Kissimmee: Just For Fun
By Chelle Koster Walton
Go fishing, gator watching, go-karting and more in Kissimmee.
You've got three days. Let's see how much pure family fun you can cram in. Ready, set, go!
In Kissimmee, the challenge is: so much fun, so little time. So allow me to help you to fit it all in with this yippee!-conducive itinerary.
Cruise Irlo Bronson Highway (Hwy. 192) and watch the fun pop out: fantastic gift shops, amusement parks, and family restaurants shout for your attention. Head to the Old Town Shopping, Dining and Entertainment Attraction and hit Happy Days Go-Cart Track for a little go-cart action. Then check out the Ferris wheel, bumper cars or laser tag, or amp up your experience with the rock wall, ropes course, zip line and much more. In one section, rides and games are tot-sized and throughout, snack stands and restaurants sell kid favorites: cotton candy, popcorn, giant pretzels and pizza. In between rides, hit the fun shops, selling everything from sports team paraphernalia to magic tricks.
For the brave in the family, spice the fun with fear factor at Old Town Grimm Haunted House. Recommended for kids ages 10 and older, it's an old-fashioned scare mansion with loud noises, ghoulish actors, flashing lights, and spooky special effects. For the less-than-brave, ask for the "light scare" treatment. Old Town stays open until 11 p.m. for late-night family amusement.
After your first active day and late-night out, sleep in and then head to St. Cloud for hometown fun and fulfillment. Take the kids to Lakefront Park to fish for bass and perch. When you finish feeding the fish, head downtown for a bite to eat.
For top night-time dining and entertainment, make reservations at the Medieval Times dinner show.
Begin the day at Gatorland, where toddlers to teens will have fun at attractions that range from a fountain playground to gator feedings that appeal to gruesome appetites. Plan to stay at least three hours to hit all the shows, climb the observation tower overlooking gators galore, pet farm animals, visit baby gators and munch on a lunch of gator nuggets (or more conventional snack fare) at Pearl's Smokehouse.
Spend the afternoon in downtown Kissimmee, checking out the traditional hometown with its lovely churches and cowtown heritage. Look for murals that depict a time when cattle ranching was the town's main industry and artwork including sculptures that rotate out each year.
'Fraid we've run out of time, yet still more fun awaits. Perhaps you should consider extending your vacation so you can make it to all the parks, museums and other attractions we couldn't fit in.