Last-minute spring break ideas
From the staff of the CFF
Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 17:02
State fairs have been popular for years and offer something for all generations to enjoy. This year the 100th annual Central Florida Fair is happening during spring break, from March 1 to the 11th. There are daily shows including a celebrity hypnotist, a youth rodeo, camel rides, a petting zoo, food vendors and more. At only $12 for an adult ticket and $6 for a child, the fair is one of the cheaper things to do during spring break. The fair is located at 4603 W. Colonial Drive and opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.
Taking a day trip to a state park is an inexpensive way to spend some time outdoors and away from the city. Two within an hour-and-a-half drive from the Orlando area are Wekiva Springs State Park and De Leon Springs State Park. Admission to either is under $10 per car. Both offer kayak and canoe rentals to explore the surrounding rivers and creeks. The natural springs are 72 degrees year-round and have crystal clear water that is great for snorkeling or scuba diving. Both sights offer picnic areas and De Leon Springs is home to The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House where guests cook their own custom pancakes on griddles installed in each table. Directions and hours can be found for both at www.floridastateparks.org.
Florida Strawberry Festival
Each year, as spring blossoms, so does strawberry season. During the week of spring break, Plant City holds its annual Strawberry Festival – complete with country music, fair rides and endless strawberry shortcake. From March 1 to March 11 the festival offers different events for guests, including concerts performed by top country artists such as Luke Bryan, The Band Perry and Rodney Atkins. Located near Tampa, the venue is located about an hour and a half away from the UCF area. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. For concert and admission ticket prices, as well as a list of other events and information, visit http://www.flstrawberryfestival.com.
Spring Training Games
Major League Baseball is back, and spring training starts at just about the same time as spring break. Spring training is unique to Florida and Arizona, and Central Florida alone hosts a handful of teams. Knights can drive about 45 minutes east to Viera to catch a Washington Nationals game. Knights can head to Champion Stadium at Disney's Wide World of Sports to root for the Atlanta Braves. Also within about an hour of driving distance are the Houston Astros in Kissimmee and the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland. Each of these locations allow fans to soak up the sun and some of America's oldest pasttime, all while munching on some peanuts and cracker jacks. And if you head out to Tigertown, be sure to try the strawberry shortcake. Ticket prices vary.
Instead of planning a trip and paying for attraction tickets during spring break, why not head to the beach? Daytona Beach's sands are just over an hour to the east of campus and offer a day of plan-free, stress-free and fee-free fun. Temperatures over break will be between 70 and 80 degrees, and most of the time the weather will be sunny. Be sure to grab three or four friends to split gas, and bring a cooler stocked with sandwiches and sodas. For more info, visit www.daytonabeach.com.
For those that are of the legal drinking age, check out some of the area's local breweries. There are a few within driving distance, including Orlando Brewing in Orlando, Shipyard Brew Pub in Winter Park (a restaurant that has house brews), Orange Blossom Pilsner in Orlando and, though it's a bit farther, Cigar City Brewing in Tampa and the Tampa Bay Brewing Company. Taking a tour of these breweries would be a great time coupled with a chance to try some truly unique beers. If you're in need of last minute spring break plans, attempting to visit all four of these could do the trick.