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Publisher Graham Jarrett Associate Publisher Leslie Egan Interim Editor Jessica Bryce Young Editorial Calendar Editor Thaddeus McCollum Contributors Holly V. Kapherr, Ashley Belanger, Erin Sullivan, Rob Bartlett Advertising Account Manager Lindsey Hahn Senior Multimedia Account Executive Dan Winkler Multimedia Account Executives Jessica Flynn, Scott Navarro, Jerrica Schwartz Creative Art Director Shelby Sloan Graphic Designers Chris Tobar Rodriguez, Melissa McHenry, Justin Skipper Photgrapher Hannah Glogower Marketing and Events Events Director Zackary Rowe Events and Promotions Manager Brad Van De Bogert Marketing and Events Coordinator Rachel Hoyle Marketing/Promotions Interns Lauren Patton, Emily Franklin Business Operations Manager Hollie Mahadeo Business Assistant Allysha Willison Circulation Circulation Manager Collin Modeste Euclid Media Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Zelman Chief Operating Officers Chris Keating, Michael Wagner Human Resources Director Lisa Beilstein Digital Operations Coordinator Jaime Monzon National Advertising: Voice Media Group 1-888-278-9866,

TABLE OF CONTENTS NEIGHBORHOODS Downtown 11 Thornton Park 15 SODO 19 Mills 50 23 Ivanhoe Village 26 College Park 29 Audubon Park 33 Winter Park 37 UCF 40 Great dates 43 Transit 44

ARTS + CULTURE Arts listings 49 Film series 57

Orlando Weekly Inc. 16 W. Pine St. Orlando, Florida 32801 Phone 407-377-0400 Fax 407-377-0420 Orlando Weekly is published every week by Euclid Media Group Verified Audit Member Orlando Distribution Orlando Weekly is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. Copyright notice: The entire contents of Orlando Weekly are copyright 2016 by Euclid Media Group LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above. Subscriptions: Additional copies or back issues may be purchased at the Orlando Weekly offices for $1. Six-month domestic subscriptions may be purchased for $75; one-year subscriptions for $125.

Literary series 58

ATTRACTIONS + SHOPPING Eight essential Disney hacks 61 Attractions listings 62 Gifts 64 Consignment 66

FOOD, DRINK + FUN Music and nightlife listings 68 Late night eats 76 Brunches 79

ACTIVE LIVING Sports and recreation listings 81

Welcome to the 2016 edition of Orlando Weekly’s Annual Manual. Orlando and its surrounding areas are full of venues, events, activities and shops, and while we cover them on a week-to-week basis, this is our attempt at highlighting a year’s worth of cool stuff. Inside, you’ll find useful lists of museums, bars and clubs, consignment shops, date ideas and more, along with a breakdown of some of our favorite things in Orlando’s diverse neighborhoods. And while Orlandoans are constantly telling out-of-towners that Orlando is more than just Disney, we even include a few tips to help take the headache out of your next visit to the mouse. You’ll want to keep your copy of Annual Manual around for a while. Whenever you find yourself caught in a rut of doing the same old same old, crack it open to get the skinny on a neighborhood, museum or event that you haven’t tried before. And pay special attention to the list of Orlando Weekly’s events. We’ve expanded our schedule to include enough can’t-miss parties and activities to keep you entertained for practically the whole year. We always enjoy putting together this annual guide, because it reminds us that even with all of the problems we deal with (looking at you, I-4 Ultimate), Central Florida is truly a special place to live and getting better every year. We hope you feel the same way.

Day trips 87 Annual events 88 Orlando Weekly events 90 |

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n w o t n dow Far from being just businesspeople by day and sloshers come nightfall, Orlando’s downtown district is full of fine dining, fine arts and culture centered around Lake Eola’s fountain.

PERSON Named as a James Beard Award Foundation semifinalist this year for the third time since 2013, chef Kathleen Blake of the Rusty Spoon has set the bar for fine dining in the CBD, and was one of the first in town to incorporate local ingredients throughout the menu and cocktail list.

Photo by Rob Bartlett

The Rusty Spoon, 55 W. Church St., 407-401-8811,

EVENT Pack up a bottle of water, BYOM (bring your own mat) and get your savasana on Sundays at 11 a.m. for Yoga in Lake Eola Park at the northeast corner near Panera Bread. A $5 suggested donation keeps the event going week after week. Yoga In Lake Eola Park, northeast corner of Lake Eola Park,


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down town EVENT

Think the city’s dead when City’s playing away? Try again. Orlando City Soccer Club’s official watch parties rotate between the seven bars at Wall Street Plaza, Harry Buffalo and Elixir, all with $3 Heineken specials and lots and lots of purple. Wall Street Plaza, 407-849-0471, Elixir, 9 W. Washington St., 407-985-3507 Harry Buffalo, 129 W. Church St., 407-422-6656,


There aren’t many places in this town these days where you can get a cocktail for less than a Hamilton, but the all-day happy hour at Artisan’s Table is a mainstay. Score $5 cocktails all day like the Artisan Mule or a mean whiskey punch. Artisan’s Table, 22 E. Pine St., 407-730-7499,


Don’t just admire the neoclassical edifice of the Orange County Regional History Center, walk around the side and take a look at the grand mural that graces the east wall and gives a snapshot of some the county’s most recognizable symbols. Orange County Regional History Center, 65 E. Central Blvd., 407-836-8500,

Church Street Tavern 120 West Church Street Orlando 32801


Now Serving Brunch: Sundays 11am-3pm


You can’t miss the green and red historic Rogers Building that houses the Gallery at Avalon Island, a hub of Central Florida arts where local and national artists exhibit sculpture, paintings, photography and other media. Plus, film, music and literary events pepper the schedule. Gallery at Avalon Island, 39 S. Magnolia Ave.,


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n o t n r o th park Historic homes and cobblestone streets are the markers of this neighborhood. All at once walkable, quaint and cosmopolitan, it’s what other big-city-dwellers think Orlando lacks. Joke’s on them.



Beyond the macarons and laminated pastries and rows of quiches is a tiny treat worth trying. Canneles at Benjamin French Bakery & Cafe on Washington Street are buttery, gooey and flavored by fruit or filling – like pistachio, raspberry or Nutella – and only cost about $2 each. It’s worth it to buy one of each.

At the corner of Washington and Hyer, the Falcon Bar & Gallery is filled and fringed with local color – literally – from the local art that graces its walls, to the old-school dating wall plastered with photobooth pics, to the new swan mural painted in February by Miami artist Evoca1.

Benjamin French Bakery & Café, 716 E. Washington St., 407-797-2253,

The Falcon Bar & Gallery, 819 E. Washington St., 407-423-3060,


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thornton park DRINK


When you walk into Aku Aku Tiki Bar, a hidden haunt next to World of Beer on Central Avenue, the Tiger Fucker should be your cocktail of choice. A deadly concoction of sweet huckleberry vodka and fiery blackberry-jalapeño syrup, it’s also literally on fire, so watch your eyebrows.

After the citywide mayhem that ensued last year after the owners of the Constitution Green property decided to develop it (and then didn’t; the city bought it in January), there’s more to appreciate about the century-old live oak that stands in the middle of this green space on Summerlin Avenue and South Street.

Aku Aku Tiki Bar, 431 E. Central Blvd., 407-839-0080,

Constitution Green, 300 S. Summerlin Ave.



Behind the gingerbread awnings of the Summerlin House, the Veranda at Thornton Park is cloistered within a cluster of turn-ofthe-century bungalows. The hallowed hall was the site of Vowed and Proud, the reception following the mass same-sex wedding at City Hall after the Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality. The Veranda at Thornton Park, 111 N. Summerlin Ave., 914-497-3986,


Taking a cue from other story-telling events like the Moth and the radio show “This American Life,” Orlando Story Club meets the first Wednesday of each month at the Abbey. A different theme is chosen for each show and participants are selected randomly to come up and tell their story. The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Drive, 407-704-6103,


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South of the East-West Expressway, the neighborhoods that make up the Downtown South area – Wadeview Park, Delaney Park, Conway Gardens, Dover Shores – are largely residential. The allure: exciting architecture, sybaritic green spaces and #thatskylinetho.


Since 2000, the Timucua Arts Foundation has brought international artists and musicians to Orlando to perform. Concerts take place in a self-built home, the Timucua Arts White House. Their calendar is filled with musical events ranging from Indian sitar to hard-bop jazz. Timucua Arts White House, 2000 S. Summerlin Ave.,


STORE The reasons to go straight to the source for bursting blooms are varied: you could arrange a bespoke bouquet, order flowers direct (read: way cheaper) for your wedding, or rent space at Florida Flower & Orchid and start selling your services. The unassuming warehouse on Grant Street doesn’t look like much until you start winding your way through buckets of protea, ranunculus and peonies. Florida Flower & Orchid, 535 W. Grant St., 407-423-7033,

A drive through Delaney Park is the best way to get a sense of Orlando’s long real-estate history. From 1930s restored bungalows to midcentury ranches from the ’60s to ultracontemporary new builds, homes in this neighborhood are far from cookie-cutter.


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To best see the skyline, step away. Abutting State Road 408, aka the East-West Expressway, is Lake Lucerne, with its double fountains, wide walkways and city views that are hard to beat. After a walk around the perimeter, stop at the Aloft hotel’s W XYZ bar for a quick cocktail.


Big breakfast eaters, there’s plenty for you at Zaza New Cuban Diner, but for those who don’t prefer a nap-inducing first nosh, a couple of caramelized quesitos and a cup of strong Cuban coffee will more than satisfy. Zaza New Cuban Diner, 3500 Curry Ford Road, 407-228-0060,


If you’ve managed to battle through the carts filling the tightly wound aisles at Freshfields Farm on a weekend afternoon, you deserve some ice cream. Opt for the vanilla soft serve topped with fresh Florida strawberries in season as your sweet reward. Freshfields Farm, 400 E. Compton St., 407-423-3309,

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0 5 s l l i M

It’s possible to eat a different Asian cuisine every night of the week in Mills 50, formerly known as ViMi. Feast on noodle soup and dumplings, of course, but don’t miss the tacos, craft coffee and cocktails that also pepper this strip of foodie heaven.

COFFEE SHOP Order a flat white and settle into the mid-century surroundings at Propagation that demand a spot on your Instagram feed. The furnishings have been carefully curated, and most are for sale. Succulents housed in planter boxes punctuate the storefront and liven up the otherwise stark strip of stores. Propagation, 1221 N. Mills Ave., 407-867-5309,

PERSON “Orlando was ready for this, but I don’t think we were ready for the amazing response we’ve gotten so far,” says yoga instructor and health coach Chelsie Nicole (right), who opened the Sanctum to much fanfare in late 2015. The plant-based restaurant serves brunch and lunch on Sundays and all three meals every other day, plus inventive organic coffee drinks, beer and wine. Sanctum Café, 715 N. Ferncreek Ave., 407-757-0346,

RESTAURANT Arrive after 11 a.m. on a weekend and it’s a sure bet every table will be full and the carts will be overflowing with siu mai dumplings, egg tarts, chicken feet and rice wrapped in banana leaves for dim sum service at Ming’s Bistro. Ming’s Bistro, 1212 Woodward St., 407-898-9672

TRAIL Eventually, the Orlando Urban Trail will extend from downtown through Winter Park, but for now, the trailhead starts at Lake Highland and ends at Mead Garden. The Mills 50 section passes by Ten10 Brewing Co., where they serve Smiling Bison donuts alongside a beer flight every Sunday – so a boozy bike ride is easy like Sunday morning. Orlando Urban Trail, Ten10 Brewing Co., 1010 Virginia Drive, 407-930-8993,


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Mills 50 ART

Muralists Boy Kong, Dolla Short, Tobar and Andrew Spear have certainly sprayed their mark, making Orlando a street-art hub. The supersized paintings populating this neighborhood range from uber-Florida alligators and oranges to buffaloes, bunnies and drunk satyrs. Just call Mills 50 the new Wynwood.


Allow us to make a bold statement: Orlando’s official sandwich is the banh mi, and Mills 50 is the place to get one. Everyone has their personal fave, but the crispness of the baguette enveloping the pickled vegetables, various meats, jalapeùos and cilantro is the real mark of quality. Pho 88, 730 N. Mills Ave., 407-897-3488, Boston Bakery & Cafe, 1525 E. Colonial Drive, 407-228-1219 Nha Trang Subs, 1216 E. Colonial Drive, 407-346-4549 Anh Hong Restaurant, 1124 E. Colonial Drive, 407-999-2656,


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e o h n a v I Vill The Ivanhoe exit was the first casualty of I-4 Ultimate, but that hasn’t stopped shoppers and eaters from rallying around the lake and its bars, restaurants, bakeries and retail stores, both brand-new and long-established.


