Our Town

Things every Ocalan should know, see and do

Whether you’re new to the area or a life-long resident, we think our guide to all things Ocala will be a resource that’s worth hanging on to!

Equestrian Endeavors

Ocala Farm Tours

You’ve probably heard that the 2017 Kentucky Derby winner, Always Dreaming, was started and trained in Ocala at Crupi’s New Castle Farm. But Always Dreaming is hardly unusual; so many top Thoroughbreds get their start in Ocala, known far and wide as “Horse Capital of the World.”
And it’s not just Thoroughbreds who make their home in Marion County. There are more horses and ponies—representing over 50 different breeds—in Ocala/Marion County than anywhere else in the country. And 35,000 jobs in Ocala are related to the horse industry.
The best way to experience a taste of the local horse industry is through a farm tour, which is where Ocala Farm Tours comes in. Whether you’ve been around horses your entire life, or don’t know a whinny from a nicker, this “insider’s tour” is both educational and entertaining.
Limited to 10 people, the tour lasts approximately four hours and takes place in the morning, Monday through Saturday, rain or shine. (Afternoon tours are available for groups of five or more people with advance notice.) Tours are by reservation only and include visits to several local farms, where participants get an up-close-and-personal look at the horse industry. Tour guides are avid horse people and long-time Ocala area residents.
“You’ll go behind the scenes of working horse farms in Ocala and meet the horses and people who work there,” explains tour operator Karen Grimes, noting that each tour includes three venues, and that the itinerary varies. The tour van departs from Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.
(352) 895-9302farmtoursofocala.com

Horse Country Carriage Co. & Tours

Learn about the area’s amazing equine history and famous horses as you tour some of Ocala’s beautiful farm country by horse-drawn carriage. Your tour guide shares facts, nostalgia and perhaps even a bit of gossip, accompanied by the musical clip-clopping of hooves on peaceful back roads. Your hour-long carriage tour meanders along country lanes where you’ll see a variety of horses along the way. Tours by reservation only.
(352) 727-0900hcccandt.com

Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park 

This 500-acre facility is home to numerous local, national and international equine events throughout the year.
(352) 307-6699flhorsepark.com

Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association

Home of “Champ,” one of the Horse Fever horses, the FTBOA houses an assortment of memorabilia representing the state’s Thoroughbred industry. Enjoy the displays of paintings, photos, memorabilia and trophies, including the 1956 Kentucky Derby trophy won by Florida-bred Needles.
(352) 629-2160ftboa.com

Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS)

Winter Circuit brings close to three months (mid-January through late March) of top level horse show activity to Ocala. No other hunter/jumper circuit on the East Coast features such a wide-ranging opportunity all the way from elementary school-age beginners to Olympic-caliber competitors hailing from across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Classes take place Wednesday through Sunday each week. Food, gift, jewelry, clothing vendors.
(352) 620-2275 › Hitsshows.com HITS Post Time Farm

Grand Oaks Resort and Florida Carriage Museum

This exceptional museum is home to one of the world’s largest private collections of carriages and equine artifacts, including over 160 European and American carriages. Reserve a carriage ride to explore the beautiful grounds.
(352) 750-5500 thegrandoaks.com

Southeastern Livestock Pavilion

Home of numerous equine competitions, livestock and community events throughout the year, including the Southeastern Youth Fair, Southeastern Pro Rodeo and many more.
(352) 671-8600 › facebook.com/Southeastern-Livestock-Pavilion-Marion-County-FL

Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company

Watch Thoroughbred horses be sold at live public auction several times per year, many of which were raised right here in Ocala.
(352) 237-2154obssales.com

Horse Fever Horses

Ocala’s first county-wide public art project began in 2001 as a partnership with Marion Cultural Alliance, Florida Thoroughbred Owners’ and Breeders’ Association, the City of Ocala, local businesses and philanthropists. All told more than 50 artists created over 85 works. Many of these life-size horses remain on display throughout the county. Why not plan your own tour?
Find a map here: http://bit.ly/2w3DNFj

