Dadlando weighs in: On the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It is officially that time of year again.  That time when spirits are high, it’s acceptable to drink hot lattes any time of the day (even though the barista always asks, ‘cold or hot’ – that will have to be for another post), and children are full of excitement.  Things even seem to smell more amazing. To say that I look forward to this season all year would be an understatement.  It’s that magical time of year, you know, ‘going-outdoors-time’ in Central Florida; the only time you can venture outside without instantly feeling like you are in a sauna.

I am from the great northwest where hipster Macklemores and cosmopolitan Cobains walk around sipping Starbucks and dodging raindrops.  Like so many others in Orlando, I am a transplant with fond memories of my native lands.  People often remark on how different Seattle and Orlando are, and I agree.  One of the things I miss the most is how easy it was to be able to walk around the city.  I know there are great places to walk in Orlando, but with oppressive heat the majority of the year, it really isn’t practical.  That’s why ‘going-outdoors-time’  is so great.

During the rest of the year, taking kids outside just isn’t an option. When planning the day, we usually make an elaborate plan for a chaotic trip to the Science Center, Crayola Factory, or other indoors center that every other family in Orlando will be at. We love these places, but it is a lot of extra work.  

Winter in Orlando can be as short as summer in Seattle.  But I’ve found ways to make the most of it and it’s as easy as getting outside to go for a walk.  My favorite is Crane’s Roost Park in Altamonte Springs.  It is perfect for taking the kids and doing a couple laps before nap time to burn some energy.  

Here are my top five places to walk with the kids:

  1. Cranes Roost Park
  2. Harry P. Leu Gardens
  3. Lake Lily Park (Bonus, there’s playground!)
  4. Central Florida Zoo
  5. Lake Baldwin Park

During ‘going-outdoors-time’ we have more freedom with our schedule, I don’t feel like I need to shower when I get back in from outside, and I can enjoy a hot beverage while breathing fresh air- not recycled air conditioning.  It is truly the most wonderful time of year!