Family Favorite Playground: R.D. KEENE PARK
10900 Chase Rd., Windermere
We happen to know some serious slide connoisseurs, and R.D. Keene Park located on Lake Isleworth delivers. This playground boasts spiral slides, tube slides and wavy slides galore, and the best part of all? The playground is covered, offering a shady place to play even on those long summer days.
Family Favorite Splash Pad: DR. P. PHILLIPS COMMUNITY PARK
8249 Buena Vista Woods Blvd., Orlando
There’s just something about aiming a water cannon at a sibling (or mother!) that kids fi nd irresistible. This splash pad offers play areas for both little kids and big kids and is open year-round, weather permitting.
Favorite Family Tutor/Tutoring Center: HUNTINGTON LEARNING CENTER
5060 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Orlando
Since opening its first location in 1977, Huntington Learning Center® has grown to serve students at hundreds of locations nationwide, making it one of the most well-established names in the tutoring industry. The Dr. Phillips location offers support for academic skills, subject-based tutoring and exam prep.
EDITOR’S Favorite Family Restaurant: YELLOW DOG EATS
1236 Hempel Ave., Gotha
This place is a true original dreamed up by Chef Fish Morgan, and delivered to us with love in a quirky little package. Housed in an old country store, Morgan and his team deliver inventive gourmet sandwiches, salads and barbecue with flavor and flair. In a sea of chain restaurants, Yellow Dog Eats stands out for its authenticity. We recommend the Fluffy Love—a peanut butter, banana and marshmallow fluff sandwich served with a side of animal crackers.
Family Favorite Indoor Play: CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE
8001 S. Orange Blossom Tr., Orlando
Discover the magic of color at Crayola’s premier and one-of-a-kind family attraction. Twenty-fi ve hands-on projects and 70,000 square feet of colorful fun await families in Orlando. Color, chemistry and digital technology combine to create a day of family fun and colorful keepsakes.
EDITOR’S Favorite Sweet Treat: COLD STONE CREAMERY
8145 International Dr., Orlando
Cold Stone Creamery is a staple for ice cream lovers. No trendy frozen yogurt shops for these purists! Sure, frozen yogurt is on the menu if you’re so inclined, but Cold Stone enthusiasts come here for the ice cream, which is made fresh daily.
EDITOR’S Favorite Outdoor Play: TIBET-BUTLER PRESERVE
8777 Winter Garden Vineland Rd., Windermere
Tibet-Butler Preserve’s 440 acres on the Butler Chain of Lakes offer visitors a glimpse of natural Florida’s diverse environment, which is home to an array of indigenous wildlife (the kind that do not appear in animated feature films!). Wildlife experts offer an extensive menu of Eco Education classes for $2 per person per hour (chaperones are free). Topics include everything from animal walks for preschoolers to guided hikes for elementary kids to astronomy classes for middle schoolers.
Family Favorite Free Play: SHADOW BAY PARK/LAKE CANE TENNIS CENTER
5100 Turkey Lake Rd., Orlando
Seventeen immaculate tennis courts are just the beginning of what this park has to offer. Bring your bikes to explore both concrete and dirt trails. Located on the Florida Birding Trail, families can also explore three miles of nature trails while keeping an eye out for birds, butterfl ies, tortoises, bobcats, foxes and more. After your nature walk, your little ones can explore the castle-themed playgrounds, one of which offers partial-shade coverage.
Family Favorite Farmer’s Market: WINDERMERE FARMER’S MARKET
Fridays from 9 a.m.–2 p.m.Between 5th and 6th on Main St., Windermere
Hosted on Fridays in front of Town Hall, local vendors offer fresh produce, crafts, breads, cheeses, coffees and more. Friendly, local charm right in our own backyard.
Favorite Family Pediatrician:DR. GREGORY GORDON
Pediatric Associates of Orlando
2920 Maguire Rd., Ocoee
Orlando parents have spoken: they love Pediatric Associates of Orlando. The practice has two locations—one in Ocoee/ Windermere and one in Downtown Orlando—and parents in both neighborhoods vote two thumbs up for this practice when it comes to caring for their most precious family members. The Dr. Phillips/ Windermere neighborhood gives a special shout-out to Dr. Gregory Gordon, one of several pediatricians in the practice.
Family Favorite Summer Camp: SEAWORLD EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
7007 SeaWorld Dr., Orlando
From parent/child day camp for preschoolers to wildlife career exploration for middle schoolers, SeaWorld’s educational programs take summer camp to new depths. Your little scientists will spend the week exploring animal habitats and behaviors behind-the-scenes at SeaWorld Orlando. For an extra special experience, families can even sign up for sleepovers. Imagine singing campfire songs with your new dolphin friends!
Family Favorite Pediatric Dentist: DR. MICHAEL DIMAURO
7424 Doc’s Grove Cir., Orlando
Dr. Phillips/Windermere families trust Dr. Michael “Mike” DiMauro and his team with their kids’ smiles. Clients appreciate Dr. Mike’s commitment to ensuring his patients and their parents understand the details of the treatment program, whether routine or complex. Most importantly, parents commend Dr. Mike and his team for taking the time to put their children at ease and make each appointment educational and even fun (well, as much fun as a dentist appointment can be).
Family Favorite Gymnastics: ORLANDO METRO GYMNASTICS
4658 L.B. McLeod Rd., Orlando
At Orlando Metro Gymnastics, a private gymnastics club located in southwest Orlando, your kids can start off as tumbling toddlers, grow into recreational gymnastics students, and eventually evolve into competitive gymnasts. From toddlers to teenagers, Orlando Metro Gymnastics offers the full range of gymnastics and cheer instruction. The facility also offers an after-school program and camps that include trampoline time, rock wall activities, and even time in the foam pit!