating Beer Week with a different theme every night. On Thursday, the theme will be Welcome to the Dark Side, where you’ll learn about and sample different stouts, porters and malts.
FREE tasting

Irish Beer Flight Night
5-11pm
The Sullivan, A Public House
Make your own Irish Beer flight! Your flight will consist of 4 different 6 ounce samples, which you’ll select from a choice of 9 beers. While you find your new favorite beer, enjoy live music from Cahir O’Doherty from Ireland.
$10/flight

Friday, November 16th

Beer 101 and Tapas at Luisa’s Cellar
6:30pm
This class will teach you the basics of beer and the art of beer pairing.
$25

Sanford Beer Week 2018Image credit: Luisa’s Cellar

Saturday, November 17th

Tom & Dan “Bad At Business” Beerfest
12pm-5pm
West End Trading Co.
You’ll need to call an Uber or Lyft after partaking in the festivities with Tom & Dan. This free beer fest takes over a few blocks in downtown Sanford, allowing you to indulge in countless beer samples while listening to live music from Melodic Dissent. Over 17 breweries will be on hand with samples including Wolf Branch Brewing, Red Cypress Brewing, Intuition Ale Works, and Ten 10 Brewing Company.
FREE

Sanford Beer Week at Luisa’s Cellar: German beers
6pm-8pm
Luisa’s Cellar is celebrating Beer Week with a different theme every night. Saturday’s event is free and the theme is German beers.

Sunday, November 18th

Sofas & Suds
2-6pm
Celery City Craft
This fun and free event pits local businesses against each other in a friendly race using modified couches. Spectators should grab a spot by Palmetto and 2nd Street to obtain the best view of the shenanigans. The event will be hosted by Tom and Dan from A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan. A special VIP ticket is available which grants you complimentary beer, wine, spirits, access to food trucks, and pit row access. 
FREE; $35 for VIP in advance, $45 for VIP day of

Sanford Beer Week 2018Sofas & Suds | Image credit: sanfordbeerweek.com

Sanford Beer Week at Luisa’s Cellar: Sour Sunday
6pm-8pm
Luisa’s Cellar is celebrating Beer Week with a different theme every night. Sunday’s theme is Sour Sunday and the special will be $1 off all sour beers all day long.
Menu prices vary

Monday, November 19th

Sanford Craft Beer Summit 2018
5pm-8pm
Celery City Craft
Held at Celery City Craft, the final Beer Week event will be The Sanford Craft Beer Summit. The summit will feature a number of craft beer veterans who will discuss observations made during Beer Week. All attendees are welcome to join in the discussion.
FREE

Sanford Beer Week 2018 - Celery City CraftCelery City Craft | Image credit: Kristen Manieri

About the Author/Photographer
Arlene Laboy is a photographer and writer, UCF alumna, and lover of all things local. A wife and a mother, Arlene shares her love for adventuring around Florida through her Instagram account, @arlenemlaboy. Find out more about Arlene here.

Feature image credit: Stephanie Patterson

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Gaylord Palms to Host Adults-Only Polar Dash Party, Dec. 13

The launch of this year’s ICE! and all of the holiday happenings during Christmas at Gaylord Palms is just days away. From November 16, 2018 to January 6, 2019, locals and overnight guests can wander through an epic winter wonderland (this year themed to the movie A Christmas Story) plus enjoy snow tubing, a Santa scavenger hunt, festive dining and spa experiences, live shows and unparalleled holiday decor in the hotel’s massive 4.5-acre atrium.  

This year Gaylord Palms has added something just for grown-ups. On Thursday, December 13, 2018, the resort will host its first nighttime Polar Dash party, an adults-only evening featuring the chance to experience the frozen world of ICE! in an unconventional way – in your swimsuit!

Grab your sweetie and your friends and don your beach wear for this mishmash of Florida fun in a winter wonderland as you dash through the 9-degree attraction. You’ll also have access to eight snow tubing lanes and themed cocktails at the cash bar. Guests will also enjoy free hot chocolate and a live DJ. 

