On the Go in MCO: Fun for Adults

On the Go in MCO Fun for Adults

Don’t forget that you can catch these great events and more on the Obie & Ashley Unfiltered Podcast!

We’ve talked a lot about what families can do around town, but what if you want to spend the afternoon On the Go in MCO with some of your best friends? 

I thought it would be fun to look at ways friends can have a fun day out together! 

On the Go in MCO: Fun for Adults

Discovery Cove 
Discovery Cove Shark Swim

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort, where you can swim with dolphins, snorkel among tropical fish and rays, hand-feed exotic birds, and have heartwarming encounters with other animals.

Your all-inclusive day includes breakfast, lunch, snacks throughout the day, as well as a selection of adult beverages. 

What’s even better is that they have great Florida Resident deals throughout the year!

Revolution Adventures 

With 230 acres of trails and an array of sporting adventures on offer, there is plenty to challenge both novice and seasoned adventurers.

If you’re looking for a motorized adventure, ATVs, Quads, 4-wheelers, and Buggies, are always a great deal of fun. But don’t forget about the UNIQUE “Mucky Duck,” an 8-wheeled amphibious vehicle that can be driven over land and through the lakes and ponds. 

If you have always wanted to try an off-road activity without the wheels, then look no further than this location.

Adventures include Skeet Shooting, Target Archery, Archery Tag, Trophy Bass Fishing, and SO much more. This is the place where families from ages 7-70 can enjoy making lifelong memories together.

Escapology Orlando 
Escapology Orlando On the Go in MCO

I promise you that Escape Rooms will have you feeling every emotion known to man in 60 minutes…and you’ll want to go back for more!

While there are a variety of Escape Rooms around town that are awesome, Escapology on I-Drive is my favorite!

They have seven different games to choose from…including Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Castle Adventure!

This is one of my favorite things to do with my friends!!!

For more activities On the Go in MCO, make sure to follow @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube!

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On the Go with Gail: Kraft Azalea Garden

Our adventures around Orlando took us to the Kraft Azalea Garden in Winter Park, and I have always seen my photographer friends post the most stunning wedding and portrait sessions here.

I wanted to go see it for myself after seeing their wonderful photos, and I am so happy that we did as it is a beautiful little gem of a park!

The Kraft Azalia Garden is a 5.22-acre public park that is located on the shore of Lake Maitland, making it so secluded and unique!

The park is full of beautiful and enormous cypress trees that provide a wonderful canopy for shade.

We visited on quite a hot Florida day, and the trees provide much relief while we walked around comfortably!

From what I have seen and heard about this place, it can get extremely busy, especially on weekends when there are more photographers and people heading over for picnics with their families.

Luckily, we went on a Monday afternoon and it was super quiet and peaceful, we even saw a group practicing, what I assume, was Tai Chi in the middle.

The views by the water were just spectacular, not only can you nosey at the gorgeous homes over the water but you can watch boaters and jet skiers going by, it was so peaceful!

My favorite area by far is the Exedra monument, it is located right by the waterfront to get those perfect idyllic photos. On the weekends, I can imagine this spot would be hard to get to, due to the professional shoots going on as its such a main feature of the park! The Exedra can also be reserved for events like wedding ceremonies at sunset, for up to 20 guests and can be reserved by calling 407-599-3334.

Don’t forget to look up when you’re here, because the views are quite stunning with the tall trees all around you. The park is actually home to a very large banyan tree. These trees are native to India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan and often planted around temples as it is considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists. It is quite unusual to have one here locally as it generally only grows in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 10-12 which begin in an area south of Miami…the more you know!

Some have said that this tree may be the northern-most Banyan tree in the state. It is believed that the tree was planted in Kraft Azalea Garden when int was developed in 1938. Notable nurseryman Martin Daetwyler was hired to design the garden by well-known residents George and Maud Kraft, Mayor Frederick Cady, Forney Shepard, Leonard Hackney and Mrs. C. F. Ward.

On the way in to the gardens, it is hard to miss the sounds coming from the trees right by the entrance! At this time of the year, they are absolutely covered with great egrets nesting! Breeding for these birds occurs in the spring and they congregate into colonial nesting areas known as rookeries. These dense aggregations of nests are typically found in low trees near or over water. Winter park is fortunate to have a rare urban rookery for this stately bird. Every year between late February and early June, up to 50 nesting pairs of great egrets gather at Kraft Azalea Garden to begin nesting rituals.

Apparently, the males develop large showy feathers during the nesting seasons, and the females lay two to three eggs, and both parents share feeding duties. Its such a unique opportunity to be able to be up this close to so many at one time, it was such a nice surprise on our visit!

The gardens are open year-round from 8 a.m, until dusk. If you are planning on heading over to take professional photos and portraits, you must obtain a permit ahead of time to operate inside the park. This can be done by heading to www.cityofwinterpark.org/parks.

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Silver Spurs Rodeo: Summer June Rodeo

Silver Spurs Rodeo June 2021

The Silver Spurs Rodeo will be hosting their annual summer June Rodeo and fans will be treated to seven of rodeo’s traditional events: bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, women’s barrel racing, steer wrestling, and team roping. 

Plus, for the first time at the Rodeo, there will be a breakaway roping event! Breakaway roping is a variation of calf roping where the calf is roped but not tied. As soon as the rope breaks off their saddle, the clock is stopped. This is the second Silver Spurs Rodeo event for the women of rodeo, the first being barrel racing.

Silver Spurs Rodeo June 2021

Part of the June Rodeo tradition includes junior barrel racing and junior bull riding events, featuring young rodeo stars who are ready to get their career started in the Silver Spurs Arena!

Plus, the Silver Spurs Riding Club is bringing back everyone’s favorite before each performance, ‘mutton bustin’ (a sheep riding event for the kids)!

