3 Off-the-Beaten-Path Places to Visit While in Orlando

Orlando is the home of Mickey Mouse, Shamu, Universal Studios, I-Drive and plenty of sunshine.

While here in Central Florida we invite you to step out and enjoy some hidden spots we believe are worth the visit.

  1. Lake Eola Park – visit on a Sunday for Orlando’s Farmer’s Market, be sure to walk the loop around the whole lake, there is lots to see.

  2. Winter Park – from a great climbing tree in Central park to the must do Scenic Boat ride, Winter Park is upscale but can be done on any price scale. Here’s a mystery tour of Winter Park. 

  3. Citrus Tower –  One of Florida’s original attractions, this is a nice way to step back in time and see a different side of Central Florida.



Heritage Farms, DeLand, FL


I was excited when I heard about Heritage Farms in DeLand.

I’ve been looking for a pumpkin patch with all the extras like a hay ride and corn maze closer to the east coast, so thanks to all of my friends on Facebook and social media who liked the page and posted pictures of their visit to Heritage Farms, that’s how I heard about it!

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7 Date Night Ideas on Your Disney Vacation

Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t grab a date night.

For child care options read The Frugal Travel Mom’s Guide to Childcare at Disney World.

Now that you have the kiddos taken care of the next step is to decide what you’re going to do.

Here Are:

The Frugal Travel Mom’s 7 Date Night Ideas while on Your Disney Vacation

1. Disney Springs at Night

Disney Springs at night is awesome. The lights on the water, the atmosphere and the activities presented make this a go to for the locals as well.

Ride the hot air balloon, eat dinner, order chocolate, shop or just simply sit and relax. Whatever your budget or interests Disney Spring will not disappoint.

2. Cirque du Soleicirque2

I know this is at Disney Springs but I feel it needs it’s own section. Pricey, but worth it; we missed our early showing tickets and they found us seats for the late show, strolling Disney Springs and a fabulous show make for a great date night.

3. Hit the Parks

There no reason why you can’t cut a day with the family short and return again that night with your date!


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Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens

Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens,


or Bongoland as it was called in the 1940’s and 50’s when it served as an amusement park complete with train and an ape named Bongo.

Whatever you decide to call it, this historic site is really a hidden gem on Florida’s East Coast just south of Daytona Beach.

Before the days of Disney World and Universal a quieter form of entertainment drew visitors to Florida’s East Coast. With it’s history going back to 1836 and the Second Seminole War, these old Sugar Mills and botanical gardens are also a historic site and home to some pretty unique dinosaurs.


I hate to spoil the fun, so don’t take my word for it, instead visit yourself and see the beauty of this glimpse into Florida’s past.

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Frugal Disney

titleThis post is for Visitors and Florida Residents Alike.

Here are some of The Frugal Travel Mom’s Frugal tips to Disney.



FRUGAL TICKETS, ok this is for residents only:

It pays to live here.

Disney knows what a Florida summer is like and they reward us residents with some perks, as minor as they may be.

You gotta get in to the park so an annual pass is the way to go!

Florida Weekday Select Pass is,(as of this writing Jan 2015, $275.84 or $112 down and $13.66 a month.

You can only visit weekdays, think less people, and have black-out dates during hot summer and bust spring break and holidays. It’s all 4 parks, park hopper, free parking, MagicBand, and more!



Pack a lunch. The large lockers at Magic Kingdom can hold a decent size cooler. Get a few lockers, take a sheet and or blanket. Eat right there at the lockers and nearby benches.

The train station is right above the lockers so use it to get back there for lunch or maybe when you’re done grab the train to a far off land…

–> Side note on eating. While I am a huge fan of traveling frugal, I am also a fan of doing special things to make memories. I love to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom. Make a reservation ASAP and you can book up to 180 days in advence.

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