Families ready to shake off winter and celebrate milder temperatures this spring can head outside and enjoy the wet & wild in Florida/Georgia - Mermaids and Forest Fun, in North & South Carolina - Zoofari, Surf Lessons and Gators, in Virginia/Tennessee - Farm Visit, Fly Fishing and Fossils. Read on and get inspired:
Florida Wet: Delight in the underwater show of “live mermaids” at Weeki Wachee State Park, a popular roadside attraction, celebra-ting its 70th birthday. The Legendary Sirens show features some of the performers representing each decade since the ’50s. Young visitors love meeting the mermaids, posing for pictures, touching their tails, and even getting letters once they get back home. Nearby are a white sandy beach, flume rides, water slides, kiddie pool, and lazy river. Wild: You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the rain forest at Florida’s Butterfly World, in Coconut Creek, just 20 minutes from Fort Lauderdale. Here, up to 80 species of live butterflies from every continent flutter and feed in giant aviaries that authentically mimic their natural habitat, down to the “rain shower” every 15 minutes. Spectacular birds and gardens round out the enclosed destination. Spring’s a particularly good time to see the world’s largest collection of passionflowers in full bloom. Georgia Wet: Much of pristine Jekyll Island’s 20-mile bike path runs alongside expansive beaches. Don’t miss picturesque Driftwood Beach. Get on the water for a dolphin tour, or go shark-tooth hunting or horseback riding on one of island’s scenic shorelines. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center here is dedicated to education and rehabilitation with its interactive gallery and turtle hospital.
Florida Wild: Even before leaving home, youngsters 6-12 can get started on their Georgia State Park certification to become a Junior Ranger. Download an activity book that outlines outdoor scavenger hunts, word-finds, bird watching activities, and more. Would-be Junior Rangers complete a set number of experiences (based on age) at home and within a park, then share their findings with a park ranger to receive a badge, patch or certificate, or they can mail in their completed checklist.Read the full story at