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Florida on the cheap in late November


MrsRobinson
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After years of serious medical issues, we are finally in a place where we think we can travel again! Dh and I just want to lay on the beach for a week and let the stress of the last few years wash away. 

But, realistically, we will have to go do a couple of fun things with the kids to mix it up. ?

Please give me advice on cheap/ free things to do or great locations. We will base our destination around this so it could be anywhere, just warm enough to lay on the beach in November and cheap are our only requirements.

I've been looking and I just don't know, every place looks beautiful!

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On the cheap, I would rent a Timeshare from magicalholidays on eBay. That's the eBay store for SkyAuction.  Not sure if they have them on the beach, but you will for sure find a bunch of them in the Orlando area. We stayed in  Villas at Summer Bay Orlando the last week of April 2016 and it was a great experience. No Timeshare Presentation is required if you rent from magicalholidays.  From Orlando, you are approximately 90 minutes from the Atlantic beaches (near Kennedy Space Center) or from the Tampa Bay area.  Enjoy your vacation!

DO NOT attend a Timeshare Sales Presentation. You will waste a lot of your precious vacation time and it is a very high pressure thing that will take longer than they promise you it will take.

 

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We flew Alligant airlines direct to Clearwater/Tampa for $60 per person each way.   Lots of great places along the shore between Clearwater and St Petersburg.   The Saturday market in St Pete is awesome.  Lots of near nature trIls to explore in the area, free historical sites, neat beaches.  We did an air BNB  but not on the water as we wanted to be closer to my girls' bio sister's house.

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53 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

We flew Alligant airlines direct to Clearwater/Tampa for $60 per person each way.   Lots of great places along the shore between Clearwater and St Petersburg.   The Saturday market in St Pete is awesome.  Lots of near nature trIls to explore in the area, free historical sites, neat beaches.  We did an air BNB  but not on the water as we wanted to be closer to my girls' bio sister's house.

 

43 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

The fort in St. Augustine? 

I agree with either of the above. You can't go wrong with either.

There's a lot in the Tampa/St. Pete area as well as some nice gulf beaches. There's a children's museum, a firefighter's museum, and an aquarium.

St. Augustine Beach might not be as cheap but it's also nice and you won't be far from Old St. Augustine with a lot of kid friendly things to do - the fort, an alligator farm, and Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum.

ETA: Dinosaur World isn't far from Tampa if you'll have a car. It's a little hokey but also kind of cool. There's also a flight museum near Tampa but I've never been so I can't tell you if it's worth going.

Edited by Lady Florida.
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I'm looking at everything and it all looks perfect for us! Thanks for all the great suggestions!

1 hour ago, Lady Florida. said:

 

I agree with either of the above. You can't go wrong with either.

There's a lot in the Tampa/St. Pete area as well as some nice gulf beaches. There's a children's museum, a firefighter's museum, and an aquarium.

St. Augustine Beach might not be as cheap but it's also nice and you won't be far from Old St. Augustine with a lot of kid friendly things to do - the fort, an alligator farm, and Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum.

ETA: Dinosaur World isn't far from Tampa if you'll have a car. It's a little hokey but also kind of cool. There's also a flight museum near Tampa but I've never been so I can't tell you if it's worth going.

Is this the one with Winter the dolphin? My kids would absolutely love that but I don't know know if its over hyped because of the movies and you are referring to a different aquarium or if it is a good choice.  

The boys would love the firefighter museum! They are nuts about fire trucks and ds7 wants to be a firefighter when he grows up! ?

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1 hour ago, MrsRobinson said:

I'm looking at everything and it all looks perfect for us! Thanks for all the great suggestions!

Is this the one with Winter the dolphin? My kids would absolutely love that but I don't know know if its over hyped because of the movies and you are referring to a different aquarium or if it is a good choice.  

The boys would love the firefighter museum! They are nuts about fire trucks and ds7 wants to be a firefighter when he grows up! ?

The Clearwater Aquarium is the one that has the dolphin winter.  My girls really enjoyed it.  We went early in the day and it got quite busy.  We went back later in the day about 2 hours before closing and it was almost empty.  My girls got 1:1 time with the staff, got to hold Winters tail, got to watch them work with her, etc.   That made it extra special.

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1 hour ago, MrsRobinson said:

I'm looking at everything and it all looks perfect for us! Thanks for all the great suggestions!

Is this the one with Winter the dolphin? My kids would absolutely love that but I don't know know if its over hyped because of the movies and you are referring to a different aquarium or if it is a good choice.  

The boys would love the firefighter museum! They are nuts about fire trucks and ds7 wants to be a firefighter when he grows up! ?

No the one I was thinking of, Florida Aquarium, isn't the same one but that one actually isn't too far. The Clearwater Aquarium is the one with Winter, I think,

Yeah, the firefighter museum is really cool and any kid who ever wanted to be a firefighter would love it. 

Edited by Lady Florida.
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2 hours ago, Ottakee said:

The Clearwater Aquarium is the one that has the dolphin winter.  My girls really enjoyed it.  We went early in the day and it got quite busy.  We went back later in the day about 2 hours before closing and it was almost empty.  My girls got 1:1 time with the staff, got to hold Winters tail, got to watch them work with her, etc.   That made it extra special.

That sounds amazing! What a great experience for your kids! Great tip on the time of day to go, I'll have to remember that. ?

Edited by MrsRobinson
Autocorrect fail!
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8 hours ago, MrsRobinson said:

That sounds amazing! What a great experience for your kids! Great tip on the time of day to go, I'll have to remember that. ?

The shows are mostly earlier in the day so it was worth being there early as well.  Since you can come and go throughout the day it was nice to take a break, get lunch, etc and come back later again.

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I live in Clearwater.  In addition to all that has been mentioned, it is about an hour and a half (from the beach) to Lakeland, FL where Legoland is.  They have discounted homeschooler rates two days a week (I believe on Mondays and Thursdays).  I think it is $14/kid and $20/adult (regular price is about $80).  You do need to register in advance and provide proof of homeschooling (like a receipt from HSLDA or a state org, or a copy of the letter you send to your district to notify them of homeschooling, etc).  

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2 hours ago, Pink and Green Mom said:

I live in Clearwater.  In addition to all that has been mentioned, it is about an hour and a half (from the beach) to Lakeland, FL where Legoland is.  They have discounted homeschooler rates two days a week (I believe on Mondays and Thursdays).  I think it is $14/kid and $20/adult (regular price is about $80).  You do need to register in advance and provide proof of homeschooling (like a receipt from HSLDA or a state org, or a copy of the letter you send to your district to notify them of homeschooling, etc).  

That's an amazing discount! Unfortunately, my state doesn't require registration so I have no official proof of homeschooling. ? I was able to convince a manager at a highly educational attraction that my homeschool planner was the best proof because it was so marked up! She loved it! ?

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16 minutes ago, MrsRobinson said:

That's an amazing discount! Unfortunately, my state doesn't require registration so I have no official proof of homeschooling. ? I was able to convince a manager at a highly educational attraction that my homeschool planner was the best proof because it was so marked up! She loved it! ?

 

You could completely make up a letter addressed to your county school superintendent and it would pass muster if you catch my drift.  It is just handed to the will call ticket booth worker, they don't really read it, just look to see that you have something.  It surprised me that they only want proof that you wrote a letter, not even proof that you sent it, it was received, you actually homeschool, etc.  I love the planner idea, LOL.

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18 minutes ago, Pink and Green Mom said:

 

You could completely make up a letter addressed to your county school superintendent and it would pass muster if you catch my drift.  It is just handed to the will call ticket booth worker, they don't really read it, just look to see that you have something.  It surprised me that they only want proof that you wrote a letter, not even proof that you sent it, it was received, you actually homeschool, etc.  I love the planner idea, LOL.

Yes, I'm sure that would work. There were a number of places that required either teacher or student ID cards for a discount, so when ds was still school age I simply printed them on business card paper. One each for dh and me as the teachers, and one for ds as the student. 

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16 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

Yes, I'm sure that would work. There were a number of places that required either teacher or student ID cards for a discount, so when ds was still school age I simply printed them on business card paper. One each for dh and me as the teachers, and one for ds as the student. 

That is such a good idea! I never think of these things! ?

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