Some kids may enjoy everything that Epcot’s International Flower and Garden festival has to offer. For others, it may be as exciting as, well, watching grass grow. There are some activities that are generally enjoyed by kids of all ages, whether they are fans of plants or not. Here are some of the best.
Kids (and the makers of migraine medicine) will love this playground located around the corner from the Imagination pavilion. Topiaries of Mickey and friends welcome you to this delightful play area. The playground is divided into two sections: a rope web climbing structure for ages 5-12 and a more traditional playground set for 5 and under. Both are under shade, and there are chairs and little “cabanas” for adults to relax under. Around the center between the two play areas are large musical interactive features for kids to bang on and make “beautiful music”. Around the outside are several small gardens with plants themed to different types of musical instruments, providing adults something to do while the kids play.
Another playground returning for this year is the Cars Cactus Road Rally Playground, located between Mouse Gear and Test Track. In addition to the cacti growing all along the paths in the area, there are informative signs to learn how cacti adapt to their environment. But the big draw for the kids is the playground area. The area is also shaded and there is some seating, but it is a much smaller area than the other playground. A typical playground climbing structure is there, but kids also will enjoy bouncing on the circle of tires located near the back of the play area. Make sure to take a look at the Lightning McQueen and Mater topiaries near by as well.
Festival Passport Stamps
There’s something about kids, stamps, and scavenger hunts that makes this work well. Pick up your free festival passport from pretty much any food kiosk or festival shop, and then go on a hunt for the stamps at different food kiosks, shops, and exhibits. Kids love looking at the different stamps and figuring out where the next place to go and get another one is located. Plus, it makes a wonderful (and free) souvenir.
People of all ages have loved topiaries at Disney for decades. I remember being completely amazed by the ones outside the Magic Kingdom on my first trip way back in the day. With topiary technology improving over time, and with more topiaries being created to look like favorite characters, hunting for topiaries throughout Epcot adds to a bit of fun during Flower and Garden. (I’ll give you a hint — take your child’s age, divide it by 4 , and that’s the time in minutes that your child will be willing to look at them before saying “Can we go yet?”)
Garden Rocks Concert Series
Odds are good that many kids will have no idea who any of the bands performing on Friday through Sunday at Flower and Garden are. That’s perfectly okay. These short concerts are a great way to introduce your kids to these bands. Don’t think that your child will sit through the 30 minute concert or don’t want to wait in line to get in? Have a seat near the fountain in front of The American Adventure pavilion. You can hear the concert and it gives a great place for your kid to dance to their heart’s content.
In two previous posts, I covered the specialty gardens that are available around Epcot. (You can read them here and here.) And while your kid isn’t likely to be enthralled by the Shakespeare Garden or Extraordinary Orchids, a few of the specialty gardens are worth the visit. Especially popular with younger guests is the Butterflies on the Go exhibit, where you can watch butterflies flying around you in an enclosed tent location. Some kids may also enjoy looking for small, hidden dinosaurs in the Prehistoric Plants exhibit.
In addition to the everyday events, some weekends have family-themed events. From Disney’s web site, the two that sound the most appealing for kids are:
Outdoor Family Fun Weekend: April 8-10, 2016
Reap the benefits of sharing quality time together at select Festival gardens. As a bonus, animal specialists from Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be presenting an exhibit on how bugs play an important role in helping a garden thrive. Check it out at the Festival Center from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Earth Day Weekend: April 22-24, 2016
Celebrate the place we call home, where you can enjoy interactive activities, discoveries and more! Plus learn about the efforts to protect coral reefs and other marine life at The Seas with Nemo & Friends―a special tribute to the amazing creatures that dwell in our vast oceans.