Category Archives: Top 5 Visual Arts Events

Announcing the December Top 5 Events!

Top 5 “Special Events”

Christmas in the Park
December 3
Central Park in Winter Park
Imagine strolling through lighted Tiffany windows on display while listening to the 150-member Bach Festival Choir performs…yeah, it’s all that!

Orlando Puppet Festival
December 3-10
Multiple Venues
IBEX Puppetry’s 6th annual festival…live shows, puppets, and more!

Leu’s Holiday House
Through January 3
Leu Gardens
The Leu House is decorated with different themes to celebrate the holiday season.

Holidays at the Waterhouse
Through January 9
Lake Lily in Maitland
After you stroll around the picturesque lake, stop in at the historic Waterhouse residence, decorated for the holidays.

Theme Parks (Yes, all of them!)
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Sea World’s Christmas Celebration
Sea World

Top 5 “Family” Events

The Little Drummer Boy
Opens December 4
Pinocchio’s Marionette Theater
This holiday favorite has become a tradition at Pinocchio’s…and it is fabulous!

Brunch with Santa
December 11
Central Florida Zoo
Watch the animals get their holiday gifts as Santa visits the zoo!

The Polar Express
December 17
Leu Gardens
One of our favorite holiday movies, starring the voice of Tom Hanks.

History Holiday Camp
December 20-22 and 27-29
Orange County Regional History Museum
Children in grades K-2 and 3-5 can attend a fun, educational and interactive camp featuring themes like “Holidays Around the World” and “Under the Sea.”

Parades (Yes, 3 of them!)
Christmas Parade
December 4
Winter Park or Mount Dora… your pick!

Lighted Boat Parade and Water Ski Show
December 11
Winter Park – Lakes Osceola and Virginia (Viewable from the Polasek Museum of Art)

Citrus Bowl Parade
December 30
Downtown Orlando

Top 5 “Performing Arts” Events

Chaps! A Jingle Jangle Christmas
Opens December 1
Orlando Shakespeare Theater
Get your cowboy hat on because this hilarious show will bring back our favorite cowboys (and songs) from yesteryear.

The Festival of Lights – An Evening of Stories in Celebration of Chanukah
December 2-5
Seminole State College Fine Arts Theater
Southern Winds Theatre presents a show honoring the Jewish holiday tradition.

19th Annual Brouhaha Film & Video Showcase
December 4-5
Enzian Theater
Support local filmakers as they feature their best and most entertaining videos, documentaries, animation, and experimental movies. A juried show, the winners will have a chance to be shown at the 20th Annual Florida Film Festival.

December 11-12
Center for Contemporary Dance
For a decidedly non-holiday event, the Moore Dance Projects in partnership with the Florida Museum of Art presents the story of a man discovering possibilities.

The Nutcrackers (Yes, plural!)
The Chocolate Nutcracker
December 11-12
Bob Carr
A multicultural and charming approach to the holiday tradition… well worth seeing!

The Nutcracker
December 17-19
Bob Carr
A holiday tradition from Orlando Ballet and favorite for decades. Love it!

Top 5 “Fitness” Events

OUC Half Marathon
December 4
Lake Eola
Billed as one of the Southeast’s top road races, over 3,500 runners will show what their made of, going anywhere from 3 to 13 miles!

A Bicycle Ride through Christmas Fantasy Land
December 11
Casselberry/Winter Park
Join hundreds of bike riders as they cruise through the brightly lit neighborhoods. Even registration benefits New Hope for Kids.

Dan Newlin Reindeer Run
December 11
Sea World
Run or walk the 3.1 miles through Sea World… how fun!

Elf Classic Running Festival
December 11-12
Moss Park
Billed as one of the best “off road” running events in Florida, there are a multitude of races and challenges for the avid runner.

5th Annual Kangaroo Run
December 11
Central Winds Park, Winter Springs
Almost a thousand students, grades K-5 from 12 schools, will be making the Kangaroo Run this year. All are invited!

Top 5 “Visual Arts” Events

Bizarre Bazaar
December 1
Washburn Imports
Featuring favorite artisans in jewelry, artwork, and accessories…fun! Sponsored by Orange Appeal.

The Grab & Go Show
December 11
Neon Forest
A group art show featuring works of art for $100 or less…how fabulous for a holiday gift!

Hoard by Tess Bonacci
December 16 only
The Daily City Mobile Art Show
Unusual artwork, indeed…this spotlights the strange disorder of animal hoarding. Definitely a must-see!

Cheers to the Holidaze!
December 16
Gallery on First, Sanford
Ring in the season with the annual Cheers to the Holidaze December street party, where the Vendo-Art machine will be full of affordable hand-painted artwork.

