tomatoes, plums, produce at farmers market stand, b&b hotel near OrlandoSPRING COOKING CLASS GETAWAY: URBAN FARM TO TABLE  APRIL 12-14, APRIL 15-17, or APRIL 19-21

Spring into Florida! Explore the surprising variety of produce farmed right here in Central Florida backyards. Come for the fun of making great food with others! While at Thurston House, we’ll cook together and have scrumptious conversations around food. You’ll also visit a local urban farmer, select fresh ingredients together, and just maybe learn a little something new in the process!

Upcoming Spring 2024 Dates:

  • Friday, April 12-14
  • Monday, April 15-17
  • Friday, April 19-21

Spring Package Cost: Just $100 (per room) plus the cost of lodging (a 2-night stay in your choice of available rooms at our Best Available Rate for those dates).

Here’s what’s included:

  • Early (3:00pm) check in on your date of arrival.
  • Two nights’ accommodations in our best available room.
  • Evening welcome reception w/house-made hor’dourves (BYO wine).
  • $25 gift card (per room) to Antonio’s gourmet food market (around the corner in Maitland).
  • Visit to local farmer’s market for locally-grown fresh produce for a “create-on-the-fly” dish during cooking class.
  • Personally meet Mason, our favorite local urban farmer, and hear about his regenerative farming methods and CSA project.
  • On the second night of your stay, we’ll cook together in the Thurston House kitchen.
  • Then enjoy communal dinner together in the dining room.
  • Recipes for everything we have made during your stay.
  • As always, a full gourmet breakfast each morning.


graduates throwing caps into air b&b hotel near OrlandoROLLINS COLLEGE GRADUATION COMMENCEMENT WEEKEND, MAY 11-12, 2024 

Congratulations to graduating students and their parents! A degree is quite an achievement! Parents and grandparents, stay at Thurston House for Commencement Weekend, May 11-12, and escape from a little of the hustle and bustle of downtown Winter Park! At the end of the day, wind down in the quietness of this peaceful 3-room oasis set on eight park-like acres just minutes from Winter Park and the Rollins’ campus.

We’ll happily accommodate that 10AM Sunday ceremony time and adjust breakfast as needed to get you there on time!

Mention that you’re coming for graduation and get our “Friends of Rollins” discount.

Here’s more information for your graduation planning.  https://www.rollins.edu/parents-families/commencement/




crusty paint tubes art center school workshop, b&b hotel near OrlandoCalling all artists! One-day art workshops for all interests! The Maitland Art Center, a National Historic Landmark, offers short, easily accessible workshops in drawing, bookbinding, printing, silk painting, marbling, paint making, stenciling and more! Draw on the extensive knowledge of a curated group of local artists to build your own skills and enjoy your favorite pastime! Less than 15 minutes from downtown Orlando.

Browse upcoming workshops and register directly with the Art School at www.artandhistory.org/education.

When you come for your art experience, book a stay at Thurston House, another historic gem. We’ll treat you to a peaceful oasis only 5 minutes from the Art Center…and a few perks!


  • Stay the night before OR after your workshop (1-night) at Best Available Rate, and we will give you a credit for the amount of the “materials fee” required for your chosen workshop. (one credit per room)
  • If you book two nights (before AND after your workshop), in addition to covering your materials fee, you will receive, with our compliments:
    • a ticket for admission to tour the Maitland Art & History Museums
    • a snack pack to tide you over on your workshop day
    • a copy of “Maitland Art Center: Andre’ Smith and the Research Studio”, a new publication by Danielle Thomas, A&H Maitland, Executive Director
    • admission to a second art experience—either the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens or the Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park
  • As always, you’ll enjoy a full gourmet hot breakfast each morning of your stay

Spring Art Workshop Dates:white stucco museum buildings with pond in forefront

  • Tuesday, April 9: Bookbinding
  • Sunday, April 14: Bookbinding
  • Saturday, April 27: Lego Block Relief Printing
  • Wednesday, May 8: Intro to Silk Painting
  • Wednesday, May 8: Marbling on Paper & Silk Scarves
  • Sunday, May 12: Automatic Drawing
  • Saturday & Sunday (2 days), May 11 & 12: Traditional Materials/Contemporary Practice (making your own custom paints)
  • Saturday, May 18: Kitchen Lithography Printing
  • Saturday, May 25: Paper Stencil Printing
  • Saturday, June 8: Accordion Bookmaking

Step 1-Register for your art workshop directly with the Maitland Art Center.

Step 2-Book your lodging retreat at Thurston House and let us know you’re coming!



