FREEBIES AND BUDGET FRIENDLY FUN
THROUGHOUT ORLANDO NORTH, SEMINOLE COUNTY
ORLANDO NORTH, SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. (March 28, 2019) – Well they've once again raised admission prices at several of the Orlando area theme parks. So what's a family to do to stretch their vacation dollars? A breezy 45 minutes from the theme parks you’ll discover Orlando North Seminole County where there’s lots of budget-friendly fun that’s a fractional cost of a day at the theme parks (lodging costs also average 30% less here, too. Say goodbye to parking fees and resort fees.)
FREEBIES WE LOVE
SEMINOLE STATE PLANETARIUM TELESCOPE THURSDAYS. Once a month on a Thursday evening, the staff of the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium hit the road with telescopes in tow and set up shop at a local park or business around Central Florida for Telescope Thursdays. The community is welcome to attend and take a peek at the beautiful night sky. Events typically last from 7-10pm. And for a totally stellar family night, don’t miss out on Seminole State Planetarium’s incredible STAR PARTIES. These events invite the public to the planetarium for an evening of telescope observations, planetarium dome shows, speaker presentations, and more. Check out the Planetarium’s Facebook page for upcoming events.
Bring a bike or rent one and join CRITICAL MASS! SANFORD EDITION! on the last Friday of the month for a stroll through Sanford. Start at Pedal Driven Co. at 6:30pm and end at Deviant Wolfe Brewing at 8pm for beers and fun.
HIKE OR BIKE THE SEMINOLE WEKIVA TRAIL. This scenic paved rail-trail in Seminole County features a 14-mile long trail as well as several trailheads with amenities. Consider exploring the first seven miles of the trail by bike, cruising along the shaded path through quiet neighborhoods.
CRANES ROOST PARK’S Rhythms at the Roost is an annual free concert series featuring live music from great bands, food for purchase, and a variety of vendors. Sunset views, outdoor festivals, and SUNSET CINEMA, a schedule of free outdoor movies on select Saturdays, are just a few of the other free activities held at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs. Check the calendar for upcoming events.
Sanford’s monthly ALIVE AFTER 5 STREET PARTY celebrates with local art, live music, craft beer, food, and shopping. From 5-8pm on the 2nd Thursday with a different theme each month.
WINEART WEDNESDAYS IN LAKE MARY. On the first Wednesday of each month is a free event in the Downtown Lake Mary District featuring live music, dozens of artists and merchants, food trucks, and a beer & wine garden. Food and drink are extra, but the rest of the evening is totally free.
ART WALK. Held on the 3rd Saturday each month in Historic Downtown Sanford, the art walks showcase the area’s unique galleries. A fact sheet is available for each event providing additional details on each stop. Have the kids keep their eyes out for Sanford rocks along the way. These painted rocks can be found hidden just about anywhere.
CASSELBERRY ART AND MUSIC IN THE PARK is a monthly community event held at Lake Concord Park featuring a dozen food trucks, live music, and artisan goods. There’s no cost to peruse the local goods on display while listening to the live entertainment. Held on the second Friday of each month from 6-9pm.
Enjoy the playground and watch youth, collegiate and non-professional teams playing at the 102-acre BOOMBAH SPORTS COMPLEX AT SEMINOLE COUNTY. 3450 E. Lake Mary Blvd., Sanford, FL. www.PlayOrlandoNorth.com.
FANTASTICALLY AFFORDABLE FUN
WEKIVA ISLAND. Located on the Wekiva River, Wekiva Island is a relaxing escape for a day of swimming, fishing, volleyball or relaxing in the Adirondack chairs along the river. Admission is $2 per person, $10 for trailer parking and launch fees for personal equipment. And canoe/kayak/paddleboard rentals are reasonably priced as is the food and beverage. 1014 Miami Springs Rd., Longwood, FL
Enjoy a thrilling airboat ride with BLACK HAMMOCK ADVENTURES, on Lake Jesup and learn about the eco system and the birds and beasts who call it home. 2356 Black Hammock Fish Camp Rd., Oviedo, FL. Their onsite fish camp style restaurant serves up gator bites if you want to try! www.blackhammockairboatrides.com
Seminole County is also home to some of Florida’s best natural attractions, including the Wekiva River, one of only two National & Wild Scenic Rivers in the entire state of Florida. The ST. JOHNS RIVER and WEKIWA SPRINGS STATE PARK are great places to become one with nature. With more than 30 parks and preserves, the area is a favorite destination for hiking, biking, bird watching, wildlife study, nature photography and more.
