YOLO: 100 Things to Do This Summer in Central Florida

Words by Regina Knabe

Click the link to download the PDF: YOLO: 100 Things to Do This Summer in Central Florida

Climb 213 steps to the top of the tallest lighthouse in Florida at Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse. 4931 S. Peninsula Dr., Ponce Inlet, 386-761-1821 www.ponceinlet.org

2. Walk through an inversion tunnel and be upside down at WonderWorks. 9067 International Dr., Orlando, 407-351-8800

3. View an icon. The Lake Eola Fountain show, complete with music and lights, is daily at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. throughout the summer. 512 E. Washington St., Orlando, 407-246-4484 www.cityoforlando.net/parks/lake-eola-park

4. Wield a sword at the Orlando Fencing Club. Kids classes are Mondays at 6 p.m. at the College Park Community Center. 2393 Elizabeth Ave., College Park, 321-246-1813 www.orlandofencingclub.org

5. Monkey around in the treetop ropes course at Zoom Air Adventure Park. Located at the Central Florida Zoo, Zoom Air offers kids an adventure in the trees they’ll never forget. 3755 N.W. U.S. Hwy. 17-92, Sanford, 407-330-0767 www.zoomair.us

6. Drift on a tube while relaxing in this 70-degree natural spring at Kelly Park. Bring your own tube, or find tubes at rental shops near the entrance. 400 E. Kelly Park Rd., Apopka, 407-245-1902 www.ocfl.net

7. Climb the walls at Aiguille Rock Climbing Center. With 10,000 square feet of climbing, there is a wall for all levels of ability. 999 Charles St., Longwood, 407-332-1430 www.aiguille.com

8. Reach terminal velocity (or close to it!) at iFly Indoor Skydiving. Flyers as young as 3 years old may enjoy this simulated free fall in a 45-foot flight chamber. 6805 Visitors Cir., Orlando, 407-903-1150 http://iflyworld.com

9. Smooch among the flowers on date night at Leu Gardens, which provides an outdoor movie experience on select Friday evenings. Bring your own food, or get some grub from the Curbie’s food truck. 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando, 407-246-2620 www.leugardens.org

10. Count the butterflies, or spend the day trying, at Lukas Butterfly Encounter. It’s one of the largest native butterfly conservatories in the state. 1909 Slavia Rd., Oviedo, 407-365-6163 www.lukasnursery.com

11. Volunteer! There are so many ways to help others, and kids can help too. Hands On Orlando has tons of opportunities. 407-740-8652 www.handsonorlando.com

12. Zip through the treetops, 65 feet high, on one of eight zip lines at Zip Orlando’s Canopy Tours. Tours are 1.5 to 3 hours long. 4509 S. Orange Blossom Tr., Kissimmee, 407-808-4947 www.ziporlando.com

13. View eight counties from the 22-story-high glass-enclosed observation deck at The Citrus Tower. 141 N. Hwy. 27, Clermont, 352-394-4061 www.citrustower.com

14. Become a chocolatier at Farris and Foster’s Chocolate Factory. Create your own creamy, dreamy chocolate yummy goodness. For the best value, check out family night. 4875 New Broad Cir., Orlando, 407-770-1607 www.farrisandfosters.com

15. Cruise through the Winter Park chain of lakes on a guided Scenic Boat Tour. 312 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, 407-644-4056 www.scenicboattours.com

16. Organize a pet food drive for The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Central Florida. Your donations go directly toward the animals’ care. Visit either of the two facilities. Orlando and Sanford, 407-351-7722 www.orlandopets.org/volunteer_youth.htm

17. Soar high above Lake Dora on a seaplane. Jones Bros. & Co. offers a variety of adventurous splash and dash seaplane tours. You can even customize pickup and drop-off to your private location. 150 E. Ruby St., Tavares, 352-508-1800 www.jonesairandsea.com

18. Pick your own veggies at Hydroeats. Learn about hydroponic farming, and make a salad for dinner. Choose from a variety of hydroponically grown summer vegetables. 18430 S.R. 19, Groveland, 352-429-0686 www.hydroeats.com

19. Battle Darth Vader at Jedi Training Academy in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Register early for this unique experience,
as the place only allows 12 potential Padawans per show. 351 S. Studio Dr., Lake Buena Vista, 407-939-5277 www.disneyworld.disney.go.com

20. Witness a live venom extraction from some of the most dangerous snakes in the world at Reptile Discovery Center. The venom is used for making antivenom that is shipped worldwide. 2710 Big John Dr., Deland, 386-740-9143 www.reptilediscoverycenter.com

21. Throw clay on a potter’s wheel to create a bowl from start to finish at Super Awesome Cool Pottery. 6100 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, 407-452-2452 www.superawesomecool.com