Lake Lily fountain in Maitland. ARt under the Stars theme. Duke sponsorship.Are you a discerning traveler seeking an enriching weekend getaway? Nestled within the charming town of Maitland, Florida, Thurston House Bed and Breakfast invites you to embark on a captivating journey into the world of art, culture, and community spirit. The Maitland Florida Rotary Art Festival 2023, has been captivating Central Florida residents and visitors since 1976. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Maitland, Florida, this event has evolved into a grand celebration of the arts, showcasing exceptional talents and giving back to the community.

“Art Under the Stars”

The 47th Annual Maitland Rotary Art Festival, aptly named “Art Under the Stars,” will take place from November 10-12, 2023, at the scenic Lake Lily Park in Maitland, one of Orlando’s most affluent suburbs. With a full weekend format, this juried art show promises an unforgettable experience for art enthusiasts and those looking to make a difference in the community.

Fountain in Lake Lily with lily pads and birds on a fence.Set against the backdrop of Lake Lily Park, this festival offers a unique and inviting atmosphere, especially with the cooler November days. As you explore the festival, you’ll enjoy live entertainment, displays, and demonstrations from cultural partners, as well as captivating student art exhibits from local schools. The event kicks off Friday evening at 5 PM, and then runs Saturday 10AM-9PM and Sunday 10AM-4PM.

Limited Spots, Maximum Quality

Only 145 artists have been selected for this juried show, ensuring that you experience the best of the best in the world of art. It’s an opportunity to connect with artists, immerse yourself in their creative processes, and perhaps find that perfect piece to adorn your home.

Diverse Artistic Categories

Prepare to be mesmerized by the sheer variety of art styles and mediums at this event. The Southeast’s finest artists will converge in Maitland to showcase their talents in ten distinct categories, including Fiber/Leather, Fine Crafts, Glassworks, Graphics & Drawing, Jewelry & Metalwork, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Pottery/Ceramics, and Sculpture & Woodworks. Each artist undergoes a rigorous jury process to ensure the highest quality of artwork.

Festival tents at night.Community Giving and Patron Program

The Maitland Rotary Art Festival is not just about art; it’s about community. This event thrives on public and private partnerships, allowing Maitland Rotarians to give back to their community. With artist awards totaling $14,000, your support directly contributes to local causes and artists. Play a vital role in promoting the arts and community development.

Mark Your Calendar

The Maitland Florida Rotary Art Festival 2023 is a must-attend event for art and culture enthusiasts who appreciate the finer things in life and believe in the power of giving back. Plan your weekend getaway now and book your stay at Thurston House. Our historic bed & breakfast offers a peaceful retreat just minutes away from the festival’s vibrant hub. After a day filled with art and culture, you can relax in our comfortable accommodations and relish a gourmet breakfast to start your day. Hope to see you there!



Winter Park Playhouse logoCentral Florida’s only professional musical theater is nestled right here in our neighboring City of Winter Park, Florida. The Winter Park Playhouse is a hidden gem that’s been delighting audiences for over 20 years. If you’re searching for a place where the magic of live theater meets the joy of music, look no further. This cozy playhouse has a rich history of bringing toe-tapping tunes and heartwarming stories to life, and the 2023-24 Mainstage Musical series promises to be a musical extravaganza like no other. It’s one of the top things our guests like to do when staying at Thurston House, our Orlando area bed and breakfast.

A Glimpse into History

Founded in 2002 by Roy Alan and Heather Alexander, the Winter Park Playhouse has become a beloved institution in Central Florida. This intimate, 123-seat theater, with its comfortable seating and friendly atmosphere, offers an up-close and personal experience that’s perfect for musical enthusiasts of all ages.

Over the years, the Playhouse has progressively broadened its reach, and today, the Playhouse presents six main stage musical productions, monthly cabarets, quarterly special events, the Florida Festival of New Musicals, and numerous community outreach programs each season.

Affiliated with Actors’ Equity Association, the professional union of actors and stage managers, Winter Park Playhouse maintains high artistic standards and proudly employs professional actors, musicians and technicians. Offering a diverse range of shows, from classic Broadway hits to lesser-known gems, all while showcasing the immense talent of local and visiting performers, the Playhouse is not just a theater; it’s a place where memories are made and musical dreams come true.

