This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ocala/Marion County VCB. All opinions are 100% mine.
Think back to the summers of your childhood. What is the first thing that pops into your mind?
In an instant, I am transported to the beach my family visited every summer. Vivid images appear in rapid succession, one after the other recalling from the depths of my memory to the space just behind my eyes. It’s like I am reliving it.
I can’t help but smile as I remember. I see my Grandpa laughing, decked out in his summer uniform of cargo shorts and fisherman’s hat. Calypso music wafts in the background.
Then we are on the beach, a crew twenty-deep, industrial shovels in hand as we begin the day-long task of moving a 30-foot square section of beach and building our infamous yearly sandcastle. The lifeguard draws a line in the sand, warning us not to go any bigger. Passersby stop to stare in awe, some can’t resist the urge to grab a shovel and join the crew.
Now it’s early morning, the sun still low in the sky and the dew still fresh on the earth. We unhitch our bicycles and set off to the edge of the ocean, anxious to reach our destination before the hidden treasures of sand dollars and conch shells are reclaimed by the rising tide.
It’s the moments, not things, that kids remember
Scientists say that it is the experiences in life that kids remember years down the road — not things. And it’s true.
I can only vaguely describe my first bicycle, but I can talk for hours about our family vacations. Those experiences shaped me into the person I am. Those are the memories I want to give my own children.
This summer we’ve been on a tight budget, but one thing we aren’t skipping is our family vacation. I know in the big scheme of things, my girls won’t remember which toys they got, and which they didn’t. What they will remember is what we did, what we saw, what we laughed about, how we lived in those moments.
We face so much pressure to give our kids the “very best.” But what does that even mean?
Ask your kids what they would like more than anything this summer, and chances are they’ll tell you about something they want to do.
So this summer, forget about the “things.” Because I guarantee that a year or two from now, your kids will forget about those things too.
This summer, build memories.
10 Memorable Outdoor Adventures in Ocala/Marion County
There’s no better place to build forever memories than Ocala/Marion County, Florida. Countless adventures await! Here are just a few of the exciting Ocala/Marion County Activities to try:
- Biking — Explore scenic trails or challenge yourself on a mountain bike expedition. There are multiple bike rental outfitters that can help set you up for the ride of your summer!
- Birdwatching — Learn more about the species in Ocala/Marion County here.
- Boating — Whether it’s a relaxing pleasure cruise on one of the many rivers or a day of exciting water sports on Lake Weir, there’s never a shortage of fun on the water!
- Canoeing/Kayaking — Bring your own or rent from one of the top-notch specialty outfitters in the area. Did you know there are over 600 rivers, lakes, and springs in Ocala National Forest alone?
- Fishing — You’ll find some of the best bass in Ocala/Marion County, all while enjoying the majestic beauty of the many lakes and rivers in the area.
- Hiking — Take your pick from dozens of parks and nature areas to conquer!
- Horseback riding — Ocala/Marion County Florida holds the official title of Horse Capital of the World™ and is the ultimate destination for equine enthusiasts!
- Motorsports — Catch a race at the Ocala Grand Prix or take it off-road at Hardrock Cycle Park in Ocala.
- Wakeboarding — Get your adventure on with a day of hitting the waves!
- Zip lining — Soar beyond your wildest dreams with a zip lining adventure by The Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours.
Shake things up! Make planning your trip extra exciting by having each family member nominate their favorite activity on the list. Write all the suggested activities on note cards, place them in a hat, and pick one to do each day on your vacation.
See more Ocala/Marion County Activities here!