Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Can we all agree the past couple of months in Florida have been a beautiful thing? Cool in the mornings and evenings with sunny afternoons connecting the hours in between. What better way to spend these sunny afternoons than exploring with your children? If you live in Central Florida, there are two neat little nature nuggets to be found and lots of fun to be had.
Some tips on taking children outdoors
-Always pack extra water. Even though bathrooms may be accessible, water fountains may not be as available.
-Prepare activities beforehand. These could be as simple as “eye spy” or a scavenger hunt. When planning activities, the Leave no Trace rule is great to follow! (https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles)
-Double check times of operation. As a general rule, most parks are open dawn to dusk.
-Remember the sunscreen and bug spray! Especially in Florida when the bugs and sun are typically out year round. I recommend looking for a combo, such as Babyganics Outdoor Essential Duo Pack.
*And please, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, be aware of your surroundings. Central Florida is a beautiful place to live, not only for us but for wildlife as well. Alligators, snakes, opossums, armadillos and raccoons are just a few of the creatures that could cozy up near you while out and about on the trails. Please be respectful and mindful.
Circle Bar Reserve: 4399 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland, Fl 33803
Circle Bar Reserve is a 1,267-acre habitat including freshwater lakes and marshes, beautiful oak hammocks and old Florida swamplands. Wildlife is very prominent and frequently spotted while sightseeing. Circle Bar Reserve has many recreational opportunities, especially geared towards kids and families. Numerous bicycle trails, bird watching, picnic facilities and great hiking trails. Alligator Alley, for instance is a 2.5 mile round trip dirt trail on property. Other trails are listed in the brochure at the nature center. Guided tours and programs are offered through the Polk Nature Discovery Center as well.
For questions, please contact (863) 534- 7377
Peterson Park: 3700 Cleveland Heights Blvd, Lakeland, Fl 33803
Peterson Park is 38 acres of boardwalk trails, pavilion space and natural beauty, located off Lake John. Families can often find butterflies, birds, animals tracks and possibly an alligator while taking a relaxing walk around the park. As always, be mindful and aware of your surroundings when taking foot on nature trails.