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The typical family vacation to Florida usually includes a visit to Disney World, Wet N Wild, or Universal Studios. Instead of the typical amusement park, here are some offbeat and adventurous ways to explore Florida and have fun with your kids.
Imagine floating in the air 35 feet above water or soaring through the water like a dolphin. You can do this with flyboarding. This new water craze is taking over and becoming the latest of the Florida attractions. The flyboard was developed in 2011 and since then, flyboard companies have been springing up left and right. Slip your feet into a set of wakeboard bindings, jump in the water, and with a little throttle from a jet ski–you’ll be standing straight up in the air. After a few lessons, you can learn tricks like backflips and dophin dives. Most places have a minimum age restriction of 15 and up. Riders must weigh at least 100 pounds and no more than 250-300 pounds.
Sunrise to Sunset Camping Trip
It might be tough to rouse your kids to watch a sunrise, but here’s a way to plan a day of fun. Start by camping on an east coast beach campground and set your phone alarm for the sunrise. Rustle up some breakfast as you watch the sun break the horizon and light up the day. Pack up the gear and hit the road. On the way, you can stop at a few Florida attractions. Within a couple of hours, you’ll be on the west side of Florida with enough time to pitch a tent and grab dinner. Kick back on the beach as you watch the last of the light fade to darkness. Your kids will definitely remember this experience!
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Surfing in Florida is often a bust, except during hurricane season. A great alternative for kids is stand-up paddleboarding. Most companies that provide boards also provide lessons or guided sessions. Boards can often be delivered to lakes or beaches or strapped on to your car with a soft rack. For fun, you can take a yoga class on a paddleboard.
Explore the Caves
If your kids are tired of the Florida heat, take them to the Florida Caverns–the only caves located in Florida. The tours last almost an hour (no tours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and the park is open 365 days of the year. There’s also kayaking/canoeing available at the nearby Chipola River, complete with alligators, beavers, egrets, and snakes. (Hey, some kids love this stuff). If you want to escape the heat again with a swim, a natural spring-fed swimming hole is located in the park.
Cable wake parks can be found all over Florida. If your kids love skateboarding or water skiing, this is a fun way to combine both sports. No boats are needed– simply gear up, grab a handle, and you’re off riding. Beginners can learn simple tricks while advanced riders fly off rails and ramps. The cable parks are set up in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction with several riders going at once. Pay for an hour or two–or stay there for the day. Check for minium age requirements–some parks will not allow riders under eight.
If you do one, two or all five of these activities, chances are, your kids are going to have memories to last a lifetime.