WHAT’S INCLUDED

• Event-Exclusive Admission to ICE! featuring A CHRISTMAS STORY™
• Unlimited Snow Tubing during event
• One Hot Chocolate
• Live DJ
• Self-Parking for One Vehicle

NOTE: This exclusive event will be limited to just 500 guests. 

Rendering of this year’s ICE! theme, A Christmas Story

TICKETS

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased here: tickets.gaylordpalms.com/PolarDash.

NEED TO KNOW DETAILS

What to Wear
This is your opportunity to walk through the ICE! attraction in your swimsuit – but it must be in good taste! You may also choose to wear “summer” clothing, like a t-shirt and shorts. Be sure to wear your swimsuit under your clothing. Restrooms are available in close proximity to ICE! for changing but lockers will not be provided. Gaylord Palms Resort will provide an area for you to store your belongings, however, this area will not be monitored and you should leave your items there at your own risk.

You will not be permitted to enter without shoes. All guests are required to wear shoes inside ICE!

Age Restrictions
This event is for those 18 years old or older.

Safety
It’s important to remember that this is not a contest, and you should expect to only spend a few minutes inside ICE! After all, it’s 9 degrees in there.

Santa’s Mule, one of this year’s themed cocktails available at the event’s cash bar

EVENT DATE/LOCATION

Polar Dash
Thursday, December 13, 2018
8pm – 10pm

Alpine Village
Gaylord Palms
Kissimmee, Fl

Note: All photos provided by Gaylord Palms, one of our valued advertising partners. 

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Exploring Celery City with Sanford Food Tours

sanford food tours

What could be better than spending a few hours strolling through a quaint, historic town with regular stops for great food and drinks in interesting, off-the-radar places? That, in a nutshell, is exactly the experience that awaits with Sanford Food Tours.

Launched in 2016 but completely redesigned this year, Sanford Food Tours aims to give visitors a taste of a town that’s quickly becoming one of Orlando’s best food and fun hubs. These days, Sanford’s Historic District is teeming with breweries, independently owned restaurants with seriously good eats, craft cocktail bars, cafes and cool shops. It’s the perfect place to explore on a food tour, which is just what we did this fall. 

Our jaunt on the Celery City Tour began at noon on a Saturday at the Historic Sanford Welcome Center on 1st Street, where our small group of hungry adventurers gathered to meet our guide, Rob, and begin our movable feast. 

From there we wandered to Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe, a Sanford staple that was opened by the Hollerbach family in 2001 and continues to thrive nearly two decades later. With mugs filled with German beer and plates piled high with delicious German fare (including amazing pork schnitzel), we met our fellow tourists and learned about the restaurant’s history and forthcoming expansion. 

 Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe

Onward we went, this time to one of our favorite restaurants: The Tennessee Truffle, where chef/owner Nat Russell warmly welcomed us into his brick-walled space and spoiled us with his house made biscuits and gravy paired with a delicious Florida IPA. 

With a cool fall breeze at our backs, Rob guided us through Sanford with detours by the lovely waterfront and down picturesque side streets, sharing little historic tidbits and fascinating local lore as we walked on to our next destination. 

Tennesse Truffle

A stop at Luisa’s Cellar, a relative newcomer to Sanford, not only revealed cheese and charcuterie plates paired with wine but also a surprising speakeasy, inhabiting the wine bar’s upper level behind a secret door. The game room upstairs, beautifully furnished outdoor patio and bottomless mimosas and sangria every Sunday all tempted us to return again very soon. 

After a quick detour to Magnolia Square Market to gobble a chocolate-covered cake ball, we headed to our final location, The Corner Cafe, where a lively conversation with the owner, giant pours of wine, and perfectly-sized desserts served as the finale to our delightful day tour. Full and happy, we said goodbye to our group and headed on our way. 

Luisa’s Cellar

NEED TO KNOW DETAILS 

In addition to the Celery City Group tours offered on Saturdays and Sundays only, private tours are offered 7 days a week. The experience consists of a four-hour walking tour of Sanford with multiple, changeable stops. Everything but your guide’s gratuity is included in the $65 ticket, which can be purchased in advance here: sanfordfoodtours.com/tours.  

