More than 40 companies representing unique classes, outdoor adventure programs, sports leagues, and family-friendly destinations and attractions throughout Central Florida will showcase unique summer camp and adventure program opportunities for your family March 4, 2017 from 10am – 4pm at Seminole Towne Center Mall.
This free expo will feature exhibitors from more than 40 companies representing unique classes, outdoor adventure programs, sports leagues, special needs providers and family-friendly destinations and attractions throughout Central Florida. During the expo, attendees will:
Receive exclusive camp discounts and travel deals
Learn about unique destinations and experiences for all ages
Interact one-on-one with camp counselors and destination representatives
“We are excited to offer families the opportunity to explore unique destinations and experiences for children age three to 18, all under one roof,” says Sarah Bain, Orlando Sentinel Media Group events manager. “Expo guests will also find exclusive discounts, giveaways and travel deals while they enjoy live entertainment and kid-friendly activities like doing roofing maintenance with residential roofing peabody ma. It’s truly the fastest and easiest way to choose the best summer options for your family.”
While looking over the list of camp options available, I saw some favorites (like SeaWorld that my son LOVED last year), and some that I didn’t know about. Attending: Another family fave— Skeletons. My son was wide-eyed for the osteology class we took there not too long ago.
While some may be partial to experiences involving animals and science (like my family!), there are lots of choices for whatever your kids are into. Parents and families will find sports activities, theater, music, filmmaking, just to name a few. Special Needs families will find camps that their kids will enjoy, too. There’s never been an easier way to compare summer camps in the Orlando area.
Come on out Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 10am – 4pm at Seminole Towne Center Mall, 200 Towne Center Circle, Sanford, FL. It’s located right off of I-4 Exit 101C, please be sure that all of you buckle up and drive safe, and to contact this Philly car injuries lawyer if any of you experience an automobile accident.
Insider tip: Get there early! The first 50 families* will receive two tickets to Medieval Times! Read full details on the Orlando Sentinel website.
Check out the full list of camps and read more at www.orlandosentinel.com/summercampexpo.
*After 10 am ET on 3/4/17 at the Orlando Sentinel Information Booth at the Summer Camp & Adventure Expo at Seminole Towne Center Mall. Full details here.
Central Florida Top 5 was invited by President Jay Villemarette, Sr. and his family to give you a special sneak preview of the new Skeletons: Animals Unveiled located at iDrive 360, right under The Orlando Eye! The great thing about their massive collection of osteological specimens is they want you to not only see, and in some cases touch their exhibits, parent company Skulls Unlimited International wants everyone to LEARN about an animal’s lifecycle. The also hope to educate its visitors on how to appreciate and preserve the natural world. To quote Jay Sr. himself, “We couldn’t take the educational value out of this museum if we tried!”
Owner and President Jay Villemarette, Sr. says, “I started collecting skulls when I found (one) in the woods at the age of seven. My father encouraged me to collect skeletons. Over the years I became a lifelong collector of skulls.” This discovery would eventually lead Jay on an unexpected career path that, really, made perfect sense. “In 1986 I found myself unemployed as an auto body technician, so I started selling skulls as a hobby and finally turned that into a business. As my business grew, so did my collection. By 2000, I was interested in opening up a museum.” And he did just that, and more.
The Museum of Osteology, the only one of its kind in the United States, focuses on the function and form of the skeletal system. They opened in 2010 and display hundreds of specimens they’ve collected from around the world. TripAdvisor even awarded them two Certificates of Excellence in 2013 and 2014. “(The museum) took off in a way we were barely prepared for,” says oldest son, Jay Villemarette, Jr. “It really started to give us a lot of ideas. We realized this collection was very valuable to people and they wanted to come out to see what we have.”
On the heels of success in Oklahoma City, Jay Sr. approached his sons to help expand the business. “We’re a family oriented attraction and museum,” he says. “We wanted to do something with the public and so many people come to Orlando, we wanted to be part of that.” FYI, there’s a really cool Barnyard Scene set up which shows skeletons from all walks of farm life, including a farmer. “We have a horse, a goat, a potbelly pig, a cow, a sheep… there’s a barn owl and even some rats. It’s a lot of fun and I think people will enjoy themselves.”
Family being the operative word. Jay Jr. says the business is indeed a family one, and they’re literally building it all together. “We’re all here. My brothers and my cousin… We’ve been working 12-14 hour days putting the museum together. My dad’s here, and the rest of the family will be flying in a couple of days to help put the finishing touches on everything.”
