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A lifestyle magazine for Central Florida's modern parents

15 Things to Do in the Orlando Area While Avoiding Crowds

Parents never imagined a Spring Break in Orlando with theme parks shut down, festivals postponed and day camps canceled – yet, here we are. COVID-19 has us all in a frenzy, but that doesn’t mean Spring Break can’t be fun! Here are 15 ways to get out of the house and keep your families entertained while avoiding crowds.

Editor’s Note: Updates to this article are being made on a daily basis due to frequent changes. We recommend that you call before you go to ensure these places are still open. This article was last updated on 3/15/2020 at 7 a.m. Bok Tower Gardens and Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive are now closed and have been replaced with new activities.

1. Grab Your Binoculars.
Drive-Thru Safari Park at Wild Florida

Grab your binoculars to take your family on an African Savannah adventure without leaving your car at the Wild Florida’s Drive-Thru Safari Park. This newish safari park has more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming through its grasslands including giraffe, zebra, antelope, bison and more. There is even an opportunity to feed and take a selfie with the giraffes. Update: Wild Florida has kept the Drive-Thru Safari Park open while closing the other aspects of their business (air boat rides and gator park).


2. Take a Hike.
Hiking Trail for Kids
The Florida Trail

Take a hike off the beaten path at Orlando Wetlands Park or The Florida Trail. This is your opportunity to see Florida wildlife in their natural habitat. Younger kids will love counting birds and other species. Parents can create a nature scavenger hunt (or find one on Pinterest) to keep the kids focused and entertained.


3. Go Fishing.

There’s no shortage of beautiful lakes in Central Florida and many of them are stocked to the brim with fish. Turning your children into anglers is easier than you might think. Here are 3 Steps to your first family fishing adventure.


4. Go on a private trail ride.

Hidden Palms Ranch is a small, family owned business in Sanford that provides private,  guided,  horseback trail rides through the picturesque Lake Jesup Conservation Area. Your family can slow down, unwind, feel the sun on your face and enjoy the beauty of the real Florida on horseback together.


5. Pretend you’re an early Florida cowboy at Fort Christmas.
Fort Christmas

The restored Fort Christmas in East Orange County includes a history museum and replica of an old Florida town. Kids can use their imagination to become early Florida settlers that churn their own butter and weave their own baskets. There’s also a playground and huge open fields to let them run off their energy.


6. Get some books delivered from the library.

You don’t even have to leave your home to get books from the Orange County Library System‘s home delivery service. The library’s online service allows you to browse the shelves online and select your favorites for delivery. They’ll drop them off right on your doorstep.


7. Experience Nature of the Game.

Leu Gardens is a great place to keep your distance from others. Enjoy their Nature of the Game exhibit where you can play nature inspired games throughout the gardens. As of 3/15/2020 at 6:38am, Leu Gardens is still open to the public. 


8. Snap more than just selfies at Orlando’s Wall Crawl.
Wall Crawl; Photo by Jessica Friend Photo Design

Book an appointment to explore the vibrant and ever-changing creative photo backdrops at this one-of-a-kind studio. You can book a photographer or just take some selfies and/or photos with your phone! They limit the amount of people with reserved times.


9. Go Kayaking
Wekiva River’s short run between Wekiva Island and Wekiwa Springs State Park

Wekiva Island is a locally-owned business that provides kayak, canoe and stand up paddle board rentals without reservations. This leisurely cruise on the Wekiva River will be a great outdoor adventure for the whole family.


10. Get a private surf lesson with Molli Miller Surf School.
Molli Miller Surf School

Nothing says Spring Break in Florida like a little beach time. Molli Miller’s Surf School offers private and group lessons and is perfect for children and adults of all ages. Bonus: space is limited, so no crowds!


11. Make DIY Birthday Cards for a Cause.
DIY Birthday Cards for a Cause

This is the perfect indoor activity to avoid crowds completely by staying home. Each month, the Foundation for Foster Children sends out handmade birthday cards to children in the foster care system. Find out how to participate here.