Get up close and personal with wildlife at the CENTRAL FLORIDA ZOO AND BOTANICAL GARDENS, where you can even participate in giraffe feedings. Also at the zoo are both kids and adults zip line adventure courses that allow guests to explore natural habitats from an animal’s perspective—in the air traveling from tree to tree by zip lines and suspended rope bridges. 3755 US 17, Sanford, FL. Sunset at the Zoo is held on the 3rd Thursday April through October, $5 per person, adults only. Gates open at 5:30pm. Enjoy happy hour in a whole new way with live music, beer and wine, while interacting with some of the resident animals.
DISTRICT EAT AND PLAY at the Oviedo Mall is a new 26,000 sq.ft. entertainment complex that includes a restaurant and full bar. The play zones include 4 different escape rooms where guests are given 60 minutes to escape using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Over 50 arcade games, boutique bowling, live entertainment and a number of event rooms round out the offerings. www.districteatplay.com.
ALTITUDE SANFORD is a cutting-edge trampoline park with activities including: dodge ball, basketball, a performance wall and performance trampoline, high 9 reaction wall, trapeze bar, battle beam, rock wall, wipeout warped wall, air bag, main court and kids court. www.AltitudeSanford.com
At PLANET OBSTACLE, kid-friendly activities include a kids’ ninja course, trampolines, bungees, ball pits and bumper cars, while adults can enjoy an aerial ropes course, an extreme zip-line, an adult ninja course, a giant rock-climbing wall and more. Planet Obstacle, 1150 Emma Oaks Trail, Lake Mary, FL. http://planetobstacle.com
About Orlando North, Seminole County:
Teeming with old Florida charm and young Florida vibrancy, Orlando North, Seminole County offers visitors nature-based attractions, eclectic dining, a booming micro brew scene, plus a year round calendar of festivals and events. With over 2,000 waterways, you’ll discover a wide array of thrilling outdoor activities from paddling in clear freshwater springs and rivers to airboating among alligators, or zooming through an aerial zip line course. It also features an array of sports and training facilities for amateur tournament play, including the 102-acre Boombah Sports Complex at Seminole County. And getting here is easy via Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), Orlando International Airport (MCO), aboard the Amtrak Auto Train, or via auto on I-95 and I-4; and you’ll save 30% on accommodations over Orlando and beachfront hotels. All this and it’s less than an hour’s drive to area theme parks and beaches too. 1-800-800-7832 or 407-665-2900 or visit: www.DoOrlandoNorth.com
We were invited to cover the grand opening of THE LEGO® MOVIE WORLD only at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and we were given exclusive, press-only access to THE LEGO® MOVIE WORLD rides & attractions before they were open to the public. (Thank you LEGOLAND Florida Resort!)
Keep reading to find out all about THE LEGO® MOVIE WORLD, what we loved about it, view videos and pictures from our visit & much more!
Steffany Skelley Gilmer
THE LEGO® MOVIE WORLD officially opened to visitors on March 27th at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, taking its guests on an exciting journey from the theater to the theme park!
THE LEGO® MOVIE WORLD was created in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and LEGO®. This new expansion features three awesome new rides and numerous attractions, all of which were inspired by the characters and themes of the worldwide blockbuster THE LEGO® MOVIE™ and the sequel THE LEGO® MOVIE™ 2: The Second Part.
“We couldn’t be more excited to officially open THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD,” said Rex Jackson, general manager of LEGOLAND Florida Resort, “THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD is a key piece to our expansion and growth as we further cement ourselves as a multi-day destination.”
It's no wonder why THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD is the largest expansion in LEGOLAND Florida Resort history! It has an incredible energy and movie-quality feel. The moment you step inside, you are walking in downtown Bricksburg with its authentic cityscape, lovable LEGO® MOVIE™ characters, dining in Bricksburg's favorite restaurant Taco Everyday (because Tacos aren't just for Tuesdays!) and enjoying all kinds of fun surprises.
