Oaks, Art, and Dinosaurs in Orlando

April 8, 2009


We just returned from another trip to Orlando. Adam attended a conference while the kids and I went in search of activities that didn't involve large mice, shopping malls, or crowds. And I am happy to report we had some success. Our first day of exploration led us to Loch Haven Park which is home to several museums and theatres nestled under large oaks. Truly a very pleasant surprise since so much of Orlando seems to have been clear cut to make way for theme parks, hotels, and malls. We had a good time exploring the small, but colorful Mennello Museum of Art (mostly folk art and a nice sculpture garden by the water). The highlight here was a brief drawing session on their front porch (the docent gave the kids some pastels and paper). On our way out we couldn't but notice an enormous live oak tree opposite the museum. Turns out it is one of the largest oaks in Central Florida and even has its own name. After some tree climbing we headed across the street to the Orlando Science Center where we spent the rest of the afternoon digging for dinosaur bones, sliding through intestines, and all sorts of other hands-on fun. I know that most folks come to Orlando with a specific focus on the theme parks, but if you need a break or you are within easy driving distance keep Loch Haven Park in mind. Think of it as a unique kind of cultural "theme" park with shade, traveling exhibits, Shakespeare, meandering paths, and no lines.
Dawn said...

It all sounds like super relaxing kinda fun! Love. Love. That pic of them drawing!
That tree looks like a climbers dream!

Tara said...

First... love the first pic with the kids drawing :)

What a nice departure from the theme park route. Looks like a lovely time!

The Q Family said...

I'm really glad to read this post. We plan to go to Orlando in May and I want to do something different rather than just the theme park this time.

I love your blog. I just spent 3 hours reading all your posts. :) Thank you for sharing such an amazing experience. I can't wait to see your next adventure.

-Amy @ The Q Family.

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