Horseback Riding

Marion County boasts some of the state’s best places for horseback riding. If you have your own horse, there are literally hundreds of miles of trails for equestrian use in the Ocala National Forest and the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway. Greenway trails can be accessed through the Florida Horse Park and at numerous other trailhead locations. Many riders enjoy riding across the land bridge, a unique trail feature that allows equestrians to cross over I-75, safely above the traffic, without even dismounting.
For more trail information, maps and directions, visit floridastateparks.org/trail/Cross-Florida or floridagreenwaysandtrails.org.

Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides 

Riders of all ages can experience Marion County’s best trails on a guided ride with a safe, gentle horse. Custom rides available for more experienced riders. From winding trails through shade-dappled oak hammocks and stately pine forests to wide, rolling green fields, you’ll see the area in a new way. Rides depart from the Florida Horse Park and on the Greenway trail system. Reservations required.
(352) 266-9326 › rockspringsruntrailrides.com

Gypsy Gold

Discover the history of the enchanting Gypsy Vanner Horse, first brought to America in 1996 by Dennis and Cindy Thompson, during a two-hour tour of the farm and horses. Reservations required.
(352) 307-3777 › gypsygold.com

The Gala of the Royal Horses

Performances by Andalusian, Friesian, Lipizzaner and Arabians produced by world-renowned riding master Rene Gasser.
galaoftheroyalhorses.com

 

Outdoor Adventures

More Biking & Hiking Trails

Here in Marion County, we’re blessed with many miles of state land designated for hiking, biking and riding. Space won’t permit us to list all of the trails that, like Santos, are part of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, but you can find maps, directions and more information at
(352) 236-7143 › floridastateparks.org/trail/Cross-Floridafloridagreenwaysandtrails.org

Hardrock Cycle Park 

You won’t feel like you’re in Florida when you experience the dramatic elevation changes, rock crawls and hill climbs at this 100-acre sports facility that is home to multiple race tracks and levels of off-road trails. In addition to hosting top motocross competitions, Hardrock is the go-to destination for Jeeps and off-road vehicles, including quads and ATVs.
(352) 732-6697hardrockmx.com

Ocala Gran Prix 

If you’re feeling the need for speed, rent a club kart and hit highway speeds on the private track. It’s safe, fun and fast!
(352) 291-0600ocalagranprix.com

Captain Bob’s Airboat Tours

See the wilder, wetter side of Florida. Captain Bob specializes in alligator airboat tours on the Withlacoochee River and Lake Rousseau areas. Pontoon boat rentals on the Withlacoochee River and Rainbow River are also available.
(352) 586-4657 › captbobsairboattours.com

Old River Paintball 

9911 SE 170th Avenue Road, Ocklawaha(352) 288-5840 › oldriverpaintball.com

Slick Charters Silver River Boat Tours

Bring your own food and beverages to enjoy as you kick back on this three-hour tour of the historic Silver River on a private charter boat and view the scenery and abundant wildlife.
(352) 817-7818slickcharters.net

Wayne’s World of Paintball

4841 S Pine Street, Ocala › (352) 401-1801waynes-world.com 

ATV Off-Road Adventure Tours

Discover backwoods Florida on a guided all-terrain vehicle eco tour of the Ocala National Forest. Must be 18 years or older.
(352) 546-5514, (561) 512-6579 › atvoffroadadventuretours.com

Discovery Kayak Tours

Paddle your way to peace and relaxation on Florida’s waterways. Expert kayak guides and naturalists will instruct and educate you along the way.
(352) 789-4959discoverykayak.com

Bubba Raceway 

Check out the action at the oldest continuously-operating auto race track in the state.
(352) 622-9400 › bubbaracewaypark.com

Endangered Animals Rescue Sanctuary (EARS)

