Day 1: We meet at our campsite on the west coast of Florida (north of Tampa) and help each other set up camp. After lunch, we drive to a nearby river, get in canoes and explore! This river has many beautiful springs, some in only 2 feet of water, where we can splash and play and even swim through the underwater channels connecting them! (Parents relax! This is done only under proper supervision! These are very safe springs, and provide our kids with a chance to stretch themselves). We snorkel the river and see a gazillion fish, pelicans and other cool stuff.
We return to our campsite, make dinner and tell stories about our day with hot chocolate around the campfire. Smores? Of course! For the kid in all of us! Includes: (L),(D).
Day 2: We get up early, pile onto a pontoon boat and go looking for manatees. They tend to congregate around the springs in the early am. When we find them, we'll review our manatee protocol, (we let them approach us, not vice-versa)then respectfully enter the water and enjoy! After a morning of exploring the area's springs and manatees, we find a sunny spot, anchor the boat and have a picnic lunch.
In the afternoon we return to camp, maybe go swimming in the pool (and hot tub for us adults), play volleyball and even go for a hike. There's opportunity for those who wish to take a nap! This evening we show the kids how to cook corn on the cob right in the fire, along with potatoes in tinfoil and roasted apples, etc. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Day 3 we pack up and drive inland to another river where we rent canoes and paddle upstream to the moth of an even bigger spring. We play on the river 'till we're satisfied, and stop for ice cream and snacks on the way home. This night we have an impromptu 'No-Talent' show, so everyone from ages 1 to 100 gets to strutt their stuff! Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Another early morning to meet the manatees at their springs. Bring a disposable underwater camera, for you'll get priceless shots of your kids having the time of their lives. Our last night around the fire, we each share our highlights of the week. It is beautiful to watch your own child share with his/her new community, in their own words, how they've been touched by our time together. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: We wake, eat breakfast, break camp and go for a swim or maybe a last volleyball / shuffleball / beachball game. After a round of goodbyes, we depart. Some families may want to visit Disney while in the area.
I love kids and it's my joy to provide them ample opportunities to stretch, test, grow, immerse, and find themselves in Nature. After a lifetime of bringing people into direct intimate contact with the vital forces of our natural world, I realize Nature loves us beyond our wildest dreams. I'm honored and blessed to share these trips with you!
Also see tour packages in:
USA Florida Nature & Wildlife Ecotourism