Throughout the summer people are always looking for things to do with their kids. They often forget about all the wonderful things there are to do right here in Volusia County. Here are 25 things you can do right here in Volusia County this week with your kids:
1. Go to the library. The local library's offer so many wonderful free events. Reading programs, speakers, movies, lego's, origami, and more. There is always something going on that you can take the kids to at the library. You can access their full calendar of monthly events here.
2. Take an eco-boat ride. We have some wonderful eco-boat rides in the area that will give you a chance to be on the water and learn about everything you see. You can find these at Blue Spring State Park, Cracker Creek, Marine Discovery Center, DeLeon Springs, and through A Tiny Cruise Line. Sometimes you can find deals for these on Groupon.
3. Go kayaking or canoing. We have so many amazing places to go kayaking or canoeing. If you have your own kayak or canoe, great, you can launch from many places. But you can also rent them for the family at several places in the county, including at Cracker Creek, Marine Discovery Center, Hontoon Island, and Tomoka State Park.
4. Try stand up paddleboarding. This has become a popular activity that you may want to try out. Even kids can do this and it's a great way to get out on the water for a while. Local places offering this include New Smyrna Stand Up, Paddleboard New Smyrna, Ponce Inlet Watersports, and Three Brother's Boards.
5. Take a surf lesson. Oh you know you have been wanting to do this! How can you live in the Daytona Beach area and not have this cross your mind? You and the kids can take a surf lesson at places in the area such as Jimmy Lane Surf Academy, Surfin' NSB, Pure Life Surf School, Erin Peeples Surf School, Daytona Beach Surfing Lessons, and Daytona Beach Surfing School.
6. Take a nature hike. We have so many wonderful places to take the kids on a nature hike. During the summer it is best to hit the trail early in order to beat the heat, and be sure to wear sunscreen and take plenty of water to drink. Great short hikes for the kids include DeLeon Springs, Hontoon Island, Ponce Preserve Park, Smyrna Dunes Park, Lake Ashby, Green Springs, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, Lyonia Preserve, Blue Spring State Park, and Spruce Creek Park. You can find more places to hike here.
7. Visit the Marine Science Center. The Marine Science Center offers kids a great way to learn more about sea turtles, stingrays, and other sea animals. They also have a bird rehabilitation area out back, where they can learn about birds. Be sure to take the short nature walk across the street from the Marine Science Center, which leads back to an observation tower (learn about the trail here).
8. Stop at the Marine Discovery Center. The Marine Discovery Center is another gem in Volusia County. They offer kayaking, boat tours, classes, and sea animals that the kids can see, touch, and learn about. They even offer a great Sea Squirts program for kids ages 2-5.
9. Climb the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse stairs. Along with climbing the stairs of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse you can visit rest of the grounds, which has historical buildings. This is a neat place to visit.
10. Walk the gardens. The Sugar Mill Gardens in Port Orange is a nice place to take the kids for a walk. They can also check out the ruins of the sugar mill.
11. Take a bike ride. Load up the bikes and take them to one of the great paved trails that are found in Volusia County. You can find a list of them here.
12. Visit a park you haven't been to for a picnic. Volusia County is loaded with wonderful parks. Pick one you haven't been to and take a picnic. Here are some of the parks I have written about.
13. Go to the beach. We live so close to the beach, yet many of us don't make the time to go there. My favorite time to go to the beach is in the evening, when the sun first starts to drop behind all the buildings. Temperatures are perfect and no sunscreen is needed! You can also have a beach bonfire during certain months of the year.
14. Learn about the pioneers. Visit the Pioneer Settlement in Barberville for a step back in history.
15. Go bowling. Have you signed your kids up for Kids Bowl Free? You can sign them up and take them bowling at one of the area bowling alley's that are participating in the program, or pay the admission for the family to bowl. Kids Bowl Free is now only available at the bowling alley in Ormond Beach.
16. Visit the giant Buddha's in Mims. This is a free stop and it's neat to take the kids to see the giant Buddha statues at the White Sands Buddhist Center.
17. Have a Lego party. Do you have a lot of lego's? We must have thousands of them! Kids love to do lego projects. Have a lego party where the kids all come over just to do lego's. Put down blankets so that it is easier when it is clean-up time. Let them build, serve up a healthy snack, and they will have a great afternoon!
18. Learn about chocolate. Take the kids on the free Angell & Phelps tour in Daytona Beaach. They will see how chocolate is made and get to sample it at the end.
19. Check out snakes. The more you learn about snakes the less you will be afraid of these non-aggressive animals. Take the kids to Reptile Discovery Center, located in DeLand. It's a great place for learning and discovering.
20. Play mini golf. We have plenty of places to play some miniature golf in the area. Here is a list of miniature golf places in the Daytona Beach area. If you want to beat the summer heat opt for playing earlier in the day or in the evening.
21. Get a room on the beach. As locals we don't get to take advantage of being a tourist in this great beach area we live in. Once per summer we like to rent a room on the beach and act like tourists. You can find some good deals, you just need to watch for them. Perry's has some great kid suite rooms, where the kids get their own attached little suite that has been designed just for them. My kids loved it!
22. Go to a spring. There are some great natural springs to visit in Central Florida. Check out the Ultimate Summer Springs Guide.
23. Visit a museum. We have several museums in the area to visit, including MOAS in Daytona Beach, Florida Museum for Women Artists, DeLand Naval Air Station Museum, Southeast Museum of Photography, and more. Here is a full list of area museums.
24. Take a class. There are a lot of fun classes you can take covering a wide variety of subjects. Whether it's something academic or learning to swim, check out the many opportunities.
25. Take a class or do some painting. There are plenty of opportunities in the area for getting creative. Stop by Whim Wham Art Studio in Ormond Beach or Art Rageous in Port Orange to paint some pottery with your child or make an art project, or take a class at The Hub in New Smyrna Beach. You can also find some great classes through Art Haus and One by One Designs.
26. Go swim in the springs. If you really want to cool off plan a trip to DeLeon Springs. You can start out by taking the short nature walk, then cool off by swimming in the enclosed springs. Top it off with a picnic. What a great way to spend a day! You can find more info about the local springs here, or check out the ultimate summer springs guide.
27. Learn about the environment. It's free to visit the Lyonia Environmental Center and Environmental Discovery Center, were they offer hiking, classes and presentations, and some environmental exhibits to check out. They are located in Deltona. You can also check out the
28. Go to a farmer's market. Give your child $5 to pick out whatever they want to try (don't discourage their choices).
29. Hit the train. Take them on a Sun Rail trip to Orlando, where you can grab lunch, visit a museum, and then hop back on to head home.
30. See wildlife. You can take a wildlife drive within an hour of Volusia County. Right from the car you can take in some nature, seeing beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife.