The City Beautiful is indisputably a fun place to live, with year-round outdoor weather and events for anyone, any age, with any interests. When the work week comes to an end, make sure to check out a few of the often overlooked happenings all around central Florida. Whether you have a family to entertain, or you’re flying solo, there really are places to go and people or things to see for anyone, anytime.
- Dr. Phillips Center
For unmitigated performances from your favorite artists, bands, and a variety of other acts, don’t miss the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Located right in the heart of downtown Orlando. The gorgeous new home of the arts in Orlando draws major shows straight from Broadway. The fall 2016 season features Rock of Ages, Alice Cooper, and Maxwell, along with regular shows performed by the Orlando Ballet. And if lunch sounds more appealing than a show, every Friday a parade of food trucks can be found on the lawn outside the Dr. Phillips Center!
- Camping World Stadium
The Orlando City soccer team has quickly become a legend and source of tremendous pride in Central Florida. Even non-sports fans can’t help but become engrossed in the spirit and excitement of a soccer game. This season, watch the Lions take on the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC in epic matchups hosted at the newly renovated Camping World Stadium right in Downtown Orlando.
- Disney Springs/City Walk
Theme parks have notoriously expensive admission rates, but both Disney and Universal boast extra attractions which are free of charge and fabulous for a weekend outing. Disney Springs is a lovely outdoor shopping strip with stores and restaurants perfect for an afternoon of walking, browsing, and tasting many kinds of treats. There is a Lego store for anyone who loves to build, and a Ghirardelli shop for chocolate lovers, among many other specialty stores. Disney Springs is also the location of Cirque du Soleil, so if you want to be amazed by graceful strength and acrobatics, pick up some tickets and make an event of your day trip. Universal City Walk is another great alternative if you don’t want to visit the world of Disney. There are countless themed restaurants with delicious cuisines of all types, like Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant. And when the sun goes down, the party really starts. City Walk hosts a number of bars and clubs for a fun night out with friends. There’s even a karaoke bar so you can strut your stuff on stage.
- Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards
For a more sophisticated adult outing, take a drive over to Clermont and visit the Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards. With free tours and daily wine tastings, as well as a lovely restaurant, visiting Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards might be the most absolutely perfect date idea for central Floridians. They are also hosting Saturday evening concerts throughout the summer, so plan to spend the whole day getting a Florida piece of the French Countryside and enjoying delicious wines for everyone’s tastes.
- Winter Park
Tucked just a short drive outside Orlando, Winter Park is a beautiful, charming city which serves as a perfect weekend escape from the busy confines of work. Every Saturday morning, the main street of the city turns into a bustling farmers market with craft goods, fresh bread or honey, and produce galore. Start the day off perusing local vender stalls, then grab a coffee or some lunch at one of the open air restaurants, and stroll down Park Avenue to window shop or buy some gifts at the many enticing stores. The city also hosts an outdoor art festival each year where artists and craftsmen from all over the state share their creations with the world. Just down the road from the city center at Park Avenue, the Science Center is another central Florida gem. If you have kids or love anything having to do with science, the Orlando Science Center is not to be missed. They have special exhibits rotating every month, and an enormous IMAX movie theater which shows films of epic proportions.
The next time you find yourself bored at home on a weekend, check out the Orlando Weekly online, or look at the websites for the attractions listed above. There are always special events and fun happenings all around Orlando if you take a moment to look. With such a variety of people, places, and things, you’ll never run out of activities in the City Beautiful.