Mount Dora, Florida is a charming lakeside town just 30 minutes northwest of Orlando. While much of the town is geared toward an older audience, there are plenty of things to do for kids and families as well. With historic buildings and gorgeous lake views, the walkable downtown area is what attracts most visitors to Mount Dora. There are also lots of outdoor activities to enjoy around town.
Read on for the top 25 things to do in Mount Dora with kids, including attractions, museums, free activities, and our favorite Mount Dora restaurants. As a local Mount Dora mom, I’m excited to share them with you. After visiting, you will truly see why Mount Dora is nicknamed “Someplace Special!”
For more family fun around the Sunshine State, check out our Florida Family Travel Guide.
The Dora Canal is known for its breathtaking beauty.
Top Attractions in Mount Dora, Florida for Families
Take a two-hour guided pontoon boat tour through the Dora Canal—dubbed “the most beautiful mile of water in the world”—and the Harris Chain of Lakes.
Drive your own two-person catamaran on a guided tour of Lake Dora and Lake Eustis, venturing through the famous Dora Canal.
Visit Long & Scott Farms for loads of fall fun.
Visiting Mount Dora in the fall? Don’t miss a trip to Scott’s Maze Adventures, featuring a seven-acre corn maze, a pumpkin patch, hay rides, a super slide, a jump pillow, and a large playground area. Long & Scott Farms also boasts a country market and café. Keep an eye out for other farm events throughout the year, such as Scott’s Spring Fling.
Adults and kids ages 12 and older can partake in a guided Segway tour of Mount Dora, complete with history and scenic views, plus a photo op in front of the famous Mount Dora lighthouse.
Located just down the road in Tavares, guests of all ages can board a seaplane for an overhead view of Mount Dora, Tavares, and several area lakes. The tour also includes a “splash and dash,” which is a brief touch down on the water.
The lighthouse at Grantham Point is iconic.
Fun Free Things to Do in Mount Dora, Florida with Kids
These three parks are all within a short walking distance of each other. Kids will love the pirate ship playground at Gilbert Park, which also features a tot-sized playground, picnic pavilions, and open green space. Palm island Park is an eight-acre preservation area complete with a boardwalk that overlooks Lake Dora, as well as three picnic pavilions. Grantham Point, known to locals as “Lighthouse Park,” houses the iconic Mount Dora lighthouse, which represents the “Port of Mount Dora.” Be sure to also snap a photo in the giant blue chair!
7. Trimble Park
Trimble Park is a great camping spot near downtown Mount Dora. The park also features two playground areas, a boat ramp, hiking trails, and pavilions.
8. Mount Dora Christmas Lights
If you are able to, plan your visit around the holidays to see the breathtaking holiday light display, with more than 2 million lights illuminating Donnelly Park and the downtown shops. Plus, there is another amazing light display at the Mount Dora Marina, just a short walk from downtown. The town hosts several fun and free holiday events during this time as well, such as the Mount Dora Christmas Parade and Snow in the Park.
Beginner mountain bikers can test their skills at the Mount Dora Mountain Bike Trail.
This 2.5-mile loop trail is great for beginning mountain bikers, with a skills area at the entrance. It is located near the Mount Dora baseball fields, past the dog park.
This magnificent fireworks show is a must-see when visiting during the 4th of July. Along with fireworks, the event includes food trucks, live entertainment, vendors, and kids’ activities. An Independence Day Parade also takes place in downtown Mount Dora each year.
This free butterfly garden is located just outside of the W.T. Bland Library near downtown Mount Dora. It features dozens of native plants and trees, a small pavilion, and interactive elements that kids will love. The library also hosts some free events outside in the gardens.
Explore all that Downtown Mount Dora has to offer.
More Things to Do in Mount Dora, Florida with Kids
This outdoor farmers market takes place every Sunday in Sunset Park right in the heart of downtown Mount Dora. It features fresh produce, seafood, crafts, plants, and more.
Mount Dora is home to the popular Renninger’s flea and farmers market, open to the public on weekends. Renninger’s boasts rows and rows of vendors with a variety of antiques, produce, collectibles, oddities, and more.
Learn all about Mount Dora’s haunted history on a walking tour through the downtown entertainment district. After all, this historic town is sure to have its share of ghost stories!
Bring your animal lover to Lil’ Bit of Life Farm.
My family just loves this farm, home to miniature horses (several retired from Disney), bunnies, goats, sheep, ducks, pigs, and more. The farm hosts several events year round, as well as camps, farm school, birthday parties, and more. All visits require advance reservations.
December through March is prime strawberry time in Central Florida. Locals love picking delicious, quality strawberries at Oak Haven Farms. The farm also offers local Florida wine, with tastings available. Kids can enjoy playgrounds and swings.
17. Mount Dora Bowl
This small, hometown bowling center is perfect for a rainy-day activity in Mount Dora.
Take a peek inside the Modernism Museum.
18. Modernism Museum
The downtown Modernism Museum showcases the Style Art Movement, from mid-century through today.
Need another great rainy-day option? Catch the latest flicks on the big screen at Epic Theatres, which features two Epic XL large format auditoriums.
Mount Dora History Museum has some fun photo ops.
This newly renovated small museum is housed in what was once the first fire station and city jail, opened in 1923. The museum exhibits cover Mount Dora history from the 1880s through the 1930s. Kids will get a kick out of taking photos in the old jail cells!
21. IceHouse Theater
Theatergoers won’t want to miss a show at this community theater, which produces year-round live musicals and comedies.
Even the pickiest eaters can find something to love at Mount Dora Marketplace.
Mount Dora Restaurants for Kids and Families
With dozens of diverse vendors offering a variety of food options, there’s something to please everyone at the Mount Dora Marketplace. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available as well.
23. Fiesta Grande
This downtown Mexican grill is a local favorite. Start your meal off with free chips and salsa (I recommend ordering a bowl of queso as well), then choose from a large variety of authentic Mexican dishes. A kids’ menu for ages 12 and under features chicken nuggets, tacos, quesadillas, and more.
Want to try a sushi donut or sushi pizza? Stop at Wave Asian Bistro for some of the best sushi in Central Florida. The restaurant has fun and unique menu options, as well as traditional sushi, hibachi bowls, and poke bowls.
This quaint restaurant is a hidden gem in Mount Dora. Enjoy a variety of English teas and authentic British dishes. For the kids, check out the The Mad Hatter meal, complete with finger sandwiches, sponge cake, cookies, and drink. Reservations are strongly recommended.
All images courtesy of the author