Florida is analogous to entertainment, whether that’s in the form of sports, gambling or an energetic nightlife.
For an adventure the family will never forget, point your wagon toward Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo in Lake Wales. This authentic Florida cowboy-themed property hosts a championship rodeo with trick riding, bull riding, calf roping and barrel racing every Saturday night.
Golf fans flock to Bay Hill Club & Lodge in March to see their favorite duffers at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The month begins and ends with Major League Baseball’s spring training, a staple in Central Florida for more than a century. Locally, cheer on the Detroit Tigers (Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland) and Atlanta Braves (Champion Stadium, Lake Buena Vista).
A happening scene can always be found at both Disney Springs and Universal CityWalk, the latter of which will keep you jumping between Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and the Hard Rock Cafe. Disney Springs is home to the House of Blues and Planet Hollywood.
On International Drive, try ICEBAR Orlando, the largest of its kind in the world. Enjoy a frosty beer or cocktail in a 22 F chill while sitting on ice blocks, then thaw out in the FIRE Lounge. Down the street, Kings Bowl Orlando boasts a chef-created menu and an innovative list of cocktails. The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show at WonderWorks presents comedy with your supper, while the Treasure Tavern Dinner Theatre features a cabaret dinner show suitable for adults only.
Orlando’s Camping World Stadium plays host to three year-end football bowl games: the Cure Bowl, the Russell Athletic Bowl and the Citrus Bowl. In January 2018, the stadium, formerly known as the Citrus Bowl, will host the National Football League’s Pro Bowl.
If you prefer soccer to American football, the Orlando City Soccer Club plays in the Major League Soccer (MLS) organization from March through October. Orlando is also home to the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association.
Downtown Orlando offers a slew of clubs and bars where live music can be heard almost every night. Rock out at Backbooth, discover the blues at Tanqueray’s or trip the light fantastic at Independent Bar.
For a unique evening of dinner, drinks and dancing, board the Rivership Barbara-Lee in Sanford, an authentic sternwheeler paddlewheel ship, for a three-hour tour along Lake Monroe and the St. Johns River.
And while there is little casino action in Central Florida, Ocala Poker and Jai Alai in Reddick hosts poker tournaments and live games, as well as simulcast wagering.
ABOVE: Boardwalk in Blue Spring State Park. BELOW: Ferris wheel in Old Town Kissimmee.