February 28, 2019

Spring Fun in Central Florida

By Lori Ager

This is the time of year when folks around the country long for the first signs of spring, but we’re there already and there are plenty of things to do around town! Did we leave out your favorite? Comment and let us know what else we could be up to!


The Florida Strawberry Festival  — February 28th – March 10th, 2019

2209 W. Oak Avenue; Plant City, FL

This 11-day community event celebrates the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County. Each year, over 500,000 visitors enjoy the festival’s headline entertainment (this year’s headliners include King & Country and Martina McBride), youth livestock shows, Midway rides, exhibits of commerce and, of course, its strawberry shortcake.

Admission at the gate for adults (ages 13+) is $10; for children (ages 6-12) is $5; and those ages 5 and under are FREE with paid adult admission but there is a DISCOUNT on Gate Admission going on at these participating Publix Super Market stores.  The Festival features lots of entertainment events, special days, and even more discounts, so be sure to look for more at flstrawberryfestival.com

Harry P. Leu Gardens – Ongoing

1920 North Forest Avenue; Orlando FL

This amazing 50-acre botanical oasis is tucked away just minutes from Downtown Orlando. Each garden is designed specifically to further the Gardens’ mission: inspire visitors to appreciate and understand plants. The garden and historical home were donated to the City of Orlando in 1961 by Mr. Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane.  Play a game of ‘Hide and Seek’ with the Garden Gnomes, who have hidden themselves throughout the gardens, from March 1 – April 30, 2019.  On March 1, 2019, at 7:30 p.m., it’s movie night.  Bring your own-picnic and seating and take in an outdoor playing of ‘Mission: Impossible Fallout’.

Admission is FREE for Members and FREE on Monday, March 4, 2019; Saturday, March 9, 2019 (Plant Sale all day); Sunday, March 10, 2019 (Plant Sale all day); Monday, April 1, 2019; and Monday, May 6, 2019.  Regular admission for adults is $10; children (4-17) is $5 and those 3 years and younger are free.

Popcorn Flicks in the Park –(usually) 2ndThursday of the month

Central Park, Winter Park, FL

Folks who enjoy outdoor movies and folks who enjoy FREE movies will love the Popcorn Flicks in the Park series that has been made possible thanks to a collaboration between the Enzian and the City of Winter Park.  You’re encouraged to bring a blanket, a picnic or snacks, and some family and friends and join the fun! Popcorn Flicks are typically scheduled at 7PM or 8PM but may not start until sunset to provide an optimal viewing experience. Of course, these outdoor screenings are dependent upon Florida’s famously unpredictable weather conditions so be sure to check out the Enzian Theater’s Facebook page 30 minutes before showtime. Upcoming Popcorn Flicks in the Park:

  • March 28, 2019 – Smokey and the Bandit
  • April 11, 2019 – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  • May 9, 2019 – Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
  • June 13, 2019 – Apollo 13

Admission is FREE.

Movie in the Park – On-going

299 Center Lake Lane; Oviedo, FL

The Movie in the Park series returns to Center Lake Park in Oviedo! Friday night movies begins at dusk.  This is a family-friendly event! Remember to bring a blanket or lawn chair. Food will be available for purchase.

  • March 15, 2019 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • April 19, 2019 – A Bug’s Life

Admission is FREE.

The Barberville Pioneer Settlement – Ongoing

1776 Lightfoot Lane; Barberville, FL  ( For GPS directions use: 1776 Lightfoot Lane, Pierson, FL 32180)

The Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts, Inc., a not for profit organization, was established in 1976 by a group of Volusia County teachers who sought to preserve the pioneer spirit and aspired to encourage others to express their artistic urges and admire the arts of their past. Upcoming events include:

  • First Saturdays”– Music Workshops/Lessons (starting at 10 am) and Jam (starting at 1pm).
  • Second Saturdays” – Living History Demonstrations and Workshops of the Traditional Arts, Crafts and Trades. The March 9, 2019 Workshop will celebrate Women’s History.
  • The Spring Frolic Music Dance & Living History Festival– On April 6 & 7, 2019, the Settlement will feature seven stages of Folk, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Celtic and Gospel Acoustic Music, as well as dancing, food vendors, an antique car show, and living history demonstrations.