To give you an idea of how large a feat putting together a museum is, and a museum based around skeletons at that, a human skeleton is comprised of 206 bones. A snake can have double or more of this amount. A blue whale up to 15,000 bones. This is just the skeletons, that’s not including the build out, electrical wiring or the dioramas themselves.
Jay Jr explains, “We’ve put together about 400 skeletons in almost fourteen months. These skeletons don’t go together very quickly. Not only are these skeletons brought to us as a carcass, we have to clean and whiten them before we even begin the articulation. The articulation process can take anywhere from twelve hours to 240 hours depending on the specimen just in drilling and wiring, then the articulation process.” There’s no instruction manual on any of this, folks.
Good news for parents and educators! As with the Museum of Osteology, Orlando’s Skeletons: Animals Unveiled experience is also appropriate for all ages. “My heart is in education,” Jay Sr. explains. “It’s enjoyable to me to watch a child walk up to (an) exhibit and see the ‘wow’ on their faces when they approach and see what’s here.”
Our first question we asked while touring, “Are these skeletons real?” Jay Sr.’s answer? YES. “Everything came to us as a carcass. Every skeleton in this museum is REAL. We hand remove as much tissue from the bones as possible and feed them to our (Dermestid) beetles.” Beetles?! Seriously? “Yes, we have insects that actually eat the meat off the bones. It can take up to six month to clean one single skeleton.”
He’s not kidding. Near the front of the exhibit are two colonies of beetles, encased for all to see, and a time lapse video of them cleaning a tiger skull. In two minutes time you see them devour the flesh like it was a buffet – and to these insects, with a particular set of skills, it is. Because these insects are used so often, Jay and his family even breed them.
Of the many dioramas included in this new attraction, is one dedicated to Florida’s wildlife. “The Florida exhibit offers a wonderful opportunity for teachers as well as parents to bring their children to our museum and see animals native to Florida (unveiled). They’re looking at skeletons of a twelve foot alligator, a black bear and multiple other species as well,” says Jay Sr.
Skeletons: Animals Unveiled Details
Hours: 9am to Midnight (last entry at 11pm) beginning May 1st. Open 365 days.
Prices: $19.99 for adults, $12.99 for children 3-11, with 3 years old and under being free. Early bird specials, group rates, buyouts and educational lock-in pricing also available.
Address: 8441 International Drive, Suite 250, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone number: 407-203-6999
ProTip: Groupon Orlando is currently offering Admission for Two or Admission for Four at a discounted rate. Click here for details.
A new exhibit from EMS Entertainment called Leonardo da Vinci: Man-Inventor-Artist-Genius, hopes to share all this and more with you (and your family) when it opens on International Drive in April. This internationally traveled exhibition allows visitors a peek into da Vinci’s greatest inventions and features forty models of his most innovative creations. These interactive models, constructed with attention to authenticity and superior craftsmanship, to scale and divided into four themes; Flight, Hydraulics, Mechanics and War Machines.
Also included in this exhibition is a showcase of twenty three replicas of his most famous artwork, so if you’re looking to do a #MonaLisaSelfie, you may be in luck!
April 15th is Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, and you’re invited to join in on the celebration! A special Grand Opening event scheduled on Saturday, April 18th (4p – 9p) will include a slew of special guests including; Mark Brisson from Skeletons: Animals Unveiled (also opening soon at I-Drive 360), painting classes from Wine & Canvas, food from our friends at Tin Roof Orlando and a few surprises we can’t tell you about!
Admission for this special event is $20 (which includes admission to CSI: The Experience and Consumed by Art) and a separate meal ticket is only $5.
In addition to all of this, the folks at da Vinci will start a month long food drive on opening weekend, which will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Non-perishable food donations are welcomed and appreciated on Opening Night and all month!
Leonardo da Vinci Orlando Exhibition Details:
Hours: 10am – 9pm, Monday through Saturday and 10am – 8pm on Sundays.
Prices: $16.99 (Adults), $9.99 (Kids 6-12), 5 years old and under are free
Address: 7220 International Drive, Orlando, Florida 32819
EMS Entertainment, a division of Event Marketing Service GmbH, in Vienna, Austria is the official international booking agent & promoter of CSI: The Experience. Since its founding in 1993 by Christoph Rahofer, EMS Entertainment has led successful promotional and marketing campaigns for such world-class exhibits as National Geographic’s Tutankhamun and the World of the Pharaohs, as well as produced shows such as EMS’s own Leonardo Da Vinci: Man – Inventor – Genius, The Barbie Story and World of Games. http://www.ems-entertainment.com/