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Things To Do In Ocala Fl For Free

First Fridays In Ocala

Top 5 Attractions in Ocala, Florida

One of the most popular Downtown Ocala events is First Fridays. As the name implies, this Ocala event takes place the first Friday of every month from September through May from 6pm to 9 pm.

Its free and takes place throughout Downtown Ocala. Local artists line the streets with their work, there are live musical performances, and there are family art activities. Many of the shops in downtown stay open longer too, so its a great time to explore and support local small businesses.

Line Dance At Our Community Centers

Like to dance? Get in line. Learn the ins and outs of line dancing at our community centers in Ocala/Marion County. Get Beginner/Improver Instruction courses from Forest Community Center at Sandhill Park on Wednesday evenings from 6pm-8pm and Silver Springs Community Center on every 1st and 3rd Friday from 6pm-7:30pm.

Enjoy The Horse Culture

Seeing as how Ocala is the Horse Capital of the World , I wanted to make sure to do something horse-related.

There are plenty of options, from horseback riding to farm tours, but I happened to be there during the last weekend of HITS, a show jumping circuit that bases itself in Ocala for two months each winter.

HITS draws thousands of show jumpers and hunter/jumpers each year. Everyone from kids to world-class competitors bring their horses to compete. The whole thing ends with the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix.

The best part about HITS is that it’s free to the public. Pop down for an afternoon, or spend a whole weekend watching jumpers in various classes and rings. The only part you’ll spend money on are the grandstand competitions on Sundays.

For me, HITS showcased the horse-y spirit of Ocala better than anything else.

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Cheap Things To Do In Florida: Outdoors

MUNSON Coldwater Creek located in Northwest Florida is known as the canoe capital of Florida. It flows through the Blackwater River State Forest and some say it is the swiftest water in Florida. The river is one of the purest sand-bottom rivers in the nation making this park a popular place for swimming fishing camping and paddling. The shallow water is enjoyably cool and makes it an ideal canoeing option for paddlers of all ages. 983-5363.

ST. AUGUSTINE At the southern end of the 18-mile Anastasia Island St. Augustine Beach awaits fishermen reeling for some action. Cast a line from the beach or pier and the least you can do is catch some Florida sunshine. Bait and tackle are available on-site as well as picnic tables playground showers and a volleyball court. It’s an opportunity for fun in the sun and savings. 471-1596.

DAYTONA BEACH Beachgoers can sun splash and beat the heat at Volusia Countys Sun Splash Park. The park features an interactive water fountain decorative walkways a shaded playground volleyball courts and picnic areas. Admission is free to the four-acre facility which also provides 95 off-beach parking spaces and is open from sunrise to sunset. 258-4529.

Visit The Gypsy Gold Horse Farm

Fun Things To Do In Ocala, Florida

Did you know that Ocala is the horse capital of the world? Known for beautiful farms and award-winning horses, Ocala has truly earned its title.

While not a Fall specific activity, Fall is the perfect time to visit the Gypsy Gold Horse Farm. This farm is truly one of a kind. It was the first US farm to raise the Gypsy Vanner horses, a unique breed that was imported from Europe by the owners of the farm.

The Gypsy Vanner Horse Farm is located on 40 acres in beautiful Ocala, Florida. It features a 14 stall show barn, and a 12 stall bedding-free barn and is surrounded by 19 lush paddocks dotted with ancient granddaddy oaks draped in Spanish moss.

You can tour the farm for yourself and take in the wonder and beauty of it and the horses. You will learn all about the horses, their history, get to meet them, and enjoy some fun photo ops! So if you are an equine enthusiast, then this is one Ocala Fall activity that you just cant pass up.

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Official Florida Flamingo Museum

There are a few free things to do in Ocala, but visiting the Official Florida Flamingo Museum is probably the quirkiest! Cindy Dunlow has loved and collected flamingo-related items since she was a child. A few years ago, she actually broke the Guinness World Record for most flamingo items!

Currently, she was over 1200 flamingo-related items and you can see them all inside her custom frame shop, Cindy Dunlow Frames. Its amazing how many things there are with flamingos. We even saw flamingo toilet paper! We had the pleasure of meeting Cindy the day that we stopped in and she was so sweet and told us all about her collection.

Don Garlits Museum Of Drag Racing And International Drag Racing Hall Of Fame

Source: tvanhoosear / Flickr

Known as Big Daddy to his loyal fans, Don Garlits is often referred to as the Father of Drag Racing, and had an unrivaled career that spanned four decades.

During that time, he compiled an enviable collection of titles and championships that totaled nearly 150 as such, he is in a class all by himself.

The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing and International Drag Racing Hall of Fame have been open since the mid-70s. Their collections include hundreds of vehicles, exhibits, and historical items spread over two buildings.

Located on SW 16th Avenue in Ocala, most guests end up spending two hours or more to take it all in.

