Memorial Day weekend in Orlando is nearly here! Make this Memorial Day weekend, well, memorable, by adding one or a few of these must-do experiences to your calendar over the long weekend.
1. Watch Holiday Fireworks
Book a staycation at one of our fabulous local resorts and enjoy the added bonus of holiday fireworks displays. Grande Lakes Orlando (Sunday at 9pm), Orlando World Center Marriott (Sunday; pictured above) and Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate (Saturday at 9pm) will all have festive displays for resort guests.
2. Orlando Fringe
Take in a few shows at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival which is back this year from May 18 – 31, 2021. This 14-day art festival features hundreds of shows throughout multiple venues in Orlando’s Loch Haven Park. Shows range from comedy to burlesque, music to drama, and everything in between.
3. Outdoor movies
Catch a flick at a local drive-in movie theater, or watch an outdoor movie. Popcorn Flicks in the Park takes place on Thursday, May 27 with a free outdoor screening of The Apple Dumpling Gang in Winter Park's Central Park.
4. Bike ride date
Rent bikes and cycle the West Orange Trail. We love starting at Killarney Station and ending in Downtown Winter Garden. Oakland Nature Preserve is a notable stop along the way, with a boardwalk to Lake Apopka and free admission. The Cross Seminole Trail is another option.
5. Spa day
Take advantage of the day off of work and book a spa day with your favorite person. These local spas all offer special treatments for couples. We love a spa day at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, which includes access to the newly-renovated spa pool.
6. Day trip to Bok Tower Gardens
Visit Bok Tower Gardens. While peak bloom has ended, the gardens are still full of color and winding secret pathways to explore. Enjoy complimentary admission the last Friday of the month beginning in May (on May 28) through September, thanks to Wawa.
7. Have lunch on a farm
Memorial Day weekend is the last day to enjoy lunch under the gorgeous oak tree at Bountiful Farms Bistro. The farm will close for the season at the end of May, and will reopen in October. Current hours are Wednesday – Saturday from 11am – 3pm. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 352-409-3204.
8. Attend a Memorial Day weekend event
Here are a few ideas:
Freestyle Fever Summer Dance Party
Friday, May 28, 6pm
Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
Make your way to the oceanfront Avalon Terrace for a freestyle summer dance party by the beach! Featuring performances by your favorite freestyle artists and DJs.
Rock N’ Blues Concert & Car Show
Saturday, May 29, 4pm
Lake Concord Park
View more than 100 classic cars ranging from Camaros to Chevelles to Mustangs, plus food trucks and live music.
Weekends at the Winery
Saturdays and Sundays through May
Come out and enjoy the expansive vineyard green, including delicious food, live entertainment, and Lakeridge wines by the glass at the outdoor bar. Bring your own lawn chairs.
Bachata Brunch ft. Bachata Heightz
Sunday, May 30, 1pm
Dr. Phillips Center
Bachata Heightz is an urban-influenced bachata group from New York whose debut single, “Me Puedo Matar,” was a big hit on the tropical charts in 2009. Enjoy the show while also enjoying brunch.
$15 for entry, food sold separately
9. Float down a river in a tube
Soak up the sun at one of Central Florida's natural lazy rivers. Two of our favorite spots are Kelly Park and KP Hole. FYI: Kelly Park is currently operating at half capacity. Get there early to get in line if you're hoping to get in.
10. Go on a safari
For an activity that's just as suitable for a date day as a family outing, check out a local safari experience. Wild Florida has an awesome drive-thru Safari Park with animal feeding experiences available as an add-on. Plus, the park will be celebrating its annual Gator Week May 24 – 29, with free admission for all. Giraffe Ranch is another option.
11. Wekiva Island
Laze the day away at Wekiva Island. Private cabanas are available for rent and there's live music every Saturday evening.
12. Munch Your Way through a Local Farmer's Market
Pick up something delicious and locally grown at one of our local farmer's markets. Then take it home to create a delicious meal combining local produce with your favorite meats on the grill. Try the Windermere (Friday), Winter Park (Saturday), Winter Garden (Saturday) or Lake Eola Farmer’s Market (Sunday).
13. Pick your own Blueberries and Peaches
Blueberry season is in full swing in Florida but it won’t last long! The season typically winds down near the end of May/early June, so get out there and visit a local u-pick farm like Southern Hill Farms while you can. Farms are also offering u-pick sunflowers, wildflowers, peaches and more.
14. Take a Hike
Some of our local favorites include Lake Lotus Park, Lake Louisa State Park, Wekiwa Springs State Park, and Flat Island Preserve. Or, try one of these secluded hiking spots perfect for a picnic.
15. Brewery Hop
Visit a few breweries on the Central Florida Ale Trail, or try a newer addition like the Downtown Orlando outposts of Motorworks Brewing and Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. You could even tack on a Lake Eola pub crawl.
16. Go kayaking
Explore Rock Springs Run in a clear kayak, paddle the headwaters of the Everglades from The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek (in Kissimmee), or try a nighttime paddle with A Day Away Kayak Tours.
17. Visit Downtown Celebration
Get out and enjoy the sunshine with a lunch date and a walk around Downtown Celebration. Share truffle fries and flatbreads paired with wine at Imperium, get a scoop (or two) of gelato from Le Macaron, rent bikes, or explore the paved pathways on foot.
18. Make your own pancakes
Eat DIY pancakes at Old Spanish Sugar Mill at DeLeon Springs. This open air eatery is THE reason De Leon Springs State Park needs to be added to your bucket list. For $5.50 you get all-you-can-eat pancakes, made by you. Be prepared for a wait no matter what time or day you visit, as this is a popular activity.
19. Pack a picnic
Nothing says summer quite like lazing the day away on a picnic blanket in a local park. Go on a romantic picnic with our tips and favorite spots as your guide.
20. Book a Staycation
Book a local staycation and enjoy a concert from the balcony of your hotel room. Orlando World Center Marriott’s popular Vertical Concert Series ends with a bang–literally–over Memorial Day Weekend, with three nights of live concerts plus a fireworks spectacular on Sunday evening.
Alternatively, Reunion Resort is the perfect place for poolside bliss. Splash and play at the on-site water park, float down the winding lazy river, sip poolside cocktails and enjoy live music from 12-4pm over Memorial Day weekend (Saturday, May 29 – Monday, May 31). Cabana rentals are available for $225 and come with bottled water, cabana service, American Flag beach balls and pool noodles.
21. Hop on the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
Make Memorial Day weekend the time you finally take the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour. Tours run daily on the hour from 10am – 4pm and tickets are $16. Combine this with a double date for Prato and gelato, or check out the Winter Park “beach” at Dinky Dock Park.
22. Dine outdoors
See how many of these 75+ restaurants with great outdoor seating you can make it to in the span of the long weekend.
23. Spend the day at a resort pool
You don't have to be an overnight guest to spend the day by one of Orlando's best resort pools. Many hotels and resorts offer day passes through Resort Pass or grant access to locals for the day with a qualifying spa appointment. Memorial Day weekend in Orlando is the perfect time to spend the day together poolside.
24. Try an Only in Florida adventure
There are some things you just can’t do anywhere else. Enjoy a unique experience by trying one of these only in Florida adventures.
25. Go zip lining
Get your adrenaline pumping by zipping through the air. Here’s our guide to the best zip lining spots.
Feature image credit: Orlando World Center Marriott
Disclosure: Some of the places and Memorial Day weekend events mentioned above are our valued advertising partners. Learn more about advertising with us.