Tag Archives: Holiday

Top 5 Fall Family Friendly Fun

October is the month when, if you’re not a fan of blood, guts, and gore you might have a hard time finding ways to avoid them. It seems like every TV channel and event has some tie-in to the macabre (Phantasmagoria!) and, if you like that sort of thing, you’re in LUCK (check out Howl-O-Scream, The Shallow Grave or Halloween Horror Nights at Universal)!

Parents wanting a kinder, gentler fall season, however, might want a few suggestions for scare-free kid zones through October and (in some cases) beyond.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Photo Credit: Kent Phillips, Walt Disney World

Photo Credit: Kent Phillips, Walt Disney World

Disney Magic with a big dash of Hocus Pocus surrounds you at this separately-ticketed special event select dates through November 1. While officially from 7 to midnight, the party can be entered at 4 p.m., and affords families the opportunity to enjoy a few rides before the festivities begin. Enjoy Mickey’s Boo To You Parade (8:35 and 11:15 p.m.), Trick-or-Treating, meet-and-greets with Jack and Sally from “Nightmare Before Christmas” and others, plus special shows including the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.” Download the free My Disney Experience app to explore event-only entertainment using the “Here and Now” feature. Bring your treat bag and costumes (adults, too!, though no masks allowed). Happy Hallowishes fireworks will round out your #NotSoScary good time. Dates sell out, so purchase yours as soon possible.

SeaWorld Spooktacular

#throughglass

#throughglass

 

An ocean of fun awaits weekends through October 31. Trick or Treat along the pathway where under-sea creatures and sea-inspired “fantasia” characters can be found at every turn. Join Count von Count and his friends Elmo, Abby Cadaby and friends at Sesame Street’s Countdown to Halloween (reserved seating is available). Add on Dine With Shamu Halloween Spooktacular Brunch while you’re there, and don’t forget to get your jam on with a live DJ at Penelope’s Party Zone in Bayside Stadium for stories, activities, bubbles galore, and a pumpkinfish or two! Stop when you see a special silly Spooktacular street performance pop up. You may find the Longshoremen yucking it up Three Stooges-style scooping out pumpkin guts! Wear a costume, or not. All are welcome (adults included!) to enjoy #SeaWorldSpooktacular!

ZooBoo Kids

Photo Credit: Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

Fear not! Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is focusing on the FUN with ZooBoo Kids. Fear-free activities include a crazy corn maze, Scaredy Cat’s Fun House, Pumpkin Toss Animal Enrichments, Trick-or-treat stations and more. Little boys and “ghouls” (age 11 & under) will enjoy fright-free festivities (no haunted houses) starting at 1 p.m. with extended Zoo hours until 7 p.m. This daytime Halloween celebration features candy, bats and scaredy cats! Happier Halloween ZooBoo activities are included with paid Zoo admission or Zoo membership. ZooBoo KIDS dates are October 10-11, 17-18, 23-26, 30-31 and Nov. 1.

Scott’s Maze Adventures

Credit: Long & Scott Farms

Credit: Long & Scott Farms

Get lost in Scott’s Maze Adventures at Long & Scott Farms, a fall tradition with 7-acres of good, clean fun. Bring your friends and family to test their navigational skills as they wind through the maze with game stops along the way. Bring your sense of adventure (and comfortable shoes!) for an old-fashioned fall phenomenon. J General Public Days are Saturdays and Sundays October 3 through December 13. Check their website for details, prices, and map to the farm.

Brick-or-Treat

Photo Credit: LEGOLAND Florida

Photo Credit: LEGOLAND Florida

Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND is for kids of all ages (just like LEGOs!, though only kids 12 and under can trick-or-treat along the Pirates’ Cove Trail). There’s a Spider Scavenger Hunt in Miniland, Special appearances by Frankenstein & Mad Scientist, and if your kids love a little friendly competition, enter the “Everything is Awesome” Costume Contest at FunTown Theater. Enjoy LEGO Halloween Character Meet-and-Greets and special builds including an 8’ ghost and take part in building the world’s largest LEGO Vampyre! Take photos with the 13 foot-long LEGO Hearse built brick by brick and LEGO Pumpkins and stay for the all-new nightly Brick-tastic Fireworks show. Want more? VIP Upgrade Packages are available. Brick or Treat runs October 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 23-25, 30, 31. Find out more online.

