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Dawn Henthorn

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Easter Weekend Events and Tips

Tuesday April 15, 2014
Flowers at Epcot Flower & Gardent Festival

While it looks like the weather for Easter Sunday in Florida will be quite good with temperatures in the high 70s or low- to mid-80s, we all might need an umbrella on Friday and Saturday. North Florida is forecast for a 60 percent chance of rain on Friday, while the rest of the state will have a 40 percent chance on Friday and 30 percent on Saturday. If you haven't already made plans, you might want to consider these things to do when it rains in Florida.

Easter may not be the best time to visit Disney World to avoid crowds, but these April tips will help make your spring vacation more pleasant. The best chances for rain are Friday and Saturday, so follow these things to do when it rains at Disney World for a wet but wonderful time.

Easter weekend events:

  • The Ford Winter Estate is celebrating 50 Years of Mustang on Saturday, April 19, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The admission price of $20 also includes the audio tour of the homes, gardens, lab and museum at the Estate.
  • Dress up those little ones and take along a camera to capture some memorable photos at these popular Meet the Bunny Opportunities!
  • Ron Jon's 50th Easter Surfing Festival will take place in Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach from Friday, April 18 through Sunday, April 20. There will be a Sunrise Service on Sunday morning.
  • The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival continues in full bloom this weekend with workshops and Flower Power concerts featuring The Grass Roots appearing on stage Friday through Sunday -- April 18-20. All can be enjoyed for just the price of regular Epcot admission.
  • Enjoy Easter Egg Hunts at Green Meadows Farm in Kissimmee Thursday, April 17 through Sunday, April 20, 2014.
  • Catch some beads at Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras where Kool & the Gang will appear in concert Saturday evening.
  • Enjoy a spectacular Easter sunrise at Bok Tower Gardens and stay for the special afternoon Easter Carillon recitals.

Photo © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

Buy SunFest 2014 Tickets Now

Sunday April 13, 2014
SunFest

SunFest, Florida's largest waterfront music and art festival, will kick off April 30 and continue for five music-filled days. Of course, SunFest, held along the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront, is all about the music; and, the 2014 artist lineup seems poised to excite a wide range of fans — from rock to reggae and country to hip-hop. The family-friendly event also features a Youth Park open Friday through Sunday and a firework spectacular to close the event Sunday evening. If you are planning to attend, and if you want to save money, be sure to purchase your tickets online before April 26.

  • What: SunFest 2014
  • When: April 30 - May 4, 2014
  • Where: Downtown West Palm Beach

Photo © SunFest

LEGOLAND Florida Water Park Opens for Season

Friday April 11, 2014
LEGOLAND Florida Water Park

LEGOLAND Florida's Water Park will open for the season — Saturday, April 12. The water park is specifically designed for families with children ages 2-12 and features more than four-million LEGO bricks in an interactive water environment. It's water play for the entire family! The water park will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily with extended hours to 6:00 p.m. from June 28 through August 16 and will close for the season after September 28.

Admission to LEGOLAND Florida is required with an upgrade of $15 for admission to the water park. You can save $15 off regular LEGOLAND Florida admission by picking a date and purchasing your ticket online in advance.

Key West Songwriters' Festival

Monday April 7, 2014
GuitarMark your calendar and make your reservations! The 2014 Key West Songwriters' Festival will kick off Wednesday, May 7, and continue for five days and nights through Sunday, May 11. The festival features more than 100 top songwriters and revolves around more than 30 shows, staged at more than 25 of Key West's most popular drinking holes and hot spots, and introduces fans to the face, voices and stories behind the songs.

Read more about Key West:

Plan Your Trip to Key West:

Photo © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

Ford Winter Estate Celebrating 50 Years of Ford Mustang

Sunday April 6, 2014
Ford Mustang Beach Party

Nothing draws generations of car fans together than the Ford Mustang — its as popular today as it was 50 years ago. Where better to celebrate 50 years of Mustangs than at Henry Ford's Estate on the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers where collectors will showcase their Mustangs riverside.

The event will feature live music with BBQ and beverages available for purchase. The admission price of $20 includes the audio tour of the homes, gardens, lab and museum.

  • What: Celebrating 50 Years of Ford Mustang
  • Where: Edison & Ford Winter Estates
  • When: Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $20 (Edison-Ford Members FREE)

Photo © Tom Kelley/Getty Images

Wednesday Weekend Roundup

Wednesday April 2, 2014
Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

This weekend expect partly cloudy skies during the weekend throughout most of the state with temperatures in the high 70's to mid-80s. The Panhandle may experience isolated thunderstorms throughout the weekend and Jacksonville scattered showers on Saturday, so you might want to pack an umbrella or poncho just in case and check out one of these things to do when it rains in Florida. Otherwise, get out and enjoy these great events:

  • Friday, Saturday & Sunday — April 4, 5 & 6 — enjoy blues performers, barbecue and seafood, children's activities, arts, and crafts at Springing the Blues Festival held at Jacksonville Beach's Seawalk Pavilion. The Festival kicks off Friday at 5:00 p.m.
  • Grab some grub First Friday Food Trucks roll into Flamingo Gardens from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. — 15 food trucks will be on hand, a DJ will spin tunes and parking is free.
  • Look for celebrities around town as the Sarasota Film Festival kicks off Friday evening featuring Last Days of Vietnam, a documentary directed by Rory Kennedy (daughter of Ethel Kennedy).
  • The Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In provides the last chance for the public to visit Polk City's Fantasy of Flight which last day of operation is Sunday, April 6. The Navy's Blue Angels will perform at 4:30 each day and Saturday airplane and car enthusiasts can enjoy Mustangs & Mustangs — a tribute that will include displays of both.
  • Saturday grab the kids and head to SeaWorld Orlando for its Just For Kids Festival which is included with park admission. This family-friendly event is part of SeaWorld's 50th Celebration.
  • Catch some beads at Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras where Skillet will appear in concert Saturday evening.
  • The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival continues in full bloom this weekend with workshops and Flower Power concerts featuring Paul Revere & The Raiders appearing on stage Friday through Sunday — April 4-6. All can be enjoyed for just the price of regular Epcot admission.
  • This weekend enjoy food fit for a king, along with crafts, period performers and continuous entertainment at the Florida Renaissance Festival in Miami.

Photo © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

Sun 'n Fun Fly-In Provides Last Chance to See Fantasy of Flight

Wednesday April 2, 2014
Blue Angels

Early last month, Fantasy of Flight announced it would close April 6. How ironic that the last days of the attraction will draw thousands to the 40th Annual Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In, featuring aerial performances by the Navy's Blue Angels Friday, Saturday and Sunday — April 4-6 — at 4:30 p.m. each day. Additionally, activities open to the public are tomorrow's Sun 'n Fun Splash-In and Saturday's 17th Annual Mustangs and Mustangs — featuring both the cars and planes.

Admission tickets for Sun 'n Fun are $37/day for adults and $15/day for youth (ages 11-17) with children age 10 and under admitted free. Weekly and VIP upgraded tickets are available.

Fantasy of Flight is located off I-4 halfway between Orlando and Tampa in Polk City.

Photo © Blue Angels

Meet the Bunny Opportunities & More

Tuesday April 1, 2014
Flamingo Gardens Bunny

We're just three weeks away from Easter and if you're looking for meet-and-greet opportunities with the Easter Bunny, all you have to do is dress up those little ones and take along a camera to capture some memorable photos at these popular events.

  • Bring your camera and your children to Meet the Bunny at Flamingo Gardens and make Easter cards Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20. The Orchid/Bromeliad Expo & Sale is the same weekend from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. Click here for a special event coupon good for $4.50 off regular admission of $18 for ages 12 and up and $2.50 off regular admission of $10.00 for children 4-11. Children under 4 are admitted free. Parking is free.
  • It's a hip-hopping weekend of Easter — April 18-20 — at Miami Seaquarium's BunnyPalooza. Continuous egg hunts, South Florida's biggest Easter parade at 12:30 p.m. each day, rides, slides and daily appearances by the Easter Bunny!
  • About.com's ex-Orlando Guide, Theresa Johnston, offers a great selection of Easter events in Orlando, including meet the bunny opportunities and Easter brunches.
  • Zoo Miami (formerly Miami Metrozoo) will host it's annual Egg Safari on Saturday and Sunday, April 19 & 20, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The two-day event features continuous egg safaris, fun activities, the Easter Bunny, and more for kids age 12 and under.
  • Details haven't been released for Jungle Island's Eggstravaganza will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 18-20. The family-friendly event usually features daily Easter egg hunts and Easter Bunny visits, along with bounce houses, face painting and other fun spring activities.

More Easter weekend activities:

Photo © Flamingo Gardens

Ron Jon 50th Easter Surfing Festival

Tuesday April 1, 2014
Cocoa Beach SurferIt's billed as the second oldest surfing competition in the United States. It's Ron Jon Surf Shop's annual Easter Surf Festival and it is expected to draw more than 300 amateur and professional male and female surfers of all ages, as well as thousands of spectators to Cocoa Beach. The festival, celebrating its 50th year, has grown into a showcase for eventual World Championship Contenders, with competitors this year vying for championship titles, cash and prizes during the three-day event. While it's a chance for surfers to exhibit their style and quality of surfing, festival-goers may participate in clinics, view displays, gather a few autographs from top surfers and perhaps grab a free giveaway or two from sponsors. Also, there will be Sunrise Services on Easter Sunday morning!

Read more about:
Ron Jon Surf Shop and Cocoa Beach

Photo © Space Coast CVB

Florida's Summer Camps

Sunday March 30, 2014
Lowry Park Zoo Kids Campers with GiraffeWhen school is out, camps across Florida fling open their doors to nearly every adventure imaginable. But, gone are the days of summer camp being limited to a few days "roughing it" in wilderness-style dorms. Instead of swimming, canoeing, volleyball and campfire sing-a-longs, many kids are undertaking adventures of a different sort, and some are in the most unlikely places... like your favorite theme parks! Check out these featured camps that are some of the most unique and interesting. Where will you find them? In Florida, of course! Some camps fill up fast, so sign your kids up now!

Photo © Lowry Park Zoo

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