Special Issues » Summer Guide

The best things to do in Orlando this summer

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Thursday-Sunday, May 24-27

MegaCon Pop culture convention with vendors, cosplayers, celebrity guests, photo ops, panels and more. Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive; $20-$640; 407-685-9800; megaconorlando.com.

Thursday, May 24

Swamburger Day Celebration of the Swamburger sandwich returning to the menu, with a listening party for some of Swam's upcoming solo records. 7 pm Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar, 444 N. Bumby Ave.; free; 407-893-4994; drunkenmonkeycoffee.com.

Friday-Saturday, May 25-26

Megacrawl A cosplay-themed bar crawl through more than 10 downtown bars. 7 pm; Shots, 69 E. Pine St.; $15-$20; 407-374-2499; facebook.com/orlandobarcrawls.

Friday, May 25

Caribbean Carnaval Experience the vibrant colors, rich sounds and delightful tastes of the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad at this lively celebration. 6 pm Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, 6601 Adventure Way; $71-$81.

Diva Royale Drag show dinner theater featuring several celebrity impersonators. 7:30 pm; Ishta Nightclub, 57 W. Pine St.; $25-$75; dragqueenshow.com.

Drunk Spelling Bee Beer and sake-fueled spelling competition. For adults. 9:30 pm The Falcon, 819 E. Washington St.; $5 to compete; 407-423-3060.

Saturday, May 26

Central Florida's BBQ Blowout Check out professional barbecue teams, delicious food, a Kid-Que cooking competition, live music, water slides and many local vendors. 11 am-9 pm; Center Lake Park, 299 Center Lake Lane, Oviedo; free; 407-278-4871; bbqblowout.org.

Oasis After Dark Official MegaCon afterparty with VR gaming station, body painting, go-go dancers, live entertainment and more. 9 pm; Club 39, Rosen Plaza Hotel; $30-$40; 407-996-9700; moshimoshiproductions.com.

Sunday, May 27

Orlando Carnival A family-friendly festival filled with pageantry celebrating the culture of the Caribbean. Noon-10 pm Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place; $10; 407-421-8118; orlandocarnivaldowntown.com.

Tiki Party Wear a Hawaiian shirt for free admission, and enjoy tropical drinks and hot dogs. 7 pm; Howl at the Moon Saloon, 8815 International Drive; free-$10; 407-354-5999; howlatthemoon.com.

Thursday, May 31

Chef's Night A multi-course meal directed by Andrew Larkin, executive chef at Disney's Boardwalk Resort. 6-9 pm; Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, 411 Mercy Drive; SOLD OUT; 407-295-1066; feedhopenow.org.

Friday, June 1

Bite30 Restaurants across the area offer special $30 prix fixe multi-course menus for the month of June. Through June 30; multiple locations; $30; bite30.com.

Saturday, June 2

The 2000s Pub Crawl Wear a costume to represent the 2000s and drink your way through a bunch of downtown bars. 8 pm; Sideshow, 15 N. Orange Ave.; $10-$20; 407-420-1515; orlandopubcrawl.com.

Central Florida Orchid Society Orchid Show and Sale Spectacular orchid displays, orchids and supplies vendors, speakers and demonstrations, company plants, raffles, door prizes, and a scavenger hunt. 9 am-5 pm; Florida National Guard Armory, 2809 S. Ferncreek Ave.; $5; 407-463-5193; cflorchidsociety.org.

Make 'M Smile Festival A community festival celebrating kids with special needs. 7:30 am-1 pm; Lake Eola Park, 195 N. Rosalind Ave.; free-$5; nathanielshope.org.

Trap Brunch A savory brunch menu paired with bottomless mimosas and sangria, soundtracked by DJ Jay-R. 11 am-4 pm; Haven Orlando, 6651 S. Semoran Blvd.; $8-$10; 407-757-0258; havenorlando.com.

Wear Orange Wear orange to honor victims and survivors of gun violence. This family-friendly event features face painting, a bounce house, music, arts and crafts, food trucks and more. 10 am; Gaston Edwards Park, 1236 N. Orange Ave.; free; 407-375-9023.

