Tag Archives: enzian

New Year’s Eve in Orlando – Top 5 Ways to Ring in 2011

Of course there are many places to have a rocking New Year’s Eve in the Central Florida area. Most of the local clubs will be having parties, as well as all the theme parks, each ending in a fabulous fireworks show. But to narrow down your choices, here’s where we are recommending that will be sure to be a great end to 2010 and awesome start to 2011.

Long a favorite because of its party atmosphere, ring in the New Year with a concert featuring Bret Michaels!

From Universal's website

Picture nine different venues at this block party!  This is perhaps Orlando’s largest New Year’s Eve event, featuring an outdoor dance floor. Nice!

A repeat of last year’s theme, the Enzian always has plenty of character on-hand for a great time. Here’s a video to show what’s in store:
A true family event with activities for children, classic rock n’ roll, rides, and fireworks at midnight.

Another family place with great restaurants and shops, both open late for the party. And, listen to bands throughout the night, including VonRay and the Mo Geetz Band until fireworks at midnight.


Leave a comment

Filed under family, Fun, Seasonal

First a Flash Mob now a Flash Opera?

We saw this posted on the Enzian Theater’s Facebook page, so we had to share! We love it… opera sprung upon unsuspecting patrons at Eden Bar… hahahahaaa!

I had heard some rumblings about opera making a re-emergence here in Central Florida, and so maybe this is just the beginning! We’re hoping so!

Leave a comment

Filed under Fun, Music

Enzian’s Haunted Swamp – A Spine-tingling Good Time!

So, I have family visiting from out-of-town, and so what else would we do on the Saturday before Halloween? Brave the Haunted Swamp at Enzian Theater!

First of all the, the place was packed so parking was a bit of a challenge, but it wasn’t too long before a spot opened up. And so in we pulled with a car full of excited teens and a few happy adults. (We were genius to remember the Haunted Swamp to entertain the kids, no?)

Well, at first I was a bit worried, since the Swamp is connected to the Enzian’s Eden Bar, and there were plenty of drink specials advertised and the website said not recommended for ages 18 and up (Yikes!), I suddenly had flashes of am R-rated swamp and got a bit anxious. However, I had nothing to fear. While there were mostly adults, there were also other teens and pre-teens, and everyone was in G or PG-rated costumes, so it made for a very festive time!

A view of Eden Bar

We got in line at the box office for tickets to the Swamp (you can also buy tickets at the bar), and $8 per ticket later, my hubby and three kids were standing in the rather lengthy line to get into the Swamp. Now, they had plenty to look at, between the large outdoor movie screen showing old black and white horror movies (again, rated G or PG), and the extremely creepy, old-fashioned hearse, whose back door was ajar and glowing red, and their line moved along quickly.  So, the rest of the adults in my group headed for a comfy table on the lawn to people watch.

One of the many festive couples...fun!

On the lawn by the outdoor screen, there’s a temporary bar serving Halloween-themed mixed drinks and a DJ spinning some pretty great music, and so the party was hauntingly alive.

Outdoor screen on lawn

Every once in a while we’d hear a chilling set of screams from the Swamp, and I’d wonder how the kids were doing. Well, they were back shortly enough, humongous smiles on their faces. “It was awesome!” was the collective opinion. Perfect!

Then we headed to get our faces painted by Chelsea, face painter extraordinaire, who is absolutely incredible, by the way.

My nephew getting "scary"

And lastly, we headed to the graveyard where we had a family photo. Click here to go see it on Facebook!

Tonight is the last night of the Haunted Swamp, and it is open from  8 pm until 1 am, and so I definitely recommend it for a really a spine-tingling good time!

Leave a comment

Filed under family, Fun, Just for Me, Seasonal

Top 5 “Special Events” in November

1) Winter Park Harvest Festival

November 20 – in Central Park in Winter Park
Come check out the first ever Harvest Festival to come to the heart of Winter Park. Learn about local farmers and coops, farm to table dinner, tips for growing your own food, and other slow food items of interest. The day will culminate with a special outdoor screening of the movie FRESH. (You can even “adopt a local farmer”… love it!)

Organizer John Rife, a Winter Park High School grad who also blogs at A Local Folkus, came up with the idea for an event that is one part feast, one part farmer’s market, and one part gardening seminar.  There’s even an option to attend a high-end “farm to table.” Yum! (Get your dinner tickets here…limited availability.)