In addition to the excitement of feeling like a life-size LEGO minifigure in the immersive land of THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD, guests get to enjoy some of the world's most advanced ride technology with these three new rides: THE LEGO MOVIE Masters of Flight, Unikitty’s Disco Drop and Battle of Bricksburg.
“THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD is a game changer for LEGOLAND Florida Resort,” said Keith Carr, project director of Merlin Magic Making. “The immersion and theming that we’ve incorporated into the area is unlike anything we’ve ever done. Our guests will have so much fun on all three rides, but the land’s marquee ride, THE LEGO MOVIE Masters of Flight encompasses the only 180-degree turn on a flying theater in the world.”
Want to know what we thought of THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD's new rides and attractions? Keep reading below!
“Our goal is to put a smile on every child who walks into LEGOLAND Florida Resort. By the looks of excitement on the faces of our guests, I know we accomplished that today,” said Jackson.
That's not all! The fun can continue beyond the Park if you decide to stay in one of the new THE LEGO MOVIE themed rooms at the LEGOLAND Hotel! There rooms are designed with familiar scenery and beloved characters from The Lego Movie. Adults can relax in their own room inspired by Emmet's apartment and kids can dream of spaceships and adventures in the starts by staying in the separate children's room themed after Benny's spaceship! Click HERE to view rates & make a reservation!
LEGOLAND Florida Resort also offers another new option for overnight guests - the LEGOLAND Beach Retreat!
Lastly, on specific event dates guests can purchase an "Access to Awesome" pass which provides EARLY theme park admission to experience THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD attractions prior to park opening (8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.), exclusive breakfast bar, an opportunity to meet your favorite characters from THE LEGO MOVIE, exclusive LEGO merchandise item, free digital photo at THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD entrance and more! (If you're visiting on a weekend, we recommend having an Access to Awesome pass! CLICK HERE to view pricing & select dates)
Awesome awaits at THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD! Find your family fun by planning a vacation at LEGOLAND Florida Resort this year - your kids will LOVE it!
To order tickets to LEGOLAND Florida Resort, visit www.legoland.com/florida
Florida Family Fun Travel attends the grand opening of The Lego Movie World at Legoland Florida Resort
Photos During Our Exclusive Sneak Peek of THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD!
Photos of the Grand Opening of THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD at LEGOLAND Florida Resort
Click here to watch the ENTIRE Grand Opening Ceremony for THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD including the "Catchy Song" from The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part!
Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando
Orlando, Fla. (March 27, 2019) – Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando, which brings all of the fun, laughter and learning of Sesame Street to the Orlando park in a highly interactive and immersive way, officially opens today. The land features the iconic Sesame Street neighborhood including Abby Cadabby’s Garden, Big Bird’s Nest, Mr. Hooper’s Store and the famous 123 Stoop, as well as everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends.
Sesame Street’s Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Rosita kicked off the opening at a special preview event earlier this week. The debut of this highly-anticipated, six-acre world class attraction is the largest Sesame Street land inside of any of the SeaWorld parks and an exciting part of Sesame Street’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration.
“We are thrilled to officially welcome guests to walk down Sesame Street for the very first time in the theme park capital of the world,” said Mark Pauls, President of SeaWorld Orlando. “This highly-anticipated, immersive new land is the largestSesame Street land inside of any of our SeaWorld parks. With over 30 new ways to play and an award-winning parade, this is a new land that guests of all ages will love, and we are excited to share it with the world.”
“Theme parks represent one of the most powerful ways for families to engage with and delight in the Sesame Street characters,” said Scott Chambers, Senior Vice President/General Manager, North America Media and Licensing, Sesame Workshop (the nonprofit educational organization behind the iconic brand). “Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando will enable us to establish deeper connections with even more families while helping the Workshop sustain its nonprofit and educational mission.”
Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando brings together fun and learning through several educational interactive experiences.Elmo’s Window invites guests to play, dance, and sing with everybody’s favorite furry red monster and his friends. InCookie Monster's Foodie Truck Challenge, guests follow video instructions to whip up some delicious meals with Cookie Monster and Gonger.