Saturday, June 9

Gods & Monsters Third Anniversary Celebration with art vendors, face-painting, organized gaming demos, prizes for cosplayers, a raffle and more. 11 am; Gods & Monsters, 5421 International Drive; free; godmonsters.com.

Knit in Public Day Meet with other Central Florida knitters and have a great time knitting and mingling. Be sure to bring your work in progress, yarn and needles. All levels are welcome. 11 am-1 pm; Orlando Public Library, 101 E. Central Blvd.; free; 407-835-7323; ocls.info.

Monte Carlo Casino Night A benefit for Give Kids the World featuring blackjack, craps and roulette. 7 pm; Melia Orlando, 225 Celebration Place, Celebration; $30-$75; 407-964-7000.

Tuesday, June 12

Pulse Annual Remembrance Ceremony Gather at the site of Pulse to pay respects to those who lost their lives there 7-9 pm; Pulse, 1912 S. Orange Ave.; free; 407-649-3888; onepulsefoundation.org.

Saturday, June 16

AC2: An Intimate Evening with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen The late night talk show host and the journalist, longtime friends, interview each other and take questions from the audience. 8 pm; Walt Disney Theater, Dr. Phillips Center, 445 S. Magnolia Ave.; $64.75-$355.25; 844-513-2014; drphillipscenter.org.

Festival of the Sea Enjoy seafood prepared by several different restaurants and caterers along with craft vendors, beer and wine, and activities. 11 am-7 pm; Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St.; $5-$30; 407-381-5310; gopartylive.com.

Orlando Oddities and Curiosities

Market Some of the finest oddities dealers and artists from around the state gather together to offer you the finest selection of bone art, taxidermy, wet specimens, antiques, jewelry and more in the midst of one of the area's top breweries. 1-6 pm; The Hourglass Brewery, 480 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd., Longwood; free; 321-279-0092.

RumFest Three hours of unlimited sampling of rum drinks along with live reggae. 5 pm; Wall Street Plaza, Wall and Court streets; $20-$35; 407-849-0471; orlandoweeklytickets.com.

Solutionary Peace Walk & Festival

Festival devoted to peace and healthy living, with speakers, music, vegan food, workshops, yoga, a one-mile peace walk, and more. 10 am-4 pm; Lake Eola Park, 195 N. Rosalind Ave.; free; orlandopeacefest.org.

Saturday-Sunday, June 17-18

TICA Allbreed Championship Cat Show Learn about different breeds of cats and how to care for them while cats get judged on their adherence to breed standards. 9 am-4 pm; Park Inn, 3011 Maingate Lane; $6; 941-735-9956; chemicoons.wixsite.com/sccf.

Sunday, June 17

Father's Day at Leu Free admission for dads to a 50-acre botanical oasis. 9 am-5 pm; Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 N. Forest Ave.; free-$10; 407-246-2620; leugardens.org.

Friday, June 22

Party in the Parking Lot Eat, drink, shop and play at the DIY shop. 7 pm; Factur, 520 Virginia Drive; contact for price; 407-801-3228; factur.org. Saturday, June 23

Caribbean American Heritage Month Festival Experience the Caribbean through fashion, culture, food, music and a business expo. Noon-8 pm; Orlando Fashion Square, 3201 E. Colonial Drive; free; 407-421-8118; orlandofashionsquare.com.

Open House Invitational Learn about Islam and the Muslim community from the source while enjoying an international dinner. 5:30 pm; Islamic Society of Central Florida, 1586 N. Goldenrod Road; free; 407-273-8363; iscf.org.

Orlando Record Store Crawl Get driven around to record stores on a bus while drinking cocktails and watching the Sh-Booms play. 11 am; multiple locations; $39.95; recordstorecrawl.com.

Potterversary Celebrate 20 years of everything Harry Potter. Magic awaits with trivia, games and fun for the entire family. 2-4 pm; Orlando Public Library, 101 E. Central Blvd.; free; 407-835-7323; ocls.info.

