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A lifestyle magazine for Central Florida's modern parents

Tiny Tourist: Bok Tower Gardens

Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden

This is an edited version of the original article published on TownieTourist.com

As you start to plan summer break outdoor activities for your kids, make sure you add Bok Tower Gardens to your lineup. The fact is, Bok Tower Gardens has been on my list for years. It always seemed too far, and I wasn’t quite sure what was out there. Rest assured, it’s worth the drive.

Edward Bok came to the United States from the Netherlands as a child, and his family spent winters in Lake Wales. As he grew up, he became a mega-successful publisher, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and humanitarian. In 1929, he purchased the land that is now Bok Tower Gardens and made a beautiful sanctuary. 

The gardens — oh, the gardens! — are filled with lush, tropical beauty and winding paths that feel like they stretch forever. In reality, it’s a quick walk from place to place, which is super important with the kiddos. Gorgeous music from the Singing Tower carillon, a bell tower, echoes throughout the gardens. You can also buy a ticket to Pinewood Estate, a historic home on property with scheduled tours running throughout the day.

Aside from all this, there’s a special area just for the kids. Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden is a little nature wonderland. Nature wasn’t just the backdrop but the forefront for the kids to explore their curiosity and creativity. This play area includes a sandbox, a giant spider web climbing structure, wooden instruments, arts and crafts tables, an outdoor dress-up theater and a rustic pioneer kitchen playspace. I know what you’re thinking: “I have all this stuff at home and at the park by my house.” And to that I say, “Yes, you do. But do you have it in a gorgeous nature sanctuary that you will swear transports you to Colorado or some other fabulous non-Florida feeling place? No, you don’t.” The kids spent hours exploring and running around. They would’ve spent hours more, but the adults were getting hungry. Conveniently, there’s a restaurant on-site, the Blue Palmetto Café, that was quite delicious.

We spent four hours at the Bok Tower Gardens, and I know we only scratched the surface of what it has to offer. With kids or without, this is an awesome place for a day trip.  

PLAY Tip: Bok Tower Gardens is part of the Reciprocal Member Program with Leu Gardens, Orange County Regional History Center, Polasek Sculpture Gardens, Central Florida Zoo and Art & History Museums – Maitland, so check and see what discount or free admission this provides you.

Photos of the Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden:


Townie Tourist is a travel blog created for Orlandoans by Jenny De Witt. She is dedicated to sharing the real Florida, one town at a time. Watch Townie Tourist LIVE on Facebook, Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Dana Nichols
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Dana Nichols

DANA NICHOLS is an exhausted mommy of two, but she’s enjoying every moment. She loves mom life, shopping, eating, taking photos and exploring Central Florida. Dana catalogs all of these things on her Momlando blog.

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Dana Nichols Written by Dana Nichols

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April 2019

April 12, 201910:00 am
Nature Play


Celebrate the beauty of planet Earth at Lake Lotus Park (Altamonte Springs), a 150-acre nature preserve.





Special Features and/or Activities



Celebrate the beauty of planet Earth at Lake Lotus Park (Altamonte Springs), a 150-acre nature preserve.





Special Features and/or Activities





  • Gem Sluicing by Central Florida Mineral & Gem Society
  • Fossils on display from the Fossil Hunters
  • Family activities, exhibitions and crafts
  • Plant giveaways and free drawings
  • Music and guest speakers
  • Vendor booths and food
  • Ranger guided tours
  • Butterfly gardening
  • Bird banding
  • Live animals




Lake Lotus Park Address:
1153 Lake Lotus Park Road, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714


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Central Florida Earth Day is an exciting day of colorful and educational exhibits and activities! It will take place at beautiful Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando on April 20, 2019 from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Admission is FREE! Earth Day is a family-friendly, dog-friendly, alcohol-free, and smoke-free event.


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Central Florida Earth Day is an exciting day of colorful and educational exhibits and activities! It will take place at beautiful Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando on April 20, 2019 from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Admission is FREE! Earth Day is a family-friendly, dog-friendly, alcohol-free, and smoke-free event.


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The community is invited to participate in the annual Marshmallow Drop at the Oviedo Sports Complex on Saturday, April 20th. The first drop starts promptly at 10am, so arrive early for parking.





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April 20, 201912:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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April 27, 201912:00 am
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