Flaky, buttery perfection comes in the form of a croissant at the German bakery Backhaus. Run, don’t walk, tomorrow morning. Other favorites include lemon-rosemary shortbread cookies and apple strudel (natch). Backhaus, 1213 N. Orange Ave., 321-800-5212,

ACTIVITY Even though there’s literally a major interstate running through it, there’s something oh-so-Orlando about taking a board and paddling out for a SUP sesh on Lake Ivanhoe. Spend an hour out there and then cap off the afternoon with a beer or five at the Lucky Lure or Hammered Lamb. Maui B’s Stand Up Paddleboarding, 407-952-4663,

ART When the old Orlando Science Center building was eventually transformed into the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, the home of Orlando Shakes, the massive tile mosaic of the Bard in the entranceway capped off an elegant addition to the arts and culture corridor at Loch Haven Park. Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St., 407-447-1700,

BAR It may look like an ordinary furniture store (and it is – sort of), but Washburn Imports also houses the Imperial, a wine and craft beer garden, in the back. Food trucks visit every once in a while if you don’t want to surrender your spot, or grab a gourmet sandwich from This N That across the street. Imperial Wine Bar & Beer Garden, 1800 N. Orange Ave., 407-228-4992, This N That Eats, 1811 N. Orange Ave., 407-757-0810,


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age STORE Whether you’re an oenophile or a total wine newb, Tim’s Wine Market will give you as much help as you want (or need). Sign up for a tasting class if you want to hone your swirl/sip/spit skills further. Tim’s Wine Market, 1223 N. Orange Ave., 407-895-9463,

PRODUCT Yes, you want to wash your hands with beer. The beer soaps from Damn Handsome at Cloak & Dapper are not only totally effective at cleansing your mitts, they fill your bathroom with the aroma of Java Stout, Smoked Porter or Hoppy Mint. Cloak & Dapper, 1219 N. Orange Ave., 407-250-6783, |

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k r a p e g colle With street names like Harvard, Vassar and Yale, it’s no surprise that College Park is Orlando’s most expensive neighborhood per square foot. Luckily, there’s no dearth of affordable dining, sports bars and unbeatable brunches.



The Art Deco architecture of Miami somehow made its way up to Orlando, and College Park has some of the best examples of the style in town. The College Park Publix is the oldest in Orlando, originally opening in March 1967 and reopening in September 1998, and hearkens back to a time when signs were neon and choices were fewer.

It’s been a year or so since College Park’s main thoroughfare has seen fresh baked goods, so the March 21 opening of Croissant Gourmet in the former Ace Hardware spot is kind of a big deal. Look for flaky pastries, Nutella “croques,” custom quiche and a little latte art to make Monday morning a little sweeter. Croissant Gourmet, 2445 Edgewater Drive

Publix College Park, 2015 Edgewater Drive, 407-872-0173,


PEOPLE Christo’s Café on Edgewater Drive embodies comfort, and what’s more comforting than walking into the diner you’ve loved for years and seeing the same faces year after year? Michael Nelson and Tim Blankenship are the longest-standing servers at Christo’s (Michael has been there eight years, Timmy for 10), and remember specifics about their customers’ preferences, such as who likes extra pickles and who loves their home fries extra-crispy.

College Park Yoga graduated from the space now occupied by coffee house Downtown Credo and is now located further north on Edgewater Drive in a charming midcentury-mod building. The yogi couple who runs the studio, Calvin and Theresa Curameng, are award-winning yoga therapists, raw-foodists and co-authors. College Park Yoga, 3029 Edgewater Drive, 407-999-7871,

Christo’s Café, 1815 Edgewater Drive, 407-425-8136,

MARKET Whatever obscure Asian ingredient your recipe calls for, it’s a sure bet Woo Sung Oriental Food Mart will probably have it, from fresh wood ear mushrooms and dozens of banchan for Korean BBQ to live turtles and Korean caramels. Woo Sung Oriental Food Mart, 5075 Edgewater Drive, 407-295-4077 |

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Sandwiched between Mills 50 and Baldwin Park, Audubon Park’s short stretch is packed full of character and characters. Beer parlors, hipster haunts and foodie landmarks make the spot.


Pack a picnic, bring blankets and a bottle of wine, and head to Leu Gardens on the first Friday night of each month to cuddle up for Date Night Movies in the gardens. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the flicks start at 8:30. Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 N. Forest Ave., 407-246-2620,


On the corner of Winter Park Road and Corrine Drive is Big Daddy’s Roadhouse, where karaoke is the main event and happy hour stretches from doors-open till 7 p.m. DJ Di (right) is the institution behind the mic; she knows her regulars and offers commentary throughout the evening that has the audience rolling. Big Daddy’s Roadhouse, 3001 Corrine Drive, 407-644-2844,

BUILDING It would no longer be Audubon Park without East End Market, the city’s first food hall. Sit outside on the graveled patio or the adjoining organic garden with a bottle of Lineage cold-brew coffee and a jarred salad from Skyebird, then grab a loaf of bread from Olde Hearth Bread Company and a chunk of gjetost from La Femme du Fromage to last you through the week. East End Market, 3201 Corrine Drive, 321-236-3316,


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audubon park DESSERT

The only acceptable replacement for the long-standing snow cone window on Corrine Drive is an outrageously good ice cream shop. Luckily, Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream fills the bill, and her Mexican Hot Chocolate ice cream is worth its pinch of salt – bittersweet chocolate laced with cinnamon and clove. Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream, 3114 Corrine Drive, 321-226-8685,


They still sell plants, but now Palmer’s Garden & Goods is one of the most sought-after event spaces in town. The place is strung with market lights and needs no additional decor (copious flowers and fountains flow) – just 40 of your closest friends. Palmer’s Garden & Goods, 2611 Corrine Drive, 407-896-5951,


If you’re lucky enough to visit Stardust Video & Coffee on a warm summer day, the vines just outside might be blooming with fuchsia passion flowers, a dramatic reminder to stop and smell the ... you know. Stardust Video & Coffee, 1842 E. Winter Park Road, 407-623-3393,




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k r a p r e t n wi All at once uptight (no more burger joints!) and down-to-earth (wanna go get a burger?), Winter Park is the college town that isn’t a college town. Park Avenue is prime for shopping and celeb spotting; Hannibal Square can host a hell of a pub crawl if you time it right – they stop serving alcohol at midnight.

RESTAURANT One consequence of being landlocked: Orlandoans flock to water like anhinga birds. The landscaped patio at Shake Shack in Winter Park overlooks Lake Killarney, and is a sweet place to slurp a Fair Shake coffee treat and eat a drippy, delicious burger. Shake Shack, 119 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 321-203-5130,

BUILDING Beyond its sandy, stunning Spanish-colonial architecture, Knowles Memorial Chapel on the Rollins College campus houses stainedglass windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Take in a Bach Festival concert here for an unforgettable evening. Knowles Memorial Chapel, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, 407-646-2115,

SHOP You love soda, sure. But do you love marshmallow soda? How about sweet-corn pop? The walls of sweet shop Rocket Fizz on Park Avenue are lined with Technicolor treats, including plenty of inventively flavored carbonated beverages. Grab a chilled one and walk down the avenue to people-watch. Rocket Fizz, 520 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-645-3499,


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winter park PERSON

From his early dream of opening a BBQ joint with no indoor seating and a line out the door, John Rivers’ empire is now vast and varied. His 4 Rivers Smokehouse now has 13 locations, from Jacksonville to the newest spot in Coral Springs (including one at Orlando’s City Hall), and he’s moved into the fried-chicken arena with his down-home Southern spot, the Coop. 4 Rivers Smokehouse, multiple locations, The Coop, 610 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, 407-843-2667,


Bikini-clad Rollins College students and families with kids in tow launch their paddleboards and boats, laze on the sand and swim off the jetty at Dinky Dock, just off Lake Virginia. Winter Park Scenic Boat tours pass through every so often, and wakeboarders show off their moves here, too. Dinky Dock, 410 Ollie Ave., Winter Park,


Cheese, please. Toasted’s menu of grilled cheeses teems with sandwiches both sweet and savory, but the Fig & Goat – havarti, goat cheese, fig spread, basil and honey – is both elegant and comforting. Toasted, 1945 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 407-960-3922,


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f c u Cheap eats and cheaper beer lace the outline of the student stronghold, but there are gems to be found like natural beauty, innovative sips and UCF’s MFA programs, which have reinvigorated Orlando’s literary and fine arts communities.


In the realm of college jobs, tossing 3-foot pizzas at pie giant Lazy Moon on University Boulevard has to take top rank. No longer a dank punk-rock dive, Lazy Moon’s new-ish digs are open and breezy, and we could pretty much slurp our way out of a vat of Jason’s Mom’s sauce. Lazy Moon, 11551 University Blvd., 407-658-2396,

COFFEE SHOP Across Alafaya Trail from the circus that is Waterford Lakes Town Center is Vespr Craft Coffee & Allures, a minimalist storefront peddling single-origin beans and using mad-scientist-worthy brew methods like the Japanese Hario siphon method to produce the smoothest cup of java. Vespr Craft Coffee & Allures, 626 N. Alafaya Trail, 407-476-3093,

PARK Jay Blanchard Park is the launching ground for canoes and kayaks on the Little Econlockhatchee River, which flows 18 miles from its mouth in Oviedo to unincorporated Orange County. Paddle through the tributary (filled with fish and native birds), which runs parallel to the Little Econ Trail (filled with runners and cyclists). Jay Blanchard Park, 2451 N. Dean Road, 407-254-9030,


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Ditch Dunkin and head to Brooklyn Water Bagel for boiled dough rings that are actually Everything. Iced coffees here are filled with coffee ice cubes so they don’t get watered down as the ice melts, and black-and-white cookies rival any from that SoHo corner bakery you love. (It’s not dead-center UCF territory, but it’s invariably full of hungover Knights on weekend mornings.) Brooklyn Water Bagels, 4026 N. Goldenrod Road, Winter Park, 407-681-4011,

EVENT Perhaps your first thought when you set foot on the quad at UCF was, “Man, I’d really like to jump in that fountain.” If so, just wait for Spirit Splash, voted one of the best college homecoming traditions in the country. In mid-October, students clad in just their skivvies descend on the fountain for an afternoon of guest speakers, live music and fountain swimming. University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., 407-823-2000,

PERSON When he doesn’t have a gaggle of creative writing students swarming him in a workshop, professor and screenwriter Pat Rushin has another screenplay up his sleeve. In 2013, his script for The Zero Theorem (from his novella The Call) was made into a feature starring Christoph Waltz and directed by Terry Gilliam.


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t u o o g s ’ t Le

10 great ideas for the perfect date night

1. Dinner at the Greek Corner, followed by dessert at Better Than Sex

If the twinkly market lights and views of Lake Ivanhoe aren’t enough, perhaps sharing a mezze platter full of lamb gyro, chicken and taramosalata, plus a couple of ouzo shots, will transport you to that mental Mediterranean paradise. If you’re left feeling frisky, try your luck at the new Better Than Sex dessert restaurant down the street, or take something to go for fun at home (wink wink). Greek Corner, 1600 N. Orange Ave., 407-228-0303, Better Than Sex, 1905 N. Orange Ave., 407-761-8949,

6. Shuck shellfish at Lee and Rick’s Oyster Bar If you like your dates casual, low-key and full of briny bivalves, head to Lee & Rick’s Oyster Bar, a no-frills eatery in a building shaped like a ship. Grab a seat at the 80-foot shucking bar and challenge your dearest to a shucking contest. Order a couple dozen raw and steamed, then drizzle them with Tabasco and lemon juice for a no-frills date with plenty of promise for love later. Lee and Rick’s Oyster Bar, 5621 Old Winter Garden Road, 407-293-3587,

7. Get dinner and a movie at Disney Springs Dine In Theatre

2. Hang out in the lobby lounges of the JW Marriott Grande Lakes Couldn’t get a table at Primo, Whisper Creek, Highball & Harvest or Norman’s? No matter. The lobby lounges at the Grande Lakes are just as picturesque, especially at sunset. Rendezvous on the terrace and order glasses of bubbly and some apps from the abbreviated menu, then cuddle by the fire pit and watch the sun sink. JW Marriott Grande Lakes, 4040 Central Florida Parkway, 407-206-2300,

3. Dine al fresco at the Food Truck Bazaar One thing’s for sure, there’s plenty to choose from at this outdoor gathering of mobile gourmands that takes place at the Fashion Square Mall on the second Sunday of each month from 6-9 p.m., rain or shine. If it’s chilly, bring chairs and a blanket to snuggle under as you sample to-go dishes from more than 15 trucks. The Food Truck Bazaar, Fashion Square Mall, 3201 E. Colonial Drive,

The 24-screen multiplex at Disney Springs turns the traditional dinner-and-a-movie date on its head, serving up crab and avocado sushi, tacos and four kinds of mac & cheese. The gigantic Mudslide from MacGuffin’s bar is a good encore, if you’re off the diet. AMC Disney Springs 24, 1500 Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, 407-827-1308,

8. Go on a gondola ride at the Thirsty Fish Bar at Loews Portofino Bay Resort It’ll feel like you’ve taken that 15-hour flight to Venice when you step through the doors out to the piazza at the Portofino Bay hotel on Universal Orlando property, but without the jet lag. Get close on a gondola ride and then park yourselves at the Thirsty Fish lounge for Peroni, prosecco and savory small plates. Try to catch the nightly opera performance at Bice too. Thirsty Fish Bar at Loews Portofino Bay Resort, 5601 Universal Blvd., 407-503-1000,

9. Old Spanish Sugar Mill & Grill at DeLeon Springs

4. Share a heart-shaped pie from Pizzeria Del-Dio The sweetly shaped pies from Pizzeria Del-Dio on East Colonial Drive are most ordered around Valentine’s Day, but they’re actually available year-round. The place only has a couple of tables, so snag one if you can (pizza is always better fresh anyway), or take it home for a little Netflix and chill. Pizzeria Del-Dio, 3210 E. Colonial Drive, 407-898-1115,

5. Go for a dessert crawl along Restaurant Row With so many dining spots on one strip of asphalt, a dessert-fordinner crawl (with enough walking between restaurants to burn off some of that sugar) is a no-brainer, especially when the dining rooms are packed and the bar areas still serve a full menu. Start at Eddie V’s for hot Bananas Foster butter cake and end at Roy’s with their signature Melting Hot Chocolate soufflé.

