65 E. Central Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32801
Come and explore the rich history of Central Florida, originally known as Mosquito County, and fortunately for us, later renamed to the more pleasant sounding, Orange County.
Orlando, "The City Beautiful," is known far and wide as one of the world's most important tourist destinations, but what was this city like before Disney came to town, or before the invention of air conditioning? How did people survive the long hot summers, and what was the main industry before tourism?
Orlando's Orange County Regional History Center, set in the former 1927 Orange County Courthouse, inspires explorers of all ages to discover a world they've never seen before on this dynamic, interactive journey through Central Florida's colorful and surprising past. Questions about the early days in Orlando are answered through historic photos, exhibits, hands-on displays and much more. The building itself may be old, dating back to 1927, but the $33.7 million redevelopment guarantees a state of the art museum.
In addition to the History Center, is Heritage Square, an outdoor, tree lined park that will accommodate special events, art festivals and concerts. The beautiful setting will also include some icons of Orlando's past such as bronze statues of alligators and a 15 foot high postcard depicting Central Florida's past.
The Orange County Regional History Center is home to the varied and extensive collections of the Historical Society of Central Florida, Inc. A wealth of fascinating information can be found from the center's guided tours and "hands-on history" events to fun-packed summer camps and interactive children's programs. History Center members can take advantage of a number of special value-added benefits, including discounts and exclusive event opportunities. The stately facility is also available for event rentals, ranging from unparalleled conferences to unforgettable weddings.
Games People Play: The Evolution of Video Games
July 2-September 10, 2011
Starting with the pinball machine, journey through time to discover how electronic games have evolved, from the development of the first computer games and rise and fall of the arcade, to the advanced game consoles of today. Games People Play: The Evolution of Video Games offers a look ‘inside the box,’ highlighting the dramatic changes in size versus power as it marks key developments in game and console technology and illustrates the relevance and sociological influences of these ‘toys.’ Included in general admission.
- Destination Florida: Tourism Before Disney
The center's newest exhibit focuses on life in Orlando before Disney opened it's doors in the early 70's. See why visitors came to the Orlando area to vacation. Peek at some of Orlando's original landmark icons. Read More.
- How Distant Seems Our Starting Place
A committee of community residents and the History Center bring this enlightening exhibit to the History Center's permanent collection. The story is told through artifacts, text panels, photographs and murals. This exhibit covers important African and African-American figures from Florida's earliest days through today.
The History Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday-Saturday) and from noon to 5 p.m. (Sunday). General admission for these special exhibitions is $9, seniors (60+) are $7 and children ages 5-12 are $6. Historical Society members and children under the age of 4 are free.
Two hours of free parking at the Orlando Public Library garage is available with paid admission. Guided tours are offered on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and are included in the price of general admission.
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