On the Go in MCO: Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day weekend, and there are plenty of reasons to love being On the Go in MCO!

Shred your Ex for Free Admission

Madame Tussauds Orlando Shred Your Ex Valentine's Day 2021

Madame Tussauds Orlando at ICON Park on I-Drive will shred old photos of exes in exchange for free admission. Don’t worry if you are paperless, because the attraction will accept a deleted photo of your ex from your phone. Free admission – and freedom from the past – begin on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14, and run through Monday to include #SinglesAwaressDay on February 15, obviously.

Free Bubbly at Raglan Road Irish Pub

Raglan Road Great Irish Hooley 2019 Rhythms of Raglan Road Disney Springs Walt Disney World

One of my absolute favorite places to eat at Disney Springs is Raglan RoadIrish Pub, and this Valentine’s Day guests 21 and older will be offered a complimentary glass of pink bubbly to toast their brunch, lunch, or dinner visit or to pair with a special dessert like the Rocky Road to Raglan dessert – double chocolate and smoked almond brownie with chocolate ice cream, house made marshmallow, toffee crunch, chocolate crumbs, and raspberry puree.

What’s great about Raglan Road is they have great outdoor and indoor seating options with live music in each area starting at noon.

Pours at the Preserve

Pours at the Preserve 2021 On the Go in MCO February 2021

Oakland Nature Preserve invites you to walk its upland trails in the evening, sipping wine or tasting beer, enjoying the sunset through the trees or enjoy the stars in the night sky, listening to the owls, the frogs, maybe the whippoorwill. The half-mile trail will be lighted for you with luminaries. Enjoy refreshments at the five tables stationed along the paths while tasting a variety of wines and beers.

Fun Date Nights for Movie Lovers:

  • Disney Movie Night: Beauty and the Beast on Sunday, February 14 starts at 6pm as part of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Festival series
  • The Classic Movies at Garden Theatre will show Casablanca on Sunday, February 14 at 6:30pm
  • Enjoy a showing of When Harry Met Sally with your favorite date at Leu Gardens on Sunday, February 14, at 7:30pm. Pack a dinner picnic basket and seating, alcohol is permitted.

Special Valentine’s Day Offers:

  • iFly is offering a ‘Love is in the Air’ indoor skydiving package that includes two flights for two people, two videos to commemorate your experience, specialized flight gear provided, one-on-one flight instruction, and a personalized flight certificate
  • Aquatica Orlando is offering single-day tickets for $31.99. When you purchase your single-day ticket you will also choose the date of your visit, and you will need to bring your paid ticket and proof of your online reservation to the front gate for admission.
  • Don’t forget there are great ticket offers for all of the theme parks around Central Florida for a day or an entire year!

Don’t forget you can keep up with our adventures On the Go in MCO and find even more events by following @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube!

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On the Go with Gail: A Visit to Mount Dora

I have always loved Mount Dora, it’s such a quaint little town not too far from Orlando, about a 30-45 minute drive from the Disney area.

Founded in 1880, Mount Dora is known for its quaint southern charm, it has many stores including antique stalls and local craft shops where you can find unique gifts for anyone and everyone!

If you have ever wondered why it’s called Mount Dora with no actual mountains in sight, the Mount part reflects the fact that the town is on a plateau 184 feet above sea level. The more you know!

Normally we come over to go visit the shops and try the restaurants, you really can’t go wrong with any of them here. You can grab Italian, Indian, American, British, Cuban, French, the list goes on! I have tried most of them and multiple times. They also have some really unique coffee shops and ice cream stores that are worth trying out.

This time, we just came to wander around outside and enjoy the peaceful town. We love to go for a walk by the lake, Lake Dora is so beautiful, whether you are by the lighthouse or the docks, the views, especially at sunset are spectacular! If you have time, they offer a lot of boat tour options down at The Rusty Anchor (Golden Girls Fans will smile at that name!). I have not done one myself but would love to do a sunset boat tour one evening so I will have to come back for that soon.

I was pleasantly surprised to see they still had their Christmas tree on display, as I hadn’t had a chance to make it over there for the Christmas season yet. My daughter loves Christmas Trees, so we were really happy they had theirs up still.