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Where Is Ocala Located

Ocala is located in North Central Florida, about 30 miles south of Gainesville, and about 1 hr 15 minutes north of Orlando. Located off I-75 Interstate it is easy to reach from any city in Florida.

Ocala was first settled by indigenous people in 6500 BC, and later in 500 AD by the Timucua. Ocala in the 16th century was a large Timucua village, meaning Big Hammock. And later discovered by Hernando de Soto in 1539.

It was not until 1821 that Ocala because a United States Territory. And the modern city of Ocala was established in 1849, and renamed after Kingdom of the Sun.

Ocala is known for its equestrian ties dating back to 1943 with the first thoroughbred horse farm. Now called the Horse Capital of the World the city hosts annual HITS horse show, one of the largest in the country.

In addition to its equestrian ties Ocala is a nature lovers paradise. Known for the Ocala National Forest and local springs round the area, the most famous being Silver Springs, there are tons of outdoor things to do in Ocala.

Places To Visit: Alexander Springs

Thing to do in Ocala | Couples Edition

Central Florida is home to the Ocala National Forest, a large sand scrub pine forest filled with natural hot springs. Located in the forest, Alexander Springs Recreational Area is a beautiful fresh water spring that is easily accessible to tourists.

Visitors to the area can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving in the turquoise waters that stay at a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit. There are picnic areas and paved walking trails around the spring and a campground with spaces for tents and RVs. Fishing, canoeing, and off-road ATV riding are also available in the area.

County Road 445 Altoona, FL 32702, Phone: 352-669-3522

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Timberline Farm Pumpkin Patch & Fall Festival

Who doesnt love a good Fall festival? Ocala moms love The Timberline Farm Fall Festival! It runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the entire month of October.

Take the kids and enjoy the pony rides, farm animals, hayrides, pumpkins, food, music, and more!

With so much to do, you will want to go every weekend in October!

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

What are people saying about things to do in Ocala, FL?

This is a review for things to do in Ocala, FL:

“Silver Springs state park and Silver Springs camp ground are on the top of our favorite list. The campground has large sites and well kept. If you stay at the campground the park is free. . The park is old time Florida and has gone through many changes over the past 10-15 years. We like to walk the grounds and the glass bottom boats are interesting if you have never done them before. They also have kayaks.”

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Stone Creek Golf Course

If you are a lover of Golf, then you wont find any vacation without the chance to golf as fulfilling.

Stone Creek Golf Course is an 18-hole championship golf course which is situated on 187 acres of beautiful rolling countryside.

This golf course also has more than four acres of Champions Bermuda greens suitable for golfing.

If you wish to golf but dont know how, the golf company offers classes on golfing to beginners during the weekends.

Address: 9676 SW 62nd Loop, Ocala, Florida 34481.

Explore other parts of Florida during your visit to Ocala, check out this guide on fun things to do in Lakeland as well as things to do in Clermont to guide your exploration of thesecities.

Best & Fun Things To Do In Ocala

A Hidden Gem: Ocala, Florida

One of the most visited state in the United States of America is Florida.

You will find lots of tourists at the beautiful beaches which surround this state.

There are quite a lot of things to do in Ocala as well as other big cities in Florida.

As a tourist, visiting the big cities of Florida has pros and cons, they can be fun, at same time busy and noisy.

If what you seek is a beautiful city in Florida filled with wonders and hidden gems, Ocala is just perfect.

Ocala is a very lively and fun city with less noise when compared to other big cities in Florida. Situated in the horse country, it is the perfect place to visit for equestrian related activity.

The name Ocala means hammock in the Timucua language. Though this city has developed and expanded beyond its original size, it still retains the coziness expected from a hammock town.

To help plan your trip, here are the best things to do in Ocala, FL.

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Plan Your Trip To Ocala

Ocala is a perfect illustration of the saying Never judge a book by its cover,

A casual look at the city, and the feel of calmness here, one might assume Ocala as a boring city, hence, missing all the fun it offers.

This list of things to do in Ocala which cut across its parks for picnics, festivals, horse riding, and other fun stuff, are all in place to give you a fun time in this city.

Kids Activities Near Me: Sholom Park Ocala Fl

Sholom Park is a peaceful retreat located in Ocala, Florida, where guests can come to reflect and seek tranquility and peace. The 44-acre park grounds were designed with a mix of native plants and carefully chosen trees, shrubs, and perennials.

The park is made up of eleven beautifully landscaped areas, including a formal garden, an azalea trail, a labyrinth, and a ginger garden. Paved walkways cross the park and lead guests from one area to the next. There is no fee for admission to Sholom Park, which is open daily, but donations are accepted to provide for park maintenance.

7110 SW 80TH Ave Ocala, FL 34481

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Unique Things To Do In Ocala Florida

Home » United States » 4 Unique Things to Do in Ocala, Florida

What do you know about Ocala, Florida?