XX-XY/Gender Representation in Art
Opens December 18
Orlando Museum of Art
This exhibit will call upon the museum’s permanent collections as well as loans from other museums in order to examine the role of men and women in different cultures and time periods.

Top 5 “Charity” Events

2010 Taste of the NFL
December 2
Sonesta Hotel
Six local restaurant will work together to fight hunger. Wine sales, silent auction, and ticket sales will help feed the hungry by benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank.

She Stoops to Conquer
December 2
Mad Cow Theatre
For one night only this hilarious show will have 20% of ticket sales benefit the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. Nice!

Hoppen Family Holiday Show
December 4
Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center
Larry Hoppen, from the band ORLEANS who sings “Still the One” will fill the theater with holiday songs to raise funds and bring in non-perishable food for Sanford’s Rescue Outreach Mission.

Happy Hour for the History Center at Urban Flats Downtown
December 7
Urban Flats, Downtown
Wine, food and friends at a holiday happy hour? And it all benefits the Orange County Regional History Center’s educational programs for children and adults? We’re in!

Ugly Sweater Party
December 18
The Lodge, Downtown Orlando
Benefiting XL1067’s Baby DJ program, just put on an ugly sweater, bring a toy, and enjoy!

Top 5 “Other Music” Events

Christmas at the Casa
December 2
Casa Feliz
A holiday open house featuring Victorian carolers. We just love the atmosphere to get us in the seasonal spirit!

A Classic Christmas
December 11-12
Knowles Memorial Chapel, Rollins College
The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park presents its annual Christmas program, featuring the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
December 12
Amway Center
One of the bestselling concert acts in the world is back with its holiday magic…sounds ideal!

Merry TubaChristmas
December 18
Central Park in Winter Park
Brass and baritone players of all ages take center stage… what fun!

December 21
The Plaza Theater
With the success of Glee bringing fans back to this style of music, we can’t wait!

Top 5 “Literary” Events

Meet Author Marc Franco
December 3
Barnes and Noble, Colonial Plaza
Meet this local author as he signs his new children’s book Catching Santa: The Kringle Chronicles, Book 1.

Brown Bag Lunch & Learn – Yes, You! An Entertaining Autobiography in Three Easy Steps
December 8
Orange County Regional History Museum
Regardless of your writing experience, author Elizabeth Coursen can show everyone how to write an entertaining life story!

125th Anniversary Party
December 9
Winter Park Public Library
We just love the fact that there have been bibliophiles here for over a century! Let’s celebrate!

Meet Florida Lottery Winner: Richard Lustig
December 11
Orlando Public Library
Meet local author and seven-time grand prize lottery winner (Yes, 7 times!) as he shares his secret to winning.

Local Authors Festival
December 18
Orlando Public Library
Support Central Florida authors from a variety of genres and experiences…win prizes, too.

Top 5 “Sporting” Events

Florida Citrus Sports Shoot Out
December 1
Amway Center
Florida Gators vs. the UCF Knights in basketball… the first collegiate game in the new Amway Center… YES!

LPGA Tour Championship
December 2-5
Grand Cypress Golf Club
More than 100 professional female golfers will play for 1.5 millions dollars in prize money.

Conference USA Championship
December 4
Brighthouse Stadium
Congrats to the Golden Knights for taking UCF to the conference championships! Woot!

Champs Sports Bowl
December 28
Florida Citrus Bowl
The teams haven’t been announced yet, but as one of Orlando two bowls, we’re excited to see who’s coming!

Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks
December 30
Amway Center
Anytime the Magic take on the Knicks, you know it’s going to be good!

Top 5 “Popular Music” Events

Mix 105.1’s Holiday Soiree: The Goo Goo Dolls with Kris Allen
December 5
House of Blues
American Idol winner paired with one of our favorite bands? Oh yeah! Can’t wait!

Jim Brickman
December 8
Bob Carr
We’re hoping to get these tickets as an early Christmas present!

12 Days of Christmas: Amy Grant & Vince Gill
December 9
King Performing Arts Center, Melbourne
We just love this in-love couple…and we think they sing pretty darn well, too!

XL1067 XL’Ent XMAS 2010
December 12-14
House of Blues
Featuring a variety of acts ranging from Maroon 5, Train, Enrique Iglesias, B.O.B., Bruno Mars, Jay Sean, Paramore, and more, it looks like an excellent series of holiday concerts!

Huey Lewis and the News
December 15
Hard Rock Live
Be still our hearts as we are whisked back to the 80s!