  • Tours take place rain or shine. 
  • Children are permitted but are (obviously) not served alcohol

ADDITIONAL TOURS

Besides the Celery City Tour, Sanford Food Tours also offers the Brews & Bites Tour, which focuses on Sanford’s beer scene. Look to see a new tour focusing on International cuisine to launch later this fall. You can also book private, completely customizable tours and pair the tours with Limo Cycle for some extra-added fun. 

For more details, visit sanfordfoodtours.com

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Check Out Gatorland’s Immersive Gator Night Shine Tour

Gatorland Gator Night Shine Tours

Get ready to be immersed in the dark depths of the Alligator Breeding Marsh at Gatorland. Happening on select nights each week, the adventurous Gator Night Shine tour throws you into the notorious Florida alligator’s natural habitat after dark. You’ll be given just a flashlight to guide your path and a few hot dogs to please the alligators while you make their way through the swamp with a guide.

During the after-dark adventure, a tour guide will take you on an exciting journey through the alligators’ territory. You’ll walk winding paths past the murky waters the alligators inhabit.

Without the flashlight on you may feel alone, but shine it in the water and you will be met with the intimidating glares of hundreds of Florida gators, some of them as big as 14 feet long!

Gatorland Gator Night ShineImage credit: Gatorland

Bonus: your guide will also lead you up close to view other animals like boa constrictors, baby alligators and tarantulas, among others.

Gator Night Shines are offered every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tours begin promptly at dusk.

The after-hours tour lasts 1.5 hours and attendees are restricted to the Breeding Marsh area.

Gatorland Gator Night ShineImage credit: Gatorland

Tickets

Tickets are $24.99/person and must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance.

Your ticket includes admission, insect repellant, a flashlight, and alligator food. In order for the tour to happen, a minimum of 5 guests must attend. There is a maximum limit of 25 guests each night.

Tickets for Gator Night Shine Tours can be purchased here.

Details

Gatorland
14501 S Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32837
407-855-5496
https://www.gatorland.com

Gator Night Shine Tours are offered most every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday evenings. Meet at the south end of the parking lot at dusk to begin the tour.

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25 Girls’ Day Out Adventures Under $50

25 Orlando Girls' Day Out Adventures Under $50

You and your girls are ready to explore the town, but you don’t want to break the bank. You’ve come to the right place! We’ve rounded up 25 affordable ideas for your Orlando girls’ day out in and around town. From free to $50, take a break from work and enjoy a girls’ day out. You deserve it!

Peruse Plant Street

Visit the Winter Garden Farmers Market Saturdays from 9am-2pm. Artists perform live music starting at 10am. Pick your favorite succulent plant and chat with local vendors. Explore downtown Winter Garden. Plant Street offers plenty of great photo ops with its historic trains and clock tower. Then, wander around the cozy SoBo Art Gallery, open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am-6pm.
FREE

SoBo Art Gallery Winter GardenSoBo Art Gallery | Image credit: Kelly Lamano

Snap photos at Downtown Orlando’s murals

Orlando’s art community makes its presence known with bold murals throughout town. Our favorites: the monarch mural on Magnolia Ave. and the colorful city mural at the corner of E. Colonial Drive and Shine Ave. Check out our self-guided street art tour here.
FREE

Grab brunch and make friends

Gals That Brunch Orlando meets once a month for great food, drinks, and conversation. The group selects a restaurant for you and your gals to meet at each month.
FREE to attend. Pay for your food and drink order.

Expand your multimedia knowledge

Located on the second floor of the downtown Orlando Public Library, the Melrose Center is home to professional photography, video, and audio studios. Take classes to learn how to use the equipment or browse the books on the first and third floors.
FREE for Orange County residents

Melrose Center | Image credit: Diana Griffith

Admire local architecture

The self-guided SEE ART Orlando Walking Tour will lead you through Downtown Orlando to view the works of eight internationally-renowned artists.
FREE

Get your museum on

Bank of America cardholders may visit a museum for free during the first weekend of every month as part of their Museum on Us program. Check out the Orlando Museum of Art, Orange County Regional History Center, The Mennello Museum of American Art, and even the Orlando Science Center. If you aren’t a Bank of America cardholder, the Morse Museum offers free admission on Fridays November-April from 4-8pm.
FREE