A leisurely guided walking tour of this 35-acre facility in Citra gives you a close-up look at lions, tigers, ligers, bears, leopards, bobcats, a cougar, monkeys and more. This fascinating, educational opportunity is not a petting zoo. Membership tours are offered on Wednesday or Saturday afternoons.
(352) 454-6454earsinc.net

Crones Cradle Conserve

This 756-acre ecological preserve and education center located in Citra is home to an organic farm, farm store and regular community events.
(352) 595-3377 › cronescradleconserve.org

Santos Trails 

Considered one of the state’s best mountain bike destinations, Santos Trail features dozens of miles of well-maintained trail that are marked according to difficulty. Hikers and equestrians also use some of the trails, which allows visitors to experience outdoor Florida much as it looked a century ago.
floridastateparks.org/trail/Cross-Santos

The Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours 

Dramatic terrain, complete with cliffs, lakes, canyons and towering oaks, set the scene for high heights and super long zip lines at this popular outdoor adventure destination. Horseback riding is also available.
(352) 351-9477  › zipthecanyons.com

 

Arts, Culture, Museums and Galleries

College of Central Florida Theatre

(352) 873-5810cf.edu/theatre

Orange Blossom Opry 

Musical venue located in Weirsdale featuring the Opry Band. The facility offers Jam Nights on Thursday evenings.
(352) 821-1201obopry.com

Brick City Center for the Arts

Home of Marion Cultural Alliance, Brick City Center for the Arts features quality art exhibitions showcasing local and regional member artists in this downtown gallery.
(352) 369-1500 › mcaocala.com/the-gallery   

Marion County Museum of History and Archaeology

Located on the McPherson County Government Complex, this museum will open your eyes to the rich history of our area and “real” Florida long before Mickey Mouse called it home.
(352) 236-5245 › marioncountyarchaeology.com

Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center

Don’t miss the pioneer cracker village! There’s also a great playground and picnic area, just a short hike from the Silver River.
(352) 236-5401 › floridastateparks.org/activities/silver-springs-museum

Webber Center Gallery

(352) 873-5800cf.edu/webber

Discovery Center

(352) 401-3900 › mydiscoverycenter.org

Reilly Arts Center

Built in 1936, the old Ocala City Auditorium building in Tuscawilla Park was once home to USO dances, New Year’s Eve celebrations and local proms. In its heyday, it hosted performances by Buddy Holly and The Boston Pops. By the 1980s, it has fallen into disrepair and was under the constant threat of being torn down. Its salvation came through a plan to make it both the permanent home of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, as well as a venue for community arts organizations. Since being renovated into a world-class performance hall, it has grown into a thriving center for arts and culture in Ocala.
(352) 351-1606 reillyartscenter.com

Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center, The Villages 

This state-of-the-art theatrical venue has quickly grown into a thriving center for the performing arts. The offerings include popular Broadway musicals, ballet and contemporary dance performances, concerts by a variety of orchestras, as well as a line-up of top-notch pop, Motown, jazz and country artists. They also feature circus-style acrobatic shows, aerial artists, magicians and comedians. The Sharon’s Performing Arts Academy offers courses in acting, theatre arts, theatre history and appreciation.
(352) 751-7799 thesharon.com

Circle Square Cultural Center 

A wonderfully intimate entertainment venue featuring theatrical productions, concerts, dance parties and conventions. Beyond the entertainment offerings, each year the center hosts a health and wellness expo, a fall craft fair, a home-improvement expo and the “Hands Across the Highway” art show.
(352) 854-367 › ocsculturalcenter.com

