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Fun Things to do in Orlando This Weekend

Shopping in Orlando this weekend? There are only 3 weekends left before Christmas, and the malls will be packed. It is nice to do something fun in between trips to the outlet malls and shopping centers. Most local residents avoid the theme parks on the weekends. We tend to let the tourists take over during these days. If you are looking for activities the entire family can enjoy, yet don’t take up an entire day, we have some suggestions. Following are just a few of the local, non-theme park, holiday special activities you can check out this weekend.

Celebration Florida HolidaysThe town of Celebration has it’s annual “Now Snowing” event. Nightly Snow Falls at 6, 7, 8 and 9 PM. Photos with Santa, strolling Charles Dickens Carolers, photos with Santa, horse drawn carriages, a train, an ice rink and more! The 15th Annual Now Snowing event will run through January 3, 2014. Other special events are planned each weekend. For more information visit celebrationtowncenter.com.

Ice! at Gaylord Palms ResortGaylord Palms’ has its massive ICE! display, with two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures.  Check out our previous post for more information about this family-fun event. It is definitely a fun thing to do.

Lighted Boat ParadeIf you are in Astor, Florida (Lake County) on Saturday 12/7/13, enjoy a morning parade or at dusk, the annual lighted parade of boats! The St. Johns River provides a beautiful scene with floating lights on boats of all types. For more information call 407-290-9244.

Light Up UCFIn east Orlando, Light Up UCF continues nightly through January 5, 2014. Your family can enjoy a winter wonderland complete with snow, ice skating, rides and other holiday attractions. Tickets range from $4.25 to $27.55, however, many activities are free, including the Holiday Light Show and the Holiday Film Festival presented by SeaWorld. Go to www.lightupucf.com for more information.

Winter in the ParkWinter Park offers great shopping opportunities, so why not take the kids and let them ice skate while you do your shopping?! The City of Winter Park has bundled up once again with their annual holiday ice skating rink located in Central Park West Meadow (corner of New York Avenue and Morse Boulevard). Cost is $10 per skater (skate rental included). Group discounts are available. For more information, call 407-599-3203 or visit cityofwinterpark.org/witp.

Singing TreesOn Sunday, visit the 40-foot-tall Singing Christmas Trees at First Baptist Orlando, 3000 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando. Tickets are $5-$18 for the 5 p.m. performance where you can enjoy a huge choir, full orchestra, worshipful dance, powerful drama and a beautiful display of 250,000 lights. A dinner and show package is also available for certain performances. Other event dates are Dec. 13, 14, 15. For more information call 888-461-9824 or to purchase tickets visit singingtrees.org.

Once all of the shopping is complete for the day, reserve tickets for an Orlando dinner show. As posted earlier this week, Arabian Nights Holiday Show, “Amirah’s Wish,” is being performed through December 31. As expected, trying to get a reservation might be tough, as many locals will try to see the show one last time before they close their doors permanently. Expect long “hold” times when ordering your tickets.Capone's Santa LogoIf you can’t get in to see the horses and still want to catch a dinner show, make reservations to see Capone’s Holiday Show online at half price. Celebrate the holidays 1920s Chicago style any night of the week through January 1st. The entire family will enjoy this fun thing to do in Orlando, and you won’t believe how affordable it is!

Whatever you decide to do this weekend, there is no shortage of fun things to do. Get all of your shopping done so you can relax for the rest of the season. If you find you need a great last-minute gift, order gift certificates to the show at Capone’s Dinner & Show. It is a gift suitable for anyone on your list!

Don’t Miss the Historic Park Avenue District in the Orlando Area for Shopping, Dining and Much More!

The Park Avenue District in Winter Park is a bit of a drive from the attraction areas, but it’s well worth the time! It’s a historic district with a beautiful park in the center of the area with shopping, art galleries, restaurants, an art museum, Rollins College and ample options to enjoy a libation.

One of the nice things about shopping on Park Avenue is the eclectic mix of shops from high end fashion to the Gap, there’s sure to be something for everyone! It has one of the largest and nicest Pottery Barns in the chain. It’s located in a historic landmark theater which was renovated spectacularly and yet retains it’s old world exterior. Almost across the street is a Restoration Hardware and down the avenue is a Williams Sonoma. There’s a large antique shop plus many independent retailers from swank to the mundane.

Park your car and enjoy walking on wide sidewalks along cobblestone streets. Park Avenue isn’t your typical tourist hot spot but it’s VERY popular with the locals. On Saturday mornings there’s a fabulous farmers market offering vegetables, plants, flowers, incredible orchids, locally fresh baked goods and so much more.

While shopping is a big part of the experience there’s no lack of restaurants from moderate priced cafes to the elegant Park Plaza Gardens and lot’s in between. If your in a hurry you can grab a quick bite at Panera or a locally owned delicatessen less than a block away.

Cigar, wine and martini bars make for a popular and hip spot to enjoy a libation. Sidewalk seating at many of the restaurants and bars are perfect for people watching and are pet friendly with Fido welcome at most establishments.

Rollins College is at one end of the Avenue an exclusive private college with a historic and beautiful campus. There’s also an American art museum and store right on Park Avenue. Browse the numerous art galleries and soak in the local flavor. It’s a very pleasant way to spend a nice day while in Orlando and it can be easy on the wallet too!

Various events are staged on Park Avenue including one of the top art shows in the country every spring. So if you’re tired of the ordinary tourist experiences try the flair of Park Avenue for an afternoon or evening of fun!