2023-24 Mainstage Series Schedule

If you like musical theater, discover the Winter Park Playhouse and prepare to be entertained, moved, and thoroughly enchanted by their exciting lineup of shows. Whether you’re a seasoned theatergoer or a newbie looking for a great night out, there’s something for everyone. While there are a variety of other great series, here are highlights from the 2023-24 Mainstage Series:

“Ruthless” September 22-October 15, 2023~Judy, a naive 1950s housewife, and her adorable 8-year-old daughter, Tina, will do ANYTHING to get the lead role in her school play “including murdering the leading lady!” This fun spoof has its twists, turns and killer laughs!

Christmas show with Tony Bennett picture“A Swingin’ Christmas: The Holiday Music of Tony Bennett” November 10-December 16, 2023~Ring in the holidays with this unforgettable evening of quintessential Tony Bennett songs! Featuring eighteen classic holiday tunes plus the standards that made Bennett famous, like his signature “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Grab your friends and family and celebrate the season Tony Bennett style! (WPP)

“Breaking Up is Hard to Do” January 19 – February 17, 2024~ This nostalgic musical comedy celebrates the timeless songwriting of the legendary Neil Sedaka! Set at a Catskills resort in 1960, this humorous and heartwarming musical follows two friends from Brooklyn in search of good times and romance over one wild Labor Day weekend. Featuring twenty of Sedaka’s most popular songs.

“Five Guys Named Moe” March 15 – April 20, 2024~A high-energy Broadway musical set to Louis Jordan’s iconic rhythm and blues/jazz score! After Nomax’s world is turned upside down, he finds comfort and joy through five guys named Moe, stepping out through his radio! With dozens of whimsical hit songs, this musical fantasy delivers exuberant entertainment!

“George M. Cohan Tonight!” May 10 – June 9, 2024~ Meet “The Yankee Doodle Boy” himself in this high-energy, one-man journey through the life, music, and artistry of this legendary entertainer. This off-Broadway musical features a plethora of tap dancing and hit songs including “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “Over There,” and “You’re A Grand Old Flag.”

Make it a Weekend Theater Getaway!

Winter Park Playhouse Musical Theater from entranceDon’t miss out on these fantastic shows during the Winter Park Playhouse’s 2023-24 season. With only 123 seats, shows sell out fast! Here’s an idea…make it a weekend getaway! Thurston House is just a quick 10-minute drive to the Playhouse.

Check out our specials on our website. We offer a theater package from time to time with special ticket prices! That makes things simple! After checking in to our historic Central Florida B&B, you can head out to the theater (with many dining options nearby). It’s a lineup filled with diverse musical experiences (and cozy accommodations) that promise to entertain and enchant! We can’t wait to see you!

Make The Most Of A Valentine’s Day Getaway to Winter Park Florida

Make The Most Of A Valentine’s Day Getaway To Winter Park Florida

Raise the bar of your Valentine’s Day getaway to Winter Park, Florida with our popular Romance Package lodging special!

Treat yourself and that special someone to the peaceful charm and idyllic lakefront setting of our historic 1885 Florida bed and breakfast. Thurston House is nestled on 8 wooded acres with the best of Winter Park, Florida just minutes away.

The timeless historic culture and natural beauty of the Winter Park area in Central Florida makes it the perfect destination for any Valentine’s Day romantic getaway. Mild temperatures and hundreds of lakes set the backdrop for classic architecture filled with shops, restaurants, museums, theaters, and romantic lake cruises.

When it comes to romantic adventures, Winter Park, Florida will not disappoint. From scenic canal tours, art walks, wine tastings, and live music to French bistros, handmade chocolate shops, and massage, we have it all!

No matter what form your romance takes, Winter Park, Florida remains the perfect place to express it, and Thurston House can help with our romantic lodging packages and specials!

Couples MassageValentine’s Day Getaway Romantic Packages and Special Add-Ons

Visit our Special Luxury Enhancements page to discover a diverse offering of fun and romantic options to make your Valentine’s Day Getaway in Winter Park, Florida even more delightful.

Our popular Romance Package, for example, includes:

  • Bedside bouquet (or upgrade to a dozen roses)
  • Charcuterie Snack Box waiting in your room (surely to include chocolate-covered strawberries)
  • Two 60-minute massage sessions
  • Telegraph Hill robes to use during your stay
  • Delicious home-cooked breakfast each morning

Looking to completely unwind with your sweetie? What better way than to fall asleep in a hammock made for two after a fragrant bath in our clawfoot soaking tub.

You’ll surely win the prize with our All-Inclusive Romantic Package. We’ve thought of everything for you! You’ll have all the features of our Romance Package above, but unwind and rejuvenate from the Hirsch Room including private, exclusive use of the adjacent screened-in sleeping porch with romantic two-person hammock. The Hirsch Room has our only deep-soaking clawfoot tub, original to the house. We’ll even include a supply of bath salts and bubbles to wash all your stress away!

