What does March have in store for us all?

If you are lucky enough to be in Florida this month, then you’re in for a treat at the parks with Universal’s Mardi Gras and Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival running throughout the month. The parks will be a bit busier than they have been the last few months, with our US guests enjoying Spring Break and our British and European guests enjoying their Easter holidays.

Here’s our take… plus some additional ideas for activities beyond the theme parks.

  1. Universal Studios Mardi Gras:  Universal Studios, Orlando.

Universal recreates the magic of Mardi Gras, New Orleans style between February 6 and April 16 with a Mardi Gras themed parade, live music and themed Cajun and Creole music and food.  As well as the themed zydeco bands which play nightly in the French Quarter Courtyard, there are some headline live music shows: the selection of artists for which is eclectic to say the least.

  1. Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival:  Epcot, Lake Buena Vista.

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival runs for 90 days this Spring – from March 2 until May 30.  Epcot is one of my favourite parks and this springtime festival is a real treat.  Most of the events are included within the price of normal admission, including live music at the weekends, and ranges from Disney character topiary through talks about tea to creating insect-friendly backyard habitats.

  1. Orlando Magic Home Games:  Amway Center, Orlando.

Watching a live NBA game is an unforgettable experience that the whole family can enjoy.  I highly recommend it, especially if you are travelling from outside the USA and haven’t been to a basketball game before.  In Orlando we’re lucky to have a great team to watch in the Orlando Magic – you can expect to enjoy a basketball masterclass.  The season is due to finish in early April, so these dates are some of your last chances to catch a Magic game until the new season begins in October.

  1. Bike Week at Daytona Beach:  Daytona Beach.

March 4 to 13 is Bike Week at Daytona Beach.  Daytona Beach is around a drive of about an hour and a half away from Kissimmee.  As well as being able to enjoy its Atlantic Coast beach, you’ll find the town is well set up to cater to the tourist pound – including a beachfront amusement park.  It’s probably most famous for being home to Daytona International Speedway; probably the perfect “something beyond the parks” day for anyone with a petrol head in the family and there’s loads going on for this year’s (the 75th) Bike Week.  March is a busy month at Daytona: later in the month (March 25 – 27) it plays host to the 27th Spring Turkey Run.

  1. Porch and Yard Sale:  Celebration.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that it takes very little by way of excuse to get me over to Celebration.  So, for me, the town’s porch and yard sale on March 5 will be a nice excuse to explore the picturesque town.

  1. Floral City Strawberry Festival: Floral Park, Floral City.

This local event, running March 5 & 6, gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy live stalls, music and local food trucks while sampling the fresh, locally grown strawberries and – so it is billed – “the most delectable strawberry shortcake in the world”.

  1. Orlando City Soccer Home Matches:  Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando.

It is a great month for football, ahem – Soccer – in Florida this month.  Not only is it the start of the new soccer season, but the state is playing host to some international women’s matches in the She Believes cup.  USA plays the England on March 3 at Tampa and Germany on March 9 at Boca Raton.  The Orlando City Lions kick off their season on Sunday March 6 at Orlando’s Citrus Bowl against Real Salt Lake and play at home again on March 11 against Chicago Fire.

For great discounted rates on tickets through our partners, either before you travel or whilst in Orlando, please contact Ellis Exclusive Villas and ask for our ticket service.

  1. Swamp Fest: Weeki Wachee.

Over its twenty-three years, The Weeki Wachee Swamp Fest has grown into a state-wide annual event attracting over thousands of fun seekers and featuring more than one hundred and forty arts and craft vendors.  This year’s Swamp Fest runs March 11, 12 & 13,

Along with a local culinary treats like fried grouper, bar-b-que chicken, crab cakes, Alligator, bloom in’ onion, jambalaya, greens & black eyed peas, beans and rice, fried green tomatoes, slaw, hot dogs, Cuban Sandwiches, and hamburgers, there’s a busy entertainment programme which includes dancers, folk, country and instrumental music throughout the weekend and a “Swamp Monster” costume contest.

At just $8 for adults and $4 for kids, it is a low cost alternative for a fun-filled family day out.

  1. Moonlight Carillon Concert, Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales.

Fancy an unforgettable musical interlude in some of Florida’s most beautiful gardens?  The unique setting of Bok Tower Gardens is around an hour’s drive away from Kissimmee.  They are known not only for the beauty of the gardens themselves but for the unique bell tower that stands in the grounds.  The carillon concerts usually ring out in the afternoons, but on

March 21 you can enjoy a carillon under the light of a full moon.  For just $5 per person, you can enjoy the “Best of Broadway” from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm as well as a unique opportunity to visit the gardens after hours.

  1. Climb to the Moon: Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.

Climb to the Moon is another evening-time family-friendly activity.  However, it is offered only once a lunar month when the moon is at its fullest and participation is limited to 25 guests per event, so you do need to book in advance.  This month’s Climb to the Moon falls on March 23rd and visitors will be able to enjoy breath-taking moonlit views from the top of Florida’s tallest lighthouse out over the Atlantic Ocean, Ponce Inlet and the coastal wetlands.  A truly memorable visual treat, plus the opportunity to join the old lighthouse keeper as he leads you on your journey into the past and discover the unique history of this National Historic Landmark.

If you would like tickets for any Florida attractions, please call Ellis Exclusive Villas for great discounted rates.

If we’ve whetted your appetite for a little fun in the Florida sun, then please browse our wonderful vacation homes.