John Rife teaches elementary and middle school students about grow boxes.

Rife said he has always had a “bleeding heart” about such slow food issues. (Yes, slow food is a newish term to contrast fast food.)  Rife even produced a documentary on the subject of “locavore” when he was working towards a Masters degree in Digital Media at the University of Florida.

2) Light Up UCF

November 12 – January 2 at the UCF Arena
This has evolved into one of the most exciting events of the season! This year’s theme is “50 Nights of Music, Lights, and Ice” and it is going to be fantastic!

At this 50 day-event, there’s a featured outdoor Holiday Film Festival, special light shows, rides including the Holiday Santa Train, and Orlando’s largest outdoor skating rink!  And, UCF keeps this economy and local families in mind, as many of the activities are free or at least very affordable.

And, for long-time Central Florida residents, if you haven’t been to UCF in a while, you are in for a treat!  Long gone are the days of a commuter school; the University of Central Florida‘s campus and student life area are fabulously college-campus like!  There’s a reason it is the largest university in the state and the third largest in the United States! Go Knights!

3. 9th Annual Concours d’Elegance

November 6 -7 in Winter Park
Love vintage and luxury cars? Exotic machines are your thing? Then this is the show to see! Fabulous!

According to their website, the Concours d’Elegance is “one of the most highly-regarded, judged exotic car shows in the United States” and welcomes “over 120 of the world’s most prestigious automobiles.”   It is one of our favorite car events to attend, especially since it is held on lovely Park Avenue in Winter Park! Here was our trip there last year:

4. 12th Annual Central Florida Jewish Film Fest

November 7 – 9 at the Enzian Theater
Billed as a cinematic celebration of Jewish life, culture, and history, this is the 12th annual festival.

Poster image for the Enzian's Jewish Film Festival.

Co-oresented by the JCC of Greater Orlando, you can buy passes for the entire festival, or single for specific movies.

Here’s the line up:

The Enzian Theater has goal of being more than simply a movie theater, but rather they try to create an entire movie experience, from their fine menu offerings (love the gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches!) to their selection of wine and mixed drinks. You can dine while watching a movie, or by sitting amid lush trees, artsy sculptures and fountains of water while at Enzian’s outdoor Eden Bar.

5. ICE!

November 20 – January 2  at the Gaylord Palms
Direct from Harbin, China, some of the best ice sculptors in the world create a fabulous ice park, complete with 30 foot slides. (Don’t worry, parkas are provided for that 9 degree indoor-weather!)

From the ICE! website

The “ice” for ICE! is manufactured at an ice factory and is delivered over a three week time period. (Two trucks a day for 15 days!) And to get crystal clear ice takes a very special slow-freezing formula that allows the molecules to line up perfectly…in fact, this clear ice has been compared to Waterford Crystal! Then, Chinese artisans spend nearly a month indoors at the Gaylord Palms carving these winter wonder pieces. Kind of cool, no?

And while you are at the Gaylord Palms to see ICE!, you can also check out the live stage shows, holiday dining, early visits with Santa, and the Polar Bear Pursuit in the hotel’s 4.5 acre atrium. (Fun!) And this year, after you finish with ICE!, your children can go play in 40 tons of real SNOW! indoors at the hotel, too.

And how else is a Floridian going to see such cold weather without hopping on a plane?


Filed under General Info, November 2010, Top 5 Special Events, Uncategorized, Uniquely Florida

Portraits of Hunger: Timely Reminder for the Upcoming Season

More than 100 people participated in the 4th annual Portraits of Hunger photography competition, which took a frank, fresh, and often endearing look at the faces of Central Florida’s hungry.

The winners were announced in at a Showcase Party at the Enzian Theater with top honors going to Cynthia B. Slaughter for her winning photo titled “First Fruit.”

"Fruit First"

Sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank, the judges included Dave Krepcho, President of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Henry Maldonado, President of Enzian Theater, and Josh Garrick, Fine Art and Culture Writer for a series of news and on-line venues.

Winner Cynthia B. Slaughter and the judges

While the photo competition has ended, the hunger many Central Floridians face has not. Perhaps as you go into the upcoming holiday season you might keep such unfortunates in mind… it is often just the wrong circumstances or bad luck that can mean whether or not a child has a meal to eat one day or the next. You can make a difference!

Showcase attendees Kelly Carline, Lauren Moskowitz, Mindy Moulton, JoJo Dey, Michael Dey, Dac Ung


Filed under Charity, Non-profit, Orlando, Resident done good

United Arts “In Your Backyard: Where Newcomers Meet the Arts”

I would actually revise this event’s tagline to “Where Locals Meet the Arts.” You see, I am not a newcomer, but rather a 3rd generation Central Floridian, but even I was delighted by the information I received when I attended United Arts’ last “In Your Backyard.”

Every quarter, United Arts gathers local cultural venues to a morning get-together. Here you get to mingle with some leaders in the arts world and hear what’s new and exciting. Then, you watch a short presentation which gives in-depth information about each participating venue.  When I attended the last “In Your Backyard” held at the Winter Park Playhouse, here’s who I got to know better:

Winter Park Playhouse

Heather Alexander, Executive Director of the Playhouse, gave a brief overview of their lovely theater. It’s a nice size theater, a converted warehouse space. The theater focuses on musical theater (only one in Central Florida that only does musical theater) and they like to feature rarely seen or Off Broadway shows. They also do a series called  “Playhouse in the Park” which are free performances on the stage in downtown Winter Park in Central Park.  By the way, their upcoming “Pump Boys and Dinettes” was voted the #1 “Top 5” performing arts event this month!

The Enzian Theater

We next heard from Henry Maldonado, the President of Enzian, as he explained that the Enzian is more than just a movie theater – they are looking to create an independent movie experience! They have Film Slam once a month after the Sunday brunch, which focuses on local up-and-coming movie makers. They want to create debate and discussion and to have viewers realize, “Arguing over movies is the most fun thing you can do it and Enzian is the place to do it!”  He also explained that the theater’s outdoor Eden Bar is a destination, where people who love movies are hanging out. They also do monthly outdoor movies called “Popcorn Flicks” in Winter Park’s Central Park. They also have movie festivals throughout the year such as the upcoming Jewish Film Fest in November or the nationally prestigious Florida Film Festival in the spring. (IMDB.com recently listed this as one of the best in the world!)

Crealde School of Art

We next heard from Peter Schreyer, the Executive Director of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, which is a special project by Crealde and the culmination of 8 years of research by residents, historians, etc.. There you can see 125 museum quality pieces of the Heritage Collection, and it is located at Hannibal Heritage Center, on the corner of Pennsylvania and New England in Winter Park. Schreyer described it as “125 windows into a historic community: photographs and oral histories of west Winter Park.”  I appreciate the facts that all the staff and docents are lifelong residents of the area. Last year he says they received 7,500 visitors and 35% were from out of town. In addition to this special project for west Winter Park, Crealde has been the leader in teaching arts in central Florida for 14 years now.  They have a beautiful facility off Aloma Ave. (their main campus) which contains a state of the art digital photography classroom with a grant. The Top 5 enjoys going to Crealde for their Annual Cup-A-Thon!

Orange County Arts Education

Next up was Scott Evans, the Director of the Orange County Arts Education Center. He spoke passionately about the importance of maintaining arts education in Florida’s public schools. He then listed some of the programs he oversees:

  • Magic journey to the arts program (highest percentage of paid lunch schools, in partnership with Orlando magic)
  • Children, arts and cultural alliaNce of a central FL … Takes children with poor home lives to museums, meet artists, etc.
  • Provide teachers with tools to teach art across the curriculum
  • Arts summer art guide…. Free and available from the public library or online

Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida

Last we heard from Autumn Ames, the Executive Director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida. She listed several of the highlights of the Alliance:

  • Red Chair Project, a “One Stop Shop for Arts”
  • Marketing branch/community engagement of United Arts
  • Serve 7 counties in Central Florida region
  • Promote arts to residents and tourists
  • Classes and workshops listed here
  • Free for arts organizations to post…
  • Orlando Arts Getaways – hotel, arts, restaurants, etc.
  • Red Chair Affair in August
  • Orlando Arts Sampler (ticket to 7 different arts groups for around $100)

By the way, the Top 5 absolutely loved the Red Chair Affair this year… it was magical!

So, if you have a chance, be sure to attend this quarter’s “In Your Backyard” to see what great arts and cultural things are happening right here in Central Florida. You might even win 2 free tickets to an upcoming event! Here’s the information: Wednesday, October 13 at the Maitland Art Center from 8:00 – 9:30 am.