Luxury Enhancements to Your Valentine’s Day Getaway To Winter Park Florida

Customize your Valentine’s Day Getaway with any number of add-ons to make your stay even more special. Choose hand-made local chocolates, fresh fruit, roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, and so much more! Looking for something we’ve not listed? Ask us! We’ll do our best to make it happen.

Couple ShoppingOh, but you’re thinking you might need a little extra time to really explore all that Winter Park has to offer?

In that case, why not take advantage of our Free Tuesdays Weekday Special. With this lodging special, you can enjoy your home away from home for a little longer with a free Tuesday! An extra day in Winter Park, Florida is an opportunity to take a scenic canal tour, explore the Tiffany Collection at the Morse Museum, or just soak up the peaceful views of Lake Eulalia from the porch at Thurston House. How you spend your extra time is up to you, we just want you to be at home here in Central Florida.

At Thurston House, we’re dedicated to helping make your Valentine’s Day Getaway to Winter Park in Central Florida the best it can possibly be. It’s just around the corner!

Find all the details you need to book your stay at our Specials & Packages page. We hope to see you soon…Happy Valentine’s Day!

Art Under the Stars 2016 – Maitland

Come one, come all to the 40th Maitland Rotary Fall Arts Festival, now known as Art Under the Stars. This juried art show attracts artists from a lot of locations and has become known as one of the premier North Orlando Central Florida shows.

The Performing Arts Stage Band featured Saturday night 2016 Art Under the Stars

The Performing Arts Stage Band featured Saturday night 2016 Art Under the Stars

Held this year from 11/11 – 11/13, Art Under the Stars features continuous music by the Performing Arts of Maitland. There is even a stage band to enjoy Saturday night when the event is open until 9pm. The Enzian Theater will be bringing short films to enjoy too, so pack up your chairs and blankets and head on over for some fabulous entertainment. Food and beverages will be available too!

Thurston House, the only area bed & breakfast is just a short stroll from the Art Under the Stars. Why don’t you make a weekend of it and book your room now! Be sure to book for both Friday and Saturday nights as the show is open late both nights. If you book by the end of August, you can take advantage of our “Pay Ahead Special”. The money you save can be spent on some fabulous new art for your home, or even some beautiful jewelry and other wonderful items.

4th of July in Orlando

Beautiful celebration of 4th of July Fireowrks over Lake Eola

Beautiful celebration of 4th of July Fireworks over Lake Eola

The City of Orlando will celebrate 4th of July in Orlando for the 39th time this year. Enjoy food, drink and entertainment while awaiting the 9pm fireworks. The festivities take place around beautiful Lake Eola. Come early to find a special place to set up your chairs, then wander around the park. The swans will entertain you, the sculptures will amaze and the landscape will be beautiful. People will be plentiful as these fireworks are very well known and they come from all around the area to enjoy this special event.

Thurston House, a great accommodation choice for July 4th in Orlando!

Thurston House, a great accommodation choice for July 4th in Orlando!

This park is convenient to Thurston House bed & breakfast, only 6 miles away. Drive the short distance or take a taxi so you don’t have to worry about the crowds when you leave. It will be a very special evening, this 4th of July Orlando, and even better you get to spend the night with us too! Book now for best selection as we are a small inn, tucked away but close to everything too. You can look online at the guest rooms and can conveniently book your room there too.

Winter Park Arts Festival 2016

Winter Park FountainWinter Park Arts Festival 2016 is almost upon us. This year the show is on the dates – 3/18-19-20. The Festival features a wide variety of fine arts and crafts including the categories of clay, digital art, drawings & pastels, fiber, glass, graphics & printmaking, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media 2D, mixed media 3D, painting, photography, sculpture, watercolor and wood. Attendees travel from far and wide to go to this well known and respected art show.

Winter Park Arts Festival 2016 is held along Park Avenue, an area well known for wonderful shops, wine stores and eateries. Guests at Thurston House, the only Winter Park area bed & breakfast, love that we are located so close to the show, yet in a quiet setting amid 8 acres of lakefront land.

Winter Park Arts Festival 2016 - Thurston House porch

Winter Park Arts Festival 2016 – Thurston House porch

After a busy day enjoying the beautiful show art and perhaps making a purchase or two, the guests gather back on the wraparound porch sipping a beverage and enjoying the complimentary 5pm snack. Winter Park Arts Festival 2016 will once again bring a full house of guests here to Thurston House.