In addition, Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando includes six colorful, themed rides: Abby’s Flower Tower, Cookie Drop!, Slimey’s Slider, Big Bird’s Twirl ‘n’ Whirl, Elmo’s Choo Choo Train and Super Grover’s Box Car Derby. Another favorite of the new land is the Rubber Duckie Water Works wet play area. Scheduled daily highlights in the neighborhood include Storytime with Big Bird at his nest and the award-winning Sesame Street Party Parade. This celebration features Elmo, Big Bird and all of their friends, colorful floats, and special surprises along the way.
No visit is complete without a bite to eat! Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando serves up fun favorites at Eats on the Street, where food trucks and a specialty drink stand offer guests a delicious variety of healthy choices and sweet treats.
Guests can take home a little bit of the street from Mr. Hooper’s Store, which features plush characters, apparel, collectible pins, and more available only at Sesame Street at SeaWorld. For even more fun, Elmo’s Interactive Light-Up Bubble Wand unlocks hidden surprises, special effects and exclusive content throughout the street. A visit to Photos with Elmo and Friends provides backstage access to Sesame Street friends with meet and greet opportunities.
SeaWorld has been Sesame Workshop’s exclusive theme park partner in the United States for almost 40 years. For more information, please visit: https://seaworld.com/orlando/sesame-street/
– SeaWorld Orlando –
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, behavioral training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 34,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.
The company owns or licenses a portfolio of recognized brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens® and Sea Rescue®. Over its more than 50-year history, the company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks, including Sesame Place, that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company. Visit www.seaworldentertainment.com for more information.
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit sesameworkshop.org.
EASTER GIFT IDEA!
Are you looking for unique, fun toys that will keep your kids busy all summer long?
How about toys that are special & unlike anything you could find in a store?
If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind toy that your child will love for years to come, you need to check out Budsies - custom stuffed animals made from kids' very own artwork!
Budsies make a great STEAM toy because unlike other toys and stuffed animals, your child uses their own imagination to design and create their very own character, and then they get to see their creation come to life as a toy that they can play with!
Another fun idea: You can upload a photo of your child and Budsies will make a plush doll that looks just like them!
We think Budsies sounds like so much fun and with Easter right around the corner, we can't think of a better and more unique gift to put in the Easter basket than your child's very own Budsie!
Budsies even gave a special discount just for you, our awesome Florida Family Fun Travel readers!
Use code Florida15 for 15% OFF your custom Budsies on Budsies.com.
This special discount can be used now through April 21, 2019!
Click here to order your child's Budsie today!
Which Wich® Project PB&J® Partners with Hormel Foods and its SKIPPY® Brand for April “Spread The Love” Campaign to Help Fight Hunger
Hormel Foods to Match Donation Up to $20,000 During Drive to Donate PB&J Sandwiches in Local Communities Where One Sandwich Equals $1
DALLAS, TX — Which Wich’s philanthropic foundation, Project PB&J, was created five years ago with a vision of making the world a better place one PB&J sandwich at a time. This year, with National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day on Tuesday, April 2, Which Wich is teaming up with Hormel Foods and its SKIPPY® peanut butter brand to host a month-long virtual spreading party throughout April to benefit hunger relief efforts in local communities. Both companies are encouraging everyone to join the campaign by making PB&J sandwiches that can be donated to local hunger relief organizations. For every sandwich that is made and donated, Which Wich and Hormel Foods and its SKIPPY® brand, will donate a dollar up to $20,000 to hunger relief efforts nationally.
“A simple PB&J sandwich can mean so much to a person in need and we have been committed to making a positive impact with this one modest gesture, multiplied thousands of times across hundreds of markets in the U.S.,” said Jeff Sinelli, founder, CEO and Chief Vibe Officer of Which Wich. “We are excited and proud to partner with Hormel Foods and SKIPPY® peanut butter for this year’s Spread The Love campaign and are asking anyone who wants to help us make a difference to take this comforting sandwich and use it to spread love within their communities – and help contribute to a broader goal to enact change globally.”