Head to the springs for DIY pancakes (go heavy on the chocolate chips), and then rent a canoe or kayak for a romantic ride downstream to spy manatees. Old Spanish Sugar Mill & Grill, 601 Ponce DeLeon Blvd., DeLeon Springs, 386-985-5644,

10. Rent a Lake Eola swan boat Pick up a half-dozen steamed buns to go at Baoery Asian Gastropub, a pastry or two from Benjamin French Bakery and some boxed single-serve wine at 7-Eleven (make it extra classy with bendy straws!) and you have yourselves an al fresco early dinner with a second-to-none view (plus some built-in calorie burn thanks to pedaling the paddle boat). Just make sure to plan for an earlier evening; boats are due back to the dock by 7 p.m. On the Rosalind Avenue side of Lake Eola, near the Relax Grill, 407-246-2378,

Restaurant Row, Sand Lake Road near Turkey Lake Road


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getting there

Orlando is a car city, there’s no getting around it – it can be timeconsuming, inconvenient or expensive to get where you want to be if you don’t have the use of an automobile. But slowly the city is making strides in the area of public transit, adding commuter train SunRail to the long-established Lynx bus system. Private solutions are gaining ground too, in the form of Juice Bike Share, Uber and Lyft, and Zipcar as options to cab company Mears. Now that we have all these options, sometimes combining two or more is key – find a SunRail connector on the Lynx schedule to fine-tune your destination, or bring your Juice Bike rental onto SunRail with you. Peter Martinez, the founder and program director of Juice Bikes, recommends the Orlando Transit App for your phone – it’s like a beefed-up Google Maps with an overlay of SunRail, Lynx/ Lymmo buses, Mears, Juice and even Uber maps, schedules and connections. It seems likely that all of these choices will become more interesting to car-addicted Orlando as the I-4 Ultimate project drags on – construction is estimated to continue through 2020 – and as more and more bike trails are completed and connected to each other. Lynx | Find maps, routes and schedules for the city’s flagship transit system at If you plan to spend more than an hour or two downtown, look into the Lymmo, four free looping lines that circulate throughout most of the 32801 area. (Did we mention it’s free? We like free.) SunRail | Orlando finally got commuter rail, and while it still has issues – there’s just the one north-south route, and it only runs Monday-Friday from about 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. – still, it’s a great first step. And the trains are spiffy as hell. Find stops and schedules at Zipcar | The car sharing service has roughly 30 cars in various locations including downtown, Winter Park, UCF, Orlando International Airport and Lake Buena Vista; reserve at Juice Bike Share | Reserve a bike, release a bike from the rack, ride it and return it. Rates vary, but you can pay $8 for an hour of onetime use, or $15 a month for an hour of use every day. (Need more time? There’s a plan for that.) Go to for all of the details, and get extra style points for matching your outfit to the vibrant orange bike frames. Also, check for maps of the Cady Way Trail, Orlando Urban Trail and other bike trails maintained by the city – as well as news of new ones coming online, like the multi-use path planned to run along Bumby Avenue. Uber and Lyft | We don’t need to explain this to you. Note, however, if you are new to Orlando or just visiting: You can Uber to Orlando International Aiport, but you can’t get them to pick you up from there (unless you sneakily pick a nearby off-property meeting point, or spring for Uber Black, moneybags).


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Photo by Flickr user walterpro

Mears | You can’t hail a cab on the street in Orlando, but you can call Mears or reserve a car at If you aren’t the sneaky type (see above), Mears is also your best bet for a ride home from OIA.

Orlando Tapas & Craft Cocktails

Kimchi Butter Baked Oysters

Ribeye Plancha

Kokino Gimlet

Tantalize your taste buds with our chef-inspired menu. Savor our delicious American-style tapas with your choice of mixologist perfected craft cocktails. Marvel at our decadent selection of fusion-inspired brunch and dinner entrees.

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Boarding Doggie Day Care Full Service Veterinary Hospital |

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Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens
 633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park | 407-647-6294 |

The Czech artist’s former residence is now a gallery, surrounded by gorgeous lakeside gardens full of his bronze sculptures. Anita S. Wooten Gallery Valencia College East Campus | 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail 407-582-2298 |

Valencia students and faculty display their work in this white-box gallery alongside that of visiting and local artists. Art and History Museums – Maitland
 231 W. Packwood Ave., Maitland | 407-539-2181 | The cultural complex includes the Maitland Art Center (a National Historic Landmark), the Germaine Marvel multi-use space, the Victorian-era Waterhouse Residence, the Telephone Museum and the Carpentry Shop Museum. Arts on Douglas 123 Douglas St., New Smyrna Beach | 386-428-1133 The exhibition arm of Atlantic Center for the Arts shows cutting-edge visual works in the heart of this charming beach town.

Atlantic Center for the Arts 1414 Art Center Ave., New
Smyrna Beach | 386-427-6975

The residency program, which draws internationally renowned visual artists, writers and musicians, also offers public exhibits and performances several times per year. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
 656 N. Park Ave., Winter Park | 407-628-8200 |

Winter Park’s landmark farmhouse, designed by noted architect James Gamble Rogers in 1932, hosts art, music and talks on historical preservation within its luxurious walls. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art 445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park | 407-645-5311 | This museum features an astounding collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including a wing dedicated to recreating the essence of Laurelton Hall, Tiffany’s Long Island estate. CityArts Factory 29 S. Orange Ave. | 407-648-7060 |
 This downtown arts space is the center of Orlando’s Third Thursday art strolls. It hosts shows that change monthly and it’s home to a number of independent galleries and arts spaces.


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arts & c Cornell Fine Arts Museum 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park | 407-646-2526 |

Gallery at Avalon Island 39 S. Magnolia Ave. |

The historic building recalls Orlando’s past; the sophisticated exhibits within feature local, national and international artists.

Crealdé School of Art 600 St. Andrews Blvd., Winter Park | 407-671-1886 |

The school, set in lakeside bungalows with a sculpture garden, is known for creative classes as well as ever-changing gallery shows. The Falcon 819 E. Washington St. | 407-423-3060 |

Revolving shows from emerging local artists, specializing in lowbrow, street and graffiti art. Faith Arts Village Orlando 221 E. Colonial Drive | 407-222-1231

This ministry of Park Lake Presbyterian Church, housed in an old motel, provides individual artists studios and hosts a monthly art market. Flying Horse Editions 500 W. Livingston St. | 407-2353619 |

University of Central Florida’s fine art research facility and nonprofit publisher of limited-edition prints, artist books and multiple-edition art objects.

Hannibal Square Heritage Center
 642 W. New England Ave.,
Winter Park | 407-539-2680

Established in 2007, the gallery presents exhibitions and displays archival photos and historical documents related to the African-American experience in the evolving west Winter Park neighborhood. The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland | 407-628-0555 |

The tiny gallery within the Jewish Community Center hosts rotating exhibits that challenge the viewer. Museum of Art DeLand Main location: 600 N. Woodland Blvd., satellite: 100 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand | 386-734-4371 |

Smart curating and passionate board members have led to impressive in-house exhibitions by artists from Florida and beyond. The Mennello Museum of American Art
 900 E. Princeton St. | 407-246-4278 |

The space is small, but it packs
a lot of punch. It’s a showcase for works by folk artist Earl Cunningham and an eclectic mix of traveling exhibitions.



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Photo by Rob Bartlett

Tucked away on the campus of Rollins College, this museum displays new work alongside a major acquisition of contemporary art, the Alfond Collection.

culture This storehouse of archived wonders fills its exhibition spaces with traveling exhibitions as well as homegrown collections. Orlando Museum of Art 2416 N. Mills Ave. | 407-896-4231 |

Nestled into Loch Haven Park, the newly reinvigorated OMA shows work by major artists as well as homegrown talent. Redefine Gallery 29 S. Orange Ave. | 407-648-7060 |

A tiny gallery space within CityArts, Redefine is the area’s most reliable purveyor of cutting-edge graffiti and street art from out-of-towners and locals. Snap Space and Snap Downtown 1013 E. Colonial Drive and 420 E. Church St. | 407-286-2185

Slick photography-centric galleries – one in Mills 50 in the historic Cameo Theatre and one east of downtown in the 420 East building – host the best art parties in town. That Rebecca Rose ring on page 50? That was shown at Snap. Southeast Museum of Photography
 Daytona State College | 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Building 1200, Daytona Beach |386-506-4475 |

Yes, it’s way out there in Daytona, but photography lovers know it’s worth the drive to the coast to visit. Just about every angle of photography gets explored in the expansive institution with multiple galleries of national and international works.

The Terrace Gallery Orlando City Hall | 400 S. Orange Ave. | 407-246-4279

This gallery showcases some of the city of Orlando’s public art collection, as well as nationally touring and locally curated exhibitions. UCF Gallery University of Central Florida | Visual Arts Building, 12400 Aquarius Agora Drive | 407-823-5470 |

Parking at UCF can be tough, but the gallery’s faculty and student shows feature innovative modern works that are worth it. Well’s Built Museum 511 W. South St. |407-245-7535 |

Housed in a historic hotel, Well’s Built is a trove of AfricanAmerican artifacts. Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts
 227 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville | 407-647-3307

This little gallery is devoted
to African-American history and culture, and features the often-challenging work of contemporary artists of African descent.

THEATERS AND PERFORMING ARTS GROUPS The Abbey 100 S. Eola Drive | 407-704-6261 |

A small mixed-use room in
an ornate setting – with full
bar service – hosts cabaret, comedy, community theater and concerts, as well as the Orlando Ballet Uncorked series. |

Continued on page 53

Orange County Regional History Center
 65 E. Central Blvd. | 407-836-8500 |

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Installation image courtesy of the Orlando Museum of Art. Photo by Raymond Martinot.

c W W W. O M A R T. O R G / W E E K LY

O R L A N D O ’ S H O M E F O R A R T S A N D C U LT U R E


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arts & Annie Russell Theatre Rollins College | 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park | 407-646-2145

Red velvet curtains, plush cinema seats and the ghost
of the namesake actress accentuate the dramatic at this student theater known for its productions of challenging works. Athens Theatre 124 N. Florida Ave., DeLand | 386-736-1500 |

culture DeLand’s restored historic theater hosts a resident community theater group, youth theater and concerts. Bach Festival Society Rollins College | 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park | 407-646-2182

BFS presents an annual season of classical music, performed by the 160 volunteer members as well as visiting artists. Bob Carr Theater 401 W. Livingston St. | 844-513-2014 |

Now operated by the Dr. Phillips Center, this old standby still hosts the Orlando Phil, as well as concerts and variety shows. Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park
 421 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park | 407-920-4034

Non-Equity community theater features dance, theater and musical events. Dance Theatre of Orlando Marshall Ellis Theatre | 1300 La Quinta Drive

In 2016, ME Dance changed its name to Dance Theatre of Orlando, but the troupe still performs at the Marshall Ellis Theatre. Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
 445 S. Magnolia Ave., 844-513-2014, The airy glass-and-steel cultural facility offers various multiuse spaces and theaters. DRIP 8747 International Drive | 347-855-3747 | Dance/performance art troupe is known for flinging colored liquids and powders about the stage and on each other. Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House
 410 N. Orange Blossom Trail | 407-425-7571 |
 The legendary gay resort is home to this small theater,
which thrills audiences with drag delights and original productions. Garden Theatre 160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden | 407-877-4736
 The lovingly restored historic theater in quaint downtown Winter Garden hosts theater, film and family shows. Improv Orlando 9101 International Drive | 407-480-5233 | Touring and local stand-ups, magicians and sketch comedy troupes perform while patrons enjoy dinner and drinks. Mad Cow Theatre 54 W. Church St. | 407-297-8788 |
 The established and well-regarded Mad Cow Theatre features regular stage productions as well as classes, workshops and socials. Continued on page 54 |

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arts Orlando Ballet 445 S. Magnolia Ave. | 844-513-2014 |

Orlando’s professional ballet company has settled gracefully into its home at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
 812 E. Rollins St. | 407-770-0071 |

Wider fare than just classical music keeps our only professional orchestra in action: pops, film scores, opera and distinguished guest artists. Orlando Repertory Theatre 1001 E. Princeton St. | 407-896-7365 |

Professional family theater productions have become the domain of Orlando Rep, which also presents shows from its Youth Academy. Orlando Shakespeare Theater
 Lowndes Shakespeare Center | 812 E. Rollins St. | 407-447-1700

cultu One of the top Shakespeare companies in the country, OST produces a regular season in addition to PlayFest, which showcases new works. SAK Comedy Lab 29 S. Orange Ave. | 407-648-0001 |

Good, clean fun is the hallmark of the troupe that specializes in improvisational comedy shows. Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows
 8267 International Drive | 407-363-1985 |

The best improvisers in town “yes, and” here.

