Hernando County News

All about Hernando and things to do

things to do

Things to do in our beautiful county of Hernando and other counties within a 30 miles radius.

The greatest part about living in Nature Coast which is approximately 30 miles North of Tampa, close to Orlando and easy major highway access to anywhere else in Florida, is that there are so many things to see and do to enjoy our beautiful sunshine state!

Outdoor Options:

Soak up some vitamin sea in the Florida sunshine! Beaches are everywhere in Florida. There are so many in Florida to visit, that we could take a vacation to one a year and probably still not see them all!  Pine Island is your Hernando County beach.  For the larger white sand beaches, head South just a little to Clearwater.

Water Adventures: Explore our gorgeous Nature Coast by the water! You can launch your own canoe, kayak, or boat, and can also rent them.  Enjoy a relaxing trip down the Weeki Wachee River or have an open water adventure in the Gulf of Mexico.  For information on all the local water adventure canoe & kayak trails, rentals of kayaks, boats, or canoes, state parks, boat ramps, charter boats,  visit these beautiful rivers.

Along with kayaking down rivers you can go to the famous Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and see a mermaid!  The water temperature remains the same year-round at about 72 degrees so it will cool you off on those hot summer days!  The park has mermaid shows, a riverboat cruise, animal shows.  It is Florida’s only spring-fed water park with slides, a lazy river ride, and a kiddie area and pool. For more information, you can check out www.WeekiWachee.com.  You can also buy a day pass or an annual pass here. 

Springleton Fun Park:  For the younger kids or the kid in you, head to Springleton Fun Park.  They have go-karts, miniature golf, train rides, bounce house, and a full arcade.  They have a variety of party packages and attractions. The price varies for each party package depending on the size of the package that you choose. http://springletonpark.com/

Nature Coast Botanical Gardens:  These gardens are an absolute hidden gem in Hernando County.  The Gardens are free and are open to the Public 7 days a week, from dawn till dusk. You can bring your pets as long as they are leashed.  Donations are always greatly appreciated. Visit the Garden online for more information.

Go Scalloping in Hernando County: Scallop season begins July 1, 2018. There is nothing like spending a day snorkeling in the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico while hunting for scallops. You can take your own boat out – don’t forget your Diver Down Flags!!!  You will see hundreds of other boats out there in Gulf doing the exact same thing!  Even if you don’t eat scallops, the fun is in the find!!!

Dirt Bike Riding: If you are into dirt bikes and ATV’s, Withlacoochee State Forest is a great place to ride.  It has 1,600-acre site, Croom has beginner areas, jump areas, trails, hills and a 50-acre sand bowl.  It is open every day from 8-5 and if you don’t have your own equipment you can rent it. https://www.croomatvrental.com/

Boyette’s Grove: This is an eclectic tourist stop.  Boyett’s Grove is a business in the Brooksville/Spring Lake area. It is situated on a hilltop in the rolling countryside along Spring Lake Highway.  Boyette’s Grove also has:

Dinosaur Cave – explore the ancient creatures if you dare…

Mini Golf – 18 holes of the most fun you can have golfing in the area

DinoMight Gold Mine – Get your bag of miner’s mud and see how much “gold” you can mine from it. Then trade your “gold” for prizes in the gift shop!

Aviary – Encounter many tropical birds, including red macaws, blue macaws, cockatiels, parrots, lovebirds and more – some caged and some in free flight!

Art Gallery featuring James Oleson, with changing exhibits.

Huge Florida Tourist Trap Gift Shop – get yourself the “real stuff,” like shell creations, shark teeth, t-shirts, jellies and jams, sauces and coconut patties that you know you want.

Hand Dipped Ice Cream Parlor – Enjoy a hand-dipped cone, cup, sundae or MONDO Banana Split!

Visit www.BoyettsGrove.com for information.

Indoor Options

Go to the Movies: Watch a movie in IMAX at Beacon Theatres (12961 Cortez Blvd, Brooksville).  For show times call (352) 592-1001 or visit www.GeorgiaTheatreCompany.com/beacon

Bowling: Go bowling at a local alley! We have two great ones in Hernando County, both offering great packages for kids, and have great food and arcade machines.  Spring Hill Lanes is located at 3447 Commercial Way and Mariner Lanes is located at 3544 Mariner Boulevard in Spring Hill. During the summer Mariner Lanes offers free games for kids, check it out for those hot steamy days!

