July 8, 2012

10 free things to with kids in West Volusia

Painters Pond, Deland, Florida
Mural at Painters Pond
Summer is here and many parents may be looking for low-cost activities to do with the family. If you're in West Volusia county this summer, here are 10 free things to do.
Outdoors and Nature
Hontoon Island State Park. Observe evidence Native American habitation as well as abundant wildlife on this island. Travel along hiking and biking trails which winding their ways around Indian shell middens. Other amenities include picnic areas, playground, gas grills, canoe and kayak rentals, primitive and cabin camping. 
Location: 2309 River Ridge Road, DeLand, FL.. 386-736-5309 

Lyonia Preserve and Environmental Center. This center offers many hands-on opportunities for learning. Features exhibitions, hands-on learning, indoor and outdoor classes. 

Location: 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona, FL. Phone: 386-789-7207
River Quest Treasure Hunts. Rhymes and riddles serve as clues on this GPS-meets-nature treasure hunt (geo-caching) which stretches across West Volusia. Follow the clues and you will find yourself traveling through villages, cemeteries, historic locations and other interesting places. Culture, history and natural environment serve as teacher on this trip. 

Farmers Markets Life skills and math skills can be honed at a farmers market. Children are never short on questions and most vendors seem to enjoy sharing their knowledge.
These are but a few of the many things that homeschool families can find to do in the summer that are low-cost, educational and fun for the kids. 

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. A migratory bird sanctuary, this refuge is home to the Swallowtail Kite and the Southern Bald Eagle. Opportunities for birdwatching, viewing alligators and other wildlife in their own habitat are plenty. Also featured are an observation tower, hiking trails, bicycling, and photography.

Location: 2045 Mud Lake Road, DeLeon Springs, FL. 386-985-4673 

Culture and History
African American Museum of the Arts. Visit the region's only museum dedicated to African art and art created by African Americans. The museum is the permanent home to over 150 artifacts and features a revolving exhibit or artwork by emerging artists. 
Location: 325 South Clara Ave., DeLand, FL. 386-736-4004

DeLand Historic Mural Walk. A piece of the Florida Mural Trail, this walk provides exercise and a history lesson. The beautiful artwork depicts the history of DeLand. For a preview of the murals and their locations, visit this photo gallery. 

Gateway Center for the Arts. This is a complete cultural arts center offering live music, dance and theatrical performances as well as art exhibitions. Admission to the art gallery is free. Gateway also has a playground, pavilions and butterfly garden. 

Location: 880 U.S. 17, De Bary, FL. Phone: 386-668-5553 

U.S.Postal Service Museum. Step into a 1940s post office for a lesson on the United States Postal Service. Located in the same building as the original Orange City post office built in 1876, this museum holds hundreds of artifacts from postal history.

Alpacas of Willow Hill, LLC. How about visiting an Alpaca farm?

Did you find any new ideas here? Do you have any to add? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Happy Florida Living!

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