Visit Orlando Blog - Nightlife & Entertainment
From rock ‘n roll and country to comedians and dancers, Orlando's after-hours entertainment scene features a variety of live performances and everlasting memories.
Once the sun goes down, Orlando's after-hours experiences begin to heat up - especially when it comes to live entertainment. In the heart of International Drive in an industrial dive bar is DRIP, an explosion of color and movement, backed by a live rock band. Known for its highly visual innovative and messy performance, DRIP creates a sensory environment with colored sand, raining paint, and flying water - not to mention beer available in a rainbow of orange, yellow, red and blue. Just a few steps away at Pointe Orlando is The Orlando Improv Comedy Club & Dinner Theatre, the career launching pad for dozens of familiar faces of TV and film and a great place to share some laughs.
Another great location to see top-touring stand-up comics, as well as nationally known and up-and-coming music acts, is Hard Rock LIVE Orlando at Universal CityWalk. Featuring the latest in sound and lighting technology, Orlando's "Coliseum of Rock" seats up to 3,000 and features a full bar and concession area. Within the Downtown Disney entertainment complex are another two great venues for live entertainment - the House of Blues Orlando, featuring live music and dining, and La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil, an extraordinary avant-garde spectacle with more than 65 artists performing improbable feats of incredible strength and breathtaking beauty.
Construction has already begun, and by early 2014, visitors will have an exciting new dining, entertainment and shopping area to explore, as Phase I of the I-Drive Live project is set to open. Occupying 95,000 square feet of space, the $200 million project will ultimately boast more than 75 shops, restaurants and attractions, including a 25,000-square-foot Madam Tussauds wax museum, 25,000-square-foot Sea Life Aquarium and a central building with national tenants, yet to be named.
Kings Bowl, which provides good food, great music and a memorable bowling experience, is already open. The focal point of the project, and probably one of the coolest parts too, will be the 425-feet Orlando Eye observation wheel, which will reward visitors with a nearly 30 minute journey into the air to enjoy Orlando's unique skyline. Shops and restaurants will continue to open with the final stage to be complete within 24 months.
This year's Universal's Rock the Universe, Florida's biggest Christian music festival, includes 2 nights of performances by renowned Christian rock performers and worship musicians such as Casting Crowns, Switchfoot, Lecrae and Everfound. The event takes place at the Music Plaza Stage at Universal Studios and lasts from 4:00 p.m. through 1:00 a.m. on September 6th and September 7th. Advance ticket prices are $54.99 for one night and $79.99 for both nights. Special weekend packages and group rates are available.
KINGS Bowl Orlando has opened in the "I-Drive Live" project on International Drive. The newest addition to International Drive's entertainment options offers 22 ten pin bowling lanes, four full size billiard tables, more than 60 giant HDTV's and HD projectors and amazing award-winning food. Families with children are welcome by day; at 6 p.m., general public admission moves to age 21 and older.
To know more about Kings Bowl Orlando visit kingsorlando.com
With its fairy tale castles and towering palm trees, there really is something magical about Orlando. Maybe that's why couples from across the globe have chosen it as their favorite destination for honeymoons, anniversary trips, and romantic getaways. If you've come here to woo your boo, you've arrived in the right place.
Photo Credit: Kristen Manieri
1. Lake Eola Swan Boats
A couple of hours can easily drift away while strolling around Lake Eola Park and watching the white and black swans paddling across the lake, but the ideal vantage point of this 43-acre urban park and its iconic fountain is from your very own swan boat. For $15 per half hour, you can rent these paddleboats from the swan dock located across from Relax Grill until 7pm Sunday - Tuesdays, and until 10pm Wednesdays - Saturdays. Reservations are not required.
2. The Great Outdoors
With no lack of sunshine or green spaces, there's nothing stopping you from enjoying some quality time outdoors at Central Florida's city and state parks. Think about renting a canoe at Wekiwa Springs, a tranquil and untouched state park north of Orlando where a beautiful spring and river give couples the option for swimming and kayaking. Or perhaps rent some bikes and head for a ride along the West Orange Trail.
