Family Favorite Splash Pad: CENTER LAKE PARK
299 Center Lake Ln., Oviedo www.cityofoviedo.net
This brand-spankin’-new splash pad is yet to be discovered (until now!). It’s free, open daily from 7 a.m.–9 p.m., and adjacent to a life-sized outdoor chess set, playground and a grassy area overlooking the lake. Parents, enjoy the outdoors and catch up on some reading. This new splash pad at Center Lake Park is a great new play area where you and your family can slow down and enjoy the moment.
Family Favorite Outdoor Activity: BLANCHARD PARK
2451 N. Dean Rd., Orlando
Jay Blanchard Park is a family-friendly park that is open seven days a week. The park is surrounded by the paved eight-mile Little Econ Greenway Trail. A river runs through the park, providing scenic views. Canoeing and other activities are allowed, so come and enjoy Mother Nature in a fun environment.
Family Favorite Private School: MONTESSORI SCHOOL OF EAST ORLANDO
2526 Percival Rd., Orlando
This school offers a one-of-a-kind Montessori education with a 1:8 teacher to student ratio and a superior performing arts program. Students enjoy classes in ballroom dance, yoga, art, drama, and Spanish in addition to academic subjects. Little learners also enjoy gardening and nature hikes on the 3.5-acre campus that includes peacocks roaming around the playground. This is a unique learning environment for children to develop in a natural Florida setting.
Family Favorite Tutor/Tutor Center: KUMON MATH AND READING CENTER
312 N. Alafaya Trl., Orlando
Kumon is an after-school math and reading program for kids ages 3 and up. They put students in groups to work collaboratively on math games, making learning fun and engaging for students.
Family Favorite Preschool: PRIMROSE SCHOOL AT AVALON PARK
13461 Tanja King Blvd., Orlando
This private preschool provides accredited programs for your toddler with a goal to “help children have fun while building active minds, healthy bodies, and happy hearts.” They have several locations throughout Central Florida.
Family Favorite Kids Store: ONCE UPON A CHILD
2504 S. Alafaya Trl., Orlando
Once Upon a Child is a children’s resale shop. Stop by to sell your gently used items or to shop for “new” ones.
Family Favorite Sweet Treat: JEREMIAH’S ITALIAN ICE COMPANY
1024 Lockwood Blvd., Oviedo 407-542-0505
877 N. Alafaya Trl., Orlando 407-277-7769
Yummy! Jeremiah’s Italian Ice Co. has 40 flavors of Italian ice, gelati, and soft serve ice cream that you can mix together in any style that you please! They even have a drive-thru for orders on-the-go.
EDITOR’S Favorite Sweet Treat: INSOMNIA COOKIES
12101 University Blvd., Ste. 225, Orlando
If you haven’t experienced warm, delicious cookies from Insomnia Cookies near UCF, you haven’t lived. Stop in for a sweet treat after dinner or order them online and have them delivered to your house until 3 a.m.!
Family Favorite Indoor Play: O2B KIDS
1175 Oviedo Mall Blvd., #1005, Oviedo
This new all-in-one facility is a kiddie utopia. O2B Kids has done an awesome job of turning a children’s play area into a fun learning environment. This business offers families everything from preschool, homeschool, after school and summer camp programs to free play, drop-off childcare and enrichment classes. They will host your kids’ next birthday party. Most activities are included in a monthly membership price for each child. Call for a tour. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
Family Favorite Storytime: BARNES & NOBLE
481 N. Alafaya Trl., Orlando, FL 32828
Barnes & Noble is a high-quality book store that features daily storytime for kids and young adults. Check out the special nights for book lovers! Check out its website for a storytime schedule.
Family Favorite Kids Night Out: MY GYM
11555 Lake Underhill Rd., Orlando
My Gym’s Parent’s Night Out is a 3 1/2 hour drop-off program offered twice per month. Your children will be entertained with games, activities and arts and crafts. All of the kids have the chance to ride the 60 ft. zipline and play in the ball pit. Pizza and dessert is served. Children as young as 18 months are welcome. Enjoy your night on the town knowing that your kids will be looked after by an attentive staff. Check the website for schedule.