22. Hold a family food-tasting competition at any Orlando’s Food Trucks event. Check the website for daily, weekly and monthly events throughout Central Florida. www.orlandosfoodtrucks.com

23. Be a paleontologist and dig for authentic fossils at Dinosaur World. You’ll be transported back in time as you explore more than 150 life-sized dinosaurs. 5145 Harvey Tew Rd., Plant City, 813-717-9865 www.dinosaurworld.com

24. Drum by the light of the moon at Dandelion Communitea Cafe’s Full Moon Drum Circle. 618 N. Thornton Ave., Orlando, 407-362-1864 www.dandelioncommunitea.com

25. Grab your camera, and head to Downtown Disney for a hidden Mickey scavenger hunt. 1490 E. Buena Vista Dr., Orlando, 407-939-6244 www.disneyworld.disney.go.com

26. Discover how boats are made at the Regal Boats Factory Tour, Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. 2300 Jetport Dr., Orlando, 407-851-4360 www.regalboats.com

27. Power a swan-shaped paddleboat at Lake Eola. 512 E. Washington St., Orlando, 407-246-4484 www.cityoforlando.net/parks/lake-eola-park

28. Catch air on a half pipe at Orlando Metro Skateboard Academy. Skateboarding classes are offered for kids age 4 and up. Don’t worry if you don’t have the equipment; they have rentals. 4624 L.B. McLeod Rd., Orlando, 407-650-8171 www.metroskateboardacademy.com

29. Stargaze at Seminole State College’s Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium. 100 Weldon Blvd., Sanford, 407-708-4722 www.seminolestate.edu/planet

30. Paddle your way through the bioluminescent Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon. You’ll be awe-inspired by nature’s watery illumination show. Titusville, 321-268-2655www.adayawaykayaktours.com

31. Milk a cow at Green Meadows Petting Farm. 1368 S. Poinciana Blvd., Kissimmee, 407-846-0770 www.greenmeadowsfarm.com

32. Touch a moon rock at Kennedy Space Center. 6225 Vectorspace Blvd., Titusville, 866-737-5235 www.kennedyspacecenter.com

33. Land a triple toe loop at RDV Ice Den—or just try to stay upright! 8701 Maitland Summit Blvd., Orlando, 407-916-2550 www.mvpsportsclubs.com/florida-orlando-rdv-sportsplex-ice-den

34. Treasure hunt with your smartphone or GPS. The possibilities are endless. Start by reading the Geocaching 101 guide at www.geocaching.com.


35.Play a game of life-sized chess with your kids at Winter Park Village. www.winterparkvillage.com

36. Touch an alligator at Jungle Adventures. 26205 E. Colonial Dr., Christmas, 407-568-2885 www.jungleadventures.com

37. Glide through the air as you go parasailing at Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre. Disney’s Contemporary Resort,407-939-0754

38. Go fly a kite! Check out the worldwide database of the best places to fly a kite anywhere: www.kitmap.org.

39. Take in a free family-friendly movie at Enzian Theater in Maitland, during the KidFest Summer Movie Series.
407-629-0054 www.enzian.org

40. Wave good-bye to the cruise ships at Jetty Park as they set sail out of Port Canaveral. 400 Jetty Park Rd., Cape Canaveral, 321-783-7111 www.jettypark.org

41. Get sweaty and eat watermelon at the Watermelon 5K on July 4 at 7 a.m. Register your children for the shorter kids run.
N. Mills Ave., Orlando, 407-898-1313 www.trackshack.com

42. Sing along with local children’s recording artist Mr. Richard at one of his free shows. www.mrrichard.net

43. Rent a “skate mate” for your little skaters so they can feel confident about roller-skating. Let’s Skate is a great value, and the extra $5 for the skate mate is totally worth it to help your kiddos feel a better sense of achievement. 14207 W. Colonial Dr., Winter Garden, 407-614-3812 www.letsskateorlando.com

44. Touch a stingray at the Marine Science Center. 100 Lighthouse Dr., Ponce Inlet, 386-304-5545 www.marinesciencecenter.com

45. Jump, bounce, leap and roll off the walls at Boing! Jump Center. 532 S. Econ Cir., Oviedo, 407-542-7844 www.boingjumpcenter.com

46. Go back in time at 1876 Heritage Inn. This postal museum is housed in what was the first post office in the area. 300 S. Volusia Ave., Orange City, 386-774-8849www.1876heritageinn.com

47. Cloud-watch. Find shapes in the sky on a cloudy day at beautiful Gemini Springs. 37 Dirksen Dr., Deltona, 386-668-3810

