Family Adventures, Indoor Adventures, Outdoor Adventures

Activities for Those “HOT” Summer Days in Central Florida

Before we know it school will be out, bathing suits will start to come on, and summer break will be here! I know this can go two ways, while the kids are so excited about NOT attending school for a while…it can be daunting to parents with planning activities & keeping them busy.

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When you live in Florida our summer is really like our “winter”…not in the sense of temperature wise, but with the fact that we typically stay indoors. That Florida heat can drag on and quite honestly it’s miserable.

While surviving 4 summers here in Orlando, I have learned that you have to either be in a pool, splash pad, or inside with the best invention ever…AIR CONDITIONING.

This past weekend Little Johnny and I decided to venture over to Azalea Lane playground. (Big mistake that was, too hot to be playing on a playground!) Big John was in New York, so I was trying to figure out ways to keep Little Johnny busy. We love to play at parks, but there may be less playing at them during these hot summer days.

While I was trying to keep us busy and Little Johnny entertained, I thought it would be a great idea to put together a “go to” list of indoor areas to explore when you want to beat the heat

Activities for Those “HOT” Summer Days in 

Central Florida

  1. Science Museum– Little Johnny and I just went there this past Sunday! Each time we go he always has a blast! Definitely look into a membership here as it’s not too costly. Also, if you’re a teacher make sure to checkout their discount! (Psst…meaning you get in for FREE!)
  2. Spash Pads!- click here for a wonderful list of local splash pads. Little Johnny and I recently went to Downey Park, which was so much fun!
  3. Florida Mall Play Park- Enjoy shopping along with having your little ones enjoy a fun experience and this new indoor play experience. Quick story- I totally was supposed to attend  the Play Park blogger preview, but guess what…life happened and I forgot! 😦 I am hoping to bring Little Johnny here soon!
  4. My Little Town Indoor Playground- If it’s too hot to play at an outside playground, just bring it inside, right?! 🙂 This is for ages 6 months- 7 years.
  5. Monkey Joes- Let your kids jump out their energy at this fun-filled inflatable play center!
  6. Winter Park Community Center Pool- If you’re in a situation like me where you don’t have a pool at your home, this is a great place to take your kids for their open swim hours.
  7. Swimming in the Springs- This is always a refreshing place to take a dip! We especially love Wekiwa Springs!
  8. Library Time!- Growing up I remember attending the library for their summer reading program. Check out your local library for fun classes & events that you and your little one can participate in!
  9. Crayola Experience-  Enjoy a colorful experience with your children while exploring attractions and other activities! This is located at the Florida Mall.

If you’re willing to take a day trip, check these places out…

Charles & Linda Williams Children’s Museum- This hands on science museum is located in Daytona Beach. We haven’t been yet, but it looks intriguing from what I have read. Something worth checking out if you’re willing to spend a day there.

American Space Museum- This is located in Titusville (near Cocoa Beach). Learn all about space while exploring hands on activities! Make sure to check out their launch schedule too!

Explorations V Children’s Museum- This is another hands on museum geared for children pre-school through elementary, which is located in Lakeland, FL.

Just Chilling at Home with Water Play! 


Some days it’s nice to just stay home turn on the sprinklers, make homemade popsicles while enjoying your own DIY at home water park. 🙂 If you have older kids, include them in the making to see what ideas they come up with. Below I found great items that will add to your “water play at home”!

Water Table!

This is the one we currently have, but there are so many varities, especially when you check on Amazon.  

Sprinklers!

Creat your own “splash pad” at home with fun sprinklers! I also found this one on Amazon. (We currently don’t have one, but will hopefully soon!)

Inflatable Pool! 

Slip N’ Slide! 

If you’re feeling really ambitious, make a DIY water slide with your kids in the backyard! (or you can just buy one, which is probably way cheaper & of course easier, but where’s the fun in that,right?!…) 😉

Here’s a link to other fun DIY water activities for at home!

And to finish off a hot day in Orlando, it’s pretty much a given that you need a cold treat! Homemade popsicles will do the trick, and the best thing is you can sneak in your little ones fruit and veggies if they’re picky little eaters!

What would you add to this list? Please share! I’m always looking for other fun activities!

Stay Cool my friends!