We found out that they still had their Christmas lights up around the town too, and that they usually do until the beginning of February. So this meant that, of course, we had to come back and see the lights as we hadn’t done that yet either.

Most of the lights were centered around Donnelly Park, where most of the trees were draped in lights and they even had a Santa in his sleigh pulled by his reindeers.

I love the fact they still had their decorations up, plus it was super quiet so we were able to just wander around admiring them! Mount Dora is one of my favorite places locally, we normally like to visit Renningers Antique Center on a weekend then head over. It makes a nice day trip that way as they have the antiques on one side and a flea market on the other.

You can always come to visit during one of their many outdoor festivals too, you can check out their calendar for upcoming events by visiting https://www.mountdora.com

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Jurassic Quest Comes to Orlando

Jurassic Quest Orange County Convention Center 2021

Jurassic Quest is rolling into Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center on International Drive for a unique, hour-long drive-through experience any dino lover would enjoy January 29, 2021, through February 7, 2021.

Jurassic Quest is North America’s largest and most realistic Dinosaur event, with more than 70 life-size animatronic dinosaurs from the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic periods in realistic scenes.

Jurassic Quest Orange County Convention Center 2021

The displays were created in collaboration with leading paleontologists, and each dinosaur has been created to be as accurate as possible.

These popular dinosaurs are returning from extinction for a socially-distanced adventure around the Orange County Convention Center’s extensive parking area and outdoor spaces.

Jurassic Quest Orange County Convention Center 2021

Jurassic Quest Safety

  • The Jurassic Quest Drive-thru experience is an in-car experience with limited contact, if any, with staff who wear masks, social distance, and follow all state and local guidelines regarding health and safety.
  • Guests are guided by an engaging and informative digital audio tour featuring show entertainers, and dino wranglers.
  • A strict 5mph speed limit is strictly enforced throughout the experience.
  • All Jurassic Quest equipment and workstations undergo regular sanitization throughout the show.  

Drive-thru tickets are $49 per vehicle, and all attendees receive a free, safari-style family photo in their vehicles set against a dinosaur backdrop as a memento of their experience.

Jurassic Quest Orange County Convention Center 2021

Jurassic Quest Hours of Operation

  • January 29: 11am-8pm
  • January 30: 9am-9pm
  • January 31: 9am-8pm
  • February 1: Closed
  • February 2: Closed
  • February 3: 1pm-8pm
  • February 4: 1pm-8pm
  • February 5: 9am-8pm
  • February 6: 9am-9pm
  • Feb 7: 9am-8pm

You can purchase your tickets with confidence with the Jurassic Quest Ticket Guarantee that protects you if your Jurassic Quest event is canceled for any reason by automatically refunding 100% of the full ticket purchase amount to the credit card used during the original purchase.

Tickets for Jurassic Quest must be purchased online in advance, and various add-ons, including dinosaur surprises and activity packs, are available.

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On the Go this Weekend: January 22-24, 2021

With temperatures warming up this weekend, I am sharing ways that you can be On the Go this weekend around the City Beautiful with some fun outdoor events!

On the Go this Weekend: January 22-24

Portillos Food Truck Visits Town

On the Go this weekend January 2021 Portillos Beef Bus
Make sure to follow @beefbusofficial on Instagram for updates!

Portillo’s is bringing their Chicago-style hot dogs, famous Italian beef sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, and homemade chocolate cake to Lake Buena Vista on March 2nd…But…

If you can’t wait that long, you can grab a friend and head to Lake Eola Park, 512 East Washington Street, Orlando, FL, 32801, this weekend (and through January 30th) to check out the Portillo’s Official Beef Bus’ menu, while supplies last!

  • January 22- Dinner 3 pm-8 pm
  • January 23- Dinner 3 pm-8 pm
  • January 24- Lunch 11 am-4 pm
  • January 27- Lunch 11 am-4 pm
  • January 28- Lunch 11 am- 4 pm
  • January 29-Dinner 3 pm-8 pm
  • January 30-Dinner 3 pm-8 pm

Dinosaurs have invaded the Leu Gardens

On the Go this weekend January 2021 Dinosaurs Leu Gardens

Dinosaurs have invaded the Leu Gardens once again, and you are invited to explore the Jurassic Gardens to find some of the most feared creatures on the planet.

