Monday December 9, 2013
I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday!
There's a lot happening in Orlando this week.
Tonight, check out "Solos" by Joseph Reed Hayes at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center. Orlando CityBeat describes it as a "touching story about love, truth, God and jazz as religion." Tickets are $18 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Tomorrow is Tasty Tuesdays in the Milk District from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. This event gets better and better every week and is great for getting together with friends.
On the 2nd Thursday of every month (which is this Thursday, in case you don't have a calendar handy), Thornton Park puts on a fantastic art and wine walk around the neighborhood. $10 gets you a wine glass, wrist band and map of participating vendors. Visit Thornton Park's Facebook page for instructions on picking up your band and glass.
Casselberry's Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will be this Friday, December 13 at Lake Concord Park. The event features over 15 food trucks, many local vendors, music and other entertainment and runs from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Children can visit and take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Visit Casselberry's website for more information.
On Saturday, December 14, join your family and friends for a night bike ride through 10 miles of brightly lit and stunningly decorated neighborhoods. There will also be refreshments, games and music, and your ride donation will benefit New Hope for Kids. $10 in advance and $12 the night of the event. Children under 10 ride for free. The ride begins at South Seminole Middle School in Casselberry. Check in is at 4:00 p.m.
The 81st Orlando Christmas Parade will be Sunday, December 15 at 5:30 p.m., but the holiday celebration runs all day, from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Lake Eola Park. Enjoy food, shopping and family-friendly live entertainment before and after the parade. There will also be a Dog Jog around the lake at 5:15.
Also on December 15 is the Locally Grown Words Book Fair. This event kicks off a new, independent bookshop at East End Market in Audubon Park. Visit from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. to purchase books and chat with local authors. Proceeds go to support Page15.org, a children's literacy organization.
At various Rosen Inn locations, families can enjoy writing letters to Santa or an Elf Visit and Sing-Along Celebration on select dates. For more information about times and locations, visit the Rosen Hotels website.
And, if you haven't heard, Ripley's is offering 50% off to all Florida residents through December 20th. This discount is good at the Panama Beach, Key West, Orlando, and St. Augustine locations. All adults need to show photo ID to qualify.
Want to add an event? Comment or email and let me know.
Photo Courtesy of City of Casselberry
Tuesday November 26, 2013
If you're tired of spending Thanksgiving cooking and cleaning in the kitchen, pack up the family and do dinner this year at one of Orlando's fabulous restaurants. Leaving the work to someone else means more quality time with family and friends.
I've compiled a list of some of the best options around for feasting this Thursday. If you know of a restaurant that should be added to the list next year, please let me know.
Thanksgiving Guide 2013
Also, if you're interested, Emeril has recently released a free holiday cookbook with 18 recipes from his kitchen. You can download a copy of that here. Feel free to share it with friends!
Enjoy your Thanksgiving, everyone.
Photo Courtesy of Emeril's Tchoup Chop
Thursday November 21, 2013
What a busy weekend!
Tomorrow night, November 22, is the lighting of the Happy Holidays sign on top of the Historic Ivanhoe Building in Ivanhoe Village. If you want to watch as this historic sign comes to life for the first time in two decades, stop by 1111 North Orange Avenue at 6:00 p.m. Mayor Buddy Dyer will be flipping the switch.
Tomorrow is also the first day to begin dropping off donations of household goods and building materials to support the new Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando Area ReStore. The new store will be located in South Orlando by the Florida Mall and should be open in January 2014.
Saturday morning, grab the kids and head to 123 East Livingston Street in downtown for the Downtown Orlando Touch-a-Truck. This event provides families with an opportunity to explore and learn about various types of trucks and construction vehicles. The hands-on experience will delight kids of all ages (and maybe mom and dad, too). The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is $5 per person. Proceeds benefit Trinity Lutheran School.
From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday is the Winter Park Harvest Festival in Central Park. This year's event features a fabulous beer garden, over 50 food artisans, demonstrations and seminars, farm and garden vendors, and an exciting lineup of musicians. The festival, located at 150 N. New York Avenue, is a great place to do some holiday shopping.
Later on Saturday, Ivanhoe Village is getting into the holiday spirit with Jingle Eve, a neighborhood celebration, wine stroll and boat parade. Kids can visit with Santa at his workshop at 5:00 p.m., and the parade begins at 6:30 p.m. on Lake Ivanhoe.
Also, if you have some extra blankets lying around and you want to help someone in need, bring them with you and drop them off in Gaston Edwards Park on Orange Ave.
Photo © Patrick O'Connor
Wednesday November 20, 2013
It has been an incredible (and busy) week so far in Orlando.
On Monday night, See Art Orlando unveiled eight new sculptures in downtown. If you haven't seen them yet, spend one day this weekend wandering around Lake Eola and the surrounding area. If you come on Sunday, you can pick up some goodies at the farmers market, too. The pieces are gorgeous and add a lot of visual interest to downtown.
And, in case you're hungry for even more art, last night was the unveiling of the Urban Art Museum in the Mills 50 District. The Urban Art Museum is a project that aims to improve neglected urban areas through the installation of public art. The project is one of the most interesting and promising to come to Orlando in a long time. The Urban Art Museum is a collaborative effort by Process Architecture, Marcos Cruz and Jai Gallery.
Last night was also the official announcement that Orlando City Soccer Club will be joining MLS in 2015! More on that later.
Do you have any ideas for projects to add more culture and beauty to our city?