Ocala Civic Theatre

For over six decades, Ocala Civic Theatre has grown into one of the largest community theaters in the state, serving more than 70,000 Marion, Citrus and Lake County residents each season with a line-up of theatrical performances. The Education Department offers after-school classes and youth shows, including an upcoming production of The Velveteen Rabbit, as well as the musical theatre performance class “Holiday Hoopla” (ages 8-12) that culminates in a 30-minute holiday showcase. Although the theatre maintains a small staff, its over 400 volunteers are the true stars.
“Not only does the donation of their time allow us to keep our ticket prices accessible to the community,” explains Executive Director Mary Britt, “but, more importantly, the wealth and diversity of talent our volunteers bring to each project helps us maintain very high standards of quality.”
(352) 236-2274 › ocalacivictheatre.com

 

Local Springs

Juniper Springs

One of the oldest and best-known recreation areas on the East Coast. This natural setting is unlike any other found in the United States, with hundreds of tiny bubbling springs and massive springs gushing out of the earth beneath a dense canopy of palms and oaks.
(352) 625-3147 › juniper-springs.com

Alexander Springs

A broad and naturally gentle, sloped spring pool becomes a natural water park. The springs are a great place to picnic, swim and play, as well as a major scuba site.
352-669-0600fs.usda.gov

Salt Springs

This crystal-clear spring is a popular spot for swimming or exploring the underwater caves. (You must be a certified cave diver). Its lush, semi-tropical setting make it perfect for picnicking, paddling and wildlife viewing.
(352) 685-3070fs.usda.gov

Silver Glen Springs

An important archeological site that sits along the edge of the Big Scrub of the Ocala National Forest, it is also a picturesque recreation site popular with swimmers and snorkelers. The clear blue waters are a refuge for manatees looking for relief from the cooler waters of the St. Johns River each winter.
(352) 685-2799fs.usda.gov

 

Iconic Attractions

Ocala Historic Downtown Square

Stroll the streets of historic downtown and it’s easy to see why this all-American town draws visitors from far and wide. In addition to the variety of unique shopping and dining experiences, the district has been the focus of a major revitalization in recent years—including the opening of a $5.3 million public parking garage, as well as the planned $15.7 million 90-room Hilton Garden Inn and the highly anticipated multimillion-dollar “Lincoln Square” commercial and residential project. Ever wonder why Ocala is called Brick City? It gained the nickname after a devastating fire destroyed downtown on Thanksgiving Day in 1883. Within five years, the town was rebuilt with large brick buildings of two and three stories, which made it look different from every other town in Florida.

feeldowntownocala.com

Silver Springs State Park 

A treasured landmark since the 1870s, Silver Springs State Park is one of the largest artesian springs in the world. Renowned for the Glass Bottom Boat tours where guests can observe the natural beauty and aquatic life of the crystal-clear spring’s underwater environment. Great hiking trails abound, and it is known for some of the best kayaking and canoeing in the state.
(352) 261-5842silversprings.com

Ocala Drive-In 

The first drive-in opened in Camden, New Jersey, in 1933. At the height of their popularity, there were close to 5,000 drive-in theaters in America. With just over 300 active drive-ins today, we have a true piece of Americana right here in Ocala. Praised by locals as a family-friendly and economical gem, they are open seven nights a week and offer two new releases for one low price. Children 5 years old and under get in free.
(352) 629-125 ocaladrivein.info

Marion Theatre 

In 1941, when it first opened, it was Ocala’s first movie theater with air conditioning. The cost of admission was around 30 cents. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Marion Theatre has remained an icon in the heart of downtown symbolizing the spirit and history of Ocala. It continues to show first-run features in a luxurious retro environment with concessions that include a nice selection of wine and beer.
(352) 629-6300 › mariontheatre.org

Ocala Downtown Market 

Ocala Downtown Market is an incubator for emerging retail businesses and a marketplace where a diverse array of farmers, chefs, artisans, craftspeople and food vendors come-together to sell their products in a beautiful open-air pavilion just blocks off of the downtown square. The market is open every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9am to 2pm. There is also a special holiday market on December 1 from 3pm to 7pm.
(352) 629-80511 › ocaladowntownmarket.com