This fun installation features over 20 life-size dinosaurs ranging in size from 14 inches to a massive 33 ft. Daspletosaurus, cousin to the T-Rex.

Admission to the Dinosaur Invasion exhibit is included with daytime garden admission which can be purchased at the Welcome Center:

  • $10 adult
  • $5 child (ages 4- 17 years)
  • Free admission for Leu Members and children 3 years of age and younger.

Dr. Phillips Frontyard Festival is Frozen

Dr Phillips Center Front Yard Festival - view

The Dr. Phillips Center’s Frontyard Festival – the six-month celebration of live, outdoor entertainment, and unique experiences in a socially distant environment – is continuing their Disney Movie Night Series with ‘Frozen’ this Sunday night at 6 pm.

Tickets for your own socially distant private box that seat up to 5 people are only $5 and $10, depending on location.

Don’t forget you can find even more events if you are On the Go in MCO and keep up with theme park news around Orlando by following @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube!

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Southern Hill Farms Strawberry Picking

If you have ever been to Southern Hill Farms, you know they have different events and pick your own fruit events throughout the different seasons. Right now, its strawberry picking season! If you have never been to the farm, now is the time, there is no fruit better than freshly picked!

The farm is on roughly 120 acres of land, and depending which way you come in, the entrance is a long clay road. There is plenty of parking available, and for the strawberry picking, you do not have to pay to park like during other events there where they have more going on.

When you first enter Southern Hill Farms there is an employee letting you know how everything works and giving you directions to the strawberry field and the barn. The barn is where you can go up to the air stream they have parked, and purchase their drinks and donuts that are made right there on the farm, and yes right now there are strawberry donuts and drinks to enjoy! They also have their market open, the eatery and beer shed.

They also have a play area for the children to play and plenty of photo opportunities with signs and the ones you put your head through the holes to become different characters like snowmen and such. They actually just announced on their Instagram page, which I will link below, that they will be opening their kids zone back up for the season on weekends. There will be a festival swing, jump pillows, a giant slide, obstacle course, sports game and farm wagon rides available in one all-inclusive wrist band for purchase.

On approaching the strawberry fields, you walk up to the check-in desk where the employee there lets you know how it all works and hands you their box. She told us which side the farm has been using and which sides have more fruit so you can start there. They ask that you pull the strawberry with one hand while holding the vine with the other to protect pulling the plant out of its delicate row.

The field was pretty large and as you can see, so it’s very easy to social distance from other groups. There are signs that ask that you wear a mask where social distancing isn’t possible, like at the entrance and exit. Most complied with that, we just kept ours on the whole time it was easier and luckily a nice cool day when we went.

Once you have picked your row, if you bend down slightly you can see the fruit better to know where to start. I recommend pushing the leafs aside slightly as that was where the bigger riper strawberries were hiding. There were some quite large ones ready to pick when we went too.

We took our daughter with us, and being a toddler I wasn’t sure if she would want to join in but she loved scanning the plants for them. Once we pointed one out she did really well pulling them off while we held the stem. This was the first time strawberry picking for all of us, and now I am wondering why we waited so long, hopefully we can keep coming so she can continue to make these memories.

Once you are ready to leave you head over to the exit for weighing and they do take cash or credit, this part was all outside too which was helpful. We didn’t fill the whole box but had a good single layer which was close to a pound in weight. Once we got home we washed them and honestly, I don’t want to ever buy grocery store strawberries ever again, they were so sweet and fresh! It was almost like they had sugar on, they were that sweet! I cannot recommend this activity enough!

You can check their website out or their Instagram page, as that is where they will update you on when they run out of ripe fruit to pick and update you once they are open again. They open only on certain days so check their schedule to plan your trip.

The Southern Hill Farms website is http://southernhillfarms.com and their Instagram handle is @southernhillfarms and you can also check them out on Facebook for live updates.