12. Enjoy the beach without crowds at Canaveral National Seashore.

Just south of New Smyrna Beach is a stretch of Atlantic Coastline often overlooked by tourists. Canaveral National Seashore boasts beautiful dunes, sandy natural beaches, and four short interpretive walks. It’s the perfect afternoon for families looking to relax and have a picnic on the beach. Updated: they have closed Canaveral National Seashore.


13. Pack the bikes and hit the West Orange Trail.
West Orange Trail / Downtown Winter Garden

This 22 mile paved trail goes from the Orange/Lake County line all the way into Apopka. We recommend parking near the Oakland trail head where families might get a peek at a private farm’s Watusi cattle with their giant horns. The stretch near Winter Garden is also wonderful because you can grab a bite to eat at the city’s delicious restaurants (if they’re still an option).


14. Rent a swan boat at Lake Eola.
Swan Boats at Lake Eola; Image by Simply Shelby Photography

Spend an afternoon paddling your way across downtown Orlando’s iconic lake. Afterwards, throw down a blanket and enjoy a picnic in the grassy park. Tickets are only available at Lake Eola and cost $15 for a 30 minute rental. If downtown Orlando isn’t your scene, try Oviedo on the Park’s paddle boat rentals. 


15. Go on a treasure hunt with your phone.

Geocaching became a pretty popular hobby a few years ago. Download the Geocaching app, enter your location, and follow clues to hidden treasures all over Central Florida. Don’t forget to bring a treasure of your own to leave behind when you uncover a location.

Amanda Green
Written by
Amanda Green

Amanda Green is a native Floridian and mother of two. She enjoys writing about travel, family, adventure, and living the Florida lifestyle. Look for her next time you're outside exploring Central Florida's parks and trails.

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Amanda Green Written by Amanda Green

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Family Events

October 2020

October 1, 202012:00 am

Join us on our family farm for our 5th annual Fall at Southern Hill Farms events!

What fall adventure would be complete without mouth-watering apple cider donuts, jolly Jumbo Jack carving pumpkins and strikingly beautiful sunflowers and zinnias for your family photos? Admission tickets must be purchased online in advance, no admission payments will be accepted at the farm. Tickets and more information can be found at https://southernhillfarms.brushfire.com/fallfestival/.