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5 Places to Celebrate Record Store Day in Central Florida

Saturday, April 18, 2015, is Record Store Day, a most excellent holiday — a glorious day of music, parties, performances, signings, giveaways and most importantly Record Store Day releases. The worldwide event started in 2007 to honor the unique culture of the independently owned record store and the role they play in their communities. Pardon me, but it’s necessary to quote the great film Empire Records at this moment, and say, “damn the man.”

Obviously, downloading music is modern and convenient, but there’s something really satisfying about digging around a record store looking for an oldie-but-goodie or even a newer hard-to-find press. We don’t even have a record player in our home right now, but we do have a wall of framed vinyl albums featuring an eclectic mix that includes Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, the Eagles and The Foo Fighters. Some of the framed pieces are remnants of our youth, some were purchased from the bins of the stores we’re about to name because the albums were important to us and well… vinyl is cool.

Record Store Day Grohl 2015

As if this holiday isn’t great enough, the official ambassador of Record Store Day 2015 is Dave Grohl who says, “I found my calling in the back bin of a dark, dusty record store…. I believe that the power of the record store to inspire is still alive and well, and that their importance to our next generation of musicians is crucial.” Ambassador Grohl and his bandmates in The Foo Fighters will also be participating in Record Store Day by releasing SONGS FROM THE LAUNDRY ROOM, a 10” four-track EP featuring previously unreleased demos, covers and songs.

There are hundreds of Record Store Day releases with varying degrees of exclusivity and not every store gets every release, so you’ll have to do a little research if you’re looking for something specific. The official list of Record Store Day releases can be found here.

Music has a wonderful way of conjuring up memories and stories, so get your friends together and hit up one or more of our Central Florida record stores to rummage, share and celebrate. Here are our Top 5 places you can participate in Record Store Day this Saturday:

1. Park Ave CDs (2916 Corrine Drive, Orlando)

Park Ave CDs Record Store Day

This popular location will open at 8 a.m. and have mini cupcakes from their neighbors at Blue Bird Bake Shop to help you wake up. The ambitious folks at Park Ave CDs will stock ALL of the 350+ Record Store Day-branded releases (quantities vary) and give away free Park Ave CDs Record Store Day 2015 t-shirts and coupon books with purchases. Consider yourself warned, in 2014, there were nearly 400 people in line when their doors opened! But to make it fun, they will give away concert tickets, autographed LPs, posters and other goodies every 20 minutes to those waiting in line. Some of Orlando’s top DJs including DJ BMF, DJ Smilin’ Dan, Kittybat, M-Squared will spin sets throughout the day. Park Ave CDs will also collect donations for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, so bring some food to donate. Visit them on Facebook.

2. Rabbitfoot Records Coffee Lounge (309 East 1st Street, Sanford)

Rabbitfoot Record Lounge 65970196217_o

Count on Rabbitfoot for very good complimentary coffee and breakfast for those waiting in line starting at 5 a.m. (oh man, that iced coffee is good!), even though doors don’t open until 8 a.m. If you can’t take a hint, they suggest you arrive early. This Sanford shop is touting Record Store Day releases including The White Stripes, The Stooges, Jurassic 5, Phish, The Replacements, The Foo Fighters, Twenty One Pilots, Miles Davis, Clutch, The Kinks, The Swans, Violent Femmes, Grateful Dead, plus hundreds more. Pre-opening giveaways include new albums from Death Grips on CD, a 10-LP Jimi Hendrix Box Set (German Import), gift certificates, t-shirts and other surprises. If you buy a Record Store Day release while you’re there, you can take advantage of 10-30% off discounts on everything else in the shop. Visit them on Facebook.

3. East West Music & More (4895 South Orange Avenue, Orlando)

East West Record Store Day

By Orlando standards, East West is a “very” old establishment, celebrating their 44th year in 2015! This “bonafide neighborhood joint” will open at 10 a.m. for Record Store Day and keep its crowd entertained with giveaways, drawings for autographed gear and live music from some of Central Florida’s finest, as part of their Parking Lot Concert Series. Of course, there will be Record Store Day releases to be scored as well. Visit them on Facebook.

4. Retro Records (59 North Bumby Avenue, Orlando)

Retro Records

Retro Records is a second-hand store that’s been around since 1980. You can buy, sell and trade records, CDs, and memorabilia from the ’50s through today. Here you can rummage through bins of rock, soul, jazz and country. If you’re a Beatles fan, this is your record shop – it’s considered their specialty. Stop by and say happy Record Store Day and take home something nostalgic in honor of the holiday. Doors open at 11 a.m. Call (407) 898-2484 to confirm hours and details. Visit them on Facebook.

