Family Travel: Springtime at Orlando Gardens, Flickr: Jeff Kern

Scene From the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!

The plentiful Orlando sunshine offers plants, flowers, and trees plenty of photosynthesis love.  Take advantage of this natural display at these gardens in and around Orlando.

Leu Gardens
Orlando, FL
Just outside downtown Orlando, Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical wonderland chock full of numerous themed gardens.  The Leu House Museum will take your family back in time to a 1900s home.  Tours are offered on a daily basis.

Epcot
Visit Disney's Epcot Amusement Park during its Epcot Flower & Garden Festival (now through May 19, 2013) where flowers and shrubs take the shape of your favorite Disney characters.  Special musical guests, celebrity challenges, and a Cars-themed play area make this the perfect garden destination for the whole family. 

UCF Arboretum
Not just your walk in the park, this University-run Arboretum allows you to visit three ecosystems: Pine Flatwoods, Cypress Dome, and Oak Hammock.  They also host numerous family friendly programs including guided tours (offering specifically designed tours for kids!), disk golf, and geocaching along their trails.

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Gainesvile, FL (45 min. north of Orlando)
The easy stroll around this garden's 1 ½ paved walkway is perfect for taking along a stroller.  Along your route, you'll discover numerous flora species including Chinese royal bamboo and giant Victoria water lilies.  Fido can join the fun here, dogs are permitted.

Kraft Azalea Gardens
Winter Park, FL
A visit in January-March allows you to see the beautiful azalea blooms that this garden takes its name from.  Year-round, you can explore 11-acres of flowers, trees, shrubs, and manicured gardens.  Bring your fishing poles and fish at the lake. 

Bok Tower Gardens
Lake Wales, FL (1 hour south of Orlando)
Since its opening in 1929, more than 23 million visitors have experienced this garden.  The architectural design of the buildings in this garden are as beautiful as the flowers. 

Florida Tech Botanical Garden
Melbourne, FL (1 hour east of Orlando)
This garden is public, so it is completely free to visit.  Be careful of poisonous plants and natural water features, so it is best to take well behaved kids who will stay right on the path.  A small old-fashion school house, the Melbourne Little Red Schoolhouse, is located in the garden.

 

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photo: Jeff Kern

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