Family Fun in Ocala/Marion County

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By Heather Turk

Families visiting Ocala/Marion County during their Florida vacation will discover a wealth of activities they can enjoy together. Whether you’re looking for something that’s creative, educational or just plain fun, these area attractions rank high with kids and adults alike.

APPLETON MUSEUM OF ART

While a museum that’s home to a priceless collection of European, American, Asian, African, contemporary and pre-Columbian art and artifacts may not be the first place you think of to take the kids, this Ocala favorite has its own ARTSpace area where families can engage in fun, hands-on art experiences. Guests can make mosaics with magnets, draw on the museum’s glass wall and more. Every first Saturday from September through May, children ages 4 and older can also participate in art classes at ARTSpace from 1 to 3 p.m. appletonmuseum.org

The arcade at Easy Street Funworks

The arcade at Easy Street Funworks

EASY STREET FUNWORKS

Fun for the whole family, this popular Ocala venue is guaranteed to keep kids and kids at heart entertained for hours. Featuring an 18-hole miniature golf course, rock climbing wall, go-karts, batting cages and an arcade with more than 60 video and prize redemption games, everyone in the family will find something to enjoy. There’s even a two-story, 30-foot-tall KidZone play area for children ages 2 to 8. For a truly unforgettable experience head to Water Wars, a wet and wild water balloon game where opponents go to opposing battle stations to launch water balloons at each other. funworks.com/easystreet

HORSE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION OF FLORIDA

For those wanting to give back during their family vacation, volunteering at one of Marion County’s many horse farms—after all, Ocala is the “Horse Capital of the World”—will be a rewarding experience. One of the area’s most popular volunteer vacation opportunities is at this charitable organization in Micanopy, which provides a peaceful environment for rescued horses. Open to volunteers age 13 and older, guests can help prepare the horses’ feed, do various barn chores and even work with the horses if they have experience. Special projects are also arranged depending on the number of volunteers each day. Though each guest can decide how long they want to stay, most volunteers typically sign up for half a day. Regardless of how long volunteers help out, they’ll leave knowing they made a difference. hpaf.org

 

 

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