What is one of the best parts about living local?
We live within a short drive to several major cities and lots of fun things to do!
Check out this list of things to do within 60 miles of Hernando County:
- Explore the Nature Coast by water! Launch your own canoe, kayak, or boat…or rent one (click here for a list of rental places) to enjoy an open water adventure in the Gulf of Mexico or a relaxing trip down the Weeki Wachee River or Withlacoochee River. For information on some of the local canoe and kayak trails click here.
- Splash around in water sprays, gushs, dumps and pours at a nearby sprayground! The Kiwanis Sprayground at Highlander Park, located at 1937 Ed Eckert Drive in Dunedin, features 3,000 square feet of fun equipped with a lightening detection system as well as pavilions, a playground, and a public pool you can swim in for a small fee. Puddle in the Pines is an interactive water zone located adjacent to the playground at Whispering Pines Park at 1700 Forest Dr in Inverness featuring picnic areas, a children’s nature trail, playground, and public pool you can swim in for a small fee.
- Visit with the animals at Lowry Park Zoo, located at 1101 W Sligh Avenue in Tampa, features more than 2000 animals, interactive exhibits, rides, shows, on-site dining and shopping. Open 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. you can pay for a day or get an annual pass and go as often as you’d like. Visit www.LowryParkZoo.com for additional information.
- Watch a movie in IMAX at Beacon Theatres (12961 Cortez Blvd, Brooksville) . For showtimes call (352) 592-1001)
- Spend the day at Busch Gardens (300 E Busch Blvd, Tampa) enjoying roller coasters, rides, shows, and animal attractions. Pay for a single day or get an annual pass and go all summer long! Click here for additional information.
- Bounce on over to Bounce Party (16617 US HWY 19 in Hudson) and let the kids wear themselves out! This nearly 9,000 square foot indoor arena is filled with gigantic inflatable slides, fun houses, and creative obstacle courses. Click here for open bounce times or call (727) 857 6969 for additional information.x
- Explore The Florida Aquarium (701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602) which showcases the aquatic animals and ecosystems of Florida and around the world. The Aquarium also features a 2-acre outdoor water adventure zone with watery waves, slippery slides, gushing geysers and a toddler area. Annual passes are available or you can explore for just a day. Visit www.FLAquarium.org for information.
- Play and discover at Glazier Children’s Museum (110 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa) featuring two stories of fun with over 170 ‘inter activities’ in multiple themed areas. The Museum is open 7 days a week. Visit www.GlazerMuseum.org for information.
- Go bowling at a local alley! Spring Hill Lanes is located at 3447 Commercial Way or Mariner Lanes is located at 3544 Mariner Boulevard in Spring Hill. Mariner Lanes is offering TWO FREE GAMES PER DAY for kids during the summer (through August 31st). Register your child(ren) for free at https://www.kidsbowlfree.com/center.php?alley_id=713. Please use SpringHillNow@gmail.com as the referrer’s email address when registering. All participants must wear bowling shoes and the standard shoe rental rates apply.
- Check out the amenities at Highland Complex Park (400 Highland Ave, Largo), a 35 acre park with a 40,000 square foot recreation center and a large family aquatic center. The park offers many built and natural amenities including a 3/4 mile and a 1/2 mile walking trail, basketball and tennis courts, a fitness zone, three playgrounds that serve all ages, a large picnic shelter, an open play multipurpose field, picnic tables all in a forested setting with several ponds and a four acre lake great for fishing and beginner paddlers. Click here for details.
- Learn something new at the Museum Of Science and Industry (4801 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33617) for a day of learning in more then 400,000 square feet of interactive exhibits covering biology, meteorology, astronomy, and other science-related fields. MOSI also features the largest children’s science center in the nation and Florida’s only IMAX dome. Visit www.mosi.org for info.
- Soak up some Florida sunshine! Beaches are abundant in Florida. Millions of people travel thousands of miles just to enjoy them…so take advantage that you live so close to so many fabulous destinations. Stick with Pine Island for a local option, head down to Clearwater, or take a trip to one of the ones on the Travel Channel’s Top 10 List of Florida Beaches (click here for the list). You can also check out VisitFlorida.com’s cool new Florida Beach Finder tool (click here) that allows you to use simple sliders to determine how family friendly or romantic, action-packed or secluded, laid back or adventurous, manicured or natural, you want your beach to be and then recommends the right beach for you to visit.
