March is a perfect time to visit SeaWorld Orlando because of the springtime weather. So much of this park is outdoors, and you can really enjoy it in spring, before the Orlando temperatures soar into the sweaty 90s. Many of the animal exhibits, like the dolphin nursery, flamingos, and close-up animal encounters, are outdoors, and the main show venues, like Shamu Stadium, have open air seating. That makes your visit much more enjoyable on a cool day.

While the weather is a plus, you’ll find a special bonus if you visit SeaWorld Orlando in the early part of the month. The park’s annual Bands, Brew and BBQ celebration runs every Saturday and Sunday through March 17.

What’s this special event all about? The name pretty much says it all. You’ll find local bands playing throughout the day on the lakefront stage and line dancers enticing the crowd to join them. Shamu and his friends are out for photos and dancing with the kids, and the youngsters can also play special “win every time” games.

Each day of the event there’s also a headliner band. For example, see Michael McDonald on March 9, John Turner on March 10, Rodney Atkins with Uncle Kracker on March 16, and Sheryl Crow on March 17. The concerts are included in your admission price, with first-come, first-served seating at Bayside Stadium. If you want to ensure you’ll get a good seat for your favorite band, buy the VIP package that also includes a BBQ plate.

So what’s the “brew” all about? SeaWorld Orlando brings out over 25 different brands to serve up their craft beers. The best way to experience them is to buy a sampler package for $21, which entitles you to ten samples of your choice (the spring cider, with its maple flavor, is an especially delicious option). The kids don’t have to feel left out while Mom and Dad indulge in the brew. You’ll find kiosks selling Shirley Temples and other family-friendly drinks.

Don’t forget about the BBQ, which is in the event name for a reason. Various BBQ vendors line the path to Bayside Stadium, tempting guests in with delicious smells as they grill up their meals. This year, SeaWorld’s chefs are offering their “house” BBQ, and they’re joined by local restaurants Sonny’s, Tony Roma’s, and Cecil’s Texas-Style BBQ. Good luck on choosing which BBQ to try! The plates are easily enough food for two, which helps keep the cost down for families.

There’s a large, spacious seating area with plenty of tables and chairs and a shaded pavilion where the kids can play or color. Educators bring out animals,from possums to eagles, for close-up encounters throughout the day.

Bands, Brew, and BBQ doesn’t start until 11:30 a.m., but it’s best to arrive at the park at opening time. That gives you time to get your bearings and check the show schedule for the day so you can work One Ocean, Blue Horizons, and the other popular shows into your schedule.

The event area gets very crowded as the day wears on and it gets closer to the headliner concert time, so grab your lunch early. Otherwise, you’ll face long waits as other hungry park-goers are drawn to the area by the scents and sounds.

The best place to start planning your SeaWorld Orlando vacation is Explore the lodging and package deals online or call 1-800-641-4008 to make your plans with an agent.