Wishing you well,

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Family Adventures, Outdoor Adventures

Sunday Afternoon- Gone Fishing

This past weekend the Florida Morehouse family had a Sunday afternoon to actually enjoy some family time. The morning was busy with Big John working, and Little Johnny and I participated in a fun project with other wonderful moms & their little ones!

Lately I have been “trying” (quotations only because it’s hard enough to do regular cleaning with a little one, so it’s a work in progress)  to do a little bit of spring cleaning around our house, specifically rearranging our bedroom. While cleaning Little Johnny recently found where his daddy keeps his fishing poles. He now LOVES to play with them (no need to worry, they don’t have hooks on them and I’m always monitoring him). So, we figured it’s probably time to take him fishing.img_5868-11e995886-45cf-41cd-bf49-c7e7d3ddffc5-1b9ed3026-8934-4224-9719-b3860def6897-1c5672dd7-32e7-4966-8deb-19180e939927-1

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Originally I was going to update my park list with adding Gaston Edwards park by Lake Ivanhoe, but it started to rain after about 15 minutes of the boys fishing. (Have to love Florida for those afternoon showers, right?!) We waited in the car for a while, but Little Johnny was getting antsy, so we decided to check out the park another day.

While this post does not have much to offer, it does share our experience as a family and sometimes those are the best moments to share for me! PLUS, Little Johnny touched a fish for the first time, umm yeah, that’s a huge deal! (If you’re wondering what kind of fish they caught, it was just a little sun fish.) Let me just add too that Little Johnny definitely punched the fish when he first saw it…that’s what happens when you raise a little one while opening a Mixed Martial Arts gym…he wants to punch everything, he means well though. =)

If you’re wondering where we purchased Little Johnny’s Columbia Performance Fishing Gear outfit, we bought it at Once Upon a Child for about $12. Such a great deal!

sidenote-We pretty much buy all his clothes there!

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and got a chance to have some family time, I know how hard it can be sometimes to bring everyone together and just relax.

What’s something your family enjoys to do together?

Here’s to a great week ahead!

Wishing you well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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Family Adventures, Outdoor Adventures

Exploring Blue Spring State Park

These past 2 months we have enjoyed family visiting us all the way from the Midwest! It has been very exciting to share with my family some of our favorite spots within Orlando. By now, you probably already know that I am intrigued by the many beautiful state parks within Orlando. This past week we actually discovered a new state park that is just Northwest of Orlando, Blue Spring State Park.

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Since living in Orlando for 5 years I have yet to explore this serene area, until just this last week. I always hear people say wonderful things about it, so I knew I would eventually get out there (only about an hour drive from Orlando). Whether you live within the surrounding Orlando area, or will be visiting here soon, this is definitely a place to recharge and enjoy what mother nature has to offer.

I created a video for you to experience just a few of the things that I was able to capture. Please excuse some of the flaws within this video, it’s definitely a learning experience for me and I know it’s not perfect.

(Quick story time! My camera died on me, so I used my iPhone and totally did not realize I should have turned it horizontal for a landscape view! Duh, Amanda! RIGHT?! Anyways, it’s still a great video because…you’ll see manatees and a little red-headed boy!) =)

Information


  • Cost: $6 per vehicle (2-8 people) OR $4 single occupant
  • Hours: 8am-sunset (365 days a year)
  • Dogs are permitted, but must be kept on a leash.
  • If you’re going with little ones I recommend bringing your carrier or stroller.
  • Manatee season runs from mid-November until March (you’ll be able to see them right on top of the water).
  • The spring runs off the St. John’s River and temperature stays around 73 degrees.
  • Guided river tours are offered during the day at 10am and 1pm (for reservations, call St. Johns River Cruises at (386) 917-0724) 
  • You can swim, snorkel, and scuba dive (make sure to call for more details).
  • Enjoy a self guided tour of the historic Thursby house, which was built during the steamboat era.
  • You will find pavilion areas, a playground, huge grass area, picnic tables, concession stand, kayak and other rentals.
  • Enjoy a stroll along a boardwalk (one-third mile walk).
  • Tube along the spring, rentals are provided. (click here to view other State Parks that also offer tubing.)
  • Primitive camping along with cabins are offered.

Just a few Facts


  • Blue Spring is a winter refuge for the Manatees.
  • While visiting you will possibly see herons, turtles, alligators, and many fish & birds
  • You can click here to be directed to a live camera of the manatees!
  • Once you arrive they will provide you with the “count” of manatees for that day.

Have you been to Blue Spring State Park? If not, this is definitely a place to put on your list of places to visit!

Adventures Await!

I always love hearing from people, so feel free to share your insights in the comments below! You can also share this post with anyone else and follow me on my facebook page,  as well as instagram. Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Wishing You Well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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Family Adventures, Outdoor Adventures

Exploring Bill Fredrick Park

This past weekend the Florida Morehouse family finally spent an afternoon exploring a unique landmark in Orlando. It’s been soooo long and I missed it! We’ve been very busy with opening our gym, and our little boy’s first birthday that “exploring” was put on a hold for a while. I’m excited to share with you a beautiful park that features so many amenities for a family outing! My husband was laughing at me about my giddy excitement (it’s the little things that make me happy). img_3246-1

Bill Fredrick Park is 183 acres of land along the Turkey Lake, which is filled with not just a scenic view, but many recreational activites. This list is ridiculous! The best part is your enjoying the beautiful Orlando weather! (well, most days… we actually went on a cold cloudy day, but still had a great time)

Children’s Farm

Nature Connect Trail

Sand Volleyball

Boat Dock

Fishing Pier

Horse Shoes

Disc Golf

Playground

(^one for older kids and a Tot Lot)

Softball

Swimming Pool

Wedding Gazebo

Primitive & RV Camping

Cabins

I told you, right?! So MANY activities! Any nature lovers out there? This is definitely your spot in Orlando.

Our Little Family’s Adventure

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Tot Lot! Perfect park size for Johnny. 
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Ma! What are these? 

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Someone thinks he’s a “big kid”. Always playing in the mulch! 
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Huge “big kid” park! (I even enjoyed it, I guess I’m a big kid at heart!) 
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I spoke with a wonderful lady who tends to the farm animals and she shared with me that this farm is actually a shelter for animals that could no longer be cared for. It’s NOT a petting farm, but you could just tell in the animals eyes that they enjoyed people visiting them. They came right to you. It’s a viewing farm only. 

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So many horses! They really liked following Johnny. 
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Chickens and Guineas! 

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Probably our favorite part…an outside xylophone! Have you ever seen one?!

img_3241-2img_3244-2img_3242-2A Little Bit of the Details


Cost: $4 per car (if you are by yourself, then it’s just $2)

Hours of Operation: November – March: 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
April – October: 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Click Here to view a price list for rentals and recreational activities.

Directions:  Click the link to take you over to google maps and be on your way to an outdoor adventure! It’s actually close to Metrowest Area within Orlando.

Plan a Trip


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Make sure to pack your suncreen, swimsuit, picnic items (you can also grill out), and your hiking shoes! Enjoy a beautiful day with your family.

Hike It Baby will be hosting a hike on Sunday, February 5th, 2016 from 3:30-4:30. Perfect opportunity to meet new families in the area that also appreciate a great time outdoors!

I always love hearing from people, so feel free to share your insights in the comments below! Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Wishing You Well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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Family Adventures, Outdoor Adventures

Top 10 Parks Within 7 Miles of Downtown Orlando

This past Sunday the Florida Morehouse Family decided to venture off and find a different park to explore. Parks are the best, and let me tell you it’s not just fun for kids, but for parents as well (you get to be a kid again yourself).  Sometimes weekends aren’t always filled with events and activities, but it is still nice to get out of the house and do something, which is why parks are the best!

This video was taken when we first started our quest of exploring the top 10 parks (I did add a bonus park, so really it’s top 10 +1. ) 😉

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly in PLAY children LEARN how to LEARN.”

~O. Fred Donaldson

Play

Adventure

Run

K(c)limb

We have been going to some of the same parks over and over again, so I decided to research other parks within our area and provide a list that I can share with my followers! We try to make it out to a new park every few weeks, so this list is perfect, and how fun will it be to make it a challenge to visit all the parks and mark it off! (or is that just me…)

When Little Johnny was younger he was all about the swings! Now since he is 15 months he loves the slides, and basically just climbing everything & anything!

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We have only been to 7/10 (+1) parks. The first 7 below are the parks we have been to. As we continue to explore parks nearby I’ll add more information and “mom tips” to the list. It’s a work in progress, but I had to start sharing with you!

Top 10 Parks Within 7 Miles of

Downtown Orlando 


Parks we HAVE Been to

1.Lake Eola Park

 512 East Washington St. Orlando, Fl 32803

  • General Information: This park is right across from the beautiful Lake Eola. It provides a rubber platform that’s safe for babies and young kids to crawl and walk around on. There are 4 baby swings, slides, monkey bars, big kid swings, and plenty of climbing adventures. This is a favorite park for many kids!
  • Mom Tips:
    • Make sure to go earlier in the day as it tends to get crowded in the late afternoon, and especially on the weekends.
    • There are bathrooms by the park (not the cleanest though and there is a changing table)
    • it’s a fairly shaded area
    • it’s separated into two different play areas (toddler part and older kid part)
    • Parking can be hard to find: street parking  (or paid parking nearby)
    • Starbucks is within walking distance and many other amenities! 😉
    • On Sundays it’s very busy due to the Lake Eola Farmers’ Market (10-4)

2.Langford Park

1808 E Central Boulevard Orlando, FL 32803

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  • General Information: This park provides two baby swings, slides, spinning and bouncing equipment.  It’s located near Dickson Azalea Park which is a beautiful outdoor scenery.
  • Mom Tips:
    • there are bathrooms, but they’re locked usually (part of the community center, no changing table)
    •  smaller park
    • doesn’t get too crowded
    • beautiful scenery to explore within the area
    • mulch ground
    • street parking or you can park at the community center near the park
    • plenty of grass area to play on or to have a picnic (pavilion with picnic tables nearby)
    • if you walk down about a bit there is another park close by (bigger park)

3. Colonialtown Square Park (Colonialtown Neighborhood Center)

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  • General Information: This park offers 4 baby swings, older kid swings, slides, and amazing monkey bar climbing area, and a shaded picnic table area.
  • Mom Tips: 
    • mulch ground
    • fairly shaded
    • two separate sections for younger and older children
    • neighborhood park
    • not too crowded

4. Park of the Americas

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  • General Information: This is a great park that is surrounded by many trees that provide some shade! There are slides, two baby swings, teeter totter, monkey bars, and other fun equipment to explore. This park is located right next to a wonderful dog park as well!
  • Mom Tips: 
    • clean bathrooms (no changing table)
    • not a busy park
    • geared towards younger kids
    • fenced area
    • walking trail
    • pavilion area with picnic tables

5. Community Playground “Castle Park”

255 South Denning Dr., Winter Park, FL 32789

  • General Information: This is a great park that is surrounded by many trees that provide some shade! It’s a fairly large park, and now I understand why it’s refered to as the “castle park”. The structure is built out of wood and literally looks like a kids castle. There are slides, baby swings, big kids swings, a tire swing, slides, and other fun equipment.
  • Best part that I enjoyed about this park is the unique baby swing where the adult has a seat as well! You simple sit on the seat facing your baby and swing with them! Check out the picture below!img_1263Mom Tips: 
    •  bathrooms available (no changing table)
    • fenced area
    • mulch ground
    • walking trail
    • pavilion area with picnic tables

6. Azalea Lane Playground

1045 Azalea Lane  Winter Park, FL 32789

  • General Information: This is another “favorite” park. It has two sections that provides a fun experience for all ages.  It includes slides, zip line, play express tiny tots train, tire swing, baby swings, plenty of adult swings, musical station (with bongos and bells), and a wooden climb area with two bridges. This park also has a pavilion that you can rent out for special occasions.
  • Unique Features: This park offers a face to face swing where you can swing with your child (so far that’s 2 within Orlando)! Plus, the train passes right by the park! The kids (and adults) love it!
  • Mom Tips: 
    • bathrooms available with a changing table
    • fenced area
    • mulch ground
    • pavilion area with picnic tables
    • not much shade so make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat
    • Azalea Lane Recreation Center is located right by the playground

7. Capehart Park

715 Capehart Dr., Orlando, FL 32822

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  • General Information: This park offers a fun splash pad, which is perfect for Orlando’s hot summer months! There are two parks, one for younger children (2-5) and another targeted towards older children. There are baby swings, slides, climbing features, and so much more.
  • Mom Tips: 
    • clean bathrooms available with a changing table
    • both parks are shaded with a canopy
    • splash pad is not shaded
    • splash pad is fenced in, but not the parks
    • mulch ground
    • pavilion area with picnic tables
    • 1/4 mile path that you can walk
    • charcoal grills are available for cookouts
    • there is an after child care that is hosted at this area, so at times it can be a bit crowded

8. Gaston Edwards Park

1236 N Orange Avenue Orlando, F L32804

  • General Information: This is a smaller park and recommended for ages 2-5. Although, I still find it a great park to play at. The environment is lovely and for the parents there are fun restaurants and shops located nearby. It’s right by Lake Ivanhoe, which is fun for little ones to play while viewing the lake. When we were there Little Johnny liked watching the boats zoom by. There are also ducks and other birds that he liked watching. We brought our sand toys because I remembered there was a sand volleyball pit. We went on a Friday and nobody was there, so we used it as our “sandbox”. Just an idea….:) There is also a small path you can walk. We even spotted a table where you can play checkers. It’s a simple park, but sometimes those are the best because it doesn’t get “as” crowded.

  • Mom Tips: 
    • rubber ground
    • smaller park for ages 2-5
    • parking can be tricky if it’s a busy weekend (either park on the side street or there is a small parking lot locate by the dock you would just have to walk a little)
    • I did not see any public bathrooms, but there are many local shops and restaurants.
    • located right next to  Mesa 21, which is a Mexican restaurant
    • It can be noisy with the background noise of the interstate as it’s located above by Lake Ivanhoe
    • the park is open and not fenced in
    • there is one pavilion with picnic tables
    • limited shade

Parks we WANT to Visit 

9. Delany

10. Lake Island

**Bonus** Clear Lake

As we visit these parks I’ll continue to add detailed information and “mom tips”. Until then, if you’re in the Orlando area I hope you have a chance to stop by one of these parks!

Do you have a favorite one you would like to share?

If you don’t live within the downtown/colonialtown Orlando area, but still would like a list of parks I have linked below two sources that will help  direct you to local parks.

Happy Playground Time!

I always love hearing from people, so feel free to share your insights in the comments below! You can also share this post with anyone else and follow me on my facebook page,  as well as instagram. Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Wishing You Well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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Family Adventures, Outdoor Adventures, Reviews of Products & Places

Scott’s Maze Adventures at Long and Scott Farms & GIVEAWAY

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It’s that season again! Pumpkins, Corn Mazes, and Hay Rides, OH MY! & MUCH MUCH MORE!

~You can click the links to be directed to their Facebook page & website~

Shhh! Don’t say anything (totally kidding! PLEASE SHARE), but I’m doing a  GIVEAWAY CONTEST with 4 FREE tickets to Scott’s Maze Adventure! Make sure to scroll to the bottom for more details!

Last year I had the honor to attend their media day event and this year I was invited again! Although we weren’t able to attend due to Little Johnny being sick, the owners were still so kind to let me giveaway 4 FREE tickets! What an amazing  acreage of fun filled activities for the whole family! I truly have never been to a farm that offers so many options of family fun! Below I will share with you the types of activities Scott’s Maze Adventures offers (keep in mind this was last year’s visit). Are you ready to be a”mazed”? (sorry if that was “corny”) 😉 I swear to you, by the end of this post you will want to get in your car and go!

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{Please take a visit over to Mom Explores Orlando as she goes into detail about the 5 different mazes they offer, along with information about their General Store!

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Continue reading “Scott’s Maze Adventures at Long and Scott Farms & GIVEAWAY”

Family Adventures, Outdoor Adventures

Adventuring the Big Tree Park

This past Sunday my family and I decided to take a drive over to Longwood, FL (about 12 miles North of Orlando). As a SAHM we have to really watch our spending, so on the weekends we try to do anything that is cheap or FREE as a family. I stumbled upon this website called Mr. Free Stuff and a list of 40 cheap or free things to do near Orlando came up. How fun would it be to say you did all 40! (I think that may be the teacher in me…) #momsteachtoo. The one that caught my eye was walking the Big Tree Park. So the Florida Morehouse Family (that’s us!) took a drive that way and explored the Big Tree Park. Below you will find my review of the place, along with some pictures and information.

Continue reading “Adventuring the Big Tree Park”