Florida Spring Break Ideas for Families
Spring Break is finally upon us, and as the rest of the continental United States is beginning to thaw, Floridians have already broken open the seals on their pools and hit the stores for new swimsuits.
Spring is the perfect time to visit Florida- we have balmy weather, sunshine, beaches, the neatest theme parks and a whole lot more. The hardest part is choosing where to go. But we have a list (yes another one 😉 to give you some ideas. Here are 21 cool places to take your kids during spring break.
Best Things to Do During Spring Break in Florida (If You Have Kids)
Hordes of college students have descended upon the white sandy beaches of this southern peninsula: Panama City, Daytona Beach, Key West and Fort Lauderdale to name a few. If you are young and single, these places are great, with their free concerts and parties, (have fun, make smart choices and don’t drink and drive), but with kids in tow, us family-folks try our best to avoid those college spring break favorites like the plague. And for all those other parents looking for something to do for a day or more, we’ve compiled a list (yes, another one)of places to take the family for a spring break family adventure.
Coolest Aquarium in Florida
1. Florida Aquarium. Tampa. Pet a stingray, check out a mangrove swamp and chill with the sharks. Then relax at the outdoor Cantina while the kids run loose at the Splash Adventure Zone. And did we mention they have penguins (squeal!)
Read more: Adventures at the Florida Aquarium
Florida River Tubing
2. Make like Huck Finn, go with the flow and Tube the Rainbow River. Dunnellon. Head over to the KP Hole in Dunnellon and rent a tube for a lazy float down the crystal clear Rainbow River. (They pick you up at the other end and drive you back!) Then stop by the Blue Gator or Swampy’s for a river-side burger and live music. If tubing is not your style, you can rent a kayak, canoe or paddle boat and go with the flow without getting so wet.
Read more: Kayaking Dunnellon’s Rainbow River
Hands-On Florida Museum
3. Get those tactile senses going at the Florida Museum of National History. Gainesville. Filled with hands-on interactive displays: explore a limestone cave, sit in on a Calusa tribal meeting during a thunderstorm, see butterflies in flight in a rain forest and more.
Soar Across Canyons
4. Zipline across canyons. Ocala. Wait-what? Central Florida’s own zipline adventure across limestone canyons with nine ziplines, rope bridges and more. Choose your own adventure! Kayaking and horse-back riding as available, as well as night zips.
Read More: Zipping Across Canyons in Ocala
Get Up Close & Personal With Life-Sized Dinosaurs
5. Jurassic Park fans-Come face to face with dinosaurs in Plant City. Life sized replicas of dinosaurs in 20 acres of natural settings at Dinosaur World. And they’ve added animatronics to bring some added life to your adventure. Bone-yard sand-pit for budding paleontologists and archaeologists to play in. Bring a picnic lunch.
Building Blocks for the Soul
6. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy Legos- and there’s a whole theme park in Winter Haven devoted to them. Go ahead, channel those childhood engineering skills at LEGOLAND. Or just marvel at the stuff they’ve built- replicas of monuments, rides and a whole water park to boot.
Ultimate Paddle Trip in Florida
7. Go canoeing down the Juniper Run at Juniper Springs. Ocala National Forest. Rent a canoe/kayak or bring your own to enjoy this 7 mile adventure. (Be sure to pack a lunch.)
Find Your Island
8. Get stranded on an island. Cedar Key. Get dropped off on Atsena Otie Key (Cedar Island) for a couple of hours to swim and explore. Be sure to coordinate your pick up time, or it’s a mile swim back.
9. Check out the mouse- Mickey, that is, at Walt Disney World. Orlando. With four parks to choose from: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Disney Studios, how can you miss? Go early to avoid the crowds & use the Fastpass!
Zoo with Attitude
10. Get a little wild at Lowry Park Zoo. Tampa. Underground manatee viewing, sky ride, giraffe feeding and more. Splash zone- so bring change of clothes!
So Many Roller Coasters & So Little Time!
11. Get a little wilder at Busch Gardens. Tampa. Not Ybor wild, but scream your lung out crazy-wild on their incredible roller coasters.
Read more: Roller Coaster Thrills at Busch Gardens
Get Your Wands Ready
12. Find your inner Hufflepuff (or Slithern, as the case may be) at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. Orlando.
Take a Wild Ride
13. Let the kids take a joy ride on the coolest go-kart tracks in Florida at Fun Spot America. Orlando. 4 multi-level tracks, different skill levels.
Where’s My Tardis?
14. Step back through time at Fort Mendez. St. Augustine. Explore St. George Street and the Castillo too! Then later in the afternoon, hit the beach at nearby Anastasia Island.
Read More: St. Augustine for Families
Enjoy Some Island Adventures
15. Speaking of Islands, check out Amelia Island, and Fort Clinch too!
Wishes for Fishes
16. Go angling for adventure. Anywhere there is water. With thousands of lakes, ponds, rivers to choose from, not to mention the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico- grab some poles, pick up some bait (and licenses for adults 16 years and older) and cast your line.
Geek and Greek
17. Celebrate your inner geek at the indoor interactive science museum, MOSI. Check out the IMAX movie theater, experience hurricane force winds in the wind tunnel, and more. You can always mosey on over to Tarpon Springs afterwards for dinner and celebrate your inner Greek at one of their Greek restaurants!
Theme Park with Splash
18. Make faces at penguins at SeaWorld. Orlando. You can make faces at sharks too, but they might reply back! This sealife theme park is filled with rides, shows and the coolest aquariums ever – check out the one under the floor in Atlantis.
Read more: Seaworld: In Search of Orlando’s Wildlife
Ultimate Mountain Biking- With No Mountain
19. Go human-powered and take a bike ride at Santos Trailhead. Ocala. With miles of trails, to suit all levels, or send the fearless to try their Vortex trail with ramps, jumps and more.
Read more: North Central Florida for Thrill Seekers
Fairy Tales Come to Life
20. Hike a hill, at Bok Tower. Lake Wales. Hike to the highest point in Florida up a path meandering through gardens to the Rapunzel-like bell tower at the top. The Singing carillion bells ring on the hour and half hour with concerts at 1pm & 3pm. Then drive on over to the gravity-challenged Spook Hill (Lake Wales too) and put your car in neutral and watch as it rolls up the hill with this unearthly phenomena (uh, stay in the car, folks).
Adopt the Island-Style
21. Escape to an island. More islands! Head on over to Honeymoon Island State Park and take the 20 minute ferry ride to Caldesi Island State park, voted as one one the best beaches in the United States. Destin.
What’s your favorite family-friendly thing to do during Spring Break?
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