South Florida’s Top Five Events for the Holiday Season

South Florida’s Top Five Events for the Holiday Season

By: Sara Warden

 

2 min read December 2019 — South Floridians may not expect a white Christmas, but there are still a plethora of entertainment options to get the kids into the holiday spirit. From Enchanted Forests to visits from Santa, there is plenty for all ages going on across the Miami, Palm Beach and Greater Fort Lauderdale areas. Capital Analytics counts down the top events in the run up to the big day!

1. Christmas with the Chimps at Lion Country Safari

If you’re an animal lover, this is the place to be on Thursday, Dec. 19. For one day only, starting at 10.30am, guests at the Lion Country Safari park in Palm Beach will be able to leave their cars and watch as the chimps open Santa’s gifts. Entry is $39 for adults and $30 for children, and under twos go free!

Find out more here

2. Winterland at Pinto’s Farm

Located at 14890 SW 216 St, this farm park promises a huge range of activities, including holiday treats, face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, hay rides and paddle boats. Why not venture into the enchanting illuminated forest and meet Santa Claus, Nix the Snowman and Sprinkle the Gingerbread cookie.

Find out more here.

3. “A Christmas Story: The Musical” at Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Brought to you from the songwriting team behind Tony-award-winning Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land, this show promises to be a festive treat for the ears. The show is based on the 1983 movie A Christmas Story, following protagonist Ralphie’s pursuit of his dream Christmas gift. Showings continue throughout the festive season and tickets are priced at $49-65, with discounts available for teachers and students.

Find out more here.

4. Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Tropical Park

With over 100 rides, shows and attractions, Santa’s Enchanted Forest is sure to spread the Christmas cheer. Running from the end of October until Jan. 5, the fun takes place at 7900 SW 40th Street and promises 3 million lights and a 92-inch Christmas tree, all within an amusement park. Tickets start at $28.60 for children and seniors.

Find out more here.

5. Brightline for The Polar Express train rides

Across selected dates from mid-November until Dec. 29, families can take the one-hour Polar Express train on the brand new Brightline route. Singing, dancing, cookies and hot chocolate are guaranteed to keep both the kids and adults happy before Santa climbs on board to hand out some Christmas gifts to the girls and boys on the nice list. Prices start from $55 for an adult and $50 for a child.

Find out more here

South Florida’s Top Five Events for the Holiday Season

South Florida’s Top Five Events for the Holiday Season

By: Sara Warden

2 min read December 2019 — South Floridians may not expect a white Christmas, but there are still a plethora of entertainment options to get the kids into the holiday spirit. From Enchanted Forests to visits from Santa, there is plenty for all ages going on across the Miami, Palm Beach and Greater Fort Lauderdale areas. Capital Analytics counts down the top events in the run up to the big day!

 

 

 1. Christmas with the Chimps at Lion Country Safari

If you’re an animal lover, this is the place to be on Thursday, Dec. 19. For one day only, starting at 10.30am, guests at the Lion Country Safari park in Palm Beach will be able to leave their cars and watch as the chimps open Santa’s gifts. Entry is $39 for adults and $30 for children, and under twos go free!

Find out more here

2. Winterland at Pinto’s Farm

Located at 14890 SW 216 St, this farm park promises a huge range of activities, including holiday treats, face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, hay rides and paddle boats. Why not venture into the enchanting illuminated forest and meet Santa Claus, Nix the Snowman and Sprinkle the Gingerbread cookie.

Find out more here.

3. “A Christmas Story: The Musical” at Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Brought to you from the songwriting team behind Tony-award-winning Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land, this show promises to be a festive treat for the ears. The show is based on the 1983 movie A Christmas Story, following protagonist Ralphie’s pursuit of his dream Christmas gift. Showings continue throughout the festive season and tickets are priced at $49-65, with discounts available for teachers and students.

Find out more here.

4. Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Tropical Park

With over 100 rides, shows and attractions, Santa’s Enchanted Forest is sure to spread the Christmas cheer. Running from the end of October until Jan. 5, the fun takes place at 7900 SW 40th Street and promises 3 million lights and a 92-inch Christmas tree, all within an amusement park. Tickets start at $28.60 for children and seniors.

Find out more here.

5. Brightline for The Polar Express train rides

Across selected dates from mid-November until Dec. 29, families can take the one-hour Polar Express train on the brand new Brightline route. Singing, dancing, cookies and hot chocolate are guaranteed to keep both the kids and adults happy before Santa climbs on board to hand out some Christmas gifts to the girls and boys on the nice list. Prices start from $55 for an adult and $50 for a child.

Find out more here

 

All Aboard! Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade Ready to Set Sail

All Aboard! Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade Ready to Set Sail

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read December 2019 — The annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade is just around the corner, and event organizers are adding the finishing touches to “The Greatest Show on H2O.” That’s no understatement, with an estimated economic impact of $50 million and 1 million live spectators, plus online and TV streams. “There is nothing like the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade in the entire world,” said Lisa Scott-Founds, the event’s President and CEO.

