clipboard checklist search envelope-o upgrade-account check bars close search-plus search-minus cog trash-o home file-o clock-o list-alt flag chevron-left chevron-right plus-circle minus-circle times-circle check-circle question-circle info-circle print times-circle-o check-circle-o ban arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up arrow-down plus minus asterisk exclamation-circle exclamation-triangle calendar twitter-square facebook-square cogs comments thumbs-o-up thumbs-o-down twitter facebook certificate arrow-circle-left arrow-circle-right arrow-circle-up arrow-circle-down wrench caret-down caret-up caret-left caret-right angle-double-left angle-double-right angle-double-up angle-double-down angle-left angle-right angle-up angle-down location-arrow chevron-circle-left chevron-circle-right chevron-circle-up chevron-circle-down minus-square minus-square-o level-up level-down check-square thumbs-up thumbs-down folder-open-o file-pdf-o file-text-o edit history leave-a-review bullhorn book man-woman dollar fitness-events holiday-events entertainment-events ticket group group lock


In The News

Get the latest Altamonte Springs and Wekiva Springs news and find out what’s happening all around the county from the most recent Altamonte-Wekiva Springs Life articles.

Delivering Strength and Sunshine

Featured Photo from Delivering Strength and Sunshine

For the past five years, Lake Mary resident and cancer survivor Lisa Desjardins has been delivering bags filled with special comfort items to local cancer patients. She hopes that her sentiment will bring patients hope and happiness during an otherwise dark and uncertain time.

"Art Should Be Available to Everybody"

Featured Photo from

In Seminole County, several visual art groups bring color and creativity to the community on a regular basis. Here we showcase three of these groups – one a relative newcomer, while the other two have been around for decades. All three are brimming with talented artists who encourage and support each other as they help make our world a more beautiful place.

Let's Buddy Up

Featured Photo from Let's Buddy Up

The Buddy Up Tennis program based at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry gives players with Down syndrome the chance to make friends and have fun, but the volunteers who run it get so much more.

Sikh and You Shall Find

Featured Photo from Sikh and You Shall Find

Here in Seminole County, you don’t have to go far to immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind cultural experience. Get to know the local Sikh community, which welcomes all with open arms.

Catch It To Cure It

Featured Photo from Catch It To Cure It

Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that is 90 percent preventable, says Dr. Ahmad Idris of Florida Hospital Medical Group in Altamonte Springs.

A Fortnight in February

Featured Photo from  A Fortnight in February

Lake Mary Life Publishing's talented editor and business manager, Michael Kramer, takes his talents on the road as a touring jazz pianist with Michael Andrew & The Gershwin Big Band!

A Special Gift For a Special Someone

Featured Photo from A Special Gift For a Special Someone

Our community director Samantha Taylor surprises Publix grocery bagger, James, with swag from his favorite event – Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. Read on to see how one small act of kindness meant more to Samantha than you know.

We’ve Got a Thing For Manatees!

Featured Photo from We’ve Got a Thing For Manatees!

Last year our art director, Heather Loomis, traveled about 30 minutes to Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival to view one of her favorite mammals – the manatee. Now, it’s your turn! Check out Florida’s only two manatee festivals happening this month. Manatee season runs from mid-November through March.

Sticking To It! – Lake Mary Life Publishing Staff Shares Their New Year’s Resolutions

Featured Photo from Sticking To It! – Lake Mary Life Publishing Staff Shares Their New Year’s Resolutions

Our staff is pumped for 2018 and we’re feeling good about the things we want to achieve both personally and professionally. So, to make us a little more accountable and help you get to know each of us a little bit better, we’d like to share some of our resolutions. We’ve made an oath to stick to it – for real – and will update our readers on our progress in a couple of months!

Tis The Season... For Some Fun!

Featured Photo from Tis The Season... For Some Fun!

Here is our list of the best holiday events to check out this season in and around Seminole County. Get excited for cooler days, hot cocoa, milk and cookies, twinkling lights, and a jolly good time.

