PLAYguide: Uncategorized

DIY: Candy Sushi for Kids

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

2018 Special Needs Guide

Here is a list of wonderful local programs and 

opportunities for families with special kids!




Creative Soles Dance Company

Creative Soles offers a wide range of dance disciplines through recreational and competitive programs. We welcome boys and girls ages 2 and up! Our INTEGRATIVE MOVEMENT dance class for those with varying exceptionalities is a 45-minute class designed to further enhance students’ gross motor skills, balance, rhythm, coordination and more! Class taught by a Florida State-Certified Exceptional Student Education Teacher.

6506 Old Brick Rd., Ste. 120, Windermere

407-595-4643 •



Gliding Stars of Central Florida

I can do it! I can skate! I may not walk, but I can skate! Dreams do come true for Central Florida’s physically, mentally and emotionally challenged individuals when they take to the ice in the Gliding Stars ice skating program. Gliding Stars provides weekly ice skating lessons, adaptive skating equipment, volunteer training, intense on-ice volunteer support and the thrill of performing for the public in an annual Ice Spectacular. Gliding Stars serves children and adults who are challenged by a variety of disabilities, physical barriers and special needs. Sign up today! 



Little Turtle Learning Tools

Early learners and kids with special needs finally have a learning app just for them! Designed by a special needs mom and teacher, the Tommy the Turtle: Color Splash app has it all: handwriting, math, spelling, shapes, color, puzzles, matching, spatial differentials and MORE! Endorsed by teachers, therapists and parents. Download the app from the Apple iTunes store today.

904-651-4822 •

Murphy & Berglund Law Firm

Murphy & Berglund, PLLC is a full-service law firm with offices in Altamonte Springs and The Villages. We help parents create special needs trusts and guardianships for children who have turned 18 and need ongoing care. We help families by planning for life and addressing the unexpected. We aim to protect every branch of our clients’ family tree.

JM010 logo_Murphy & Berglund, LLC

1101 Douglas Ave., Ste.B, Altamonte Springs

407-865-9553 •


Orlando Pediatric Physical Therapy

At OPPT, we are committed to providing compassionate and convenient physical therapy services in your home. With more than 20 years of experience, we are devoted to serving the whole child through exceptional therapeutic care and support. And, we find the greatest joys — the big and small — in helping our kids and families reach their greatest potential. Schedule your in-home personal evaluation today!

407-917-7263 •


Speech Innovations of Central Florida

Pediatric speech & language therapy serving all of Central Florida. Specialties include early intervention for speech and language delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder and other congenital anomalies, apraxia, articulation and phonological disorders, auditory processing, oral motor deficiency, oral aversion and social communication. Therapy provided in the client’s home, daycare, school or our Oviedo office.

251 Plaza Dr., Ste. C, Oviedo • 407-694-3603 •


Sunsationall Kidz Gym

A unique indoor play area featuring a sensory touch wall, rock climbing wall, ball pit, crash mats, various occupational therapeutic swings, arts and craft area and sensory-friendly toys designed to accommodate children of all abilities. Offering sensory-friendly birthday parties all year, brain exercises, music, ABA, OT therapies and parent enrichment classes. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 

2154 Central Florida Pkwy., B2, Orlando

407-203-0303 •

Also posted in Playguide, special needs | Comments closed

September/October 2018 digital issue

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

2018 Party Guide

Well, well, aren’t you lucky to live in an area with so many party planners, venues and services for your little one’s next birthday blowout? Yes, you are!


A Kids Gym 

Jump, climb, play and explore our bright, exciting space filled with bounce houses, trampolines, obstacles courses, parachutes, hoops, balls and more! Two party “energizers” will lead the kids in organized games and activities that they will literally flip over! Enjoy food and cake in the party room and a special chair for the birthday child. Call today to book the best party ever.


1495 Evans St., Oviedo


AirHeads Adventure Arena

Stop bouncing off the walls deciding on where to host your child’s birthday party and book it today with AirHeads Adventure Arena, the trampoline arena where kids can actually bounce off the walls! A professional birthday party planner arranges everything from catering and games to decorations and clean up while your guests are flying high in the Trampoline Arena! AirHeads offers many popular birthday packages at the ultimate birthday venue.

33 W. Pineloch Ave., Orlando



The Art Room

Everyone will have a great time celebrating the birthday child as they create their own acrylic painting (chosen by the birthday child) on a 9″x12″ canvas board. Parties are two hours long and the cost is $25 per child with a minimum of 10. We provide the activity, fun and excitement. You provide your food and paper products, then sit back to enjoy the fun! The possibilities are endless.To book a party or get further information, just give us a call at 407.909.1869.


Main St., Windermere




Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Celebrate your child’s next birthday at the WILDEST place in Town! All ZOOper birthday parties include free Zoo admission, train and carousel ride, pizza and drinks, goodie bags, and a reserved parking space for the birthday family. Parties are offered for children ages 1-12 on Saturdays and Sundays all year round with one hour of games, activities, food and fun.

3755 W. Seminole Blvd., Sanford

407-323-4450 ext. 114




Cookie Cousins

Take Home Cookie Decorating Kits

Looking for a creative activity to add to your party? How about decorating your own cookies? This is a fun way to interact with each other and let your creativity show. Plus, the kids will end with a sweet treat to eat! Take Home Cookie Decorating Kits include pre-baked cookies and icing. Minimum of 12 cookies to place an order.


2322 Edgewater Dr., Orlando




The Craft Shack Studio is the perfect space for an artsy celebration! The studio is a charming historic house that is a beautiful setting for an intimate gathering (suitable for 12 children or less). You bring the cake, decorations and guests,
and Craft Shack provides the rest and cleans up the mess!


218 W. Church Ave., Longwood



Cranium Academy offers the coolest parties for kids ages 2 to 8, plus a private, worry-free experience for parents. Your action-packed celebration includes up to 24 children and nearly exclusive use of our 10,000+ sq./ft. indoor play areas with customized games, bouncers and slides, parent lounge areas and a private party room. Our party pros handle everything for your child’s special day!


4068 Winter Garden Vineland Rd., Winter Garden
407-294-6950 (Winter Garden)



Eye Candy Face and Body Art is devoted to providing the best face and body art services in the industry. They provide high-quality face painting, dazzling glitter tattoos and amazing airbrush tattoos for any event in Orlando and surrounding areas. Eye Candy Face & Body Art will make your event unique and memorable for your guests.




Holiday Enhancements 

Let Holiday Enhancements make every celebration a special one!

We offer unique, personalized and themed gifts for girls’ trips, family get-togethers, teachers, kids, weddings, babies and so much more. We provide quick turnaround time and quality products. Holiday Enhancements would love to help you perk up your next party or holiday celebration and pick out the perfect gift for you or someone else!


Facebook: Holiday Enhancements



Gymnastics USA provides families with all their party needs, while creating a day of fun, excitement and memories for all party participants. They are the one-stop spot for your child’s special day. Choose the signature Olympic themed birthday or the Do-It-Yourself party option. One thing is for certain, a gymnastics party at Gymnastics USA is the best kind of party!

13175 W. Colonial Dr., Winter Garden
Text or call: 407-504-0911



Lou & Pepper

Whether they’re planning a custom-themed party, curating a one-of-a-kind Party In a Box or fulfilling orders from the Lou & Pepper Party Shop, Lou & Pepper knows how to party! As boutique party planners and Central Florida moms, they know how hard it can be to create the perfect party so let them help you celebrate life’s party-worthy moments.





Mad Science

These parties entertain children of all ages with exciting, high-energy, interactive shows at our Mad Science Laboratory — or we can bring a party to you anywhere in Central Florida. Kids will be amazed by the cool demonstrations, crazy reactions, and awesome take-homes, like slime! Mad Science birthday parties are mess-free, stress-free, and hassle-free.


1700 Oviedo Mall Blvd., Oviedo



Millie Moo’s 

Celebrate in style this summer and with air conditioning. Let us throw your child the best custom birthday party; full decor is included. We provide everything but the cake, food and party favors. However, we can supply those too if you’d like. Our indoor playground is designed for children 7 and under. Book your party now with a 50 percent deposit. Text our dedicated party planner anytime at 407-288-3111 with any questions or to reserve your date.

4085 LB McLeod Rd., Ste. E, Orlando


O2B Kids

Five reasons to have a party at O2B Kids:

1. The birthday child feels like a V.I.P.!

2. Your guests will have a blast.

3. We set-up. We clean-up. YOU enjoy!

4. The environment is safe and secure.

5. The party is a GREAT value! Build your own theme or
choose a pirate, princess, sports or superhero-themed party.

Altamonte Springs: 995 N. State Rd. 434, #600
Oviedo: 1175 Oviedo Mall Blvd., #1005


Orlando Repertory Theatre (The REP) is a professional theatre with a mission to create experiences that enlighten, entertain and enrich families and young audiences. In addition to professional productions, the award-winning REP Youth Academy provides classes and workshops for students grades Pre-K through 12, along with professional development opportunities to classroom teachers. Visit our website for tickets and info on birthday parties. The new season kicks off September 5.

1001 E. Princeton St., Orlando



Orlando Science Center

We’ve got birthdays down to a science! Orlando Science Center’s all-inclusive party packages are designed to take the hassle out of party planning so you can relax and celebrate with your kids. Parties include a private, decorated party room, party staff just for you, themed activities and admission to the Orlando Science Center. Visit us online for more information.

777 E. Princeton St., Orlando




Orlando Shakes

Celebrate your little one’s birthday at Orlando Shakes! Enjoy one of our exciting live performances from the Children’s Series along with a private party in either The Dr. Phillip’s Patrons Room or the beautiful Darden Courtyard. Visit to download our Birthday Packet.

812 E. Rollins St., Orlando
407-447-1700, ext. 200




Orlando Watersports Complex is a unique watersports park designed for wakeboarding, wakeskating, wakesurfing, kneeboarding and waterskiing. The world’s most visited wake park boasts two full-sized cable systems, a two-tower system and a boat lake providing unparalleled opportunity for watersports enthusiasts to enjoy their sport. The newly added Aquapark brings in fun for all ages. Enjoy the day swimming, sliding and climbing on their over-the-water inflatable obstacle course!

8615 Florida Rock Rd., Orlando


Painted Oaks Academy Ranch has been the No. 1 destination for children’s pony parties for over 12 years. We offer two all-inclusive party packages for kids ages 3–10. Packages start at $400 for a complete Pony Party for 10 kids, but we can also plan an Ultimate Party for up to 75 kids. Our packages include pony rides, hay rides, games, farm animals feeding, music, and a playground. Additions include piñata, bounce house, paint-the-pony, 1925 fire chief truck, face painting, pizza and BBQ.

15100 Lake Pickett Rd., Orlando



Pijama Party

Looking for an unforgettable pajama party, tea party, picnic and play dates? This is the place. Your child and his/her guests will be immersed in a dreamy experience full of magic, beauty and thoughtful details that will make their dreams come true. Pijama Party & Co. offers indoor and outdoor plans for boys and girls!




Planet Obstacle

A Birthday Experience in a whole new way! Come celebrate your birthday party at Planet Obstacle, the largest indoor obstacle park. We offer five different party packages, including the VIP Package. All parties include unlimited all-day play, plus one hour in the decorated private party room, a dedicated party host, pizzas and unlimited drinks, party room set-up/clean-up and all the party supplies (plates, cups, napkins, utensils, table cloths and balloons). Special grip socks will be provided for each guest.


1150 Emma Oaks Trl., #100, Lake Mary




Princesses and Princes

Our indoor playground offers the best fully PRIVATE birthday parties for kids ages 0-6. Hosts can relax in the worry-free, Montessori-inspired playground. Let us handle all the details. The platinum birthday package comes with premium, custom decorations that will wow and delight the birthday child and guests! Visit our website to see videos, testimonials and to reserve a date.


1637 E. Silver Star Rd., Ocoee




RDV Ice Den

Have the COOLEST party ever! Birthday parties at RDV Ice Den include ice skating, a private party room, party leader, set up/ clean up, pizza and unlimited soft drinks. Upgrade your party package to include paper products, decorations, invitations and goody bags — just bring the cake and candles. Call

407-916-2430 to book your party today!


8701 Maitland Summit Blvd., Orlando




Rebounderz of Apopka provides a birthday party experience to exceed your expectations and provide your child with tons of fun! With all-inclusive party packages and awesome add-ons to choose from, our specially trained party staff will organize your child’s party for you — just bring the kids and the cake. The party includes jumping on the massive, safe trampoline arenas, playing dodgeball, perfecting slam-dunk skills, flipping in the foam pit, cooling off with refreshing beverages, delicious food options, and winding down with arcade games, cake and more.

474 S. Hunt Club Blvd., Apopka





Turn your birthday upside-down at WonderWorks! Choose from our party packages to experience laser-tag, over 100 interactive and hands-on exhibits, a 4D extreme motion ride, virtual roller coaster, indoor ropes course and the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show. With so many adventures to choose from, WonderWorks is the perfect place to celebrate your birthday!


