Top 10 Things to Do as a Family in Ocala/Marion County
Vacations are the perfect opportunity to make cherished family memories, and Ocala/Marion County is the perfect place to make them!
Here are some top things (in no particular order) you and your family can do together when you spend time in our destination.
1. Visit Silver Springs State Park
Silver Springs State Park is one of Florida’s first tourist attractions and for good reason! The park, which has been featured in many Hollywood movies, offers kayak and canoe rentals, as well as rides on their world famous Glass-Bottom Boats, where you can gaze into the clear waters to see fish, turtles, manatees and more. There are easy hiking trails and lots of fun photo spots throughout the park, as well as a cute gift shop and sweet shop!
Did you know that there are dozens of beautiful parks around Ocala / Marion County? To learn more about our parks, please click here.
2. Zip Line at The Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours
Have a high-flying adventure on a zip line at the Canyons Zip Line & Adventure Park. Built around a reclaimed quarry, parents and kids, who meet the criteria, can soar on 9 different zip lines, cross 2 rope bridges and conquer a rappel on a canopy tour. Horseback riding, gem mining and kayaking is also available at the park!
3. Go Horseback Riding
Ocala/Marion County isn’t known as the Horse Capital of the World® for nothing! Many of the local horse farms offer horseback tours or carriage rides, so you can get up close with these beautiful animals and make any kid’s fairy tale dreams come true.
4. Hike the Cross Florida Greenway
Get a breath of fresh air by hiking the Cross Florida Greenway, a trail that stretches across the state, following the path of an abandoned cross Florida barge canal project. Surround yourself and your family with the gorgeous natural settings while you spot wildlife. With more than a 100 miles of different trailheads to explore, there’s lots to see! Feel free to take a break from hiking and enjoy the campgrounds, picnic shelters and playgrounds too.
5. See a Movie at the Ocala Drive-In Theatre
A nostalgic experience that is making a come-back, drive-in theatres, is a fun and unique thing to do with your kiddos. The Ocala Drive-In is an old-fashioned attraction with new technologies and is even open in the rain! There is a concession stand where you can get your favorite movie snacks (popcorn included of course), pizza, burgers and fries too!
6. Tube Down the Rainbow River
Launch out of KP Hole or Rainbow Springs State Park and float down the Rainbow River with the entire family or friends. If you get too hot, all you need to do is splash into the 72° clear water of the river for a refresh. Check out this Guide to Tubing before your day on the river!
7. Go to a U-Pick Farm
Families and kids of all ages will love the experience of picking your very own tasty fruits and berries at one of the many U-Pick Farms in the Ocala/Marion County area. Check in with the local U-Pick Farms to see what is in picking season.
Pack your tents or drive the RV for a nature-filled camping trip with the family. Some of the campsites sit right next to beautiful springs where the family can cool off with a swim or take a kayaking adventure. Or bring your bikes with you and camp near the nationally recognized mountain bike trails in the destination.
9. Enjoy the Beach on Lake Weir
Grab your sunscreen, towels and the whole family for a relaxing day in the sun on the beach right on Lake Weir. Gator Joe's Beach Bar & Grill and Eaton’s Beach Sandbar & Grill both offer beaches and delicious seafood! You can also spend the day at Carney Island on the lake, where there is are two beaches, watersport activities, swimming, walking trails, playgrounds and more!
10. Discover Downtown Ocala
Whether your kids are tots or teens, Historic Downtown Ocala can keep everyone busy. Cool off with an ice cream from the local sweet shop or on the Splash Pad at Citizens’ Circle. We also suggest grabbing lunch at one of the many family-friendly local restaurants downtown. Just a couple blocks north is Tuscawilla Park, where there is a lake, art park and playground to explore.
So there you have it. Ten of our favorite things to do with your family in Ocala/Marion County. Don’t be fooled, though—there’s a lot more where those came from! Come visit us and make your next family vacation one to remember!
For savings on some of the fun outdoor activities in Ocala/Marion County, check out our Outdoor Adventure Trail Passport!