- Burn some energy at Springleton Fun Park (9227 County Line Road, Spring Hill) offering go-karts, miniature golf, train rides, bounce house, and a full arcade (click here for additional information) or kick it up a notch at Celebration Station (24546 US 19 North, Clearwater) featuring a game room with over one hundred video and redemption games including air hockey and pool tables, as well as batting cages, bumper boats, go-karts, laser tag, mini golf, and quite a few rides for littler kids (click here for additional information).
- Encounter a mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs and cool off at Buccaneer Bay (6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee) featuring daily mermaid shows, a river boat cruise, animal shows, and Florida’s only spring-fed water park with fun slides, a lazy river ride, and a kiddie pool. Admission gets you entry to both attractions and you can stay for a day or purchase an annual pass. For more information visit www.WeekiWachee.com.
- Hop aboard the Central Pasco & Gulf Railroad for a ride around Crews Lake Park (16739 Crews Lake Drive, Shady Hills) the second Saturday of each month. The CP&G is modeled after the Orange Belt Railroad that ran through the area in the late 1800’s. It’s a a 7 ½ inch gauge riding railroad that is great fun for all ages. After the ride, stay and enjoy the day at the park! Visit www.cpgrr.org for upcoming rides.
- Take yourself out to the ballgame! You can watch the Tampa Bay Rays play in the big league at Tropicana Field or save a few bucks and check out a minor league game at Bright House Field (home of the Clearwater Thrashers), Steinbrenner Field (home of the Tampa Yankees), Florida Auto Exchange Stadium (home of the Dunedin Blue Jays), or Joker Marchant Stadium (home of the Lakeland Flying Tigers). If baseball isn’t your sport of choice watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium or The Tampa Bay Storm, a professional arena football team, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
- Brave rock climbing at Vertical Ventures (5402 Pioneer Park Blvd, Suite E, Tampa), Tampa’s premier indoor, 6,000 square foot rock climbing experience for climbers of all skill levels and ages! Visit www.verticalventures.com for details.
- Go Scalloping in Hernando County! Scallop harvesting is a popular annual activity that the entire family can enjoy June 28th through September 24th. There are strict rules about where scallops can be harvested in Florida and Hernando County IS one of the legal places (lucky us!). You can take your own boat or hire a local fishing charter. Click here for more information about scalloping or click here for a list of local fishing charters.
- Let the kiddos get crafty! Kids love being creative and we’ve got quite a few local places that offer fun art classes or craft projects. Click on the name of each establishment for details. Home Depot (4765 Commercial Way, Spring Hill) offers a FREE kids workshop for ages 5-12. Each child receives an apron, the supplies for a project that they get to complete, a certificate of completion, and a pin for their apron that has a picture of the project they did that day. Registration is required. Artful Possibilities offers a variety of fun art and craft classes for kids as well as open painting at their awesome studio! Tie dye, drawing, clay, painting….you name it they’ll help your kid have a blast doing it! Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics let kids build a FREE wooden project on select Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. Kids get a Lowe’s apron and goggles to wear as well as a certificate of completion for projects they complete and an embroidered patch to add to their apron. Registration is required and opens a few weeks before each clinic’s date. The Spring Hill Lowe’s is located at 4780 Commercial Way and Brooksville’s Lowe’s is located at 7117 Broad Street. During the summer, Michaels (7131 Coastal Blvd., Brooksville) offers in-store crafts for $2 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Kids ages 5 and up are invited to explore 7 amazing museums with a different craft each day. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store (4387 Commercial Way, Spring Hill) also offers a variety of classes for kids during the summer including sewing, baking, and painting for $20 to $45.
