With plenty of sunshine, outdoor amenities, and fun attractions, Gainesville is the perfect place for your next family vacation. Whether your kids’ ages are in single or double digits, the city and the surrounding area are replete with stops to keep them busy. Use the following list to plan out a family-friendly itinerary for your trip here.
Pack a picnic lunch and head out on the water for a day without smartphones, tablets, or other electronics. While your kids might put up a fight at first, they’ll instantly hush when they see the beauty of the water and the fish rushing beneath their boat. You can paddle in a number of areas, including Santa Fe River, Suwannee River, Ichetucknee Spring Run, and more.
There are many local places to rent a boat, including Santa Fe Canoe Outpost or Adventure Outpost. Your best bet is to choose a guided tour, however, which ends up being between $38 to $50 a person. These last anywhere from one-and-a-half to six hours and include a pick-up at the end of your journey. If you choose one of these trips, book a Gainesville hotel near the end of your route so your kids can pass out after a long day on the water.
If your kids are a fan of this hybrid game of golf and Frisbee, they’ll love checking out the local courses. Luckily, Gainesville has four places where you can sink a hole in one. The most challenging course is the Northside Park Disc Golf Course, which features holes beneath looming pine trees as well as a few water obstacles. Try the Jonesville Disc Golf Course if you want a mix of hard and easy holes, which is especially good if your kids are younger but you still want to practice your grown-up throw.
The Barr Systems Disc Golf Course features holes that are about 200 to 400 feet apart, which can be a good distance for both beginners and seasoned experts. Finally, the Trilogy School Disc Golf Course is located on the school’s campus — so if you’re in town during the school year, you won’t be able to play during the day.
Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo
Animals are a kid favorite, so the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo will not disappoint. It’s one of only two teaching zoos in the country. It’s where students in the zoo animal technology program can get real-world experience caring for wild animals. The 10-acre complex has a number of mammals, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and invertebrates that kids of all ages will enjoy learning about.
The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week, and it costs just $6 for adults and $5 for children. Children under 3 can get in for free.
Next time you’re in Gainesville, consider one of these fun family activities to keep both you and the kids occupied. You’ll be able to stay active while creating family memories you’ll never forget.