Ocala is a beautiful city located in Marion County, Florida, and it is a great place to visit with kids. There are plenty of activities to do in Ocala that will keep your kids entertained and occupied. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventures, educational experiences, or family-friendly attractions, Ocala has something for everyone.
One of the best things to do in Ocala with kids is to explore the city’s natural beauty. Ocala is home to several state parks, including Silver Springs State Park, which is known for its crystal-clear springs and glass-bottom boat tours. You can also visit the Ocala National Forest, where you can hike, bike, and camp in the great outdoors. If your kids love animals, they will enjoy visiting the petting zoo at the nearby Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides.
Table of Contents
- Family-Friendly Activities
- Family-Friendly Events
- History and Museums
- Horse Country
- Playgrounds and Concession Stands
- Nearby Areas
Ocala offers a wide range of family-friendly activities that are perfect for parents and kids alike. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, animal encounters, or exciting games, there’s something for everyone in this charming Florida city.
Ocala is a great place to enjoy the great outdoors with your family. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore, as well as picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy a meal together. If you’re looking for a more adventurous experience, you can try kayaking or canoeing in the nearby springs.
Animal lovers will enjoy the many opportunities to interact with wildlife in Ocala. The Petting Zoo Ocala is a popular destination for families, where you can feed and pet farm animals like goats and sheep. There are also plenty of horseback riding opportunities, where you can explore the beautiful countryside on horseback.
Golf and Paintball
For families who love sports, Ocala has plenty of options. There are several golf courses in the area, including the Ocala Golf Club and the Country Club of Ocala, which offer pro shops and courses for players of all skill levels. If you’re looking for something more adrenaline-fueled, you can visit the Ocala Paintball Park for a day of paintball fun.
Easy Street Family Fun Center
The Easy Street Family Fun Center is a great place for families to spend an afternoon. The center features an arcade, miniature golf course, and other fun games and activities that are perfect for kids of all ages. There’s also a snack bar where you can grab a bite to eat.
Canopy Tours and Rope Bridges
For a truly unique experience, you can visit the Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours. This adventure park features zip lines, rope bridges, and other thrilling activities that are perfect for families who love a challenge. The park is located in a beautiful natural setting that’s sure to take your breath away.
Wildlife and Nature
Ocala is home to a stunning array of wildlife and natural beauty. You can explore the Silver Springs State Park, where you can see manatees, alligators, and other animals in their natural habitat. There are also plenty of walking and hiking trails where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the Florida wilderness.
Finally, Ocala is a great place to enjoy water activities with your family. You can go swimming, tubing, or kayaking in the nearby springs, or take a glass-bottomed boat tour to see the fish and water birds up close. Whatever your interests, there’s no shortage of fun activities to enjoy in Ocala with your family.
Ocala is a great place to visit with kids as there are plenty of family-friendly events and activities to enjoy. Here are some of the top events in Ocala that are perfect for families:
Fun 4 Ocala Kids
Fun 4 Ocala Kids is a great resource for finding family-friendly events in Ocala. From kids’ events and programs to youth sports and summer camps, there is always something fun to do with your family. Check out their website for a complete list of events in the area.
First Friday Art Walk
The First Friday Art Walk is a monthly event that takes place in downtown Ocala. This event is perfect for families who love art and culture. The streets come alive with music, art, and food vendors. Kids can enjoy face painting, balloon animals, and other fun activities.
Ocala Downtown Market
The Ocala Downtown Market is a great place to take your family for a fun day out. The market is open every Saturday and features local vendors selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, and other unique items. There are also food trucks, live music, and other fun activities for kids.
Ocala Pumpkin Run
The Ocala Pumpkin Run is a fun family-friendly event that takes place every October. This event features classic cars, hot rods, and other vintage vehicles. Kids can enjoy face painting, bounce houses, and other fun activities. There is also live music and food vendors.
Light Up Ocala
Light Up Ocala is a holiday event that takes place every November. This event features a tree lighting ceremony, live music, food vendors, and other fun activities. Kids can enjoy train rides, face painting, and other holiday-themed activities.
Overall, Ocala is a great place to visit with kids. With so many family-friendly events and activities to enjoy, your family will have a blast exploring this beautiful city.
History and Museums
Ocala has a rich history that is worth exploring with your kids. There are several museums in the area that offer a glimpse into the past and provide a fun and educational experience for the whole family.
Fort King National Historic Landmark & Visitor Center
The Fort King National Historic Landmark & Visitor Center is a must-visit for history buffs. The site consists of a reconstructed fort and visitor center that tells the story of the Second Seminole War and the role Fort King played in it. Kids will love exploring the fort and learning about the soldiers who lived and worked there.
Appleton Museum of Art
The Appleton Museum of Art is a great place to expose your kids to art and culture. The museum features a wide range of exhibits, from ancient artifacts to contemporary art. There are also special events and programs for kids, such as art classes and workshops.
Florida Museum of Natural History
The Florida Museum of Natural History is a fun and educational experience for the whole family. The museum features exhibits on Florida’s natural history, including fossils, plants, and animals. Kids will love the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit, where they can walk among hundreds of free-flying butterflies.
