Great weather, a thriving economy, and friendly citizens make living in Orlando a real pleasure. It is widely well known that the city is home to more than a dozen major theme parks. Disney World alone has four parks within its borders. But one can’t always spend the weekends in theme parks, however. As an alternative, here’s a look at some other family and budget friendly things to do in Orlando.
Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival
For more than half a century, Orlando’s nearby suburb of Winter Park has hosted this celebration of Central Florida’s thriving art scene. Held in Central Park, the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is one of this country’s largest and most prestigious juried outdoor art festivals. More than 350,000 residents and visitors take part in the celebration, walking among the artists and the artworks.
Join the throngs for one weekend each March for a chance to meet talented artists and see their works. There is also a special free Children’s Workshop Village for the younger set. They can create and take home a unique piece of art to share. Festival-goers over 21 can sample many unique brews in a fenced-in beer garden.
The second weekend of every March marks the start of the Orlando Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K race. These races make it a little easier for runners of every level to participate. Although the time limit is 7.5 hours, racers can take needed breaks without disqualification.
The funds raised by the races benefit Help The Vets, an organization that helps injured and disabled veterans. Many of their works involve the vets’ physical fitness. They provide grants for free gym memberships, buy needed home physical therapy equipment, and even fund allopathic services such as massage therapy or chiropractic care.
Florida Citrus Parade
If it’s college bowl game time, it must be time for the Florida Citrus Parade. Held between the Russell Athletic Bowl and the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl games, the event is shown on 75 percent of all U.S. television markets. The parade's floats are constructed using citrus fruit that gives the parade a unique flavor – and smell! Marching bands, specialty units, and performers provide holiday entertainment with a unique flair. More than 3,000 people are part of this extravaganza. To view the parade up close, you can purchase Reserve Seating tickets.
Fireworks at the Fountain
The City of Orlando celebrates the Fourth of July in fine fashion. Every year, thousands of visitors and residents alike gather at the fountain in Lake Eola Park. Beginning at 4pm, there are activities for kids, musical performances, plus food and beverages for sale. When darkness falls, the skies light up with an exciting fireworks show.
The lucky residents of Orlando can take part in a wealth of entertainment and sporting activities. No matter what time of year, Orlando is always up for a good time.