9067 International Dr., Orlando





Yum Yum Pops

If you’re looking for a great party idea, Yum Yum Pops could be what you’re looking for! Yum Yum Pops’ Party Packages are a great way to add a cool twist to your next special event. These vegan ice pops are handcrafted in Winter Park. Plus, they’re all natural, organic and gluten free — no added preservatives and no food coloring. We’re all about the fruit!



Also posted in Party, Playguide | Comments closed

July/August 2018 digital issue

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

How To Kids Fringe

Hey Playground Readers,

My name is Genevieve Bernard, and I’m the Producer of Kids Fringe. Fringe is my favorite time of year in Orlando, and Kids Fringe has a special place in my heart. Our Kids Fringe team has worked hard to put together a super-fun, interactive festival with something for everyone!

Kids Fringe takes place on two consecutive weekends during The Orlando Fringe on May 19-20 and May 26-27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and it’s FREE! Kids Fringe has moved to an exciting new location, the Orlando Garden Club behind the Orlando Shakespeare Theater at 710 E Rollins St, Orlando. Check out shows and activities as you enjoy the sweet air conditioning inside the Garden Club and participate in workshops and play outside under the gorgeous trees. It’s situated next to the Orlando Fire Museum, which will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. just for us, so take advantage of the opportunity to see a restored fire engine from 1926!

Here are PLAY Tips for How to Kids Fringe:

  • Check the Kids Fringe Facebook for up-to-the-minute information. Find the schedule on the Orlando Fringe website here.
  • Plan which day you are going to visit, or go all four days!
    – Saturday, May 19: United we Play
    – Sunday, May 20: United we Love
    – Saturday, May 26: United we Make
    – Sunday, May 27: United we Grow
  • Park in the Florida Hospital Parking Garage at 2328 Alden Rd., Orlando. (Parking is FREE on Saturday and a small fee on Sunday.) Then walk down the sidewalk to Kids Fringe at 710 E. Rollins St., Orlando. It’s a pleasant 4-minute walk.
  • Fuel up! There will be FREE coffee the first weekend of Kids Fringe courtesy of First Watch!
  • Stop at our info booth. Check the board for the daily Kids Fringe schedule, the Family Friendly shows at Fringe and other fun stuff.
  • Explore Fringezilla’s Mainstage, where you’ll see shows by Fringe performers and local artists.
  • Participate in a workshop and learn to drum, sing, dance and much more!
  • Make some cool art projects in Craftland, learn to dance, meet our mascot Fringezilla and more. March in our parade over to the painting fence for the big reveal!
  • Create your own Fringezilla T-shirt for only $5!
  • Bring your change for water, healthy drinks and throwback candy. Ring pops, anyone? There will be an ice cream truck too. Yum!
  • Chill out and visit the air conditioned fire museum and sit at the picnic tables under the oak trees at the Garden Club. Bring your picnic blanket!
  • Plan your “Big Fringe” excursion here! Check out a family-friendly show. Our volunteers can tell you how.
  • Kids Fringe has cool stuff for everyone (including parents) and every day is different. I hope you join us for the fun!

Happy Kids Fringe,


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

May/June 2018 Digital Issue

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

March/April 2018 Digital Issue

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

2018 Jan/Feb Health Issue

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

The Holiday Issue 2017

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September/October 2017 Digital Issue

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July/August 2017 Digital Issue

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5 Ways to PLAY This Weekend: May 24, 2017

Thank you to this week’s sponsor:


1. Take the Kids to PLAY at Main Event Entertainment

May 26-27 from 9 a.m.-2 a.m., May 28 from 9 a.m.-Midnight
Main Event Orlando
This new high-tech fun center will be enjoyed by kids and parents alike. Main Event combines dining, virtual and interactive game play, state-of-the-art bowling, adventure courses, billiards, big screens and V Play Virtual Reality (the first U.S. free-roam, multi-player virtual reality game) all under one roof.  Get a Summer FUNpass for non-stop play all day long!


2. Learn about Physics at Pint-Size Science

Friday, May 26 from 9 a.m.-Noon
Orlando Science Center

Children ages 3-5 can explore the solutions behind physics problems at this Orlando Science Center workshop. Kids will work with everything from slime to magnets to learn about early STEM concepts, and have fun doing it! Cost is $40 for non-members.


3. Curl Up for a Peanut Butter Matinee Family Film

Sunday, May 28 at Noon
Enzian Theater, Maitland
Bring the whole family out to enjoy a matinee film once a month at the Enzian! This month’s film is The Indian in the Cupboard (1995). Arrive early to take part in the prize raffle!



  4. Kick Off “102 Days of Summer” at Omni Resort

Friday, May 26-September 4
Omni Resort, Championsgate
Memorial Day weekend is the grand opening of the new kiddie slides and wave pool (plus cabanas) as well as the kickoff to “102 Days of Summer” festivities which includes everything from Saturday night fireworks to dive-in movies, poolside DJ dance parties and even cooking demos (like kid’s pizza making)!



5. Sing Along with Mr. Richard

Saturday, May 27 at 10 a.m.
Barnes & Noble, Orlando
Join Mr. Richard for a free musical singalong at Barnes & Noble on East Colonial Drive! The audience is always encouraged to get up and dance to these fun sing-along songs.




Business Sponsor Spotlight
Here’s a word from our sponsor. Let us know you care by clicking on their link below!
We Focus On Kids’ Dental Health

Kids dentistry is a dental specialty that focuses on the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years. Following dental school, a kids dentist has two to three years of additional specialty training in the unique needs of infants, children and adolescents, including those with special health needs. Kids dentists have extensive training in pediatric sedation, the development of facial structures, and behavioral management techniques to ensure that children are comfortable during their visits.

At Orlando Kid’s Dentistry, we’ll take care of your children as if they were our own.

CLICK HERE to get the Top 5 Ways to PLAY mailed directly to your inbox each week!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

O2B Summer Camp is Coming!

Sponsored by O2B Kids.

Summer Camp at O2B Kids ROCKS!

Any child entering 1st through 8th grade who wants to visit a galaxy far far away, celebrate a year’s worth of holidays, survive the Survivor challenge, splash with friends, get dirty with slime, become a superhero and save the world, take the stage for O2B’s Got Talent, and laugh, learn & play with their friends each day should attend O2B Kids Summer Camp!

Built around a crazy weekly theme, we group kids by age and interest area so every child builds lasting friendships. Each day is filled with free play FUN, group games, weekly-themed activities, field trips, daily snack, lunch with friends, outdoor play and exciting challeges! If that’s not enough, there are 100+ weekly classes including dance, cheerleading, gymnastics, karate, science, art, music, drama, technology and more that are available for O2B Kids Members!

All this takes place in our state-of-the-art Edutainment Supercenter complete with an amazing Play Village and Specialty Classrooms which include an Art Studio, Science Lab, Gymnastics Room, Dance Studio, Team Room, Theater and Tech Lab! Kids can climb and explore in our Rock Room, Big Toy and Outdoor Playground. When we add in the fun, friends, food, field trips, weekly themes, parties, daily variety and free play choice…it’s truly a child’s dream come true.

Our Summer Camp weekly themes include:
1. Splash
2. Gettin’ Dirty
3. A Galaxy Far, Far Away
4. Extreme Games
5. Survivor
6. Everyday’s a Holiday
7. Superhero Begins
8. Superhero Part II
9. O2B’s Got Talent
10. Blow It Up

We have two locations to serve your family and we hope you’ll join us for the fun this summer!

For more information or to reserve your spot today, give us a call!
Altamonte Springs Location – 407-335-4422
Oviedo Mall Location – (407)-542-8899

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May/June 2017 Digital Issue

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

March/April 2017 Digital Issue

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Maternity PLAYguide 2017

Here comes baby! These local services for expectant mothers will make your new baby’s transition into the world a little easier.

A Special Advertising Section

B & B Babytalk offers a unique shopping experience. From Once Upon a Time to Happily Ever After! Fulfilling your needs from maternity to childhood. This family-owned business has everything. Maternity, infant & children’s clothing, baby gear & necessities, toys, new & resale, custom everything & even a photo studio. Hate shopping with your kids? Not here. We have a play area, and we happily welcome kids!
12315 S. Orange Blossom Trl., Orlando • 407-412-5043 •

Birth In Awareness Homebirth and Midwifery Services
Maggie McCarthy, LM, CPM offers comprehensive prenatal care, including home birth, water birth, VBAC and prenatal midwifery care for those choosing hospital birth. Actively sharing in decision-making helps women feel empowered in their health care. Appointments are personalized for individual care and education. The Birth In Awareness team is confi dent and compassionate, focusing on creating family through education, awareness and support.
Serving Central Florida • 407-234-7482 •

Consider Anything Done, LLC Provides customized full-service assistance for families in the greater Orlando area. For over 25 years, owner Alisha Champ has been helping families in many different ways, such as new motherhood consulting (from swaddling to potty training), nanny services (including tutoring and survival swim lessons), event planning (birthdays and baby showers) and/or home organization and interior design. I will lighten your load to allow you more time for making memories with your family. If there’s a need, Consider Any Thing Done!
352-895-7535 •

Doulas of Orlando
The doula is a positive contribution to the care of women in labor. By tending to the woman’s emotional needs, obstetric outcomes are improved plus early mother/infant bonding and breastfeeding are enhanced. A woman’s satisfaction with the birth experience improves with a doula’s assistance during childbirth. We offer Birth & Postpartum Certifi ed Doulas, Childbirth Education, Placenta Encapsulation, Breastfeeding Assistance and Birth Consulting. Hablamos Espanol.
Serving Central Florida • 321-804-2969 •

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.52.39 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.52.43 PM Florida Hospital for Women is not only a haven for women’s health, but is also Florida Hospital’s newest addition to the extension network of women’s services. The 12-story, 332-bed comprehensive women’s hospital offers an array of services, including obstetrics, gynecology, surgery, breast care, and cardiovascular services. The hospital will soon be home to a Level 3 NICU, oncology, and innovative mental health services.
601 East Rollins Street, Orlando, Florida 32803 • 407-303-4HER •

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.52.28 PM Jessica Friend Photo Design
Jessica Friend is an Orlando-based lifestyle portrait and event photographer whose work has a fresh, light, natural style with a photojournalistic feel. She loves to catch those in-between moments that showcase the love family members have for one another as well as their individual personalities. Her goal is to capture brief moments in time and turn them into family memories that will be cherished forever.
407-212-7881 •

Lou & Pepper love babies! Boutique Party Planners & MOMS, Andrea and Cristina, will partner with you to celebrate all of your baby’s party-worthy milestones. We specialize in parties for kids ages 0-101, so you can count on us for baby showers, faith-based celebrations and 1st birthday parties, and 2nd, and 3rd, and 4th … Contact us today for a free consultation.
Serving Orlando and surrounding areas • 407-476-9659 •

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.52.14 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.52.18 PM Maison Baby
Owned and operated by local moms, Maison Baby children’s boutique brings you the best of the best in gear, gifts and surprises for a variety of ages! Take the guesswork out of what’s great for your little one. Our products are mom-tested and kid-approved!
Maison Baby 485 S. Orlando Avenue • Maitland, FL 32751 • 407-605-2860 •

The Placenta Hacienda
Central Florida’s #1 Placenta Encapsulation Service
When only the best will do, turn to Florida’s ONLY Commercial Placenta Kitchen.
With over 5 years of commercial experience, you can trust The Placenta Hacienda to handle, process and prepare your placenta to help ease your postpartum time safely, securely & timely. Serving all of Central Florida.
201 West Cypress Street, Kissimmee • 407-301-2324 •

Romp n’ Roll Winter Garden
We offer a Baby Gym class (3-12 months) with a different theme and setup each week for your baby to develop appropriate skills and muscle groups. The 45-minute class includes instructor-led activities, yoga and relaxation tips, music, parachute time, sign language, and discussion topics for parents to share information with one another. Class opens with a book and ends with a lullaby, bubbles and song. Come play and discover with your baby!
14131 W. Colonial Dr., Winter Garden • 407-656-ROLL •

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.51.17 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.51.20 PM Simply Shelby Photography is an on-location boutique studio specializing in modern baby, children, family and maternity photography. Owner and photographer Shelby Finkelstein uses only natural light and believes in taking a more “lifestyle” approach to her photography. Shelby’s style is PERFECTLY IMPERFECT. Being a mother of three has inspired her playful style and ability to connect with her subjects.
Central Florida and Surrounding Areas • 407-951-5123 • 561-654-4339 (cell) •

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.51.06 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.51.11 PM tugboat & the bird was established in 2001, and is known by locals for its bright yellow door and playful interior. We carry traditional children’s clothing and layette, fun accessories, unique room décor and one-of-a-kind newborn and children’s gifts. Our cheerful employees are passionate about what they do and welcome the opportunity to help customers choose the perfect gift for their own children or for those of another. Baby registry in-store and online!
318 Park Avenue North • Winter Park FL 32789 • 407-647-5437 •

Twinkle Toes offers the best in childcare from date night babysitting to full time nanny care. With nannies who are screened far beyond industry standards you can rest easy knowing your children are in the best of hands. It’s not too early to schedule your summer nanny for the whole summer or just to fill the gap between summer activities. You deserve peace of mind and your child deserves a Twinkle Toes Nanny!

Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies
Our 11-story hospital provides complete women’s care, from obstetrical care and high-risk births to minimally invasive gynecological surgical services. We are also home to one of the largest, most advanced Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the country, with national recognitions and outstanding care.
83 W. Miller St., Orlando • 321-8HEALTH •

Also posted in Maternity, Playguide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Protected: Mom’s Guide to Sports: Speed and Agility Training

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Registration Open at R School Orlando

R School, a new Florida nonprofit independent school, is now accepting applications for the spring term. The first of its kind in Central Florida, R School is an accessible educational alternative to public, private, and home school.


Enrollment options for grades K-8:
  • Full-time, campus-based independent school
  • Part-time, campus-based homeschool or private school enrollment
  • Private school umbrella enrollment

The R School flexible enrollment plan allows families to choose the option that best fits their needs.

About R School

“In contrast to learning environments that emphasize high-stakes standardized testing and adherence to fixed curriculum, R School offers a child-centered approach to education that allows students and families to be active participants in the learning experience,” said R School Founder and President Meribeth Huebner, an Associate Dean at Rollins College. “Students learn in small, multi-age classes guided by education professionals and content specialists.”

In addition to traditional academic curriculum, students participate in a rotating number of electives such as gardening, yoga, and creativity/design thinking. Frequent field trips to nearby farms, nature preserves and other venues enhance R School’s non-traditional educational experience.


New Central Florida Locations

R School launched two Florida locations last August for the 2016 to 2017 school year. R School’s East Orlando location is located at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. The second campus serving K-5 students is located in Lakeland under the directorship of Dr. Wendy Bradshaw.

“R School is an independent-minded, community-spirited solution for parents who seek to provide the highest quality education for their children in a progressive, pioneering environment,” added Darren McDaniel, Vice-President and Creative Director for R School and founding director of Urban ReThink, a community hub for stimulating collaborative endeavors, economic growth, lifelong learning, and community evolution.

For more information, visit, contact, or call 407-385-0234.

Also posted in Education, What's New | Leave a comment

Light Up UCF Giveaway!

Ho ho ho! PLAYGROUND is playing Santa with a big giveaway!

Be merry at Light Up UCF with a family 5 pack of ice skating vouchers! Each one is good for one person’s admission to the ice skating rink in front of the CFE Arena. While you’re at the festival, your family may also want to try out the Ferris wheel and kiddie train! Light Up UCF is going on every day until January 7.

Be one of the six lucky winners! Enter your email below for a chance to win. Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on December 8.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also posted in Giveaways, What's New | Leave a comment

8 Tips for Holiday Sanity

By Kerrie McLoughlin

Remember when you didn’t have to worry about being in three or four places at once during the holidays? The dilemma of where to go seemed to be so easily worked out by our parents and extended family. Now that we are grown-ups, by the time the new year rolls around most of us seem to end up totally frazzled from celebrating the holidays several times with many sets of relatives.

Adding your own kids to the mix can make situations even more crazy, leaving them – and you – feeling like the rope in a game of Human Tug-of-War. Below are some fixes that can hopefully help you and your family enjoy more holiday cheer this year.

  1. Combine family events. Instead of running to your parents’ house and then to see each of your siblings separately, consider having just one shin-dig at one location when most everyone can attend. To make life even easier, forego the sit-down dinner and choose to go the potluck route. Some people choose to throw a small party at their house every year on the second Friday in December, for example, and have things for the kids to do, like building a gingerbread house or painting ornaments.
  2. Consider an Open House. Choose a location (like your uncle’s house), a date, and a convenient time frame when family members can come and go as they please without the pressure of being on time for a meal. Serve finger foods and other easy fare to make it easy on the hostess.
  3. Attend the far-away celebrations only every other year or when you can afford it. Sometimes people marry someone from another state or move out of town due to a job change or other circumstance. This can leave many families feeling pulled in too many directions when the holidays roll around. It can be difficult to decide how to come together, so work out the details in advance.
  4. Negotiate annually. All families are different so it can be practically impossible to please everybody every year. One year your cousin may need to leave early to spend the rest of the day with her husband’s family. Another year it may just work out best to hold the event on a completely different day of the month. Which brings me to …
  5. Help your extended family realize that, for example, Christmas can be even nicer when spent on a day other than December 25th. You could get together with your grandparents a couple of weeks before or after Christmas Day for a much more relaxed mood. You would get to take your time opening gifts while enjoying each other’s company. What a time to treasure and look forward to every year!
  6. Do drop in. Elaine St. James, author of Simplify Your Christmas: 100 Ways to Reduce the Stress and Recapture the Joy of the Holidays, only visits her sister and her family to raise a toast but not to eat. She takes no food for the meal, no gifts, and says to her family, “We’re bringing ourselves and our best wishes for the season.”
  7. Just stay home. Some make the choice to celebrate Christmas Day at their own home every year. The decision may not popular, and you might have to defend it every year, but it could be the most relaxing and fun day of your entire year. Just imagine yourself hanging out in comfy sweatpants all day long while you play with your kids and their new toys, games and other gifts.
  8. If tensions get high between family members, think of others who may not have any family, or even a home. Consider serving food at a homeless shelter sometime around the holiday or being a bell-ringer for The Salvation Army for a couple of hours. Elaine St. James has another great idea: Make a paper bag lunch with a sandwich, cookies, fruit and juice drink and pass it out to the homeless in your area. These are great opportunities to take your kids along and teach them the true meaning of the holidays.

To ensure no feelings are hurt, make sure your family knows they are always welcome to spend holidays at your home (with some notice, of course!) With a little understanding and communication, everyone in your family can have a peaceful holiday season.

Kerrie McLoughlin is just a regular mom who writes about parenting 5 kids at

Also posted in Holidays, Lifestyle, Parties, What's New | Leave a comment

Your Elfin’ PLAYguide

Don’t Panic, here are 24 easy things to do with your Elf on the Shelf.

Last-Minute Ideas

For those days where you want to put zero brainpower into this elf thing.

1. All Buckled Up
The elf is buckled up in the car or carseat, all ready for a ride!

2. Flying High
Elves don’t have wings, but they make do! The elf flies on the ceiling fan.

3. Nativity Scene
In the spirit of Christmas, the elf joins the nativity scene.

4. Hiding with the Silverware
The elf makes like a spoon and hides in the silverware drawer.

5. Bling Bling
The elf has an eye for expensive things: he decks himself out in mom’s jewelry!

6. Bookworm Elf
The elf goes through your child’s bookshelf and reads one of their books.

7. Rummage Elf
Elves are nosy! He sticks his head into boxes that just arrived.

8. Camping Out
With so many comfy gift bags around, the elf uses one as a sleeping bag.

9. Chillin’ in the Fridge
The elf is all cozied up with the milk and OJ in the fridge!

10. Peeking Out
Look Up! The elf is poking out from behind a kitchen cupboard, perhaps holding a Christmas treat!

11. Truck Bed
The elf sleeps where he pleases: he tucks himself in on the truck bed!

12. All Tied Up
The elf gets all tangled up in gift twine, yarn, or even a phone charger.

Creative but Easy

These scenes are easy to set up, and only use materials from around the house.

13. Movie Night
Keep the TV on so that the elf can cozy up with the remote and a movie snack!

14. Shoe Train
Choo Choo! The elf makes a train out of your family’s shoes.

15. Candy Craze
Guard your candy, because the elf broke into a pack last night and ate a bunch!

16. Snow Angel
In a fit of winter excitement, the elf made snow angels in a pile of flour! (If you have them, you could use sprinkles instead!)

17. Christmas Photo
The elf gathered up some other toys for a festive photo- he even stole the camera!

18. Elf Gets Artsy
The elf grabs your kid’s crayons and does a little coloring!

19. Toothpaste Message
The elf writes a message in the sink with toothpaste.

20. Midnight Snack
The elf raids your fridge for ice cream, or another midnight snack.

21. Elf on Stilts
That’s one tall elf! He uses your wrapping paper for stilts.

22. Cereal Message
The elf spells out a special message in cereal.

23. Those Aren’t Cookies!
Great for families with pets: the elf takes a bite out of a dog treat.

24. Cha-Ching Love
The elf leaves a heart (or other fun shape) in coins.
Also posted in What's New | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Go PLAY for the Holidays

SeaWorld Christmas Celebration

SeaWorld Christmas Celebration

Don’t wait until Santa lands on your rooftop to celebrate the season.
Words by Anna Karasik

Theme Parks & Resorts

  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
    Select dates November 7 to December 22, 7 p.m. to Midnight
    Disney’s Magic Kingdom

    Join Mickey and friends in a holiday celebration as the Magic Kingdom transforms into a winter wonderland. Our favorite parts are the faux snow on Main Street and oh-so-jolly holiday parade. Special event tickets start at $86.
  • Christmas at Gaylord Palms
    November 18, 2016 to January 1, 2017
    Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

    This resort’s iconic atrium becomes an oasis of holiday fun, featuring an all-new light show, a 60-foot-tall Christmas tree and tons of exciting activities, including ICE! Featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas – a beautiful display of hand-carved ice portraying the Peanuts gang, including Snoopy, of course! Alpine Rush Snow Tubing lets you zoom down a chilly hill covered in real snow!
  • Holidays Around the World & Celebrity Candlelight Processional
    November 25 to December 30
    Disney’s EPCOT

    Experience holiday traditions from around the world as you stroll through the World Showcase experiencing how different cultures celebrate the holidays.
  • Santa’s Favorite Resort
    Select dates November 25 to December 25
    Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

    Join Santa and Mrs. Claus at their favorite vacation spot. The merry couple leads the evening tree-lighting ceremony and meet-and-greets at their Tiki hut. Other activities include cookie decorating, crafts and Santa’s Dancing Lights Spectacular.
  • LEGOLAND Christmas Bricktacular

    LEGOLAND Christmas Bricktacular

  • SeaWorld Christmas Celebration
    Select dates November 25 to December 31
    SeaWorld Orlando

    Enjoy a wet winter wonderland of sparkling lights, live holiday performances and festive food. New this year—Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends are making spirits bright with their SeaWorld debut!
  • LEGOLAND Christmas Bricktacular
    Select dates December 17 to December 30
    LEGOLAND Florida Resort

    Build your best holiday the LEGO way. Meet LEGO Santa and other exclusive characters, make holiday projects with Master Model Builders and watch a nightly fireworks spectacular. It’s all included with park admission.

  • Grinchmas
    December 3, 2016 to January 1, 2017
    Universal’s Islands of Adventure

    Celebrate the snarky way with the Grinch! Seuss Landing will become home to the ever-festive Whos of Whoville, who love to spread holiday cheer. For an intimate experience, grab a table at a Grinch character breakfast ($21 for kids, $35 for adults.) The rest of the festivities are included with park admission!

Christmas Culture

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) Presented by Orlando Shakes

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)

  • Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)
    Select dates November 30 to December 30
    Orlando Shakespeare Theater

    At first you think you’re watching a classic production of A Christmas Carol, but this comedic show soon dissolves into everything from the story of Frosty the Snowman to the adventures of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts! Tickets start at $25.
  • Harry Connick Jr.’s The Happy Elf
    November 7 to December 18, Saturdays & Sundays at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
    Orlando Repertory Theatre

    Watch talented young performers play out this new jazz musical. It tells the story Eubie, the happiest elf of all, who tries to restore joy to the town of Bluesville! Tickets start at $14 for kids and $20 for adults.
  • Once Upon a Time on Ice
    December 3 and 4 at 5 p.m.
    RDV Sportsplex

    Enjoy a beautiful ice show featuring RDV figure skaters and those in the Learn to Skate programs. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Tickets cost $9.

    Orlando Ballet Presents The Nutcracker

    Orlando Ballet Presents The Nutcracker

  • Orlando Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker
    December 8 to 11; Family Performance December 10 at 11 a.m.
    Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

    Watch the amazing dancers at Orlando Ballet bring to life the classic Christmas tale of Clara and her nutcracker soldier. If you have young kids who can’t sit through a whole ballet, check out the shortened family performance on December 10. Tickets start at $25 for the family show, $29 for all other shows.
  • “Holidaze” Presented by Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band and Colorguard
    Saturday, December 17 at 7 p.m.
    Orlando Repertory Theatre

    Orlando’s own LGBT+ concert and marching band presents a fun holiday concert for the whole family! Holidaze is hosted at Orlando Repertory Theater, and features uplifting holiday music from Halloween to New Year’s Eve. Kids under 12 get in for free!
  • Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Family Concert
    Sunday, December 18 from Noon to 3 p.m.
    Central Park in Winter Park

    Mr. Richard and the Pound Hounds will kick things off; then, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will play holiday favorites. It’s all topped off with a performance of Peter and the Wolf featuring Orlando Repertory Theatre actor and narrator Timothy Pappas.
  • Amahl & the Night Visitors
    Sunday, December 18 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
    Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

    Bring the whole family out to enjoy this funny and inspiring twist on nativity story, presented by Opera Orlando. Follow the adventures of a shepherd boy who sees an amazing star, and meets three kings who are looking for a wondrous child. Tickets start at $19.

