Parks! Parks! Parks! Shadow Hill Park Longwood

This park was an awesome find! It is nestled in a neighborhood and was very quiet when we stopped by. This was awesome for my toddler and also my big kid.

Shadow Hill Park Longwood

Picnic Tables
Small Children’s Playground
Children ages 7+ Playground

Shadow Hill Park Longwood Photos

Shadow Hill Park Longwood Location/Map

146 Sunset Drive Longwood, FL 32779

Parks! Parks! Parks! The Park at Orwin Manor Winter Park

This is a smaller sized park, with the playground being age appropriate to probably around age 7. There are several benches and a few picnic tables. There are no restrooms or covered pavilions.

The Park at Orwin Manor

Picnic Tables
Small Children’s Playground
Large Field

The Park at Orwin Manor Winter Photos

The Park at Orwin Manor Winter Park Location/Map

Located at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Berkshire Avenue, Winter Park

Parks! Parks! Parks! Bok Tower Gardens

I am guilty – I have lived in Orlando for 15 years – and this is the first trip to Bok Tower Gardens.  We went last weekend and had an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G trip.  I hope to make it a family tradition to visit the gardens during the Christmas season every year.

We heard a live Carillon show – and had a chance to meet the Carillonneur.

There are many special events going on through January 5 including a Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate and special displays, concerts and more.

Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark and is located in Lake Wales.

Visit for more information.



Maitland Community Park – Parks! Parks! Parks!

Maitland Community ParkWe had lovely weather on Saturday – I packed the kids and a picnic (who am I kidding? I hit the drive through at Chick-Fil-A) and drove to Maitland Community Park.

We started out with our picnic on a grassy area, then the kids got distracted when they saw a turtle – lunch was over!  The recreation building was open – it has bathrooms.  There are 2 separate play areas – one for the little kids and one for the bigger kids.  The equipment was all nicely cleaned and maintained.  The equipment in the bigger kids area was amazing! There were many different sections/areas to it to keep kids of all ages interested.


The large pavilion would be great for a party, reunion or other outdoor event.  There are smaller pavilions as well.

This park has so much going on, including: Multi-purpose Room, 4 Lighted Tennis Courts, Indoor Racquetball Courts, Miles of Jogging Trails, Boardwalk, Several Shaded Pavilions for Picnics, 2 Children’s Play Areas, Vita Course, 2 Lighted Basketball Courts.

Tennis classes and other programs are offered at the park, call the recreation building for more information.

Maitland Community Park Hours

1400 Mayo Avenue – Hours: 8 a.m. – 10 pm (T,W,TH)
8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (F, Sa, Su, M)

Recreation Building (407-539-0042)


Maitland Community Park Photos


Maitland Community Park Map/Location

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Red Bug Lake Park – Parks! Parks! Parks!


Red Bug Lake Park Casselberry

This past weekend the kids and I had an opportunity to stop at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry.   We went on Sunday and had perfect weather….just the right amount of shade and breeze to make our visit enjoyable.

There are a few things I liked about this park, one being the playground area was fenced.  I didn’t have to worry about Gavin running off.  I also liked how the  play areas were separated so the little ones were separated from the bigger kids.

There are athletic fields, tennis courts (fee), racquetball (fee) and several pavillions available for rent.

Reg Bug Lake Park is located in Seminole county, in between Dodd Road and 436.  The complex is located near Red Bug Lake Elementary School.

Red Bug Lake Park Hours

Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
3600 Red Bug Lake Road
Casselberry, Fl 32707


Red Bug Lake Park Photos

Red Bug Lake Park Park Status/Rainout Information Line

For up-to-date information on weather conditions, class and rental cancellations, as well as other park information, please call (407) 665-PARK (7275)

Red Bug Lake Park Map/Location

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Friday Nights – Free admission at the Morse Musuem in Winter Park

Morse Museum - Friday Nights
Strolling down Park Avenue yesterday, I spotted this banner advertising the “Friday Nights at the Morse” program the Museum holds from November through April.

Take advantage of this opportunity to visit this wonderful Museum for free every Friday night from 4:00-8:00pm.

