A Family-Friendly Florida Vacation

A Family-Friendly Florida Vacation
By Caroline Brame
Florida has long held the title of “Most Kid Friendly Vacation Destination” due to an
abundance of theme parks and miles of sandy beaches. Ranging from the large
theme parks around Orlando to nature oriented kid programs in the Everglades,
there is so much to see and do that your kids will love! On your next Florida
vacation, give your kids a little something out of the ordinary and experience all that
the Sunshine State has to offer!
Water Parks
A great way to beat the Florida heat is to spend a day at one of the state’s many
water parks. Adventure Island, located in Tampa, is a mid-sized park that caters to
kids of any age. Parents and young children will enjoy the pool and beach area,
Paradise Lagoon, where guests can relax and stay cool in the water. North of Tampa
in Weeki Wachee, visitors will find Buccaneer Bay, the only spring-fed water park in
With water rides, mermaid shows, animal shows, riverboat rides, and scuba
experiences, it’s sure to delight. Families will love Wild Waters in Ocala due to its
natural feel with giant oaks shading the entire park. There is a kid’s cove for the
little ones, a wave pool, and plenty of huge slides for older children and adults.
Disney has two parks in Lake Buena Vista that offer totally different experiences but
with the same kind of excitement.
Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are both known for having the newest and most exciting rides and cater to preschoolers, young children, teenagers, and adults with lazy rivers, looming slides, and surfing rides. Florida’s oldest water park, Wet ‘n Wild, located in Orlando has plenty of rides, new and old, including an area where the young and young at heart can go tubing, knee boarding, or wakeboarding. There are also plenty of slides and pools for toddlers and small children.
There is also Rapids Water Park in West Palm Beach, Shipwreck Island in Panama City, Adventure Island in Jacksonville Beach, and so many more! The opportunities to beat the heat at one of Florida’s water parks are endless and can be found just about anywhere.
Orlando Theme Parks
An article about hot kid spots in Florida could not be written without mentioning the
Orlando theme parks. It all started with Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
Resort. This charming park starts with a walk down Main Street USA with shops,
restaurants, and street performances. This park is perfect for all ages with rides
and shows catering to every age group. Younger children will love Mickey, Minnie,
and all the other characters while an older crowd will enjoy the rides and roller
Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center takes a trip through different nations
with rides, performances, and hands-on activities. Disney MGM Studios is a
backstage pass to see how and where Disney/MGM movies are made. Hold on to
your seat for the Tower of Terror, watch the voyage of The Little Mermaid, and ride
with Aerosmith on the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster. The younger crowd will love Disney’s
Animal Kingdom with safari rides, animal shows, and Disney characters to share the
day. Universal Studios and Universal Studios Islands of Adventure cover all the
bases with rides, shows, good eats, performances, and great characters while letting
their visitors “experience the movies”.
Enjoy the roller coasters at Islands of Adventure while Universal Studios takes you behind the scenes. Get lucky on JAWS, watch Indiana Jones save the day, and experience Earthquake-The Big One. SeaWorld Adventure Park will thrill the kids with tanks, aquarium, and exhibits about sea life and thrill the older crowd with rides and roller coasters. The Waterfront is SeaWorld’s own seaside community with restaurants, entertainment, and shops. Enjoy Orlando: it is what children’s dreams are made of.
Kid-Centered Activities
Aside from water parks and Disney-centered Orlando, Florida has many other
attractions that children of all ages will enjoy. For older kids and teenagers, make
at stop in Tampa for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. This park is full of wild roller
coasters, exciting water rides, and shows. The draw for younger children, however,
is the zoo-like experience with their exotic animals. Enjoy safaris and exciting train
rides to see the gorillas, gators, giraffes, tropical birds, and beasts.
The Kennedy
Space Center is a way for kids and adults to have fun while learning about the past,
present, and future of space exploration. Children of all ages will enjoy meeting
astronauts, touring space shuttles, watching films in the IMAX theatre, and being
able to touch a piece of the planet Mars. Head to Crystal River and Homosassa
between November and March to swim with the manatees and learn about these
prehistoric creatures.
If the family is looking for a laid back activity, look no farther than the Ichetucknee. This north Florida river is powered by a natural spring to give the perfect inner tube ride, complete with one of the best scenic views around. The Everglades are full of wildlife in its natural habitat. Shark Valley is a 15-mile bike loop that takes you past, not sharks, but alligators, big and small. Kids will love seeing the gators up close and, not to worry, they will not bother you as long as you do not try to feed them!
Looking for other adventures? Sail with pirates in St. Petersburg and Clearwater, look for scallops in the Gulf of Mexico in Keaton Beach, Panama City Beach, or Steinhatchee, or swim with sea creatures at the Theatre of the Sea in Islamorada of the Florida Keys.
On your next trip to Florida, experience all that the state has to offer its smallest
visitors. With the world’s most popular theme parks, the nations most watermarks,
plenty of natural habitats to explore and learn about, and great family-friendly
vacation rentals, Florida lacks nothing for kids looking to have fun.
Caroline Brame writes travel articles for RentalsExpress.com. For more information on Florida travel, as well as, other vacation destinations, please visit http:// http://www.RentalsExpress.com.

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