 

Taking place on Dec. 14, the show – the seventh-largest one-day spectator event in the country – is not to be missed. “Private boats to the giant showboats and corporate megayachts will be adorned with hundreds of thousands of lights, music, entertainment, decorations, celebrities, musical groups, beauty queens and many other exciting entries,” the event’s website promises. Think the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but on water.

According to Scott-Founds, as a nonprofit organization, organizers are constantly innovating to think of new ways to make the event stand out without breaking the bank. “We always want to integrate the newest technology into our event, like the use of holograms, which we hope is a real possibility for this year,” she said. “We are always asking people, ‘What is something that you’ve never seen us do before?’ We take their suggestion, develop a budget to execute the idea and bring it to our board and possible sponsors to help with underwriting the “new wow factor idea.”

This year, the 12-mile parade route will begin at Stranahan House and will sail eastward into Fort Lauderdale to the Intracoastal Waterway, and ending at Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. It costs a minimum of $35 to enter a boat with no advertising, while the heftiest sponsorship package comes in at a cool $65,000. Spectators can also purchase a ticket to the Grandstand Viewing Area inside the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park with prices starting at $25 for children 10 and under.

The economic bump in the county’s coffers comes at a good time, says Scott-Founds. “The beginning of December is a little slower for tourism, as opposed to other months when tourism in South Florida sees a boom, so we feel a responsibility to bring people into the region and put heads in beds,” she says.

For the event, it seems that all stakeholders in the area come together to enhance the experience for visitors. “Our success is due to collaboration with organizations like our Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau and working with area hotels,” says Scott-Founds. “Tourists should experience a Winterfest weekend, a show at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, eat at our restaurants and immerse themselves in our community. There is just so much to do in Fort Lauderdale, and in Broward County for that matter.”

To learn more, visit:

https://winterfestparade.com/

Our Picks: 5 fun things to do in Orlando on Thanksgiving

Our Picks: 5 fun things to do in Orlando on Thanksgiving

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read November 2019— There are a few debates around Florida being home to the first Thanksgiving dinner. Some believe it was hosted in St. Augustine in September 1565, when Spanish and Timucuan tribesmen shared a meal that is considered the first community act of religion and thanksgiving. Others believe that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1564 near Jacksonville, when Frenchmen established a colony and were welcomed by Timucuans. Truth or not, what is sure is that Orlandoans celebrate Thanksgiving in many diverse and fun ways. These are our Top 5 picks of fun activities to do in Orlando this Thanksgiving weekend. 

 

 Turkey trots

There are a few turkey trots in Orlando this week. What a fun, family-friendly and different way to enjoy Thanksgiving activities! This is also a nice way to give back to the community and support fellow citizens. Seniors First Turkey Trot 5k at Lake Eola and Avalon Park Foundation 5k Turkey Trot are some of the most anticipated turkey trots in the area. Seniors First’s trot has become one of the oldest and largest 5k fun runs in Orlando, attracting over 5,000 runners. It benefits Seniors First Programs like Meals on Wheels, In-Home Care and others. The proceeds from the Avalon Park trot will benefit neighborhoods, community organizations and the underserved in surrounding neighborhoods. 

Harry P. Leu Gardens

If you are looking for a more calm experience, Leu Gardens will be open on Thanksgiving Day. It will feature The Nature of the Game exhibit, which is a fun interactive exhibit of life-size games with a twist, as described on their website. The location is comprised by a 50-acre botanical garden, including a butterfly garden, a tropical rainforest, and what is considered Florida’s largest formal rose garden. The garden and the historic Leu House Museum were donated to the City of Orlando in 1961 by Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane. 

Theme park celebrations

As Thanksgiving marks the start of the Christmas season in Orlando, theme parks have numerous events to enjoy the magic of the holidays. From live entertainment to unique international cuisine options to shows featuring animation characters, theme parks kick off the start of the Christmas season in a big way. You wouldn’t want to miss the spectacular decorations and Christmas lights that attract thousands of visitors every year. 

Light up UCF

Running through Sunday, Jan. 5, Light Up UCF offers activities for all ages. This year’s festival features an ice rink, a world-class choreographed light show, free holiday movies, live entertainment, rides like the Ferris wheel, Light Up Express kids train, and a carousel. The festival takes place at Addition Financial Arena in a family-oriented atmosphere. 

Thanksgiving dining

As the No. 1 Thanksgiving traveling destination in the country, you have plenty of options to taste a wide variety of local and international plates. Whether you’re staying in the International Drive tourism district, near the theme parks or looking for a destination experience, there are great restaurants with Thanksgiving dining options to pick from. Universal CityWalk, Disney Springs, ICON Park and nearby towns Winter Park and Mount Dora are spots with a number of restaurants in one place. 

To learn more, visit:

Seniors First Turkey Trot 5k: https://www.trackshack.com/event/240 

Avalon Park Foundation 5k Turkey Trot: https://downtownavalonpark.com/event/2019-turkey-trot/ 

Harry P. Leu Gardens: https://www.leugardens.org/leu-gardens-is-open-thanksgiving-day-2/ 

Light Up UCF: http://www.lightupucf.com/