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Shelley’s Weekend Top Picks: January 8-10, 2021

Every week you can hear me share my top weekend picks for things to do in and around the City Beautiful mornings on K92.3 with Obie and Ashley in the morning!

In case you missed it, here’s are my top picks for January 8-10, 2021!

This Weekend Around Orlando

Mecum Auto Auction kicks off at the Osceola Heritage Park!

Mecum Kissimmee, set for January 7-16, is the world’s largest collector-car auction featuring an estimated 3,500 vehicles and thousands of pieces of Road Art collectibles. 

Registered bidders from nearly all 50 states and a dozen countries travel to Osceola Heritage Park annually to participate in the renowned auction event, portions of which are televised live on NBC Sports Network.

Tickets are required and there are health & safety protocols in place. 

This Weekend in the Theme Parks

2021 Epcot Festival of the Arts - Mural

The Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts kicks off this weekend at Walt Disney World!

Starting January 8, 2021, the Walt Disney World Resort will welcome the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts daily until February 22, 2021.

While this year’s global celebration of the visual, culinary, and performing arts may look a little different, guests will still be able to enjoy a wide selection of activities for the entire family that is included in their admission to the park.

Outdoor Fun

Southern Hill Farms Strawberry Picking with Gail and Harper
On the Go Gal, Gail, and her ADORABLE mini-me went to Southern Hill Farms to check out Strawberry Picking!

Celebrate the winter harvest at your local farm by picking your own farm fresh strawberries at the first strawberry season at Southern Hill Farms in Clermont. 

Tickets and/or reservations are not required, and you can visit the farm anytime that they are open. 

Quantities cannot be guaranteed and strawberry picking is first come, first served with $4/lb u-pick strawberries.

While you are on the farm make sure you check out their bakery for their new strawberry donuts, blueberry cobbler, blueberry muffins, and other seasonal treats. 

Please keep in mind that:

  • There are no additional crops or activities available at this time. 
  • Face masks are required for all guests over the age of 3 while under covered barns, standing in lines, and when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • No animals of any kind allowed on the farm during the strawberry u-pick due to state and federal food safety regulations.
  • No outside alcohol, coolers, and catered meals are allowed.
  • Schofield Road is a Lake County clay road.
  • Southern Hill Farms is a working farm, you will be parking and walking in grass and unpaved areas.
  • All events are subject to change or cancellation due to inclement weather and crop availability.
  • Always check their website on the day of your planned visit for final event details.
  • Please arrive prepared. 

Hours and directions:

16651 Schofield Road, Clermont, FL 34714. from 11 am to 4 pm.

DEAL ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gatorland Orlando Social Distancing Skunk On the Go in the Parks

Gatorland has brought its most popular Florida Resident Special back from extinction.  Not seen since 2014, Florida Residents can visit the Alligator Capital of the World for just $9.99 for single-day admission, now through January 31st.  Tickets must be purchased at the admission’s gate with a valid Florida ID.   This rare discount won’t be around long.

Florida residents will enjoy their favorite rides, shows, and exhibits such as the Alligator Breeding Marsh, White Gator Swamp, Petting Zoo, Bird Aviary, Jungle Crocs of the World, the Alligators – Legends of the Swamp and Up Close Encounters shows, and of course, Social Distancing Skunk Ape.  Guests won’t want to miss Gatorland’s newest residents, Ben and Jerry, the Capybaras.

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Clermont’s Holiday Enchanted Forest

The City of Clermont has many activities to safely enjoy this season and take part in. They just had their Virtual Light up Clermont Ceremony on December 4th, which featured a special message from the Mayor and Council. Don’t worry if you missed it, because there’s something so fun going on at Victory Pointe!

Clermont’s Holiday Enchanted Forest opened December 5 and runs until January 3, 2021 at Victory Pointe. It is open nightly until 10pm. There are over 40 decorated trees all lined up by the lake.

Schools, organizations, businesses, and families have individually decorated these trees being showcased nightly.

You can stroll through the Enchanted Forest at your leisure while listening to the Holiday music being played throughout. Signs in front of each tree tell you which group decorated each tree, some are more obvious than others, but they are all so fun!

