5 Fun SunRail Stops for Kids

SunRail is relatively new to the Central Florida community, so we’re all still figuring out how to make the most of it. A lot of Orlando parents don’t realize that families have as much to gain from this convenient, safe service as commuters do! Here’s a list of our favorite SunRail destinations for families.

Words by Anna Karasik

1. Sanford Station: “Choo Choo to the Zoo”

Whether your kids are new to the zoo or mini-tour guides, this experience is too cool to miss out on! SunRail’s new Choo Choo to the Zoo shuttle will take you on a round-trip from the Sanford SunRail station to the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens and Downtown Historic Sanford.

When you’re done romping around for the day, you can catch the shuttle back to the station and ride the SunRail home.

PLAY Tip: Present your SunRail ticket at the Zoo ticket window for a 20% discount!

The shuttle itself has a clean, comfortable interior … and an adorable exterior! See a photo tour of the experience in our Facebook album.

2. Church Street Station: Go on an O-Town Family Adventure

Riding the SunRail to the Church Street station puts you just blocks away from some of Orlando’s top family hangouts:

  • Walk a few blocks from the train station to the Orlando Public Library! They host plenty of events for kids, and their children’s section is a neat place to plop down and read.
  • Just one block away from the library is iconic Lake Eola! There, you can ride in a swan boat, run around at the playground, or simply walk laps around the lake and enjoy the scenery.
  • Check out the Orange County Regional History Center, also just a block away from the library. They host events and camps for kids, as well as educational exhibits.

If daytime romping isn’t an option, consider taking the family out for a night on the town! The Church Street station is just blocks away from your perfect evening itinerary:

  • Catch a show at the Dr. Phillips Center. From hit musicals to themed concerts, you’re bound to find events that will “wow” your whole family.
  • Have a lip-smackin’ burger at Wahlburgers. On your walk to and from the Dr. Phillips Center, you’ll pass one of Orlando’s newest and best burger joints– so why not stop in for a dinner date?

3. Winter Park Station: Outdoor Movies and Shopping

  • Popcorn Flicks in the Park is a free film experience that is a favorite among locals. Enzian Theater plays a popular movie on a big projector screen in Winter Park’s beautiful Central Park. The Winter Park SunRail station is right in Central Park, so you hardly have to walk off the platform to be in your perfect viewing spot. Bring blankets and food so you can kick back in comfort and enjoy a show under the stars!

    Before you go, compare movie runtimes and the SunRail schedule! Some movies may run past the last departure time to your home station. (The beautiful thing is, it’s hard to miss your train when the station is right next to you!)

  • Walk across the street to the Park Avenue shopping district! The area is lined with unique restaurants & boutiques. Here are some of our fave Park Avenue destinations:
    – Tugboat & the Bird children’s boutique
    – Max and Marley children’s upscale resale boutique
    – Lighten Up! toy store

Bonus: Pick up a copy of PLAYGROUND Magazine at any of those locations!

4. Florida Hospital Health Village Station: A Cultural Experience

The Florida Hospital Health Village station isn’t just a stone’s throw from the hospital — it’s also walking distance from Loch Haven Park, which is surrounded by some of Orlando’s best family hotspots:

  • There is no shortage of things for your kids to do at Orlando Science Center. Along with a huge re-vamped KidsTown, the Science Center also offers children’s workshops, movies, stargazing, and so much more! Don’t forget to check out their latest traveling exhibit.
  • Orlando Shakespeare Theater doesn’t just offer stellar shows from The Bard. Their children’s shows are as professionally done as their adult shows.
  • Kids & teens alike L-O-V-E The Orlando Repertory Theatre. They run an out-of-this-world youth academy, the members of which put on high-quality musical productions that’ll knock your family’s socks off!
  • The Orlando Museum of Art is a great way to introduce your kids to culture in a fun way. Keep an eye out for Free Family Fundays, where your kids can do a craft and then explore the museum for free. The first weekends of the month are also free for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders thanks to the Museums on Us program.

5. Longwood Station: Get Artsy at The Craft Shack Studio

Just a five-minute walk from the Longwood SunRail station is The Craft Shack Studio. This is a mecca for your little artist, and hey — they offer art classes for adults, too! Check out their calendar to see which classes are coming up. You’ll find everything from painting to needlework, and everything in-between!

The Craft Shack is also a great place to host your little artist’s next birthday party. It’s a cozy space for a memorable celebration! All you have to do is bring the cake and decorations.


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