Monday, June 25

Bite Night Enjoy tastes from across the local culinary scene along with live entertainment, an open bar, auctions and more. 6-10 pm; The Orchid Garden, 122 W. Church St.; $45-$70; bitenightorlando.com.

Friday-Sunday, June 29-July 1

Elvis Presley Festival A celebration of the King with an Elvis food and wine walk, live tribute performances, a look-alike contest and more. 6 pm; Mount Dora Community Building, 520 Baker St., Mount Dora; $15-$25; 407-962-0263; epcontinentals.com.

Sunday, July 8

The Mad Hatter's High Tea Benefit for the Barber Fund with food, drink, and entertainment from Blue Star and Varietease. 3 pm; Parliament House, 410 N. Orange Blossom Trail; $10 suggested donation; 407-425-7571; thebarberfund.org.

Saturday, July 14

Bastille Day Celebration Annual celebration of French culture with food, games, live music and more. 5 pm; Audubon Park Garden District, East Winter Park Road and Corrine Drive; free; audubonparkgardens.com.

Tacos & Tequila Revel in Orlando's weird obsession with tacos and enjoy unlimited samples along with tequila and beer. 1-4 pm; Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House, 128 W. Church St.; $25-$55; 407-839-3000; orlandoweeklytickets.com.

Tuesday, July 17

Create Your Summer: Karina Garcia, Wengie and Natalies Outlet Show from three successful YouTube creators. 5 pm; The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave.; $35-$185; 407-228-1220; plazaliveorlando.com. Saturday, July 21

The Crazy '80s Pub Crawl Wear an '80s costume and get wasted at more than 12 different downtown venues. 8 pm; Sideshow, 15 N. Orange Ave.; $15-$25; 407-420-1515; orlandopubcrawl.com. Friday-Sunday, Aug. 3-5

Anime Festival Orlando Annual convention for anime fans with a large dealer room, artist alley, cosplay events, panels, games and more. Wyndham Orlando Resort, 8001 International Drive; $60-$100; animefestivalorlando.com.

Saturday, Aug. 4

Orlando Burger Battle Top chefs and restaurants duke it out to see who makes the best burger in town. Noon-6 pm; Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St.; $20-$40; 407-381-5310; gopartylive.com.

Friday-Sunday, Aug. 10-12

Magic the Gathering Grand Prix Orlando A massive three-day CCG tournament. Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive; $69.99-$149.99; 407-685-9800; cfbevents.com.

Orlando Fall Home & Garden Show Browse through hundreds of ideas for decor, home improvement projects, services, landscaping and more. Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive; contact for price; 407-685-9800; orlandohomeandgardenshow.com.

Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 11-12

Walker Stalker Con A two-day convention devoted to the TV series The Walking Dead. Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive; $40-$900; 407-685-9800; walkerstalkercon.com.

Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 18-19

Florida Kids and Family Expo Opportunity to discover what Central Florida has to offer families. Entertainment, schools, enrichment, fun, products, services and more. 11 am-5 pm; Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive; $5-$10; 407-405-4000; mycentralfloridafamily.com. Wednesday, Aug. 22

Best of Orlando One of the biggest parties of the year, honoring our Best of Orlando winners and nominees, takes over five separate venues with open bars, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and dancing. 8 pm; The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave.; by invitation only; 407-648-8363; orlandoweekly.com. Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 25-26

The Infinity Toy and Comic Con A two-day convention celebrating comic books, toys, anime and pop culture. With special guests, cosplay, costume contests, vendors and more. 10 am-6 pm; Osceola Heritage Park, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee; $15-$25; 407-283-1556; infinitytoyandcomicon.com.

Saturday, Sept. 8

Florida Smash Beer Festival This beer festival challenges participating breweries to create a beer made from the same malt and hop and submit them for judging. 4-9 pm; Reiter Park, 311 W. Warren Ave., Longwood; $35-$60; floridasmashbeerfestival.com.

United We Brunch Local restaurants serve samples of brunchy dishes alongside unlimited Bloody Marys and mimosas. Noon; The Orchid Garden, 122 W. Church St.; $40-$75; unitedwebrunch.com.