Now that summer has officially begun, we look forward to the hot, hot days of July in Florida. There is so much to do and see. What will you be doing this July? If you live in or will be traveling to the Central Florida area, here are just a few ideas to help keep you busy in the upcoming weeks:
July 1: Red, White and Zoo, Sanford. Celebrate Independence Day with live music, games, food, children’s crafts, face painting, waterslide, zoo-animal encounters, and a watermelon-eating contest with Maude and Mary. Free with regular paid zoo admission. www.centralfloridazoo.org
July 3: Red Hot and Boom, Altamonte Springs. Popular festival that includes live music from nationally and internationally known entertainers, as well as an awesome fireworks display and food-beverage booths. Sponsored by the City of Altamonte Springs and XL 106.7 FM, it is Central Florida’s largest Independence Day celebration. At Cranes Roost Park. Free admission.
July 4: Old-Fashioned July Fourth Celebration, Winter Park. Beautiful Central Park downtown is the site of this lively festival featuring patriotic music, a parade, hot-dog-eating contest and other activities for the family. Admission is free.
July 4: Mount Dora 4th of July Celebration, Mount Dora. Independence Day celebration with a parade, live music and fireworks at dusk. Sponsored by the Rotary Club. Free. www.mountdora.com/events.php
July 4: Celebration of Freedom, Winter Springs. Gather the family and spend an all-American day of live music, great food, kids’ games, contests, activities and an awesome fireworks display over Lake Jesup. At Central Winds Park. Free.
July 4: Fourth of July Lakefest Celebration, St. Cloud. A community get-together on Lakeshore Boulevard with day-long activities, entertainment, arts and crafts and fireworks. Festivities start at 10 a.m. Free admission. http://goflorida.about.com/od/eventsfestivals/ss/fourthofjuly_2.htm
July 4: July Fourth Celebration, Cocoa. Independence Day celebration featuring the Brevard Symphony Orchestra playing along with a beautiful fireworks display. From 8 to 9:30 p.m. At Riverfront Park in downtown Cocoa Village. Free admission. www.cocoafl.org/CurrentEvents.asp
July 4: July Fourth Celebration, Kissimmee. One of the most popular annual events in Osceola County, this holiday celebration attracts more than 45,000 people and features live entertainment, karaoke, arts and crafts, bingo, a food festival, water-ski show and a spectacular fireworks display. At Kissimmee Lakefront Park. Free admission.
July 4: Fourth of July Celebration, Sanford. A family oriented holiday extravaganza with live entertainment, games, family activities and concessions, this event culminates with one of the largest fireworks shows in Central Florida. Festivities take place along the city’s brand-new RiverWalk downtown, overlooking Lake Monroe. Admission is free.
July 4: Fourth of July Celebration, St. Cloud. Celebrate Independence Day along the laid-back St. Cloud Lakefront with live music, carnival rides, a petting zoo, classic car show, model stock car racing, an arts and crafts show, food and fireworks display. Admission is free.
July 4: Fireworks at the Fountain, Orlando. Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon around beautiful Lake Eola in downtown Orlando with games, activities, live entertainment and delicious food, followed by a fabulous 30-minute fireworks display at night. Admission is free.
July 4: Independence Day Celebration, Ormond Beach. Holiday celebration featuring food, music, games, arts and crafts, inflatables and, of course, fireworks. 6-10 p.m. At City Hall Plaza-Fortunato Park-Rockefeller Gardens. Free. www.ormondbeach.org/
July 4: Walt Disney World July Fourth Celebrations, Lake Buena Vista. A variety of special events for Fourth of July are scheduled at all four major theme parks, Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios™, such as patriotic parades, live music and spectacular fireworks shows. A street party with live entertainment and fireworks is also planned for Downtown Disney. All Fourth of July celebrations are included in the regular admission price.
July 5: Music on the Beach Concert, Tarpon Springs. The Relics (Classic Rock) perform at Sunset Beach. No pets, no alcoholic beverages. Hot dogs, popcorn, sodas and water available. Free admission, but donations are appreciated. www.tarponspringsmusic.com
July 7: First Saturday Jam and Community Cookout, Barberville. Every first Saturday of the month visit the Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts for entertainment and fun for the entire family. There will be informal music jams, free workshops, and food, and at 3 p.m., there will be a barn-style dance. www.pioneersettlement.org
July 7, 14, 21, 28: Summer Music Series, Clermont. Live music every Saturday from 1-4p.m. in front of the vineyards at Lakeridge Winery. Food, complimentary tours and wine tasting. Free. http://www.lakeridgewinery.com/
July 7: Daytona Coke Zero 400, Daytona Beach. Celebrating Independence Day by watching NASCAR’s elite compete at Daytona International Speedway is a family tradition among die-hard racing fans. It’s nighttime racing at its best, followed by a spectacular fireworks extravaganza. Admission prices vary. www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
July 9-30: ESPNHS Games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, Lake Buena Vista. This event will be anchored by three invitation-only, elite high-school sporting events. It will continue to feature the premier high-school talent in the country in basketball, football, lacrosse and soccer, while youth athletes aspire to their level of greatness in baseball, basketball, field hockey, lacrosse and track & field. At Wide World of Sports Complex.
July 19-21: Celebrity Mascot Games, Orlando. Watch more than 30 mascots from the NFL, NHL, NBA, NCAA and MLB compete in wild and crazy games such as Mascot Joust, Inflatable Obstacle Course and Dodge Ball. 19th annual. At Stetson University and Amway Center. www.mascotgames.org/
July 25: Hyde Park Village Live Music Series, Tampa. Now in its 23nd year, this series of musical evenings offers great fun on the last Wednesday of the month. With a free concert, all beverage sales will benefit Quantum Leap Farm. At Old Hyde Park Village. http://hydeparkvillage.net/
July 26-29: Summer Sidewalk Sale and “Survivor” Reunion, Celebration. Have a chance to meet previous winners and cast members of the TV reality show “Survivor” at this summer sidewalk sale at Celebration’s Town Center. Free. www.celebrationtowncenter.com
July 28: Art Walk on Flagler, New Smyrna Beach. Make the fourth Saturday of each month a special day at the beach. Join resident and guest artists, view their works on porches and in studios as you stroll from river to ocean down historic Flagler Avenue. This month’s theme is Christmas in July. Free.
Can’t wait to see the winds of summer carry me off to? Perhaps it’s a good time to plan a road trip for the 4th of July weekend or a stay-cation to enjoy the things we never get to. Where will the winds of summer carry you off to?
Carmen M. Perez, Travel Counselor
Your Florida Travel Expert and Gal Pal Bounce Back Getaways Specialist
Let’s start planning — You dream it, I plan it, you deserve it.
Visit My Website: www.GalPalBounceBackGetaways.com
Telephone: (407) 900-9258 E-mail: Carmen@CmpTravelCounselor.com