Fall Festival Round-Up

Featured Photo from Fall Festival Round-Up

Autumn is officially here (as of September 22)! Check out the best places around Seminole County to celebrate all things Halloween and Harvest-time.

The Equifax Data Breach - What To Do

Featured Photo from The Equifax Data Breach - What To Do

From mid-May through July, hackers broke into Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, and accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for over 200,000 people. The following information has been provided by Greene, Dycus & Company, CPA’s on how you can protect yourself from the repercussions of this breach if you were one of the American consumers affected.

Ready, Set...Run!

Featured Photo from Ready, Set...Run!

Fall is around the corner and that means the season of 5Ks and fun runs is almost here! Check out our roundup of races from September to December, happening throughout Seminole County.

10 Reasons Why I’ll Keep Traveling the World

Featured Photo from 10 Reasons Why I’ll Keep Traveling the World

I’m back home from an incredible trip and I’ll admit I’m still catching my breath. In three of the most invigorating months of my life, I visited seven countries in Asia (three with my boyfriend and four with my sister), took a total of 20 flights, snapped over 5,000 photos, and had one epic adventure.

The Great American Eclipse of 2017

Featured Photo from The Great American Eclipse of 2017

Something exciting will be happening in our skies on Monday, August 21 - the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1979! Although Central Florida is not in the line of totality, nearly 90 percent of the sun’s surface will be obscured by the moon for Seminole County observers of The Great American Eclipse of 2017.

Humans Of Seminole County

Featured Photo from Humans Of Seminole County

Over the past few months, our staff members have captured and collected snapshots of locals who are out and about having fun (some even caught reading our magazine!) in our Lake Mary, Altamonte-Wekiva Springs, and Oviedo-Winter Springs communities. Take a look at our “Humans Of” pictorial and see if you recognize any of your neighbors!

SCPS Announces Elimination of District Level Testing

Featured Photo from SCPS Announces Elimination of District Level Testing

BREAKING NEWS: Seminole County Public Schools announced today that it plans to eliminate all district level testing in Seminole County elementary schools. This new direction will say bid goodbye to dozens of exams such as the Iowa Assessment and could save up to 10 hours in the classroom per subject for each student.

Community Leadership Academy Class of 2017-2018

Featured Photo from Community Leadership Academy Class of 2017-2018

Last week, SCPS Superintendent Dr. Walt Griffin hosted the 2017 Leadership conference and invited the new Community Leadership Academy to attend. The Community Leadership Academy is a group of seventy-five local parents and SCPS alumni, college students, and business professionals who have been selected to receive a special behind-the-scenes look at our school district this year. As a former teacher, a mom of three children (two of whom attend an SCPS school), and the Education Editor for Lake Mary Life Publishing, Inc., I’m thrilled to be a part of it!

Our Favorite Vacation Memories

Featured Photo from Our Favorite Vacation Memories

Summer vacations. What families (especially kids) look forward to all year. Days filled with no routine, junk food, fun excursions, outdoor activities, and lots of cable. Here are a few of our staff's favorite family vacation memories (complete with some throwback photos!) for you to enjoy.

Our Adventures at Comic-Con

Featured Photo from Our Adventures at Comic-Con

There are many comic book conventions in the United States, but there is only one that is considered the place to be for all things geeky - it’s close enough to Los Angeles to attract the major studios and celebrities, more than 160,000 people attend, and the lines to get in have their own Twitter accounts - this place is San Diego Comic-Con. My husband and I went in 2011 and 2012 and had the most unbelievable experiences. This year we brought our oldest kids (Joey age 12, and Aaron age 9.) We left our three-year-old daughter back in Florida with her grandparents.

Back 2 School Fairs

Featured Photo from Back 2 School Fairs

Seminole County goes back to school August 10th! Check out some of these fun, helpful, and educational Back-2-School Fairs coming up over the next several weeks.

