As a stay at home mom, I love to have my days planned out especially during the summer. My mom once told me she planned something everyday that would get my siblings and I out of the house even just for an hour. Somedays an hour in public is all I am feeling up to, and that’s okay! But what should we do on the days I’m feeling a little adventurous?
But to where?
Our weather is always great in Florida, so spending time outside is easy. We have annual passes to Disney World and a membership to the Orlando Science Center, but sometimes a totally new place is just what we need. So, I have gathered a list of 8 fun day trips you can do with your kids this summer, one for every week of summer and suddenly summer has flown by!
So fill up that gas tank, grab some road snacks and entertainment for the kids and hit the road!
These 8 day trips are listed closest to furthest from Orlando:
De León Springs State Park, 47 miles, < 1 hour
De León Springs State Park is a park that you can enjoy boating, birds, fishing, hiking, swimming, wildlife viewing and so much more. The park opens at 8am and can get full, so plan on getting there early to avoid waiting. You can bring your own food or eat at Old Sugar Mill Pancake House. Check out the park map before you go! Also, see how contributor Amanda and her family spent their day at the park to get an idea for your day exploring De León Springs State Park!
Kennedy Space Center, 52 miles, < 1 hour
Both of my girls are fascinated by space, so Kennedy Space Center is on our family bucket list for the year. With so much to learn about space, you can easily spend the day at the museum. Many days there are real life astronauts in the Center that you can talk with and ask questions which I know will be a huge hit with my girls. You can also purchase a family membership and go as often as you like on this day trip!
New Smyrna Beach, 55 miles, < 1 hour
Nestled just south of Daytona Beach, New Smyrna is a surfers and foodie’s paradise. You can explore the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, Cruger-dePeyster Plantation Sugar Mill Ruins, Smyrna Dunes Park, and check out the Marine Discovery Center.
Canaveral National Seashore National Park, 49 miles, 1 hour
Regarded as the longest stretch of undeveloped Atlantic coastline in Florida, Canaveral National Seashore National Park is a day trip in its own. Explore the Visitor Center before heading out to immerse yourself in nature. Wilson’s plovers, sea turtles and manatees are just a few common animals to see here. You can also do some paddling, fishing, swimming, hiking and shell hunting on the beach. It is also a great place to catch a rocket launch.
Cocoa Beach, 60 miles, 1 hour
A quick drive to the coast will land you at Cocoa Beach. It’s an easy place to turn into a little weekend getaway, but there is enough to do to justify a day trip too. Check out the Dinosaur Store, Ron Jon Surf Shop & Surf School, Florida Surf Museum(Cocoa is home to Kelly Slater the 11 time World Champion surfer),the Cocoa Beach Pier to enjoy the ocean and sand, and walk around Historic Cocoa Village for amazing shopping and good food. Cocoa Beach is also a great spot to see a rocket launch or cruise ships leaving Port Canaveral. You can also check out the Brevard Zoo! If you’re staying later in the day, book a Clear Kayak Bioluminescence Tour to enjoy some unique Florida nature.
Ocala National Forest, 70 miles, 1 hour 20 minutes
Ocala National Forest is the second largest, nationally protected forest in the state and is home to 600 lakes and an enormous river system. Spend the day in nature, hiking, swimming, boating, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding and snorkeling. Also expect to see tons of birds and other woodland creatures. Plan on a picnic lunch!
Tampa, 95 miles, 1 hours 30 minutes
If you’re looking for more theme parks, you can visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Adventure Island in Tampa. If you are looking for a break from the theme parks, have no fear, you can spend the day in Tampa without setting foot in a theme park! Check out the Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Tampa Bay History Center, the Glazer Children’s Museum or the Tampa Riverwalk. If your family is into sports, catch a home game of one of Tampa’s professional sports teams!
Venice, 155 miles, 2 hours 30 minutes
Known for the beaches, you would travel to Venice to check out one of their many famous black sand beaches. Check out Caspersen Beach is known for its shells and shark’s teeth or overlooking the Venice Fishing Pier, visit Venice Beach known for dolphin sightings and shorebirds.