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ideal-LIVING
Retirement Blog
2016 Winter Issue

Grand Vacations in Central Florida

grand_MammothsImage1Central Florida is home to many world-famous destinations that you and the grandchildren can experience together, including sites like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, and Busch Gardens Tampa. But as a companion to our Guide to Spring Training 2016, we’re highlighting some other grand vacation destinations in central Florida near Spring Training ballparks that are nature-themed and reasonably priced to be thoroughly enjoyed in a single day by kids of all ages.

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Many children go through a dinosaur phase when they discover the awesome world of these long-extinct behemoths. And what better place to indulge that fascination than at an entire 20-acre park dedicated to those “terrible lizards?” Dinosaur World is located in Plant City, about midway between Lakeland and Tampa, and features more than 200 life-size models painted in their living colors. Animatronic displays bring T. Rex, Triceratops, and other favorites to life. There are playgrounds, interactive shows, and simulated digs where the grandkids can learn about excavations then get their hands dirty in the Boneyard or pan for gems and arrowheads. A new exhibit is dedicated to wooly mammoths. Parking is free and admission prices are $15 for seniors (60+) and $12 for kids three to 12 years in age with the grands under three admitted free. Soft drinks and bottled water are sold on-site, but there aren’t any food concessions, so you’re encouraged to bring a picnic lunch, or you can have a Dinos! Pizza delivered. Pets on leashes are also welcomed.

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The Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium in downtown Tampa is ranked among the nation’s top five “Kid-Friendly Aquariums” and is home to more than 20,000 living fish, mammals, and other exotic creatures that will amaze and delight you and the grandkids. Sharks, penguins, and alligators are just a few of the living exhibits. Interactive experiences include the Swim with the Fishes guest-dive program for kids six and older and the Wild Dolphin Catamaran Cruise in adjacent Tampa Bay, plus a Wetlands Trail, Coral Reef exhibit, Ocean Commotion display, and the new Madagascar Adventure. There are also educational programs focused on environmental conservation and ongoing special events. And be sure to bring the grandkids’ swimsuits so that they can enjoy the two-acre water fun park while you relax at the Cantina Grill. Admission prices start at $20 for seniors (60+) and $18 for kids ages three to 11, with those two and under admitted free.

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Green Meadows Petting Farm

The Green Meadows Petting Farm in Kissimmee is a hands-on learning experience with more than 300 kid-friendly animals. Join in the fun as the grands are encouraged to pet and feed the sheep, chickens, pigs, rabbits, goats, and other residents. They can also ride a pony, learn to milk a cow, hop on the farm train, and even enjoy an old-fashioned hayride. A two-hour tour of Green Meadows by one of the informative farm hands is included in the admission price of $19 for seniors (62+), $23 for ages 13 to adult, $20 for kids ages three to 12, and $5 for the little ones age two and under.

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Brevard Zoo

Located in Melbourne, about 60 miles east of Orlando, the Brevard Zoo is a non-profit wildlife education and conservation center with more than 650 animals from around the world on display. But what distinguishes the Brevard Zoo are the interactive adventures that are available: The popular Treetop Trek transports visitors around on ziplines, but the Chutes & Ladders course may be more suited to the younger grandkids. Also available are kayak tours and train rides, plus animal feedings that include a tower perch to get at eye level with the giraffes. Special educational programs are designed to engage youngsters in age-appropriate groups and underscore the zoo’s conservation mission. Admission prices are $17 for adults (with a $1 discount for seniors) and $13 for children ages two to 12, with kids under two admitted free. Additional charges for special activities may apply.

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Del Webb Stone Creek - Ocala Florida Active Adult 55+

Del Webb Stone Creek - Ocala Florida Active Adult 55+

Riverview, Florida

Del Webb Stone Creek, a gated 55+ Active-Adult community located in the horse capital of the world, Ocala, Florida. Love life to the fullest with newly renovated world class amenities, 18-hole championship golf course, and community events planned by our lifestyle director, providing an unparalleled lifestyle.
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Del Webb Oasis

Del Webb Oasis

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Coming soon, the beautiful resort-style community of Del Webb Oasis will let you live life to the fullest. This 55+ active adult community has an ideal Orlando location, next to the city's most popular attractions. The lifestyle allows proximity to fun, while our collection of new single-family and villa homes will welcome you.
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Lamplighter Village

Lamplighter Village

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Lamplighter Village is Melbourne's premier 55+ Resort Style community for active adults. With engaging amenities, lush landscape, natural lakes and large manufactured homes, you'll have numerous ways to stay fit and build new friendships. This community is located just a 20 minute drive from Historic Melbourne, considered by many as the preferred destination for shopping, dining and entertainment. Fans of the U.S. Space Program also know the area as the Space Coast serving as home to many who worked on the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.
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Margaritaville Cottages Orlando

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Briarwood - Active 55+ Resort

Briarwood - Active 55+ Resort

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Plantation Bay Golf and Country Club — Florida Golf Communities

Plantation Bay Golf and Country Club — Florida Golf Communities

Ormond Beach, Florida

An abundance of sparkling new facilities take this prestigious private community to luxurious new heights, with two clubhouses, a magnificent 7,000-square-foot Spa and Fitness Center, 10 tennis courts and 45 holes of golf to challenge and delight players of all levels. Plantation Bay is the perfect place to get pampered, stay in shape and play, all right in your back yard.
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K. Hovnanian's  Four Seasons at Orlando

K. Hovnanian's Four Seasons at Orlando

Kissimmee, Florida

Four Seasons at Orlando is a 55+ community in Kissimmee, Florida. This active adult community is situated within the 600-acre Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club, offering a championship golf course, recreation, and an array of amenities and activities. Planned amenities include a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse with swimming pool, fitness center, a card room, arts & crafts room, a cafe and more.
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The Lakes at Harmony

The Lakes at Harmony

Harmony, Florida

This gated community, with a golf clubhouse, exclusive Members Retreat and a resort-style pool with a spacious deck and Sunset Gazebo, sits on 11,000 acres. With two lakes and 12.5 miles of walking and bicycling trails, Harmony boasts a serenity matched only by its outstanding proximity to everything you could ever want.
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Latitude Margaritaville Daytona

Latitude Margaritaville Daytona

Daytona Beach, Florida

You've earned a life where every day feels like an escape. Find your paradise at Latitude Margaritaville, the 55-and-better community where fun and relaxation meet. Located in the heart of world-famous Daytona Beach, Florida - Latitude Margaritaville is a place where life rolls easy, neighbors are friends, and the party never ends. Inspired by the legendary music and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett, your new home in paradise features exciting recreation, FINtastic dining and live entertainment.
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Del Webb Sunbridge

Del Webb Sunbridge

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The 55+ active adult community of Del Webb Sunbridge is coming soon to Orlando, Florida! Located just 5 miles from Lake Nona and Medical City, this exciting community will offer Single Family Homes and Villas, along with resort-style amenities.
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Lakes of Mount Dora - Central Florida 55+ Community

Lakes of Mount Dora - Central Florida 55+ Community

Mount Dora, Florida

Lakes of Mount Dora has been selected among the Top 50 Best Master-Planned Communities in the United States by Where To Retire Magazine! Combining Southern hospitality with small town charm, this 55+ active adult community was developed with a special vision in mind - to create a unique place where people can live in a central Florida waterfront home with classic Florida architecture near one of the most impressive small towns in the country.
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