We just booked our next vacation — and although we’re bona fide adults, we’re super-stoked to be heading to Disney World for their annual Marathon Weekend in January 2013. But in order to get motivated, we figured browsing the attractions we’d see while running couldn’t hurt. And what’s more exciting than Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom? Um, nothing! [Ed. note: In fact, I'll be running through the castle come January 13.] Oh, and in case you’re wondering, we booked the Waldorf Astoria Orlando for our stay.
Cinderella's Castle attracts millions of visitors every year, and I get to run through it!
Credit: iStock Photo
Passover means the Jewish population is ditching bread — or anything leavened with yeast — for eight days starting next week. And for many, this requires completely cleaning out one’s kitchen, or, spending a week away from their non-Kosher-for-Passover home in favor of a holiday-friendly hotel. Luckily, some seriously luxurious spots are offering Parve fare along with a week’s worth of R&R. Check out our choices for Passover vacations after the jump!
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Credit: Kyle Rover/startraksphoto/AP
Season 5 of MTV’s Jersey Shore premiered last week, and it’s nice to seem them back in Jerz, with the boardwalk, the beach, and plenty of — or in some cases, too much — booze. But now that each of ‘em rakes in $100,000 per episode, our favorite Guidos and Guidettes can afford to get drunk and trash a place that’s way more luxe than their current Shore digs, so we found hotels where the cast can GTL (for non viewers, that means “gym-tan-laundry”) and enjoy a whole slew of Jersey-approved amenities. After all, you can take Snooki out of the Jersey Shore, but you can’t take the Jersey Shore out of Snooki.
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There’s nothing like water parks during summertime. The kids are ecstatic, the weather is hot, and the energy is soaring. The fun never ends at these aquatic playgrounds, so let the games begin at these 8 magical water parks. Check out our full list of water parks your kids will love >>
Nickelodeon Suites Resort Lake Buena Vista, Orlando
Guests at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, one of Orlando’s best options for families outside of a theme park, have free access to two on-site water parks. The Oasis water park, seen here, has an Olympic-size pool, waterslides, and a kids’ play area (just note that this pool might be closed during the off season). The Lagoon water park, seen here, has a zero-depth entry pool, a four-story water tower, waterslides, two Jacuzzis, and a 400-gallon “dunk tank.”
Nickelodean Suites Resort Orlando, Florida
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House ricotta and crab cavatelli
I like food. A lot.
I like food that is fresh, exciting and innovative. I like food that surprises me with it’s complexity of flavors in the same bite. Food that goes well with wine. And beer. Food that is bright and colorful. And fun. Food that is slow, and moseys to my plate without having to ride cross country with an Amtrak ticket in it’s back pocket.
So when I’m able to experience all of this, I jump at both the opportunity and the chance to tell others. Napa is a new restaurant located in The Peabody Orlando and describes itself as “drawing on inspiration from Wine Country” while having a menu that is”comprised of organic, sustainable farm-to-fork selections”. Intrigued, my friends and I enjoyed a fantastic lunch over at Napa a few weeks ago.
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Sea Of Trees at SeaWorld, Orlando
If you’ll be in Orlando this hoilday season, I can recommend two wonderful holiday events to check out, both at theme parks. Both “SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration” and “Holidays at Universal Studios” have numerous attractions that are special for the season. There are two that I particularly enjoyed, that I believe are can’t miss experiences.
Universal Studios Orlando has an extra special treat in store this year. Mannheim Steamroller are the masters of Christmas music. Their music is powerful and compelling. On December 11th and 18th they will be performing your instrumental favorites and also providing the music for a The Grinch Who Stole Christmas reading. Actual actors from the Grinchmas show (currently on stage at Universal Islands of Adventure) provide their voices (out of costume) for a heartwarming show that people of all ages are sure to love. Read More »
Sea World Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular
Sea World’s Halloween Spooktacular is a fun Halloween event geared towards young children. Special candy stands are set up throughout the park, and children are given a map to help find all of the Treasure Stations, each offering a different type of goody. Read More »
Crepes at Brio Tuscan Grille
Where can you get a good Italian meal, a nice glass of wine, partake in some good people watching, and do a little window shopping at some of the swankiest stores in Orlando?
Answer: Brio Tuscan Grille at the Mall at Millenia
The setting: Brio has multiple locations around Florida, and while I’ve been to two of them, I think I’ve officially decided on the Mall at Millenia location being my favorite. The ambiance is, well, perfect in many different aspects. The dining room is large and open, but segmented into different dining areas with half walls and a variety of seating options. Read More »
Monkey Joe's at the Festival Bay mall
You’ll notice a lot of shopping malls as you drive around Orlando. One of the more recent additions in the International Drive area is Festival Bay located near Universal Studios. The mall has the usual suspects (clothing stores, restaurants), but there are also three attractions that children big and small will absolutely love.
1) Monkey Joe’s is an indoor bounce house pumped full of fun (and, well, air). For less than $10 per child, children (only those 12 and under) can bounce all day long. Parents are unfortunately not invited to jump, but can accompany children 3 and under into the bounce houses. The large room where everything resides is a mecca of large slides, climbing walls, and inflated bridges and tunnels. And for parents? There’s an arcade where parents can sit in massage chairs, watch the big screen TV, or surf the net on the free Wi-Fi connection.
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Harry P. Leu Gardens is a beautiful 50-acre escape, miles away from the intensity of the theme parks. If you’re looking for something relaxing yet entertaining to do while in Orlando, Leu Gardens is a great choice. You’ll have to travel a little further from your hotel if you’re staying in the center of Orlando, but these gardens are worth the drive. Here are three don’t-miss spots to explore inside the gardens.
1) Rose Garden
Take a stroll through the different types of flora and fauna and you won’t miss the Rose Garden. It is the biggest formal rose garden in Florida, boasting over 1,000 blooms a year. Have a seat on one of the iron benches and let your senses take over as you listen to the beautiful Italian fountain and breathe in the sweet scent of roses.
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