Fort King 

The original Fort King was built in 1827 and played a key part in the Seminole Wars. The site of the fort, near the corner of East Fort King Street and 39th Avenue, was preserved as a national historic landmark in 2004. This year, the fort will rise again thanks to the city of Ocala and The Fort King Heritage Association. The reconstructed fort will include a to-scale replica of the wooden garrison. It will be unveiled during the first weekend in December during a grand opening celebration with a reenactment called “Fight for Freedom: Attack on Fort King” to commemorate the attack on the fort.
(352) 368-5533fkha.org

 

Notable Yearly Events

Symphony Under the Stars 

Mother’s Day annually. Presented by Fine Arts For Ocala (FAFO) each May, this event has been a community favorite since its inception in 1988. The Ocala Symphony Orchestra provides a backdrop of incredible live music as concertgoers relax and enjoy a picnic with family and friends on the scenic grounds of the Ocala Golf Club. The evening culminates in a spectacular fireworks display.
(352) 867-0355fafo.org

Ocala Pumpkin Run

Late October annually (2017 date: October 27 – 29). One of the Southeast’s biggest car shows featuring classics, customs and more, this event is held at Castro Farms on Highway 27. Plenty of food vendors, kids’ and family activities.
(352) 620-9998 › ocalapumpkinrun.com

Ocala Arts Festival 

Fourth weekend of October annually (2017 date: October 28 & 29). Presented by FAFO, the two-day event includes outstanding art, music, food trucks, beer and wine, live performances, hands-on art activities and more.
(352) 867-0355fafo.org

Habitat Strawberry Festival

First Saturday in March annually (2018 date: March 3)  Held at the McPherson Government Complex in Ocala, this festival
features all things strawberry, along with arts and crafts, food vendors, a car show and live music and entertainment, all to raise funds to build a house for a deserving Ocala family.
(352) 351-4663 › habitatocala.org/strawberry-festival

McIntosh 1890s Festival

October annually (2017 date: October 21). A picturesque setting of massive oaks, Victorian architecture and town residents in period attire is the scene for this massively popular festival. Walk the streets lined with hundreds of arts and crafts booths and food vendors. There’s also live music and entertainment.
Town of McIntosh, Highway 441 between Ocala and Gainesville › facebook.com/mcintoshfestival

Ocala Cultural Celebration

2017 date: October 7. Cultural entertainment from around the world, arts and crafts, and children’s activities highlight this annual event held at Tuscawilla Park.
(352) 629-2489 City of Ocala Recreation & Parks

Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival

End of October annually (2017 date: October 28 & 29). Arts and crafts and food vendors fill the streets of this historic town where the 1991 movie Doc Hollywood was filmed. Micanopy is also home to numerous antique shops and boutiques. Live music and entertainment.
Town of Micanopy, along Highway 441, 12 miles south of Gainesville › micanopyfallfestival.org

Marion County Chili Cook-Off

First weekend in November annually (2017 date: November 4). Enjoy chili, a car show, craft beer and a kids’ area at this annual event hosted by The Cornerstone School. Held at Southeastern Livestock Pavilion.
(352) 351-8840 › marioncountychilicookoff.com

Silver Springs International Film Festival

Spring annually. Held downtown and in various venues, this international cultural festival celebrates our area’s contributions to the history of cinema and features films by upcoming and established filmmakers with opportunities for the community to participate.
(352) 433-1933springsfilmfest.com

Live Oak International Driving Event

Held every March, this event features world-class combined driving and show jumping competitions with attendees from around the globe. Don’t be surprised if you see Ocala’s own Chester Weber, multiple world champion driving phenom in action! The event also includes vendors and a classic car show.
liveoakinternational.com

Light Up Ocala

Mid-November each year (2017 date: November 18)  Take part in the community’s annual kickoff to the winter season during this ceremonial lighting of downtown Ocala. The evening event includes vendors, food booths, kids’ activities, live music and more.
Downtown Ocala & Citizens’ Circle City of Ocala Recreation & Parks(352) 629-2489

