Favorite Parks in Orange and Seminole County

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Playground Tips

 

Over the past month, I have been exploring and researching meaningful activities to keep my energetic toddler entertained, out of trouble, and away from watching TV all day! I am new to being home with a toddler all day, so I decided to venture out and discover the joy of local parks!

Teaming up with some of my other mommy friends, we visited several parks in Orange and Seminole county.  We agreed on the three that we liked the most — and also discovered some tips and tricks to managing these playgrounds with a toddler and a newborn!

  1. Ft. Christmas Park, North of the city of Christmas (Orange County)  This park is awesome.  Its kind of in the middle of nowhere, but that is part of the appeal. During a weekday the park is almost completely empty, too. And with a small toddler like mine, I appreciate fewer children that could knock her over, etc. This park has a huge playground with multiple slides, swings and things to climb. It also has all the historic Florida buildings and an actual fort! Most of the buildings are open during the day, and they are even air conditioned! This is awesome during warm Florida days — especially for the restrooms, which we found to be nice and clean!
  2. Sweetwater Park, in Oviedo (Seminole County)  This park may be too small for older kids, but for a young toddler it is perfect. Again, on week days it’s usually empty — and we can sit and watch the local tennis club play, too!  It has three nice but small slides, and kiddie swings. The bathrooms were not quite as nice, but that definitely would not stop us from going again.
  3. Minnehaha Park, in Maitland (Orange County)  I discovered this little gem with a friend just this past week. This is such a great park, just off Horatio in Orange County. It has two separate playgrounds for older and younger kids. But my favorite thing about this park is how the playgrounds are fenced in! So if your newly-walking baby or way-too-eager toddler get on the move, they can’t go too far! I have not seen this feature at other parks and thought it was a great. This park also has a nice walking path. So bring the stroller and sneakers, too, and get in some good exercise after the kiddos are done playing. I also noticed that the restrooms are really nice, and large enough to take in a large double-stroller like mine!

Going to a park with a toddler and a newborn can be tough. My toddler especially loves getting out in this way, so I have to find a way to make it work where my hands are free to pick up, chase and play with her while also keeping my newborn safe and secure. The best approach I have found is to use a baby carrier that is attached to me. This even allows me to help my toddler on the slides and push her in the swings!

Strollers are not always ideal for the playground, but I always bring mine in the car just in case there is a trail or a nice place to walk. I would also advise that you pack water for the toddler and plenty of hand wipes! Not only can playgrounds been quite dirty, but if you toddler is like mine she acts like she’s in training to be a future geologist; she loves to play in the dirt and collect rocks!

To learn more about parks in your area, visit your county’s parks and recreations website. I learned about all the parks mentioned above by visiting the following links:

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