Weekend Things To Do: Orlando

Weekend Things To Do In Orlando

While pirates are invading Tampa, Orlando has other things to do while enjoying this weekend’s nice weather.

Calling all Harry Potter fans for Universal Orlando’s fourth Celebration of Harry Potter weekend! Come witness the Malfoy boys Draco and Lucious (Tom Felton and Jason Isaacs) as they pay their first ever vitas to the theme park’s special event. Also going the Malfoy’s will be Professor Flitwick and Griphook (Warwick Davis) and Neville Longbottom ( Matthe Lewis). There will be three days of Q&A’s, panels, a Harry Potter Expo full of interactive booths and tons of other wizarding events such as the secrets of wand combat, movie screenings and a costume contest for all muggles to participant in. The celebration runs Friday through Sunday and is included with admission, which starts at $105. Check out the Universal website for special vacation packages. universalorlando.com.

Rolex 24 at Daytona Beach. More than just a race, the Rolex 24 is 24 full hours to explore, experience and expect the unexpected. North America’s premier sports car event rolls into Daytona Saturday and Sunday and will have some special guests. Three-time DAYTONA 500 champion and four-time NASCAR Cup champion Jeff Gordon will join Wayne Taylor Racing’s Ricky and Jordan Taylor and 2005 Rolex 24 winner Max Angelelli to race towards victory in the 2017 Rolex 24. Tickets range from $40 to $95. daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Photo: Red Huber / Orlando Sentinel

If loud cars and racing isn’t your thing then be sure to check out the Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival instead. The festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Valentine Park on W. French Ave. off Hwy 17-92 in Orange City. There will be all kinds of arts and crafts for the kids and Central Florida Zoo presentations and animal ambassadors. Food, face-painting, walk-on-water balls, and more entertainment will be included. Tickets are $8 a person, children 4-12 $2, children 3 and under free. Visit themanateefestival.com.