A family holiday to Florida doesn’t have to mean Theme Parks

We have recently started saving for a BIG family holiday, I’m currently unsure where we are planning just yet but the kids, well Emmy is keen to go to Disneyland – this has stemmed from 2 of her friends going there for Christmas – they have been talking about it non-stop and regaling tales of the aeroplane which mine haven’t been on just yet.

I personally think the kids are too young at the moment, Emmy is almost 5 and Harry 2.  I feel it would be an expensive holiday and a once in a lifetime one so I want the kids to be a little older so they will remember it.  I know they would LOVE it so much but at 2 I think Harry wouldn’t appreciate it to it’s full potential.

With that in mind I’ve been asking fellow blogging friends for their suggestions on what else there is to do in Florida as a family and they have some fantastic suggestions.
In no particular order their wonderful suggestions are:
  • The out of control magic show at Wonderworks. My husband and son were up on stage although you do not have to participate. Food (pizza, salad and dessert) and drink included in the reasonable cost. Also IFly orlando is great fun . An indoor skydiving centre.

    (This really appeals to me as having done a skydive last year and the kids coming to watch they would get a close up view of what it is like – it’s rather hard for them to see when you are falling from the sky)

    Mellissa and her family also visited Key West and have a lovely post dedicated to that on her blog:  I adore this sunset picture she captured –  it’s just stunning:

Photo Credit: www.thediaryofajewellerylover.co.uk

  • Liv wasn’t quite 2 when we went and her favourite places were Aquatica and Discovery cove, we swam with dolphins and she got to come in for a picture – www.lifewithliv.co.uk
    Angela also has had a wonderful time swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove – her blog post on the day is lovely – it was a dream come true for her!

    (This would be AMAZING for all of us – my favourite animal is dolphins and it’s always been on my wish list to swim with them, the kids would absolutely adore this)

  • Trainer for the day at Gatorland sounds just amazing, just look how close Sara-Jayne got the this one during her wonderful day spent there.  I have to say she is FAR braver than I am!

Photo Credit: www.keep-up-with-the-jones-family.com

  • Lunch with an astronaut at Kennedy Space Centre was amazing! Watching a baseball match and getting to ‘run the bases’ after the game at the Tampa Bay Rays. Swimming with Dolphins at Discovery Cove was one of the best days ever! Going to the beach and swimming in the ocean. – www.familyheights.co.uk

    (I’ve nothing to add other than WOW!!! The memories made must have been amazing on Sam’s holiday!  It sounds awesome)

  • It seems like I’m not the only one who wants theme park free holidays as Tara has written a lovely post 5 things to do in south Florida with kids which has some wonderful theme park free activities for the kids – I have bookmarked this and it makes wonderful reading and her photo’s are stunning.  I love the jet skiing and alligator spotting.
  • Meeting alligators sounds rather scary but when Robert met an alligator he seems rather happy about the fact and it doesn’t look at scary as I would have imagined.  Family Travel Times also visited the Kennedy Space Centre as a family and loved it – I admit I went pre-kids and was slightly bored by it as it’s not my thing but Paul and his brothers loved it.
  • Sammie suggests mini golf – this can be found in so many places and would be a fun family activity for all ages too.
Photo Credit: www.oneblueonepink.com

There really are some wonderful things to do and I am now spoilt for choice if we do choose this as our BIG family holiday.  Of course I have a LOT of saving to do and will look around for coupons and money saving offers for the days out but talking to others about their experiences is definitely the way forward and I have lots of new ideas and plans which I hadn’t thought of before.

Have you been to Florida before?  Is there any MUST do and see things which I’ve missed?

“This is a collaborative post”

34 thoughts on “A family holiday to Florida doesn’t have to mean Theme Parks

  1. I would love to take the family to Florida one day, when the girls are big enough to appreciate it too. I'm surprised how much there is to do outside the theme parks, thanks so much for sharing

  2. Gatorland and kennedy space centre would definitely be on my list if we made it over to florida! Thanks for sharing. x

  3. Great Post. I have a villa in Orlando so go there regularly with the children. We don't do the theme parks any more and are always looking for other entertainment. The Space Centre and the beaches are always a must on our list. But just having a villa with a pool means that we don't have to do much apart from swimming, playing badminton and relaxing. For me personally – the shops and restaurants are also a great way to pass the time.

  4. I went to Florida years ago with my half brother – we didn't go near the theme parks! It's a lovely State to visit.

  5. I love Florida so much, It has such a lovely climate there. I think sometimes tourists get too focused on theme parks. Yes they are great but there are lots of other things to do too. Be brave, explore, and have fun!

  6. We are going to Florida in the summer and can't wait (although not relishing the flight with three children to keep entertained!). It would be great to have a couple of days away from Disney so thanks for the suggestions, we shall have to try a couple out!

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