Just a day trip from Orlando, today we’re exploring 12 Winter Park Family Activities for Your Next Visit – with tons of great travel ideas for your family! This post is sponsored by VISIT FLORIDA. All family-friendly opinions are my own.
12 Winter Park Family Activities for Your Next Visit
Neighboring Orlando is one of my family’s favorite cities. Full of history, charm and hidden travel gems, Winter Park, Florida offers families some of the best attractions, activities and memories in the Central Florida area. So one Saturday we took on a challenge: to experience 12 of the most popular Winter Park Family Activities…in one day.
Winter Park Farmers’ Market
A Saturday morning just isn’t the same without a family stroll at the local Winter Park Farmers Market. Held at the historic train depot, this famous corner of the city features some of the best local produce, fresh flowers and plants, as well as baked goods from the area.
Just walking among all of the morning hustle and bustle brings out an explorer’s spirit in my kids. Picking their own veggies for dinner, sampling the fresh popped kettle corn, smelling the fresh baked bread, pointing out their favorite homemade pastries – it’s a MUST experience for families.
Held every Saturday from 7 am – 1 pm (except the 3rd Saturday in March) – it’s worth the early wake-up.
Just a short walk from the Farmers’ Market is our family’s next favorite spot for a stroll. Winter Park’s Park Avenue and surrounding side streets feature cobblestone roads, a beautiful rose garden, and picturesque old town traditions. In just a few hours we experienced some of the best of Park Ave.
If your kids love trains as much as mine do, you’ll have to make a quick stop at the Winter Park Train Station. A real working train station, you can watch the trains pull right up to the beautiful little depot.
11-acres of green lawns, fountains, and oak trees, this is the most well known park in the city. Eclectic at heart, Central Park is the area for the town’s biggest events – from world-famous art festivals to holiday celebrations and concerts – to the perfect spot for a family picnic and a little frisbee toss too. Sometimes your kids just need to “run” it out! Don’t miss the rose garden at the south end of the park.
Need a non-chain restaurant for your family to grab a bite at? There’s plenty of amazing sidewalk eateries right on Park Ave. Enjoy great people (and dog!) watching right from your cafe table and enjoy cuisine ranging from romantic Italian to classic American. Our kids loved getting ice cream on a hot Florida day from Kilwins.
Let’s not forget mommy’s favorite pastime, shopping. Of course in between all of those delicious eating hot spots are some of the most upscale stores, perfect for window-shopping.
Need a little air conditioning break? One of our family’s favorite little travel gems is tucked inside the entrance to the Paris Bistro restaurant on Park Avenue, between Lincoln Ave. and Garfield Ave. Here your family will be greeted by an impressive koi pond and a few benches for sitting.
Famous Scenic Boat Tour
Our next stop on our Saturday afternoon was a family first. The Famous Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour is a 1-hour tour of the lakes of Winter Park. Boasting the longest running attraction in Florida since 1938 this tour promises a beautiful look at Florida wildlife, landscapes, gorgeous mansions and lots of fun facts from our tour guide.
Well worth the small tour fee (cash or check only) – our kids loved their guided views of Winter Park!
Being one of the oldest cities in the Central Florida area means boasting some of the oldest trees in the area too. Some are 400+ years old. That means your kids will love playing in one of the many the shady oak tree playgrounds across the area. Lovingly known as the “castle park,” at Community Playground, this playground offers swings, slides, and a beautiful wooden structured playground with all of the nooks, crannies and climbing that your kids can handle.
Mead Botanical Garden
Haven’t gotten enough of the outdoors yet? Just a short car ride away is Mead Botanical Garden. This is a perfect place for the family to begin winding down for the day. Here your family can enjoy Winter Park’s natural beauty, all canopied under the beautiful oak trees. A perfect place for a family gathering, you can explore some of the many botanical gardens or just enjoy an afternoon picnic, all for FREE.
No visit to Winter Park is complete without a visit to Rollins College. Voted the #1 most beautiful college campus by Princeton Review (See? I did pay attention during our boat tour!), this famous liberal arts college offers some of the most beautiful architecture, lake views and landscaping of Winter Park. You might be able to convince your kids to go to college after all. Wink-wink.
Winter Park Village
After a long day, it was nice to end with food, entertainment and sights all wrapped up into one. Winter Park Village offers families much of the outdoor mall atmosphere with lots of notable chain restaurants, shopping and movie theater. And while our family certainly enjoyed much of the deliciousness and atmosphere, that’s not the main reason that we show up.
Nestled across the street from the movie theater is a gigantic checkers board and chessboard. With pieces as large as my toddler, my kids loved engaging in a good old-fashioned game (no technology required).
Two sleepy kids in tow, we hit 7 of our favorite Winter Park Family Activities spots in one day. Amazed by all of the pictures, memories and excitement from the kids, I love that we got to explore, discover, learn, and play without ever being bored. Love to travel Orlando? Be sure to check out 5 Great Family Dinner Shows in Orlando & 25 Orlando Attractions for Kids That Are NOT a Theme Park.
For more amazing family adventures for your travel bucket list across the state, be sure to check out VISIT FLORIDA for lots of great Florida ideas.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA. The opinions and text are all mine.