Our Favorite Summer Movies

Featured Photo from Our Favorite Summer Movies

As a homeschool kid with a stay-at-home mom and three younger siblings, summers growing up usually meant lots of out-of-the-house activities and family “field trips” to places like the library, the Science Center, The Orlando Rep, and friends’ houses that had pools. But one of us kids’ favorite outings was the $1 summer movie classics and double features that some local movie theaters would play. Thinking about some of our favorite summer movies, the Lake Mary Life Publishing staff offers up the ones we’ve watched on repeat for years.

Growing Where She's Planted

Featured Photo from Growing Where She's Planted

In March, our very own Tracey Fojo (mother to our associate editor, Georgia), graduated from the Seminole County Master Gardener program. Despite being a longtime avid hobbyist gardener who has “gardened a good bit in life,” she sat on the idea of joining for several years. But now that Tracey, a native of Trinidad, is an official Master Gardener, she couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the program and all that she’s learned. “I’m coming to understand where we live now in a whole new way through gardening,” she shares.

Best Firework Roundup!

Featured Photo from Best Firework Roundup!

Even though fireworks were invented in China at some point between 600 and 900 A.D., our national independence day just wouldn't be the same without them! Find the best local fireworks happening all over Central Florida with our Firework Roundup.

Drive-In Theaters and Outdoor Movies Round-Up

Featured Photo from Drive-In Theaters and Outdoor Movies Round-Up

Nothing screams summer more than a warm, balmy evening sitting outside watching a movie and munching on candy and popcorn while sitting in your car or on a blanket surrounded by family and friends. The nostalgic days of enjoying a drive-in movie theater close to home are almost over, but a few still remain in Florida to bring that sense of wholesome family entertainment to your summer. So while you’re out and about during your summer road-trippin’, stop off at one or a few of these vintage gems and enjoy summer the way it was meant to be - on the big screen.

Our Favorite Childhood Books

Featured Photo from Our Favorite Childhood Books

When I was in elementary and middle school, my mom encouraged us four siblings (whom she all homeschooled from kindergarten through high school like a complete superhero) to participate in Book It! - the Pizza Hut summer book club. The general guidelines that I remember were for each age category you had to read a certain number of books and then you’d receive a mini personal pizza and a congratulatory pin. As a family who often visited Pizza Hut, especially on Sunday afternoons post church, and even knew the kind, red-headed waitress Nancy by name, it was a no-brainer.

Bring Fido This Summer!

Featured Photo from Bring Fido This Summer!

It’s summer! The kids are out of school and you’ve already got the mini-van packed and ready for a day at the beach, a trip to the theme parks, a hiking adventure on the weekend, and countless other fun family outings. But you don’t have to leave Fido behind on all of your excursions. Try some of these canine-friendly locations to bring the entire family together for those last golden rays of sunshine.

A Memorial Day Tribute to My Grandfather

Featured Photo from A Memorial Day Tribute to My Grandfather

On July 2, 1942, almost seven months after Pearl Harbor, my grandfather, John Kubik, was inducted into the Army in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A fresh-faced 21-year-old, he was the third of seven children to his Czechoslovakian parents who immigrated to the United States when he was a toddler (we didn’t learn until my grandfather was in his 80s that he actually knew some of the native Czech language!). Although a farmer’s son, my grandfather always did have an engineering brain. And while in the Army, he put that brain to good use inventing a piece of valuable equipment still used today, even though he’s never been recognized for it.

Lake Mary Life Publishing Acai Bowls!

Featured Photo from Lake Mary Life Publishing Acai Bowls!

It's Healthy Friday at Lake Mary Life Publishing...or is it?! Since a surprise visit by a local food truck a couple weeks ago, our Art Director, Heather Loomis, and Account Executive, Penny O'Connell have been obsessed with recreating a recipe for Acai Bowls. Now the health trend is sweeping our office...although not everyone is quite on board...

