July 2016

I was talking to a friend of mine in New York who asked me why I don’t open up an advertising agency in New York City, particularly with our new name 78MADISON. I chuckled and told him I was just fine with being a growing Orlando, Florida advertising agency; that there was plenty of fish to catch in Orlando, Central Florida, in and throughout the country from this very base.

Then I asked him when he and his family were going to visit, and his response was “well, it’s just too expensive in Orlando; I like to go to places where there is lots to do INCLUDING FREE STUFF." It made me pause. Certainly I know there is free stuff to do throughout the Orlando, Florida area, but if pressed, could I tell somebody where that stuff was? Nope. So I did some research for any of you who are interested. Below are six free things you can do in Orlando and surrounding Central Florida area.

ONE, Disney Springs. OK, OK, 78Madison is the Orlando Advertising Agency for the downtown Disney hotel association, but still. Here is the bottom line. The Disney Springs shopping and dining area, just a stones throw from downtown Orlando, really has an enchanting vibe to it, and there is no charge to go and walk and explore. Take the kids to the Lego store for creative fun at brick-stacking play tables or to Once Upon a Toy to assemble funny faces on Mr. Potato Head. Burn off energy at the Waterside Stage’s DJ dance parties, or hop on a round-trip boat excursion to nearby resorts. Be sure to stop in at the Ghirardelli shop for a chocolate sample before heading out.

TWO, Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. Nearly a mile of sidewalk runs around downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola Park, where you can feed trumpeter Swans, rent paddle-boats and just admire the Orlando City Skyline. If you stay past sunset, check out the nightly light and musical fountain show on the lake and monthly movies during the summer. Nearby, the Harry P. Leu Gardens hold tropical plants, aromatic herbs, citrus groves and roses. Stroll a butterfly garden, admire 200-plus camellia varieties or visit the idea space for landscape and horticulture inspiration. Entry to the botanical oasis is gratis on first Monday’s between June and December.

THREE, do some touring and tasting, starting with Orlando Brewing. Stop by Orlando Brewing Monday through Saturday for an evening walk through for the production process. The company uses organic ingredients and follows Reinheitsgebot, an old German purity standard that allows only water, hops, yeast and malted barley in brews. Hang around afterward for live music on select nights. Also, in Clermont - another suburb of Orlando - Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards gives complimentary tours and samples; learn about the growing, bottling and labeling steps before sipping from a wide selection. On-site events include a free summer concert series in July and a grape stomp in August (a $2 donation is requested). As an Orlando Advertising agency, we worked for years with the Lakeridge Winery - great place to visit.

FOUR, art! CityArts Factory’s collection of downtown Orlando, Florida galleries displays both local and international works. Exhibits rotate monthly and recently included a graffiti installation and an anthology of aesthetic map designs. Admission is comped Tuesday through Saturday. At the Mennello Museum of American Art, also in downtown Orlando, walk the lakeside sculpture garden or gaze a pieces from the city’s permanent collection. There is no entry charge on monthly family days, held each second Sunday.

FIVE, family night. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort hosts evening campfires complete with costumed characters. Just a short drive from Orlando, Florida, purchase s’mores ingredients from the Chuckwagon Snack Bar or bring hour own marshmallows to roast over crackling flames as a guitar-playing cowboy leads sing-a-longs and hip and Dale meander through the audience for photos. The old-timey fun is followed by a Disney flick under the stars.

SIX, visit 78Madison. Located in the suburbs of Orlando, in Altamonte Spring, Florida, come see how the advertising agency business operates. Fun, Exciting, and Free. OK, a bit tongue and cheek, but hey, if you ever do want to stop in, feel free. We are located at 999 Douglas Avenue, Suite 3301, in Altamonte Springs, Florida. We are in the Scan Design Building that sits alongside Interstate 4 at State Road 434.

Have some free stuff to add? Let us know.

Joe Bouch
CEO, 78Madison
A Full Service Marketing Communications Firm (an Advertising Agency), located in Altamonte Springs, Florida – a suburb of Orlando, Florida.