June recommended events in Downtown Orlando

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Nathaniel’s Hope: Make’m Smile

June 1 at 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Make a difference in someone’s life and come down to Lake Eola for the 12th-annual Make’m Smile event. Nathaniel’s Hope is dedicated to celebrating kids with special needs and educating and equipping communities and churches to provide programs and assistance. Enjoy food, games, shows and so much more. There will be a loading/unloading area and free valet services on both the west and east end of Robinson Street for those that need special assistance as well as free parking lots close to the lake. For more information, please go to www.nathanielshope.org.

OCRHC Florida Highwaymen Meet and Greet

June 1 at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Orange County Regional History Center invites you to celebrate a special group of 26 African American artists who found success in the segregated South during the 1950s. Listen and learn as these influential artists share their stories as well as their artwork. Admission to the event is free, and patrons will have the opportunity to purchase these artists’ unique work.

Story Time at Leu Gardens

June 3 at 10 a.m.

This free, indoors storytelling event is for infants, toddlers and kids up to age 5. Orange County Library System’s storytelling program embraces a fun approach, illustrating to young children the benefits of reading through songs, rhymes and books. Food will be available for purchase. This will be the last Story Time at Leu Gardens until August. For more information, visit www.leugardens.org.

Greater Orlando Equality Connection

June 3 at 6:30 p.m.

Equality Florida is the largest non-profit organization aimed at protecting the rights of LGBTQ communities in the state of Florida. Join them as they host a nightly event for new and returning members in the Milk District. Meet fellow members, mingle and learn how to get engaged within the LGBTQ community. For more information about the event, visit www.eqfl.org.

A Lotta Night Music

June 7 at 8 p.m.

Enjoy a night of cabaret and spectacular performances, as the Orlando Gay Chorus hosts their annual performance at the MEZZ. Watch as featured performers audition for their spot in the Orlando Gay Chorus, and current members serenade with their favorite songs in a variety of genres, from classical to pop. For tickets and event information, please go to www.orlandogaychorus.org.

Dog Days Afternoon Pup Crawl

June 9 at 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Humans and pups alike can enjoy a day of fine drinking and furry friends. Downtown residents can purchase a $5 wristband at Ten 10 Brewing Company and receive drink specials at eight participating bars. The first 100 dogs to show up with their human will receive a complimentary bandana. 50% of the wristband sales will be donated to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. For more information, visit www.mills50.org.

Teen Police and Fire Academy

June 10-20 at 9 a.m.

Orlando Police Department hosts this free, nine-day course for students in grades 10 to 12, aiming to foster relationships between the police and fire departments and youth in the community. Students will learn about the day-to-day skillset and practices of Orlando’s finest while gaining hands-on knowledge about the various careers in law enforcement and fire safety. Parents interested in signing their kids up can visit www.orlando. gov/Public-Safety/OPD/Register-for-the-Teen-Police and-Fire-Academy to register.

Dining in the Dark

June 20 at 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Taste, touch and feel your way through a gourmet meal in complete darkness. Equipped with night-vision goggles, members of the Orlando Police Department’s SWAT team will serve you food cooked by some of the finest chefs in Orlando. Learn about the isolating struggles of those faced with vision loss and chronic hunger through this immersive, charitable experience hosted by Second Harvest Food Bank. For more information about the event, visit www.lighthousecfl.org/DITD.

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