48. Hit the trails on June 7—National Trails Day. Go to www.floridahikes.com to find trails near you.

49. Sign the Declaration of Independence at The Presidents Hall of Fame, one of the largest depositories of presidential memorabilia in the nation. 123 N. Hwy. 27, Clermont, 352-394-2836 www.thepresidentshalloffame.com

50. Catch him if you can! The JiggleMan captivates all ages with his zany physical humor. He is an eight-time David Letterman guest. www.bankshelfrich.com/banks/jiggleman

51. Adopt a bird at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey. 1101 Audubon Way, Maitland, 407-644-0190 http://fl.audubon.org/audubon-center-birds-prey

52. Dance like no one’s watching at Friday Night Live, Cranes Roost Park’s free live music series. 274 Cranes Roost Blvd., Altamonte Springs, 407-571-8863 www.altamonte.org

53. Grow a Tower Garden. Start with a vertical garden greenhouse tour at Living Towers. 19621 Lake Lincoln Lane, Eustis, 352-357-4453 www.livingtowers.com

54. Become a passenger on one of the world’s most famous ships at Titanic the Experience. 407-248-1166

55. Cool off in the largest library in Central Florida. Orlando Public Library, 101 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, 407-835-7323 www.ocls.info

56. Splash all week on your very own splash pad tour. Hours and prices vary, so call before you go: Capehart Park (Orlando) 407-254-9160, City of Oviedo Splash Zone 407-971-5570, Downey Park Splash Playground (Orlando) 407-245-9180, Dr. P. Phillips Community Park 407-254-9038, Lake Mary Splash Pad 407-324-3068, Trotwood Park (Winter Springs) 407-327-6597; Fort Mellon Park (Sanford) 407-688-5103

Chocolate Kingdom

Chocolate Kingdom

57. Follow a cocoa bean’s journey from a cacao tree to a chocolate bar at Chocolate Kingdom’s interactive factory adventure tour. This is where true chocoholics come to learn about “the food of the gods.” Make your very own chocolate bar at the end of the tour. Sweet! 2858 Florida Plaza Blvd., Kissimmee, 407-705-3475 www.chocolatekingdom.com

58. Rent a River-bana, and get away for a day at Wekiva Island. 1014 Miami Springs Rd., Longwood, 407-862-1500

59. Watch Rapunzel escape her tower at Orlando Shakespeare Theater from June 19 through July 27, 2014. 812 E. Rollins St., Orlando, 321-622-2284 www.orlandoshakes.org

60. Celebrate National Watermelon Day on August 3. www.watermelon.org

61. Build something at Lowe’s Build and Grow program. Saturdays at 10 a.m. www.lowesbuildandgrow.com

62. Read enough books to earn a free pizza from Pizza Hut’s Book It! program. www.bookitprogram.com

63. Savor a fresh-baked authentic German treat from Yalaha Bakery. Check out the events calendar, and schedule a tour.
8210 C.R. 48, Yalaha, 352-324-3366 www.yalahabakery.com

64. Plunge toward the earth on the largest skycoaster in the world at Fun Spot Kissimmee. This giant swing will hoist you 300 feet and let you go, so you can soar through the air at upwards of 75 miles per hour. 2850 Florida Plaza Blvd., Kissimmee, 407-397-2509 www.funspotattractions.com

65. Row a canoe through the cool waters at Blue Spring State Park, and look for manatees. 2100 W. French Ave.,
Orange City, 386-775-3663 www.floridastateparks.org/bluespring

66. Play Frisbee golf at the UCF Arboretum. The nine-hole disk golf course is fun for everyone. 4312 Scorpius St., Orlando,
407-823-3583 www.arboretum.ucf.edu

67. Go on a helicopter ride over Orlando attractions at Air Florida Helicopter Tour. 8990 International Dr., Orlando, 407-354-1400 www.airfloridahelicopter.com

68. Knock down all 10 pins for free. There are several ways for kids to bowl for free. Learn more at www.kidsbowlfree.com.

69. Take a sewing class at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores (for kids age 5 and older). www.joann.com/kidsstudio


Showcase of Citrus

70. Feed an orange to a cow from the top of the world’s largest 4×4 at Showcase of Citrus’ Swamp Safari and Eco Tour. Tour a working 2,500-acre estate. With 70 varieties of citrus, zebras and more, this is a truly unique experience. A reservation is recommended. 5010 U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont, 352-394-4377 www.showcaseofcitrus.com

71. Feed farm animals any Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Good Neighbors Farmer’s Market and Petting Farm. 1101 Lloyds Lane, Oviedo, www.goodneighborsmarket.com

72. Cool off in the 72-degree natural spring at Wekiwa Springs State Park. 1800 Wekiwa Cir., Apopka, 407-884-2008

73. Get an official Legoland driver’s license (kids ages 6-13) at the Ford Driving School at Legoland. http://florida.legoland.com

