One of only three 2016 Great American Main Street Winners, Audubon Park brings a small town feel to Orlando. The sense of community, local business support, and cross promotion is one of the strongest in Orlando, and also the reason behind its success.
Audubon Park is also a neighborhood full of fun weekly activities perfect for date night on the cheap, ranging from a community market to the newest event, The Neighborhood Meet-up. I’ve rounded up my favorites, giving you a road map for where to go each day!
Mondays are busy around Audubon Park! The Audubon Park Community Market is a weekly market held in the parking lot of Stardust Video and Coffee Monday nights from 5pm-9pm. The market features local produce, food, vendors, live music, and is pet-friendly. Pick up some fresh, local produce, grab some budget bites at Stardust or at one of the local market vendors, then it’s trivia time!
From 7:30-10:30pm, Bikes Beans & Bordeaux hosts free Curtis Earth Trivia. Teams compete in a friendly game of trivia covering varying topics including movies, music, TV, science, sports, geography, and more.
On the first Monday of most months (May-August, September) Leu Gardens offers free admission all day! In addition to gardens and flowers galore, there is a butterfly garden as well as the Leu House Museum, a restored 19th Century home last owned by Harry P. Leu and his wife. Guided tours of the Leu House Museum are offered daily.
Tuesdays are all about food, beer, and fun! Redlight Redlight has added a classic movie to the mix with their weekly themed movie night. Past showings include Back To The Future and Indiana Jones. Order from your favorite spot in the neighborhood or bring your own food to enjoy alongside the selection of over 26 craft beers on tap, and 250+ bottled varieties. The movie begins at 8:30pm.
If you’re stumped on where to grab food for the movie, head to Bikes Beans & Bordeaux for $3 tacos from 5-9pm. It wouldn’t be Tuesday if tacos aren’t involved! There are two options available: seasoned steak or vegetarian. There are also occasional specials in addition to the $3 tacos.
A new event to hit local favorite East End Market, The Neighborhood Meet-up (Wine Wednesdays) is where you need to be on Wednesdays. If you love bottomless wine, bottomless sangria, bottomless select draft beer, and live music, $15 will get you that and more as long as you get there before 6:30pm (price increases to $20 after 6:30). This event provides you with the opportunity to get to know the Audubon hood, while serving as the hump-day break we all need. La Femme Du Frommage, Houndstooth Sauce Company and Farm & Haus are all budget-friendly options located inside East End Market where you can score some delicious and locally sourced food to go along with your drinks.
Thursdays are the perfect day for a dessert crawl/bike ride! Start at East End Market to rent Juice Bikes for you and your honey. Cross the street to Blue Bird Bakeshop, where you’ll have several cupcake flavors to choose from, as well as cookies and brownies. Next, ride to P is for Pie Bakeshop, a sweet and savory bakeshop serving hand pies, cookies, whoopie pies, and cinnamon rolls. If you ride your bikes in the opposite direction, you’re less than two miles away from Baldwin Park. This bike-friendly community offers a connection to the Cady Way Trail. I can’t think of a more fun way to work off those sweets!
After feasting on some Korean Fried Chicken wings from Domu for dinner, head to Big Daddys where you can play pool for free until 7pm. There are also several drink specials from 4-7pm, including $8 domestic pitchers, $3 bloody marys & mimosas, and more. If you’re feeling like hitting a high note, Karaoke starts at 10pm.
Mark your calendar for the first Friday of the month featuring Movie Night at Leu Gardens! Bring a blanket along with food (or grab a bite from the onsite food vendors) and adult beverages for this special monthly event. Admission is only $6 per adult.
Enjoy the wonderful Orlando Spring weather while listening to live music at Saturday Serenade, a free, all ages event held from 2-5pm in East End Market’s outdoor courtyard most Saturdays. The featured artist changes weekly, with information available via East End’s Facebook page.
After hearing the soothing sounds of live music, you and your date can walk over to Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream to feed that sweet tooth! Weekends are when special items are available, such as limited edition flavors of ice cream and the newest addition to Kelly’s tasty menu, Waf-a-tacos: a waffle cone taco filled with Kelly’s ice cream, dipped in chocolate and finished with toppings such as nuts or sprinkles. Hurry, these sell out quick.
If Orlandoans love one thing more than brunch food, it’s brunch drinks. Bikes Beans & Bordeaux has both, and mimosas are just $3 on Sundays until 5pm. Once you and your honey have your fill of brunch and mimosas, walk over to East End and grab Orlando’s most wanted cookies at Gideon’s Bakehouse. Sundays are for indulging, after all.
In the mood for a date that is active and good for the environment? Fleet Farming hosts a periodic swarm ride that leaves from East End Market. Bring your own bike or rent a Juice bike, ride less than a mile and help farm! The perfect way to end this early morning date would be a light lunch and green juice from Skyebird inside East End.
All images by Arlene Laboy