Filed under December 2010, Top 5 Literary Events, Top 5 Other Music Events, Top 5 Performing Arts Events, Top 5 Popular Music Events, Top 5 Sporting Events, Top 5 Visual Arts Events

November’s Top 5 “Visual Arts” Events

1) 35th Annual Festival of the Masters

November 12-14 at Downtown Disney
We love this annual event that showcases 150 award-winning sculptors, jewelers, and painters, both local and national. It is a FREE event held at Downtown Disney West Side from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm daily. (And, check out all the great dining you can enjoy at lunch or dinner!)

2010 Festival artwork "Coming Together" by Amel Platon


Add in the House of Blues special Folk Art Festival, featuring over 40 folk artists and musicians, and then the Central Florida Chalk Association decorating over 6,000 square feet of sidewalks, and this is a pretty cool weekend to see!

One of the sidewalk chalk masterpieces from last year.

Another sidewalk chalk masterpiece, by Orangewood Christian School.

2. Art at the Casa

November 3-10 at Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
Featuring Bernie Martin, this artist is famous for his look of a 19th Century impressionist. Often featuring ballerinas, we’re excited to see his work in person! Martin’s work has won top awards in numerous festivals, including the Coconut Grove and Maitland Art Festivals, and has sold internationally through Sotheby’s and Mayer’s.

And, if you have yet to visit Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, you are in for a real treat. Currently situated along Winter Park’s famed Park Avenue, the home was once located a long block or two east and sat on the banks of Lake Osceola and was slated for demolition. Alarmed residents rallied together and raised $ to have the historic home moved to its current home. Casa Feliz, or “Happy House” in Spanish, was designed by noted architect James Gamble Rogers II and built in 1932. It is definitely worth a visit!

Casa Feliz at its current location

3. Highwaymen Weekend

November 20-21 at the Orange County Regional History Center
You’ve heard about the legendary Florida Highwaymen that painted the scenes of Florida, right? Well, now’s your chance to meet some of the original painters at the Orange County Regional History Center. With a special exhibit entitled “Against All Odds: The Art of the Highwayman,” you can come and discover what makes this artwork so valuable and highly collectible.

Artist James Gibson showing an original.

The history of the Highwaymen dates back to the 1950s and 60s when a group of self-taught painters from Fort Pierce, Florida banded together to produce over 200,000 pieces of art depicting Florida’s landscapes. The paintings were sold out of cars for a relatively cheap price; however, when rediscovered in the 90s, the values sky-rocketed.

Schedule of events:

  • November 20: Meet Mary Ann Carroll, James Gibson, and Issac Knight
  • November 21: Meet Curtis Arnett, Robert Lewis Jr., and Roy McLendon

4. Season’s Celebration

November 13-December 24 at Gallery on First in Historic Sanford
We love any excuse to go visit Historic Sanford, and this gives us the right reason. “Season’s Celebration,” held at Gallery on First, will feature original artwork by studio artists Stewart Jones, Cindy Sturla, Stan Surman, Robert Holewinski, Sharon Rae Hyder, and Lori Anne Harris. Lots of great work to see!

Artist Stewart Jones at work

"Winter Wonderland" by Stewart Jones

Curious about Sanford itself? It used to be a thriving port town, one of the biggest and most important in Central Florida. In fact, it was almost chosen as the home for Rollins College before a sudden change of heart placed the school in Winter Park. Situated on the St. John’s River, Sanford features bricklined streets, towering oaks, elegant store-fronts and large, nineteenth-century Victorian homes. The downtown, which once featured feed stores and dry good sellers, now showcases antique shops, restaurants and art galleries. And with the marina, Central Florida Zoo, and Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, Sanford is a great pace to visit!

Monroe Harbour Marina, Orlando's closest marina

5. Rob Reedy: Doodah DADA

November 5 – January 5 at Maitland Art Center
Known for whimsical sculptures, Rob Reedy has recently returned to mixed media and painting.  We can’t wait to see his whimsy in person… I mean, check out the name of the exhibit already!

From the artist’s perspective: “Growing up in rural Mississippi was challenging. Traditions, such as storytelling, family, and faith had a tremendous affect in shaping my work, as well as my values. I see it as a refreshing force in a world that can sometimes be cold, static, and impersonal. My philosophy is an interesting balance between intellect and superstition, science and magic, New York and Mississippi….a sort of ‘Doo Da Dada.’ ”

And, if you have never visited the Maitland Art Center, it is such a delightfully artsy place! Founded as founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary American artist and architect André Smith, it continues today as a center of art, education, and excellence. And, the building itself is a work of art, adorned with carvings, statues, and beads. Truly beautiful!

Courtyard at the Maitland Art Center

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Filed under disney, History, Maitland, Museum, November 2010, The Arts, Top 5 Visual Arts Events, winter park