After two very intense (and fun) days in Disney World with my 2 year-old toddler, we needed a little break. So, I did a quick search of what was in the area, within 30-40 minutes of the park, ignoring Sea World, Universal and other theme parks in favor of a more outdoors-y type of escape. Lo and behold Kelly Park Rock Springs popped up and looked perfect. I buckled my little one into his carseat, grabbed bathing suits, his water float and some towels and hit the road.
I wasn’t sure what the water temperature would be like in Apopka, Florida in early February, but as-promised this warm-water freel-flowing spring was PERFECT! It was around 70 degrees, the weather was gorgeous, and the setting was absolutely lush. During winter the park is open from 8AM to 6PM (in summer it’s open til 8PM). I didn’t rent a tube, but I wish I did. The spring is just too shallow for swimming, so I mostly waded and watched my little one splash around. He absolutely loved it. It was pretty much the perfect height for my toddler.
Kelly Park is pretty awesome too. It’s 248 acres and There are picnic tables, covered pavilions, bbq pits, a large playground and tent and RV camping. For $3 a vehicle (with 1-2 people, and $5 per vehicle for 3-8 people).
The park also rents out tubes for lazy floating. The springs bubble from a rocky outcropping which results in a meandering stream that goes on for about a mile and settles into a sizable pool. Absolutely perfect for inner tubing.
Now, here’s the rub…the park gets pretty popular during summer, but I can attest that it’s just as amazing in the winter, MINUS the crowds. If you do venture out in summer be prepared for some traffic getting to the park, it’s off the main roads in Apopka, and the park is known to reach full capacity by mid-morning, so be prepared to also arrive early, or risk getting turned away. During the summer months the park limits visitors to 1,350 a day, which is about 330 vehicles. Obviously, it’s more crowded on weekends, but during summer school vacations it’s anyone’s bet.
If wading or tubing aren’t your thing, there’s lots of other stuff to do, like BBQing, or sunbathing, doing yoga on the shore, or just hiking around the many lagoons and pools throughout the park. You can also camp at the park for $18 a night.