Do you realize how fortunate we are to live and raise our children in this area? Not only are we part of a thriving community with a busy downtown, and fun events, but we are also surrounded by an energetic arts culture and pristine natural resources. Some might say that DeLand is a perfect place to raise a family. But, just like any place, after a while, it’s easy to get caught up in your everyday routine and lose sight of all of the other options.
We’ve compiled this list for all of the families who are at home with their children in search of something fun to do to get the whole family out of the house. To make this extra fun, sit your family down to come up with your own list and see how many items you can check off before your kids go back to elementary school in the fall. Everything is more fun for kids when it’s made into a game!
Cool Off At Our Local Springs
The state of Florida is dotted with beautiful, freshwater springs. There are more than 700 and most of us have only experienced a handful. In Volusia County were lucky to have four, all of which are on the west side of the county, near DeLand. DeLeon Springs, Green Springs, Blue Springs, and Gemini Springs each boast different amenities but are all an incredible display of the rich natural beauty available to us as Florida residents. And, if you’ve been in the area long enough you know that nothing beats a cold swim after flipping pancakes at the DeLeon Springs Sugar Mill. Green Springs and Gemini Springs are Volusia County parks with plenty of shade, trails, and free admission, DeLeon Springs and Blue Springs are State Parks with swimming spots and charge a $6 entrance fee per vehicle.
Enjoy Our Scenic Trails
Have you ever taken your elementary school children out to visit Lake Woodruff Wildlife Refuge? It’s perhaps one of the best-kept secrets in our area. Located in DeLeon Springs, there are miles of trails that allow you to come up close and personal with some of Florida’s most famous flora and fauna. Alligators are keeping cool in the lake, playful otters, walking the paths, and majestic birds singing from the trees. Lake Woodruff is situated on the Spring to Spring Trail which connects DeLeon Springs and Gemini Springs, and on the way, you pass through Lake Beresford State Park where there is a beautiful covered trail leading to Lake Beresford, as well as the paved Spring to Spring Trail which runs beside the train tracks. If your child loves trains, this trail is a must-visit. Lake Beresford Trail also has a great playground for when your kids need to run wild a little bit.
Be Awed At The DeLand Airport
Not all small towns have their own airport, but DeLand does. And, we also happen to be an international mecca for skydivers. There are a couple of great restaurants perched right on the airport property where families gather during the spring and summer months to watch courageous skydivers jump out of airplanes. Even the adults in the family will be mesmerized by the fun that takes place out at the airport.
Fall In Love With Books At The Library
Of course, we can’t assemble a list like this without including something educational. There are more than a dozen public libraries in Volusia County, each of them offering a host of activities catered toward elementary school children. Not to mention the stacks and stacks of books for them to enjoy. When the summer sun is beating down, or bad weather has rained on your other plans, the library is always a great place to cool off and stay dry during the summer. Teach your kids to love books and get lost in great stories with a weekly trip to the library.
Explore Art And Science At Local Museums
The Museum of Art DeLand is known for its breathtaking art exhibits, and they’re also great at finding clever ways to engage children. From summer camps to family-friendly exhibit tours, our local museum has always prioritized education for children. This summer there are two ways you and your family can enjoy the MOA DeLand, Art Seen Investigator, and Family Fun Saturdays. Admission for adults to this museum is $5, and children under 12 get in for free. But that’s not the only museum in the area. Just down the road in Daytona Beach is the Museum of Arts and Sciences which has a wing for children and ongoing events for the family. Plus, on the first Tuesday of each month enjoy free admission, allowing you and your family a chance to go and explore without paying a dime.
This list just scratches the surface when it comes to opportunities to get out of the house and enjoy what our area has to offer. It doesn’t even begin to include the things to do on the east side of the county, in Lake County, or out toward Orlando. We hope that you are enjoying this summer with your children, after all, they won’t be in elementary school for long. If you and your family are looking for a private school to call home, contact our office today. We’d love to share more about what it means to be part of the St. Barnabas Episcopal School community.