Take a look at this list of the top 8 things to do in and around Lake Mary recommended by Lake Mary Life writer Shelley Ouellette.
As a busy mom with an active toddler and newborn, maintaining a schedule that keeps my family healthy, happy and entertained is virtually a full-time job. Fortunately, there is no shortage of fun, and often free, activities right within the city limits, these are just a few of my family’s favorites…
1) Hop aboard Sunrail for a train ride through Central Florida! With service spanning from Debary to Sand Lake, you can enjoy a scenic ride or stop somewhere in between to explore (for less than $6 and kids six and under are free). Hop off in Winter Park for a boat ride, lunch, and shopping or continue to the Florida Hospital Health Village station for easy access to the Orlando Science Center, Orlando Museum of Art, and Orlando Repertory Theatre.
The Sunrail runs Monday to Friday, every half-hour during scheduled morning and evening service and less frequently during the mid-day. In November, the Sunrail kicked off Select Saturday service for event-filled weekends. Stay tuned on the Sunrail Facebook page.
2) Catch a game under the Friday night lights. Whether you love cheering for football, baseball, soccer, swimming or more, Lake Mary’s high school, college, and community sports teams provide hours of inexpensive, action-packed entertainment. Throw in a lesson in sportsmanship with a side of hot dogs and peanuts and you’ve got all the ingredients for a perfect fall outing.
An Early College Visit
3) Take the family to college! That’s right, I said college. Located on the border of Lake Mary and Sanford just off Lake Mary Boulevard is a family-friendly gem: Seminole State College. From concerts, art and theater to stargazing at the college’s world-famous planetarium, families seeking affordable entertainment can find it at Seminole State.
Check out great events on the planetarium’s Facebook page, like the Winter Sky Festival on January 14th starting at 5 p.m.
Library Fun & Learning
4) Shake the sillies out at story time. The Northwest Branch of the Seminole County Library system is home to one of the city’s most popular family-friendly activities – story time! Designed to prepare children to read and succeed, story time offers kids of all ages the opportunity to practice their early literacy skills via stories and songs.
And you can enjoy some outdoor time (and let the kids burn some energy) at Greenwood Lakes Park which is stationed just a few feet from the library and features two playgrounds, tennis courts and a large picnic pavilion.
The libraries also have workshops for children, teens, and adults. Also, beginning this Sunday, January 8, all Seminole County Library Branches will be open seven days per week for the first time since 2008. All Branches will operate Mondays to Thursdays, from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m and on Sundays, 1:00 p.m-5:00 p.m
5) Run, splash and PLAY! Lake Mary’s award-winning recreation facilities include 11 parks that feature playground equipment, basketball courts, a skate bowl and the seasonal splash pad at Trailblazer Park, all of which are perfect for a play dates, birthday parties, and family gatherings.
Join the Action in Central Park
6) Visit Central Park. If you like to fill your calendar with free entertainment like I do, you’ll want to check out the many events that take place in Central Park located on the grounds of City Hall. With shady paths, a reflecting pond, gazebo and picnic tables, Central Park plays host to the city’s most talked about events including the weekly farmer’s market, monthly WineART Wednesday, free movie nights, food trucks, and seasonal celebrations such as the Halloween Spooktackular.
Hit the Trail, Jack
7) Hit the trail. Part of the 23-mile Cross Seminole Trail system, the Rinehart Trail is a great place to enjoy our city’s natural beauty. Starting at Trailhead Park at the corner of Rinehart Road and Lake Mary Blvd., you will find a Smoothie King Concession Stand, picnic tables and restrooms before hitting the three miles of paved trail for walking, jogging, biking and inline skating.
Step back in time
8) Take a trip back in time. Established in 1994, the Lake Mary Historical Museum offers families a unique glimpse into the history of the city. Housing a collection of artifacts, photographs, documents and other materials related to the history of Lake Mary, the museum also hosts popular annual events including the infamous ghost walk and festival of trees. It also serves as the starting point for the city’s downtown walking tour which highlights the commercial buildings, residential homes, parks and other sites that played, and in some instances, continue to play a role in the city’s 135+ year history.
On Saturday, January 14th the museum will open an exhibit called “The Way They Were” in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Frank Evans Center.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of exciting activities in Lake Mary! Share some of your favorites in the comments below.
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