Chances are you probably don’t know much. Unless you spend a lot of time in this part of northern Florida, or unless you really like horses, Ocala probably has never been on your radar.

But, after visiting Ocala and Marion County for the first time, I think it should be.

Oktoberfest At The World Equestrian Center

Things to Do Ocala – 1 Million Cups Ocala

The World Equestrian Center is one of the newest additions to Ocala, and she is a beauty. In general, there are so many things to do and see there, especially if you are a horse lover.

During the month of October, the center opens up for Oktoberfest! Taking place October 1-3rd, you can head over and enjoy their inaugural Oktoberfest in the Grand Plaza!

Enjoy full days packed with German fun from 12-8 pm! Listen live to a Brass Band playing polkas, waltzes, sing-a-longs, and more while you taste classic German food and drink.

Parking and admission are free, so you have no excuse not to check out this fun-filled Ocala fall festivity.

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Where Do I Stay In Ocala And What Other Attractions Are Nearby

Ocala is an outdoor lover’s paradise and Florida’s best kept secret. So what makes Ocala so great…

The Canyon’s Zip Line & Canopy Tours! Okay…besides us – Ocala is best known for it’s springs. Silver Springs main spring head flows 500 million gallons of fresh water into the Silver River every day!

Ocala is also world famous for it’s horses and is known as “The Horse Capital of the World.” Why? Well, follow this link to find out MORE

Rainbow Springs State Park

Rainbow Springs State Park is located in nearby Dunnellon just west of Ocala. This 1000-acre state park was created millions of years ago and is another place to visit year round.

For those looking for an inexpensive spring to visit at just $2 per person and free for children under 6 this should be on your list of things to do in Ocala.

Get there early as the park often closes once it reaches capacity on the weekends! Not only can you swim in the springs at the beach near the Headspring you can tube, kayak and canoe in the area. Tubing does have a separate entrance to the park!

There is a little trail perfect for relaxing and admiring the man-made waterfalls and gardens, and finish your day with an ice cream for the concession stand!

What makes this area unique is you can view a protected sandhill habitat that is currently being restored. Rainbow springs is on the Great Florida birding trail, making it a great place to spot owls, hawks and woodpeckers.

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Silver River Museum And Environmental Education Center

Source: Ebyabe / Wikimedia

Featuring admission thats less expensive than a soda and bag of chips, the Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center is one of those rare attractions that engages and entertains visitors while educating them too.

The museum and centers exhibits touch on animals, the natural world, and the areas rich Native American cultures, namely the Seminole Indians.

The facility is located on NE 58th Avenue in Ocala, and during the week its closed to the public, as this time is reserved for local school children.

Public access is granted on the weekends and costs just a few bucks children under six get in free.

What To Do In Ocala This Fall

Fun Things To Do In Ocala, Florida

Fall in Florida is a lot of fun. The weather starts to cool down, but we dont get the same typical fall crisp weather as the rest of the country.

If you are looking for some fall festivities in the land of constant summer, then go ahead and try some of these out and let us know which ones are you favorites!

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Visit Silver Springs State Park

One of the most iconic spots in Ocala has to be Silver Springs State Park. This beautiful park has been set to numerous movies through the years, including Tarzan, Rebel Without a Cause, Moonraker, and Creature from the Black Lagoon.

At one point, this was even a nature park where you could see Giraffes and enjoy pet shows, but that is a thing of the past. This State Park has been through many rebirths and changes over the years, but the one constant is its beauty.

Take the family for a nature walk, enjoy kayaking through the blue springs water, or enjoy a scenic glass-bottom boat ride.

Day Trips From The Villages

Air Force Space & Missile Museum is at Kennedy Space Center and includes many exhibits about the history of rocketry and space flight.

Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, in Winter Park is the home and studio of a prominent American sculptor. Included are several of his major works and a beautiful sculpture garden.

Alexander Springs Recreational Area, in the Ocala National Forest offers camping, swimming, canoeing, scuba diving, hiking, birding and wildlife viewing.

Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala is a 81,610-square-foot museum featuring Appletons permanent collections.

Best Beaches in Florida include many that are within an easy drive from The Villages.

Blue Spring State Park in Orange City is a great spot to see manatees sheltering from the cold in the clear waters from November to March.

Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures in Kissimmee has 12 airboats for a wide variety of tours where you will see wildlife including water birds and alligators.

Bok Tower Gardens is on one of the highest hills in Florida and you can hear daily carillon concerts and enjoy the views of tower and gardens.

Boutique Adventures LLC is a small firm near The Villages featuring day trips to many of the Central Florida off the beaten paths written about on our website

Bronson is a small town northeast of Gainesville that is notable for the gravesite of the great rock and roll icon, Bo Diddley.

Central Florida Railroad Museum in Winter Garden focuses on the railroads of Central Florida.

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