Learn about craft beers with girlfriends

Sanford Girls Pint Out brings women together to educate and enjoy craft beer. The nonprofit organization gathers for local meetups and fun themes, like bring your own vinyl night.
FREE to attend

Image credit: Sanford Girls Pint Out

Explore Millenia Lake

This little-known lake is one of our favorite spots in the Millenia area. It’s calm, quiet, and convenient. The 20-minute lake walk will be just enough to get your appetite going. Grab a bite at the Millenia Café during weekdays, or bring your own food on the weekends when the café is closed. Nearby shaded benches and docks provide plenty of great views of wildlife while you’re eating.
FREE

Sweat it out

Have you ever seen cycling on TV where everyone is pedaling away to blaring music and neon lights? Enter CYCLEBAR Winter Park. They provide shoes, towels, and tunes so you and your girls can get your cycle on. Stick around to explore Mead Gardens nearby.
FREE first ride

Get fit by the 408

Get out of the car – no one enjoys sitting in that 408 traffic! Lake Underhill provides a beautiful lake view, park benches, and – best of all – workout stations. Take turns and cheer each other on as you go from pull-ups to Pilates to walking the lake.
FREE

Lake Underhill Park | Image credit: Stephanie Patterson

Meet in Maitland

Visit the Maitland Farmers Market Sundays from 9am – 2pm to visit local vendors (Heartsong Cookies will melt in your mouth!) and enjoy live music. Stop by the Art & History Museums afterward for beautiful architecture.
$3-6/person

Raise a glass

Grab a wine list and get ready to check off your favorites! Cooper’s Hawk Winery Tasting Room operates daily beginning at 11am on International Drive and N. Alafaya Trail. Other wine hotspots we love include Imperial Wine Bar, Quantum Leap Winery, Wine Bar George and The Wine Room on Park Avenue.
$7/person

The Wine Room on Park AvenueImage credit: The Wine Room on Park Avenue

Stretch and sip

Wake up and smell the brew. Yoga classes at local breweries are a huge hit. Instructors lead the class through yoga stretches – and on to a rewarding beer at the end of the session.

$5-10/person

Take a walk outside and learn about birds

The Orange Audubon Society offers free bird watching and educational classes in Mead Gardens early Saturday mornings. Follow along on the tour, and then check out the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey.
$8/person

Catch a basketball game

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Orlando Magic continue to provide fun, affordable games. Cheer on the home team at the Amway Arena.
Starting at $12/person

Image credit: Kelly Lamano

Watch a film and play glow-in-the-dark mini golf

Visit Cinemark Orlando and XD for an early movie. Movie showings before 12pm cost just $6 per person. Keep your movie stub – you’ll receive $2 off Putting Edge indoor mini golf, located right across from the theater. Putting Edge will keep you on your toes with its glow-in-the-dark course. Wear white – your golf game will really glow!
$16.50/person

Check out Disney from the air

Rising 400 feet in the air, the tethered helium Characters in Flight balloon shows you Disney Springs from a whole new perspective. Bring your cameras to snap photos of the sky, the lake, and beyond.
$10/per person before 10am
$18/person after 10am with coupon

Be ICONic on I-Drive

ICON Orlando 360 has grown so much within the past 3 years. Check out the highlights – ICON Orlando (formerly known as the Orlando Eye), the aquarium, and take a picture with your favorite star at the wax museum.
$21/person with Florida resident discount

Image credit: Kelly Lamano

Work together to escape

Work in teams to complete a mission within 60 minutes at the Escape Game Orlando. You’ll receive three hints during the game, so use them wisely! Here are a few other escape room games in Orlando to tackle.
$27/person with coupon

Complete a Coffee Crawl

We’ve created this unofficial coffee crawl idea for you and your girls since Downtown Orlando is home to great, responsibly-sourced coffee shops. These options are all within walking distance of each other so you can walk off the caffeine rush.

$30 or less/person

Embark on your own taco tour

Orlando’s got plenty of quality taco options that don’t ring a “bell.” We recommend crafting your own 2-3 stop tour visiting some of these top stops around town. Get more ideas in our full guide to Orlando taco spots.

