The school year is in full swing at your children’s private school in Tampa, FL, and the cooler weather and upcoming holidays make it the perfect season to get outside with the whole family! It’s easy to fall into a routine, but there’s so much to enjoy in our great city. Here are a few of our favorite local finds for outdoor fun.
Exotic Bird Sanctuary
About an hour’s drive from campus, the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary is a “non-profit, forever home for parrots,” where they provide permanent homes for over 800 parrots and other exotic birds. Their goal is to raise awareness of the moral responsibilities and physical demands that come with keeping wild animals as pets. Only recently opened, this free flight aviary has big plans for veterinary schools, hurricane shelters, and hydroponics! They ask for a $20 donation per adult and $15 for children for each tour — and you can even get involved as a volunteer!
Flatwoods Park is located 20 minutes away from Wesley Chapel and offers plenty of outdoor fun for the whole family. Bring your dog, bikes or skates, and your family to enjoy one of the many nature trails, ranging from short, easy walks to the famous seven-mile paved loop road. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy before bird watching for the afternoon.
Wesley Chapel District Park
Pack some healthy, delicious snacks and take the family to Wesley Chapel District Park for an afternoon of fun and games. This free local park features several athletic fields and dozens of wide-open spaces perfect for playing catch, throwing a frisbee, or just relaxing in the grass.
You can enjoy hiking some of Florida’s beautiful marshland at Conner Preserve, just a short 20 minute drive away. The preserve has 16 miles of hiking-only trails, 12.5 miles of unpaved cycling trails, and 5.2 miles of marked equestrian trails. You can also head over to the model airplane field to watch experienced pilots guide their model planes through the air! The site is open to spectators, but if you wish to fly or are interested in getting a license, contact the Bay City Flyers.
Tour Local Nature Centers
Right inside Tampa, you can visit and tour the Tampa Audubon Society to learn about the local ecosystems and wildlife native to our area. If you’re seeking more of a thrill with your wildlife, head to Busch Gardens, and let your kids participate in the Animal Experience. They’ll be able to interact with many endangered species and learn how they can help wildlife thrive across the globe.
Hillsborough River State Park
Only a half hour drive from campus, this park consists of nearly 3,000 acres, and there are more than seven miles of trails! You and your family can bike, camp, canoe, kayak, fish, geocache, swim, and picnic your way through the day. They also offer campfire circles, which are a Saturday evening program put on by the park staff.
Head to the Farmers’ Market
Teaching kids where their food comes from is a great way to get them engaged in cooking and making healthy choices. Spend a weekend morning at one of our local farmers’ markets, where your whole family can support your community by purchasing fresh, local produce.
Our own campus offers a delightful Outdoor Environment Learning Complex for your family to enjoy. The nature trail is full of a variety of local flora and fauna, which are marked to help you learn the offerings of the area. Picnic benches sprinkled along the trail provide spots for you to sit and enjoy the beauty of the environment. Check in in the office, and then feel free to walk the trail. Watch for our offerings of weekend hours and golf cart trail rides!
At North Tampa Christian Academy, a private school in Tampa, FL, the faculty, staff, and families work as a team. Our service-oriented approach builds Christian leaders who think deeply, choose wisely, create beauty, and use their dreams to solve problems. Want to learn more about what makes us different? Contact us today.