Winter Park is a growing hub of many young families who are looking for that small-town feel with all the big city amenities. And with the wonderful winter weather settling down over Central Florida, many families are excited and eager to get out of their homes and participate in activities (that don’t involve going to the theme parks). Busy families or those with younger may want to stay closer to home rather than venturing out into Orlando or any of the other surrounding areas. Luckily there are many great things to do and places to go for families in Winter Park. Listed below are just a few of the many places your family can explore around town.
THE EXCITING DOWNTOWN
While being a great place for the adults to shop, savor, or sip, Park Ave and the area around it has many kid-friendly places and activities. You can throw around a frisbee out on Central Park, which lies right along Park Avenue. If you get tired, hop right on over to any of the delicious eateries across the street. Or you can attend one of the, what seems like weekly, events the city holds in Central Park including the Art Fest in the spring and ice skating in the winter.
Just off the main thoroughfare, tucked a little bit back on New England Avenue, you can visit the Winter Park History Museum Tuesday through Saturday. The museum operated by the Winter Park Historical Association. The museum was formerly a train depot and boasts intriguing exhibits about local history. On Saturdays, the area around the museum is the site of the Winter Park Farmers Market where you and the kiddos can shop from a wide variety of vendors.
The bustling downtown has many stores and shops that are perfect for kids such as Peterbrooke Chocolatier, and the local candy shop Rocket Fizz. There are also craft stores like All Fired Up, where you and the kids can hand paint pieces of pottery. You can also ride up and down the Central Florida area on the Sunrail, which has a stop right in Central Park. Even if you opt not to catch a ride, train-loving kids will especially enjoy watching the commuter rail pull in and out of the station.
THE WONDROUS OUTDOORS
Central Florida known for its many great physical features. Winter Park is no exception. There are many outdoor areas perfect for taking the tots, including beautiful, serene lakes, like Lake Virginia, Lake Osceola, Lake Baldwin, and the canals. You can enjoy fishing in many areas or you can take a Scenic Boat Tour of the local waterfronts. The kids can also have fun getting down and dirty with other children at one of the many playgrounds available with a variety of attractions. The Community Playground features a large wooden play castle with lots of nooks and crannies for the kids to explore.
Mead Botanical Gardens is a beautifully maintained garden that is open to the public. They also have weekly guided tours for kids that teach them about the different plants their gardens nurture. They also have a Young Naturalist summer camp for the little budding botanist in your life.
THE COZY INDOORS
If the weather is bad, there are still a great many opportunities for families to get out of their homes. At the Winter Park Public Library, located not far from Downtown Winter Park, kids can find books, music, and movies that will transport them to different realms of imagination. Or they can participate in a plethora of programs and activities, from technology to crafts and lots in between that the library has to offer. There are also a couple of other museums that you might wish to investigate.
The Casa Feliz, a gorgeous, historic, Spanish style home, is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 am to noon and Sunday noon to 3 pm. The Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, the house of the aforementioned artist, features his art and holds a yearly showing of local artists in the spring called the Winter Park Paint Out, which is open to the public.
If you are looking to get some excess energy out of your child, swing on over to Monkey Joe’s, a fun indoor playground and children’s gym. Or head on over to the Aloma Bowling Center for a fun activity that can include the whole family. Hopefully, this list has given you and your youngsters ideas on places and adventures you can take advantage of here in your own backyard. Start this new year with some new memories!