168-acre park, Bonnet Springs, officially opens to the public this weekend

After years of development, Bonnet Springs Park is thrilled to announce an official grand opening date of Oct. 22. This lush green space is situated between Tampa and Orlando, making it accessible to myriad visitors and residents in the area. Located just outside of downtown Lakeland, the 168-acre park serves to unify the city’s diverse population by providing unique opportunities in education and recreation. From families to athletes to dogs,  the mixed-use park gives everyone a way to engage, escape, and explore the outdoors. 

Bonnet Springs Park is the perfect location to showcase Central Florida’s Place of Play. Once a railyard, these grounds served to connect communities, cities and states. The repurposing of the property will allow Bonnet Springs Park to provide connections that will spark an ecological renaissance in the Lakeland community.

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Kiwanis Care for Kids Tree House

A magic treehouse and nature center at Bonnet Springs Park

The amenities at this park put it on par with even the glitziest of attractions in the state of Florida. A treehouse, Kiwanis Cares for Kids Tree House, is elevated more than 10 feet in the air and offers a stunning view of the lagoon with mounted binoculars and a wrap around deck. The interior features picnic tables and games.

An expansive boardwalk provides up close access to the Blanton Family Lagoon. It’s sure to be one of the dreamiest walking spots in the Sunshine State. For the more adventurous pedestrians, enjoy the Crenshaw Canopy Walk. This shaded path lets you walk among the treetops.

Lakeland Regional Health Circulator is a 1.7 mile pathway and is positioned as the main corridor of the park. The circulator takes guests  to every major attraction and building in the park.  If guests get too tired to walk the entire circulator, they can stop at one of the tram stops for a complimentary ride.

Nature Center at Bonnet Springs Park

168-acres of exploration for kids and adults

Other listed attractions include:

  • Zoey’s Butterfly House – With increasing evidence that many pollinators including butterflies are in decline through habitat loss, BSP is thrilled to have a beautiful sanctuary for native Florida butterflies. 
  • Wetlands Boardwalk – Continuing on from the lagoon boardwalk the wetlands boardwalk takes guests on a journey to  the southern end of the lagoon and across to the wetlands where a deck awaits for birdwatching or a reprieve. 
  • Harrell Family Botanical Gardens and Greenhouse – Used for both park replenishment and education, our state of the art greenhouse will support the growth of food plants for the edible garden,  Zoey’s butterfly house and many other areas of the park. 
  • Ruthvens Family Playground- Overlooking the spring valley, the nearly 2-acre playground contains many natural play elements and features tiers that contain equipment for all ages and abilities. 
  • GiveWell Community Foundation Nature Center- Designed and fabricated by Creative Arts Unlimited, Inc. will display immersive exhibits on native Florida wildlife and species for children of all ages to explore! Located next to the Blanton Family Lagoon, the Nature Center will have stunning views from its outdoor classroom and patio area. Inside, children will be able to engage with several interactive exhibits. 
Boardwalk surrounding Blanton Family Lagoon

Bonnet Springs Park will be home to the new Florida Children’s Museum, previously the Explorations V Children’s Museum, which opens November 4. There will be something for the whole family spread across 47,800 square feet of hands-on exploration.

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