We went on quite a cold night for Florida, and since it is located right by the lake it got very chilly so be sure to take a blanket or decent coat/sweater so you can enjoy it more. Don’t be like me in shorts and a T-Shirt wondering “where this cold snap even came from?”.

There is also a box to drop off letters to Santa in Santa’s mailbox which will be delivery directly to the North Pole. It’s right by the entrance to the Holiday Enchanted Forest, and also has a great area for photo opportunities.

It really is a fun, cute event and completely free! I want to go back in the day time now to enjoy some of the details more as they were all lit up so beautifully but I want to see the creativity close up!

On the way out we decided to walk by the historic village and I am so glad we did, they have a few little cute displays and cut outs. But what was a really nice addition this year was over in the bay window of the Train Depot, the building closest to West Avenue.

Tommy Candido, display coordinator at John Zweifel’s President’s Hall of Fame, set up his personal Christmas Village. The display fills the entire window and is lighted every evening, 6-10pm.

It’s such a pretty animated display, featuring children on sleds, ice skaters, an air balloon and Gibbon (a Yeti, a signature of every Christmas Village Candido has put together over the years). I loved the little town square in the middle with all the light up trees leading to the big tree!

You can check out more about this event among others if you head to their website www.ClermontFL.gov

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Christmas in Downtown Winter Garden

This year, Downtown Winter Garden will be different for Christmas in order to keep people safe, but they are still offering some fun and safe entertainment for everyone.

This year, they have festive lighting and decorations, holiday-themed photo stations, a painted holiday mural wall, Santa’s Workshop, Winter Wonderland and many more activities outside for everyone.

There were plenty of places for photo opportunities and they even had a small area cordoned off with real snow that they kept topping up for kids and big kids-alike!

All the activities were free except for the horse-drawn carriage which requires reservations.

Our personal favorite was the projection light show they are doing on Town Hall. It runs in about a 20 minute loop and features Christmas songs and projection mapping over the building.


The light show runs mostly on weekends from 6-9pm, the link to will be at the bottom of the page for their Holiday Calendar.

They also have a Merry Winter Garden Farmer’s Market every Saturday in December, 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, where you can find produce, artisan foods, wreaths and holiday plants.

Seasonal food, drinks and merchandise will be available for purchase at shops and restaurants, and you will find expanded outside seating. Make sure you also check out the Garden Theatre, as they will be having live theatre and holiday movies shown throughout December.

Check out http://downtownwg.com for the town’s schedule and www.gardentheatre.org to see what Garden Theatre is offering this Holiday season.

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A Visit To Historic Clermont with Gail

This week we decided to take a walk through historic Clermont and the waterfront there. It was such a beautiful breezy day for Central Florida so we had to go out and enjoy it!

At the corner of West Avenue and Osceola Street, is Clermont’s Historical Village. The houses were individually moved from their original locations to sit where they are now, for visitors to come and learn about the City’s history. The Kern House was built in 1885, the Townsend House was built in 1895, and the Depot building around 1925.

The village also features the original Cooper Memorial Library, built in 1914, and it also has a Quonset Hut which is used as a World War II Museum. Clermont’s Historic Village open hours are Friday from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Clermont was founded in 1884 and incorporated in 1916. Right now, the City is undergoing a Downtown-Waterfront Master Plan, so you will see a lot of construction going on around the Downtown area and around the Historic Village. There are some wonderful additions coming, some have already been built like Victory Point, Kehlor Recreation Center and the new boat ramp.

Currently, they are working on a Wi-Fi Trail to enhance safety and navigation for trail users, plus, it will be able to support events with data and live broadcasting in key areas. The streetscape is also in progress all around the area, to create a focal point at City Hall. I am most excited about their Art Walk area, this is still under construction downtown and due to be completed at the end of this year. If you want to take a look at any of the improvements and what’s coming you can visit https://www.clermontfl.gov/MasterPlan

After the Historic Village, we took a walk down to the waterfront as it was such a beautiful day, you can often catch sight of gators and many different native birds down here.

There’s a bike trail going right past the lake (part of the upcoming Wi-Fi Trail) and many picnic benches, so it’s a perfect location to bring the family or friends and catch up with a great view! Today we just walked around staying outside, enjoying the views. But Clermont has some amazing places to eat and drink, with many new places opening all the time. Next time you are thinking of visiting a local town, consider Clermont as there’s something for everyone here.