3. Leu Gardens
As one of Orlando's most underappreciated urban gems, it's a shame more Orlando visitors don't carve out a few hours to visit Harry P. Leu Gardens, the 50-acre botanical sanctuary situated just north of downtown Orlando. With its winding paths meandering through rose gardens, bamboo forests, and under towering live oaks mirrored in Lake Rowena, it is one of the prettiest places to visit in Central Florida. And besides being a place for strolling and picnicking, the garden also hosts an outdoor movie screening on the first Friday of most months.
Check out Central Florida's skies with a visit to the Planetarium at Seminole State College, featuring weekly interactive shows that bring thousands of stars and the stories behind them into clear view. Cost per person is typically $6. At the Crosby Observatory atop the Orlando Science Center, budding astronomers attend skywatching events scheduled on weekend evenings throughout the fall and winter months when the night's sky is at its clearest and distant clusters are most visible.
5. Ritz-Carlton Spa
At 40,000 square feet, the Ritz-Carlton Spa on the 500-acre Grande Lakes property is not only Orlando's largest spa, it's also the most popular. A self-proclaimed "oasis of pampering," the spa houses 40 treatment rooms, a co-ed conservatory, two VIP suites, a 6,000 square-foot wellness center and a full service beauty salon. Private locker room feature private Jacuzzis, saunas, and eucalyptus infused steam rooms but the prized perk for couples is the 4,000 square-foot heated outdoor lap pool and hot tub surrounded by cozy loungers that beckon them to order a smoothie and lounge the day away in the sun.
This special post was written by Kristen Manieri. To read more about the romantic side of Orlando and other tips from Kristen, visit GreatDatesOrlando.com.
For theatre lovers, there is a lot to be excited about in 2013 and 2014. The best of Broadway is coming to Orlando with FAIRWINDS Broadway Across America. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre welcomes some of the largest and most spectacular productions Orlando has ever seen including multiple Tony Award winning productions.
The 2013 - 2014 Season includes:
Priscilla Queen of the Desert - April16 - 21, 2013
Memphis - May 14 -19, 2013
Mamma Mia! - October 3 - 9, 2013
The Book of Mormon - October 29 - November 10, 2013
Flashdance - The Musical - December 3 - 8, 2013
Once - January 28 - February 2, 2014
War Horse - February 25 - March 2, 2014
Evita - March 25 - 30, 2014
Jersey Boys - April 15 - 27, 2014
Ghost - The Musical - May 13 - 18, 2014
For more information go to OrlandoBroadway.com.
This year's Viva La Música is truly Central Florida's can't-miss Latin food and concert festival! From April 13 through May 4, Saturdays at SeaWorld Orlando will host the fiesta for guests visiting the park.
With more than 20 years of experience, SeaWorld Orlando's Executive Chef, Héctor Colón, brings back traditional favorites like arroz con gandules, arroz con pollo, habichuelas rojas, maduros, churrasco, ceviche, alcapurrias and bacalaítos.
And as part of the special events, Bayside Stadium will have musical performances by:
- Saturday, April 13 - Daddy Yankee (reggaeton)
- Saturday, April 20 - Willie Colón (salsa)
- Saturday, April 27 - Grupo Manía (merengue)
- Saturday, May 4 - El Gran Combo (salsa)
The concerts are included within regular admission to the park and reserved seating is available with the Viva la Música VIP Package options.
Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.
Disney Springs will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments. Disney will share more details on specific experiences coming to Disney Springs in the future. Construction is slated to begin next month with new areas opening in phases. Disney Springs is expected to be complete in 2016.
A little green on your shirt, a little green in your beer- yes, it's that time of the year again. From bagpipes to corned beef, you can bet that St. Patrick's Day in Orlando will be full of good food, fun times and plenty of cold Guinness. Whether you're Irish or not, Orlando offers some fantastic opportunities for you to celebrate. Maybe this year, you'll find a lucky pot o'gold. If all else fails, there are some great times to be had at these St. Patrick's Day events.
Have a craving for corned beef and cabbage? Join Will's for Southern Fried Sunday- St. Pattie's Edition. The neighborhood pub will feature the authentic Irish dish along with live music by rock, alternative and indie artists like the Kidney Stones, Husky Burnette and more. The event begins at 5:00 p.m. and tickets are $10.
Celebrate in the heart of downtown at Wall Street Plaza's annual St. Patrick's Day Block Party. The fun lasts all weekend with St. Practice day on Saturday, March 16. Your chance to prepare for the big green day, St. Practice day's festivities will start at 5:00 p.m. and will feature live music and drink specials. Sunday's fun begins at noon with live music and bagpipes gracing the venue. Hold your own like an Irishman with drink specials like $3 Irish whiskies, $5 Guinness pints and Irish car bombs and more.