FRINGE Festival Local Stars

Featured Photo from FRINGE Festival Local Stars

The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival--one of my all-time favorite events--is in full swing at venues in and around Loch Haven Park in Orlando. Seminole County is well-represented at the 26th annual festival, with riveting performances from a critically acclaimed Steampunk theater troupe and shows performed by three local high school thespian troupes.


Featured Photo from MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU CONTEST!

We’re pretty big Star Wars fans around here (all the above photos are from AWSL staff members), so we couldn’t just let the official Star Wars holiday pass without doing something every bit as memorable as Darth Vader’s famous line.

Meet the Mompreneurs

Featured Photo from Meet the Mompreneurs

Are you crafty? Have you ever considered turning your craft into a business? Three local moms did just that. Using social media to promote their creative hobbies, they went from doing crafts for fun and friends to shipping orders all across the country. Besides their own budding businesses, the three things these moms have in common are creativity, passion, and a desire to learn.

Perks of the Job

Featured Photo from Perks of the Job

As a journalist, sometimes you hit the pavement just trying to get anyone to give you a quote. And then sometimes you meet amazing people who feed you lots of free food! While writing our 'Eat and Run' food truck feature for the May/June issue, our new associate editor Rebekah Grier was completely blown away by the generosity of Angelo's Italian Kitchen on Wheels who literally fed her one of everything off their menu...


Featured Photo from A (B)RAINY DAY IN WASHINGTON

I have always been fascinated by science. As a young lad, I took a liking to astronomy and even owned a telescope. Through the years, I have been a big fan of Don Herbert (Mr. Wizard), Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Bill Nye (The Science Guy).

Asia, Here I Come

Featured Photo from Asia, Here I Come

Today’s the day I set off for the biggest adventure of my life – backpacking through Asia! I’ll be visiting seven countries in just under three months and, by some stroke of divine timing, I’ve managed to coordinate my trip to travel the first half with my boyfriend, Stefan (he’s in between jobs and currently abroad) and the second half with my little sister, Julia (she’s a recent college grad).

Great Scott- we met Lea Thompson at the Enzian

Featured Photo from Great Scott- we met Lea Thompson at the Enzian

Whenever I go to a bridal shower and they have that activity where you write down a date night idea for the couple, I always write “Go to the Enzian.” It is by far our favorite movie theater. For movie buffs, the Enzian play classics. For those who like independent films, it’s the only place in town you can see them. The theater even boasts one of the best restaurants and bars in town – Eden Bar. This week, the Enzian is hosting the Florida Film Festival.

Best Earth Day Events in Central Florida

Featured Photo from Best Earth Day Events in Central Florida

Earth Day is this Saturday, April 22nd! To celebrate, cities across Seminole County and Central Florida are hosting Earth Day events. These are wonderful family-fun outings and a great way to learn more about how to protect our health, the planet, and the people who inhabit the Earth.

A Fun Family Day, This Was

Featured Photo from A Fun Family Day, This Was

Star Wars is a VERY big deal in my house. My husband grew up as a huge fan, and has definitely shared the love with our kids. Truth be told, I didn’t even see the movies until I started dating him in college. I wasn’t sure I’d like them – I’d always been a Star Trek fan. I was surprised, but it’s hard not to fall in love (even a little bit) with something that your partner is so passionate about.

Seminole County Moms Run This Town!

Featured Photo from Seminole County Moms Run This Town!

Altamonte-Wekiva Springs Life magazine Art Director Heather Loomis shares her experience, and the inspiring encouragement, she's enjoyed by becoming a member of the mom's running group, Seminole County Moms Run This Town. Wether you're a leisurely walker or an experienced marathon runner, there's a spot waiting for you, too!

A Local Cupcake Crawl How-To

Featured Photo from A Local Cupcake Crawl How-To

To celebrate her sister Katie's birthday, Lake Mary Life's Rebekah Grier shares how she planned an epic (and delicious) Cupcake Crawl adventure, and where to go around town to get your sweet fix!

