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Day Trip to Ocala: What to do with Kids

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If you’re looking for things to do in Ocala on a Day trip with kids, you’re in luck. The area is not only family-friendly and full of activities for the kids, but so many of them make it a perfect day trip destination. 

The great thing about day trips is that you can pack up a lunch and make it a fun outing that is simple and easy to do. Coordinate it as a learning field trip for homeschooling or just make it an outing for you and the kids to enjoy. 

All of these simple day trip options for kids and families take minimal planning and effort. You’ll just have to get the directions, load up the car, and get everyone out of the house to get started! 

Things to do on a Day Trip to Ocala with Kids

Here are just a few of the best things to do on a day trip to Ocala with kids. Make certain to look around and explore because there is so much here to offer! 

things to do in ocala

Catch a Drive-In Movie

Drive-In movies might be a throwback to your era but they’re a super fun activity for the kids, too. Load up everyone in the car and pull up the movies. It’s a simple way to watch a movie on a big screen and enjoy some snacks out of the back of the car. Who knows what movie is playing but does it really even matter? Drive-ins are making a comeback right now and this is a super fun outing for the family! 

Enjoy the Day at the Beach

Even though it’s not the ocean, there are several beach options at Carney Island. Load up the car with treats, sunscreen, towels, and exploring attitudes and see what you and the kids can find at the beaches. There are options for walking trials as well and a playground where the kids can burn off some energy. 

Explore Historic Downtown

Explore Historic Downtown Ocala and see what you can find. There is shopping and ice cream and even a fun Splash Pad that the kids can jump around in and get soaked. Don’t forget to put on their tennis shoes because there will be quite a bit of walking going on as well. 

End the day with a nice family dinner at one of the many locally-owned restaurants that you’ll find downtown. 

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Find all the Horse Statues

In 2001, 53 horse statues were decorated by various artists and placed around Ocala. The horses are painted with a variety of scenes including manatees swimming, horse racing, the American Flag, butterflies, flowers and more. Some of these horses can still be found around the streets of Ocala. Kids will love finding and looking at all the different horses.

Go Fishing

Load up the fishing poles and see what the kids can catch! With so many great fishing options, there are no shortages of places to go. The kids can easily catch your dinner for the night or just have a fun catch and release, too. It’ll be fun to see who has the bigger “fish tale” at the end of the day. 

Go Zip Lining

Talk about a rush. Let the kids fly high in the sky and see the world from a whole other view! Canyons Zip Line & Adventure Park is a super simple way for families to get out and enjoy nature. There is not only ziplining but horseback riding and kayaking as well. This day trip can easily burn through several hours during the day so plan accordingly! 

Get tickets for Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park here.

Related Post: Ziplining in Orlando

Hit the Hiking Trails

Hiking is such a great activity for kids. Not only does it get them out of the house and get their bodies moving and exercising, but it allows them to connect with nature and see things that they wouldn’t normally see. You can easily spend a day here with the kids exploring all the various trails.

Don’t forget to pack up some water and snacks and get ready to explore! 

Related Post: Kid Friendly Hiking Trails in Orlando

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Pick Your Own Fruit

Show your kids that the food that you buy at the store has to actually be picked in a field. Put on some sunscreen, wear a big floppy hat, and head to U-Pick Farms to forage for your food. The kids will love being able to pick and eat their own berries and food and see how it’s done! Talk about a great day of education and work! 

Take a Glass Bottom Boat Ride

Have you ever ridden in a glass-bottom boat? It’s the coolest! The kids are certain to love taking a glass-bottom boat tour. Not only will they get to see through the bottom of the boat, but they’ll also get to learn about the history of the Silver Spring as well. Use this day trip as a history trip for school! 

Related Post: Orlando Boat Tours to Take With the Kids

Visit the local State Park

Silver Springs State Park offers a day full of fun. Not only can you hike and plan a picnic to enjoy with the kids, but you can explore Cracker Village and see what life was like during the 1800s. It’s a great way to show the kids the “old world” while exploring the new one at the same time. 

Make certain to allow some time to explore because there is so much to see at this park. 

Visit the National Forest

The Ocala National Forest is the southernmost forest in the US and has over 600 lakes, rivers and springs. Three of the springs are first magnitude (large springs) where guests can snorkel, swim and dive. Not only can you swim in Ocala National Forest, but you can also go hiking, kayaking and canoeing as well. You can bring your own kayak or canoe or rent one there. Fancy, an overnight stay, there is a campground and RV park as well. Reservations are required for the springs, the campground and RV park.

Do you have any other recommendations for things to do on a day trip to Ocala with kids?

by Thena Franssen

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