Theatre UCF 4000 Central Florida Blvd. | 407-823-2862 |

University of Central Florida’s theater undergrads and grad students tackle an ambitious year-round schedule. The Venue 511 Virginia Drive | 407-412-6895 |

This theater and performance space is the home of Blue Star and her Varietease troupe, but also hosts plays, concerts, dance performances and cabarets. The Winter Park Playhouse 711 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park | 407-645-0145

Cabarets, musicals and holiday fare – this little community theater offers a busy theatrical calendar all year round.


Some vital performing arts groups around town that don’t have a fixed address.

Baggy Pants Theater

Community theater group with a focus on social outreach. Beth Marshall Presents

The longtime Fringe Festival producer has formed her own company, producing an ambitious slate of plays and events. Center for Contemporary Dance
 Home to resident modern dance companies Moore Dance Project, U-Turn Dance Company, Explore Theatre & Dance Co. and Coby Project. 54 ORLANDO WEEKLY |

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s& Central Florida Community Arts

This very inclusive musical arts organization believes every artist
of every age should have a cultural platform to connect and perform. Dark Side of Saturn

Edgy musical theater company launched in 2012 by Nick Baniewich. Emotions Dance Company

A contemporary dance company that seeks to engage social and environmental issues. Empty Spaces Theatre Co.

John DiDonna and Seth Kubersky lead a group known for producing challenging contemporary works. Opera Orlando


The newly renamed group stages chamber operas and recitals in collaboration with Orlando Philharmonic and other Florida opera groups. Phantasmagoria

A Victorian steampunk circus troupe offering “macabre and delicious Halloween treats and tricks.” Playwrights’ Round Table

The mission of the group is to find and nurture new playwrights and give a home to new stage works. Theatre Downtown

Though they lost their longtime home at the corner of Orange and Princeton at the end of 2014, TD is still producing shows. Voci Dance

The modern dance company presents theatrical experiences incorporating elaborate set and costume design. Wanzie Presents

Local impresario Michael Wanzie presents camp classics and produces his own works around town. Yow Dance

Photo by Christopher Garcia

Contemporary dance troupe performs original and repertory works. |

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DIG DEEP INTO THE HEALING BENEFITS OF YOUR OWN BACKYARD! Local Edible Medicinal Plant Walks Herbalism - Gardening - Permaculture Drumming & More!

Classes for all levels of interest & experience Live & Online Courses

Free Event; Age 15 and above are welcome

Limited seatingg RSVP online: RSVP by e-mail:

CEU credits provided for for Massage Therapists, Nurses, Acupuncture, Midwives, & Dietitians

11 0 9 E C o n c o r d S t , O r l a n d o F L 3 2 8 0 3 | 4 0 7 - 5 9 5 - 3 7 3 1

Across from Hillcrest Elementary in the Mills/50 District

w w w. H o l i s t i c L i v i n g S c h o o l . o r g


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film series

Recurring events around town to whet the appetite of any cinephile


Uncomfortable Brunch This film series at Will’s Pub on the first Sunday of each month is based around the idea of sharing brunch with strangers as you all watch critically acclaimed films designed to make you squirm, like Pink Flamingos or Shame. Will’s Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave., More Q Than A Utilizing the upstairs theater at the Gallery at Avalon Island, this film series on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month focuses on lesser-known classic films, like Melvin Van Peebles’ The Story of a Three-Day Pass or Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line. The Gallery at Avalon Island, 39 S. Magnolia Ave., 407-317-8367, Popcorn Flicks in the Park Those who miss picnicking on the Enzian’s lawn for their Wednesday Night Pitcher Shows should check out their free monthly offerings in downtown Winter Park every second Thursday. Central Park, Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard, Winter Park, 407-629-0054,

features, shorts and documentaries, both new and classic (April 8-17, 2016). Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland; Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village, 510 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-629-1088, Global Peace Film Festival The film fest with a heart of gold, this annualowls series need is dedicated to Unlike gremlins, night to be movies that address issues relating to conflicts around the world after midnight and the people trying to solve them (Sept. 19-25, 2016). Locations to be announced;


Brouhaha Film & Video Showcase This film festival highlights the efforts of student filmmakers from across Florida (Nov. 19-20, 2016). Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-629-1088, Love Your Shorts Film Festival Short films from across the world get a lot of love at this annual Sanford film festival (February 2017). Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, 201 Magnolia Ave., Sanford,

FESTIVALS: Florida Film Festival The 25th annual Florida Film Festival screens more than 170 films over its 10-day stretch, showcasing some of the best independent


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Listen to some of Orlando’s best writers read their work – or get up and join in There Will Be Words | This reading series, hosted by J. Bradley, invites some of the best writers in Florida and often delves into genre-specific readings like flash fiction or even fan fiction. Second Tuesdays at the Gallery at Avalon Island, 39 S. Magnolia Ave.; Functionally Literate | Though you can catch Burrow Press’ weekly “Functionally Literate” radio show at 9 a.m. Thursdays on WPRK 91.5 FM, don’t miss their semi-regular live events that pair Central Florida writers with visiting writers from all over the world. Various dates and locations (roughly quarterly); The Drunken Odyssey | Though all of their live events are great – don’t miss the annual tribute to erotic poetry in February – John King and friends’ weekly podcast about writing is entertaining enough on its own, featuring guests from all across the literary landscape. Various dates and times; The Bohemian Woods | Billed as a literary version of The Daily Show, this monthly reading series from longtime Speakeasy host Tod Caviness encourages readers to tie their pieces into current events. First Tuesdays at the Imperial at Washburn Imports, 1800 N. Orange Ave.; The S.A.F.E. Words Poetry Slam | This competitive poetry slam series, hosted by Curtis Meyer, is a qualifying event for the annual National Poetry Slam and often brings in special guests to perform. Monthly at the Milk Bar, 2424 E. Robinson St. Orlando Story Club | This storytelling series is open to anyone who wants to tell a story or just listen. With a variety of themes for each night, you’re unlikely to hear the same story twice. First Wednesdays at the Abbey, 100 S. Eola Ave., 407-234-7563; Di-verse Word | One of the longest-running literary open mics in the area takes place on the patio of Dandelion every week. Tuesdays at Dandelion Communitea Café, 618 N. Thornton Ave., 407-362-1864; Punslingers | Fans of puns and dad jokes should keep an eye out for this wordplay competition staged as a game show. Contestants compete to get the biggest groans and win the coveted golden “pun gun.” Various dates and locations;


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s k c a h disney EIGHT ESSENTIAL

Buy gas on property

Save time, money or both with these hassle-reducing tips

Disney World is known for through-the-roof pricing, but some things can actually be surprisingly cheap, and one of those things is gas. The three on-property gas stations seem to sell gasoline for a price that’s an average of area (non-park) prices, whereas just off property, you’ll find some of the most expensive gas in the nation, often topping $5 a gallon. So don’t wait to fill up, or you could be paying more than three times the on-site price.

Almost everyone knows the really lowdown Disney World hacks, like putting vodka in a water bottle or filling up on free tomato slices and liquid Velveeta at the toppings bars (note: We neither recommend nor endorse those actions), but here are a few smart (and less dirtbaggy) tips that locals can use to get the most out of our friendly overlords.

Don’t forget about dining in the non-Disney WDW hotels

Visit DAK on cloudy or cool days for more active animals Every Disney blog seems to recommend visiting Disney Animal Kingdom first thing in the morning. Word on that secret is out and now there’s a mad rush for the safari when the park first opens, so instead wait for a cloudy, cooler day to visit. The Florida heat makes the animals lethargic from mid-morning until just before closing time, but on cloudy days the animals tend to be a bit more active. A cloudy day also means that this lushly landscaped park might actually be cool enough for humans to enjoy casually.

Disney World has plenty of great food options, but not all of them are in Disney resorts. The new Four Seasons has some of the highest-rated dining in all of Orlando with Capa, Ravello and Plancha, and Hotel Boulevard includes other great options like the recently rebranded American Kitchen at the B Resort & Spa. The Grand Cypress has the stunning new LakeHouse, and the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista across from Disney Springs even offers a Disney character breakfast a few times each week.

Use World Gateway instead of Epcot’s front gate

Character breakfast dining is less crowded the closer you get to lunch And that means more time with the characters. Most guests wake up early, eat at their resort, then head out to the parks. A late breakfast will usually be less crowded; you’ll get more one-on-one time with the characters and a much quieter dining experience.

With new security measures and rising attendance, Epcot’s front gates can get backed up – skip ’em and use the World Gateway entrance instead. Located between the U.K. and France pavilions, this smaller entrance is designed for the Crescent Lake resorts, but there’s nothing stopping others from using it. A boat runs directly from the DHS parking lot, and if you’re using Uber or Disney transit, there shouldn’t be any issues accessing this overlooked entry point.

Use the Children’s Activity Centers

Use Uber to get around the property Waiting on a Disney bus could be a Gitmo torture technique: screaming kids, smelly tourists and no guarantee of room on the bus when it arrives. Skip all of that by using Uber. Do keep in mind that Uber can only go in areas regular guests are able to drive (i.e., not in Magic Kingdom) and on the busiest days, surge pricing may be in effect.

Free ice water is available at all quick service food locations Disney World isn’t known as a place with a lot of free things, but one thing is free almost anywhere you go on property: hydration. All quick service restaurants (the ones where you order at a counter) offer free ice water upon request – so much more refreshing than the trickle from a water fountain or that lukewarm liquid sloshing around in your Nalgene. (Hey, it’s the little things.)

Disney World is designed for family, but sometimes an adult night out is in order. On your way to date night, drop the kids off at one of the five Children’s Activity Centers on property. The centers are like a single evening of summer camp with games, food and movies on the agenda. Pricing varies, but all of them are open every evening.

Skip the sit-down meal Wolfgang Puck has long been a popular Disney Springs/Downtown Disney dining choice, and spanking-new Morimoto Asia is buzzing as well, but both offer lower-priced quick-serve options. Wolfgang Puck Express has some of the best-reviewed pizza on property, with large portions, unique plating and a fun atmosphere. (The Express also is one of the few places in Disney Springs to be open for breakfast every morning.) Morimoto Asia recently added a “Street Food” area, with counter service and a shady terrace open from 5-11 p.m. |

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s n o i t c a r t At Be a tourist in your own town

Here are 20 spots where locals can appreciate what the world travels here to enjoy


Discovery Cove 6000 Discovery Cove Way, 877-557-7404,

Air Florida Helicopter Charters 8990 International Drive, 407-354-1400,

If SeaWorld doesn’t get you close enough, try across the road where you can actually swim with fish and dolphins. Prices vary, but start at $219. Reservations are required.

You’ll be surprised how exhilarating it is to go up in a ’copter right off I-4. Tours give you a bird’s-eye view of the theme parks, the malls, downtown Orlando and more. A variety of tours are available starting at $20. iFly Orlando 6805 Visitors Circle, 407-903-1150, Skydive without a plane: Fly in the vertical wind tunnel. Training session and use of flight gear included. Reservations are suggested. Admission starts at $59.95.

Wet ’n Wild 6200 International Drive, 407-351-1800, Enjoy it while you can: The water park that’s served Orlando since 1977 says it’s closing Dec. 31, 2016. Experience thrill rides with vertical drops, multi-person tubing rides, toboggan slides and more. If you like your water rides on the milder side, float along the lazy river or splash in the wave pool.


The Orlando Eye 8445 International Drive, 407-601-7907,

I-Drive NASCAR Indoor Kart Racing 5228 Vanguard St., 407-581-9644,

The 400-foot-tall Ferris wheel is the center of the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex, perfect for a sunset view of the area. See as far as Kennedy Space Center during the 30-minute, $25 ride.

