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  • Writer's pictureAcadia Acres

7 Can’t-Miss Family Friendly Activities in Downtown Ocala

Planning a visit to downtown Ocala? Here, family-friendly fun takes center stage!

This charming Florida destination is the perfect playground for kids and parents alike. From the inviting streets to the scenic parks, downtown Ocala promises a delightful escape for those seeking a mix of relaxation and adventure. Explore the local culture, savor delicious treats, and soak in the warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Image of Downtown Ocala

Whatever you do, don’t miss these 7 family-friendly features of downtown Ocala.

  1. Horse Country Carriage Company & Tours: Marion County is known for its rich history in equestrian culture. That’s what makes a carriage tour with Horse Country Carriage Company a particularly perfect first foray into your family’s exploration of downtown Ocala. Arrive early to meet your guide and interact with your carriage horses; bring a camera to capture keepsake moments along the way; and plan to tip your guide with cash if you can.

  2. Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop: For an experience the whole family will enjoy, take the kids to this Willy-Wonka inspired world of sweets. The whole place is bursting with colors and flavors—it’s not just a place to find a wide array of delicious treats, it’s a chance to make some sweet memories too. Parents, don’t miss the nostalgic candy section. You’re likely to stumble on some cherished childhood favorites.

  3. Vintage Toy King: Speaking of throwbacks, while you’re shopping downtown, put Vintage Toy King on your list. Like the candy store, this is a shopping experience that has a little bit of something for everyone. This charming store has shelves lined with classic toys sure to stir up a nostalgic sense of wonder. It offers a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between generations with a bond that can only be forged through the magic of play.

  4. Ocala Civic Theatre: This cultural gem in downtown Ocala invites parents and children alike to experience the transformative powers of live performances in a welcoming and family-friendly atmosphere. Beautifully staged productions and talented casts make each performance a memorable experience. Check the schedule for family-friendly performances and interactive events.

  5. Brick City Center for the Arts: If your family is interested in art, visit the Brick City Center for the Arts. This vibrant hub welcomes families to explore expressions of visual creativity with a diverse and rotating calendar of engaging events. From captivating art installations to interactive showcases, Brick City Center for the Arts sparks the imagination of young minds while providing a delightful experience for adults. You even sometimes find opportunities for hands-on creative expression for the kids.

  6. Tuscawilla Park: This picturesque park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and those who just want to get a breath of fresh air. With sprawling green spaces, playgrounds for the little ones, and wide scenic walking trails, Tuscawilla Park offers the perfect escape for families seeking outdoor fun right in the heart of downtown Ocala.

  7. Manatees at Silver Springs State Park: Truly a best-for-last moment on the list, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Bring the whole family along to witness the majestic manatees in their crystal-clear habitat. Whether you opt for a Silver Springs glass-bottom boat tour, explore wildlife viewing areas by foot, or paddle along the springs, Silver Springs State Park offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and learn about the importance of conservation. For the best possible experience, be sure to visit during the cooler months. The manatees are most active from November to March.

We hope this information has been helpful in planning your family-friendly visit to downtown Ocala, Florida. If you have any questions about planning your visit, or want an insider’s scoop on the local scene, swing by Acadia Acres to learn more.


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