Fun Things to do with the Kids: Get Movin’
Zip lines, splash pads, biking, and other activities.
Fun Things to do with the Kids!
Soar Through the Skies
At least five zip line experiences dot the skies across Central Florida.
The Screamin’ Gator Zip Line at Gatorland provides a heart-pounding thrill ride that sends brave participants along 1,200-foot-high zips towering above the trees and alligators below. gatorland.com
Zip Orlando in Kissimmee features eight zip lines and an option to choose trips between 1.5 and 3 hours with additions like 300 feet of dual-suspension bridges for a canopy tour and dual racing zip lines. Zip Orlando also offers a Sunset Tour and Zip Night Tour. ziporlando.com
ZOOmAir offers locations at the Central Florida Zoo and at Tuscawilla Park in Daytona Beach. Riders can choose from a number of adventures based on their age and ability. The Kids’ Course at the Central Florida Zoo is the only Orlando-area adventure course welcoming children as young as 4. zoomair.us
Forever Florida in St. Cloud and Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours in Ocala (above) are two options for those seeking adventure amid Florida’s untouched wilderness. Each offers speedy, high-flying tours designed to give city slickers a thrill they won’t soon forget. foreverflorida.com; zipthecanyons.com
Celebration via Segway
Explore Central Florida’s quintessential all-American town on a guided Segway tour designed to peel back the layers of Celebration’s history, architecture and wildlife. Tours, which are 70, 100 or 130 minutes and have a minimum age requirement of 14, travel through the town’s neighborhoods as well as its nature trails, where guests get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Disney’s ultra-charming planned community. From $55 per person. zetours.com
A Whirlwind of Fun
An oddball sport inviting competitive teams of five to participate in a zany blend of basketball, hockey and jai-alai, WhirlyBall has players moving around in a WhirlyBug (similar to a bumper car) as they try to score points by hitting the plexiglass backboard with a Wiffle ball. Located inside the WhirlyDome on International Drive, the attraction also features laser tag, bowling and an arcade. The height requirement for WhirlyBall is 54 inches. whirlydome.com
Splash pads, splash zones, or spray grounds can range from a few jets of water shooting from the ground, like the one found at Lake Concord Park in Casselberry, to massive water playgrounds like the ones at the Central Florida Zoo, SeaWorld Orlando, and Universal Orlando Resort. Small or large, free or with paid entry, splash pads are perfect for whiling away a hot afternoon. Grab the bathing suits and rubber-soled pool shoes, lather on some sunscreen, and let the kids cool off in the heat.
Seeing the world through your kids’ eyes is one thing, but doing it from the saddle of a bike takes it to whole new level. Start in your neighborhood—ride to school, ride to dinner at a favorite local restaurant. Soon, riding as a family becomes second nature. Ready to go further? An inexpensive rack does the job of hauling your bikes across town. The West Orange Trail makes for a fun weekend outing. Here’s a perfect way to do it with kids.
Start at the new Plant Street Market in Old Winter Garden. There’s plenty of free parking and you can end with a snack or meal from one of the market’s specialty vendors. There’s often live music on weekends and plenty of outdoor seating beneath the graceful oak trees.
Once everyone is geared up with helmets and water, turn left onto the well-paved and shaded trail that runs down the middle of Plant Street. Expect plenty of places to take breaks along with way. There’s a butterfly garden you can explore, wild peacocks you may encounter, and even the Oakland Nature Preserve you can visit (lock your bikes). It’s a 4.5-mile ride to Mile 0 at Killarney Station, where there’s a playground, restrooms and a shaded picnic area. Then work your way back to Winter Garden. You’ll be surprised at what your kids can do if you break up the ride, watch for wildlife, and give them plenty of praise. Ice cream at the end doesn’t hurt either (Scoops Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Store is worth the extra half-mile).
Climb a Wall
Pair up with your favorite climber and head to Aiguille Rock Climbing Center (it’s a French word for a pointed mountain peak, pronounced a-gwee) in Longwood for after-school or weekend fun. Kids as young as 5 can climb but parents must take the free course to learn how to safely tie the ropes to keep their climber safe. Aiguille has a relaxed vibe, and other climbers and staffers are happy to offer tips. aiguille.com