- Dive into Greek culture at the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks! With divers still hard at work harvesting sponges, visitors can enjoy a leisurely day exploring the Greek restaurants and shops that are scattered throughout the area and stroll along the winding streets of the first settlement, Spring Bayou, to see houses that reflect the grandeur of the wealthy who came to Tarpon Springs. St. Michael’s Shrine, a small chapel built by a Greek family in the 1940’s in thanks for the miraculous cure of their young son, and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, home to the largest Epiphany celebration in the United States and the “weeping” icon of St. Nicholas, are open daily to visitors. Tours and sightseeing cruises are available specializing in dolphin watching, exploring the natural estuaries, viewing the historic lighthouse, sponge diving exhibitions, and more. Greek cultural classes/workshops including those teaching popular Greek, traditional Greek cooking, and how to play Greek music instruments are available. The Tarpon Springs Aquarium, a living reef that was once the domain of divers only, may now be experienced by all.
- Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush at AirHeads (5072 West Linebaugh Avenue, Tampa or 12401 Belcher Road, Largo) featuring a gigantic trampoline arena that allows your kids to literally bounce off the walls! Visit www.AirHeadsUSA.com for info.
- Challenge your family to a round of mini golf! There are a couple of local options or you can venture out of town for a more impressive experience. Monster Mini Golf (6429 U.S. Highway 19, New Port Richey) is an exciting indoor monster-themed, glow in the dark, 18 hole miniature golf course with a scary, but cool monster décor with custom and animated props at every turn. Click here to visit www.MonsterMiniGolf.com. Congo River Golf (10555 U.S. 19, Port Richey) allows you to play a challenging course as you explore giant waterfalls, rocky summits, mysterious caves and tropical rain forests on an unforgettable African adventure. It’s fun exploring the Congo during the day and under the stars! Click here to visit www.CongoRiver.com.
- Curl up under the stars for a night of camping in the Withlacoochee State Forest, the third largest state forest in Florida! The Croom Tract has more than 20,000 acres of cypress and longleaf pine forests and includes 13 winding miles of the Withlacoochee River with a number of great spots to pitch your tent and enjoy fishing, nature trails, canoeing, picnicking, and more! Click here for a list of recreation areas and campgrounds.
- Ride a world famous glass bottom boat! Silver Springs State Park (5656 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala) is a 350 acre nature theme park with crystal clear springs, glass bottom boat cruises, and an assortment of unique animals The World Famous Glass Bottom Boats give visitors a unique view of the underwater beauty. Stopping over the deep springs, knowledgable captains describe the unusual formations, ancient artifacts, and even movie props from early, underwater films from Hollywood during a 30 minute ride. Glass panels built into the deck of each boat create a perfect window to reveal the one-of-a-kind artifacts and antiquities hidden below the surface of the crystal clear waters. The Wild Waters Water Park is also scheduled to open in June! Visit www.SilverSprings.com for information.
- Get up close and personal with some wild things! Dade City’s Wild Things is a 22-acre ecotourism zoo that brings you closer than ever to more then 200 animals on their guided Sunken Jungle Trek and Jungle Safari Rides. You will be amazed at how close you will be to stalking tigers, playing bears, roaring lions, mischievious monkeys, swimming otters, calling birds and so much more. Visit www.DadeCitysWildThings.com for info.
- Get prehistoric! Located at 5145 Harvey Tew Road in Plant City, Dinosaur World has the state’s largest collection of life size dinosaurs with over 20-acres to explore. You will find yourself wandering amongst some of the most feared predators ever to walk the planet in a unique, natural setting. Click here to visit www.DinosaurWorld.com/florida.
- Make learning fun at Great Explorations! This 18,000 square foot facility (located next to the historic Sunken Gardens on 4th Street North in St. Petersburg) is recognized as one of Florida’s top museums and one of America’s top museums for children. Featuring interactive exhibits, Great Explorations introduces new and innovative ways for children to learn through creativity, play, and exploration. Click here to visit www.greatex.org
- Take a trip back in time to Heritage Village (11909 125th Street N., Largo) with more than 28 historic structures and features, some dating back to the 19th century, including a school, church, sponge warehouse, railroad depot and store, as well as a variety of historic homes. Click here for more info!
