Florida Travel

Anniversary celebrations: Universal Studios, Hubble telescope

The Kennedy Space Center, which has a replica of the Hubble Space Telescope in its Atlantis exhibit, this weekend will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hubble’s deployment.
The Kennedy Space Center, which has a replica of the Hubble Space Telescope in its Atlantis exhibit, this weekend will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hubble’s deployment. Kennedy Space Center

THEME PARKS & ATTRACTIONS

▪ Universal Orlando, marking its 25th anniversary this year, has scheduled a series of concerts in May and June to celebrate the milestone.

The concerts open with Prince Royce on May 23 and Shawn Mendes on May 24. The other concerts are all on Saturdays: Pitbull (May 30); Kellie Pickler (June 6); Huey Lewis and The News (June 13) and Goo Goo Dolls (June 20).

The concerts will be at Music Plaza, a concert venue in Universal Studios, which opened June 7, 1990, the first of the resort’s two parks. Universal Islands of Adventure opened in 1999.

The concerts will be included in park admission.

▪ Twenty-five years ago on Friday, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched on the space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center. The telescope was released into space the next day. Now it circles Earth every 97 minutes in its orbit 340 miles above us.

This weekend, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will celebrate Hubble’s 25 years in space with activities for the public: a high-tech projection mapping show, hands-on education and activity stations and Q&As with NASA scientists, astronomers, astrophysicists and astronauts. The events are Friday through Sunday. www.kennedyspacecenter.com.

▪ Grand opening for the Orlando Eye and its two sister attractions, Sea Life Aquarium and Madame Tussauds, will be May 4, but it is being preceded by a string of other events. On April 16, the Orlando Eye’s 64,000 LEDs were lit. And on Wednesday morning, Nik Wallenda (of the Flying Wallendas circus family) will walk on the wheel while it turns. The stunt will be broadcast live on the Today show between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. www.officialorlandoeye.com.

▪ The annual Halifax Oyster Fest will be this weekend in Daytona Beach, with food, music and kids’ activities on Friday and Saturday. The festival is named for the Halifax River section of the Intracoastal Waterway, which has many oyster beds. It will offer oysters cooked -- and uncooked — a multitude of ways. Afterwards, the oyster beds will be replenished with the empty oyster shells. The festival, at Manatee Island Park, will also feature music on two stages and an interactive Kids Zone with touch tanks. www.halifaxoysterfestival.com.

▪ Wildcat Touring will offer regularly scheduled charter flights from Fort Lauderdale to Eleuthera and the Abaco Islands the Bahamas in May. The flights will go to North Eleuthera Airport on Thursdays and Sundays, and to Marsh Harbor Airport in the Abacos on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Introductory price will be $500 roundtrip, including taxes, fees and two checked bags, but that is likely to rise in June.

— MIAMI HERALD STAFF

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