This indoor go-kart race facility isn’t just for the little ones – big kids will also enjoy racing the environmentally friendly electric carts around the half-mile track at up to 45 miles per hour. Races start at $18.99.

Wallaby Ranch 1805 Deen Still Road, Davenport, 863-424-0070,

Orlando Speed World Dragway 19164 E. Colonial Drive, 407-568-5522,

Even in flat Central Florida, you can hang-glide – no mountain required. Wallaby Ranch’s aerotow system will launch your glider into the air, or for newbies, your tandem flight with an instructor. Prices vary widely based on experience level and equipment rental.

If you’re into drag racing, this is the place to be. Check out street dragsters, motorcycles, old hot rods and even school buses as they go flat-out. Street drags every Friday and Saturday, and drifting events, too. Check the schedule online for events and prices.



Airboat Rides at Midway 28501 E. Colonial Drive, Christmas, 407-568-6790,

Audubon Center for Birds of Prey 1101 Audubon Way, Maitland, 407-644-0190,

You are almost guaranteed to see gators – lots of them – on this popular airboat tour. It’s the one we always take visitors from out of town to experience. Open 9:30 a.m. daily, night tours available. Tours start at $40 for one hour.

Get up close and personal with awesome raptors at this rehab center located in a 1920s bungalow on Lake Sybelia. There’s a walking trail and aviaries housing injured birds that can’t be released back into the wild. Admission: $5. Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens 3755 NW Highway 17-92, Sanford, 407-323-4450,

Aquatica 5800 Water Play Way, 888-800-5447, SeaWorld’s water park. Enjoy a variety of slides alongside animal attractions. Hours vary seasonally; admission prices vary with deals for Florida residents.

Home to more than 500 animals, not counting the Insect Zoo. They also have a couple of ziplines (check their sports and recreation section for details). Admission: $14.95.


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It’s a roadside attraction turned eco-preserve. The flesh-eating monsters roam (almost) free, along with many more scary things. Watch them swim, eat, sleep, wrestle and jump. Adult admission: $26.99. Jungle Adventures Nature Park 26205 State Road 50, Christmas, 407-568-2885, Kind of like Gatorland, but smaller and more intimate, this roadside attraction takes in injured and abandoned wildlife for rehab. Enter through the mouth of the “largest gator in Florida,” a 200-footer that used to double as the home of the park’s original owner. Inside, you’ll see rarities such as a Florida panther and gray wolves. Adult admission: $23.95.

GET SMART Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex State Road 405 east of Titusville (or GPS coordinates 28o31’34.10”N and 80o40’45.12”W), 866-737-5235, Space junkies, this complex is worth the drive to Titusville: Take guided tours of launch areas, see historic rockets, ride the Shuttle Launch Experience and see the Astronaut Hall of Fame. It really is rocket science. Check website for admission. Orange County Regional History Center 65 E. Central Blvd., 407-836-8500, The 1927 county courthouse includes permanent exhibits from natural Florida through Disney’s coming. Traveling exhibits broaden its appeal, and a local history archive awaits scholars. Adult admission: $8. Orlando Science Center 777 E. Princeton St., 407-514-2000, The museum is home to SimMan, a life-sized simulated sick person whose vital signs you can follow until he flatlines, as well as Florida’s largest refractor telescope and all sorts of hands-on learning experiences that’ll appeal to kids and grown-ups alike. Adult admission: $19.95.

GO GREEN Bok Tower Gardens 1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales, 863-676-1408, A botanical and historical masterpiece designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., crowned with a 205-foot bell tower. Open daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with singing carillon concerts at 1 and 3 p.m. Adult admission $12; $3 for children. Harry P. Leu Gardens 1920 N. Forest Ave., 407-246-2620, Three miles of paved paths wind through gorgeous botanical displays, including the largest formal rose garden in Florida and a butterfly garden. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; $10 for adults, $3 children. Mead Botanical Garden 1300 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park, 407-599-2800, This green oasis features bike paths, boardwalks and picnic areas full of native plants. The park also features restored wetlands and riparian forests. It’s a hidden Winter Park gem. Open daily, 8 a.m. to dusk, free.

Photo courtesey Inside the Magic


Gatorland 14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-855-5496, |

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f f u t s d o o g e h t t e g where to Knickknacks, baubles, gewgaws, tchotchkes, bibelots and whatnot

We’ve all been in this situation, and not just around the holidays, either: You need to buy a gift, fast, but you don’t want to spend a bunch of cash on it. You want it to be something original, maybe even offbeat. And you want to put your money in the pocket of a local business, not a faceless corporation. Put all thoughts of giving up and throwing a gift card in an envelope out of your mind – here are six local shops where you’re bound to find something unique. Kick Bright Shop & Buttons at Artegon Marketplace Nostalgia trumps all at the Kick Bright Shop at Artegon Marketplace. Shop owners Jeffrey and Kristin Howard sell directly from their personal collection of oddities and artworks, unearthing the sort of retro gems that jolt your memory in the best way possible: vintage toys, ’80s T-shirts and various assorted throwback pop-culture items (ALF puzzles, Welch’s grape jelly glasses, old campaign and band buttons). If one of those nostalgic types is on your shopping list, get thee to Kick Bright. 5150 International Drive, Gods & Monsters, Artegon Marketplace Find gifts for geeks at Gods & Monsters, also in the Artegon Marketplace – if you’re looking for something to make a comics fan or comics or dedicated tabletop gamer smile, look here. What separates Gods & Monsters from other nerdy emporia around town is its dedication to local artists. The Transmetropolitan Gallery area features works from local artists like Vaughn Belak and Tony Taylor alongside renowned artists like Menton3 and Ben Templesmith. Last year we coveted a 3D-printed bust of the chain-smoking, drug-popping journalist Spider Jerusalem from the namesake cult classic series, Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan, made by local artist and animator James Inziello. It wasn’t cheap, but it’s definitely oneof-a-kind. 5150 International Drive, 407-270-6273,


Shoppes of College Park It’s one stop, many shops at the Shoppes of College Park – multiple vendors show their wares in this Edgewater Drive storefront, and each mini shop has its own distinctive specialty. From clothing (check out the two shops in the alcoves toward the back of the store for some cute tops and jackets) to jewelry to home decor like candles and hanging succulent plantsers, this little spot covers a lot of bases, and that makes it the perfect place for shopping multi-tasking: Find something for practically every taste in one location, plus maybe a little something for yourself. 2308 Edgewater Drive, 407-930-2570 Gallery on the Edge Find decor and more at Gallery on the Edge. Owned by the same folks who opened the Shoppes at College Park, it’s one of the best places to find eclectic and quirky jewelry, art and gifts like Star Wars needlepoint, dog-themed jewelry or holiday wreaths made out of sea glass. 2300 Edgewater Drive, 407-615-4683, Market on South What’s special about Market on South is that from the moment you step inside, it feels lovingly shaped, like entering the foyer of an emotionally invested homemaker. Fittingly, the gift items you’ll encounter on the market’s modest shelves would work for any such type you’ve got on your gift list. What’s more, the crafted offerings that form the core of the market resonate with the kind of care and attention you always hope a gift will convey. We especially like Live Edge Designs cutting boards, utensils and bowls, made from reclaimed trees knocked down by storms (or just man), and Collective Kindness candles, in imaginative scents like bamboo & white grapefruit, sea salt & lotus, and curious blends like Dragon’s Blood or Harvest Moon. 2603 E. South St., 407-613-5968, Rifle Paper Co. Rifle Paper Co. in Winter Park is always a sure shot for finding an exquisite little objet. Anna Bond and her husband, Nathan, launched their design studio out of a garage apartment in 2009, and Rifle is now a thriving stationery business with international recognition. But it’s nice to know we locals can stop by the tiny flagship shop in Hannibal Square to peruse the newest calendars, cards and phone cases, along with a smart selection of gifts by other makers – like Mast Brothers chocolate bars or leather clutches by Baggu. 558 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-7679,


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Photo by Ashley Belanger

Photo by Thad McCollum


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s e c e i p t n e m t s e v in

Refresh your wardrobe and recoup some cash at Orlando’s resale shops

HARLOW: A RESALE BOUTIQUE Best bets: Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer

Spring and summer are wedding season, and that can mean coming up with a pretty dress or a sharp suit once, twice or even three times a month. Resale and consignment shops are your best bet for keeping your wardrobe fresh. Plus, you can always turn around and sell stuff back to recoup at least a fraction of your investment. Whether you’re looking for something new (to you) or it’s time to part ways with some of your acquisitions, here are three of Orlando’s top-notch resale shops. Follow them on Instagram so you can pounce first on the true treasures like the fashion vulture you are.

Harlow serves the ladylike designer-phile, young or old, with looks by Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer, Anne Fontaine, Nanette Lepore and others perfect for the uber-feminine but always polished woman. Harlow is a consignment boutique, meaning clothes stay on the floor up to 90 days and if they are bought during that time, the consignor gets 40 percent of the purchase price. After that, if unsold, they can be reclaimed by the seller or they become Harlow property. Harlow Resale Boutique, 631 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-960-6993,



Best bets: high-end handbags and out-there shoes Those on the selling side sometimes grumble at the extreme choosiness of the buyers at Dechoes, but for shoppers, it’s reassuring to know that Dechoes’ experts have examined each millimeter of the items they take for resale, and tossed back anything with spots, snags or sticky zippers. The Dechoes team stays up-to-theminute on trends and will ruthlessly refuse your ballet flats if they think everyone is going to be wearing loafers this summer, but again, this makes for a good shopping experience. Dechoes buys outright for store credit or cash – no consignment. Dechoes, three Orlando locations,


Best bets: Jordans, Dunks, lightly used Urban Outfitters Avalon is the new kid on the block, a chainlet of large resale stores somewhat akin to Crossroads or Beacon’s Closet. The selection is vast – this is the kind of place you leave with a garbage bag full of stuff if you’re not careful. Men get just as much love on the racks as the ladies do here, with button-down shirts and polos for days; for the girls, there are dresses, sure, but this is more of a high topsand-rompers kind of place. Avalon Exchange, 745 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-636-9304,

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Music+Nightlife In the heart of Orlando, those in the know snicker at the fools who believe theme parks are our city’s main draw. With bars, clubs and live music venues that go above and beyond the moment the sun goes down, locals know the truly treasurable Orlando experiences are encountered in more genuinely fun spots – during a legendary guest DJ night at Bullitt Bar, at the lip of the stage at the Social, on Player 1 Video Game Bar’s interactive dance floor, or even at the bottom of a punishingly strong double at Wally’s. Go beyond the norm, and you’ll see Orlando’s underground fosters so much more than our pre-packaged reputation suggests.

LIVE MUSIC Amway Center 400 W. Church St. | 407-440-7000 The biggest national pop stars stop at Amway, making its calendar our city’s one-stop shop for finding arena rock, in addition to detailing sports and other major events occurring on downtown’s biggest stage. Austin’s Coffee 929 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park | 407-975-3364 For fans of open mic nights, this establishment hosts some of the best amateur nights for music and comedy. It’s a friendly launch pad for a variety of budding talents that also happens to serve some of the best iced coffee in town. The Beacham 46 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 | Downtown was sorely missing a large venue, and the Beacham came along just in time to ease the pain. With balcony seating to escape the frequently sold-out show crowds below, the Beacham saves us from trekking to the theme parks any time we want to see a flourishing touring act like Father John Misty or Refused.