Holiday Films

  • The Santa Clause
    Friday, December 2 at 7 p.m.
    Central Park in Winter Park

    This is part of the free monthly Popcorn Flicks in the Park series.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas & Letters to Santa
    Sunday, December 11 at Noon
    Enzian Theater

    Watch the live-action version of Dr. Seuss’s quirky Christmas tale. Enjoy a menu of holiday treats. Children can write a wish list for Santa during the movie. After it’s over, Santa will pick up the letters and pose for pictures. Tickets are $11 for non-members.
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
    Saturday, December 10 at Noon
    Enzian Theater

    This is part of the Saturday Matinee Classics series. Tickets are $8 for non-members.
  • A Christmas Story
    Tuesday, December 13 at 9:30 p.m.
    Enzian Theater

    This is part of the Cult Classics series. Tickets are $8 for non-members.

Parties, Parades, and Snow

lightup-logo-e1477684802771 Light Up UCF
November 18, 2016 to January 7, 2017
CFE Arena – University of Central Florida

UCF’s huge holiday bash is perhaps best known for its ice tubing. Try it as many times as you want; it’s all included with the purchase of a wristband. Try out the ice rink, too! The ferris wheel is back and bigger than ever, and there is a new thrilling ride that will leave you reeling! For smaller ride-goers, there’s always the kiddie train. Snap a picture with Santa before you leave!

  • Winter in the Park
    November 18, 2016 to January 8, 2017
    Central Park in Winter Park

    Skate away the holiday in beautiful Central Park. All-day general admission and a pair of rental skates is $12.
  • “Now Snowing” At Celebration
    November 26 to December 31 – Snowfall at 6, 7, 8, and 9 p.m.
    Celebration Town Center

    Nightly snowfall graces the Celebration Town Center every night of the holiday season. Skate around in an ice rink, take a ride in a horse drawn carriage or ride the Celebration Express train.
  • Holiday on the Drive
    December 1 from 5 to 9 p.m.
    Edgewater Drive, College Park

    Get a jump on your holiday shopping in a snowy winter wonderland! The shops and restaurants on Edgewater Drive will stay open, and Santa will come to bring some early holiday cheer!
  • Light Up Winter Garden
  • December 2 from 6 to 9 p.m.
    Downtown Winter Garden

    Twinkling lights will keep Plant Street aglow while you explore the vendors and kids activities. Watch the dazzling street lighting ceremony at 6:15 p.m.

  • Winter Garden Christmas Parade
    Saturday, December 3 at 10 a.m.
    South Dillard Street & Plant Street

    Find a prime spot on the curb to catch this festive procession of local organizations.
  • Macy’s Holiday Parade
    Select nights December 3, 2016 to January 1, 2017
    Universal Studios

    The larger-than-life balloons from this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade get the spotlight once again at Universal Studios here in Florida. In addition to the balloons, parade-goers will see marching bands, clowns, and Santa Claus himself! Stick around afterwards for a spectacular tree-lighting ceremony.
    Saturday, December 17 from 2 to 6 p.m.
    RDV Sportsplex

    If you thought the Ice Den was as chilly as it could be, think again: for one day only, real snow will fall at the RDV! Throw a few snowballs, ride down a snow slide, or do some good old fashion ice skating! Just outside, you’ll find bounce houses, live DJs, face painting and more. Admission is $15 for ages 3 & up.
  • Meet Santa

    Free photo with Santa at tugboat & the bird

    Free photo with Santa at tugboat & the bird

    • Save the Date, Skip the Wait for Santa
      November 11-December 24, by appointment
      Oviedo Mall

      No need to wait in a long line to meet Santa because now you can make a reservation for your Santa visit at the Oviedo Mall. Bonus: Drop off the kids at Mad Science Laboratory (Kids Night Out, every Friday from 6-10 p.m.) or O2B Kids (members only) to get some holiday shopping done!
    • Free Photo with Santa at tugboat & the bird
      December 10 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
      tugboat & the bird

      Stop by tugboat & the bird win Winter Park for complimentary pictures with Santa Claus himself! Characters from The Nutcracker will also be around to take photos.
    • Breakfast (or Brunch) with Santa
      Saturday, December 10 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
      Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens

      Sit down for a meal with Santa himself, and then explore a wild winter wonderland with holiday activities and close-up animal encounters. Zookeepers will also be giving the animals special holiday gifts! Admission for non-members is $22 for ages 3 & up, $27 for adults. Reservations are required.

    Stay up-to-date on all of the latest family events in & around Orlando with our Online Calendar!

    Also posted in Activities, Theme Parks, What's New | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Orlando Science Center Thanksgiving Week Ticket Giveaway!

    Got the whole gang home for Thanksgiving week? Get out of the house and over to Orlando Science Center! It’s open all week long barring Thursday. New KidsTown recently opened its doors to the public, and if you haven’t gone to see it yet, this could be your chance!

    You can win a family five-pack of tickets to Orlando Science Center by entering your email address below. Enter by Tuesday at midnight! Winners will be notified via email.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Also posted in Giveaways, What's New | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Letters FROM Santa

    “Is Santa Claus real?”

    The answer is Yes, thanks to USPS! Have your child write their wish list to Santa, and they can get his personalized response back in the mailbox, postmarked and all. Drafting up the letter to Santa is a great Thanksgiving activity that the whole family can take part in; getting Santa’s response will be even more rewarding for your child!

    Here’s how you can do it:

    1. Have your child write a letter to Santa and place it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole.
    2. Later, when alone, open the envelope and write a personalized response.
    3. Insert the response letter into an envelope and address it to your child.
    4. Add the return address: SANTA, NORTH POLE, to the envelope.
    5. Affix a First-Class Mail stamp to the envelope.

    6. Place the complete envelope into a larger envelope — preferably a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope — with appropriate postage and address it to:

      North Pole Postmark
      4141 Postmark Drive
      Anchorage, AK 99530-9998

      “Letters from Santa” must be received by the Anchorage, AK, postmaster no later than Dec. 15.

      After you’ve mailed out the envelope– Santa’s helpers at the Postal Service will take care of the rest!

    Also posted in What's New | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    5 Healthy Holiday Snack Ideas

    Sometimes it’s hard to fill your kids up with the fruits and veggies they need. It’s a lot easier when they don’t even know they’re eating something that’s good for them! Try out these healthy and insanely easy-to-make snack recipes from Produce for Kids:

    Fruit Cornucopias

    Fruit Cornucopias

    1. Fruit Cornucopias

      The Cornucopia is a symbol of plenty during the holiday season; so let’s fill this one up with plenty of sweet fruits, like mandarin oranges! The best part– this recipe is so easy, even younger kids can help you prepare (and eat) them!

      Read the Full Recipe Here.

    2. Thanksgiving Turkey Fruit Tray

      Thanksgiving Turkey Fruit Tray

    3. Thanksgiving Turkey Fruit Tray

      Spice up your typical ol’ fruit platter by giving it a fun Thanksgiving spin! This recipe is simple enough for kids to help you assemble. At the very end, you’ll have a colorful turkey tray with everything from kiwi to apples to carrots. Great for parties!

      Read the Full Recipe Here.

    4. Holiday Avocado Toast

      Holiday Avocado Toast

    5. Holiday Avocado Toast

      A great day starts with a great breakfast! With 7g of fiber, this holiday-themed avocado toast will keep your family fuller longer. You can surprise your kids with a fun and festive design, or let them create their own yummy toast-art using pomegranate arils.

      Read the Full Recipe Here.

    6. Snowman Fruit Kebobs

      Snowman Fruit Kebobs

    7. Snowman Fruit Kebobs

      These snowman kebobs are a great on-the-go way to fill up on fruit. (The problem is, they’re so cute that you won’t want to eat them!) All you need are skewers– and maybe a little assistant to help decorate each snowman! The snow underneath makes for even more good food to nibble on.

      Read the Full Recipe Here.

    8. Christmas Tree Veggie Platter

      Christmas Tree Veggie Platter

    9. Christmas Tree Veggie Platter

      Who would have thought a vegetable platter could become a party decoration? Wow your guests with this broccoli Christmas tree, decked out in bright cherry tomato ornaments. Bonus: the trunk is edible, too!

      Read the Full Recipe Here.

    About Produce for Kids
    Produce for Kids® believes in creating a healthier generation through cause marketing campaigns that provide easy, fun and inspiring recipes. Produce for Kids has been helping families and children by giving back since 2002. Through produce and grocery retail partner programs, Produce for Kids has donated more than $6 million charities that benefit children and families nationwide.

    Also posted in Holidays, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Registration Open for Spring Classes at DPC School of the Arts


    Registration is now open for 2017 Spring Semester classes at the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts. Classes begin Monday, January 16.

    Students of any age can take part in classes for dance, vocals, instruments, acting, and musical theater. Check out all of the available classes below:

    Dance & Movement

    Jazz I (Ages 8-12, 13+)
    “Fun” and “high energy” characterize the Jazz I dance class. Students practice isolations, leaps, learn jazz techniques and vocabulary. Students gain the competencies to complete jazz-centric dance combinations and execute complete jazz dance routines.

    Jazz II (Ages 13+)
    The Jazz II dance course builds on fundamentals of the style. Students focus on honing their technique and learning new and more challenging combinations.

    Dance Technique I (Ages 6-8)
    Dance Technique brings the foundation of all movement to young dancers. Ballet positions and terminology, along with movement, pattern and rhythms, establish the foundations for all dance instruction.

    Dance Technique II (Ages 9-12)
    Dancers build on the basic teachings from Dance Technique I and learn to expand their structured dance training and vocabulary.

    Dance Improvisation (Ages 12+)
    This free-thinking and free-flowing dance class encourages students to explore their creativity and individuality through prompts, movement exercises and guided movement. The class focuses on the concept of improvisational dance in solo and group situations. Movers of all levels are welcome in this class as students work collectively to create new and exciting works.

    Tap I (Ages 12+)
    Tapping is an exciting way to start dance training. This introductory course shapes the students’ rhythm and musicality through learning the steps and basic techniques of tap dancing.

    Tap II (Ages 13+)
    Tap is an important part of the Broadway and musical theater craft. This intermediate tap course builds on students’ prior knowledge of technique and movements by adding more advanced steps and combinations.

    Hip-Hop I (Ages 6-9, 10-13, 14+)
    This high energy, fun Hip-Hop class teaches basic steps, while building flexibility, precision, technique and style. Using upbeat music from various genres in addition to the latest Hip-Hop hits, this class begins with a basic warm-up to stretch and tone the body, followed by across-the-floor progressions, concluding with work on a fun and energetic combination.

    Creative Movement (Ages 3-5)
    Perfect for the young dancer, this class focuses on creative movement that builds on the necessary gross motor skills needed for primary dance instruction. Students learn self-discipline, confidence, coordination and rhythm while moving to upbeat and age appropriate music. Students engage in dramatic music movement and learn introductory dance positions and steps.

    Move with Me – Baby Wearing Dance Class (Adults with Babies)
    This is a movement class for adults with young ones in wearable carriers. Move with Me provides early exposure to music, movement and dance. Geared towards creating an environment for community interaction, this class devotes equal focus to the parent/caretaker, the child and the bond between them. Appropriate for all carrier-age children, from birth to toddler. Nursing mothers and siblings are welcome.


    Vocal Performance I (Ages 8-13 and 14+)
    Vocal Performance provides singers with a proper foundation in diction, vocal production and an awareness of their body in both classical and contemporary music. Students also learn how to honestly express themselves through their song, communicate with the musicians, enhance their stage presence and effectively apply their vocal and performance techniques.

    Advanced Vocal Performance (Ages 8-13 and 14+)
    For the advanced singer, this class focuses on performance and vocal production for performance. Maintaining one’s instrument and creating that pitch-perfect performance every time requires more rigorous training, and this class provides that for the advanced vocalist.

    Yamaha Music School

    Yamaha Music School Young Musicians I & II (Ages 7-9)
    This three-year course provides effective and enjoyable musical training for young students. They develop keyboard-playing skills, ear training, rhythm training, note-reading and writing, keyboard harmony, arranging, ensemble playing and music appreciation. This class is taught by qualified teachers in a group environment and is designed to promote confidence, team spirit and group dynamics.
    To enroll, students must be 6 years of age by February 15 and must have access to a keyboard for practicing. Once the course is completed, students can take the Yamaha Student Grade 9 Exam to confirm musical achievement. Teachers refer to the exam results to correctly place students in advanced courses of study.

    Yamaha Keyboard Encounters I (Ages 10-13) and Adult I (Ages 15+)
    This class is an innovative keyboard music program for those interested in learning to play the piano. These classes are taught in small groups, combining technology with an effective and enjoyable approach. Students study piano technique, read music and learn to play various musical styles.

