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Sandra Ketcham

Sandra Ketcham Orlando Blog

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One Magical Weekend at Typhoon Lagoon

Saturday May 31, 2014

Equality Florida is partnering with One Magical Weekend, the producers of Riptide at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park party, to offer a special "Equality Florida Lagoon" event on Friday, June 6th.

If you're interested in attending the Riptide party this year, buy your tickets before May 1st and 10% of your purchase will go directly to Equality Florida. And make sure you use the coupon code "equality" when ordering.

For more information on this fun event, visit the One Magical Weekend website.

A Summer of Music

Friday May 30, 2014

Lots of exciting news for music lovers!

Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band and Color Guard will be performing ˇCelebracíon! The Music of Spain and Latin America at 3 p.m. on June 14 at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center. This event features full orchestral pieces and specialty ensembles by Orlando's only LGBTQI band. Enjoy dance performances by the Color Guard and special guest Flamenco artists Alborea Dances, as well as a performance by the Orlando Gay Chorus. Admission is a free, but there's a $10 suggested donation.

Also, the Orlando Philharmonic will perform its Sounds of Summer concert series June 23, July 7, July 21, August 4 and August 8 at The Plaza Live in the Milk District. Each concert focuses on a different theme of instruments, musicians, composers and cross-genre chamber music. To see the schedule or purchase tickets, visit the Orlando Philharmonic website.

In other music news, A Gift For Music (AGFM) has been selected as one of 50 finalists for a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. If one of the 12 programs of the 50 finalists selected to receive the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, AGFM will be given a $10,000 one-time grant and an invitation to the White House awards ceremony. Award recipients will be notified in June.

A Gift for Music is a program of A Gift For Teaching and uses a combination of after school, in-school, weekend and summer programming to provide one of the most comprehensive string music education programs in the state of Florida to children from third grade through high school.

June Calendar is Now Up!

Thursday May 29, 2014

June is a busy (and hot!) month in Orlando.

The updated calendar for June is now live on the site. You can see it here.

Got an event you'd like to add to this or any other calendar? Leave a comment, send me an email or mention it on Twitter or Facebook.

Water Parks and Crafts Beers: Summer Fun!

Thursday May 29, 2014

Kookaburra Cove at AquaticaPlanning a trip to the water parks in the near future? If so, take a look at this article for tips for making it through the day.

If you haven't heard, Wet 'n Wild is debuting a new water slide on June 12. The new twisted-tunnel slide will be called Aqua Drag Racer!

If water parks aren't your thing, but relaxing with a cold one sounds appealing, check out this guide to craft beer spots around the city by Eric Mohrman (who happens to be my husband).

Final Day for Kids Fringe

Sunday May 25, 2014

Today is the last day to take your little ones to Kids Fringe at the Mennello Museum in Loch Haven Park. It's Snow Fairy Day at the festival, and guests are invited to make snow and join in a fairy dance party.

The event runs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and is part of the larger Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival.

Kids Fringe is free, but the indoor galleries are for paying guests only. Parking is tricky, so take mass transit or bike if you can. If not, try the lot at Magruder Eye Institute (1911 N. Mills) or Florida Urology Associates (1812 N. Mills) and then walk over to the event.

For more information, visit Kids Fringe online.

Have a great time!

Introducing 3 New Theme Park Rides

Sunday May 18, 2014

Harry Potter and the Escape from GringottsIf you're a fan of theme park rides, this is going to be amazing summer!

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is the new 4-minute ride scheduled to open at Universal in the next few months. Some speculate the ride could be opening as soon as June.

I've watched the videos, and the ride looks amazing!

After entering Gringotts to retrieve a Horcrux, guests are thrown into a thrilling magical battle between Harry and Bellatrix Lestrange. Riders are then sent into the deeper parts of Gringotts, where trolls, dragons and He Who Must Not Be Named are waiting.

I'm very excited about this ride, and I'm sure most of you are, too. I'll let you know when an official opening date is announced.

In other theme park news, Ihu's Breakaway Falls at Aquatica just opened. I was lucky enough to check it out during a media event, and there's definitely nothing else like it in Florida. Click here to read more about it and see a few photos.

Ihu's Breakaway Falls

Also, the Seven Dwarf's Mine Train ride is scheduled to open on May 28. I also got a sneak peek of this ride at a press event, and it is scarier than it looks. It is enough of a thrill to please most adults, but still tame enough for children and scaredy-cats (like myself). Read more about it and see a few photos right here.

Game in line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

May Events and Information for Orlando

Monday May 12, 2014

Viva la MusicaThe new calendar for May is now live on the site. View it here.

If you have any events you'd like to add to one or more of the monthly calendars, please email with the information.

Viva la Musica is still going strong, and you can check out another concert this coming Saturday. Also keep your schedule free for the Fringe Festival (beginning 5/14), Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios (beginning 5/16) and the annual anime convention (5/23-5/25).


Happy Mother's Day, Orlando!

Saturday May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day, OrlandoI hope everyone is having a good weekend.

If you're looking for somewhere to take your mom tomorrow, check out this list of Mother's Day events in Orlando.

New Smyrna Beach and Leu Gardens are also nice spots to spend the day with mom and the rest of the family, and a lot of local places are offering free or reduced admission for mothers. And here's a list of Sunday activities in Orlando that might be helpful.

If you're interested in brunch, these restaurants are a good start. You can also use this guide if you'd like to search for a lunch or dinner spot by cuisine.

Central Florida Zoo Mother's Day Fundraising Challenge

Saturday May 10, 2014

Mother pygmy goat and male kidToday is the last day to donate to the Zoo's Mother's Day Fundraising Challenge.

Make a donation in honor of your mother by calling 407.323.4450 ext. 114 or by going online. All money raised goes toward building a barn for the Sanford Zoo's new baby pygmy goat and his mom. One generous donor will be matching all funds raised, so even donating a small amount can make a big difference.

"The Zoo is excited to issue this challenge in hopes of raising funds to build the new barn. As a small non-profit we are dependent upon the generous donations of our contributors to improve and add new structures and exhibits to the Zoo," said Joe Montisano, Zoo CEO.

Photo Courtesy of Central Florida Zoo

"You Can't Take It With You" Opening at College Park Theatre

Tuesday May 6, 2014

College Park Neighborhood Arts and Theatre CenterThe College Park Neighborhood Arts & Theatre Center presents "You Can't Take It With You," opening May 7, 2014 with the final performance on Sunday, May 11.

If you're looking for something special to do with your mother this weekend, show her a good time and support community theater at the same time!

All performances begin at 8:00 pm, with a special matinee on Mother's Day at 2:00 pm. General tickets are available online and cost $15, with $10 tickets available for students and seniors.

The College Park Neighborhood Arts & Theatre Center is located at Princeton Elementary School in College Park.

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