74. Observe Galapagos Tortoises at the world’s third-largest turtle and tortoise museum. Chelonian Research Institute,
402 S. Central Ave., Oviedo, 407-365-6347 www.chelonianri.org

75. Host a foreign exchange student for the summer through Education First. www.ef.edu/ehp/host-a-student

76. Stomp the grapes at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards’ Harvest Festival. June 20-22,10 a.m.-5 p.m., Clermont, 800-768-WINE www.lakeridgewinery.com

77. Stand in victory lane at Daytona International Speedway. Choose from multiple tours of this legendary racetrack. www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com

78. Feed and pet the dolphins at SeaWorld. http://seaworldparks.com

79. Spend a night at the museum. Orange County Regional History Center, 65 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, 407-836-8580 www.thehistorycenter.org

80. Dance-walk around Lake Eola with the Jolly Ninjas. Or, join any of their random attacks of kindness. www.facebook.com/jollyninjas

81. Indulge in a chocolate volcano at Rainforest Cafe, the wild place to eat. 1800 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, 407-827-8500 www.rainforestcafe.com

82. Dig out your earplugs, and close your mouth to keep the bugs out during a Black Hammock Adventures airboat ride. 2356 Black Hammock Fish Camp Rd., Oviedo, 407-365-1244 www.theblackhammock.com

83. Safeguard your summer with classes at Children’s Safety Village. 910 Fairvilla Rd., Orlando, 407-521-4673 www.childrenssafetyvillagefl.org

84. Get a free Lego at the Lego Store Monthly Mini Model Build event on the first Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m. until supplies last (for children ages 6-14 only). Downtown Disney,  407-828-0065  http://stores.lego.com

85. Investigate urban legend and strange phenomenon at Spook Hill. GPS coordinates: 27°, 54′, 43.35′N; 81°, 34 , 56.47′W. www.spookhill.info

86. Get your feet wet on an ecotour at Marine Discovery Center. 520 Barracuda Blvd., New Smyrna Beach, 386-428-4828 www.marinediscoverycenter.org/ecotours

87. Experience the behaviors of nocturnal animals at the Night Hike at the Zoo event, Saturday, June 21, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Central Florida Zoo. 3755 N.W. Hwy. 17-92, Sanford, 407-323-4450 www.centralfloridazoo.org

88. Compete in a triathlon. There are great kids events throughout the state—some are shorter than you think. www.kidstri.com

89. Pitch a tent, and go camping. The Florida State Parks site can help you find just the right spot. www.floridastateparks.org

90. Slip and slide into the natural sulfur spring at Wekiva Falls. Or, play in the waterfall. 30700 Wekiva River Rd., Sorrento, 352-383-8055 www.wekivafalls.com

91. See how animals are rescued, raised, rehabilitated and released at Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge & Education Center.
10525 Clapp Simms Duda Rd., Orlando, 407-568-5138 www.btn-wildlife.org

92. Cheer for your team at an Orlando City Soccer game. Games are at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. 407-478-4007 www.orlandocitysoccer.com

93. Listen to the bells, stroll through the hills and have a scenic picnic lunch at Bok Tower Gardens. www.boktowergardens.org

94. Tour an orange juice factory at Florida’s Natural. 20160 U.S. Hwy. 27, Lake Wales, 863-679-4110 www.floridasnatural.com/co-op/visitors-center

95. See the oldest fire truck in Central Florida at Orlando Fire Museum. 814 E. Rollins St., Orlando, 407-898-3138 www.cityoforlando.net/fire/museum

96. Take a ride on the Orange Blossom Cannonball vintage steam train. 352-742-7200 www.orangeblossomcannonball.com

97. See, touch and sit inside of retired military vehicles and aircrafts at the Corporal Larry E. Smedley National Vietname War Museum. 3400 North Tanner Rd., Orlando, 407-601-2864 www.bunkerflorida.org

98. Learn about Florida ecosystems and conservation at Lyonia Environmental Center. 2150 Eustance Ave., Deltona, 386-789-7207 www.lyoniapreserve.com/lec.htm

99. Get crafty at Lakeshore Learning. Free kiddie crafts are offered every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 335 E. S.R. 436, Fern Park, 407-260-5566 www.lakeshorelearning.com


Photo and recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids

100. Make your own Fro-Yo at home. Ingredients: 2 bananas (chopped), 3 cups lowfat yogurt, 1 cup pineapple (chopped), 1⁄4 cup caramel dip. Directions: (1) Place bananas in freezer bag and freeze overnight. (2) Blend bananas, yogurt and pineapple in blender until thick and smooth. Portion and freeze 25 minutes. (3) Drizzle with caramel dip.

This entry was posted in Activities and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.