    Yamaha Young Education System Junior Music I (Ages 4-5)
    A comprehensive and fun music curriculum designed for 4 and 5 year olds, this class offers ear-training using solfege, basic keyboard playing skills, rhythm and notation, music appreciation, creativity and singing various musical styles. This is a 2-year program capitalizing on the young child’s developmental characteristics to train basic musical skills. Parents/Guardians are required to actively participate in their child’s music lessons, helping to cultivate a life-long love for music. (Advance level courses, II – IV, as well as Junior Music X, are available for students in the junior music program).
    To enroll, students must be 4 years of age by February 15 and must have access to a keyboard for practicing. Once the course is completed, students can take the Fundamental Skills Survey to confirm musical achievement. Teachers refer to the survey results to correctly place students in advanced courses of study.

    Rock Band (Ages 12+)
    Students gain insight into performing together as an ensemble. Students are grouped into a band based on instrument, musical tastes and age. Band members learn the process of rehearsing and performing, band etiquette, stage presence, equipment set-up and more.

    Guitar I (Ages 10-13) and Adult Guitar I (Ages 16+)
    This class is for the beginner. Learn chords, simple strums, simple finger-picking and tuning in a fun, relaxed group setting. Students are introduced to the basic elements of rhythm and harmony that allow one to make music in no time.

    Adult Guitar II (Ages 16+)
    Builds on the basics learned in Guitar I. Students develop proper left and right-hand techniques. You will learn more about reading music, musical terms, chording, alternating bass and how to move smoothly from one chord to another. Have fun learning to play duets and other simple melodies and exploring many different genres of music. Students must bring their own acoustic guitar with an extra set of strings.

    Strings I (Ages 10+)
    This class is open to anyone with an interest in learning string instruments such as cello, viola, violin and bass. Learn basic instrument set-up and position. Playing in a small group teaches how to match pitch, bow articulation, tone and, best of all, how to play together.

    Strings III (Ages 13+)
    This class is the next step for those interested in the string section. Students play simple songs that use their new skills and are introduced to the music of the great composers. They play games to develop rhythmic skills and a musical ear and also learn the basics of reading music.

    Jazz at Lincoln Center’s WeBop (Ages 2-3)
    WeBop is an early-childhood jazz education program developed by Jazz at Lincoln Center for children that invites families to stomp, strut and swing to the rhythms of jazz. These 45-minute classes are structured for participation in groups of two: child and adult. They offer a creative outlet for children to explore jazz through movement, songs, storytelling and play, all as they learn about the core concepts, instruments and great performers of jazz.

    Theater Arts

    Creative Drama (Ages 6-8)
    In a nurturing and supportive environment, young participants explore an improvisational form of drama where they are encouraged to imagine, perform and reflect on real or imagined experiences. Through stories, games and movement, young students make the connection between the magical world of theater and make believe. There is an emphasis on personal expression, creative imagination, confidence and socialization.

    Creative Drama II (Ages 8-10)
    This class is a continuation of Creative Drama I. Students build on the confidence they have developed. Storytelling, imagination and ensemble work strengthens young actors’ skills, building a foundation for the more complex work of scene study waiting for them in Acting I/II/III.

    Acting I (Ages 10-13 and 14+)
    Through improvisation, script analysis and scene study, entry-level students are introduced to the fundamentals of acting and performance. Special emphasis is placed on interpretation, character development and ensemble work.

    Acting II/III (Ages 10-13 and 14+)
    The intermediate/advanced scene study class allows students to build on the tools they gained in Acting I. Students are introduced to higher level character analyses, stretching their abilities as they attack more difficult acting problems through situations that are foreign and unfamiliar. Recognizing and understanding the subtext of a scene is explored as students examine the texture, tone and timing found in plays of contemporary and classic writers to bring subtle nuances to their performances. Students also gain an intermediate skill set of production responsibilities that an actor should possess to contribute to a piece of successful theater.

    Sensory Friendly Theater (Ages 12+)
    Theater training includes the skills of speaking, interacting, applying memorized text appropriately, listening, non-verbal communication and interpreting. For those on the autism spectrum, these skills can be challenging. In this fun and safe environment, students will learn to interact with others and project in their performance. Students with an affinity for drama will grow through the chance to practice with their peers. Students new to drama will experience a fun and engaging craft that will enhance their social skills.

    Musical Theater

    Musical Theater Performance I (Ages 7-10, 10-13 and 13+)
    Students integrate singing, dancing and acting into one creative expression through Broadway songs, scene work and choreography. This collaborative learning experience introduces basic acting principles, vocal techniques and fun beginning choreography. The emphasis for this class is on building a confident proficiency to execute all three art forms that make up a modern musical.

    Advanced Musical Theater Performance (Ages 10-13 and 13+)
    This class builds on the techniques and skills developed in Musical Theater Performance I, while introducing more challenging material. Students work on advanced musical theater training techniques, an expanded repertoire and the business acumen required for the musical theater profession.

    Prospective students can visit, call 407.455.5551, or schedule a time to register in person at the arts center by emailing
    Early registration is encouraged by January 2, 2017.

    Also posted in Activities, Kiddie Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Fall Fashion Look Book


    dsc_0017     dsc_0032

    dsc_0017     dsc_0233

    dsc_0017     dsc_0374-1

    dsc_0719     dsc_0145-1

    dsc_9961-1     dsc_0689-1

    dsc_1081-1     dsc_0454



    dsc_9838-1     dsc_9733-1


    dsc_1221-1     dsc_0803-1

    dsc_0976     dsc_1106-1

    Also posted in Style | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Science of Parenthood : The Book for Parents who Love to Laugh

    dr-oz-header-3 Author Norine Dworkin-McDaniel has parenting down to a science– a funny science. From her own experience and that of others comes Science of Parenthood: Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations, a book that highlights the moments that just about any parent can relate to. Dworkin-McDaniel spoke to PLAYGROUND Magazine about the book ahead of her live reading at Orlando Science Center on November 7th (more info on that below!) Here is what she had to say about her work:

    PLAYGROUND: What sparked the idea for Science of Parenthood?
    Dworkin-McDaniel: That was actually my son Fletcher. He’s 10 now and in middle school, but when he was in second grade, he came home from school talking about one of Newton’s laws of force and motion. As he explained over dinner that An object at rest stays at rest unless acted on by an external force, that instantly made me think about him with his video games. He’d sit on the couch and play Minecraft all day if I let him. I quickly jotted down, Newton’s First Law of Parenting: A child at rest will remain at rest until you want your iPad back. A little while later I posted that on Facebook. It got a good laugh from my friends, so I started posting other parenting “observations,” giving them a math or science twist, like Sleep Geometry Theorem: A child will always sleep perpendicular to any adult sleeping next to them.

    Newton's Law

    Friends were telling me that they really liked the posts. But I knew that these “observations” would be even more fun if they were illustrated. At the same time, I was dialing back my magazine writing and looking for something else to do. I called my friend Jessica Ziegler in Denver and asked if she wanted to illustrate a book of these science-y observations. Now when Jessica tells this story, she says she spent much of that phone call trying to figure out how to say No way because it sounded like a lot of free work and no actual money. But as we talked, she says, she could see the cartoons in her head. And by the end of the call, not only was she was all in, but she’d secured our URL, our Facebook page and Twitter account. In fact, it was Jessica’s idea to start a blog and Facebook page first, and then come out with a book. Which is exactly what we did. We developed our material and built an audience for our humor on our blog and Facebook page. And four years later, here we are. And we’ve been blown away by the response. We love it when people see one of our cartoons or read one of our satires, and say, “Are you in my house? Because that just happened to me!”

    P: Who is this book written for?
    D: Parents: Expecting parents. New parents. Veteran parents. Step-parents. Single parents. Grandparents. Our humor really resonates with parents of every stripe. If you’ve ever changed a sodden diaper or despaired of ever sleeping, showering or digging your living room out from layers of plastic toys again, you’ll find a lot to laugh about in our book. It’s also great for teens. Research shows our book is 99% effective as a contraceptive.

    P: This is not your average parenting manual. How is Science of Parenthood unique?
    D: We didn’t actually set out to write a parenting how-to manual. We set out to write a book that would make parents laugh, but in the process we created what several reviewers described as one of the most honest parenting guides out there.

    Our humor lives in the pretty sizable gap between what our expectations about parenting are (think about those lovely Pampers commercials) … and the brutal, smack-you-in-the-face reality that parenting actually is. But what makes our book, our humor, unique is our spin — we use math and science concepts to “explain” the ridiculous situations otherwise capable adults find themselves in as a result of having kids. And, like our blog, our book is heavily illustrated. Interspersed with the writing are our trademark cartoons along with flowcharts, pie charts, Venn diagrams, crazy-looking algebraic equations that calculate things like when you’ll get your grownup social life back and bar graphs. My favorite graph is the Beverage-To-TV Index that illustrates how much booze it takes to get through various preschool TV shows and movies. For instance, you can get through anything by Pixar with a glass of water. But by the time you’re watching Caillou, you’re pounding tequila shots.

    P: How is the book laid out?
    D: We had so much fun with this. The book is laid out like a snarky textbook of sorts. We have four sections, representing the core sciences — biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics — and within each section we cover the parenting topics that appropriate for that particular science. So, in our Biology section, for instance, we’ve got satirical pieces on the “evolution” of Mom’s Sex Drive and the “classification” of different types of moms while in our Physics section, we’ve got humor on explosive toddler tantrums and our Math section is filled with humor about all the money parents spend on kids. One of the nice things about the book — and this was absolutely intentional — is that it’s filled with quick reads, quick hits of humor, that you can pick up and put down and not have to worry about reading in order. We know moms and dads don’t have a lot of time for themselves. Everything can be read in the time it takes to quickly pee, before the kids come banging on the bathroom door.

    P: What do you want readers to take away from Science of Parenthood?
    D: Look, we love our kids, we love being moms. Parenting can be wondrous and exciting and delightful and awe-inspiring. But it also comes with graduate level frustration and hefty doses of public humiliation. One of my son’s favorite stories about when he was a baby happened when he was about 9 months old, and I was trying to make like I had it all together as a new mom while we were in California for a cousin’s wedding. We’d gone down to the pool at the hotel, and I had him in a swim diaper to take him in the pool. That’s when I discovered that swim diapers are not absorbent — at all. I went to lift him out of the stroller and he was sitting in a puddle of pee. Then when I went to change his diaper, he peed all over me, spraying like a firehose. I was waving my arms, trying to block the spray. All around me, my cousins are dying, they think this is so funny. At the time, I did not. But now, it’s a hilarious story, one that my son loves to hear and I love to tell.

    Toxic Shock

    They say comedy is tragedy plus time. For parents, I’d change that to comedy is humiliation plus time. So why does this matter? Because there’s a lot of anxiety for this generation of parents. Parents are afraid that they’re doing it all wrong, that they’re screwing up their kids and, at least for moms, we hear a lot of anxiety that everyone else has it all figured out while they are failing miserably. And it’s just not so. Some days we all have it figured out. And some days we all are failing miserably. But we’re none of us alone. We’re all going through the same things and we have the same self-doubts and fears and frustrations. When we can share those things, parenting becomes less daunting. Every parent is pretty much in the same boat, and knowing that can help us take some of the stress off ourselves. And being able to find the humor in the frustration makes it a lot easier to get through. We have a cartoon in the book called Toxic Shock Syndrome: A parents psychological state on discovering that her tot has gotten his diaper off and smeared the walls, crib, bedding and himself with poop. That actually happened to me — twice. In one day. In the moment, it was an absolutely disgusting mess. Now, I can riff on my son’s “artistry.” “Look at those bold strokes! We call this his Brown Period,” I say when I’m reading. It always gets the biggest laughs.

    See a live reading of Science of Parenthood!

    • When: November 7th, 6 p.m.
    • Where: Orlando Science Center – Digital Adventure Theater
      777 E. Princeton Street, Orlando
    • What: Live reading of Science of Parenthood with co-author Norine Dworkin-McDaniel.
    • Event is open only to Science Center members. Not a member? Click Here for info.

    About the Author:

    ndm_solo-0292_reduced Longtime freelance writer turned “parenting snarkologist,” Norine Dworkin-McDaniel has written for just about every women’s magazine you can buy at the newsstand. She is co-creator of the blog Science of Parenthood and co-author of Science of Parenthood: Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations (She Writes Press), winner of the Independent Book Publishers Association’s Gold Benjamin Franklin Award for Parenting & Family and Foreword Reviews’ Silver IndieFab Award for Humor. Named one of TODAYParents Funniest Parents of the Year, Norine’s humor is routinely featured on Huffington Post as well as on Upworthy, Bored Panda, POPSUGARMoms and She’s a contributor to several humor anthologies, including Have Milk, Will Travel: Adventures In Breastfeeding (Demeter Press). She lives in Winter Garden with her husband and son. Follow her on Science of Parenthood, Facebook and Twitter.