About the event:
• Held Thursdays through Sundays, beginning September 26th through November 8th. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. Children 2 and under are free but will still need a Toddler Ticket to enter.
• On weekends, you will choose a reservation time. You have an arrival window of 15 minutes before and 30 minutes after your chosen time to arrive at the farm. 
• Face masks are required when in lines, participating in activities and when social distancing cannot be maintained. Please ensure that you bring a mask for everyone in your group 3 years or older to use during these times.
• Complimentary Farm Wagon rides.
• Sunflower and zinnia u-pick! $1/stem zinnias, $2/stem sunflowers.
• Sweet corn available for purchase, grown here at Southern Hill Farms.
• Our pumpkin patch barn (please note that the pumpkins are already cut from the vine) boasts a wide variety of beautiful and unique pumpkins of all sizes and colors, corn stalks, Indian corn, gourds and more for purchase. We provide a complimentary pumpkin ‘holding’ area for your purchased pumpkins while you stay and play. Prices vary based on size and type.
• Live music by Jeff Whitfield from 11:00 am to 2:45 pm, and TBD from 3:15 pm to 7:00 pm (live music on weekends only).
• Food trucks: Southern Hill Eatery, Twisted plates, Bauer-BQ, Willy Ts Crab Shack, Peru Power Food Truck, A Lo Cubano Kitchen, The Big Hot Box, Rollin Dough and Absofruitly. Serving from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (guest food trucks on weekends only).
• Local craft beer, wine, frozen concoctions, and mimosas available for purchase from our Beer Shed. Serving from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.
• Worried about missing your college or professional football team's big win? Don't be! We have flat-screen TVs playing all the weekend's biggest rivalries under our food truck barn.
• Bring home the feeling of fall on the farm with our unique products, all made right here in our Southern Hill Market. Shop our handmade lotions, sugar scrubs, lip balms and bar soaps. Enjoy the scents of the season with our hand poured candles. We have unfiltered, local raw honey for purchase, organic pure maple syrup, as well as your favorite Southern Hill Farms merchandise.
• Enjoy our delicious apple cider donuts, blueberry lemonade, frozen and hot apple cider, blueberry cobbler, pumpkin muffins and more from our vintage Airstream turned bakery, Southern Hill Sweets. 
• Our grounds include a beautiful rooftop deck, covered playground for children, covered barns with picnic tables and clean, convenient permanent restrooms.
• Yard games are complimentary and include life-sized Jenga, bean bag toss, Connect Four, footballs, soccer balls and more. 
• Our ‘picture perfect’ photo op areas for your fall family photos.
• We'll have rides on our one of a kind Blueberry Express (our converted cotton harvester) for purchase. $5 for adults, $3 for children and teens ages 3-17 (available weekends only).
• Enjoy our fire pits for roasting s’mores with family and friends. S'mores kits with roasting sticks available for purchase.
• Petting zoo – Parent or guardian must be present with young children. Food for the animals is $2, cash only, payment accepted at the entrance of the petting zoo.
• Touch-a-tractor – Children MUST be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.
• Giant fun slide – 42” tall minimum, 32” can slide with an adult.
• Cyclone swing – 42” or taller to ride, 180 lb maximum.
• Inflatable sports games.
• Jump Pillows.We accept cash and card everywhere on the farm. Dogs are allowed at our fall events but must be leashed at all times and cleaned up after when needed. Our address is 16651 Schofield Road, Clermont, FL 34714. Please note that Schofield Road is a Lake County clay road. Southern Hill Farms is a working farm and does not have a paved parking lot, you will be parking and walking in grass areas. We want our farm to be a part of your cherished family traditions for years to come and we want to thank you for loving your local farmer! Please note that all events and event details are subject to change or cancellation at any time due to inclement weather, forced closures due to COVID-19, and unforeseen circumstances. Please always check our website, www.southernhillfarms.com, the day of your planned visit to ensure last-minute event details.

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October 1, 20208:00 am / 10:00 am

$39 per person when you book a carriage of five with your family and close friends!

Enchanting 30 Minute Experience Includes:

• Royal Crowning with a pear drop Tiara and White Glove Treatment

• 15 Minute Tour with a Royal Princess aboard a Cinderella Coach

• Princess Photo Opportunity in the Coach

• A "Sweet Treat" and Farewell Wish for a Happily Ever After…

Departing from Masonic Lodge, 230 W Bay street, Winter Garden, Fl 34787

For all adults and children ages 2 +

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October 1, 20209:00 am / 6:00 pm

Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.

Read More
April 6, 2020All working days 10:00 am / 6:00 pm
All Kids Spanish
2902 North Orange Avenue
Open Map
3214602844 Class / Educational / Festivals

Toddlers-5th Grade We are here to help! We understand that even though we are going through a tough time, your children's learning process must continue.We have different Spanish online live program options.
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October 1, 202010:00 am / 4:00 pm

Crayola Experience's Screamin' Green Hauntoween returns for a month of spooky family fun! Monster-ific Crafts and special, spooky happenings all month long: a themed scavenger hunt, character photo ops, and more, ALL included with admission.

Have a Screamin' Green good time while exploring our 27 creative attractions.
*Paint a pumpkin and make your own slime at the Trading Post. *Additional fee applies. (Annual Passholders receive a discount on these activities).
• Prior to visiting please make sure to check guest protocols at www.crayolaexperience.com/orlando

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October 1, 20204:15 pm

You can do the $25 drop-in class rate or monthly membership is $75. There are limited spots available so please be sure to message me to reserve your spot. Social distancing will be practiced during this class.

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October 1, 20207:30 pm / 9:00 pm

An actress who never left the stage after her final curtain call? German prisoners of war still toiling in the orange groves years after the war is over? The spirit of an artist who couldn’t leave his work unfinished? With over 100 years of history and many famous visitors, this beautiful village has plenty of unusual tales that will make your skin crawl! While visiting local haunts and historic sites, you’ll learn about more about this shining gem of Central Florida, as well as its chilling stories, guaranteed to leave your spine-tingling! Our visit includes a stop at a haunted pub for a free drink! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxf4n9-DRR0&fbclid=IwAR1vfOv-v57RNvz-9TE2PAmJ3ckXfcZbp4aoGFBdmAbFQf7qSC2m6x0jbDE
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October 2, 202012:00 am

Join us on our family farm for our 5th annual Fall at Southern Hill Farms events!

What fall adventure would be complete without mouth-watering apple cider donuts, jolly Jumbo Jack carving pumpkins and strikingly beautiful sunflowers and zinnias for your family photos? Admission tickets must be purchased online in advance, no admission payments will be accepted at the farm. Tickets and more information can be found at https://southernhillfarms.brushfire.com/fallfestival/.

About the event:
• Held Thursdays through Sundays, beginning September 26th through November 8th. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. Children 2 and under are free but will still need a Toddler Ticket to enter.
• On weekends, you will choose a reservation time. You have an arrival window of 15 minutes before and 30 minutes after your chosen time to arrive at the farm. 
• Face masks are required when in lines, participating in activities and when social distancing cannot be maintained. Please ensure that you bring a mask for everyone in your group 3 years or older to use during these times.
• Complimentary Farm Wagon rides.
• Sunflower and zinnia u-pick! $1/stem zinnias, $2/stem sunflowers.
• Sweet corn available for purchase, grown here at Southern Hill Farms.
• Our pumpkin patch barn (please note that the pumpkins are already cut from the vine) boasts a wide variety of beautiful and unique pumpkins of all sizes and colors, corn stalks, Indian corn, gourds and more for purchase. We provide a complimentary pumpkin ‘holding’ area for your purchased pumpkins while you stay and play. Prices vary based on size and type.
• Live music by Jeff Whitfield from 11:00 am to 2:45 pm, and TBD from 3:15 pm to 7:00 pm (live music on weekends only).
• Food trucks: Southern Hill Eatery, Twisted plates, Bauer-BQ, Willy Ts Crab Shack, Peru Power Food Truck, A Lo Cubano Kitchen, The Big Hot Box, Rollin Dough and Absofruitly. Serving from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (guest food trucks on weekends only).
• Local craft beer, wine, frozen concoctions, and mimosas available for purchase from our Beer Shed. Serving from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.
• Worried about missing your college or professional football team's big win? Don't be! We have flat-screen TVs playing all the weekend's biggest rivalries under our food truck barn.
• Bring home the feeling of fall on the farm with our unique products, all made right here in our Southern Hill Market. Shop our handmade lotions, sugar scrubs, lip balms and bar soaps. Enjoy the scents of the season with our hand poured candles. We have unfiltered, local raw honey for purchase, organic pure maple syrup, as well as your favorite Southern Hill Farms merchandise.
• Enjoy our delicious apple cider donuts, blueberry lemonade, frozen and hot apple cider, blueberry cobbler, pumpkin muffins and more from our vintage Airstream turned bakery, Southern Hill Sweets. 
• Our grounds include a beautiful rooftop deck, covered playground for children, covered barns with picnic tables and clean, convenient permanent restrooms.
• Yard games are complimentary and include life-sized Jenga, bean bag toss, Connect Four, footballs, soccer balls and more. 
• Our ‘picture perfect’ photo op areas for your fall family photos.
• We'll have rides on our one of a kind Blueberry Express (our converted cotton harvester) for purchase. $5 for adults, $3 for children and teens ages 3-17 (available weekends only).
• Enjoy our fire pits for roasting s’mores with family and friends. S'mores kits with roasting sticks available for purchase.
• Petting zoo – Parent or guardian must be present with young children. Food for the animals is $2, cash only, payment accepted at the entrance of the petting zoo.
• Touch-a-tractor – Children MUST be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.
• Giant fun slide – 42” tall minimum, 32” can slide with an adult.
• Cyclone swing – 42” or taller to ride, 180 lb maximum.
• Inflatable sports games.
• Jump Pillows.We accept cash and card everywhere on the farm. Dogs are allowed at our fall events but must be leashed at all times and cleaned up after when needed. Our address is 16651 Schofield Road, Clermont, FL 34714. Please note that Schofield Road is a Lake County clay road. Southern Hill Farms is a working farm and does not have a paved parking lot, you will be parking and walking in grass areas. We want our farm to be a part of your cherished family traditions for years to come and we want to thank you for loving your local farmer! Please note that all events and event details are subject to change or cancellation at any time due to inclement weather, forced closures due to COVID-19, and unforeseen circumstances. Please always check our website, www.southernhillfarms.com, the day of your planned visit to ensure last-minute event details.