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A Visit to Newton Park with Gail

In these times of Covid-19, we have to decide what we are comfortable doing when venturing out of the house and looking for entertainment.

It really depends on what you feel is right for you and your family. For my family, we have a young toddler, so I personally haven’t felt comfortable to go inside buildings with her yet.

Instead, we try to choose some outdoor places we can visit, and we try to do this a couple of times a week.

Newton Park

This week we decided to wander around Newton Park, in Winter Garden which is a lakefront park by Lake Apopka.

It wasn’t busy at all mid week, but I can see it being more popular on weekends for fishing and picnics.

Newton Park

In this park, you can even bring your own boat and go out onto the lake itself and do a little fishing.

Newton Park

We mainly love it because it’s so peaceful and the views are so pretty, on a clear day you can see pretty far.

The day we went, it was pretty cloudy so you couldn’t see too much but it helped that it was much cooler!

Newton Park

We walked right out onto the pier to take in some of the views since it was such a nice windy day.

Pro-tip, try not to drop any Goldfish snacks along the pier if you can help it, was a bit daunting like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds movie!

Newton Park

We even got to see some gators, they were a few baby-sized ones floating around and then we spotted this larger one right by the pier. Must have been a good 5-6 feet long!

Newton Park
Newton Park

Lake Apopka is the fourth largest lake in Florida, and during the 1940s was one of Central Florida’s main attractions.

Anglers traveled from through the world to fish here. The Edgewater Hotel in downtown Winter Garden used to house many of these visitors.

Newton Park
Newton Park

Sadly, the discharge of water, rich in nutrients from agricultural and other sources, produced conditions that created a chronic algal bloom and resulted in a loss of the lake’s recreational value and game fish populations.

In the ’90s, clean up measures with good intentions failed and muck choked the lake bottom.

This eventually led to other restoration projects, each with its own problems and work continues to develop a plan to ensure future development does not negatively impact the lake.

Newton Park

We continue to visit other parks in the area but wanted to talk about this one since its a lovely local place to visit.

Newton Park is located at 31 W Garden Ave, Winter Garden, FL, 34787.

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Dazzling Lights transforms Leu Gardens

Dazzling Lights Harry P. Leu Gardens Holidays 2020

Orlando’s Harry P. Leu Gardens will transform into a magical wonderland featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, and beautiful sculptures during Dazzling Nights, a new family-friendly adventure that gives guests the opportunity to embark on a three-quarter-mile interactive holiday experience.

Created by the team who brings the IMMERSE Festival to Downtown Orlando every Octoberand presented by AdventHealth, Dazzling Nightsis an awe-inspiring holiday event.

“When we began dreaming about a holiday experience, we knew it had to be more than just lights on trees,” says Creative City Project Executive Director, Cole NeSmith. “We’re always asking how we can create unique, creative experiences that will inspire our guests. Some of the installations are breathtakingly epic, and others are quite intimate. We think adults and kids, alike, are going to want to make this an annual tradition.”

Dazzling Lights Harry P. Leu Gardens Holidays 2020

A few snapshots of the Dazzling Nights fun:

  • When guests arrive at Leu Gardens, they will have a photo opportunity in front of a unique, 30’ tall towering Christmas tree.
  • Interactive lights on the ground light up and ring-like holiday bells when stepped upon.•Guests journey through a forest of light and fog, as if walking through the aurora borealis.
  • Visitors immerse themselves in a 65’ long tunnel of wondrous light.
  • The evening event also features snow and holiday tunes.
  • And so much more!

The outdoor event is designed to ensure adequate social distancing and safety amid theCOVID-19 pandemic, and visitors will be required to wear masks.

“Our holiday traditions may look a little different this year because of COVID, and that gives us an opportunity to find new ways to discover joy, feel whole and find inspiration this season,” said Sharon Line Clary, vice president of marketing at AdventHealth. “We encourage our neighbors to visit Dazzling Nights, take in the fresh Florida air, and celebrate the holidays at the beautiful Leu Gardens with your loved ones.”

