By Taylor McLamb
Spring Break is just around the corner and while it’s only the span of a week, that can seem like an eternity for a child who is used to a jam-packed schedule of school and activities.
In order to avoid a slurry of temper-tantrums and rowdiness, which can result from pent-up energy your child would usually resolve through school and sports, prepare for the week by planning fun and educational activities that your kid can partake in. Here is a list of exciting, local places guaranteed to help your kids get over their Spring Break slump:
Florida Museum of Natural History:
The Florida Museum of Natural History is a place that’s not only fun for the whole family, but it’s an interactive way for your child to continue learning while not at school. Filled with numerous educational exhibits, this is the perfect place to take your little explorer.
- The Butterfly Rainforest: The Butterfly Rainforest contains more than 50 butterfly and moth species in their beautiful 6,4000-square-foot screened exhibit. Walk through their serene landscape and view an array of vibrant flowering plants, as well as birds, turtles and fish. Your kid can even get up-close and personal with the butterflies, viewing them at their various feeding stations.
- Discovery Zone: The “Beverly and Jon Thompson Discovery Zone” is the perfect playground for any budding scientist. Kids can view live insects in a terrarium and an aquarium, learn about the world’s cultural heritage, examine the intricate details of insects, shells, fossils, bones and more.
- Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land: You can spend a whole day in this captivating exhibit, which displays a large assortment of fossils spanning the last 65 million years of Earth’s history. Kids can touch realistic bronze sculptures of what animals looked like from the past. Learn about the process of collecting and cataloging fossils at the Montbrook Fossil Dig Site, which holds more than 30 specimens discovered by researchers.
Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation:
Why go to the zoo when you can view an assortment of rare exotic animals, while also supporting the conservation of endangered species? African Lions, Cheetahs, Giraffes and Tigers are just a few examples of animals your child can see without even leaving Gainesville. If you choose to go on a tour of the conservation, which requires advanced notice, you get the chance to learn about their residing 25 different species as well as the benefits of conservation and preservation of nature.
If you have a theatre kid on your hands, your child can dabble in their favorite art form by participating in the Hippodrome’s Spring Break Camp. The camp runs through the week of Spring Break from 8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., which includes fun classes in improv, storytelling, costuming, prop making, acting for theatre and more. At the end of the week, the family can spend a fun day at the reception, where your child can proudly display the original scenes and artwork they created themselves.
See a Movie:
Planning a fun trip with your kids doesn’t need to be intricate, sometimes it can be a simple trip to your local movie theater. Buy a bag of popcorn to share and spend an exciting day watching a movie you all want to see. Whether it’s How to Train Your Dragon or The Lego Movie 2, seeing a movie is the perfect way to spend time with your kids and you can have fun discussing the movie on the ride home afterwards.