“It's summer. Now what?” is the phrase that is probably running through most mom’s minds now that the kids are out of school for summer and need to be kept entertained for the eight hours they normally spend in the classroom. Even when the average parent is running on empty, the average kid is ready to have fun at a moment’s notice. Osceola County has a lot to offer when it comes to checking things off your summer bucket list.
1. Explore Wild Florida. A partner of the Osceola County Historical Society, Wild Florida promises an adventure you will never forget. They are considered Orlando’s only airboat & wildlife experience and call their airboat eco tours unmatched by any other. Wild Florida offers half hour and hour long airboat tours of protected swamps, marshes and rivers that make up the Central Florida Everglades. They also have a Wildlife Park that gives visitors the opportunity to watch, touch and even feed some of Florida’s native land-dwelling animals and various species of tropical birds. Wild Florida has also recently hosted the grand opening of the Chomp House Grill and Cypress Ballroom. Airboat ride prices vary from $22 and up (with children 2 and under FREE) and the Wildlife Park admission starts at $15 for children and $18 for adults with annual passesoffered as well.
2. Hike the Shingle Creek Regional Park. At the Shingle Creek Regional Park you can get a taste of the great outdoors by taking a walk on the trails, canoeing the creek or enjoying the wildlife encounters in the many conservation areas. You might also get a glimpse of wild turkeys, yellow-bellied slider turtles or white-tailed deer while there. The park offers 200 acres of wildlife, nature and history all rolled into one. It is located off of west U.S. Highway 192, a tranquil piece of old Florida hidden in the hustle and bustle of tourist country. Be sure to check out our post on 5 plants to avoid when walking the trail before your visit.
3. Attend the Osceola County Historical Society Summer Camp. This is a camp your kids are not going to want to miss. With four week-long themed sessions, 1st through 8th graders have the opportunity to explore the history of Osceola County while getting back to nature. You can learn more about the summer camp experience and find out more information on how to register and the cost in our post, 7 things you didn’t know about the Osceola County Historical Society’s summer camps.
4. Celebrate 4th of July in St. Cloud or Kissimmee. The 2014 July 4th St. Cloud Lakefront Celebration begins on Thursday night, July 3rd, with the return of the annual Margaritaville Party! It's a Key West/Jimmy Buffet Style event featuring the group Volcano Joe and the Hot Lava Band. There will also be beach volleyball games that kick-off at 6:45 pm. On Friday, July 4th, the entertainment begins at 3 pm. Live music, good food, and fun games for the family will happen all evening and fireworks over the lake will begin at 9:15 pm. In Kissimmee, the fun begins on Friday, July 4th at 5 pm with live music, food (including the ever popular TheDailyCity.com Food Truck Bazaar) & beer and the KUA Kids’ Power Zone. You can also enjoy their “Dance through the Decades” starting at 5 pm and fireworks will starting at 9:10 pm.
image credit: Andrew T. Sullivan on Flickr
5. Visit the local library. The local Osceola County Library offers a wide variety of activities to keep kids busy during the summer including a summer reading club, weekly story times at every location and feature films playing on Fridays. While these activities are sure to keep your little ones entertained, remember to also check out books to read at home. This will add to the fun (and learning!) in between the events the library has to offer. For more information, check out their site.
6. Have fun at the Saint Cloud Splash Pad. On those days that are just too hot (which really is everyday during the summer months in Florida) take the kids to the splash pad at the St. Cloud Lakefront. Benches surround the water area, allowing for parents to relax while the kids have fun splashing. The playground is just steps away and there is also a concession stand available to purchase snacks and other cold treats to help keep you cool and hydrated in the sun!