60 Things You Can Do with the Kids this Summer in Volusia County and Beyond!
When summer break is here, parents scramble trying to find things to do with their kids. Not only are they looking for ways to cool off, but they want to entertain, explore, and just have some fun. The good thing is that living in the Daytona Beach area, we are surrounded by many great opportunities of things we can do with our families. This list is mostly made up of things to do in the Daytona Beach and Volusia County areas, but I did throw in a few options as far as Orlando, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville, in case you wanted to venture out for the day.
In no particular order, here are 60 things you can do with the kids this summer in the Daytona Beach area and beyond:
- Movies under the stars. Mark your calendars for the free Family Days outdoor movies going on during the summer.
- Free movies. Cobb Luxury 12 in Daytona Beach is offering free summer movies.
- $1 movies. Regal Cinemas (Ormond Beach and Port Orange) will be holding their weekly $1 movies for kids.
- Drive-in movies. The Daytona Beach Drive-in Church is hosting a few free drive-in movie nights this summer.
- Get cold. Take the kids ice skating at the Daytona International Skateway. Even if they can’t skate they will have fun (they can use a walker).
- Start jumping. The kids can burn off some energy as they jump on the trampolines, play in the foam pits, and play some dodgeball at Sky Zone and Hangar 15, both in Daytona Beach.
- Learn more. Take a free Explore Volusia class and learn about our natural environment.
- Visit a nearby spring. Within an hour or so drive you can find some awesome springs. Check out this ultimate summer springs guide for a list of 21 springs within 3 hours of Daytona Beach. Keep in mind that the springs are busy on the weekends, so if you can go during the week it will be better. If you go on the weekend, try to arrive early, before the park reaches capacity.
- Let them build. Give them some time to use their skills building at iBuild Academy in Orange City.
- Go swimming. There’s the beach, public swimming pools. They all provide great places to cool
off and take a dip. Also, be sure get the kids swimming lessons.
- Bike trails. There are some great biking trails in the county. During the summer months it’s best to get out on them early in the morning, or wait until the evening, so that you are not biking in the hottest part of the day.
- Open gym. Places like Ace Gymnastics offers open gym times and periodic parent’s night out events.
- Create art. There are some great places in town that offer the ability to do art projects that the kids can take home (adults, too!). Check out Whim Wham Art Studio, One by One Designs, The Hub on Canal, Art Rageous, and Arthaus. There are some great creative art opportunities in Ormond Beach, Port Orange, and New Smyrna Beach.
- Bowling. We have a few bowling alleys in the area, and kids can sign up for the Kids Bowl Free program. Be sure to choose an alley that accepts the program to get the games for free.
- Race slot cars. Kids can have fun racing slot cars at The Slot Car Place in Holly Hill.
- Take a class. There are some great classes offered at The Hub in New Smyrna Beach. From foreign languages and art classes to yoga for tots and more. Another option is to take your kids for sewing classes.
- Build something. Take the kids to iBuild Academy in Orange City to engage in STEM activities.
- See photos. Take a stroll through the Southeast Museum of Photography on the Daytona State campus.
- Beach day. Have a day at the beach, but know the flag warning signs.
- See reptiles. If you haven’t visited the Reptile Discovery Center in DeLand, put it on your to-do list. The kids and adults will both find it interesting.
- Learn more. The Lyonia Environmental Center is a great place to visit to learn more about our environment and animals that live in it. They offer a variety of free programs all year long.
- Go skating. Take the kids for some skating at The Rink in Deltona.
- Beach day. Spend some time at the beach. Find info on no-drive (traffic free) beaches here, along with beach safety info.
- Start surfing. Take a surf lesson with Pure Life Surf School.
- Go back in time. Visit the Pioneer Settlement in Barberville for a glimpse of days gone by.
- See stones. The kids can learn more about rocks, minerals, and fossils at the Gillespie Museum on the Stetson University campus.
- Go tour. Take a tour of The Casements in Ormond Beach. They also offer a variety of classes there, including those in cooking, movies on the Halifax, summer enviro camp, and more.
- See art. Visit the African American Museum of Art in DeLand. They also offer lectures, a free summer camp, and more.
- Eat chocolate. If you will be anywhere near Beach Street, pop into Angell & Phelps for a view of the chocolate being made, and get a sample.
- Go boating. There are several places in the area where you can take the kids out on an eco-boat ride. They can get out on the water and learn more about it, too. Check out the tours at Cracker Creek and the Marine Discovery Center. Also check out taking an airboat ride.
- Check out marine life. Visit the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach to learn more about marine life. They offer classes, tours, and more.
- Go turtles. The Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet offers a way for kids to learn more about turtles and other marine life.
- Build something. Each month, Lowe’s offers a Build and Grow clinic for kids. It’s free and they make a project they get to take home. Home Depot also offers free kids building workshops each month.
- Skate park. There are some skate parks in the area that your kids can check out if they are interested in skating, including the Jericho Skate Park in South Daytona.
- Raise money. Hold a garage sale, car wash, or other fundraiser to help a charity out. Kids can raise funds for places like Halifax Urban Ministries in Daytona Beach, and the East Coast Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Port Orange.
- See animals. There are several zoos within a short drive that are popular, including the Brevard Zoo and the Jacksonville Zoo.
- Live theater. It’s a good thing to introduce kids to live theater. Check out places like the Daytona Playhouse and The Little Theatre of New Smyrna Beach to see the schedule. You can also introduce your children to acting in theater!