Leave a comment

Filed under Education, General Info, Maitland, The Arts, Uniquely Florida

FaceTime Success

The first-ever Central Florida Tweet Up was a solid success Thursday night at Eden Bar at the Enzian. Special thanks to the Doterati for hosting a “pre-tweet up” to get the ball rolling for a spectacular evening!

The exciting news? At 8:03 pm, our hashtag of #cfltweet was “trending topic” in Orlando!

Here’s the list of who attended (some of us have multiple usernames):

  • kwidrick
  • alexiskn
  • fallynstarr
  • crowdtamers
  • BNVfilms
  • Kitmurphy
  • OrlandoImprov
  • JFordMakeUp
  • DavidJhinson
  • BeckiPR
  • reilly_tyne
  • annngo
  • Fltoodo
  • LRLMovie
  • Jenvargas
  • AnalogArtist
  • PulseofCFL
  • LadyBallers
  • YelpOrlando
  • whoframedabbie
  • ColleenBurns
  • SwimmerJoe
  • Social_Citizen
  • Grooveshark
  • TheDailyCity
  • BerMatt
  • cherylp3
  • Tperlmuttr
  • BigDawgPaulShow
  • Splatterweb
  • EdenBar
  • FloridaFilmFest
  • EnzianTheater
  • CurefortheRun
  • willspot
  • KimberlyTaylor
  • dafoodie
  • gehernando
  • centralfltop5
  • peglegpug
  • bananakin
  • somacowgeoff
  • brightgirl
  • sarahlogic
  • comasowjen
  • brianfeldman
  • jsevrydayfashion
  • aaronford
  • geekluv
  • izonorlando
  • relayhunterscrk
  • Hkmouse
  • RevJonB
  • Parkmaitland
  • undomest_diva
  • hollyshakespear
  • SFarkash

If you attended and are not on the list, PLEASE leave a comment so I can correct it! And, to follow these great tweeps, @ComaSowJen has created a list on Twitter to make it easy for you.

If you add up all our followers, we reach an audience of over 76,000 people! (Now, that’s the power of social media!)

For a more complete review of the night, you can see my Girlfriend Getaway post, featuring my Chevy Camaro.  Here’s a short video of the night:

1 Comment

Filed under Blogger Extraordinaire, Fun, General Info, Girlfriend Getaway, Uniquely Florida

“Bond… James Bond”

Or should I say, “5…Top 5” instead? We had a blast at the Enzian Theater’s New Year’s Eve bash! While we at first shied away from the James Bond theme, we scoured the internet to find some villain we could pull off.  We decided on the following:

Valenka from Casino Royale

Gettler from Casino Royale

Best we could manage!

<———Yep, this is pretty much the best we could manage…

So, we arrived at the Enzian in our Aston Martin [Note: Much lower-priced but equally stylish Mini] and were pleasantly surprised with how sleek and classy the Enzian had the party going. Red carpet, outdoor screen, fountains, and elegantly dressed staff. It was all equal to the billing!

Top 5 editor Bess and Brian Feldman, Performance Artist Extraordinaire

<—-I also got to see some of my Twitter and blog acquaintances, which is always nice. First, I spotted Brian Feldman, sans beard, fresh from his last big gig of 2009!

He is already planning a full event of 2010 events, including a very special (if oxymoronic) one in April. It just may have to be a Top 5 event! If you missed Brian’s Chanukah Ikea event, it apparently was a highlight of the season.

For more info on Brian and his amazing events and performances, please visit his site.

Thomas Thorspecken and Mark Baratelli

I also got to see Thomas Thorspecken, the incredible artist.————–>

He was feverishly drawing and painting while peering at the dance floor. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! His Citrus Bowl parade pictures are already posted at his blog The Analog Artist. Mark Baratelli, editor of of The Daily City, was also on-hand for the fun time.

I also got to chat with Enzian owner Sig Tiedke, who looked wonderful and seemed to be enjoying the occasion. If you have never been to the Enzian for an event or a film, you are definitely missing out on one of Orlando’s gems. Home to the Florida Film Festival, which attracts big stars and media, the Enzian also houses smaller film fests and events monthly.

Enjoy the video from our Big Night out! Thanks, Enzian, for a nice time!

