5 West Orange-area summer activities to try

In West Orange, there are summer activity options for sun lovers and those who would rather spend the day indoors.

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  • | 5:44 p.m. July 12, 2016
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Whether you enjoy spending your summer soaking up the sun or taking refuge indoors, here are five ideas to keep you busy.


Tibet-Butler Preserve, 8777 Winter Garden-Vineland Road, Windermere.

Come for a walk through the 438-acre park’s trails, as well as participate in environmental programming at the on-site Vera Carter Environmental Center. Stroll through the bird garden to get a look at flowers and wildlife and even get up close to the gopher tortoises on site. 

COST: Free

HOURS: Park open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily; programming varies

Oakland Nature Preserve, 747 Machete Trail, Oakland

Enjoy nature trails and a boardwalk that leads to Lake Apopka. The Environmental Education Center on site also offers educational programming. 

HOURS: Sunrise to sunset, daily; programming varies

Nehrling Gardens, 267 Hempel Ave., Gotha.

Explore the former home of Henry Nehrling, who purchased the property in 1885 to experiment with tropical and subtropical plants year round.

HOURS: Open for tours the 9 a.m.-3 p.m. the first and second Saturdays of each month and by appointment. Contact [email protected]


Winter Garden Bowl, 715 S. Dillard St., Winter Garden.

Kids receive two free games of bowling every day through the summer if they sign up at kidsbowlfree.com. Parents can join in the deal by purchasing a family pass, which 29.99 for a family of four. The family pass offers two free games a day, Monday through Friday, from opening hours until 6 p.m. Shoes not included.


HOURS: Kids Bowl Free and family pass available 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. Regular hours 9 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday.

Orange County libraries

In the heat of the summer, sometimes it’s best to curl up with a good book or movie. Local libraries can help you with that, free of charge. Libraries also offer programming for people of all ages, from adults looking to drink tea and play some Downton Abbey trivia or children meeting a pet rooster. 


Windermere Branch, 530 Main St., Windermere: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Southwest Branch, 7255 Della Drive, Orlando: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Winter Garden Branch, 805 E. Plant St., Winter Garden: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

West Oaks Branch Library and Genealogy Center, 1821 E. Silver Star Road, Ocoee: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.