2014 Family Favorite Award Winners: Kiddie Culture

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Orlando Repertory Theatre

Best Kids Theater

Orlando Repertory Theatre
What kid doesn’t love fancy costumes and meet and greets with actors after the shows? The Rep is the go-to kid-friendly theater that offers fun shows with all your kiddo’s fave characters. Dr. Phillips and Altamonte Springs, www.orlandorep.com

Best Family Festival

Kids Fringe at Orlando Fringe Festival
Kids Fringe is a special part of the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival just for kids and families! Located in the sculpture gardens of The Mennello Museum of American Art, Kids Fringe offers performances by Fringe artists, workshops, hands-on art activities and more. The best part is it’s free. www.orlandofringe.org

Best Family Program or Tour

Kennedy Space Center
From the KSC Bus Tour, which gives you an up-close view of a launch pad and the massive Saturn V rocket, to the IMAX theater, which features images of the Hubble Space Telescope and life aboard the International Space Station, there’s a lot to experience at KSC. A 40-minute drive from Orlando, KSC provides an important, yet fun, history lesson. Titusville, 321-449-4440, www.kennedyspacecenter.com

Orlando Science Center Photo By RF Photography

Orlando Science Center Photo By RF Photography

Best Museum for Kids

Orlando Science Center
It’s no surprise the Orlando Science Center won your pick for best museum for kids. It’s full of learning opportunities disguised as playtime. There’s always a new exhibit to explore. Consider the yearlong membership to save money on each visit. You’ll also save on the center’s coveted camps! Winter Park, 407-514-2000, www.osc.org

Best Story Time

Orlando Public Library
From tales for tiny tots to songs, and folk and animal tales, the Orlando Public Library is the place for story time fun. The story time is held Fridays and Saturdays at the downtown library, and your kiddos will be enthralled by fascinating stories, flannel and big book stories, plus rhymes, songs and poetry. Orlando, 407-835-7323, www.ocls.info

Editor’s Choice

Discover, inspire, and create at The Craft Shack set in a charming historic house in Longwood. Local mom Debbie Helton is a whiz at arts and crafts enrichment with a recycled flair. Check the online schedule for mommy-and-me classes, open studio, after-school classes, homeschool classes, Girl Scout events, ladies nights out and birthday parties. Or rent the space for private events. Longwood, 407-448-1375, www.thecraftshackstudio.com

Hidden Gem

The Public History Center is the area’s best- kept secret. A partnership with the University of Central Florida’s History Department has enhanced programming at this facility. The building was once a public school, but is now a place for kids to learn about Florida history. We love the fact that each room has a different theme with plenty of hands-on activities to take students back in time. In the Pioneer Room, for example, kids can explore a log cabin, try on authentic clothing and work with pioneer tools. Sanford, 407-936-1679, www.scps.k12.fl.us/studentmuseum

Words by Tracey Velt

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