Roller Skating: This is another great indoor option, either for those stormy days or too hot to be outside days! Rainbow Roller Land is in Brooksville and The Locomo is in Spring Hill.  They both have large indoor rinks and you can have parties there!  Bring your own skates to either location and/or rent skates.

Crafts: For the parents and kids that like crafts, stores like Home Depot and Michaels offer fun art classes or craft projects.  At the Home Depot, each kid gets an apron and the supplies, along with a certificate and a pin for their apron! How fun is that!

During the summer, while your kids are home and bored out their minds, Michaels in Brooksville on 50 has in-store crafts for $2 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Children from the age of 5 and upwards.

Other great places to visit close by in Citrus, Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties:

Pasco County 

Sunwest Park: Sunwest Park has several amenities which include wakeboarding, aqua park, paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming and beach volleyball.  There is no entrance fee to the park only a $5 fee to park all day! For the extra activities, there are costs.  You can bring your own food and coolers!

sunwest park

Crews Lake Park: This great park location offers train rides the second Saturday of each month. The train is modeled after the Orange Belt Railroad that ran through this area in the late 1800’s. It is fun for all ages. After the ride, you can stay and enjoy the day at the park, have a picnic!

Bounce Party:  Who does not like a bounce house?  this one in Hudson – Let the kids wear themselves out! This building is about 9,000 sq ft. and filled with huge inflatable slides, fun houses, and creative obstacle courses.

Treehopper Aerial Adventure Park: This aerial adventure park is a mixture of bridges, ladders, climbing elements and zip lines spread throughout acres of beautiful forest. There are groups of elements that link together to make separate courses – each of them is a varying difficulty level. Every course has zip lines, and you’ll have to climb, maneuver and traverse the many elements to reach them. There is so much for the whole family to do and you can even have your kid’s parties here.

tree hoppers aerial adventure park

 

Miniature Golf: Mini golf anybody? There are some great local mini golf places around. Congo River Golf down in Port Richey has the waterfalls and caves, rainforest and rocky summits. There is also a Monster Mini Golf in New Port Richey that is an indoor monster themed, glow in the dark, golf course.

Theatre:  The Show Palace Theatre – Do you enjoy watching Contemporary musicals performed in a cozy venue with American fare served buffet-style.  You have to come here and check out the great shows and food!

Citrus County

Homosassa Butterfly: This is the largest butterfly attraction and educational location in the Nature Coast. Homosassa Butterfly provides a fun and unforgettable experience combined with educating people on the importance of preserving the environment.  

Puddle in the Pines: This is an interactive water zone located across from the playground at Whispering Pines Park at 1700 Forest Dr in Inverness.This great location features picnic areas, a children’s nature trail, playground, and public pool you can swim in for a small fee.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park: Come and see the gentle manatees and other native Florida wildlife (4150 S. Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa). Visitors can see West Indian manatees every day of the year from the park’s underwater observatory in the mainspring.  You can also visit with black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, American alligators, American crocodiles, and river otters. Manatee programs are offered three times daily. At the Wildlife Encounter programs, snakes and other native animals are featured. You can come and pack a picnic, do some nature studying and bird-watching. The park features a children’s education center, providing hands-on experiences about Florida’s environment.

Marion County, Levy & Sumter

Silver Springs State Park: Come and ride a world-famous glass bottom boat! Silver Springs State Park in Ocala is the home of a 350-acre nature theme park with crystal clear springs, glass bottom boat cruises, and an assortment of unique animals. These glass bottom boats give us an amazing view of the underwater beauty. It is a 30 minutes ride, showing the amazing formation, ancient artifacts and even movie props from early, underwater films from Hollywood. Glass panels built into the deck of each boat create a perfect window to reveal the one-of-a-kind artifacts and antiquities hidden below the surface of the crystal clear waters.

Pinellas County

Kiwanis Sprayground for KidsGo and bring the kids to this great spray ground with the hot summer temperatures.  They can splash around in water sprays, gushes, dumps and pours at a nearby spray ground! The Kiwanis Sprayground at Highlander Park, located is located at 1937 Ed Eckert Drive in Dunedin.  It does feature 3,000 square feet of fun and it is also equipped with a lightning detection system as well as pavilions, a playground, and a public pool you can swim in for a small fee.

