It’s always special when your grandchildren come to see you at The Villages. However, sometimes you might face yourself in a dilemma in figuring out what to do with them when they visit. To help create a more memorable visit for them take advantage of educational and recreational offerings in and around this bustling community. Here are few ideas to get you started:
Outdoor Activities in the Villages
To experience a true Florida paradise, head 10 miles south to soak up the 577-acre Lake Griffin State Park. Here you and the grandkids can hike, fish, kayak, or simply admire the fauna. Indeed, you might spot an alligator, a bald eagle, or an adorable river otter. Additionally, you can swim and bike on the grounds of The Villages.
Fun Games Around The Villages
Your grandchildren can challenge you to games of bocce, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and kickball at The Villages. Or you might opt to bowl at either Spanish Springs Bowling or Fiesta Bowl — both of which are located in Lady Lake, a town six miles to the east of The Villages. Both bowling alleys feature youth programs and snack bars. If your grandkids golf, you might head over to the beautifully-maintained course and driving range at Lady Lake’s Tree Top Golf. This property includes a miniature golf course for children to enjoy.
Museums to Visit
For a relaxing experience, go to one of the first-rate local museums. If your children adore horses, they will be fascinated by the exhibits at the Grand Oaks Resort and Carriage Museum. Eight miles northeast of the Villages, this museum displays a wide array of carriages and wagons. As a bonus, you can take a carriage ride through the resort.
If your grandchildren prefer motor vehicles to their horse-drawn counterparts, they’ll have a blast surveying the many classic cars at the Mount Dora Museum of Speed Building, 30 miles from the Villages. What’s more, this museum features a variety of other memorabilia: autographed guitars, roadsigns, and even a working 1951 television. Note that this attraction does not allow strollers and does not accept credit cards.
Are your grandkids intrigued by American history? If so, you could take them to Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Bushnell, FL — the site of a significant battle between Seminole warriors and 107 U.S. soldiers under the command of Major Francis Dade. The park includes a modest museum.
Other Attractions near the Villages
Two other local points of interest particularly stand out. One is the Florida Citrus Tower, a 226-foot-high structure in Clermont, FL (38 miles south of the Villages). Its observation deck affords gorgeous views of seemingly-endless orange groves. The other is Silver Springs State Park, a wildlife preserve where you can ride a glass-bottom boat to view underwater creatures and hike, bike, canoe, and ride horses amid teeming wildlife.
People often feel that the time they spend with their grandchildren passes all too fast. But when your grandkids partake in the excitement that The Villages and its surrounding towns offer, they’ll want to return as soon as possible — whether they live down the street or 1,000 miles away.