    Also posted in Lifestyle, Parenting Skills 101 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Teal Pumpkins: Change How Kids are Trick or Treating

    Written by: Renee Seltzer

    Halloween is almost here, along with tummy aches and sugar rushes.

    Why should everyone who celebrates Halloween participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project? For starters, it’s more inclusive, safe, and healthy for kids. It also teaches an important lesson: that fun is not exclusive to candy and sweets.

    By placing a teal pumpkin outside of your door, you’re telling families that your home will offer non-food related treats for children, which can include bubbles, small toys, erasers, pencils, stickers, plastic jewelry, and so on.

    It's easy to get in on the Teal Pumpkin Project! Just paint a pumpkin teal and put it out with all of your other spooky decor. No carving necessary!

    It’s easy to get in on the Teal Pumpkin Project! Just paint a pumpkin teal and put it out with all of your other spooky decor. No carving necessary!

    Let’s Make It Safe For All Kids to Enjoy Halloween
    Over 8% of all children have some sort of a food allergy, which can be related to peanuts, tree nuts, soy, dairy, or food coloring to name a few things. These kids can often feel left out of celebrating Halloween since most of the candy handed out can be unsafe for them to eat and possibly even touch.

    Why the Need for this New Trend?
    With two thirds of all adults in the U.S. now overweight or obese and one-third of all children overweight or obese, why don’t we start changing how we celebrate holidays, including Halloween?

    Food culture in America seemingly glorifies overindulgence in foods that frankly are bad for us.

    If we don’t do something now, 1 in 3 people in the US will have Type-2 Diabetes by 2050, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, 1 in 10 Americans have it now, so it’s a drastic increase. If you think this won’t happen to your child, don’t bet on it. Your child has a 33% chance of getting Type-2 Diabetes by 2050.

    Candy will not make or break your child’s fond memories of childhood.

    If most of us participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project we will make it safer and more fun for kids with food allergies to celebrate Halloween and we can start changing our society’s over emphasis on candy and sweets. By handing out more non-food related treats, our kids will only be healthier for it.

    Will you put out a Teal Pumpkin this year?

    About Renee Seltzer:
    Based in Orlando, Florida, Feeding My Kid (FMK) is an organization focused on helping kids become adventurous foodies, inspiring families to eat better, and helping parents impact their child’s life-long eating habits through tips, videos, recipes, expert advice and a strong online community. Feeding My Kid is there every step of the way, from what to eat when pregnant, to introducing first foods, to transitioning to table foods, to dealing with picky eaters and helping to overcome childhood weight issues and beyond. For more info, visit

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    New KidsTown: A place for Collaboration, Creativity, Safety & Accessibility

    Words by Anna Karasik

    A cheery blue archway welcomes families to the new jewel of Orlando Science Center, New KidsTown. It’s the only entrance and exit to the area: one of many features specifically geared towards the safety of the thousands of kids who will now enjoy it. New KidsTown is the product of a $5 million dollar renovation, the first part of the $30 million dollar Unlock Science Campaign, which is an effort to renovate every exhibit at the Science Center. It’s clear that the new children’s area will prove to be worth every penny: each of the 75 exhibits is a safe environment for kids to express themselves and work with others to learn and play.

    Here’s a tour of what you can expect:

    Kids can feed oranges up into a big tower and watch them roll down the pipelines to different areas.

    Kids can feed oranges up into a big tower and watch them roll down the pipelines to different areas.

    Orange Grove Presented by: Dr. Phillips Charities

    Through the big (literally) orange archway at the front of New KidsTown, there is a chain of exhibits that represents the journey of Florida oranges from farm to table. It all starts at the orchard, where kids can gather oranges from trees; then they can head to the factory and check the ripeness of each orange before processing them in a fun machine. Then comes the role playing: kids can deliver the oranges in an interactive truck, then sell produce at the farmer’s market!

    The Farmer's Market at the Orange Grove allows kids to role play selling fresh produce.

    The Farmer’s Market at the Orange Grove allows kids to role play selling fresh produce.

    Science Center veterans will notice a few changes: this new Orange Grove is three times larger than its predecessor, and there are hints of technology that enhance this new experience. In particular, kids who enjoy playing pretend will love adjusting the radio in the delivery truck and ringing up fruit at the farmer’s market with a working scanner.

    Isaacs Family ClimbTime

    Kids are encouraged to conquer their fears and climb as high as they can in this towering play area. A floor-to-ceiling window makes kids feel even higher up as they look out over the gorgeous Florida Hospital next door; alternatively, they can use a telescope to look out over the Science Center.

    Kids will face obstacles and platforms of all kinds while climbing to the top of ClimbTime.

    Kids will face obstacles and platforms of all kinds while climbing to the top of ClimbTime.

    There are nets to run across, platforms of all sizes, and all number of other ways for kids to test their coordination. Once they’ve worked up a sweat, they can see how their body reacted using the heart rate monitor.

    Bonus: kids who aren’t ready to climb, or perhaps aren’t old enough yet, can still interact by feeding balls into twisting air tubes to let the kids above feed them back down.

    Drip Drop Splash Presented by: James M. Cox Foundation

    From rain showers to dams to pipe systems, the exhibits in this area will teach kids about the many properties of water. Tables of water are filled with all kinds of contraptions and tools to let kids ask themselves– “What will happen to the water if I do this?”– and see what happens! If several kids work together to turn valves, they can start a big Florida rain shower at the center of Drip Drop Splash!

    Tables of different heights allow all kids to interact with Drip Drop Splash.

    Tables of different heights allow all kids to interact with Drip Drop Splash.

    There are lowered water tables for younger children and those in wheelchairs; and there are also infant seats that sit below the water’s surface so that little ones can splash around safely.

    Parent pro tip: prepare for the kids to get a little wet (but not soaked!) There are electric dryers on the wall next to Drop Drop Splash, so kids can get warm and dry before heading to the next area without having to waste paper towels in the bathroom.

    Explore It Presented by: Publix Super Markets Charities

    This jumbo track set lets kids create custom courses for rolling balls.

    This jumbo track set lets kids create custom courses for rolling balls.

    Build, experiment, break it down, build again. Kids who love to invent and tinker will go nuts in this area! There are areas loaded with all manner of building tools like pipes, wheels, and cords– anything kids need to make their own fun contraption. Younger children can build too: there are foam blocks, perfect for stacking and building! A projected kaleidoscope and light-up wall let kids play around with color and design.
    Each dot on this light-up wall can change to any color or be turned off  with a simple twist!

    Each dot on this light-up wall can change to any color or be turned off with a simple twist!

    On the other side of Explore It, there is what’s essentially a jumbo Hot Wheels set: kids can move around giant detachable tracks and loop-de-loops to create a course, then drop a ball in to watch how fast it goes! The centerpiece of Explore It is definitely the air tubes that climb all the way up the wall. Kids can feed in colored silk handkerchiefs at the bottom, then watch them shoot through the twisting pipes; the machine then spits the handkerchiefs out in the rafters, so they float down from the sky! (Bonus points if you can get one to land one on your head!)

    Toddler Town Presented by: Community Based Care of Central Florida

    A sensory wall lets kids explore different textures; parents can put any mouthed toys in a bin.

    A sensory wall lets kids explore different textures; parents can put any mouthed toys in a bin.

    Nestled near the center of New KidsTown is an area that presents a big first for Orlando Science Center. Toddler Town is a safe space for ages 0-3 to enjoy the same collaboration and creativity that the rest of New KidsTown has to offer. It’s the first area at OSC that is truly infant-friendly: there is even a bin for mouthed toys, meaning that kids can play in a sanitary environment, and parents don’t have to chase their baby around wet-wiping everything they decide to taste. The sensory wall and storybook bin will also appeal to parents of infants.
    Perhaps the biggest feature of Toddler Town is its prime location: there is a clear view of both Explore It and Drip Drop Splash, so parents can watch over the little one while keeping the older children in eyeshot.

    Studio KidsTown Studio Presented by: Florida Hospital for Children

    The KidsTown Studio is the hub of hands-on activity at New KidsTown; and appropriately so, it’s the hub of parent-child interaction. Families can sit at spacious tables and try out different activities, all available in labeled bins. The area will also be home to craft and sensory activities led by the Science Center, as well as other scheduled workshops. To the everyday Science Center-goer, this will prove to be a great area for some quality sit-down time. Parents can pick activities that work best for their child, then work together to finish. Be sure to stop at the screen just outside the studio to make a virtual “get well” card for patients at Florida Hospital for Children.

    Fun fact: If you make art and accidentally leave it behind, your hard work may not have gone to waste! It could end up displayed on the KidsTown Studio wall as an example to future visitors.

    Harriett’s KidsTown Theatre

    Put on a play in fun costumes, with a choice of four fun backdrops.

    Put on a play in fun costumes, with a choice of four fun backdrops.

    Kids with a taste for drama will find their home in this area. After decking themselves out in costumes at the prop wall, they can take to the stage and create whatever kind of play their heart desires! In order to build confidence, there is a mirror so that kids can watch themselves perform. The curtain closes and opens, and the stage’s background can change with the simple press of a touch-screen. At one moment, your child could be a Yellow Submarine in space; the next, they could be the Statue of Liberty at Lake Eola! When the background changes, the lighting also changes for dramatic effect. There is a wheelchair-accessible ramp at stage left, so every child has the chance to be a star!

    Parent pro tip: milk the Theatre area for all it’s worth– the audience seating is incredibly comfortable! It’s the perfect place for a breather.

    Orange Grove Outside of the main exhibits, there are little details that parents will adore. For one: glorious stroller parking! It’s in a spacious hallway just past the Orange Grove; the area is also lit by fun colored lights, so kids will love watching their shadows move through the hallway. Another big feature is the bathroom location: it’s within eyeshot of the Theatre, Studio, Toddler Town and Drip Drop Splash, and just a stone’s throw away from the rest of the areas. The restrooms here are also all-inclusive.

    Explore It The common themes all around New KidsTown are collaboration, creativity, safety and accessibility. It’s nearly impossible to go through all of New KidsTown without interacting with other kids in some way; this is a great opportunity to teach kids about sharing, taking turns, and working together. Each exhibit also encourages problem-solving and ingenuity as kids figure out their own unique way of accomplishing tasks. The best part is, no child will feel left out due to their age or abilities. Parents will end up loving this area as much as their kids will: there are so many opportunities to jump in and make a learning experience out of every interaction. It’s so easy to be a part of the fun while also letting kids express themselves.

    New KidsTown is now open to the public! The entire experience is included with general admission to Orlando Science Center.

    Also posted in Activities | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

    Smart Start by LearningRx

    Smart Start Parent Flyer

    LearningRx is now providing Smart Start, fun, interactive brain training classes for children ages 4 to 6. By attending weekly classes and labs with your child, you will be able to work together on skills such as attention, memory, logic and reasoning, auditory processing, visual processing, and processing speed.

    Smart Start includes a class kit containing a Smart Start class binder and session packets, brain cards, a brainy bag, brainy blocks, a color arrow board, liftoff number cards, liftoff sound cards, metronome, a stopwatch, and a LearningRx canvas bag. This course takes place at LearningRx Orlando-Windermere and lasts for 6 weeks. Classes are 90 minutes long and labs are 60 minutes long with 8 parent/child duos in each.

    The foundational brain skills learned at Smart Start will help you continue training your child in a fun way at home too, so that they can be prepared for everyday experiences in life.

    You can call LearningRx at 407-614-6255 to reserve a spot for you and your child, or visit their website to learn more. LearningRx Orlando-Windermere is located at 6735 Conroy Road, Suite 326, Orlando, Florida.

    Also posted in Education, What's New | Tagged | Leave a comment

    Tugboat & the Bird

    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.51.06 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.51.11 PM Tugboat & the Bird was established in 2001, and is known by locals for its bright yellow door and playful interior. We carry traditional children’s clothing and layette, fun accessories, unique room décor and one-of-a-kind newborn and children’s gifts. Tugboat & the Bird’s cheerful employees are passionate about what they do and welcome the opportunity to help customers choose the perfect gift for their own children or for those of another.
    318 Park Avenue North • Winter Park FL 32789 407-647-5437 •

    Also posted in Maternity | Leave a comment

    Orlando Moms Be Like …

    Words by JJ West
    Originally published in the new local mom blog

    orlando moms talking

    I am not a native of Central Florida, and I am not married to one either. We moved here so my hubby could attend flight school. The plan was to be here for two years and then head into the real world. Here we are 10 years later, homeowners, parents, year-round flip-flop wearers. We’re in deep. We are technically … sigh … Floridians.

    Even though I have only parented as a Floridian, my Tennessee upbringing, Mainer (those are folks who live in Maine) in-laws, and numerous Facebook friends parenting in other parts of the world helped me realize that the greater Orlando area has its own set of parenting characteristics. Here’s a short list explaining just how we Orlando parents roll.