Meet The Editors

Featured Photo from Meet The Editors

Get to know our experienced, special topics editors: Jill Cousins, sports and wellness; Jill Duff-Hoppes, arts; and Pam Neff, education. They’re always on the lookout for great stories and want to hear from you, our readers.

Better Together Part 2

Featured Photo from Better Together Part 2

Altamonte-Wekiva Springs Life is once again turning the spotlight on two visual art groups that have a strong presence in Seminole County. In this issue, we take a look at a pair of clubs that have been uniting artists in our community for decades.

On a Roll With Bike Donations

Featured Photo from On a Roll With Bike Donations

After reading about the 7th Day ReCYCLEry in our January/February issues,Altamonte-Wekiva Springs Life and Lake Mary Life readers have donated more than 60 bicycles to the bike repair and donation charity run by Longwood residents Russ Durham and Rowland Kenna.

That's Right, I work for my Parents

Featured Photo from That's Right, I work for my Parents

Today marks 42 years since Sheila and Michael Kramer (editors) of our magazine, said “I do.” In honor of their anniversary, I thought I’d write about what it’s like to work for my parents at the magazine. I’ve officially worked for them since 2006, and it’s the best job I could have ever asked for.

Not Lions, Not Tigers, but a BEAR- Oh Mann!

Featured Photo from Not Lions, Not Tigers, but a BEAR- Oh Mann!

We know living in Seminole County that bear sightings can be a common occurrence. We couldn't believe this photo that photographer ValariC captured last year with a bear in the background! The Mann family was posing for their holiday card when a visitor decided to crash the party. Needless to say, that was the end of the photo shoot.

Live from my kitchen- Banana Bread you have to make

Featured Photo from Live from my kitchen- Banana Bread you have to make

Have you ever tried Facebook Live? My twelve-year-old, like most kids his age, is obsessed with YouTube, and live streaming. He wanted to go live on Facebook, so I thought- why not bake banana bread with the kids, and he could live stream it from my phone? We did. To my surprise, more than 1,100 people viewed it. Dozens of them asked for the recipe, so here it is... ENJOY!

‘Tis the Season to Run

Featured Photo from ‘Tis the Season to Run

Is your New Year’s resolution to run/walk in a race this year? Well look no further, we have gathered all the races in Seminole County through May 2017 with the links to sign up and get more information. Happy running!

Inspiring Progress & Partnerships

Featured Photo from Inspiring Progress & Partnerships

Formerly known as SWOP, Inspire is one of Seminole County’s most important resources for residents with physical or developmental disabilities. “Inspired” by its new name, the agency has a new leader and new energy to give clients the dignity and opportunity they deserve.

Art: It's a Living

Featured Photo from Art: It's a Living

Elizabeth St. Hilaire is one of our community’s most accomplished full-time, professional fine artists – a gig that’s tough to land and one that takes profound creativity to keep

Little Drummers

Featured Photo from Little Drummers

Forest City Elementary is home to Seminole County’s newest elementary school drum line, and the heart-pumping sound of these young musicians keeps the campus marching to a very unique beat

The Selfless Gift of Love

Featured Photo from The Selfless Gift of Love

I didn’t give you the gift of life, But in my heart I know. The love I feel is deep and real, As if it had been so. For us to have each other Is like a dream come true! No, I didn’t give you The gift of life, Life gave me the gift of you. While the origin of this touching poem is unknown, it captures the special bond between parents and their adoptive children. In honor of November being National Adoption Awareness Month, Altamonte-Wekiva Springs Life salutes three couples from our community who made the choice to adopt in the face of some extraordinary obstacles, and an organization that helps keep families together.

