Disney is not the only place for family fun in Florida. In the town of Silver Springs, Florida they have their own Park and they call it simply Silver Springs -Nature’s Theme Parkand it truly is. I have been there several times during visits to Florida and this is truly a very remarkable place. You can plan to spend two hours or a whole day there. It is smaller than Disney and it is less crowded so that makes it my kind of place.
There is a guest relations building, public telephones and bathrooms for your convenience. There is also a gift shop, mini mall/historical showcase, silver river theater and Jungle Junction. You can visit Cypress Market; have a snack at Paradise Treats, Fudge Shop/Deli, The Spring Side Café and the Pizzeria. There is also an ATM machine for your convenience and an area that they call Silver Springs Snap Shot.
There is so much to see there in the way of exploring nature. I have taken a ride of the glass bottom boats twice now and enjoyed it a lot both times. The boats ride takes you all the way around the Park by way of The Silver River and they show you where the main spring enters this fresh water spring. This water is sparkling clear and clean.
You can walk the trail of the Panther Prowl and see live Panther’s. They have the big Gator Lagoon with many alligators living and sunning themselves. They have live baby alligators and there is a white alligator exhibit and a reptile show.
You can follow the walking trails all over the park and if you get tired you can take a ride in the Safari Jeeps. If you go in the winter it is a very enjoyable time to go, as the weather is lovely and not to hot to walk around since you are in lots of shaded areas.
They have something they call the Lighthouse Rideand it lifts you all the way up and from up there you can see around the entire park. On one of my visits I was there right before Christmas and they had the park decorated so lovely with Christmas lights it was breathtaking walking throughFloral Gardens.
They have a Giraffebarn where you can see and feed the Giraffes up close and personal. You may get lucky and be there around the time when the female giraffe has had a baby and get to see the baby as well like I did on one of my visits. There is a Carousel and a playground and fun house for the kids to play at while the parents take a rest. There is a Petting Zoo, which has lots of lovely baby animals that you can pet and don’t forget to get down to the World of Bears. It is really great to look at the bears but I will admit it got me feeling a little uneasy. The bears are huge and it makes you realize just how large and mighty they are.
Last but not least is the Twin Oaks Mansion Concert Stage where the Park holds weekly concerts. This is a bring your own chair type of event and if you buy a Silver Pass that Pass includes your Park Admission, Free Concert Admission, Free events admission, Free Season pass to Wild Waters Water park and free parking. You can check online for the current years fees and coming events at www.silversprings.com
I would certainly recommend that if you are inFlorida in the Orlando area you should definitely put Silver Springs on your list of things to do and see while in Florida.