$30 or less/person

Tin & Taco | Image credit: Kelly Lamano

Cheer on the Lions

Break out your best purple shirts for an Orlando City soccer game.
$30/person

Feast on your favorites

A guided food tour is the perfect way to find your next favorite restaurant. Offered in Sanford, Orlando, Winter Park, Audubon Park, Winter Garden, and Celebration.
$40-48/person

Audubon Park Brunch Tour - Airbnb ExperiencesImage credit: Mosquito County Tours

Learn how to make a deep dish pizza

Wake up early for this one – UNO Pizzeria & Grill offers deep dish cooking classes at 8:45am every other Saturday. If you’ve got what it takes, the best deep dish pizza takes home a small prize. Everyone leaves with a recipe and devours their deep dish pizza by the end of the class.
$45/person

Watch a play, a concert, or a feel-good story

There are plenty of shows to choose from at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Whether Broadway’s your thing, or you and your girls just want to get out to enjoy some music, the Dr. Phillips Center provides an intimate experience.
Ticket prices vary.

About the Author

Born and raised in Orlando, Kelly Lamano works in the digital publishing industry by day, and provides print publishing solutions by night. When she’s not writing or taking photos, she loves walking nature trails and rewatching The Office. Follow Kelly’s lifestyle blog, Twentysomething Vision, at www.twentysomethingvision.com.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Comedian Gerry Dee World Comedy Tour in Naples, Florida

    November 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  3. Ocala Balloon Glow

    November 23 @ 5:00 pm - November 25 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  4. 9th Annual Shopapalooza Festival, Part 2

    November 24 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Lake Helen Christmas Parade & Santa’s Village

    November 24 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0
  6. Christmas in the Country – Lights Display, Hay Ride & Festival

    November 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
  7. Soul Beach: The Outdoor R&b / Jazz Concert & Comedy Show on the Water

    November 24 @ 7:30 pm - November 25 @ 1:00 am UTC+0
  8. 15th Annual X-Country Marathon, 30K, Half-Marathon & 5K

    November 25 @ 7:30 am - 2:30 pm UTC+0
  9. FREE TICKETS! Tampa Improv 11/27 Stand Up Comedy Show

    November 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm UTC+0
  10. FL Orchestra Happy Hour Concert – Nov 28

    November 28 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm UTC+0

Upcoming Events

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Comedian Gerry Dee World Comedy Tour in Naples, Florida

    November 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  3. Ocala Balloon Glow

    November 23 @ 5:00 pm - November 25 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  4. 9th Annual Shopapalooza Festival, Part 2

    November 24 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Lake Helen Christmas Parade & Santa’s Village

    November 24 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0
  6. Christmas in the Country – Lights Display, Hay Ride & Festival

    November 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
  7. Soul Beach: The Outdoor R&b / Jazz Concert & Comedy Show on the Water

    November 24 @ 7:30 pm - November 25 @ 1:00 am UTC+0
  8. 15th Annual X-Country Marathon, 30K, Half-Marathon & 5K

    November 25 @ 7:30 am - 2:30 pm UTC+0
  9. FREE TICKETS! Tampa Improv 11/27 Stand Up Comedy Show

    November 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm UTC+0
  10. FL Orchestra Happy Hour Concert – Nov 28

    November 28 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm UTC+0

Join our Fun Network

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Comedian Gerry Dee World Comedy Tour in Naples, Florida

    November 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  3. Ocala Balloon Glow

    November 23 @ 5:00 pm - November 25 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  4. 9th Annual Shopapalooza Festival, Part 2

    November 24 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Lake Helen Christmas Parade & Santa’s Village

    November 24 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0
  6. Christmas in the Country – Lights Display, Hay Ride & Festival

    November 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
  7. Soul Beach: The Outdoor R&b / Jazz Concert & Comedy Show on the Water

    November 24 @ 7:30 pm - November 25 @ 1:00 am UTC+0
  8. 15th Annual X-Country Marathon, 30K, Half-Marathon & 5K

    November 25 @ 7:30 am - 2:30 pm UTC+0
  9. FREE TICKETS! Tampa Improv 11/27 Stand Up Comedy Show

    November 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm UTC+0
  10. FL Orchestra Happy Hour Concert – Nov 28

    November 28 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm UTC+0