by Kim Hays
former OMB contributor
I must have “fall fever.” You know, that “sickness” we Floridians get this time of year that can only be cured with a big dose of the great outdoors. Now’s the perfect time to meet up with your mom friends for a stroller walk in the cooler weather and lunch date outside. Here are some of my fave spots for “stroller dates” in the metro Orlando area:
Lake Eola Park, downtown Orlando: Day or night, Lake Eola is a treat. The people watching is great, the bathrooms are accessible and clean, and the playground is a great place for a cool down. If you visit at night, Orlando’s signature fountain dances to music and changes colors. Because the park is in the city center, it’s easy to grab lunch afterward either at the restaurant right in the park (Relax Grill at Lake Eola) or one of the numerous nearby offerings. Be sure to bring change to feed the meter!
Crane’s Roost Park, Altamonte Springs: I don’t know how many times I drove past this park along Interstate 4 before I actually visited. But when I did, I wasn’t disappointed. A one-mile path — mostly paved with a few bridges — encircles a beautiful lake with a choreographed fountain. While restaurants (Cafe Murano overlooks the lake) abound at nearby Uptown Altamonte, the park’s plaza is the perfect spot to meet up for a picnic.
Lake Lily Park, Maitland: Make a couple of laps around this paved and mostly shaded trail with boardwalks and you’ll have clocked a mile. Be sure to bring some bread to feed the ever-present, super-friendly ducks. Parking is nearby and plentiful, and the restrooms are handy for handling blowouts. A fenced in playground gives little ones (and their mamas!) a little bit of freedom. Plan your walking meetup for Sundays’ farmers market or on Wednesday for food trucks.
Blue Jacket Park, Baldwin Park neighborhood in Orlando: This is one park I avoid like the plague during the summer. Why? No trees = swelter. But fall’s cooler temps make this park more palatable. The wide sidewalks mean stroller mamas can walk side by side and dish on who’s sleeping through the night. Just keep water and wipes handy — there’s no restroom. Adorable shops and cafes (I suggest Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux) in nearby Audubon Park make a great post-walk treat.
Those are a few of my top picks. Where do you and your mom friends meet for stroller walks?