     • • • • • “Is this my Winnie Palmer cup, or yours?”  • • • • •


    Ahhhhh … the ubiquitous Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies water cup. You can find these cups wherever you find parents—at work, at the playground, in a stroller’s cupholder, poolside. You name the location, and I’ve seen one there.

    For those of you unfamiliar with Mrs. Palmer and her amazing double-walled beverage holders, she is the late wife of golf legend Arnold Palmer. She is also the namesake of Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, also known as “the place where all the cool moms give birth.”

    Mommas who birth there are treated to unlimited refills of ice water in these special cups, and they get to take them home as a souvenir of their hospital stay. Unlike usual souvenirs, though, these cups actually get used—all the time. Water truly tastes better in them.

    So, all over the greater Orlando area, you can find these lovely portable water fountains. They are a secret handshake of sorts, except what they really communicate is, “Hi. I have a kid under the age of 11.”

     • • • • • “We’re having your birthday at Disney. It’s just easier.”  • • • • •

    2015 Copyright Snap Photography & Design, LLC

    2015 Copyright Snap Photography & Design, LLC

    Y’all, I have actually said this.

    If you’re reading this as an Orlando-area parent, you’ve probably done it too (or you’ve substituted Universal or SeaWorld). If you’ve never called Central Florida home, I’m sure you wish you had that option.

    I’ll be honest, hauling three young children around the “happiest place on earth” is less daunting to me than getting my house clean enough to host other people’s children. I threw my first birthday party for my 4-year-old this year. I spent weeks cleaning, decorating, planning and fretting. By the time it was over, I was a mess (and so was my house!). When I want to spend a day with Minnie and Mickey, I pack a lunch, grab sunscreen, fold up the double stroller, and get all the littles loaded into car seats. We’re taking selfies in a Disney park within an hour (and I don’t have to write thank-you notes to anyone!).

    For those of you who visit during peak season and complain about the crowds, you must remember that we don’t go when the rest of you are there. Our house has an unofficial moratorium on theme parks from June 1 through September 1 and the two weeks before and after Christmas. We don’t want to spend an hour waiting to ride the teacups. Out-of-town friends ask our advice for visiting during high-traffic times. Here’s the advice I give: DON’T come during peak season. I know the kids are out of school, but I promise that they will enjoy it more if you take your family vacay the first week of November.

    Maybe some of you can’t rid yourself of the vision of your little one’s epic “I am tired and overwhelmed” temper tantrum after a day of rushing around the park. My kids would totally do that, too. Since we aren’t driving for hours, flying on planes or staying in hotels, Orlando moms also don’t feel the need to spend the entire day at the parks. We like to arrive at 1:30 p.m., and we’re out of there by 5:30 p.m. My youngest gets his morning nap at home, and we eat dinner at our kitchen table. We have to get up early the next day, so no evening parade or fireworks for us. We have the luxury of being the boss of our Disney hours, instead of Disney park hours and dining reservations being the boss of us. So, yeah, I’ll take a day at Disney over spending weeks prepping for a Disney-themed party any day.

     • • • • • “Which Chick-fil-A is hosting Mr. Richard this week?”  • • • • •

    Mr. Richard is the rock star of the greater Orlando preschool scene. He has awesome songs about garbage trucks and spaceships and birthdays. My children LOVE his songs, and since they kind of remind me of Green Day, I don’t mind them either. When my kids get particularly squirrelly in the car, it takes only the first few notes of Kids Gotta Rock! to get them singing and dancing along. Works every time.

    A Mr. Richard concert and a Chick-fil-A Arnold Palmer (that’s half lemonade, half iced tea) with some friends? Now that’s a playdate, people.

    If you love Mr. Richard like I do, please help with the mounting bills associated with the recent passing of his wife, Danielle, from cancer; visit the GoFundMe campaign. Also, take a moment to read the article he wrote for Men’s Health.

    So there you have it—a short list of things that make parenting in the “happiest place on earth” so great (or weird). Orlando peeps, what did I miss?

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    JJ West lives in Oviedo with her husband and three small children. She is a former teacher and a “wannabe blogger.” When she isn’t changing diapers, preparing snacks or answering a million questions, she enjoys the beach, sweet tea and college football. You can read more about faith, family and funny stories on her new blog:

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

    The Princess and the Tea Party


    Theatre South presents The Princess and the Tea Party at the Rosen JCC. Your mini royals (ages 4 to 8) can join Princess PenelPEA and her Fairy “Oh My Gawd” Mother for a magical two-hour Manners Tea Party. Princes and Princesses can be dropped off for a fun lesson in manners followed by a sit down tea party. After tea children will decorate their own desserts, learn ballroom dancing and
    participate in an interactive story reading of “The Princess and The Pea”.

    The Princess and the Tea Party
    Sunday, October 11 at 12:30-2:30 p.m.
    Theatre South Orlando | Rosen JCC
    11184 S. Apopka Vineland Rd., Orlando 32836

    ~ Royalty Dress Suggested ~
    ~ A 2-hour drop-off program for boys and girls ages 4 to 8 ~
    ~ $45 per child ($40 for JCC Members) ~
    Call 407-387-5330 for tickets (press 0 for an operator)​

    Click here for the Facebook event page.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

    The PLAYGROUND Music & Arts Fest

    musicartsfest-thumb-siza WHERE: Lake Eola

    WHEN: April 18, 2010

    TIME: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    PLAYGROUND Magazine presents the coolest Music & Arts Festival that Central Florida has ever seen. Sponsored by: Publix, Lake Mary Preparatory School, After Hours Pediatrics, Green Parent Association, Early Learning Coalition of Orange County, Fused Fashion, The Neilsens Photography and Design, Orange County Arts Education Center and Orange County Art Education Association, it will blow your mind!

    Some of the interactive exhibits include:

    real and airbrush tattoos

    fashion show

    punk rock hairdo

    mushroom art installation

    jewelry making

    kids yoga

    make your own music video DVD

    pottery party bus

    graffiti wall

    flip book photos

    finger puppet creation

    model casting call


    recycled art projects

    face painting

    rock wall

    bounce play

    hot wheels mini race car track

    and more…


    PLAY ZONES: Experience unique interactive booths and activities for families. From a Mad Hatter puppet show & tea party to a funky fresh DJ dance party, we’ve set out to exceed expectations. Your kid will feel like a rock-star with a take-home PLAYGROUND cover photo, his own music video on DVD and by getting photographed by paparazzi. No autographs, please! 😉

    ARTS SUMMER CAMP FAIR: Don’t miss this one-stop-shop for the best artistic summer camp options around. Even if you’re not in the summer camp market, stop by for some interactive art experiences.

    STUDENT ART EXHIBITS & ART MARKET: Many tents scattered around Lake Eola will showcase progressive artwork by local students from more than 50 schools. Their will be a Student Art Market (in the Farmers’ Market) that proceeds from the art sales go back into the students’ respective schools to help with the purchase of art supplies. Support the arts!

    ORLANDO FARMERS’ MARKET: The weekly Orlando Farmers’ Market includes wine, Bloody Marys and a Beer Garden.

    RELAX GRILL AT LAKE EOLA: “Chillax” at the only full-service restaurant right on the lake featuring a live reggae band. A great stop by delish eats, drinks (wine & beer for mom and dad) and a great view of the festivities.

    INFORMATION TENTS: Visit one of our information tents on the West and East sides of the lake for info, water and  event t-shirts. Sponsors/Exhibitors: Please contact Chrissy Allen at 321-281-7255 or to get involved.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Responses

    Spot Me ID is a kid safety program that offers peace of mind for you in crowded public places. Offering items like animated ID bracelets, temporary tattoos and ID lanyards where you can write important information, in the event your child wanders away and gets lost. This idea was created by local parents who had a scare with their own child.

    52 Riley Rd., Suite #181, Celebration | 407-566-9871

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

    Mother’s & More – Orlando

    Mother’s & More – Orlando Do you want to be part of an extended community of individuals and organizations talking about and working on the issues that impact mothers’ lives? Become a member of Mothers & More and join the thousands of other mothers who are making connections and making a difference in their own lives and the lives of other mothers. or contact Andria at

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Chrissy Allen

    Co-Founder / Advertising & Marketing Director

    As a Florida native and UCF graduate, Chrissy Allen brings a sense of hometown to PLAYGROUND Magazine. Chrissy has more than 12 years experience as an Event Planner for large corporations such as Home Depot and Morgan Stanley. She brings impressive publishing experience as a former account executive for the Orlando Business Journal. Chrissy’s local contacts have evolved the PLAYGROUND Magazine concept into a reality. As a mother of triplets, Chrissy jumped right into parenthood and wanted to create a resource for new and experienced parents in Central Florida.

    Best friend and wife to Rob for eight years
    Mom to Brady, Delaney & Riley, 2-year-old triplets

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Heather Reneau

    Founder / Editorial & Creative Director

    Raised on the Gulf Beaches of Florida and a graduate of the University of Miami, Heather Reneau brings her vision of creating a modern parenting magazine to life. Her previous experience as the Senior Graphic Designer at Ocean Drive Magazine, Art Director for several Harcourt and Macmillan/McGraw Hill publications, and Freelance Web Designer, she brings invaluable understanding of the publishing industry. However, it was her personal ventures (becoming a first-time mom, community volunteer, and board member of the MOMS Club) that inspired her to create a parenting magazine like no other.

    Best friend and wife to Brant for seven years
    Mom to Kai Jordan, 3 years old

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    About The Founders

    Chrissy Allen (pictured left) and Heather Reneau (pictured right) spent every summer together playing on the beach, going to camp and having sleepovers. For more than 30 years, Heather’s uncle and Chrissy’s father were very successful business partners. The young girls never expected that they would follow in the men’s footsteps.

    Coincidentally, both women ended up settling down to raise their families in Central Florida. This exciting new business venture has rekindled their childhood bond. As a team, they bring the same sense of fun and energy to PLAYGROUND Magazine as if they were still those same eight-year-olds practicing gymnastics on the beach.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    We applaud our amazing contributors. PLAYGROUND wouldn’t be possible without the collaborative effort of our amazing team.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    Find a sampling of articles in a unique online format with added functionality. You can offer your commentary, email articles to your friends and post favorites to your Facebook page.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    by Wholesome Tummies

    With four kids of her own, Samantha Gotlib of Wholesome Tummies understands the challenges of getting families to eat healthy. She “dishes” on being creative with food so kids not only like it, but also get the best nutrition possible.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Orlando Watersports Complex

    Orlando Watersports Complex This park has wakeboarding, wakeskating and waterskiing for all levels. 8615 Florida Rock Rd., Orlando 407-251-3100

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Orlando Gymnastics & Cheerleading

    Orlando Gymnastics & Cheerleading Dance, gymnastics and cheering for kids of all ages. 11821 S. OBT, Orlando 407-850-4123

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Massage Envy

    Massage Envy Massage for the whole family including prenatal, baby massage and sports massage. 1465 WP Ball Blvd., MM# 21070, Sanford 407-333-9599

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Joyful Music and Dance Studio

    Joyful Music and Dance Studio Kindermusik classes available for newborns through age 7. 290 Waymont Ct., Lake Mary 407-833-2729

    Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Response

    Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando

    screen-shot-2012-03-13-at-21413-pm Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando Award-winning early childhood learning center for infants through Pre-K for children of all faiths. 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland 407-645-5933 and 11184 S. Apopka-Vineland Road, Orlando 407-239-7411

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    In Balance Yoga & Pilates

    In Balance Yoga & Pilates Children can build strength, balance and flexibility in a non-competitive environment. 1061 S. Sun Dr. #1041, Lake Mary 407-227-5555

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Complete Soccer Academy

    Complete Soccer Academy Soccer lessons for pre-K through professional. 645 Executive Park Ct., Apopka 407-925-6812

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Brown's Gymnastics

    Brown’s Gymnastics Fully equipped training facility offering competitive gymnastics and birthday parties. 740 Orange Ave., Altamonte Springs 407-869-8744

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Aiguille Rock Climbing

    Aiguille Rock Climbing Camps, after-school programs, parties and a competitive climbing team tailored for kids. 999 Charles St., Longwood 407-332-1430

    Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Response

    Wee Willie Winks

    Wee Willie Winks Wide variety of products from diapering items and baby legs to swaddling wraps. 407-492-1211

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

    Wee Babies

    Wee Babies LifeCast statues and shadow boxes. 407-359-9471

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment Create custom designed art pieces using your photograph, name or monogram. Placemats, canvas prints, wall murals and more. 1-888-268-2724

    Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Response

    Nannies of Distinction

    Nannies of Distinction Nanny referral agency that places in-home child care providers. Full- and part-time, temporary, on-call, nannies, mannies or sitters. 407.830.6599

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    MommyMixer Service that connects parents and potential babysitters.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Responses

    Lovin’ Pet Home Finders

    Lovin’ Pet Home Finders Service for families who no longer can keep their pets. They find loving and caring homes as an alternative to shelters. 407-272-8078

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Renee Adams

    Renee Adams Family DJ with interactive dancing, singing, games and skits. 407-493-9773 Email:

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Once Upon a Time Events

    Once Upon a Time Events Themed parties with face painting, magic shows and much more. 407-810-3137

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Mr. Richard

    Mr. Richard Plays original music for hip kids. 407-898-3482

    Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Responses

    Elvis Shirt


    The Lola & James line is high fashion for the eco-conscious kid. Catering to both boys and girls, the colorful designs use recycled fabrics and materials (often cool vintage concert t-shirts). Lucky for us, they are just as serious about style as they are about making safe and earth-friendly products.