Dazzling Nights will feature lights, music, and interactive elements to complete the transformation of the 50-acre, Harry P. Leu Gardens into a stunning holiday wonderland.

“AdventHealth is the perfect partner for Dazzling Nights,” says NeSmith. “They are committed to the wholeness and healing of all people, and I think Dazzling Nights will do just that. I’m excited to see spirits lifted among families and groups of friends as they share this meaningful experience together.”

You can find more information about the holidays in and around the theme parks by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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The Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace, taking place select nights until January 2nd, is full of holiday fun for the entire family including the Holiday Village complete with thousands of dazzling Christmas lights, live music, snow, and Santa Claus!

You can even dine on specialty food & beverage or shop at the Christmas Marketplace. Food, beverage, and merchandise are available at an additional cost.

Society Orchestra

Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace

Fresh off their 32 year run at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Society Orchestra has found their new Holiday Home at Jolly Creek.

The Jolly Creek Society Orchestra plays nightly at Jolly Creek, every hour for 20 minutes.

See it Snow

Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace

The whole family will love the artificial snowfall each hour of the Jolly Creek Holiday Festival!

Meet Santa Claus

Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace

No visit to a Holiday Village is complete without meeting the big man himself.

Santa Claus will be available on a socially distanced stage and you can interact with him from a distance of 6 feet.

All guests are permitted to take selfies with Santa, but may not approach or stand on the stage.

Marketplace, Specialty Food & Beverage, Crafting, & More

Available at additional cost, guests can indulge on unique Christmas shopping, some festive Holiday bites, or try their hand at Christmas Crafts, all with the aid of Santa’s Helpers.

Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace

The best part is that a portion of the proceeds of this event goes to benefit the Second Harvest Central Florida food bank.

Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace

Tickets for the Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace are available now online.

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Gatorland Hosts Spooky Gator Night Shine

Gatorland Orlando Gator Night Shine photo

Visitors to Gatorland, the “Alligator Capital of the World,” can see the park in a whole new way with Gator Night Shine any time of year, but it’s especially popular at Halloween time. 

Visitors follow a guide for a private small group tour, starting at dusk, following a guide deep into the alligator breeding marsh to see the glowing red eyes of hundreds of alligators, follow their splashes, and hear their bellows.  Each guest receives a flashlight and hot dogs to feed the alligators.

Visitors signing up for the 1 1/2 hour tour have the unique opportunity to see and hear Gatorland come alive after dark, with hundreds of wild birds and alligators all around them.  They even have an up-close encounter with their guide to see other exotic animals such as boa constrictors, baby alligators, tarantulas, and much more.

Gator Night Shine tickets are $24.99 per person, plus tax.  Tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance by calling (407) 855-5496, ext. 246 or emailing AdvenureTours@gatorland.com.

Gators Ghosts Goblins 2020 Gatorland Orlando

Gatorland’s Gators, Ghosts and Goblins, Spooky Fun For Everyone day time event is still happening October 31 and November 1.

Come out in costume to this family-friendly Halloween event featuring Gatorland’s famous Social Distancing Skunk Ape, costumed character meet and greets, multiple photo opportunities, a trick or treat trail from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a Halloween themed train ride! 

You can also enjoy music and fun at Frank and Stein’s Octoberfest with German beer and food for purchase, a variety of specialty vendors, and additional animal encounters. 

All this fun and excitement is included with regular park admission, and right now Florida residents save half off single-day admissions! Children and adults can wear family-friendly costumes if they like.  Nothing scary or gory, please – Bubba and Cooter are easily spooked.

Gatorland Orlando Social Distancing Skunk On the Go in the Parks

You can find more information about what’s On the Go in the Parks by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Mennello Museum Hosts Votes for Women Exhibit

Mennello Museum Votes for Women Logo

As the 100th year of the 19th amendment providing voting rights for women and the 59th Presidential Election approaches, the Mennello Museum is hosting Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence.

The crusade for women’s suffrage is one of the longest reform movements in American history. Between 1832 and 1920, women citizens organized for the right to vote, agitating first in their states or territories and then, simultaneously, through petitioning for a federal amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Mennello Museum Votes for Women
Equality Is the Sacred Law of Humanity, c. 1903–1915

Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery. This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.