- Head up, up, and away in a hot-air balloon! Big Red Balloon Sightseeing Adventures are flown daily at sunrise in the Northern Hillsborough and Southern Pasco County area and provide an outstanding birds eye view of Florida’s most beautiful landscapes. Feel the thrill, excitement, and serenity as Big Red takes you from just above the treetops to an altitude of 1000 feet. Click here to visit www.BigRedBalloon.com.
- Ice skating when it’s 100 degrees outside! Tampa Bay Skating Academy (255 Forest Lakes Blvd., Oldsmar) opens their rink up to the public regularly. Click here for a schedule and rates.
- Marvel at botanical garden beauty! Nature Coast Botanical Gardens (1489 Parker Ave, Spring Hill) is a lovely, little hidden gem in Hernando County that everyone should visit. www.NatureCoastGardens.com If you’re in the mood for a drive head to Sunken Gardens (1825 4th St. N., St. Petersburg) for a stroll through meandering paths, lush with exotic plants from around the world and admire the more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers. www.StPete.org/Sunkenx
- All aboard the American Victory Ship! As one of only 4 fully-operational WWII ships in the country, the American Victory Ship is a national treasure and true American icon anchored at 705 Channelside Drive in Tampa. Experience an unforgettable voyage of discovery and witness virtually the entire ship including cavernous three-level cargo holds, radio and gyro rooms, hospital, galley, weaponry, steering stations, flying bridge, signaling equipment, wheelhouse, mess halls, crew cabins, lifeboats, the Captain’s quarters, cargo equipment and the engine. Enjoy rare artifacts, exciting exhibits, uniforms, medals, documents and photographs throughout nine decks and a 455’x109′ cargo vessel. Click here to visit www.AmericanVictory.org.
- Experience the art of puppetry with Bits ‘N Pieces’ Master Puppeteers, Tampa Bay’s longest running children’s theatre! Traditional puppet shows are presented throughout the year at PuppetWorld Playhouse (12904 Tom Gallagher Road, Dover) where marionettes, rod puppets, and glove puppets come together to bring classic children’s tales to life. Visit www.PuppetWorld.com/TampaBay.htm to find out about upcoming shows.
- Observe manatees and other native Florida wildlife at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park (4150 S. Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa). Visitors can see West Indian manatees every day of the year from the park’s underwater observatory in the main spring and visit with black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, American alligators, American crocodiles, and river otters. Manatee programs are offered three times daily. At the Wildlife Encounter programs, snakes and other native animals are featured. Recreational opportunities include picnicking, nature study, and bird-watching. The park features a children’s education center, providing hands-on experiences about Florida’s environment. Click here for more info!
- Try to fly at SkyVenture (6805 Visitors Circle, Orlando, FL 32819) where they make the dream of human flight a reality where they use wind tunnels that create a 150 mph vertical air column on which a person can safely float. No special skills are required, and virtually anyone can fly. Visit www.SkyVenture.com for info.
- Get revved up and head off-road at the Croom Motorcycle Area, a 2,600-acre site in the Withlacoochee State Forest that is one of the best places to ride ATVs and dirt bikes! Croom features beginner areas, trails, a 50-acre sand bowl, jump areas, and tons of hills to ride. It’s open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily and if you don’t have an ATV or dirt bike you can rent one at places like Croom ATV Rental (click here for pricing).
- Monkey around at Boyette’s Grove, an eclectic “Old-Florida” tourist stop. During the citrus season, guests can watch as fruit is washed, waxed, polished, sorted and packed in a style used a half-century ago. Out back paved paths shaded by huge elephant ears and fruit trees wander by homes of monkeys and turtles, alligators and pigs, deer and raccoons. Huge fish tanks (13,000 gallons) hold all kinds of creatures of the sea. Colorful parrots squawk and preen. They also have a dinosaur cave where replicas of the world’s favorite extinct species await visitors. Visit www.BoyettsGrove.com for information.
- Skating is a great indoor option! Rainbow Roller Land (1125 West Jefferson Street) in Brooksville or The Locomo (10451 County Line Road) in Spring Hill both feature large, indoor rinks and host special events like family skates, teen skates, and more. You may bring your own regular, speed, or in-line skates or they have them for rent. Visit www.RainbowRollerLand.net or www.TheLocomo.com for information.
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