On select Friday nights there is live music from 5:00-8:00pm

Visit the Museum located at 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park FL 32789.

Morse Museum Winter Park


The phone is 407-645-5311 and website is


Beautiful Music Chamber Trio

Cello, flute, and violinNovember 1, 2013

Harpist Bizarre Quartet

November 29, 2013

Bass, flute, guitar, and harp

Joshua Englert

December 6, 2013

Classical guitar

Victoria Lynn Schultz

December 13, 2013


Beautiful Music Three Flutes Only

December 20, 2013


Beautiful Music Jazz Trio

December 27, 2013

Flute, guitar, and upright bass

Beautiful Music Asian Duo

January 17, 2014

Flute and harp

Beautiful Music Classical Guitar Duo

February 14, 2014

Flute and guitar

Celtic Crossings

March 14, 2014

Celtic harp, flute, and violin

Beautiful Music Paint It Black Quintet

April 25, 2014

Bass, cello, flute, viola, and violin

Happy Halloween – Halloween Safety Tips

Happy Halloween

Have a safe and fun Halloween!


The Orlando Police Department encourages safety and supervision during the annual Trick-or-Treat season.

It is especially important for parents to adhere to a few safety rules for their children when they are trick-or-treating.

  • Know your children’s route
  • Take a flashlight
  • Be sure costumes, shoes, and treat bags are safe.
  • Remind kids not to enter strangers’ homes or cars.
  • Set rules about not eating treats until kids get home. Be sure to inspect all treats before allowing kids to eat them.
  • Candy that has been opened should be thrown away. Do not eat any homemade treats and inspect fruit closely.
  • Remember drivers have a hard time seeing people, especially at dusk.
  • Never cross the street between parked cars.
  • Watch open flames from jack-o-lanterns as they can catch costumes and long wigs on fire.
  • Make sure that fake knives and swords are made from cardboard or other flexible materials to avoid accidental injury or worse have them mistaken for the real thing!

It is also important to ensure that your home is safe and accessible to trick-or-treaters. As adults, there are some very simple things we can do to make the evening safe everyone.

  • Turn on your porch light.
  • Move lit jack-o-lanterns off the porch where kids get bunched up if they are trick-or-treating in groups.
  • Remove objects from your yard that might present a hazard.
  • Drive slowly all evening-you never know what creature may suddenly cross your path.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Museum Day Live! Saturday 9/28

On Saturday, September 28, more than 1400 museums across the country will waive admission for the ninth annual Museum Day Live!

Tickets are limited to one per household – good for 2 people – and must be presented upon entry for free admission.

Visit for more info and to search for museums near you.

Some of the Central Florida museums participating are:
Art & History Museums Maitland
Cornell Fine Arts Museum Winter Park
Explorations V Children’s Museum Lakeland
Museum of Science & History Sanford
Orange County Regional History Center
Orlando Museum of Art
Osceola County Pioneer Village Kissimmee
Oviedo Historical Society Historical Center
Polk Museum of Art Lakeland
Sanford Museum
The Mennello Museum of American Art Orlando
The Oviedo Preservation Project



Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Buy Local Orlando Program






What is the Buy Local Orlando Program?

Buy Local Orlando connects consumers with Orlando businesses to promote a thriving, economically viable, close-knit community. Unlike other discount services, all Buy Local Orlando vendors are certified City of Orlando businesses and receive 100% of revenue generated from sales through the program – so you can rest assured that the money you spend with them directly contributes to our local economy.

Many of the program’s merchant members offer special discounts to you for presenting a free Buy Local Orlando consumer card during purchase.

You can now download the Buy Local Orlando smart phone application for your iPhone. Take advantage of special offers and discounts for your dining, shopping, entertaining and service-related needs this holiday season!

Visit for more information about the program and print your free consumer membership card!

Baldwin Park Festival of Lights

Saturday, December 10th

6pm Holiday Parade

 Parade Steps off at New broad Street and Common Way Road.

Visit with Santa!

 Enjoy Musical Performances, Face Painters & Balloon Artists

 7pm-10pm – Horse & Carriage Rides