5. Rock-N-Roll Heaven (1814 North Orange Avenue, Orlando)

Rock N Roll heaven Orlando

This Ivanhoe Row staple, established 1977, claims to have the best selection of vinyl LPs in Florida, but we’ll let you judge for yourself. Spend Record Store Day browsing through whatever genre calls to you — metal, rap, country, oldies, disco, comedy, folk or anything we haven’t named. They’ve got it. We get the feeling if you really want to talk music or talk collectibles this is the place you should be hanging. We waiting on details for any special, additional Record Store Day festivities at this location and will update this post when possible. Rock-N-Roll Heaven opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. Visit them on Facebook.

 

Wild Wonderland at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

by Kelly Green
santa reindeer lowryMeet Santa and REAL Reindeer at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo at Wild Wonderland! Select nights in December, visitors will enjoy the Man in Red, and his famous assistants. Kids will do a little “jumping” themselves in the Reindeer Games area. Not to be outdone, the African penguins will be out to say hello, too.

Seasonal Sidebar: There are no penguins in the North Pole. Penguins are native to the lower hemisphere.

There will be a Castle Light Show at the Zoo’s main entrance (with a chance of “snow” flurries), free unlimited rides, and a Treats and Treasures Hometown Village, and the Merry Music Tree of Lights.

Dates:
Nightly from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.wildwonderland
December 6
December 12-14
December 18-23
December 26-30

Tickets:
$15 for Adults
$13 for Children (ages 3-11)
FREE for children 2 and under

Buy online: http://bit.ly/LowryXmas14

Discounts:
Annual Zoo Pass members can buy tickets at the Zoo’s Main Gate (with pass) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.
$10 for Adults with Zoo Pass
$7.50 for Children (ages 3-11) with Zoo Pass
Free for Children 2 and under

Get Social:
Twiter: @LowryParkZoo
www.LowryParkZoo.org and Wild Wonderland on Facebook

Wild Wonderland is presented by Publix Super Markets Charities

Holiday Hijinks at Rollins Fred Stone Theater with Sleigh!

by Kelly Green

post office TerrenceWant to the find the “happy” in “Happy Holidays”? Look no further than PB&J Theatre Factory’s Sleigh. Presented by the Rollins College Dept. of Theatre and Dance, Sleigh runs for one week (December 17-21) at the Fred Stone Theatre on the Rollins College campus.

Set in the quiet mountain town of Sugar Falls, scenes of the season come to life, from picking out the perfect tree to holiday air travel. And by quiet, I mean… quiet! There are no spoken words in this play (with the exception of an occasional “gingerbread”). Don’t worry, though. There are plenty of silly sounds and accompanying pratfalls that will “speak” volumes. You’ll also hear lots of laughter!

Our family has enjoyed their seasonal silliness many times. It’s a holiday tradition that’s woven its way into our history, as we reenact scenes while baking cookies, or visiting the post office, hearing the music of The Nutcracker, or pulling out an airline boarding pass… giggling the whole time!

nutcrackerIf you need a break from the chaos of the season, or if you just want to enjoy a night of smiles and festive fun that’s appropriate for the whole family, Sleigh will fill the bill. Not to mention filling you with good cheer.

Cast
Brandon Roberts, Becky Eck, Terrence Yip, Chelsea Hiland, Anthony Smith

Show Time
Nightly at 8 pm, Dec. 17, 18, 19, 20, 22;

Matinees at 2 pm, Dec. 20, 21

Tickets
$20 for general admission, $15 for children 12 and under

All seats $15 on Dec. 17 and 22

Box Office
Tickets can be purchased at the door (if available), or reserved in advance at www.pbjtickets.com or by calling 407‐574‐5794.

spread em

 

Comedy that will “SLEIGH” you!

Cast of SLEIGH at Orlando Shakespeare OrlandoShakes.org Holiday playIf laughter is the cure for “what ails you,” then ward off your holiday stress by seeing SLEIGH at the Lowndes Shakespeare Theater, now through December 23. In this hilarious and heartfelt montage of scenes of the season, you’ll see yourself…

—at the airport dealing with “those” people,

—being attracted (distracted?!) by the bells and whistles all around saying “buy me!” at every turn, and

—picking out the perfect Christmas tree that has “just” the right fullness, and “just” the right… um, dance moves?!

You can also be a fly on the wall at the post office as they prep, package, and post the mail. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow will prevent these carriers from doing their sworn duty. (OK, maybe that one bird might have something to say about it!)