“Every summer, the Silver Spurs Rodeo is how our community kicks off the summer break from school, highlighting our local youth in bull riding, barrel racing, and Quadrille,” said Chris Baker, Big Boss of the Silver Spurs Rodeo. “We have been celebrating this tradition since 1944 in Osceola County. We hope you will join us for one of the longest-running traditions east of the Mississippi.”

Tickets are just $20 per adult and kids 10 and under are FREE for the June Rodeo only, all active and retired military receive FREE admission when showing proof of military service at the Box Office.

All donations go directly to organizations in Osceola County for scholarships, cancer support, veteran needs, and more.  All donations are greatly appreciated and can be made on our tickets page. 

For more information on how to purchase tickets and rodeo guidelines for a safe rodeo, go to www.silverspursrodeo.com.

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On the Go with Gail: Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

Did you know that Lake Apopka has a Wildlife Drive? This drive is a one-way 11-mile drive that snakes (no pun intended) through the property. It begins on Lust Road and ends on Jones Avenue.

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

The drive is completely free, but they do welcome online donations to assist with recreation maintenance. There are little QR code signs throughout that you can scan from your car and it will take you to the donation page.

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

When you first drive in you can pick up a leaflet that gives you some more information, and they also let you know there are signs throughout the drive with QR codes that can be scanned to listen to their audio tour.

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

The speed limit is 10 MPH but there are plenty of places if you wanted to pull over to look at something as they just ask that you don’t stop and block the road. This was hard at times because the road can get quite narrow with water on either side, so if someone up front stopped we all had to. I was fine with this because it meant there was going to be something cool to check out at that spot once we reached it!

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

As you drive along, you get the opportunity to see so much wildlife, we chose a rainy day so we didn’t get too may gator sightings, I’ve seen people post gators all along the sides of the road they were driving down at times! Which sounds crazy but you’re inside your vehicles so its safe and such an opportunity!

We did get to see some close up including a really large one, I’m not going to guess how many feet it was but it was huge even from a distance!

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

A lot of people come here to bird watch, it is one of the top three birding areas for the entire state (includes Everglades National Park and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge).

The Lake Apopka North Shore, where the wildlife drive goes through, is considered one of the most renowned birding destinations in Florida, with 369 different bird species.

During the winter months, more than 150 species regularly use the property, from snowy herons and egrets to numerous tiny warblers and flycatchers. Other wildlife commonly seen include numerous American alligators, bobcats, otters, bears, raccoons, armadillos, and coyotes. I really wish I had seen some of the otters!

It was really something you could do with the whole family as you are driving slow enough for the kids to be by the window if you feel comfortable, which our daughter really enjoyed looking out and searching for the different wildlife.

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

There are a few restrooms along the way which is helpful as the drive could take up to three hours depending on how many stops you make along the way. There are also a few picnic pavilions so you can get out and stretch your legs and stop for some lunch together. The locations are all listed on the trail guide map. You can bring dogs but they must remain on a leash at all times.

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

There are also areas marked as a white trail suitable for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding on a 6-mile loop on Clay Island.

The wonderful part of this trail is that I feel that each time you visit, it will be a completely different experience. One time you may see gators, another time many species of birds, so it’s somewhere you could visit again and never be bored. I feel it’s so wonderful they did this trail, I wish I had heard about it sooner, but I will definitely be coming back often, I need to see some otters still!

The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive entrance gate is open between 7 a.m and 3 p.m on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays. All vehicles must exit the drive by 5 p.m. You can find more information on their website.

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A Trip to the Winter Garden Honey Farm

Did you know that Winter Garden has a self-serve honey farm? I had heard about it, but I hadn’t had a chance to go take a look yet, so I ventured out to find it as I love supporting local businesses!

The farm is located at 9816 Tower Pine Drive, Winter Garden and they are open everyday 6am-9pm (although the website states 7am-7pm so make sure to check). It is completely self serve so make sure you bring cash or check as they are the only forms accepted here and it features a locked box for payment.

They have 24 hour video surveillance and request no one under 18 enters without an adult.

They advertise the finest local honey, their raw honey is 100% pure, with nothing added or subtracted, no high-heat or force-filtering techniques are used with their honey.

Inside, you will find Orange Blossom Honey, Palmetto Honey and Brazilian Pepper Honey in a variety of sizes in bottles and jars. All the pricing is on their website, and posted inside the stand.

You can see some older historic photos from this local family business posted inside. Bob started keeping bees back in 1968 at the age of 8. At age 15 he started his first Honey Company in Windermere, Florida in 1975. He moved around after this to finally settle back in Florida in Winter Garden, where he launched Winter Garden Honey Farm with his family.

They also sell Beeswax candles and honey sticks in various sizes and packaging. They also have an Observation Beehive inside, they had it cleaned last summer and not had chance to put the bees back in, but they hope to get it back up and running this summer. I would love to see that! It has 27 large frames, three frames across at 9 levels. It is this large because typically observation beehives are only a single frame width, which usually means the bees can not store enough food to survive or get over crowded and they swarm out.

As you can see from the shelves, some of their stock is low. According to their website, Orange Blossom Honey will only be sold in 2lb, 1lb, 8oz and 2oz as it is almost sold out until mid-April. Palmetto Honey is also running low, they only have what is on their shelves right now and this will return to shelves mid-June. They still have 8oz and 2oz for this one.

Don’t forget, the stand is open everyday 6am-9pm (website does state 7am-7pm) and it is cash or check only, they do have a collection of pens to write them out, along with some hand sanitizer for afterwards.

You can check out their website http://wghoney.com and if you have any questions you can call Bob himself on 407-454-0866.

You can also check out their Facebook page where they update daily and have some fun content!

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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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