A weekend celebration like no other, The Pub has what you need for an unforgettable St. Pattie's day celebration. Begin the weekend on Saturday March 16 with The Pub's St. Patrick's Day Kick-Off Party and enjoy drink specials and live music beginning at 9:00 p.m. Come back on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. for all day drink specials and live entertainment from authentic bagpipers. Enjoy $3 green beer and $5 Guinness to top off the fun.
A New Orleans classic done with a Central Florida twist, Pat's at Universal CityWalk is hosting two days of St. Pattie's day parties. Join them on Saturday, March 17 at 2:00 p.m. for live entertainment and drink specials all night long. Cover is $10 after 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, the good times begin at noon with happy hour specials from until 6:00 p.m. Cover is $10 after 6:00 p.m. so be sure to get there early and catch the stilt walkers and bead girls.
Spend St. Patrick's laughing the night away! For a different St. Pattie's day experience, Orlando Improv will be giving away two free tickets Sunday, March 17 to see Dan Cummings if you use the word "clover." Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.
Begin your St. Pattie's day festivities early at Raglan Road's Mighty Festival. Beginning Thursday, March 14 at 6:00 p.m. you can enjoy live Irish music, a wide array of beer choices and authentic fare by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. Family-friendly entertainment includes the Raglan Road Dancers and U2 tribute band, Elevation. Saturday, March 16 the cover charge is $5 and Sunday the cover charge is $10. Be sure to catch all the fun at Orlando's longest St. Patrick's day festival.
Party all day for a good cause. Orlando Brewing is hosting Hair of The Dog, a St. Pattie's day celebration Sunday, March 17 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. to benefit Paws Care. Irish fare by C&S Brisket Bus will be available as well as live entertainment and drink specials. Bring along your dog to enjoy happy hour prices.
The Great St. Patrick's Day Trilogy in downtown Orlando begins Friday, March 15 at The Harp and Celt. The Harp is serving up Fish and Chips special on Friday, along with a great selection of Irish drinks and fun. Saturday is a day for gardening- beer gardening that is. Check out the outdoor beer garden "Paddy o'Flynn's" at 6:00 p.m. The tented garden offers a full bar and live Irish entertainment. Be sure to try authentic corn beef and cabbage. Sunday wraps up the weekend's festivities with a traditional Irish celebration beginning at 11 a.m. Irish cuisine, a fully stocked beer garden and fun giveaways will round out a weekend full of St. Patty' day fun.
With so many choices, you're sure to have a St. Patrick's Day celebration like never before. Enjoy the festivities safely and, like the Irish say, "may the road rise up to meet you."
The Downtown Food and Wine Fest at Lake Eola is another local favorite! More than 20,000 foodies and wine lovers experience unique local cuisine paired with wines from around the globe. This weekend all the ways lead to Downtown Orlando to enjoy a unique Orlando foodie tradition.
Forty top restaurants are scheduled to present culinary tastings including the return of the 2012 Foodie Award winners as honored by a panel of Orlando elected officials, food writers and reporters, and celebrity chefs.
Foodie Award (based on one food item for taste, unique flavor and culinary excellence)
Pork Belly Slider - PRIMO by Melissa Kelly at JW Marriott
Best of Show (based on overall menu creativity, depth of offerings, and quality)
Tuscany at Orlando World Center Marriott
Spirit of the Fest (based on fun factor, overall energy and crowd vibe with the booth)
This year's live entertainment only adds up to this exciting event. From local bands to renowned artists, here's this year's live entertainment lineup:
Saturday, February 23
- Rosco Bandana
- Road Soda
- John Smith and Tropical Steel
- Kaleigh Baker & NEM
- Atlanta Rhythm Section
Sunday, February 24 (noon to 7 p.m.)
- CeCe TeNeal
- Vicci Martinez
- Matt Hires
- Andy Grammer
- The All-American Rejects
Location: Downtown Orlando on Robinson Street along Lake Eola
Dates/Times: February 23 from noon to 9 p.m. and February 24 from noon to 7 p.m.
Tickets: Admission is $10 per person. Available at DowntownFoodAndWineFest.com.