Sunday, January 2, 2011

Florida Field Trips #2: Silver Springs Nature Park in Ocala

Dear friends,

Silver Springs is a beautiful nature theme park in Ocala, Florida, about an hour and a half drive from Orlando.  It borders the Ocala National Park.  The oldest theme park in Florida at 132 years old, it is now owned by the state of Florida and managed by another company.

The admission fee is about $30 per person, but they sometimes run a Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal for adult tickets for certain days, as well as annual passes.  They still have the Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupon on-line, but it says it expires December 31, 2010.  Call to see if it is still good.  The park is not open every day of the week.  They also have country and rock concerts once in a while.  The park is generally open from 10 AM to 5 PM.  It takes just about that long to see everything in the park, maybe longer if you have children. (My husband and I went by ourselves.) Check the web site,, for current information.

The main features are the three different glass-bottom boat river cruises, the animal shows and displays, and a very bumpy Jeep safari.  Keep in mind this is not Disney World!  The park is simple and very nature oriented, not luxurious and commercialized.  But for the price, I felt it was well-worth it, especially as an extremely educational field trip.  On the cruises, you'll find out more about the history.  The water is quite clear and visibility is astounding.  You can see right down to the bottom of the many springs that feed the rivers.  You will see a huge variety of animals, far more than I could show in this blog post.

Without further ado, a few dozen pictures!

OK, that's enough for now!

Go enjoy Silver Springs!

Virginia Knowles

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