The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story, is one of the country’s most ambitious undertakings to research, collect, document, display, and share the compelling story of women. It will deepen our understanding of women’s contributions to the nation and the world. More information about the initiative is available at womenshistory.si.edu.

Mennello Museum Votes for Women
Ida Bell Wells-Barnett by Mary Garrity

The poster exhibition addresses women’s political activism, explores the racism that challenged universal suffrage, and documents the ratification of the 19th Amendment which prohibits the government from denying U.S. citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex. It also touches upon the suffrage movement’s relevance to current conversations on voting and voting rights across America. 

The in-person, free exhibition of posters is featured on the Mennello Museum’s front porch beginning now through election day, November 3.

Visit them during museum hours, Tuesdays – Sundays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (weather permitting).

Mennello Museum Votes for Women
College Women Picketing in Front of the White House, 1917

Then visitors can continue their stroll through history and meet voting-rights heroes, as our neighbors at the Orlando Repertory theater present Eric Coble’s “Vote?,” a fully-produced online play streamed directly to you, now through November 8.  Stream Eric Coble’s “Vote?” here.

Also if you cannot make the trip out to the Mennello Museum, the virtual exhibition is also available online through November 2020.

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Festival of Trees Celebration Returns for the Holidays

34th Festival of Trees 2020 Orlando Museum of Arts

The Festival of Trees is back for its 34th year at the Orlando Museum of Art to bring joy to Central Florida with advanced tickets available now.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 12-29, with the exception of Mondays and Thanksgiving Day.

During this time, the Orlando Museum of Art will be transformed into a holiday wonderland filled with stunning décor and holiday cheer. This year’s theme is “Joy to the World—Celebrating a Season of Joy,” selected by the Council of 101 to focus on adding a little joy during the holiday season.

But while the fun will be what Central Floridians have come to expect from the beloved event, the Council of 101 has scaled down the event this year and made some changes to ensure a safe a fun event for all.

Tickets will be managed through reserved admissions due to limited capacity. Advanced ticket purchases are strongly encouraged. Onsite visitors will be asked to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines. For those who can’t make it out, organizers have enhanced the virtual experiences, offering online tours of the festival, virtual events, and even the opportunity to purchase a tree online.

34th Festival of Trees 2020 Orlando Museum of Arts

“The Festival of Trees is a truly a favorite tradition here in Central Florida. It’s what really makes it feel like the holidays for so many people,” said Jill Toole, president of the Council of 101. “While some things will be different this year, we’re proud we could still bring the holiday spirit to our community, perhaps when we need it most.”

Onsite or online, guests can experience the decorated halls of the museum and enjoy more than 25 decked-out trees, exceptional gingerbread houses, pop up vendors, elegant Entertaining by Design table settings, performances by talented local entertainers, and special drawings throughout the event. Not to be missed are the Santa sightings on the weekend, and children can make their Christmas requests by writing letters.

The first weekend of the festival kicks off with Ugly Sweater Day on November 14, with dignitaries and special ambassador appearances anticipated for this fun-filled theme event.

The Council of 101 events, including the Festival of Trees, have raised over $12 million for the Orlando Museum of Art’s educational programs. Festival of Trees benefits lifelong learning programs at the Orlando Museum of Art. Reaching deep into the community, these programs support many people from different walks of life, age, and income groups.

34th Annual Festival of Trees General Admission:

  • Thursday, November 12- Sunday, November 29 (Excluding Mondays and Thanksgiving Day)
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Don’t miss your chance to relish in the holiday season. Tickets are available at Councilof101.org or by calling 407-896-4231 ext.254. Tickets will be managed through reserved admissions as the museum is operating at limited capacity. Advanced ticket purchase is encouraged. Onsite visitors will be directed to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Ticket Prices for 34th Annual Festival of Trees:

  • Adults $15
  • Children (3-11) $7
  • Seniors (65+) $12
  • Military Personnel & First Responders (with valid ID) $12

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Councilof101.org or call 407-896-4231 ext.254

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