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October 2, 2020

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This is a drive through event at the farm for online order pick-ups only. Shop online, choose your desired pick-up date and time and we'll bring your order to your vehicle when you arrive!

Are you eager to get some of our refreshing homemade blueberry lemonade, along with our Southern Hill Market merchandise, frozen blueberries, baked goods and more this summer? Shop online and pick-up your favorite sweet treats to enjoy from the comfort of home!

How to pick-up:
Choose your desired Friday pick-up and time, and we’ll bring your order to your vehicle when you arrive. Our address is 16651 Schofield Road, Clermont, FL 34714. Please note that Schofield Road is a Lake County clay road. We ask that you please remain in your vehicle upon arrival.

What’s available, while supplies last:
Sweet treats and baked goods.
• Frozen blueberries, sold in 1 gallon bags
• Fresh blueberry donuts
• Fresh blueberry muffins
• Blueberry donut ice cream sandwiches
• Whole blueberry cheesecakes
• Whole blueberry cobblers
• Whole blueberry pies
• Gluten free blueberry and white chocolate cookies
• Gluten free whole blueberry and peach cobblers
• Handmade popsicles
• Italian ice

Refreshing beverages.
• Blueberry lemonade, sold by the gallon and by the cup
• Frozen blueberry lemonade, sold by the cup
• The “David Hill”, sold by the gallon
• Peach iced tea, sold by the gallon
• Adult beverages, including our blueberry mimosas and blueberry lemonade smash, by the gallon
• Craft beer, sold in 4 packs
• High Noon, sold in 4 packs

Kitchen staples and merchandise.
• Raw, unfiltered local honey
• Blueberry mustard
• Apple butter and maple syrup
• Dry baking mixes, including peach cobbler and blueberry crisp
• Kickles, our sweet and spicy pickles
• Blueberry, blueberry jalapeno, peach and peach jalapeno jams
• Blueberry and peach salsas, peach hot sauce
• SHF apparel, including our embroidered hats and drifit shirts
• Handcrafted sugar scrubs, lotions and bar soap
• Hand poured soy wax candles
• Stationary designed by Giddy Paperie
• SHF plastic tumblers, pilsner glasses and koozies

Flowers and ornamental trees.
• Fresh cut zinnias, sold in bouquets of 1 dozen
• 15, 30 and 50 gallon ornamental trees

Thanks for shopping local this summer, and thanks for loving your local farmer!

Read More
October 2, 20209:00 am / 6:00 pm

Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.

Read More
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