Leave a comment

Filed under Fun, Seasonal, The Arts

The BIG 25

So, after a great ending to 2009, I am looking forward to ringing in the New Year with my husband at the Enzian Theatre. They are having a James Bond themed party, complete with costume contest. [Note: Hubby is not happy with dressing up or going out. Our usual fare is to be in bed by 10:00 pm and let our son on come wake us up at midnight. I told my hubby we needed to “live a little” this year…]

The invite!
<—–Here’s the invite that came…very sleek and espionage-like…which kind of blows away my “regular mom” persona. So, I now face the dilemma of how to match such a flashy, slick theme.
How am I going to transform into a Bond Girl? [Note: My son is laughing whenever I mention this…] My husband is also looking through his closet. Best possible choice for him? Perhaps get fake teeth and a comb-over and go as Jaws? I could maybe go as Mini-Me…oh, wait, wrong movie. My husband is actually very dashing, so he can probably pull off a “Bond, James Bond” type of look…me, however….well…. hmmm…I may not be posting pictures of us that night. Or maybe I will, depending upon how successful or disastrous our efforts turn out to be. (The Top 5 fans might need a good laugh to kick off their New Year!)
At any rate, I started thinking about my New Year’s resolutions as I debated my dress. Last year’s resolutions included competing in a triathlon. [Note: I did actually start training for one. And, yeah, that wipe-out on the treadmill was kind of a speedbump…] So, this year I though I’d go more global, or at least more statewide with my resolve.  So, I came up with the following list which will hopefully contain at least one or two items that will also end up on yours.
Every Good Floridian’s New Year’s Resolution List…the “Big 25”
  1. Research how to reduce my carbon footprint…then actually do it.
  2. Use less water.
  3. Start recycling.
  4. Actually remember to take in the reusable Publix bags when I go grocery shopping.  
  5. Now that the Light Rail is here, support it.
  6. Research the potential candidates in the Senate Race [insert Crist, Rubio, other names here] and make an informed choice
  7. Cheer for the two Florida athletes in the Winter Games: Anthony Lobello and Jennifer Rodriguez
  8. Spend more time outdoors enjoying Central Florida weather.
  9. Wear sunscreen daily.
  10. Buy orange juice from Florida growers.
  11. Visit a farmer’s market at least once a month.
  12. Shop at local boutiques.
  13. Donate to a local charity that services locally.
  14. Visit the Central Florida Zoo.
  15. Visit the Central Florida Top 5 website to plan my schedule (Yeah, I had to plug it…)
  16. Visit a local museum at least once a month…lots of culture to choose from!
  17. Find out the local musicians/bands and buy their music
  18. Go to the local theatre…there’s some really fantastic talent!
  19. Adopt a pet from the shelter rather than a chain pet store
  20. Become a better neighbor
  21. Support the home team (in whatever sport you choose)
  22. Find a new local blog to follow…we have some great writers with really interesting things to say!
  23. Visit a theme park…when’s the last time you actually went to one?
  24. Read or watch the local news (in print or online…be informed about your community)
  25. Support space travel. (For jobs, economy, and for the future…)
Well, there it is…at least a beginning, right?  I am sure there are other, more important items that might be on there, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.  What would you add to the list? Whatever it is, add it to yours, and maybe all together we can make a big difference for a GREAT 2010!
Happy New Year from the Top 5!
PS I’ll be tweeting from the James Bond New Year’s Eve Party, so follow along on Twitter.


Filed under Charity, General Info, Music, Politics, The Arts

Disney Events and other Items…

In addition to ranking each month’s Top 5 events, Ialso like to keep you aware of the other great things going on in the Orlando area.  Disney, of course, always has things going on, but I’ve listed two items of note on Central Florida Top 5’s main page: 1) Opening of Diana-The People’s Princess at Downtown Disney (I posted a video on website), and 2) The Disney Cup Youth International Soccer Tournament. 

Here’s a picture from the Disney Cup, showing European soccer star Leo Messi who plays for FC Barcelona. He gave on a demonstration and workshop for the young players.

From wdwnews.

From wdwnews.

 Other local events:

  • Enzian Theater debuts DEPARTURES today, an Academy Award Winner in the foreign film category.
  • Theatre Downtown brings back smash hit Sordid Lives for a weekend encore.
  • Bjorn Again: ABBA Tribute is playing at the Plaza Theater in downtown Orlando tonight

Be sure to check out the video below of last night’s Art Stroll at Baldwin Park…good stuff!

Leave a comment

Filed under disney, Music, Sports, The Arts