Everyone knows that kids get excited for summer and parents quickly run out of ideas to keep everyone happy. For a step-mom/dad with limited budgets and typically larger families, the choices can seem limited. While blending a family isn’t easy the fun doesn’t have to be complicated with these fantastic summer ideas. Remember that just having fun with your children at these fascinating places will be building great memories as well as sneaking in some education.
#3. Take a short drive and enjoy the fascinating sights and sounds of the Pioneer Florida Museum and village, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City. Just 36 minutes north of the Bruce B. Downs and I75 exit, this great little walk into Pioneer Florida comes with model trains, playing on a real train engine, getting a close up look at Florida’s past and a fascinating collection of antique vehicles, carriages and tractors. Admission: Children 5 or older $2, adults $6. Prices are perfect for a large blended family on a budget. OPEN: Tues – Sat 10am to 5pm (call for tours)
#2. Bring your bikes or your tennis shoes, pack a lunch (with lots of water) and head to Lettuce Lake Park, 6920 E Fletcher Avenue, near I75 in Tampa. This county park has an indoor exhibits space, playground and picnic tables but the best part of the 240 acre site is the well manicured trails and boardwalks that can keep children busy an entire day just be sure to read the fun facts signs posted throughout the park. Bring some bug spray to enjoy what this park has to offer! *HINT: A perfect location for scavenger hunts, just make some notes in the exhibit and get hunting. Admission: $2 a car up to 8 people, add $1 for extra people. OPEN: 8am-7:30pm
#1. When there’s not a cloud in the sky your night couldn’t get any better than this monthly Star Gazing event held at the entrance of Jay B Starkey Wilderness Park, 10500 Wilderness Park Road, New Port Richey. The park hosts huge telescopes that are set up for you to enjoy, bring your own binoculars to even spot the owls or night life which emerge. Come in the early evening before dusk to enjoy the park itself then settle in on the lawn with a picnic dinner and from 9-10:30pm gaze away! It does start a little late for smaller kids, but this is the summer vacation after all. Admission: Park charges $2 a car, star gazing is FREE! OPEN: Park is open dawn to dusk, NEXT Star Gazing event is MAY 27, 9-10:30pm
FAMILY TIP: Don’t over think it all this summer, just get outside and explore these top locations.
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