Whether your kiddos were learning virtually this year or masks each day in a classroom we all faced unusual circumstances this year. There are so many things to do around Orlando this summer, including lots of activities that are largely outdoors in the fresh air. Below I’m sharing a few things that we will be adding to our bucket list this summer.
1. Head to the Beach.
East Coast beaches like Cocoa Beach and New Smyrna are within an hour or so, and are great for a quick day trip, and watching some surfing. West coast beaches like St. Pete Beach, Clearwater and Anna Maria Island will dazzle with their brilliant blue waters (you’ll think your on a faraway Caribbean Island!), and are a great for a quick weekend getaway.
2. Visit a Garden.
I love spotting flowers at the farmers market, but enjoy seeing them in their element more. Visiting local parks like Leu Gardens is a wonderful way to explore outside for the afternoon with the whole family, and includes paths you can easily push strollers or wheelchairs around too.
3. Wandering around Water Parks.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach just reopened this spring, so we will be going there for sure. A few weeks ago I finally checked out Aquatica, and it had a great children’s area, lazy river with fish in tanks next to you, and even a playground. I recommend going early in the morning and during the week to help avoid crowds.
4. Bike Rides on the West Orange Trail.
We live right along the West Orange Trail in Winter Garden, so we often go on runs, walks and bike rides on there. There are a couple stations along the way to rent bikes or grab a drink, or you can visit West Orange Wheels to rent or buy one too.
5. Explore Disney Springs.
At Disney Springs, grown ups can hit the restaurants (I like Boathouse and STK) and shopping (Free People and the Disney Store for me), and the kids will love the Lego Store, carousel and small train. Grab some authentic Italian gelato at Vivoli for desert, or join the virtual que grab a Gideons cookie (show up and they will put hog in the list and send you a text when it’s time to come back).
6. Hiking About.
Hiking is something we all like to do, and I’ve done it pregnant, with baby wraps, and strollers, and now they are both running down the trail with me chasing after. I love to get the kids moving and tired out too and take photos of everything along the way. Go early in the morning or near dusk to see more animals. Near me, the Oakland Nature Preserve has several shorter trails and a boardwalk out to Lake Apopka, great for some safe gator spotting. For some longer trails with some hilly terrain, check out Lake Louisa State Park right off of SR 50 in Clermont.
7. Sea World Camp.
Max is super excited for his first experience at Sea World Camp this summer. He loves animals and anything to do with the water, so being there all day every day learning about marine life will be just up his alley.
8. Day at Disney Parks.
We have a Florida Resident Annual Pass for Walt Disney World Resort, so we go throughout the year. The kids always love Animal Kingdom and Max loves the cars at Magic Kingdom, but I’ve actually found the kids really like Epcot. There are more interactive experiences, room to walk around, and it’s a nice way to explore the rest of the world while we haven’t been traveling as far these days. The kids love the movie in China, and the candy selection in the Japan store.
9. Saturdays in Winter Garden.
My favorite place on weekends and summer days is in my own back yard in downtown Winter Garden. The Saturday morning Winter Garden Farmers Market can’t be beat, usually running from 8am – 1pm, and cookies from Donevette’s Confections are not to be missed! Grab some Axum Coffee in the morning, dine at Three Birds Cafe or the Downtown Deli for lunch, and shopping at Doxology. To tire the kids out, ride bikes on the West Orange Trail, play in the splash pad, or grab a beer and let the kids run around the green areas around the Crooked Can at Plant Street Market
10. Foot Golf at Disney’s Oak Trail.
Half kick ball / half golf, you play by kicking a soccer ball into a home from a great distance. This is actually played on an active golf course area, and grown ups and kids a like will have fun. They allowed my jogging stroller in the past, and your toddlers can even take some turns playing with the big kids. Disney annual pass holders get a discount, so be sure to ask when booking. Here is a link to the Disney Golf site.