Backbooth 37 W. Pine St. | 407-999-2570 | Dedicated to packing as much fun into one night as humanly possible, Backbooth often hosts trending national bands for early shows that are followed by some of Orlando’s favorite dance nights, like Shake ’n Bass and Midnight Mass. Bombshell’s Tavern 5405 Edgewater Drive | 407-730-3999 | If you’re looking for live music in the Edgewater Drive and Lee Road area, Bombshell’s provides an awesome alternative venue for fans of modern hard rock. CFE Arena 12777 N. Gemini Blvd. | 407-823-6006 | Don’t discount this venue just because you’re not a student – CFE Arena books mainstream rock and hip-hop artists, invites national comics to town and holds many events that are a huge draw for community members to come down to campus. The Copper Rocket Pub 106 Lake Ave., Maitland | 407-636-3171 | With new owners and a spruced up interior, the Copper Rocket remains Maitland’s most diverse neighborhood pub, hosting open mics, comedy, DJs and live music. Continued on page 70

Photo by Grit Photozine


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Musi Night Hard Rock Live 6050 Universal Blvd. | 407-351-5483 |

It’s located on Universal Studios property, so give yourself plenty of time to park and haul ass through CityWalk to see shows at the Hard Rock, which often includes nostalgic tribute shows in its Classic Albums Live series, the nation’s best touring comedians and the type of big-name bands that form the venue’s longstanding legacy. House of Blues 1490 E. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista | 407-934-2583

This Disney Springs venue is where you’ll find your mascaracaked pop-punk acts, as well as the occasional ’80s reunion act. But enough good can’t be said about the venue itself, which is cozy, inviting and offers great vantage points. The Plaza Live 425 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-228-1220 |

For live sound, the Plaza rules all in Orlando. When you see acts booked here, join the rush to reserve front-row seats for the best folk, country, hip-hop and classical music you’ll hear performed within our city’s boundaries. The Smiling Bison 745 Bennett Road | 407-898-8580 |

12066 COLLEGIATE WAY | ORLANDO (407) 930-8206

The foodie favorite transforms into a jumping music club on select nights when the jazz, country, folk and rock styles of seasoned local musicians take the stage and admirably push the Bison’s notably excellent menu to the background. The Social 54 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 |

Local bands strive to perform on this stage, the one shared


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sic & htlife with most of the Pitchfork-worthy bands that come through Orlando. It’s a smaller room, which means nine times out of 10, you’re shouting the lyrics shoulder-to-shoulder with similarly impassioned fans. Get there early and snag a table in front of the pit. St. Matthew’s Tavern at the Orlando Beer Garden 1300 N. Mills Ave. |

When much-loved but now-defunct dive the Peacock Room closed, St. Matthew’s Tavern quickly picked up the creative concert calendar that often features intriguing one-off shows by hip punk and rock bands on the really chill outdoor stage. Stardust Video and Coffee 1842 E. Winter Park Road | 407-623-3393 |

The Stardust main room provides a den that welcomes all the weird ideas its devoted community cooks up in terms of live music performances, original plays, performance art and nerdy nights aplenty. Tanqueray’s Bar 100 S. Orange Ave. | 407-649-8540

Timucua White House 2000 S. Summerlin Ave. | 407-595-2713 |

The family home of Cirque du Soleil conductor Benoit Glazer is also host to stellar jazz and world artists, and Glazer frequently opens the doors of his self-made venue for free, once-in-a-lifetime shows.

Continued on page 72

One of the few bars downtown you can depend on for live music every night of the week, Tanqueray’s provides all the funk, jazz and blues you can handle, including a talented crop of locals like the Groove Orient, Leisure Chief or Ancient Sun performing regularly.

Downtown’s Most Unique Dining Venue View Menu Online | 28 S Orange Ave | (407) 286.0256 /DapperDuckOrlando





Photo by James Dechert



View Menu Online | 20 South Orange A ve | (407) 425-7687 |

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Music & Uncle Lou’s Entertainment Hall 1016 N. Mills Ave. | 407-898-0009

Big Daddy’s 3001 Corrine Drive | 407-644-2844

The DIY scene explodes regularly at Uncle Lou’s, which houses our city’s best punk shows – sweaty affairs that welcome gritty national, international and locals alike so long as you can handle yourself in the pit.

It’s either your dream or your nightmare: a karaoke night with an attentive audience who will hang on every squeaky note as you eke out your rendition of “I Touch Myself.” But that’s what you’ll find at Big Daddy’s, where you can get a stiff drink or knock back pints for courage.

Venue 578 578 N. Orange Ave. | 407-872-0066

As of press time, Venue 578 (formerly Firestone) has been sold, but no details are forthcoming about who bought it or what their intentions are regarding its live music calendar. Will’s Pub 1042 N. Mills Ave. |

If you are a fan of punk, metal, garage, Americana or all of the above, you need to get down to Will’s Pub. This grizzled venue provides stacked lineups, stocks a huge beer selection and is home to the much-loved Southern Fried Sundays.


Bart 1205 N. Mills Ave. | 407-796-2522 |

Combine classic arcade games, campy ’80s movies and a cooler full of craft beer, and you’ll get Bart, the Mills 50 bar/ art/arcade. They pack a lot of fun into the small space they have, with mostly free arcade gaming and a lounge area for those not interested in the nostalgic allure of Frogger or Missile Command.


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The Bull & Bush 2408 E. Robinson St. | 407-896-7546 |

This charming English pub set smack in the middle of the Milk District offers one of the best comedy showcases in town, real darts, a surprisingly challenging pub quiz and a $3 Scotch egg. Not to mention the best Guinness in Orlando. Bullitt Bar 33 E. Pine St. | 407-839-0999 |

Hip downtown watering hole Bullitt Bar parties hard and often hosts DJ nights that, we kid you not, feature legendary rappers like Talib Kweli, who filmed a music video here. CityWalk at Universal 6000 Universal Studios Plaza | 407-363-8000

Whether you’ve been dragged there by visiting friends and family, know someone who works out at Universal or are just out on some tourist-inspired whim, CityWalk has its own merry lure for locals in Rising Star karaoke, Bob Marley: A Tribute to Freedom and Margaritaville. Although there’s no cover to get on the strip, you will usually have to pay to park.

& NightOrlando is not trying to be Brooklyn, but the Courtesy Bar’s theming does transport you a little bit, although their craft cocktails pay homage to local ingredients. Go for happy hour to enjoy the punch of the day. The Falcon 819 E. Washington St. | 407-423-3060 |

In Thornton Park amid burger joints and sports bars, this art bar provides a hip alternative setting with original concepts that form the basis of both art shows and music nights; it’s a fun escape on certain nights and otherwise divinely low-key. The Geek Easy 114 S. Semoran Blvd. | 407-332-9636

In the expanded bar built in the back of A Comic Shop, you can discover weekly open mics, creative performance pieces and the best nerd rock that comes to town, or just enjoy a beer while you pore over your new favorite graphic novel. Gilt Nightclub 740 Bennett Road | 407-504-7699 |

Housed in the notorious Roxy space, Gilt Nightclub expects you to break out your baller threads (there’s a dress code) to enjoy national and international DJs in style. The Guesthouse 1321 N. Mills Ave. | 407-630-6574

Whoever moved into the old Peacock Room space had big shoes to fill. Luckily, the owners of gone-too-soon downtown institution Bar-BQ-Bar filled them admirably, opening up

the space and installing a beautiful central bar-in-the-round where you can get creative cocktails, craft beer and a wellcurated wine selection. Hanson’s Shoe Repair 27 E. Pine St. | 407-476-9446 |

A lavishly designed throwback to speakeasy culture, Hanson’s asks that you call ahead to get the nightly password, then ascend the stairs to a warm den for classic cocktails mixed the old-fashioned way. Herman’s Loan Office 27 W. Pine St. | 407-649-0000 |

This new craft cocktail bar, tucked into the back of a parking lot on Pine Street, comes to you from the same people behind Hanson’s Shoe Repair. Expect the same attention to highquality cocktails but with more elbow room and no password. The Hideaway Bar 516 Virginia Drive | 407-898-5892 |

In a loud building done up in Miami Dolphins colors, you wouldn’t expect to find a dive bar that feels delightfully small-town, but that’s the Hideaway, where people are serious about pool, sports and strong drinks. Incidentally, it’s also a great greasy-food joint in the morning to cure your hangover. Independent Bar 70 N. Orange Ave. | 407-839-0457

I-Bar is hipster central. There’s no other way to put it, which makes it a target for teasing, sure, but it also means that you always have a story to tell after a night there. |

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Continued on page 74

The Courtesy 114 N. Orange Ave. | 407-450-2041 |

Music & Night WILL’S PUB

Lil Indies 1036 N. Mills Ave. |

A tiny bar with huge heart, Lil Indies mixes up some of the city’s most innovative cocktails and is home to Eugene Snowden’s Ten Pints of Truth, a raucous live music night that we strongly urge anyone with a soul to attend at least once. Best of all: There’s rarely, if ever, a cover. Little Fish Huge Pond 401 S. Sanford Ave., Sanford | 407-221-1499

You never know quite what you’ll find going on at this trippy hangout: intimate performances, pirate parties, hookahpassing, maybe even cheese-inspired art shows or Mexican holiday movies. End your all-nighter here, and you’ll swear the whole thing was a dream the next morning. Lizzy McCormack’s 55 N. Orange Ave. | 407-426-8007 |

Drunken camaraderie marks this Irish pub with one of the longest happy hours in downtown Orlando and one of the best atmospheres, to boot. You don’t want to be anywhere else for St. Patrick’s Day. Oblivion Taproom 5101 E. Colonial Drive | 407-704-4757 |

Saved from … well, oblivion, by a patron with deep pockets, not much has changed at Oblivion. They still offer an impressive beer menu along with creative takes on pub food that would make Guy Fieri blush. Peek 50B E. Central Blvd. | 407-734-5107

Though not as lavish as some other dance clubs, Peek keeps it old-school with DJs focused on house and Florida breaks, recalling the days when Orlando was the dance music capital of the U.S. Player 1 Video Game Bar 8562 Palm Parkway, Lake Buena Vista | 407-504-7521

Go overboard as a game geek at Player 1, where there are more than 39 classic arcade games in addition to modern consoles, a motion gaming dance floor, plus cash tournaments for the truly l33t. Redlight Redlight 2810 Corrine Drive | 407-893-9832

If Orlando were famous for something other than Mickey Mouse, it’d be Redlight Redlight. Their exhaustive beer list and impeccable taste make it tempting to take up residence on a barstool in the much bigger space they now inhabit in Audubon Park. Sandwich Bar 2432 E. Robinson St. | 407-421-1670

Photo by Bart Everson

Though the days when Sandwich Bar actually served sandwiches are long gone, the tiny Milk District bar does serve up a stacked schedule of underground house and techno nights that rival any downtown club.


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& tlife 64 North 64 N. Orange Ave. | 321-245-7730 |

In the former Bar-BQ-Bar space, 64 North serves as a beforeand-after spot for many attending concerts at the Social and Beacham, alongside sister space Aero, the rooftop bar where you can party in the elements. Sly Fox 63 N. Orange Ave. | 407-425-9908

For a downtown bar, Sly Fox is about as gimmickless as you’re gonna get. Stop in to pregame with some of the cheapest drinks in the area, or stick around for eclectic DJs and the occasional free pizza slice. Spacebar 2428 E. Robinson St. |

Though small, Spacebar is the heart of the Milk District. Stop in on any given day and you might find comedy, live music, forward-thinking dance nights or the perennial favorite Bring Your Own Vinyl, where you get to be the DJ. Sportstown 2414 E. Robinson St. | 407-894-6258 |

What’s not to love about Sportstown? Whether you want to shoot pool, play ping-pong, get into a board game or just drink a beer and watch ESPN, Sportstown will make you feel welcome. Check out their daily specials for some ridiculously good deals. Tier Nightclub 20 E. Central Blvd. | 407-222-9732 |

Tier Nightclub is where you go to look good and feel good, with enough debauchery on their dance-packed calendar to get wild any night of the week. Vinyl Arts Bar 75 E. Colonial Drive |

This new spot in the North Quarter brings classy decor and an all-vinyl DJ regimen to the neighborhood: a big step up from the sketchy massage parlor that used to occupy the space. Wall Street Plaza 27 Wall St. | 407-849-1532 |

Special occasions, from New Year’s Eve to Oktoberfest, belong to this meeting place for the masses. Located at the epicenter of downtown Orlando and always throbbing with music, booze and vitality, Wall Street Plaza’s seven venues take up an entire city block, but it’s easy to navigate, heavy on the drink specials and stocked with eye candy for all. Wally’s Mills Avenue Liquors 1001 Mills Ave. | 407-896-6975 |

Wally’s is the only place in town as committed to your drinking habit as you are. It’s open at 7:30 a.m., meaning you can find a good, strong drink at pretty much any hour. Plus, you will not find a better spot to marvel at Orlando’s celebrities in full drunken splendor. Whiskey Lou’s Lounge 121 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-896-2593 Boozehounds in the Milk District only have one option to get their liquor fix, and that’s Whiskey Lou’s. The dive bar serves up shots and basic cocktails with a heavy pour. Definitely take a selfie with Elvis and the Blues Brothers, whose graven images occupy the stage in the pool room permanently. |

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Lunch Specials | Happy Hour | Menu Gourmet A La Carte Catering & Events | Live Music Endless Sushi and Sashimi Bar Mention Orlando Weekly when you buy our Table Gourment 8441 International Dr - Suite 290 & get a complimentary I-Drive 360 | Phone 407.801.0005 Chef’s Choice Dessert

early morning munching The dilemma: You’ve been out at the bar for a few hours and suddenly you’re overcome with hunger. Or maybe you’ve been studying or working super late, but the issue remains – there aren’t many actual restaurants in Orlando that serve a full menu past midnight, especially earlier in the week. Something to look forward to for habitual late-night eaters: Red Mug Diner, a 24-hour diner, plans to open downtown in mid-April 2016. Follow their progress at Below, some of our favorite late-nighters. Note: Some of these restaurants have more locations than are listed here; we are only listing the ones open past midnight every night. Arepas el Cacao | 5389 S. Kirkman Road, 321-252-2226, Open until 3 a.m. Sunday-Thursday, 4 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Arepas, cachapas and empanadas stuffed with meats and melty cheese … it’s ideal late-night nosh. B-Line Diner | 9801 International Drive, 407-345-4460, Open 24 hours daily. In the I-Drive area past the witching hour and craving dessert? The B-Line serves all the pies, cakes and sundaes you’d hope for. Graffiti Junktion | multiple locations, Open until 2 a.m. daily. Of nine area locations for messy burgers and cocktails, only one is not open until 2 a.m every day: Clermont is closed Sundays. Gringos Locos | 20 E. Washington St., 407-841-5626; 2406 E. Robinson St., 407-896-5626; Open until 3 a.m. daily. Gringos is quite simply the after-hours burrito of choice for discriminating partiers. Izziban Sushi | 5310 E. Colonial Drive, 407-270-8811, Open until 2 a.m. daily. Open until the wee hours, and offers Korean barbecue alongside the sushi.

