Many families eventually take a trip to Central Florida for a once-in-a lifetime vacation to visit our world famous parks and attractions. When you visit the area why not turn your vacation into an educational adventure?
We are more than happy help your family plan some educational excursions too. Here are 7 of our favorite places to homeschool away from home in Central Florida.
Every winter Blue Springs State Park, located in Orange City, Florida (30 miles north of Orlando), becomes the temporary home to dozens of West Indian Manatees. Recognized as a Manatee Refuge, the Park includes the largest spring on the St. Johns River. Along the boardwalk there are several places to stop and learn more about the many creatures that can be found in the park, including manatee, fish, alligators, tortoises, birds and more. There are also tips about wildlife watching and protecting the environment.
Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark located in Lake Wales, Florida. As you stroll through the gardens, you will find palms, oaks, and ferns, along with acres of beautiful blooms. Founded by Edward W. Bok and designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. , the gardens were created as contemplative woodlands, full of serene resting spots and stunning vistas. At an elevation of 298 feet, the sunset overlook is one of the highest points in peninsular Florida and offers one of the most spectacular views at Bok Tower.
Located in beautiful Clearwater, Florida the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is focused on animal rescue/rehabilitation, public education, and marine research. Although the Aquarium is the home to a very famous dolphin named “Winter” and welcomes thousands of visitors annually, it takes pride in remaining a “neighborhood” aquarium where families can comfortably learn about and interact with many interesting sea creatures.
4 – Dinosaur World
Located just off of I-4 between Orlando and Tampa, visitors should not miss this outdoor museum filled with impressive dinosaur models arranged among natural, tree-lined landscapes.More than 150 dinosaurs are on display throughout this 20+ acre park, but that is just the beginning of the fun. Dinosaur World offers many hands-on learning opportunities including a Fossil Dig, Boneyard, Museum, Skeleton Garden, Carnivore Boardwalk and more!
Covering more than 500 acres, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to more than 1,700 animals. The lands within the park are concerned with conservation, animal care/research and education. Take an early morning trip to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to observe medical procedures being conducted on the parks’ animals and learn about the many world wide animal research programs Disney is involved with. Visit the Kilimanjaro Safari and Pangani Forest to meet African Animals, and explore the Maharajah Jungle Trek to see Asian animals.
Located in Kissimmee, Florida, Green Meadows Farm offers a touching experience minutes from Orlando for children of all ages. You won’t want to miss their rides, farm animal attractions and interactions, as well as special events throughout the year. There is always something new to see and experience at the farm. In the spring you can see baby farm animals. The holidays are always a special time with hay rides, special activities, and more!
Located east of Orlando, the Visitor Complex brings America’s Space Program to life. Not only can you learn about the history of space exploration through exhibits and interactive displays, you can also take guided tours of the complex, have lunch with an astronauts, feel as though you are embarking on a mission with the Shuttle Launch Experience, explore the Rocket Garden, see the Atlantis Space Shuttle and more.
The next time you plan a trip to Central Florida we hope you have a fun AND educational time.
For even more ideas check out our series “Learning on Vacation”