Fun Things to do with the Kids: Simple Delights and Fun 'n Games
A day at the movies, an afternoon of bowling, and other more fun delights.
Fun Things to do with the Kids!
Sunday at the Movies
The Peanut Butter Matinee Family Film Series, a monthly fête hosted by Maitland’s Enzian Theater, brings families together to enjoy a classic family flick in a setting that’s just as cozy as their own living room. Typically held on the last Sunday of the month, the event features a special kids menu, including design-your-own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. With the exception of Easter and Halloween events, cost is $8 for kids 12 and up and free for kids under 12. enzian.org
Value of a Dollar
Turns out money really can buy you love—at Dollar Tree. For a grand total of $1, you can make your children feel like the luckiest kids on earth by letting them pick out whatever they want—treats, glow-in-the-dark wands, bubbles, toys, stickers, crafts—anything. Shhh! They don’t have to know everything’s only a dollar. They also don’t have to know you are really teaching them a valuable lesson of weighing their options and making tough decisions. dollartree.com
Orange County, Seminole County, and local city libraries offer free and educational entertainment for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in the way of storytime. Among the many Central Florida libraries from which to choose, there’s a storytime almost every day of the week, including Saturdays at the Orlando Public Library. Depending on the age group and location, most are 30-45 minutes long and include multiple stories, songs, and dancing, while some go all-out with puppet shows and craft activities.
Prepare For Landing
Find us a kid who doesn’t love to watch airplanes take off and land. Get a front row seat near the runway of Orlando’s Executive Airport by hanging out at Colonel Joe Kittinger Park, at 305 S. Crystal Lake Drive beside the 408 expressway. And while you’re there admire a Phantom F-4 jet that Kittinger flew more than 40 years ago during the Vietnam War.
Global Book Exchange
That whimsical birdhouse on the corner of Yates and Reading in College Park doesn’t contain birdseed. It’s filled with books and anyone can borrow one for free, or leave a book to share. It’s one of the more than 32,000 Little Free Library book exchanges, located in every state throughout the U.S. and in 70 countries worldwide. There are over a dozen in the Orlando area ranging from residential yards to the front porch of Dandelion Communitea Café. There’s a sense of serendipity when you find a book you want to take home with you. Or, build one together and put it in your own yard. People say it’s a great way to meet their neighbors and for kids to make friends. The website has a “build” tab with links to plenty of resources. Buy a kit or design your own. littlefreelibrary.org
Thomas, Chuggington and now SunRail. Turn an ordinary afternoon into an adventure on SunRail, Orlando’s own cheerful, yellow and white commuter train. Children love that SunRail has two stories, so they can ride high and see the sights. Kids ride free, and adult fares cost anywhere from $2 for one way within a single zone to $7.50 round trip to ride the entire track. The train makes 12 stops from The Florida Mall through downtown and Winter Park to DeBary, but you don’t even have to get off anywhere; at the end of the line, you can always just enjoy the ride back. After all, it’s not the destination; it’s the journey. sunrail.com
FUN 'N GAMES
Happy hour comes early at Disney Springs’ Splitsville, a deluxe bowling alley featuring lanes, billiards and a full-service restaurant. During Early Bird Bowling the cost is $8 for kids 9 and under, $12 for adults, until 12:30 pm. Ramps are provided for little ones who need help pushing the ball down the lane, and bumper rails are also set up on request so that nobody gets a gutter ball. splitsvillelanes.com
Fun Spot America has go-karts, arcade games, thrill rides, and kiddie rides for the youngest thrillseekers. It even claims to have the scariest ride in Orlando, the Skycoaster, which will have you literally flying through the air. There are two locations, on International Drive and in Old Town in Kissimmee. There’s a Gator Spot alligator attraction at the I-Drive park. fun-spot.com. Photo: Fun Spot
Make an Escape
Escape game experiences provide participants the chance to sleuth their way through puzzles and riddles in an attempt to beat the clock and crack the lock. While some are aimed at older teens and adults, both Escapology on I-Drive and It’s a Trap! in Winter Park feature a more kid-friendly experience. In particular, the Imprisoned Creatures game at It’s a Trap! captivates kids as young as 6 with its wizards and dragons theme. It’s a Trap! also offers birthday parties and junior versions of select games. escapology.com; itsatrapgame.com. Photo: Kristin Manieri