The Discovery Center is Ocala’s local children’s museum. Located at Tuscawilla Park, the Discovery Center is a place for kids to learn in a fun, hands-on way. From rotating exhibits to STEAM-centered classes, there is plenty of reasons to check out what’s new at Discovery Center!
Marion County Museum of History and Archaeology
The Marion County Museum of History and Archaeology is a small museum that is packed with interesting exhibits. The museum features artifacts and exhibits that showcase the history of Marion County, from prehistoric times to the present day. Kids will love the interactive exhibits and hands-on activities.
In conclusion, Ocala has a lot to offer in terms of history and museums. Whether you’re interested in art, natural history, or local history, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Ocala is known as the Horse Capital of the World® and is a haven for horse enthusiasts. With a rich history of breeding, racing, and training horses, it’s no surprise that horse-related activities are some of the top things to do in Ocala with kids.
One of the best ways to explore the beauty of Ocala’s horse country is by taking a carriage tour. Horse Country Carriage Co & Tours offers a variety of tours that take you through some of the most scenic areas of Marion County. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who will share interesting facts about the history of the area and the horses that call it home.
During the tour, you’ll get to see some of the most beautiful horse farms in the area, including Bridlewood Farm, which is known for its Thoroughbred racing, breeding, and sales. You’ll also get to see Millionaire’s Row, a scenic drive that features some of the most impressive horse farms in the area.
If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience with horses, horseback riding is a great option. There are several companies in Ocala that offer horseback riding experiences for kids and adults of all skill levels.
Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides is a popular choice for families. They offer guided trail rides through some of the most beautiful areas of Ocala’s horse country. The rides are suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike, and the horses are well-trained and gentle.
Another great option for horseback riding is the Gypsy Gold Horse Farm. They offer guided tours of the farm, which is home to some of the most beautiful Gypsy Vanner horses in the world. You’ll get to learn about the history of the breed and even get to interact with the horses.
Overall, horse country is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Ocala with kids. Whether you choose to take a carriage tour or go horseback riding, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
Playgrounds and Concession Stands
Ocala offers a variety of playgrounds for kids to enjoy. These playgrounds provide a safe and fun environment for children to play, climb, and explore. Additionally, many of the playgrounds have concession stands nearby, providing snacks and drinks for kids and parents alike.
One of the most popular playgrounds in Ocala is Jervey Gantt Park. This park has a large playground with equipment for kids of all ages, as well as a nearby concession stand that sells snacks and drinks. The park also has a splash pad, perfect for hot summer days.
Another great option is Scott Springs Park. This park has a playground with equipment for younger children, as well as a nearby concession stand that sells snacks and drinks. The park also has a basketball court and a walking trail, making it a great spot for families to spend an afternoon.
Flemington Community Park is another great option for families. The park has a playground with equipment for kids of all ages, as well as a nearby concession stand that sells snacks and drinks. The park also has a walking path, basketball court, and tennis court, providing plenty of activities for families to enjoy.
When visiting these playgrounds, it’s important to remember to bring sunscreen, hats, and plenty of water. Additionally, it’s important to supervise children at all times to ensure their safety.
Overall, Ocala’s playgrounds and concession stands provide a great option for families looking for a fun and safe place to spend an afternoon.
If you’re looking for more things to do with kids in the Ocala area, there are several nearby towns that offer plenty of family-friendly activities.
Belleview is a small town located just south of Ocala. Here are a few things to do with kids in Belleview:
- Lake Lillian Park: This park features a playground, picnic tables, and a fishing pier. It’s a great spot for a family outing.
- Belleview Sports Complex: This complex has several sports fields, a playground, and a walking trail. It’s a great place to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors.
- Jumpin’ Fun Inflata Park: This indoor park features inflatable bounce houses and obstacle courses. It’s a great place to take younger kids on a rainy day.
Dunnellon is a small town located about 20 miles southwest of Ocala. Here are a few things to do with kids in Dunnellon:
- Rainbow Springs State Park: This park features a crystal-clear spring, a waterfall, and several hiking trails. It’s a great place to spend a day exploring the outdoors.
- KP Hole Park: This park features a swimming area, a playground, and a picnic area. It’s a great spot for a family outing.
- The Blue Gator of Dunnellon: This restaurant and bar offers live music and a fun atmosphere. It’s a great spot for older kids and teenagers.
Citra is a small town located about 15 miles north of Ocala. Here are a few things to do with kids in Citra:
- Orange Blossom Opry: This music venue offers live performances by local musicians. It’s a great spot for a fun night out with the family.
- Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides: This company offers guided horseback rides through the Ocala National Forest. It’s a great way to experience the beauty of the area.
- Cross Creek RV Resort and Campground: This campground offers a swimming pool, playground, and other amenities. It’s a great spot for a family camping trip.
There are plenty of things to do with kids in the Ocala area and nearby towns. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities or indoor fun, there’s something for everyone.