Thank You, Sheriff

Featured Photo from Thank You, Sheriff

Local leaders pay tribute to Sheriff Don Eslinger on the eve of his retirement and share their thoughts on the man who quietly kept Seminole County safe for more than 25 years

How To Help This Holiday

Featured Photo from How To Help This Holiday

Last issue, we helped you get in the giving spirit early by sharing what local nonprofits need in the months before holiday giving begins in earnest. Now, the green-and-red rubber is meeting the road, and it’s time to help our local charities make the holidays merry for neighbors in need. From serving meals to sponsoring a wish list for a child in foster care, there are dozens of ways, both big and small, that you can make a difference.

The Right FIT

Featured Photo from The Right FIT

Local fitness experts offer free weekend boot camp workouts and encourage participants to come as they are and return better than they were

ROAR: What a Friendly Web They Weave

Featured Photo from ROAR: What a Friendly Web They Weave

When one of Seminole County’s most worthwhile and sensitive charities needed a new website, local Web developers donated their time – and more than a little careful thought – to create a site that is as functional as it is discreet

The Summer Sports Page

Featured Photo from The Summer Sports Page

It’s always a busy summer on the athletic fields and in the pools around our community. Join us as we congratulate some of our local sports leagues who had another successful summer under the sun.

Arts in a Supporting Role

Featured Photo from Arts in a Supporting Role

The Seminole Cultural Arts Council is preparing for another busy season. Find out how this group of art advocates is helping everyone in the county enrich their lives through the visual and performing arts.


Featured Photo from CZECHlist

Local teachers are back from a whirlwind tour of the Czech Republic, where they picked up a number of new insights to share with their peers

Voices of Courage

Featured Photo from Voices of Courage

When children battle a life-threatening illness, their parents must summon immense strength in the face of unimaginable fear. But as they fought for their own kids, these local moms also answered a call to help other parents, families, and the community band together to be brave as one.

Washing Off the Mud

Featured Photo from Washing Off the Mud

If you’re ready for this contentious election season to end, please raise your hand. Now pick the magazine back up and read about Bonnie Friedman, a local woman determined to make politics civil again.

More Books & More Art

Featured Photo from More Books & More Art

In our July/August issue, we highlighted arts and crafts programs offered by the Seminole County Public Library System. The county’s libraries are in Casselberry, Oviedo, Sanford, Longwood, and Lake Mary. But those aren’t the only libraries in town. In this issue, we shine a spotlight on arts programs at the Maitland Public Library and the Altamonte Springs City Library.

Holiday Giving Starts Now

Featured Photo from Holiday Giving Starts Now

The holiday season is when many of our local charities do the most good, but it’s not when they typically need the most help. That time is now. In this issue we highlight several area nonprofits and discuss what our community can do right now to help these charities prepare for a busy – and beneficial – holiday.

In a Pickle

Featured Photo from In a Pickle

Pickleball is taking the community by storm! Find out why this curious new game is a smash hit with friends and neighbors alike.

Living History

Featured Photo from Living History

On the eve of her 100th birthday, Myra Venable shares her journey through the last century with stops at some of Seminole County’s most memorable turning points.

Art, By The Books

Featured Photo from Art, By The Books

Where can you find some of the most fun and fulfilling (and free!) art activities in Seminole County? Look no further than your local library.

Be Part of the Posse

Featured Photo from Be Part of the Posse

A cycling club that likes to get fit, have fun, and eat – meet The Posse, a spirited and speedy group of middle-to-upper aged cyclists devoted to their thrice-weekly trail rides.

War Machines

Featured Photo from War Machines

A retired Air Force sergeant, Jim gets a delighted response from crowds when he lends his Jeep and mid-’40s “OD green” motorcycle-with-sidecar to parades and other events throughout Seminole County. But this little slice of military history did not come in a neat package. It reflects decades of sweat and expense and a little serendipity.

Moms Run This Town

Featured Photo from Moms Run This Town

There’s a powerful group of women in Seminole County, who, in every sense of the phrase, are going the extra mile for each other. These inspiring women are members of the Seminole County, Florida chapter of Moms Run This Town (MRTT), part of a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to creating free local running clubs to help support and motivate women in their running journey.