Playing Putt-Putt Golf in the Daytona Beach and Volusia County Area
Sea Squirts at the Marine Discovery Center

20 Things to Do This Week with the Kids

The kids are out of school. For the second week in a row. There's no doubt that they, and you, are probably experiencing a little cabin fever (especially with all the cold weather we have been getting). Here are 20 things out and about town that you can do to get the kids out of the house and keep them busy:

1. Visit the library. Every Volusia County library has activities planned each week. From story times to lego blog parties and speed stacking, there are events galore! This week the Port Orange library, for example, will be offering a Lego Block Party on Monday at 5:30 p.m. and a Kid Kaos dance revolution on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Check with the Volusia County library calendar here to see all the events offered this week. Even if there are no events you want to attend, stop in and get some books, movies and games.

2. Visit the Lighthouse. The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is having an "early New Year" for the whole family. It will be held on Tuesday teh 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The family friendly day will feature activities, crafts, lighthouse history, and more. Admission is $5 for those 12 and up and $1.50 for under 12.

3. See the manatees. With the weather being so cold it is the perfect time to head to Blue Springs State Park in Orange City to see all the manatees huddled into the springs. Plan to go early in the morning to ensure you get in and hvae the best chance to see them. Take a jacket and a camera. It's chilly, but lots of fun. And there is a nice short family-friendly trail to take a little hike on.

4. Get environmental. Head to the Lyonia Environmental Center to visit the neat exhibits and learn about the area's environment. You will learn about area wildlife, water, and more. Admission is free and it's a fun time for the whole family. And on Wednesday they will be offering a "scrub stroll" walk for the whole family at 1:00 pm. Fee for the guided walk is $3 per person.

5. See science. If you haven't been to the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet in a while, this may just be the week to do it! They have craft activities, animals, a new touch-tank, and more. Also, they have a really nice short nature walk you can take (starts right across the street from where you park and leads back to an observation tower with great views).

6. Go boating. If we do have a day this week with decent temperatures, take a pontoon boat ride at Cracker Creek in Port Orange. It's affordable and provides a nice family fun activity. You learn about the nature in the area and it is just a nice break.

7. Bowl a strike! This is a great activity that the whole family can do. The younger bowlers can use bumper lanes and the adults can play right next to them. Fun for all! Here's a list of Daytona Beach area bowling alleys.

8. Go to the movies. See what is playing at your local theater, or go cheap and hit the Port Orange Six theatre where movies are $1 all day Wednesday.

9. Ahoy, matey! Check out the new Pirates exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Science in Daytona Beach. they also have a children's museum area. Children under five are free. And if you have a membership to another museum in the state (like the Orlando one), you may be able to get in free.

10. Go visit a 3,500 year old tree! While this ancient tree is located in Seminole County, it is certainly worth the short drive over to see it. You can learn more here.

11. Take them to a farmer's market. Did you watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? He demonstrated that many elementary aged children in America can't name fruits and vegetables much beyond the apple! Try taking them to a local farmer's market and showing them what everything is. Give them $5 and let them pick out whatever fruits and vegetables they want to try with it (And don't talk them out of what htey pick. My daughter once picked radishes... I got creative and made radish chips!). You can find a list of local farmer's markets on this site (bottom right hand corner).

12. Have a dedicated game day. The closet is probably loaded with games. So dedicate some time this week just for playing all those games they got for Christmas.

13. Go watch the sunrise. Get the kids up early, pack a light breakfast of muffins and juice, and head to the beach bright and early to see the sunrise. And don't forget your camera, because it's a great time to take photos! You can find out what time the sun will rise here, so you are sure to be down there in time.

14. Have a playdate. You can find many children's play groups in Volusia County by logging onto and yahoo groups.

15. Head north. Take a day trip to St. Augustine. There are some great things to do right now. They will be offering their evening trolley tour to see the lights through the end of January. It's a fun trolley ride that the kids love. You can also visit the wax museum, pirate museum, oldest house, and more!

16. Go skating. It's a great time of the year to go ice skating! You can check out the Daytona Ice Arena in Daytona Beach, or hit the New Smyrna Beach Christmas Carnival. The carnival is featuring ice skating just two blocks from the beach. Find more info here.

17. Go chocolate. Take the kids on the free tour at the Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory to learn about how all that chocolate they at this week was made. You can learn more about the free tour here.

18. Spy on snakes. Have a reptile fan in the famiy? Plan a visit to the Reptile Discovery Center, located in DeLand. The kids will learn about reptiles. Check their site here for the location, daily times and admission fees.

19. Explore space. Take a day to visit the Kennedy Space Center. Located just an hour south of the Daytona Beach area, you can spend most of the day there just exploring and having family-friendly fun. And, right now they are offering a $5 off admission coupon that is good through January 3rd. You can find that and more information here.

20. Get wild. An hour drive south of the Daytona Beach area you will find the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. If you haven't been there, be sure to go! It is a great place to take a scenic drive and see lots of wildlife in their natural habit. From roseate spoonbills to manatee and alligators, this place has it all and is well worth the drive! You can learn more here.

Bonus: Go play mini golf! Learn more about that here.




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