    Lulu Belle Baby Boutique, Baldwin Park

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Discover Rig


    Explore the wonders of the Amazon with the Sprig Discover Rig. Kids can trigger the generator to activate lights, dialog and sound effects. Constructed from eco-friendly Sprigwood, this rugged and durable toy comes complete with an African Safari adventure led by famous safari explorer Cap Faraday.

    Careful Planet Toys

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Respect the Earth Flash Cards


    If your little ones need a lesson in going green, these Eeboo flash cards will do the trick. These beautifully illustrated flash cards sport sayings such as “recycle bottles and paper” and “turn off the lights.”

    Tugboat and the Bird, Winter Park

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Plan Chalet Dollhouse


    Move over Barbie mansion, there’s a new dream house in town. This modern Chalet, accessible from all sides, is built from natural organic recycled rubberwood. So if pink plastic monstrosities aren’t your cup of tea, this hip dollhouse with mod furniture might just be what you’ve been looking for.


    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Tea Set


    Porcelain tea sets can chip and plastic is, well, so plastic-y. Unless, of course, it’s Green Toys’ colorful tea set made in California of recycled milk jugs. Your little gals will enjoy a very hip, eco-friendly tea party with this set that even meets FDA standards, should real food ever be served.

    Careful Planet Toys

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



    With a lion, giraffe and panda too, we had to share these toys with you. Handcrafted in Australia from organic maple, the “Anamalz” are bound to be a hit. With a percentage of the purchase supporting wildlife organizations around the world, these products take eco-friendly to a new level.

    Sam Flax, Orlando

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Tire Swing


    We’re not horsing around with this tire swing. Made from 100% recycled tires, this swing is so cool we couldn’t resist. So saddle up and jump on; you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood. But don’t worry, if horses aren’t the thing for you, you can also choose from elephants, dragons and airplanes.


    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Puzzle Stacking Game


    A whimsical dragon, prince and princess adorn this fairytale-like building game. Made of solid beechwood and non-toxic paint, this Haba game includes 27 dazzling blocks. With its charming patterns and shapes, it’s no wonder this playful stacking game is appropriately named “Land of the Dragons.”

    Daisy’s Children’s Boutique & Toy Store, Winter Garden

    Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Response



    We wish we had had this sporty bike when we were younger. Its aerodynamic design and cool color options will have your little one on the fast track to the Tour de France. Made from birch plywood, the Bugabike is built to withstand any rough and tumble tot. Sans pedals, it teaches balance, too.

    Careful Planet Toys

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



    This eco-trivia board game will make your next family night a success. With more than 800 questions, this game tests players’ scientific knowledge, while helping to educate them  on science, nature and the environment. The first player to collect the required eco-points on his destination card wins.

    Careful Planet Toys

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Plan Dancing Alligator


    This award-winning pull-along alligator has tons of personality as he wiggles, bobs and click-clacks along. Made from eco-friendly rubberwood pieces. Encouraging good balance and steady walking, this fun Dancing Alligator makes an excellent toy for any toddler.

    Good For The Kids, Altamonte

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Indoor Gardening Kit


    Get out your green thumb for this fabulous toy. Made from 100% recycled milk jugs, Green Toys’ Indoor Gardening Kit has everything your little sprout will need. Complete with a pea pod-shaped planter tray, three planting pots, trowel, soil and organic seeds, you’ll be fully equipped to bring the outdoors inside this winter.

    Careful Planet Toys

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

    Mobile Home


    Made entirely from recycled cardboard, the Kidsonroof MobileHome folds up flat so it can easily travel with your child for imaginative fun on the go. Available in white or blue, this eight-room house is ready for your child’s creative touch. Encourage your child to add color with paint and markers.

    Hip from Holland

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Plan Bulldozer


    No hard hat required when using this rough and tough bulldozer. The ability to maneuver, haul, lift and pull is sure to fulfill your child’s construction worker fantasy. Built from durable rubberwood, this heavy-duty vehicle can lift blocks, dirt, rocks and more.

    Timmy’s Toy Chest Lake Mary

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Make It! Book


    Don’t take the garbage out just yet. Jane Bull’s latest book Make It! offers creative suggestions for turning common household trash into a kid’s treasure. From soda bottle bird feeders to aluminum robots, these imaginative projects will keep your kids busy for hours.

    Sam Flax, Orlando

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    by Tammara Kohler

    This hip mom of two cuties has never allowed her fashion to go stale. Tammara Kohler, owner of Fused Fashion in Orlando, is the newest contributor to PLAYGROUND. Tammara offers a wide range of services from personal shopping, wardrobe styling and fashion production. Her creative eye provides a fresh and modern look on style.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Pick Your Area

    The PLAY Guide is the ‘go-to’ resource for busy parents in Central Florida featuring family-friendly local businesses. This is an interactive listing, separated by area and category for your convenience. Please let us know what you think of the venues by making comments on the listings that you visit.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    The Dog MaHall

    Vacationing to a place that’s not so pet friendly? Don’t worry, your pet can have his own  luxury VIP suite (themed around his favorite city) at The Dog MaHall & Cats 2. Wait, it gets better … the stay includes amenities like cable TV, movie of the day, concierge service, maid service, room service, assigned fitness coach and their own meet and greet “Yappy Hour.” Last year owner Gail dressed the dogs for Halloween and made cards for their “parents.” During movie hour, they get their own pet popcorn and sometimes doggie ice-cream is served. Mmmmm … chicken or turkey flavor?

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Pookie’s Bow Wow Bakery

    Now your dog can have his cake and eat it too. Pookie’s Bow Wow Bakery makes tasty treats and birthday cakes for dogs everywhere. Okay, I know what you are thinking … what the hell is in a dog birthday cake? Apparently, it is made with cream cheese, peanut butter and banana cake (no sugar added). Hmm, kinda sounds good! But what if your dog’s a chub and you need to chain the fridge door before bed? You’re in luck! Pookie’s can put him on a raw food diet (raw meat, that is). If Fido gets stressed before getting on the scale (like we do), there is always the aisle with homeopathic anxiety remedies.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Celebrity Pet Spa

    Watch out, here comes the puparazzi! Glam your pooch up Hollywood-style. Celebrity Pet Spa is a mobile grooming service that comes to you. According to the owner, their mobility eliminates separation anxiety (oh, dogs get that too?) and car sickness (yes, let’s avoid that one at all costs). Ten years of experience has taught owner and groomer, Heidi Pompura, to pay attention to all the little details. She will add a little “bling bling” in the form of bows and such to make sure you pet is accessorized to the nines. Her signature hot oil conditioning treatments, cotton balls in the ears and drops to protect delicate eyes make this spa fit for Lassies everywhere.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Animal Hospital at Baldwin Park

    If Fido has “Gone Green” and demands organic pet food, hemp linens and weekly acupuncture treatments, then fret not, we have found the place for you. The veterinarian-run Animal Hospital at Baldwin Park provides a no-bones-about-it approach for tree hugging pets. The facility offers full diagnostic testing, Western and Eastern medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, and acupressure massage. Fido will think she has died and gone to doggy heaven. Good news, they treat other types of pets too.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Pawsh Pet Resort & Spa

    Are you tired of your naughty little darling chewing up everything in sight when you leave the house? Perhaps your pet gets lonely during the day. You wouldn’t leave your kid home alone, would you? Don’t panic! There is a solution – doggie daycare. Pawsh Pet Resort & Spa is a cage- and kennel- free environment, so your pet plays all day both indoors and outdoors. Still scared to leave your loved one with strangers? They have web cams available. You can even book Princess her very own massage and the therapist will make house calls!

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    A Beauty Chop for Dogs

    Blueberry facials and hydrotherapy caught our attention. (What’s next? Doggie wraps or anti-aging treatments?) A Beauty Chop for Dogs is a pet spa in Casselberry that offers doggie facials and uses a botanical, high powered bathing system called the HydroSurge® to exfoliate your canine cutie with a warm water massage. Afterwards, your pet will “fluff dry,” meaning he gets hand dried and meticulously brushed. For an extra fee, they offer “express service” so Rover will be in and out in an hour. Your sexy beast can even get a spritz of some eau de parfum before he leaves. Do they make Coco Chanel for dogs?

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Pamper Party

    Ready, set, luxuriate. Ooh La La Spa Parties at Fresh Face are perfect for the “girly” girl, age 5 and up. After donning their luxurious kid-sized spa robes and flip-flops, they take a seat for a mini-pedicure while getting a paraffin hand wax. The guest of honor is labeled queen for the day and seated in a custom chair. Party guests and the “queen” sit down and partake in one of many spa crafts like applying fruit masks or getting their faces painted. Just like mom’s day at the spa, girls are then armed with survival kits (goody bags filled with hairclips, jewelry and lip gloss made by the girls themselves). Party extras like pink ribbon boxed lunches and a cupcake-decorating station take this party to a whole new level.  407-221-3051

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Boys’ Club

    This club is for your family’s little VIP, because he deserves just as much doting as the girls. Kennedy’s All-American Barber Club on Park Avenue is taking kids’ pampering to the next level. Junior will get his own toy shave kit to keep him busy while he’s getting styled too. He and dad can bond over laughs and beers (Sam Adams and root beer, of course) while getting the spa experience, guy style.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Little Artist Classes – 12/28/08

    Mixed Media (18 months – 5 years): Wednesdays (10-11 a.m., 5-6 p.m.) & Fridays (10-11 a.m.) Little Artists will experience art with all their senses. They will experiment with a variety of materials to explore the basic elements of art while developing social, fine motor skills, and encouraging problem solving. Projects include a literacy component and children are read a new story each week to highlight the day’s projects.

    Messy Art (18 months – 5 years): Tuesday (10-11 a.m.), Wednesdays & Fridays (11-12 p.m.) This class emphasizes on the process over the final product and allows children to explore and discover art materials in new ways. Little Artist will roll up their sleeves and get messy while making art from the different materials. NOTE: Please wear bathing suits (or old clothes) and bring a towel for Messy Art classes.

    Sculpture for Kids (4 – 5 years old): Wednesdays & Fridays (9-10 a.m.) Build and explore the world of sculpture using materials like paper mache, clay, plaster, and cardboard. We will look to famous works of art and our imaginations for inspiration as we learn about form, volume, and balance. Projects are different each session. * This is a drop-off program for children betwen the ages 4-5 years old.

    Cost for each class – $8.00 Members, $10.00 Non-Members >

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    PLAYGROUND boasts an unparalleled digital strategy. A fresh interactive Website, monthly e-Newsletters, Facebook Fan Page and MySpace profile encompass the ways we constantly connect with local parents. Get in front of your target market by advertising to our influential digital community.

    Contact Chrissy Allen
    at 321-281-7255.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    We offer exciting sponsorship opportunities throughout the year at PLAYGROUND events. Up next, the PLAYGROUND Music & Arts Fest is posed to be the hottest family-friendly event Central Florida has ever seen.

    Download our Events Media Kit >

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    Don’t miss this opportunity to reach your target market by advertising with PLAYGROUND. We are the ONLY publication to effectively penetrate the modern family demographic in Central Florida.

    Download our Magazine Media Kit >

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    New Kids On The Block

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Eco Gift Guide

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    5-Star Pampering

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Event Photos

    Check out hip families at cool places around town. Were you there? Then browse the photos for purchase or share them with your friends online.

    View Photos >

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Events Calendar

    We know you can’t possibly hit all of the family-friendly festivities that are going on across Central Florida, so we’ve narrowed it down to THE BEST of them. Check out our 5-Star Family Events calendar to make your plans for the month.

    5-Star Family Events Calendar >

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    Dr. Phillips, Gotha, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Windermere

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    Enter your email address below to subscribe to our RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed and be notified when we make updates to the Website.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    Enter your email address below to subscribe to our monthly e-Newsletter that includes 5-Star Events, Special Promotions and Editorial Requests.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    Become a fan of PLAYGROUND on Facebook to receive event invitations, sneak previews of our covers, behind-the-scenes photos and more.

    Connect With Us On Facebook

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    Subscribe now for a year (or two) and never miss an issue.

    Length of Subscription:

    Give a Gift

    Buy one subscription at $14.99 and get each additional for only $9.99.


    Email us at

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Subscriptions & Distribution

    If you have questions about subscriptions, please contact If you would like to be considered as a distribution location, please contact

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    If you have an event that you would like added to our online Events Calendar or would like to inquire about PLAYGROUND sponsoring, supporting or attending your event, please email

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


    If you are interested in advertising in PLAYGROUND, please download our Media Kit and contact Chrissy Allen at 321-281-7255 or

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment