The streets are busy, stores are crowded and cars are bumper to bumper. Tires squeal on the wet roads as you slowly press on the brakes at the change of a green light. Traffic is stopped; and you’re late for the third appointment of the day- it isn’t even lunchtime.
There’s a pencil tucked between the cracks of the seat beside you. As you reach your fingers to grab it, you also scoop up the calendar resting on the center console. The book is overflowing with RSVPs, phone numbers and to-do lists. The pages are practically begging for more space in the calendar and more time in the day to fit your schedule, but space is full and there are no more lines.
Fast forward a few months to the present day, and the dates penciled in are now scratched out and replaced with shavings of an eraser. The people we were once “too busy” to find time for, we now wish we had made the time for. It seems as though the world paused, time stands still; and for a moment, we aren’t focused on the lists that need to be checked next.
The full spaces in our calendar became empty spaces, which means the rushed family time is now intentional family time- and it feels nice.
It feels nice because, in a world that is fast-paced, intentional family time is often pushed aside. We take the time we’re given and the people we’re given in life for granted because we’re too busy filling the spaces of our calendar and checking off the boxes of our lists.
As the world slowly begins to open, restaurant tables are being used, the signs of stores turning from “closed” to “open,” life is getting busier and the empty space is gradually being filled day by day.
Let’s not forget what those empty lines taught us.
Family is made up of a community of support and love for the people we care for the most. Let’s not neglect the time we are given with them. Make an effort to have the spaces in your day filled with intentional time with the people you care about most.
It’s summer, which means there’s more time than ever to do this.
Spend intentional time driving through the streets of Plant City. Trek through a jungle of dinosaurs, explore the educational petting zoo, soak up the sunshine at the skate park, and end the day exploring the restaurants and shops in the historic downtown district.
Plant City is the perfect place for cultivating important family time and creating memories that last.
Here are a few stops for your family day of fun in Plant City:
- Dinosaur World
Journey through a jungle of trees and uncover the land where dinosaurs roamed. Discover hidden fossils and replicas of creatures before our time. The treasures lying beneath the sand you can dig through are found only by the most impressive archaeologists and… you!
Dinosaur World is a fun place designed for the active adventurer and curious explorer. The prehistoric time of giant creatures that roamed the earth strikes any sense of curiosity.
Dig your way through the boneyard tour and discover a 27-foot skeleton. The cave tour is fun, and the digging is worth it. Look for fossils of creatures that have long ago passed as you uncover hidden Mosasaur teeth in the sand – and take them home with you! Mine for ancient arrowheads and gems as you hunt for treasures buried in the sand. You don’t want to miss out on the dinosaur activities
Interactive Shows & Prehistoric Museum
Test your dinosaur knowledge with the Triviasaurus Rex Game Show. It’s great for trivia geeks and dinosaur experts. The Exploration Cave Show is a walk through a cave, dig site and workstation to learn more about fossils.
The Prehistoric Museum offers animated entertainment of dinosaurs who come to life. Going to this museum gives you the chance to learn more and become an expert on all things dinosaur!
The park is conveniently located off of Interstate 4 at exit 17. Gates are open seven days a week from 9 AM to 5 PM. Tickets are currently $10/ person, but you can go to the Dinosaur World website for the full list of ticketing and pricing.
Make a stop at Dinosaur World! You might discover a new calling to become the next big paleontologist like Ross Geller from “Friends,” while digging through the sand to uncover hidden fossils.
- Roos and Coos Farm
Red Kangaroos hop around the dirt floor of the farm. African Spur Thigh Tortoises crawl along the ground. Miniature cows (Scottish Highlands) graze the grass of the field.
It may be Plant City, where you’re guaranteed to see a cow or two; but there are animals from all around the world at Roos and Coos Farm.
The Farm is located off of Paul Buchman Hwy 39 and features 11 species of animals. A few hours can be spent walking through the educational tour of the different breeds and petting the animals. The farm is passionate about giving families and children a fun experience, while also educating them on the different animals.
A few of the animals you can see on the farm include Flemish Giant Rabbits, Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep, Silkie Chickens, Pekin Ducks, New Zealand White Rabbits, Tennessee Fainting Goats and Llamas.
Tours are given on Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM- 5 PM for $5, and all the money goes towards feeding the animals. Check out their Facebook page for updates on the re-opening. It’s a fun and inexpensive activity for the perfect family outing to be educated and also see some cute animals!
- Mike Sansone Park
This park is the heart of many sports and recreation games for children and youth. There are many activities to visit, including the skate park, picnic areas and other sports.
The sound of wheels rolling against metal rings loud through your ears. The sun beats down on the cement and sweat streams down the faces of the people out on the ramp. There’s a place for everyone at the skate park. From the rookie who’s been practicing for a few weeks to a professional who’s been skating for years, it’s a place where everyone’s accepted.
When school’s in session, you can see kids from all around the area waiting outside the chain link fence to have a chance to practice their skills. During the summer, the skate park opens at 1 PM and closes at 9 PM.
Don’t miss the opportunity to learn (or show off) your skating skills at the Plant City Skate Park.
Bite into a pressed Cuban from Norma’s Cuban Sandwich Shop and sip on some sweet tea from Johnson’s Barbeque. It’s summer, and the perfect time for a picnic! Head out to the picnic pavilions before skating and then try a game at basketball on the courts. The pavilions are conveniently located at the park for the chance to take a break during your family day activities.
The downtown atmosphere is delightful and friendly. The stores that line the sidewalk offer antiques, treats and sweets. The restaurants in the heart of the city provide the best hospitality and customer service. The parks offer a quiet place to study listening to the sound of train whistles and birds chirping.
On the last Friday night of every month, you’ll find more than a dozen food trucks parked for the Food Truck Rally. Gooey fried mac and cheese bites, smoky BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, flavorful snow cones drenched in cherry syrup and many more items are available. It’s the perfect summer night on the town to spend with family and friends. Check Plant City Main Street’s Facebook page for updates.
I know the lines that were once empty on your calendar are filling up, but let’s remember to fill some of those lines with family time. The perfect place for quality time is in the city of quality itself: Plant City, Florida.