One of the best kept secrets in Orlando is the numerous city parks spread throughout the famed Theme Park Capital of the World. During your vacation in the SunshineState, be sure to visit one of the city’s many parks for a day of outdoor fun, free of charge!
Fort Christmas Historical Park
Just a few miles north of HWY50 is the Fort Christmas Historical Park, located at 1300 Fort Christmas Road in Christmas, Florida. This historical park includes a replica of the original fort, a traditional Florida “Cracker” house, seven pioneer homes, a sugar can mill, historical farming equipment, seven picnic pavilions, restrooms, playground, and sporting facilities! Aside from the park’s numerous features, it also houses a fort museum which is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open Tuesday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the winter months, this park is an ideal spot for families wishing to explore the history of Florida.
Kelly Park Rock Springs
Located in the northwest corner of Orange County in Apopka, Kelly Rock Springs is home to a crystal clear spring that bubbles up from a crevice in a rock projection. This bubbling spring provides visitors with countless ways to enjoy a hot summer day in Florida. From floating down the meandering stream in an inner tube or swimming in a nearby lagoon, Kelly Park Rock Springs is a prime spot for enjoying one of Florida’s most scenic natural settings. Shops near the park offer tube rentals, many for only $5, and visitors can also enjoy picnic areas as well as tables, barbecue grills, a full-service concession stand, playground, and camping facilities.
Lake Eola Park
As the centerpiece of downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is an impressive 43 acres of gorgeous landscaping, generous sidewalks, and a .9-mile loop around the park pond. A popular destination for joggers and walkers, this park is perfect for visitors wanting to take a quick jog or leisurely stroll on a sunny day. Swan-shaped paddle boats and gondola boats are available for rent, and a playground is on-site for the kiddos! Families visiting the park, located at 195 N. Rosalind Avenue, will enjoy the Walt Disney Amphitheater for special events or getting a quick bite to eat at The Terrace, a small outdoor café.
University of Central Florida Arboretum
Covering 80 acres of gorgeous Florida land, the University of Central Florida Arboretum contains more than 600 species of plants, including more than 100 bromeliads in cultivated gardens. The UCF Arboretum was established in 1983 by President Trevor Colbourn and is in partnership with Landscape and Natural Resources, providing a welcoming outdoor setting and research for sustainable environments. Visitors are invited to take tours of the arboretum, and recreational activities such as disk golf are enjoyed on the park’s grounds.