 

U-Pick Farms

Abshier Blueberry Farm, Belleview

Crop/Season: Blueberries (six varieties)  – April/May
Offerings: U-pick and pre-picked available, picnic tables, credit cards accepted, rides by golf cart for those unable to walk to pick. Availability at any U-pick farm is subject to change, so it’s best to call before heading out.
(352) 817-2660 › abshierblueberryfarm.com

Back Road Berries, Oxford

Crop/Season: Strawberries – December thru March, Blueberries  – April/May, Blackberries – May thru July
Offerings: U-pick and pre-picked available, picnic area, credit cards accepted, pies and honey available in season. They also offer strawberry, blueberry and blackberry jellies, jam and preserves year-round. (Call ahead to order).
(352) 303-3213 › backroadberries.com

Bay Lake Organic Blueberry Farm, Fort McCoy 

Crop/Season: Rabbit Eye Blueberries  – June/July
Offerings: U-pick, picnic area, homemade blueberry ice cream available (only in season).
(352) 546-3834

Heather Oaks Farm, Lady Lake 

Crop/Season: Blueberries (five varieties) – March through May, Strawberries – November to March, Certified Organic Muscadine Grapes  – August/September, Organic and Aquaponic vegetables (year-round): heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, kale, squash and peas.
Offerings: U-pick and call to order pre-picked available, picnic area, local honey, free-range eggs (year-round).
(352) 753-1184 › heatheroaksfarm.com 

Lady Lake Peach Farm

Crop/Season: Peaches (yellow & white), Nectarines and Plums – April through June
Offerings: U-pick and call ahead pre-picked, picnic area and farm stand (during season only), homemade peach jam and farm fresh eggs (year-round—call to order).
(352) 217-8853 › ladylakepeach.com

Lonjevity Farms, Summerfield

Crop/Season: Blackberries – May through June
Offerings: Mobile market on Saturdays beginning in October, offering a variety of certified organic produce (check for exact location), U-pick special all-you-can-pick vegetable days notification, when you sign up for “Farm News” on their site. They also sell farm fresh eggs and organic-raised broiler chickens, turkeys and pork.
(305) 747-0863 lonjevityfarms.com

Plantland Nursery & Orchards, Ocala 

Crop/Season: Muscadine Grapes, August/September; Oriental Persimmons, September through October.
(352) 497-6271

Hilltop Groves, Weirsdale 

Crop/Season: Satsuma/Mandarin/Navel /Valencia Oranges, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Tangerines – October through April
Offerings: U-pick or buy pre-picked from outdoor farm stand.
(352) 427-7794

Taylor Gardens, Sparr 

Crop/Season: Grapes (17 varieties) – July through October
Offerings: Picnic area, sells blackberry plants, guinea fowl and peacock wandering the farm.
(352) 629-0980 › taylorgardensnursery.com

The Wagon Farm, Ocala 

Crop/Season: Blueberries – May through July
Offerings: Bring your own carry-home container (flat pan/box suggested). Call to special order persimmons or chestnuts.
(352) 489-1441

Yancey’s Blueberry Farm, Silver Springs

Crop/Season: Blueberries – April/May
Offerings: U-pick and call ahead pre-picked blueberry plants for sale, bring containers to take home your berries, picnic area.
(813) 363-4949

Whispering Oaks Winery, Oxford 

Crop/Season: Blueberries – April/May
Offerings: Credit cards accepted, lunch and dinner served outdoors on the patio next to their open wood grill and koi pond. Winery offers wines made with fresh blueberries that have been harvested and fermented on the premises.
(352) 748-0449 winesofflorida.com

 

