Spring in Florida means preparing yards for fresh summer flowers, heading to the beach and, possibly, getting ready to buy or sell a home! Loads of tourists swarm Central Florida for spring break, possibly steering you away from the area’s main attractions. But have no fear! Ample festivals and free events for locals are occurring in both Orlando and Jacksonville to fill up your spring calendars.
Get outside and enjoy the weather in this sunshine state! Here are some ideas:
In this economy, everybody should jump on the chance to enjoy outdoor fun with family and friends at the fair free price that these events offer!
During April and May, an abundance of parks in Orlando and Jacksonville provide free family-friendly movies in the park! Pack a picnic and a blanket and enjoy this outdoor experience! Some of the parks that offer this include Enzian Theater in Central Park and City Hall in Lake Mary on every second Thursday of the month, and Treaty Oak at Jessie Ball DuPont Park on April 17 and 24, and May 1 and 8.
Every first Wednesday of the month, downtown Jacksonville presents the Art Walk! Jacksonville streets fill up with all types of appreciative art forms. This includes an array of performing artists, such as Jazz trio performers, and visual arts with paintings and photography!
Every Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., head to Hemming Plaza Market for some midday entertainment and lunch! Shop around for just about anything, from baked goods and fresh produce to flowers and jewelry! Live music is performed while you look.
Every Friday evening through the month of April, take advantage of free admission that Morse Museum of American Art provides from 4 to 8 p.m. While appreciating art, you can also enjoy an array of live music. On April 10, for example, Beautiful Music Muse Trio will perform for your viewing pleasure!
Every Friday evening, enjoy a different assortment of live entertainment at Uptown Altamonte from 7-9 p.m. Friday Night Live changes it up every week, providing a variety of jazz, pop, contemporary and more! Each week is a new experience.
Always wished you were a surfer? Wish that you visited the beach more often? From April 10-12, head to Cocoa Beach to view the Ron Jon Surf Festival! Championship surfers from the ages 12 to 80 compete and show off their incredible surfing skills!
Start watering your lawns and gardens before April 11, so you are prepared for the annual rose and hibiscus sale at Leu Gardens! On May 9, enjoy a night of Florida’s top jazz and blues musicians! To attract gardening lovers year-round, Leu Gardens provides storytelling for kids on the third Monday of the month, three times a day.
On April 25, stargaze through telescopes from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Dark Sky Festival at Harmony in St. Cloud! While you search for constellations or shooting stars, guides will inform you of what you’re seeing and what it means! Live entertainment and a variety of informative speakers are also included.
Though these events and festivals aren’t free, they only come once a year! Pencil these into your schedule for a special, unique experience:
Missed the opportunity to celebrate Mardi Gras? No worry! Universal Studios is celebrating through April 18. Find some colorful beads and a vibrant mask and pretend the holiday is everyday!
From April 16 to 26, enjoy a traditional, old-fashioned festival at the annual Central Florida Fair at Central Florida Fairgrounds. Here you can check out arts and crafts, spin and flip on the rides, listen to live music, devour festival foods and so much more!
For all you car lovers, come view a collection of the most exotic, extreme cars at the Celebration Exotic Car Festival from April 17-19 at the Celebration waterfront. The Ferrari Club of America hosts the event and only displays the most impressive styles!
If you enjoy wine and live music, the Blues at the Winery allows you to enjoy them together from April 25-26. Visit Lakeridge Winery and taste an assortment of foods and wines while appreciating the sounds of blues music.
From May 9 to 10, enjoy food and wine varieties while appreciating the sounds of jazz!
During the last week of April, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all over again at the Jacksonville Irish Festival! Whether you’re Irish or not, you will still enjoy the Irish musicians and dancers while savoring Irish food favorites and admiring Irish crafts.
Last chance to value the sounds of jazz! From May 21-24, attend the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and listen to the unique tunes of jazz piano competitions! Even if jazz doesn’t interest you, you can still enjoy wine tasting and art displays.
Through May 31, Disney’s Epcot hosts the International Flower & Garden Festival! While you enjoy live entertainment and delicious food, you also receive education on all the types of lush, gorgeous flowers that exist!
For a rainy day, head to an indoor Broadway performance anytime you like!
Upcoming shows at the Performing Arts Centre include the longtime favorite, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, from April 14 to 19, and a new favorite about The Four Seasons, Jersey Boys, from May 6 to 14.
At Moran Theatre, learn the history of the Wizard of Oz witches during Wicked, performed from April 23 to May 10.
For a different approach, appreciate the talent of Shakespeare at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. Through April, you can catch “Much Ado About Nothing” and “The Merchant of Venice.”
Though sports are sparse this time of year in central Florida, you can still catch an Orlando Magic game before the basketball season ends! The last home games at RDV Sportsplex are on April 8, 10 and 15. Visit their website for ticket information.