Tiny Tourist: Kids Fringe at Orlando Fringe 2018

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Do you Fringe?  You’re either shouting yes, I love it! Or you’re not quite sure what I’m talking about.  Or maybe you’ve wanted to go but it seemed overwhelming.  The Orlando Fringe Theatre Festival spans two weeks, May 15-28, 2018 and is completely un-juried and uncensored.  It takes over Loch Haven Park for all kinds of arts experiences and is truly one of a kind. If you want to learn more about How to Fringe, go here.  

But this is Tiny Tourist, so I want to talk to you about Kids Fringe.  Because unlike general Fringe, Kids Fringe is simple. Walk up to festival, say hello to other people, and have fun.  Easy peasy.

Kids Fringe occurs on the weekend dates of the festival, May 18-19th & May 26-27th.  This year, it will be hosted at the Orlando Garden Club (710 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803) and will have indoor and outdoor space.  There’s a main stage with musical and dance acts, puppet shows, sing-a-longs, and demonstrations.  Online you’ll find a full listing of each day’s events. My kids love Fringe and running from station to station, stage to stage, to see what’s happening.  We can’t wait for this year’s Fringe and will be doing our best rain dance for good weather. We’ll see you there!

Know before you go:

  • Kids Fringe is completely FREE.

  • Parking:  In the Florida Hospital Garage, the brick lot between Orlando Shakes & Orlando Museum of Art, or street parking on Mills Ave.

  • It can be very hot and sunny out.  Wear breathable clothes and sunscreen.

  • Oh it’s not sunny, it’s raining?  Pack your rain gear.

  • The lawns in Loch Haven Park tend to have a lot of ants.  Have your littles wear sneakers.

  • There are interactive exhibits with arts and crafts including paint.  Make sure your kids aren’t wearing their Sunday best.

  • Snacks and drinks are welcome.  The main lawn will have food trucks and vendors starting at 11am.  Bring a blanket and have a picnic in the park or use the picnic tables in the Orlando Shake courtyard or tables behind the Fire Museum.  

  • Kids Fringe is FREE but the Orlando Fringe is a non-profit organization that puts together this amazing festival.  If you would like to support their efforts, give here.

Orlando Fringe is the longest running Fringe Festival in the United States.  It is a unique and wonderful part of the arts scene in Central Florida. Support local arts and artists by going to Fringe and seeing wonderful art of all kinds!

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Tiny Tourist: What To Do When It's Hot or Rainy in Orlando

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Motherhood is filled with dichotomies that make life so hard and simultaneously so wonderful.  I count down to the weekends that aren’t booked with plans. When they finally arrive I try not to freak out while we move from room to room making messes at home trying to fill the day.  I’ve realized that with my littles I have to have a plan. We need activities to get us going in the morning so there are fewer meltdowns. Mainly from me. The kids enjoy the little things.  And remind us to do so as well.

Since having kids life has been a walk in the park.  Literally, every weekend we find ourselves walking at the park.  It’s the perfect morning activity. We schedule a playground and walking visit between naps and let the kids burn off their energy.  Add in meals, maybe a special trip for ice cream, and a visit with friends or family and bam your day is complete. So when the summer heats up, things get difficult.  

We have to get creative here in Central Florida how we spend our very long hot days.  Our morning trips to the park still happen though much earlier and a bit shorter. But wait you say, I’m forgetting one very important factor...the rain?  Yes, there’s that too. Dichotomies, they’re everywhere. So we spend long summer days alternating between unrelenting heat and downpouring rain. Creativity reigns in keeping our little ones happy and us parents sane. We have a few go-to’s that always make for a great day.

One of our favorite local indoor activities is the Orlando Science Center.  New expansions in Kids Town mean there’s even more to do and even our very little guy can enjoy it.  For us, there’s no better place to beat the heat. We also take refuge watching children’s theater offerings at Orlando Shakes and the Orlando Rep.  All three of these places are located in beautiful Loch Haven Park. If you can stand it, and if it’s not raining, it’s a great place for a walk and a picnic before you head inside.  Afterward, we always take advantage of our proximity to Audubon Park and head over to Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream or Gideon’s Bakehouse (inside East End Market) for a treat.

On the days the rain has started long before we wake we make the most of our time inside.  I cover the dining room table in kraft paper, bust out paints and stamps and let my daughter unleash her creative genius.  I’m amazed that she can sit there for an hour before boredom sets in. Paints are quickly replaced with playdough, then necklace making, and when she’s done with every craft I can think of I tag-in her dad who suggests they make a gigantic fort in the playroom.

My daughter monitors the rain all throughout the day.  She’s hoping for it to stop only after gigantic puddles have formed in the street.  She knows once it stops she can throw on her boots and jump in muddy puddles. To her, it’s the perfect ending to any summer day.

Our summer days are long, the messes are huge, but the years will be short.  As my kids grow they’ll look less to us for their entertainment and turn to their tech devices (or so I’m told).  For now, I soak up all the dichotomies, the sun and the rain, the homemade pictures painted just for me, and the mud-soaked ice cream stained clothes piling up in the laundry after a well spent day.  

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