Teak Neighborhood Grill | 6400 Time Square Ave., 407-313-5111, Open until 2 a.m. every day. With one of the biggest menus we’ve ever seen, it might be hard to choose – try the Spicy Veronica burger, with ghost pepper cheese, pickled jalapeños and Sriracha mayonnaise.


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Photo by Shelby Sloan

South Philly Steak | 12094 Collegiate Way, 407-985-3805, Open until 1 a.m. Sunday-Thursday, 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Drippy, overstuffed Philly cheesesteaks served in a room full of memorabilia from the City of Brotherly Love. |

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to Tampa & Gulf Beaches I-4 West

Rona ld Re agan Pkw y.

sunday fun day Rowdy or laid-back, gourmet or homestyle, there’s a boozy brunch out there for everybody

When it comes down to it, brunch is just breakfast plus lunch – plus booze. What could be better? Some of our morning hangouts: The Briarpatch A Winter Park brunch favorite with hung-over Rollins students and prim Winter Park residents alike. Don’t miss the the truffle fried eggs with Nueske’s slab bacon. 252 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-8651,

mimosas, made with six different kinds of juice. 337 N. Shine Ave., 407-674-6841, Santiago’s Bodega The massive all-you-can-eat buffet (which includes leg of lamb, prime rib and giant crab legs) makes for an endless graze, and servers refill bottomless mimosas or sangria until you beg them to stop. UnlikeDrive, gremlins, owls need to be fed 802 Virginia 407-412-6979,

after midnight

Soco This ain’t no Hollandaise-in-a-can joint: Try Southern-fried quail and waffles, fresh buttermilk biscuits and gravy with crispy pork belly, and a lengthy “brunch libations” menu. 629 E. Central Blvd., 407-849-1800, White Wolf Café An Orlando classic housed in a former antique shop where the atmosphere is as important as the food. They’re justifiably proud of their crab cake-and-avocado eggs Benedict. 1829 N .Orange Ave., 407-895-9911,

Dexter’s Thornton Park You can count on Dexter’s to do you right, from the cheddar grits with shrimp and andouille sausage to the dog-friendliest patio in town. 808 E. Washington St., 407-648-2777, Maxine’s Comfort classics like biscuits & gravy and eggs Benedict are turned up to 11 here. On the drinks front, find three different sizes of

Photo by Rob Bartlett

Cask & Larder The menu is wide and varied with gourmet Southern twists, but the Nashville hot chicken and waffles is the crowd-pleaser. 565 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 321-280-4200,



Monday - Thursday 8am - 6pm Friday & Saturday 8am - 10pm |

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c e R s Sport ,

Central Florida was made for the sports enthusiasts – during most of the year, the weather is perfect for hiking, running, biking and kayaking, and when it’s not, we have plenty of sports teams you can cheer on as a spectator.


Wekiwa Springs State Park 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, 407-884-2008,

Cady Way Trail Entrance is 1/4 mile north of State Road 50 on Herndon Avenue This 6.5-mile paved path, popular with bicyclists and strollerpushing moms alike, connects Orlando and Winter Park and the Cross Seminole Trail in Seminole County. The trail features water fountains, rest stops and mile markers, as well as a cool 685-footlong suspension bridge that crosses Semoran Boulevard. Econ Trail Dean Road, just north of State Road 50 This ever-expanding trail in East Orlando begins at Jay Blanchard Park and extends all the way to Alafaya Trail. It runs alongside the Little Econlockhatchee River, which offers pretty views and plenty of good spots to fish, canoe or just sit in the grass and enjoy a riverside picnic.

You can canoe or kayak here (rentals are available), but this park also has 13 miles of pristine, wooded hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails. This park is very popular, particularly in summer when visitors like to swim in the clear blue spring, and when the parking lot fills, the park entrance closes. So get there early. Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park 8300 W. State Road 46, Sanford 407-884-2008, This section of the park has no amenities, but it does have 18 miles of multi-use trails you can hike or bike. Rock Springs Run State Reserve 30601 County Road 433, Sorrento, 407-884-2008,

Photo by Jeremy Reper

The park, located about 10 miles west of I-4 on County Road 433, is really just a giant swatch of underdeveloped land. It features 17 miles of multi-use trails.


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Sports + West Orange Trail 501 Crown Point Cross Road, Winter Garden

This 22-mile trail – the county’s longest – stretches through Winter Garden, Apopka and Orlando. It’s open to walkers and bikers, and some parts are open to horses, too. Four trailheads with parking are located at various points along the trail.


Ace Metric 1844 E. Winter Park Road , 407-790-7802,

This bike shop rallies cycle enthusiasts from all around and carries cool gear for those on the go, too. The space, next door to Stardust Video & Coffee, is sleek and stylish and industrial. Kyle’s Bike Shop 203 N. Primrose Drive, 407-228-7088,

Bicycle sales and service, including repairs and custom wheels. Kyle’s also has a parts junkyard – if something’s broken on your bike, they might be able to save you some money on the repair by using a part from the junkyard rather than ordering new. Loco Motion Bikes 1776 Jake St., 407-898-6411,

This is the former Mesh Skate Park owner’s store. It leaves the park behind and goes heavy into skateboard and cycle culture. Mr.’s repairs old bikes and sells new ones. Orange Cycle 2204 Edgewater Drive, 407-422-5552,

This is the area’s largest bike store, and it not only carries cycles, clothing and gear – it’s also a hub for the cycling community. This shop holds bicycling events and repair clinics, and its website is full of useful information if you’re looking for bike paths or trails. Ragin Cajun 1809 S. Orange Ave., 407-999-9821,

Commuters, tricycles, mountain bikes, fixies and even unicycles – this family-owned south Orlando bike shop is friendly, full-service and caters to cyclers of all ages and interests. Retro City Cycles and Greenway Bicycles 1806 N. Orange Ave., 407-895-2700,

The owners of Retro City Cycles don’t just run a bike shop; they sort of run a cycling community. They’re members of various biking organizations – they helped found women’s mountain biking club the Dirty Divas – and they select the bikes they sell in store with the help of customer feedback.

In addition to sales and demos, this bike shop also offers rentals, a service that’s particularly appealing because of its Baldwin Park location, just a leisurely ride away from a paved bike path that winds around Lake Baldwin. Mr. Bikes n Boards 950 W. State Road 434, Longwood, 407-790-4964,


CANOEING AND KAYAKING Blue Spring State Park 2100 W. French Ave., Orange City,

Covering more that 2,600 acres, Blue Spring State Park is a designated Manatee Refuge. It is an excellent place for a swim, pad-

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+ Rec Econlockhatchee River Chuluota,

An absolute jewel hidden at the eastern edge of the Orlando sprawl, the Econ can be easy or difficult, depending on the water levels (high in the summer, low in the spring). Paddlers will be able to catch a glimpse of a diverse array of wildlife from sandhill cranes to bald eagles to bears along the 19-mile stretch. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Near Titusville,

This refuge offers somewhat limited paddling opportunities since paddling is not permitted in refuge impoundments, but what is available to paddlers can be spectacular. You might see manatees, scrub jays or an alligator if you’re lucky. We also suggest Turnbull Creek and Eddy Creek for paddlers. Rock Springs Run-Wekiva River Apopka-DeBary,

Put in at King’s Landing near Apopka, if you want to experience the entirety of this 27-mile respite from congestion and travel a designated wild and scenic river right in the heart of the Orlando metro area. Stop at Wekiwa Springs State Park on your way for a swim in the clear blue springs.

1,000 Islands Cocoa Beach,

There are so many routes you could take paddling the 1,000 Islands and probably still not see everything. This site is found on the Banana River in Cocoa Beach. Paddlers often find themselves a bit geographically challenged when they are visiting here, so bring a compass with you. Bioluminescent Bay Mosquito Lagoon, Near Titusville

If you can’t afford to travel to Puerto Rico’s famous bioluminescent bay, Florida’s Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon come alive with bioluminescence from May through September. The luminescence is caused by dinoflagellates (tiny things you can’t see), which glow neon-blue whenever the water is disturbed. Guides are recommended for this paddling adventure, but they are not necessary. Paddlers should begin their paddle at dusk.

5KS, MARATHONS AND FUN RUNS Savage Race Oct. 22-23, 2016 17951 Hamilton Road, Dade City,

This aggressive 6.5-mile race requires participants to conquer 25 insane obstacles with names like the Colon Blow, the Mud and Guts, and the Nutt Smasher. IOA Corporate 5K April 7, 2016 Lake Eola, Central Boulevard and Eola Drive,

Insurance Office of America has sponsored this event since its inception 21 years ago; business and nonprofits form teams to |

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dling or a picnic. During manatee season, mid-November through March, the waterways are closed – you can look at the dozens of manatees that winter here, but you won’t be allowed in the water.

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participate, and more than 18,000 runners and walkers from 700 organizations participate. Color Vibe 5K April 10, 2016 Florida Mall, 8001 Orange Blossom Trail,

Run/dance/walk your way through this 5K, in which runners are doused in colored powder at various stations on the course. Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 3-6, 2016 Walt Disney World Resort,

A series of races for runners of all ages, including a Jungle 5K, runDisney kids races and the Wine and Dine half-marathon, which concludes with a finish line party at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. Tough Mudder Nov. 5-6, 2016 The Compound, SW Wingham Drive, Palm Bay,

Hardcore obstacle race along a 10- to 12-mile long course.

OUC Orlando Half Marathon and Track Shack Lake Eola 5K Dec. 3, 2016 Lake Eola and downtown Orlando,

+ Re More than 6,000 runners take to the streets of downtown Orlando for this annual event, which is one of the biggest road events in the Southeast. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Feb. 24-27, 2017 Walt Disney World Resort,

A weekend of “majestic” runs in the Magic Kingdom, with special courses, princess events and Disney princesses along the running route to cheer you on.


8Coed Sports and Social

Soccer, flag football, kickball and softball played in parks around the city. Open to players 18 and older. The Orlando Shuffle

Free shuffleboard games the first Saturday of each month at the Beardall Senior Center, 800 Delaney Ave. Orlando Sport and Social Club

Fun sports league offers soccer, flag football, sand volleyball, softball, kickball and more. After the game, meet your teammates for a beer at one of the league’s sponsoring bars. WAKA Central Florida Coed Kickball

This World Adult Kickball Association league is open to players 21 years of age and older XL Soccer 825 Courtland St., 407-641-4791,

Adult and youth indoor and outdoor soccer leagues, offering games for all experience levels. After a game, get a bite to eat and a beer onsite at the Sideline Pub and Eatery.


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College Park Yoga 3029 Edgewater Drive, 407-999-7871,

This studio teaches ashtanga, vinyasa and power yoga classes, but also offers a yoga-for-wimps beginner class. For those on a tight budget, “community yoga” is offered every Saturday at 9 a.m. for $5. Full Circle Yoga 972B Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-644-3288,

This busy studio offers classes seven days a week, and drop-in classes are $15 each. Full Circle has spacious studios and variations on traditional yoga styles. Harmony Yoga Studio 110 N. Orlando Ave., Maitland 407-234-6454,

This studio offers something for everyone: gentle yoga for beginners, prenatal yoga for expecting mothers, yoga for fitness and a sampling of specialty classes, including laughter yoga and mysore yoga. Orlando Power Yoga 2415 E. South St., 407-719-0101,

The Baron Baptiste-style of power yoga takes the spotlight at this yoga sanctuary. Don’t be surprised if the air conditioning’s not on; to raise students’ internal heat, this studio stays ablaze at 85-90 degrees.


Shine On Yoga 619 N. Thornton Ave., 321-236-2068,

This yoga studio believes yoga should be affordable and accessible to all – based on that philosophy, all classes are now donationbased, pay-what-you-can. Cash only. Yoga in Lake Eola Park

Free yoga classes outdoors in downtown’s Lake Eola park, taught by a rotating team of yogis. Lake Eola Park, check Facebook for exact meeting spot.


Orlando Magic NBA basketball Season: October-April Amway Center 400 W. Church St. 800-745-3000

Orlando Predators Arena Football League Season: March-August Amway Center 400 W. Church St. 407-355-2200

Orlando City Soccer Club Major League Soccer Season: March through October Orlando Citrus Bowl 1610 W. Church St. 407-478-4007

Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls Roller Derby League Season: February-November Semoran Skateway 2670 Cassel Creek Blvd., Casselberry

Orlando Solar Bears East Coast Hockey League Season: October through April Amway Center 400 W. Church St.

