The Florida Collegiate Summer League assembles 160 top college athletes each summer to play wooden-bat baseball in a competitive atmosphere intended to prepare them for careers in professional baseball. Four general-admission tickets unlock a plethora of best-available seating options at one of five home fields for your quad-pod pack of family members. Alternate nourishing bites from four hot dogs and bags of chips with hydrating drags from four icy soft drinks while viewing inspiring feats of athleticism such as grand slams, base burglary, and home-stretch backflips.
Donning armor of red, purple, and gold, Orlando City has established itself as one of the USL Pro’s most dominant teams, winning USL Pro championships in 2011—its inaugural season—and 2012. After their second championship, the squad’s success attracted the attention of the MLS’s Sporting Kansas City, who will serve as Orlando City’s parent squad for two years, beginning with the 2013 season.
The Orlando Predators stampede into the Arena Football League’s 25th season boasting the debut of a new head coach and retooled roster. Former Predators player and Winter Park native Bret Munsey brings with him both a new playbook and ArenaBowl championship expectations, telling the Orlando Sentinel upon his hiring, “[The Predators] want to win [this] year, and I’ve got to find a way to do that.” The front office has contributed to the championship campaign with new additions on both sides of the ball. Recently acquired quarterback Trevor Harris will compete with Collin Drafts for the duties of breaking the team out of each huddle and igloo-encased locker room. On defense, new nose tackle Richard Clebert dominates the line of scrimmage by clogging foes’ running lanes, as he did in his last two seasons on a pair of ArenaBowl championship teams.
The seasoned performers of Piccadilly Circus dazzle audiences of all ages with 90 minutes of acrobatics, comedic high jinks, and trained animals beneath the big top. Audiences gasp at high-flying trapeze artists swooping through the air with the confidence of a kite in a wind tunnel, as well as contortionists able to bend themselves into human bonsai trees. Death-defying motorcyclists roar into a caged globe to perform a 360-degree display of vehicular mastery. Gaggles of clowns coax out chuckles, and a trained elephant parades around the ring, occasionally stopping to memorize an audience member's phone number. General-admission seating surrounds the ring, allowing ample viewpoints from which to observe the boisterous spectacle.
Up to 22 gas-powered go-karts at a time can hug the twists and turns of Skate Station Funworks' more than 800-foot track. While the go-kart course is the park's longest attraction, it's not the tallest?that honor goes to the indoor rock-climbing wall. Besides climbing and driving, fun at Skate Station ranges from hitting homers in batting cages to putting balls past a landlocked airboat on the swamp-themed mini-golf course. Children aged 10 or younger can explore the three levels of the Kid's Adventure soft play space, whereas guests of all ages can compete in classic games such as air hockey at the arcade. All these attractions share a home with Skate Station's namesake, an indoor roller-skating rink where visitors can groove to Top 40 hits or learn skating fundamentals during lessons.
The Easton Foundations' first-ever Harvest Hoedown corrals families for an afternoon of live music, archery, and spooky amusements. Beginning at 5 p.m., Root Redemption twangs out live bluegrass jams, and country tunes performed by special guest Bryce Carlisle cuddle up to eager eardrums. Children and adults can flex their bow muscles at the Try Archery station, and face painters coat features with colorful designs and forged presidential seals. Settle into the straw for a hayride through the surrounding woodland property, which, come nightfall, transmutes into a frightening trail. After harrowing drives through the forest, youngsters aged 13 and younger can tote candy bags or emptied-out urns around the festival to haul in trick-or-treat confections, complementing a supply of fall snacks and fare from Kazbor's Grille available for purchase. Guests are advised to bring their own blankets and chairs, and children aged 6 and younger gain free entry.