Without the use of spoken word, SLEIGH performers draw you into their world with plenty of guffaws, sight gags, and physical humor. Kids young and old will be filled with “good cheer” at the sights and sounds we can all relate to. Hilarious cast of SLEIGH makes sure this letter is delivered.

Our family puts this on our “must do” list every year.  My 5-year-old talks about it all year long, and acts out scenes in preparation for the coming performances. We were not disappointed this past Sunday as we attended. I think we now have just enough holiday hee hee hees to go with our ho ho hos!

SLEIGH is a production of PB&J Theatre Factory, dedicated “to creating theatrical performances that engage and inspire audiences of all ages” and stars Orlando favorites Mike Gill, Ana Eligio, Brandon Roberts, Terrence Yip, and Marty Stonerock. Directed by Brandon Roberts and the PB&J gang, the creative team includes Zanna King (Lighting Designer), Michael Gill (Sound Designer), Jamie Mykins (Stage Manager), Claud Smith (Scenic Designer), and Denise R. Warner (Costume Coordinator).

WHAT — SLEIGH | Written and Produced by PB&J Theatre Factory

WHEN — Now through – December 23, 2012 – ON SALE NOW!

Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sunday at 2:30 pm

WHERE — Orlando Shakespeare Theater in the Goldman Theater

Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 East Rollins Street, Orlando, FL 32803

TICKETS — Advance tickets online/phone/walk up:  $16.50 | At the door (1 hour prior to show):  $20.00

Tickets are available by calling (407) 722-7037 or online at www.pbjtheatrefactory.com and in person at the Box Office located inside the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 East Rollins Street in Orlando’s Loch Haven Cultural Park.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex presents “Holidays in Space”

Guests Invited to Celebrate the Holidays at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s ‘Holidays in Space’

Guests can celebrate the holiday sights and sounds as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex presents the second annual “Holidays in Space” November 23 through January 1. The Visitor Complex will be adorned with a stunning array of holiday decorations and feature daily visits and storytelling with Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as heartwarming performances of favorite holiday songs by strolling carolers.

Santa Claus will greet guests, hear wish lists and pose for photos in Santa’s Launch Control Center located between Astronaut Encounter and Robot Scouts. Onsite elves, i.e., Kodak representatives, will snap the perfect family photo and provide prints for sale, or guests may capture the moment with their own cameras. Mrs. Claus will be on hand for some special space-themed story times for kids of all ages, including “The Cat in the Hat – There’s No Place Like Space” and “What the Moon is Like.” Due to their busy holiday schedules, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available at 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. through December 24. Storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus will take place at 3:30 p.m. each day. At 4 p.m. daily, Santa and Mrs. Claus make special appearances in the Space Shop.

Immersing guests in the sounds of the holidays, a team of international carolers will perform traditional holiday songs including favorites like “Silver Bells,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Let it Snow,” “Feliz Navidad,” and many more. The carolers will perform daily at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon in the Rocket Garden, at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Saturn V Center, and 4:15 p.m. in the Space Shop.

Holidays in Space wouldn’t be complete without festive space-themed décor. A towering, 42’ International Space Station-themed Christmas tree located in the Rocket Garden will be adorned with warm-white bulbs, strobe lights and 600 miniature flags from the 15 ISS partner countries. The International Space Station mural just outside the Rocket Garden will be swathed in holiday candlelight. Decorative wreaths, garlands, lights, ribbons and bows throughout the Visitor Complex add to the holiday festival atmosphere.

Visitor Complex guests also can learn about the holiday traditions of each of the International Space Station (ISS) partners: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.  Prior to every IMAX film, guests will have the chance to see actual images of ISS crews celebrating the holidays in space.  Those who want to remember their international holiday experience at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex may purchase a commemorative “2012 Holidays in Space” ornament from the Space Shop.

“Holidays in Space” is included in admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. Souvenir photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus are available at an additional charge. With the purchase of a Commander’s Club Annual Pass, guests may visit an unlimited number of times for a full year from date of issue. To celebrate the season, guests can purchase an annual pass a reduced rate of $55 + tax and $45 + tax for children. Guests with singled day admission may upgrade to an annual pass at a special price of $5 per person, prior to exiting Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. For more information or to purchase tickets for Holidays in Space, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

 About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season.  Admission includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, featuring an actual Saturn VI rocket, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is $63 + tax for adults and $53 + tax for children ages 3-11.  For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.