Tarpon Springs Sponge DocksDo you enjoy the Greek Culture or even Greek food, check it all out at the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks! There are still divers working hard to harvest sponges.  You can enjoy a relaxing day checking out the Greek restaurants and shops that are scattered throughout the area and take a walk along the winding streets of the first settlement, Spring Bayou, to see houses that reflect the grandeur of the wealthy who came to Tarpon Springs. St. Michael’s Shrine is a small chapel built by a Greek family in the 1940’s in thanks for the miraculous cure of their young son, and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, home to the largest Epiphany celebration in the United States and the “weeping” icon of St. Nicholas, is open daily to visitors.  Tours and sightseeing cruises are available specializing in dolphin watching, exploring the natural estuaries, viewing the historic lighthouse, sponge diving exhibitions, and more. Greek cultural classes/workshops including those teaching popular Greek, traditional Greek cooking, and how to play Greek music instruments are available. The Tarpon Springs Aquarium, a living reef that was once the domain of divers only, may now be experienced by all.

Ice Skating:  When it is really hot outside where is the coldest place to go?  Yes, ice-skating!  Not far from here you can head out to the Tampa Bay Skating Academy (255 Forest Lakes Blvd., Oldsmar).  Their rink is open to the public all the time.  Check out their website. www.tampabayone.com to check out the times and prices!

Great Explorations: Why not make learning fun for the kids and even you! This is an 18,000 square foot building that has been recognized as one of Florida’s top museums and one of America’s top museums for children. The museum features interactive exhibits.   Great Explorations also introduces new and creative ways for children to learn through innovation, play, and exploration. Check them out online here at https://greatex.org/

Hillsborough County

Lowry Park ZooBring the children out to visit with the animals at Lowry Park Zoo.  It is located close by at 1101 W Sligh Avenue in Tampa, features more than 2000 animals, interactive exhibits, rides, shows, on-site dining and shopping. The zoo is open 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. you can pay for a day or get an annual pass and go as often as you’d like. 

Busch GardensSpend the day at Busch Gardens (300 E Busch Blvd, Tampa) enjoying roller coasters, rides, shows, and animal attractions. Pay for a single day or get an annual pass and go all summer long! 

Florida Aquarium: Come out and see The Florida Aquarium (701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602). Tips for you: Plan to spend at least two hours  Have kids bring their bathing suits as there is a splash water pad for them to play at.  Buy your tickets online and save time!  

Glazer Children’s MuseumThe Children’s Museum of Tampa was founded in 1986 in response to the need for an informal, cultural learning environment dedicated to the needs of young children.  It features two stories of fun with over 170 ‘interactivities’ in multiple themed areas. The Museum is open 7 days a week. 

Museum of Science and IndustryLearn something new at the Museum Of Science and Industry (4801 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33617) for a day of learning in more than 400,000 square feet of interactive exhibits covering biology, meteorology, astronomy, and other science-related fields. MOSI also features the largest children’s science center in the nation and Florida’s only IMAX dome.

Baseball Fan?

Take yourself out to the ballgame! Yes you can watch the Tampa Bay Rays on TV, but they are so close to us, you should go and catch a game live!!!  A great venue at the Tropicana Field.  They have great packages for family days so you can bring the kids too!

Football Fan?

If baseball isn’t your sport of choice, come out and watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium or The Tampa Bay Storm, a professional arena football team, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Ice Hockey Fan?

Come and catch a game on the ice at Amalie Arena.  Check out our Tampa Bay Lightning!  Nothing like the live action on a hockey rink to keep you entertained!

Airheads – Trampolining: This is an indoor trampoline arena.  It is a safe environment where anyone at any age can get some exercise, and maybe even capture a bit of their youth!   There are even moments of defying gravity. There are trampoline arenas in Tampa, Largo, and Orlando, and they are very clean, well supervised, and divided into age-appropriate areas so those little bouncers won’t be competing for air time with bigger jumpers. This is also a great place to have your birthday parties!!!  The venue offers a lot of different packages.

Top Golf: What a great play to go for an evening out!! How could you go wrong! How about a corporate event? – There are full-service restaurant and bars, there are 100+ climate-controlled hitting bays, private event spaces & meeting rooms, a rooftop terrace with fire pit and over 200 HDTVs.  All this and FREE Wi-fi!

HAVE FUN!!!

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