- Splash around. Check out one of the areas splash pads to cool off and play.
- Go indoors. Head to St. Augustine for the day to check out indoor activities, such as visiting the Pirate Museum or Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
- Resort style. Check into a resort for a day or two and chill by the pool. We have had a good time doing that here in Orlando, and at Perry’s locally.
- Orlando day. There are a few things you can plan to do in Orlando (beyond theme parks, of course), including the Orlando Science Center, Ripley’s, and Wonderworks.
- Planet wise. Check out a show at the planetarium in Daytona Beach.
- Climb steps. Plan a morning trek up the 203 steps of the Ponce Inlet lighthouse.
- Get sweets. Take the kids to Krispy Kreme along with their last report card, so they can get a free doughnut for each A.
- Hit the library. The library system in Volusia County is wonderful. Not only do they have loads of books and movies to check out, but they offer lots of free classes. There are story times, reading programs, game and craft events, movie days, and more. Comb through their events calendar and make a trip to the library at least once per week.
- SunRail. Take a short trip on the Sun Rail to Winter Park. When you arrive, take the sightseeing boat tour that is a short walk down from the SunRail stop, and have lunch.
- Ride the train. If your child is into trains, take a ride on the Orange Blossom Cannonball, which offers special excursions and numerous short rides to choose from. There are depot locations in Tavares and Mount Dora.
- Putt-putt. Plan an evening of having the family play miniature golf. There are several in the Daytona Beach area to choose from. Be sure to check their website first to see if they have coupons you can use.
- History lesson. The Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando is a great place to take the kids for the day (even us adults enjoy it). An indoor museum, you will be cool and get a chance to see a variety of the areas historical references.
- Soar high. Take the kids to go on The Orlando Eye, so they can get a birds-eye view of the city. Visit their site for the Florida resident discount information.
- Get speedy. If it’s too hot outside for go-karts then check out the K1Speed indoor go-kart place in Orlando. Locally, there are outdoor go-karts at Daytona Lagoon and Go Kart City in Port Orange.
- Dine-in Theatres. Orlando has a dine-in movie theatre, giving your family the ability to eat dinner as you watch a movie. It’s located in Disney Springs, so you can also check out other things going on there as well.
- Take swings. Check out the batting cages at Go Kart City.
- Go eco. There is a new Environmental Discovery Center in Ormond Beach that you can take the kids to check out.
- See alpacas. Take the kids to see the alpacas in DeLand.
- Appreciate art. There are some art places that you can take the kids to that will keep everyone cool and entertained, including the Gateway Center for the Arts in DeBary, and the Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum & Gardens.
- Walk the street. DeLand has a great downtown area. Spend an afternoon having lunch at one of their restaurants (I highly recommend De La Vega), and shopping in all of the little shops on the street. Be sure to stop into Funky Trunk Treasures!
- Get fit. There are a lot of classes and events offered by the YMCA, including open swimming.
- See speed. The New Smyrna Speedway holds some races that kids 11 and under can get into for free. Check out their schedule for the upcoming events.
- Kayak. If it is summer, it means you need to get out and kayak early to help beat the heat, but it can be done and can be fun. Check out kayaking at Cracker Creek, the Marine Discovery Center, and Tomoka State Park.
- Start tasting. There are cooking classes for adults and children offered in New Smyrna Beach and some for adults at The Casements in Ormond Beach.
- Space out. Plan a trip to the Kennedy Space Center for a tour or for the kids to have lunch with an astronaut.
- See wildlife. While summer is too warm for hiking (unless you hit the trails very early in the morning), you can still see some beautiful nature and wildlife by cruising 7-mile long Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island (we love it!).
- Road trip. Take the kids on a road trip to Tallahassee so they can see the State Capital Building, among other things they can check out in the capital city.
- Relax for a few nights. Rent a hotel room at a resort that offers a nice pool area and just relax. We've done that a few times at the Renaissance SeaWorld (across from SeaWorld), and it's great.
- For the moms. Check out the ladies night, poetry slam events, or comedy club night at the Cinematique Theater of Daytona. Also, be sure to check out date night ideas.
There are also other ongoing activities, such as festivals and community events. Be sure to check the family friendly Daytona Beach area events calendar each week here.
Looking for more outdoor adventure?
Check out my other blog, Florida Family Nature!
Love your ideas; however,
I noticed you left out one of the most wonderful places in the county to enjoy nature, swim, kayak canoe, earn a Jr. Ranger Badge (ages 5-100)climb a 2000 year old Timucuan Shell Midden, go with a ranger at night to see a giant sea turtle lay her eggs (must be 8 years and older) catch sight of one of the 11 threatened or endangered species in the Park....and oh so much more to experience at our very own Canaveral National Seashore in New Smyrna Beach. 4th graders can go online and print out a free National Park Pass which can be used for entry by the whole family!
12 year Canaveral volunteer
Posted by: Cindy Lewis | 2016.05.28 at 09:08 PM
I have often plugged Canaveral National Seashore on VCM. I love it there! But it's not a place I recommend during the summer. It's too hot, which will make kids not enjoy as much. If you go to Canaveral you should be hiking the trails, and summer is not hiking season. Making kids hike during the summer will just make them not enjoy hiking. Places like this are more suited to the cooler months, not summer. :)
Posted by: VCM | 2016.05.29 at 10:12 AM