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Kid-Friendly

Destinations

Here is a list of highlighted destinations for a trip with the kids – but the whole area has a strong family feeling. Many of the parks are free or very inexpensive, and there are near-constant museum or zoo activities to stimulate young minds. The places we list here are some of the easiest locations to find and require minimal planning, but the many waterway trails and parks are also beautiful places for a day with the children. For more on kid friendly planning, see Kid-Friendly Tour Suggestions.

The Reptile Discovery Center

The Reptile Discovery Center is a unique facility in which visitors are exposed to a wide variety of reptile species. In the Center’s Serpentarium, dozens of the world’s most dangerous and exotic snakes are on display, including a thirteen-foot king cobra and a fourteen-foot Burmese python. The outside nature trail features alligators, lizards, tortoises and other reptiles, which can be seen up close in their natural environments. The Center is also home to Medtoxin Venom Laboratories. Medtoxin is a commercial venom production facility. Medtoxin collects venom from a wide variety of snakes, which is shipped around the world for making anti-venom and for use in pharmaceuticals and medical research.

Reptile Discovery Center
2710 Big John Dr. DeLand, FL 32724
(386) 740-9143

Central Florida Zoo

Besides seeing over 400 animals (that doesn’t even include the bugs in the Massey Services Insect Zoo), you can take to the sky and enjoy our aerial adventure course, ZOOm Air Adventure Park or bring your flip-flops and swimsuit to cool-off in the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground.

See domestic animals in our Barnyard Buddies Children’s Zoo, or see the Southeast’s largest collection of venomous snakes and non-venomous reptiles in our Herpetarium. On weekends we also offer: Keeper Chats. And if you would like, hold your child’s Birthday Party at the Zoo or host your company’s meeting, picnic or your family reunion at the Zoo.

Central Florida Zoo
3755 NW US Highway 17-92, Sanford, FL 32771
(407) 323-4450

Ziplining – Zoom Air Adventure Park

At the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens. ZOOm Air Adventures is an aerial adventure course that will allow you to explore the tree tops from an animal’s perspective. Explore one or all of the three tree top courses available! Height and age requirements, other restrictions, and adventure prices are listed on their web site.

Zoom Air Adventure Park at Central Florida Zoo in Sanford
3755 NW US Highway 17/92, Sanford, FL 32771
(407) 330-0767

Zoom Air National Site  |  Zoom Air Popular on TripAdvisor

Thornby Park & Playground

Beautiful Thornby Park overlooks Lake Monroe and is Deltona’s only passive park, where visitors can picnic, stroll or just relax in serenity. Thornby Park is a great attraction for travelers to the area and also provides a respite for local residents from pressures of the city. This area is like no other in Central Florida. It contains over seven acres of wetlands and has several different ecosystems on the property. It is a rare microcosm of old, unspoiled Florida at its best. This is one of only 10 completely handicapped-accessible playgrounds in Florida and the only one in Volusia County. Natural walking trail to remains of a historic rail spur. The site is almost 40 acres of pristine wooded property including 1,000 feet of shoreline on the scenic St. John’s River.

Thornby Park
110 Providence Blvd., Deltona, FL
(386) 878-8100

Barberville Pioneer Settlement for the Arts

Located in Barberville, the Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts is a living history museum and popular heritage tourism site, as well as an adjunct classroom for Volusia County Schools. The Settlement’s variety of historic buildings and architectural styles interpret early Florida settlement through exhibitions of traditional hand tools and domestic wares. The Settlement has a unique hands-on interpretive style with a year-round schedule of special events and festivals. The historic Underhill House, which is the oldest surviving brick house in Volusia County, is also part of the Settlement, purchased through grant funding. The Barberville Central High School building, the settlement’s primary facility, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Barberville Pioneer Settlement for the Arts
1776 Lightfoot Ln, Barberville, FL 32105
(386) 749-2959

Bill Dreggors Park and Freedom Playground

This historic site, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was dedicated and named for William J. “Bill” Dreggors, Jr. Mr. Dreggors is known throughout Florida for his work in historic preservation and his knowledge of the area’s history. Park area includes sensory butterfly garden, 7/16 mile paved walking path, Freedom Playground, DeLand Memorial Hospital Museum, Hospital and Pharmacy Display, Electrical Display & Veterans Museum. The Burgess Building which houses the Hawtense Conrad Elephant Fantasyland, the West Volusia Black Heritage Gallery and Conrad’s Toyland. Two picnic pavilions, each with two grills and electricity, and the Freedom Playground make this a popular birthday party.

Bill Dreggors Park – DeLand, FL | Bill Dreggors Park
230 N Stone St, DeLand, FL 32720
(386) 740-5800

Blue Spring State Park

Blue Spring State Park, located on the St. Johns River near Orange City, is one of the most popular parks in the State of Florida and the largest spring on the river. It is well-known as a winter home for the endangered Florida manatee between November and March. Blue Spring State Park is listed on the Great Florida Birding Trail, and recreational activities include swimming, canoeing, tubing, picnicking, snorkeling, certified cave diving, kayak tours and rentals, fishing, boating, hiking and birding. Vacation cabins, RV sites and tent camping are located in the sandpine scrub. The spring run trail offers the opportunity to see coots, anhingas, cormorants, barred owls and migrating warblers. A 4-mile trail through scrub habitat is home to a growing number of scrub-jays. An award-winning two-hour narrated river cruise departs from the park twice daily.

Blue Spring State Park
2100 W French Ave, Orange City, FL 32713
(386) 775-3663

Hontoon Island State Park

Hontoon Island State Park, listed on the Great Florida Birding Trail, is located on the St. Johns River west of DeLand. Visitors can spot osprey, anhinga, limpkins, other wading birds, and various wildlife, including deer and turkey. The nature trails traverse hammocks full of songbirds and woodpeckers. Scrubby flatwoods in the island’s interior are good for warblers and vireos. Recreational activities include hiking, biking, picnicking, rustic cabins, tent camping, a children’s playground, natural and historic museum, fishing, boat docking, and canoe and kayak rentals. Picnic areas include tables and grills. The park’s visitor center features Native American artifacts found on the island, as well as an interpretive video about its history and examples of insects and wildlife. It is accessible by private boat or free ferry.

Hontoon Island State Park
2309 River Ridge Road, Deland, Florida 32720
(386) 736-5309

DeLeon Springs State Park

DeLeon Springs State Park is on the Great Florida Birding Trail, which has a bird checklist of more than 125 species. Activities include swimming in the spring pool (which is accessible to visitors with disabilities), snorkeling and picnicking. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboats are available to rent. There is also a boat ramp, fishing areas, a nature trail, a 4-mile hiking trail, a playground and picnic pavilions. Trails wind through hardwood forests, oak hammocks, cypress swamps, grasslands and floodplain forests filled with the sounds of woodpeckers and songbirds. The endangered yellow anise tree is abundant, and a paved walkway leads to “Old Methuselah,” a huge bald cypress that is more than 500 years old. The spring run hosts a variety of wading birds, alligators, otters and manatees. Adjacent to the spring, the famous Old Spanish Sugar Mill restaurant features cook-your-own pancakes made from stone-ground flours. A Butterfly Garden has more than 600 plants for the benefit of native and migrating butterflies and hummingbirds. Kiosks and exhibits in the visitor center interpret the park’s natural and cultural history. The Fountain of Youth Eco/History narrated riverboat tour departs four times daily from the park.

DeLeon Springs State Park
601 Ponce Deleon Blvd, De Leon Springs, FL 32130
(386) 985-4212

DeBary Splash Pad

DeBary Community Park is located at the intersection of 17/92 and DeBary Drive, and features amenities including an open grass field, shaded gazebo, picnic tables, a restroom facility and the popular Splash Pad. Free to the public, the Splash Pad has a bathing load of 70 people and offers five different splash stations and several fountains throughout. So, come beat the Florida heat at this family-friendly destination and make sure to bring towels and water shoes.

DeBary Splash Pad
137 S. Highway 17-92, DeBary, FL 32713
(386) 668-2040

Lyonia Environmental Center

Gain insight into Volusia County’s fragile ecosystems by visiting the Lyonia Environmental Center. The Center promotes an understanding of the county’s natural environment, as well as the heritage it sustains and the challenges it faces. Hours: Monday – Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Friday – Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.

Lyonia Environmental Center
2150 Eustace Ave, Deltona, FL 32725
(386) 789-7207, ext. 21025

Gillespie Museum of Minerals

Gillespie Museum of Minerals exhibits one of the largest private mineral and gem collections in the world, with more than 25,000 rare specimens. It features an outstanding array of minerals, as well as igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks; Florida minerals and fossils; earth science exhibits; and precious and semi-precious gemstones all showcased in an historic building accented by a native Florida landscape.

Gillespie Museum of Minerals
234 E Michigan Ave, DeLand, FL 32724
(386) 822-7330

Museum of Art – DeLand

The Museum of Art – DeLand, Florida is a vital nonprofit visual arts museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, display and educational use of the fine arts. In addition to its permanent collection, the Museum hosts rotating exhibits, gallery talks and receptions, educational programming, master artist workshops and special events throughout the year.

Museum of Art – DeLand
600 N Woodland Blvd, DeLand, FL 32720
(386) 734-4371

Gateway Park

Great to enjoy on a sunny day, Gateway Park has a playground equipped with climbers, slides and swings. Both kids and adults will enjoy the nature trail, which is ½ mile in length and winds through a wooded area. The family-size pavilion is perfect for birthday parties and picnics.

Gateway Park
860 North U.S. Highway 17-92, DeBary, FL 32713
386-668-5553

Fort Mellon Park

Fort Mellon Park is located in Historic Downtown Sanford right along beautiful Lake Monroe.  There’s a playground and splash pad for the kids as well as picnic tables, bbq grills, pavilions, basketball courts, and restrooms.

Fort Mellon Park
600 E 1st St, Sanford, FL 32771
(407) 688-5103

For kid-friendly events  along the corridorClick Here