UCF Knights NCAA College Football Season: August through January Bright House Networks Stadium University of Central Florida 407-823-1000 |

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d a o r e h t t i h Sometimes you just need to get out of town


Orlando is wonderful, but once in a while it’s a good idea to explore some of our surrounding cities. Here are a few ideas for quick day trips.

TAMPA BAY Over on the west coast, the Tampa Bay area has plenty to offer. St. Petersburg’s white-sand beaches are deservedly beloved, but we never miss a visit to the world-renowned Dalí Museum (1 Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg, 727-823-3767, As part of Sarasota’s Ringling Museum (5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, 941-359-5700,, don’t miss the spectacular Cá d’Zan (below), a palatial, 56-room Venetian-style villa that has to be seen to be believed. For a more leisurely afternoon, download the Sarasota Architectural Foundation’s self-guided driving tour to peruse the city’s stunning trove of mid-century modern architecture. And sure, Tampa is known for the historic Ybor City, where Cuban workers once rolled cigars, but we love this city most for its shopping and dining opportunities: The Oxford Exchange (420 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-253-0222, is tops for retail therapy, with a stunning bookstore, a lovely tearoom/ luncheonette and a retail Warby Parker boutique, where you can try and buy frames if you’re not sure about buying glasses online. And your restaurant options are stellar. The farm-to-table Refinery (5137 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-0237-2000, thetamparefinery. com) is the place you’ll brag about to your foodie friends; Bern’s Steak House (1208 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, 813-251-2421, mixes serious steakhouse chops (ha) and a world-class wine cellar with a certain hard-to-describe wackiness. Not in the mood for a fancy meal? Six outposts of the Taco Bus ( are scattered throughout the Tampa Bay area; their butternut-squash tostada is a don’t-miss dish.

The historic town has long been prized for its many antique stores – the streets of the downtown area are lined with shops full of collectibles, and nearby Renninger’s (20651 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora, 352-383-3141, holds Antique Extravaganzas three times per year, welcoming vintage and antique dealers from around the country. It’s not all old stuff, though – the Modernism Museum (145 E. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora, 352-385-0034, offers a look at an organic vision of the future, articulated in beautiful midcentury furniture. Celebrated chef Norman Van Aken plans to open his newest restaurant, 1921 by Norman Van Aken, next door the Modernism Museum, but until it’s completed, you can always post up on the porch of the Lakeside Inn (100 Alexander St., Mount Dora, 352383-4101, the oldest continuously operating hotel in Florida, for a sunset cocktail.

CASSADAGA/DELAND Less than an hour outside Orlando, tiny Cassadaga is known as the “Psychic Capital of the World”; consult for a listing of the mediums, tarot readers and aura photographers that make up the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp to book your own reading. Then hop over to DeLand (17 minutes away). Follow a quick browse through the downtown satellite galleries of the Museum of Art – DeLand (100 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand, 386-279-7534, with dinner at the outstanding Cress Restaurant (103 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand, 386-734-3740, – we recommend the chef’s tasting menu for a hedonistic experience.


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Wizard World Orlando Aug. 5-7, 2016, Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive,

Fiesta in the Park April 2-3, 2016, Lake Eola Park, North Eola Drive and East Washington Street,

The traveling comic convention makes its first stop in Orlando this year, and brings celebs and creators for a weekend of panels and events.

Wander around Lake Eola and check out food, live music, and arts and crafts from tons of vendors.


Florida Film Festival April 8-17, 2016, Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-629-1088,

Halloween Horror Nights Sept. 16-Oct. 31, 2016, Universal Studios, 6000 Universal Blvd.,

Whether you’re a fan of dramas, comedies, documentaries or shorts, the Florida Film Festival has it all.

More than a month of special haunted houses and scare zones. Bring your heart medication.

Florida Music Festival April 21-23, 2016, downtown Orlando, multiple venues,


A downtown music festival geared toward artists looking to break into the major-label industry.

MAY Orlando Fringe May 18-30, 2016, Loch Haven Park, 777 E. Princeton St., Thespians from all over the world descend on the theater complex at Loch Haven for two weeks of performances. MegaCon May 26-29, 2016, Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive, Central Florida’s largest comic and media convention brings in big names from the worlds of television, film, comics and more for a huge celebration of pop culture.

JUNE Gay Days May 31-June 6, 2016, multiple locations,

Spooky Empire Oct. 7-9, 2016, Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive, This convention for horror fans descends on I-Drive every year, bringing actors, musicians, makeup specialists, tattoo artists and more for a ghoulishly fun weekend. Come Out With Pride Oct. 8, 2016, Lake Eola Park, 512 E. Washington St., Our favorite downtown parade party celebrates the LGBTQ community. Central Florida Veg Fest Oct. 22, 2016, Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St., Chow down on some cruelty-free cooking at this event for vegetarians, vegans and open-minded omnivores. Learn about veg living and get an up-close look at some of the animals spared when you opt for a salad instead of a Baconator.


Organized trips to Walt Disney World Resort during the day, themed parties every night.

JULY Fireworks at the Fountain July 4, 2016, Lake Eola Park, North Eola Drive and East Robinson Street, Nothing says patriotism like the “oohs” and “ahhs” elicited by the choreographed firework and light show at Lake Eola each year.


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Winter Park Harvest Festival November 2016 (dates TBA), Central Park, North Park Avenue and West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park,

Zora! Festival January 2017 (dates TBA), downtown Eatonville, Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville,

A festival that focuses on local agriculture and sustainable harvests.

Eatonville’s most famous writer gets a festival in her honor every year featuring live music, arts and educational activities.

Florida Blue Florida Classic November 2016 (date TBA), Orlando Citrus Bowl, 1 Citrus Bowl Place,


Annual football game between Bethune-Cookman University and Florida A&M.

Lunar New Year Dragon Parade February 2017 (date TBA), Fashion Square Mall, 3201 E. Colonial Drive,


Formerly taking place in Mills 50, this Lunar New Year celebration got so big that it had to move to the Fashion Square Mall in 2015.

Christmas in the Park December 2016 (date TBA), Central Park, North Park Avenue and West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park,


The Morse Museum decorates Central Park with stained glass windows and the Bach Festival Choir performs a Christmas concert. Grandma Party Mid-December 2016 (date TBA), Stardust Video & Coffee, 1842 E. Winter Park Road,

Handmade crafts from local artisans and live music from local bands make this our favorite stop for holiday shopping.

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival March 2017 (dates TBA), Central Park, Winter Park,

Browse through booths from tons of artists and vendors at one of the country’s oldest, largest and most prestigious juried art festivals. Art31 March 2017, multiple locations,

The Art & History Museums – Maitland sponsors this monthlong celebration featuring internationally acclaimed artists every year. |

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orlando weekly events Bite30 A monthlong celebration of the best food Central Florida has to offer, with special prix fixe menus at each participating restaurant. June 1-30, 2016, multiple locations, Bite Night Bite Night transforms the historic Orchid Garden Ballroom into a foodie wonderland featuring samples from more than 20 of Orlando’s best-loved chefs and restaurants. June 27, 2016, Orchid Garden, 126 W. Church St., Whiskey Business At this upscale and sophisticated event, guests have the opportunity to sample their way across continents to discover the best scotches, bourbons and whiskeys and take their taste buds on an exploration of wheat and rye. July 29, 2016, Cheyenne Saloon, 128 W. Church St., Best of Orlando Annual party in honor of our Best of Orlando winners. If you snag a ticket to this exclusive party, congratulations: We like you. Aug. 24, 2016, The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave., Artlando A day in the park that features all kinds of art, from choirs to puppets to painting to dance and everything in between. Oct. 1, 2016, Loch Haven Park, 777 E. Princeton St., Big Gay Brunch Before the big gay parade, come eat and drink with us and check out surprise performances at our big gay brunch. Oct. 8, 2016, The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Drive, Orlando Zombie Ball We go all out for our annual Halloween party, featuring a high-stakes costume contest, fantastic holiday photo ops and plenty of special thrills and chills. October 2016, location TBA, Ciclovia Dump your car and get active at this huge community bike parade. Nov. 5, 2016, location TBA Orlando Beer Festival Orlando’s most fun large-scale craft beer festival attracts brewers and guests from all over Florida. Nov. 12, 2016, Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St., Great Orlando Mixer Orlando’s most elaborate vintage venue, the Cheyenne Saloon, radiates a 1920s ambience as attendees enjoy a night of jazz music, burlesque performances and samples of craft cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while the city’s best bartenders compete for the title of the Great Orlando Mixer. Dec. 10, 2016, Cheyenne Saloon, 128 W. Church St., Puppy Love Our tribute to man’s best friends has treats and games, live music and all the butt your pooch can sniff. February 2017, The Acre, 4421 Edgewater Drive, Orlando Chili Cook-Off This event brings the heat with more than 100 different types of chili to sample, the World Chili Eating Championship competition, live music and more. Feb. 18, 2017, Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St., United We Brunch Orlando’s best breakfast and brunch spots come together to offer an array of delicious tastes paired with unlimited mimosas and bloody marys. March 2017, The Orchid Garden, 126 W. Church St., 90 ORLANDO WEEKLY |

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Publisher Graham Jarrett Associate Publisher Leslie Egan Interim Editor Jessica Bryce Young Editorial Calendar Editor Thaddeus McCollum Contributors Holly V. Kapherr, Ashley Belanger, Erin Sullivan, Rob Bartlett Advertising Account Manager Lindsey Hahn Senior Multimedia Account Executive Dan Winkler Multimedia Account Executives Jessica Flynn, Scott Navarro, Jerrica Schwartz Creative Art Director Shelby Sloan Graphic Designers Chris Tobar Rodriguez, Melissa McHenry, Justin Skipper Photgrapher Hannah Glogower Marketing and Events Events Director Zackary Rowe Events and Promotions Manager Brad Van De Bogert Marketing and Events Coordinator Rachel Hoyle Marketing/Promotions Interns Lauren Patton, Emily Franklin Business Operations Manager Hollie Mahadeo Business Assistant Allysha Willison Circulation Circulation Manager Collin Modeste Euclid Media Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Zelman Chief Operating Officers Chris Keating, Michael Wagner Human Resources Director Lisa Beilstein Digital Operations Coordinator Jaime Monzon National Advertising: Voice Media Group 1-888-278-9866,

TABLE OF CONTENTS NEIGHBORHOODS Downtown 11 Thornton Park 15 SODO 19 Mills 50 23 Ivanhoe Village 26 College Park 29 Audubon Park 33 Winter Park 37 UCF 40 Great dates 43 Transit 44

ARTS + CULTURE Arts listings 49 Film series 57

Orlando Weekly Inc. 16 W. Pine St. Orlando, Florida 32801 Phone 407-377-0400 Fax 407-377-0420 Orlando Weekly is published every week by Euclid Media Group Verified Audit Member Orlando Distribution Orlando Weekly is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. Copyright notice: The entire contents of Orlando Weekly are copyright 2016 by Euclid Media Group LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above. Subscriptions: Additional copies or back issues may be purchased at the Orlando Weekly offices for $1. Six-month domestic subscriptions may be purchased for $75; one-year subscriptions for $125.

Literary series 58

ATTRACTIONS + SHOPPING Eight essential Disney hacks 61 Attractions listings 62 Gifts 64 Consignment 66

FOOD, DRINK + FUN Music and nightlife listings 68 Late night eats 76 Brunches 79

ACTIVE LIVING Sports and recreation listings 81

Welcome to the 2016 edition of Orlando Weekly’s Annual Manual. Orlando and its surrounding areas are full of venues, events, activities and shops, and while we cover them on a week-to-week basis, this is our attempt at highlighting a year’s worth of cool stuff. Inside, you’ll find useful lists of museums, bars and clubs, consignment shops, date ideas and more, along with a breakdown of some of our favorite things in Orlando’s diverse neighborhoods. And while Orlandoans are constantly telling out-of-towners that Orlando is more than just Disney, we even include a few tips to help take the headache out of your next visit to the mouse. You’ll want to keep your copy of Annual Manual around for a while. Whenever you find yourself caught in a rut of doing the same old same old, crack it open to get the skinny on a neighborhood, museum or event that you haven’t tried before. And pay special attention to the list of Orlando Weekly’s events. We’ve expanded our schedule to include enough can’t-miss parties and activities to keep you entertained for practically the whole year. We always enjoy putting together this annual guide, because it reminds us that even with all of the problems we deal with (looking at you, I-4 Ultimate), Central Florida is truly a special place to live and getting better every year. We hope you feel the same way.

Day trips 87 Annual events 88 Orlando Weekly events 90 |

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Orlando Weekly Annual Manual 2016  
Orlando Weekly Annual Manual 2016