Best of Central Florida Events: Jan. 13-20

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Desoto National Memorial, Bradenton ©National Park Service

Desoto National Memorial, Bradenton ©National Park Service

Florida Travel Guide - Jan. 13-20: Things to Do in Central Florida

From bagpipes and race cars to pirates and carillon concerts, we’ve got you covered for this week!

1) Step into the Past

From exhibits to native mask painting, visitors get a unique look into Spanish and Native American life during the 16th Century at Desoto National Memorial Park. If you prefer the natural surroundings, hike, bird watch or fish – there are many outdoor activities to choose from.

  • Highlight: Step into the 1500s with  Spaniard Hernando de Soto.
  • When: Jan. 14-16
  • Where: DeSoto National Memorial, 8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy, Bradenton, Florida 3420
  • Cost: Free

2) Gasparilla Exhibit!

Tales, vintage photographs and costumes are part of the exhibit that highlights this Tampa Tradition and favorite party. Discover past attendees, pirate booty and more at the opening this weekend .

  • Highlight: The goods behind a Tampa tradition.
  • When: Jan. 13, 6 pm Opening (runs till Feb. 19)
  • Where: Henry B. Plant Museum, 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa FL 33606
  • Cost: Free.

3) Nascar

NASCAR Preseason Thunder, the precursor to the annual Daytona 500, will be held this weekend. If weather is right, race fans can watch the track during Fan Fest driver sessions (Friday from 5-7 p.m.) when drivers Jeff Gordon, Jamie McMurray, Marcos-Ambrose, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Trevor Bayne take to the 2.5-mile oval track.

  • Highlight: Get ready for the Daytona 500.
  • When: Jan. 12-14.
  • Where: Daytona International Speedway, 1801 W International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Cost: $20.

4) Central Florida Scottish Highland Games

Take in the full gamut of Scottish culture – listen to drums and bagpipes, watch highland dancing, sheepdog presentations and archery competitions.

  • Highlight: Traditional Scottish sporting events.
  • When: Jan. 14-15.
  • Where: Central Winds Park, 1000 East State Road 434, Winter Springs, FL 32708
  • Cost: $12/Saturday, $10/Sunday, $/children.

5) Carillon Concerts honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Listen to bells ringing during the life celebration for humanitarian and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Highlight: Celebrate unity among all people.
  • When: Jan. 16, 1-3 pm.
  • Where: Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard  Lake Wales, FL 33853, United States
  • Cost: Included with general admission.

 

Tell us…

What’s interesting you this week – bagpipes, race cars or something else?