OTRONICON is the perfect event to check out the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math – and learn how fun those subjects can be. It’s an event put on by the Orlando Science Center, along with many partners, and includes keynote speakers, panels, and hands-on activities.
Dates: Jan 13th–16th
Orlando Science Center, 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL, USA, +1 407 514 2000
Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2017
You don’t have to go all the way to NOLA to celebrate Mardi Gras! Universal Orlando® puts on a huge Mardi Gras bash every year, complete with delicious Cajun food and many great live bands. As an added bonus, Universal features big names acts during 12 specific nights.
Dates: Feb 4th–Mar 17th
Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival
The Central Florida Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival has been going strong in Orlando for six years. Indeed, it’s grown every year. The parade features several Asian organizations from the Central Florida area and includes dancing, martial arts, and delicious food. It’s a must-see winter event in Orlando.
Date: Feb 11th
Fashion Square Mall, 3201 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL, USA, +1 407 896 1132
Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival
Epcot® isn’t known for being the most bustling theme park in the world, but it is known for its incredible festivals. One of these is the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival that takes place throughout the entire month of March. Here, you can see beautiful plant and flower figures of your favorite Disney characters, and don’t forget to visit the Outdoor Kitchens to find some delectable eats.
Dates: Mar 1st–29th
Epcot®, 200 Epcot Center Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA, +1 407 824 4321
Florida Film Festival
The Florida Film Festival is held at one of Orlando’s most beloved locations, The Enzian Theater. Officially in Maitland, a suburb just outside Orlando, The Enzian hosts a slew of events throughout the year, including this festival, which celebrates the best of all things cinema.
Dates: Apr 21st–30th
The Enzian Theater, 1300 S Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL, USA, +1 407 629 0054
Florida Music Festival
If film isn’t your thing, maybe music is. April in Orlando sees a lot of media events, and the Florida Music Festival is no exception. Held in several venues throughout the city, the festival showcases over 100 bands – and, of course, a lot of late-night parties to go along with those concerts.
Dates: April 16th–18th
Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival
Orlando Fringe is a two-week long arts festival that calls itself “Orlando’s most unique cultural experience.” It’s been going strong for over 25 years, and no matter what type of art you enjoy, you can find it at Orlando Fringe. The best part? One hundred percent of the sales go back to the artists that perform there.
Dates: May 16th–29th
Loch Haven Park, 777 E. Princeton St., Orlando, FL, USA, +1 407 246 2283
For nerds visiting the city in May, MegaCon is the place to be. Though Orlando’s convention is on a smaller scale than the well-known ComicCon, it does not disappoint in terms of guests, booths, and cosplay. Held at the Orange County Convention Center, MegaCon features numerous meet-and-greet events with sci-fi stars, plus it provides many shopping opportunities.
Dates: May 25th–28th
9899 International Drive, Orlando FL 32819 +1 407 685 9800
Gay Days is one of the premier events in the Orlando area for the LGBTQ community, and it is exactly what it sounds like – a celebration. It’s a weeklong vacation which kicks off with a “Gay Day in the Magic Kingdom,” and regardless of whether you identify as LGBTQ or not, the festival is a great one.
Dates: May 30th–Jun 4th
Best of Orlando
Do you want to be able to check out one event and see the best of everything that Orlando has to offer? Luckily for you, The Orlando Weekly holds a giant bash every year for this exact reason. At the Best of Orlando Party, you’ll be able to try all of the most fabulous businesses in the area. It’s an exclusive event, though, so be sure to try and snag your invitation through their Facebook page well in advance.
Magical Dining sounds, well, magical, doesn’t it? It is the Orlando area’s version of Restaurant Week, where several participating restaurants offer a prix-fixe menu with some of their very best offerings. Often, you can find great deals at some of the city’s more expensive restaurants during these special few weeks.
Dates: Aug 29th–Oct 2nd
Halloween Horror Nights™
It’s never too early to start celebrating Halloween, right? Not for Universal Studios Florida®, which throws the scariest, creepiest, most incredible Halloween party every year. Halloween Horror Nights™ takes place from the middle of September to the first of November, so you’ll have plenty of time to get spooked.
Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just veg-curious, Central Florida’s Veg Fest will not disappoint. Held every October, this event brings out the best veg food, vendors, and performers that the city has to offer. It’s packed to the brim every year and is constantly growing, so if you find yourself in Orlando in the fall, be sure to check it out.
Date: Oct 28th
Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival
Epcot’s most well-known festival is the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival. Visiting the park during this time means you can get yourself a “passport” to go and sample the food of various countries, all without ever leaving the area.
Dates: Aug 31st–Nov 13th
Epcot, 200 Epcot Center Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA, +1 407 824 4321
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
In Orlando, you’re free to be a kid, and what better way to be a kid than by celebrating Christmas with Mickey and friends? Every year, at the Magic Kingdom, guests can spend some time reveling in the holiday season with famous Disney characters. It even includes a special parade.
The Magic Kingdom, 1180 Seven Seas Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA, +1 407 939 5277