Admission varies by event for non-members; FREE GENERAL ADMISSION is offered to Members, who also receive other discounts including free admission to most special events.

Emil Buehler Planetarium – Ongoing

Seminole State College — Sanford/Lake Mary Campus

The Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College of Florida offers live, interactive shows and full-dome video presentations that vary from traditional star displays to cultural shows that detail the importance of astronomy around the world to feature presentations that whisk you through the depths of outer space.  The planetarium has something for curious stargazers of all ages and offers events at the planetarium and throughout the Central Florida area. Check out their calendarand or Facebookpage.

Admission varies by event.

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival – March 15-17, 2019

In Central Park and along Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL

The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most prestigious outdoor art festivals. The Festival debuted in March 1960 as a community project to bring local artists and art lovers together. It is produced by an all-volunteer board and draws more than 350,000 visitors each year. Over 1,100 artists from around the world apply for the Festival each year.  But the Festival also seeks to foster young artists, inviting girls and boys to create their own artwork at the Children’s Workshop.  Local art centers and museums will also feature a variety of fun, hands-on art activities for children during the Festival.  The Festival will also highlight artwork by thousands of Orange County students at the Leon Theodore Schools Exhibit.

Admission is FREE and participants may take home their artistic creations. The Children’s Workshop hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Easel painting is from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Spring Pops Concert – March 17, 2019 @ 3:00 p.m.

Central Park, Winter Park, FL

As the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival draws to a close Sunday afternoon, grab a blankets or lawn chair and prepare to enjoy an afternoon of heartwarming music as the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra pays tribute to 60 years of one of the most prestigious art festivals in the country. This special Spring Pops concert performance is made possible by a generous grant from the Charlotte Julia Hollander Trust and Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation.

Admission is FREE.

Spring Fiesta in the Park – April 6 & 7, 2019

Lake Eola Park, Orlando, FL

This event brings family and pet-friendly arts and entertainment to downtown Orlando each spring, promoting local urban development in the City of Orlando through the Orlando Community & Youth Trust, a non-profit organization and fund-raising entity that supports the City of Orlando Department of Families, Parks, and Recreation.  This event supports projects and activities funded by the Trust that enhance the quality of life for youth, families and senior citizens living in the City of Orlando that are not regularly part of the department’s allocated funds.

Admission is FREE.

Winter Garden’s 19th Annual Spring Fever in the Garden — April 6-7

This annual event in downtown Winter Garden is one of Florida’s best plant, flower and garden festivals! There will be live entertainment, food vendors and thousands of plants and flowers for sale. The festival also features “KidZone” with fun environmental education booths, photos, crafts and more! There will be an Art Auction located in the Police Department building, the “Chalkin’ It Up” sidewalk art contest, and the “Ask the Expert” booth, along with many more activities.
Free shuttle service will be available from Veteran’s Memorial Park, 420 S. Park Ave.

Saturday: 9:00am-5:00pm and Sunday: 11:00am-4:00pm at Historic Downtown on Plant Street

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art – Ongoing

445 North Park Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789

The Morse Museum is a hidden gem in Winter Park home to the most comprehensive collection anywhere of Louis Comfort Tiffany glass. Inside, find a collection of jewelry, lamps, sculpture, and American art in addition to a full chapel interior with its own private viewing room. Admittedly, this last one isan indoor activity but it’s included on this list due to the FREE Friday evening admission deals that runs through April so tuck this one away for one of those 80+ degree days we will surely get before May Day an plan accordingly.

Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for Seniors (60+ years); $1 for Students (with valid ID) FREE for children under 12 and for federal employees (with valid ID).  FREE SPRING (through April) Fridays from 4:00-8:00p.m.


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