12 Ways To Get Fall Festive

Whether it’s enjoying a local brew, shopping for fall fashions, visiting a nearby farm, or taking part in over-the-top Halloween events, you’ll find spirited ways to celebrate the season in Orlando.



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Wining and Dining

Extended through October 12, 2017! It's still Magical Dining Month, when 100 of the area’s most-popular restaurants offer three-course, prix fixe dinners for $35. Whether you’re reserving a table on Restaurant Row, at a Disney resort, in hip downtown or upscale Winter Park, now is your chance to splurge at a fraction of the cost. Be sure to request the Magical Dining Menu at participating restaurants. www.visitorlando.com/magicaldining

At Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, through Nov. 13, you can enjoy tastes from around the world at 35 global marketplaces. Explore each country’s unique culture through savory appetizers, small-plate entrees and sensational desserts along with craft beer, regional wine and specialty cocktails. Small portion sizes allow you to try more without breaking the budget. disneyworld.disney.go.com

Of course, fall means Oktoberfest, which is a great excuse to try some of Orlando’s best beer. Raglan Road Irish Pub is always a happening hot spot at Disney Springs for a pint accompanied by live entertainment daily. raglanroad.com In the quaint town of Winter Garden, visit Plant Street Market for local artisan food vendors alongside Crooked Can Brewery, where there are always crisp local beers on tap. The Saturday farmers market is also one of the most popular in the metro area. crookedcan.com

In the Halloween Spirit

It’s no surprise that Orlando’s theme parks go all-out for Halloween. Buy a special ticket to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Aug. 25-Oct. 31, and you’ll not only enjoy lighter crowds, you can don your favorite costume, go trick-or-treating through the Magic Kingdom and experience the exclusive Halloween parade featuring all your favorite Disney villains. disneyworld.disney.go.com

Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights are more terrifying than ever. On select nights through Nov. 4, this family-friendly theme park by day becomes your worst nightmare after sundown. Dare to enter graphic haunted houses, interactive scare zones and the infamous Overlook Hotel from Stephen King’s The Shining, new this year. The experience is truly scary, so participants must be at least 13 years old. halloweenhorrornights.com

For a kid-friendly Halloween without the bad dreams, head to SeaWorld for Halloween Spooktacular from Sept. 30-Oct. 29. Enjoy a fall “fantasea” filled with trick-or-treating, carnival games, animal shows and dancing sea creatures, including pumpkin fish and plenty of fun photo opps. seaworldparks.com

Calling All Fashionistas

In the charming community of Winter Park, don’t miss Fashion on the Avenue Oct. 30-Nov. 4. Now in its 11th year, the Park Avenue Merchants Association hosts 50 in-store trunk shows, styling events and special sales in the area’s locally owned boutiques and specialty shops. winterpark.org

Fall Foliage, Florida-Style

On Oct. 20-21, the Disney-created town of Celebration hosts its annual Oktoberfest. Join the residents of this Truman Show-like town in a giant street party with plenty of food and beer, live German music, plus a flurry of autumn leaves that magically fall onto the streets at 7, 8, and 9 p.m. Free. celebrationtowncenter.com

Raised in a Barn

At Green Meadows Petting Farm in Kissimmee, youngsters can ride ponies, milk cows, feed the pigs, take a hay ride and visit with all the barnyard animals. From Sept. 29-Nov. 17, you can even select a free pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. greenmeadowsfarm.com

Just down the highway, Partin Ranch is open Sept. 30 and weekends in October for some old-fashioned, corny family fun. Try solving the five-acre corn maze, take a barrel train ride, zoom down the zipline and take a ride on a combine harvester. There’s also a corn-shooting cannon, games of corn hole and a giant play box of corn kernels.  partinranchcornmaze.com

In the beautiful New England-style town of Mount Dora, Long and Scott Farms has become a fall tradition for families all around Central Florida. The farm hosts two corn mazes, a super slide, jumping pillow, a huge play fort and ziplines. Be sure to stop by the market or cafe for amazing fresh produce and country cooking. longandscottfarms.com

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