Your Guide to Thornton Park

Momlando: Quick Trips Guide to Thortorn Park

After one too many days without a clue of how to keep the kids occupied and ourselves sane, we devised a plan.  And Quick Trips were born!  We’d hop in the car and find some local Central Florida fun.  Each time we’d take a drive to somewhere new (or sometimes not so new!) make a few stops, have lunch, and head home.  Adventures could be all day long or just for the morning until nap.  Use our guide to fit your schedule and needs.

This is your Orlando locals guide to Thornton Park.  Thornton Park boasts bungalows, craftsman houses, and cobblestone streets.  It’s full of historic charm and vibrant arts and culture.  Plan a full day, a morning or afternoon in between naps, whatever works for you.  Our guide will help your family plan the perfect day.

Dickson Azalea Park
100 Rosearden Drive Orlando, FL 32803
A hidden little gem of a park with shady trees and blooming azaleas.  You wouldn’t believe this used to be a spot for cattle herders to let their herd get a drink of water.  Today it’s a great spot to wander through the bridges and tunnels.  Head up top on the Washington Street bridge for an overhead view and photo opp.

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Langford Park
1808 E. Central Blvd. Orlando, FL 32803
Just across the street from Dickson Azalea Park, your second stop has sprawling oak trees, naturewalks, two playgrounds, and expansive green space.  Plan ahead with snacks, a blanket, balls, and bikes and you could lounge here for hours.  Your kids will love running through the park’s several boardwalks and bridges.  (Note: This park has restrooms and picnic tables.)

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Lake Eola
512 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801
A crown jewel of the city, Lake Eola has a playground, art installations, and circular walking path around the lake. (Note: This park has restrooms.)

Lake Eola Farmer’s Market
20 N Eola Dr, Orlando, FL 32801
Orlando’s largest weekly farmer’s market with food and arts vendors. Sundays 10am-4pm.

Grab a bite to eat!  Thornton Park has many family friendly restaurant options including:

Anthony’s Pizza: NY Style Pizzeria 100 N Summerlin Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

Dexter’s Thornton Park: Casual American Fare 808 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

Graffiti Junktion: Burgers 700 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

Truck Stop Restaurant:  Brunch 7 Days a Week, Rotating Pop-up Vendors nightly 900 E. Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

 

Quick Trip Guides brings you family friendly local Central Florida activities monthly.  Get out and explore Orlando.  Have an idea of where we should go next?  Let us know!

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!