Family Favorite Farmer’s Market: GOOD NEIGHBORS FARMER’S MARKET
1101 Lloyds Ln., Oviedo www.goodneighborsfarmersmarket.com
After a summer hiatus, the Good Neighbors Farmer’s Market is back open on Saturdays from 9 a.m-3 p.m. The farmer’s market side of the farm is now free, and the petting zoo side is $10 per person.
Family Favorite Restaurant: FRESH-TO-ORDER
851 N. Alafaya Trl., Orlando
Fresh-to-Order is a new restaurant located in Waterford Lakes Town Center that supplies you with quick, healthy meals on the go. Their menu consists of soups, panini sandwiches, kids’ plates, salads, burgers, and even a specialty diet menu for those who are trying to be extra healthy. You can eat in or take out. Enjoy a chef-inspired experience!
Family Favorite Pediatric Dentist: DR. MARCY KEOWN
1549 South Alafaya Trl., Ste. 200, Orlando
Dr. Marcy serves infants, children, teens and kids with special health care needs in a child-friendly environment.
Family Favorite Music Studio: GROW AND SING STUDIOS
Grow and Sing Studios is staffed by music professionals who offer several Kindermusik classes for you and your child to experience together in an enriched musical program at Oviedo Mall and the University Universalist Unitarian Society. In addition to Kindermusik classes, Grow and Sing Studios also offers private lessons, group guitar classes and private parties. Your first class is free!
Favorite Family Dance Studio: AVALON DANCE STUDIO
12001 Avalon Lake Dr., Studio K, Orlando
This dance company offers dance styles such as salsa, ballroom, hip-hop, and jazz. They also host events and parties.
Family Favorite After-School Program: MAGIC CURTAIN PRODUCTIONS
2860 S. Alafaya Trl., Orlando
Magic Curtain Productions is a local theater that offers opportunities for performers and community locals to get involved in the art and perform in front of live audiences. They host auditions and after-school care as well as classes and camps.
Family Favorite Karate Dojo: KARATE ZOO
11602 Lake Underhill Rd., Orlando
Karate Zoo offers after-school enrichment activities on campus for Orlando schools and a great summer camp program. Karate Zoo offers a no-contact curriculum that focuses on leadership, bully prevention, self-confidence, focus and respect. This program is good for boys and girls and instills knowledge, skills and abilities for several aspects of life while incorporating karate.
Family Favorite Birthday Party Location: SPARKLED PINK
457 Avalon Park S. Blvd., #200, Orlando
Sparkled Pink is a girls spa, party and boutique venue where kids can come together to celebrate all things girly and pink. They offer party packages and spa services, such as dazzling haircuts, manicures, pedicures, facials, make-up and much more. Choose from party packages such as A Day on Madison Avenue, La Bella Princess Tea Party, Jazz It Up Rock Star Party, and several others.
EDITOR’S Favorite Historical Site: FORT CHRISTMAS
1300 N. Fort Christmas Rd., Christmas
The park includes a replica of a fort built in 1837 during the Second Seminole Indian War, a traditional Florida Cracker house and eight pioneer homes, a schoolhouse and lunchroom, a sugar cane mill and other historical farming equipment.
Family Favorite Summer Camp: A KIDS GYM
1495 Evans St., Oviedo
A Kids Gym has perfected its summer camp program over the past 15 years. Kids get to enjoy a field trip almost every day. Each week is carefully planned with local activities such as bowling and swimming. On Thursdays, campers take field trips to places like Daytona Lagoon and The Crayola Experience. These campers never get bored.
Family Favorite Performing Arts Program: WINTER SPRINGS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
1425 Tuskawilla Rd., # 145, Winter Springs
Commonly referred to as “The Stage”, this is a wonderful place for kids to feel accepted and supported while having lots of fun. The Winter Springs Performing Arts Center offers classes such as tap and improv and stage productions for children ages 5 and up. Even if you’re not an actor, your family will enjoy watching the performances.
Family Favorite Free Play: OVIEDO MALL PLAYGROUND
1700 Oviedo Mall Blvd., Oviedo
The indoor playground at Oviedo Mall is definitely the go-to gathering spot for families looking to beat the heat and let the kids burn off some extra energy. Go prepared with some snacks and have free fun, and maybe meet new friends.