What do spring and summer days in Daytona Beach bring to mind? How about the London Symphony Orchestra, manatees and dolphins, a double-decker eco-bus and the Fountain of Youth?
With Daytona Beach's special Spring Family Beach Break season, Daytona Beach International Festival, eco-tours and a new interactive children's museum, spring break and summer holiday are a lot about family and the arts.
In Daytona Beach, spring break and families just go together. That's how the Spring Family Beach Break program got its momentum. From March 9 through May 21, hotels, resorts, bed-and-breakfasts, attractions, restaurants and shops have joined together to offer special deals to make celebrating the end of winter as affordable as it is fun. Many of the incentives run through summer.
Visit www.familybeachbreak.com to view hotel discounts and print out coupons for freebies and dollars off Daytona Lagoon water park and fun center, beach buggy rentals, ghost tours, jet-boat rides, go-carting, pizza, hair-braiding, gifts and more. There's something for everyone – including golf, symphony performances, fishing charters and coffee and cocktails. Couples and groups of friends can have just as much fun during Spring Family Beach Break as the kids.
Festivities fill the spring season with an added dimension of gala glee and culture. Daytona Beach International Festival runs from April 17 through May 2 throughout Volusia County. High-brow entertainment includes the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) performing pops and classical music, jazz artist Chuck Mangione, Celtic music, Greek theater, Brazilian guitar, Hispanic ballet and salsa under the stars.
LSO is the highlight of the biannual event and has been for more than 40 years. In fact, the symphony has performed intact more times in Daytona Beach than anywhere else in the world outside of London.
For the kids, the festival's family series presents an illusionist, a stage performance of "Hansel and Gretel" and a special LSO presentation geared especially toward young cultural connoisseurs-to-be. For more information, visit www.dbif.com.
Another don't-miss culture stop for families takes them to the Museum of Arts & Science (MOAS). While adults and older children will enjoy the museum's Florida prehistory gallery and other permanent and traveling exhibits, the young ones will adore the new Charles and Linda Williams Children's Museum. The region's first hands-on science center, it holds 15 amazing interactive exhibits that demonstrate principles of science, engineering and physics.
Spring and summer bring a flood of activities that teach families and outdoor lovers about the region's unique natural history and ecology. Early inhabitants and visitors believed local limestone springs to be the fabled Fountain of Youth, and the so-named boat ecology and history tour at DeLeon Springs State Park explores the alligators, bald eagles and wading birds that the springs attract.
Alligators, manatees and dolphins are the stars of the Daytona Beach area's watery world, and you can see them on a number of eco-tours. Keep your eyes out for magnificent birds, raccoons, turtles and other animals kids love, too.
At the Old Florida Pioneer Village at Spruce Creek, catch Cracker Creek Cruises for a pontoon eco-tour of cypress swamps, hardwood forests and coastal marshes to view all their wondrous creatures. On Daytona Beach Aqua Safari, a double-decker bus straight from the streets of London takes you on a hands-on land and sea adventure that includes pulling nets and crab traps in search of marine life. To learn more about what lives under the sea, visit the Marine Science Center sea turtle and bird rehabilitation facilities, hands-on exhibits and a trail to the beach. Viewing the recovery area for massive sea turtles is a highlight of this attraction. Like everything in Daytona Beach during the spring and summer, it's a big deal.
For more big deals and warm-weather surprises, visit www.daytonabeach.com or call 1-386-255-0415.