Celebrate Family Fun Month in Florida's Great Outdoors

Special to GateHouse Media Florida

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Environmental Protection invites residents and visitors to celebrate Family Fun Month in August by exploring Florida's statewide network of parks, trails and aquatic resources.

With a new school year on the horizon, August is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy any of Florida's 175 state parks, 41 aquatic preserves and three national estuarine research reserves. Family Fun Month recognizes the importance of family activities, and opportunities for hiking, swimming, picnicking, paddling and more are available year-round in Florida.

"DEP is proud to offer many opportunities for residents and visitors to spend time outside," said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. "From our award-winning state parks to our aquatic resources, families can enjoy Florida's natural beauty."

Family-friendly activities during Family Fun Month at state parks include:

Park After Dark: Astronomy, Aug. 10, 8-9:30 p.m. at Little Manatee River State Park.

Family Challenge, Aug. 17, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. CDT at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.

Kayaking For Beginners, Aug. 24, 9-10:30 a.m. at Colt Creek State Park.

Junior Ranger Day, Aug. 30, 1-4 p.m. at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park.

Florida's national estuarine research reserves also offer activities during Family Fun Month:

Science Saturday, Aug. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Family Seining, Aug. 10, 9-11 a.m. at Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.