The “Spread The Love” campaign will run from Monday, April 1 through Tuesday, April 30. During the campaign, anyone who creates and donates PB&J sandwiches can log those donations at https://projectpbj.org/spreadthelove and use the hashtag #SpreadTheLove to contribute to the cause. A ticker will keep track of the number of PB&J sandwiches donated across the country. At the end of the campaign, Which Wich will contribute $1 for every PB&J sandwich donated to Project PB&J, and Hormel Foods will match the final donation total up to $20,000. Project PB&J uses donations to provide food and aid in communities during times of great need, such as during recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida.
“We are proud to partner with Which Wich for such a great cause. Helping to fight hunger is something very important to our company and our team members,” said Jeff Frank, vice president of Foodservice marketing for Hormel Foods. “Hormel Foods and SKIPPY® peanut butter are committed to fighting hunger across the country, and the world. Programs like Project PB&J truly make a positive difference for those in need.”
For the last five years, Which Wich has rallied behind Project PB&J in an effort to transform the brown-bag lunch staple into a way to help feed those in need and inject a more positive vibe across the country. Through the program, for every PB&J sandwich purchased in a Which Wich location, the company donates a PB&J to a local cause and banks one for their global initiative trust. The company has celebrated National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day during the month of April at Which Wich’s more than 400 locations across the country with “Spreading Parties” to create PB&J sandwiches to benefit local organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs, The Salvation Army and homeless and emergency shelters. Through Project PB&J, Which Wich has twice broken the Guinness Book of World Records for "Most sandwiches made in one hour.”
About Project PB&J
Founded in 2014 as part of the Which Wich Cares Foundation, Project PB&J® was established as a simple but important way to fight hunger. Under the program, for every PB&J sandwich purchased by a customer at Which Wich, one PB&J sandwich is donated to a local cause and another is banked for the global fund to assist in situations with a larger scale need. Since its launch, nearly one million PB&J sandwiches have been donated to organizations in local communities including The Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as hundreds of local charities, churches, and those working to help feed those in need. The inspiration for Project PB&J came from Which Wich founders Jeff and Courtney Sinelli's shared love of the sandwich and its power to provide comfort and nourishment in times of need. Teams participating in Project PB&J "Spreading Party" events have broken the Guinness Book of World Records for "Most sandwiches made in one hour" twice. In 2017, the program provided aid during recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida. To learn more about Project PB&J, visit https://projectpbj.org/.
ABOUT HORMEL FOODS - Inspired People. Inspired Food.™
Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a leading global branded food company with over $9 billion in annual revenues across more than 80 countries worldwide. Its brands include Skippy®, SPAM®, Hormel® Natural Choice®, Columbus®, Applegate®, Justin's®, Wholly Guacamole®, Hormel® Black Label® and more than 30 other beloved brands. The company is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, was named one of "The 100 Best Corporate Citizens" by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for the 10th year in a row, and has received numerous other awards and accolades for its corporate responsibility and community service efforts. In 2016, the company celebrated its 125th anniversary and announced its new vision for the future - Inspired People. Inspired Food.™ - focusing on its legacy of innovation. For more information, visit www.hormelfoods.com and http://csr.hormelfoods.com/.
ABOUT WHICH WICH
Which Wich® Superior Sandwiches was founded in Dallas in late 2003 by restaurant entrepreneur, Jeff Sinelli. The national sandwich franchise chain is best known for its customizable sandwiches, creative ordering system, and personalized sandwich bag. In 2018, Which Wich was ranked as the #9 sandwich brand on Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 200 Food and Restaurant Franchises of 2018. In 2017, Which Wich ranked as #9 on Fast Casual's Top 100 Movers and Shakers and landed at #20 on the Franchise Times Fast & Serious list. In 2016, Restaurant Business named Which Wich the first winner of its Future 50 Pacesetter award. Which Wich is the recipient of a Nation’s Restaurant News MenuMasters “Healthful Innovations” award and has been named by Forbes as one of their “30 Best Franchises To Buy.” Which Wich currently has 500 locations open or in development in 40 states and 12 countries. For more information, visit www.whichwich.com.
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FLORIDA FAMILY FUN TRAVEL Blog
Helping families find fun things to do together and make memories that last a lifetime in the Sunshine State!