Kids’ Activities

Discovery Center 

The Discovery Center has been offering hands-on, interactive education opportunities for the past 20 years. Whether you’re a parent looking for an adventure with your toddler, a senior seeking stimulation or an educator in search of creative ideas for your classroom, you’re guaranteed a fun, interactive learning adventure.
(352) 401-3900 › mydiscoverycenter.org

Easy Street 

This all-ages entertainment center offers something fun for everyone in the family. With indoor and outdoor spaces, there are lots of adventures to be had, including go-karts, mini-golf, rock climbing, batting cages, an arcade, as well as laser maze and water balloon games.
(352) 861-9700 › funworks.com/easystreet

Monkey Madness 

Parents can sit back and relax while their kids climb, slide and play their way through this massive indoor playground, including a jungle gym, rock wall and bounce houses. There’s also an arts and craft room and a crawler section for the younger kids.
(352) 732-9739 › monkeymadnessofocala.com

Bounce-N-Play

A great rainy-day alternative to outdoor play, offering slides, bounce houses and inflatable obstacle courses.
(352) 857-8020 › bouncenplayocala.com

Batter Up Ocala

6 cages, 4 baseball (40, 45, 50, 65) 2 softball, both fast and slow pitch. $1 per 15 pitches.
(352) 624-4121 › facebookcom/batter-up_Ocala

Skate Mania 

This local favorite offers recreational skating, group and private lessons, birthday and private party packages, as well as year-round learning for kids through fun activities at their learning center. Check out their “Cheap-Skate” and family night specials.
(352) 624-4222 skatemania.org

Skate A Way South

Public skate times change on a monthly basis, so check online for the current schedule and upcoming events. They offer semi-private and private speed skating lessons, family skate specials on Sundays and birthday party rentals.
(352) 671-8100 › skateawaysouth.com

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Ocala Petting Zoo 

Kids and adults love the rustic charm of this small, family-owned petting zoo and farm. See, interact with and feed animals, including goats, pigs, horses, llamas, sheep, ducks, donkeys, emus, peacocks, monkeys and many others. Pony and camel rides are also available. Many of the animals are rescues and the cost of admission, as well as the pellets you can purchase to feed the animals, help pay for their feed and vet bills. Picnic tables, bounce houses and a train ride are included with admission.
(352) 237-3527 › pettingzooocala.com

SkyZone Trampoline Park

Let go of gravity and grab some air with wall-to-wall trampoline action, including Freestyle Jump, Warrior Obstacle Course and Ultimate Dodgeball. This is a great place to put your agility to the test and show off your inner acrobat.
(352) 304-5050 › skyzone.com/ocala

Community Kids’ Play

E.D. Croskey and Lillian F Bryant Recreation Centers

Fun and creativity abound with a wide variety of sporting and arts activities for youth and adults. Both centers operate a summer camp, after-school recreation programs and school holiday programs.
E.D. Croskey: (352) 401-3920 ›  Lillian F. Bryant: (352) 629-8389 ›  ocalafl.org

Pools

Hampton Aquatic FUN Center & Jervey Gantt Aquatic FUN Center

Both centers have spray features, a waterfall, water slide, pools with zero-inch depth entry for easy access with a maximum depth of five and a half feet and are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. Pools are open daily from Memorial Day through early August each year.  After that, the pools are open on weekends only through Labor Day.

Hampton: (352) 622-6803 › Jervey Gantt: (352) 624-2410 › ocalafl.org

Splash Pads

Citizens’ Circle at City Hall

Open daily from sunrise to sunset from late-Spring through mid-Fall.

ocalafl.org

Wilma Loar Splash Park, Belleview 

Open daily from 8am to 8pm

belleviewfl.org

Lily’s Pad at Lillian Bryant Park

Open daily from dawn to dusk from late-Spring through mid-Fall.

ocalafl.org

Editor’s note: This is in no way meant to be a comprehensive list of things to see and do in Ocala and Marion County. Have an idea you’d like included in a future version of this story? Email us at [email protected]

 

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