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Let's face it, if you're taking the kids to Florida this summer they've probably been lying awake anticipating theme park thrills for weeks. We've already spilled the beans about Universal Orlando's latest new ride and shared tips for visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but if your kids are of an adventurous bent they might want to step away from Mickey for a few days and try something completely different....
Learn to swing with the Flying Trapeze School
Miami's Flying Trapeze School operates out of the city's Bayfront Park and is run by professional flying trapeze artists. Two-hour classes are available for all ages and abilities, from the complete novice to the already-competent flyer. Every student receives one-on-one tutition so they can start to master the fundamentals of the flying trapeze, with an opportunity to feel the adrenaline rush of letting go and being caught by an experienced catcher.
A two hour lesson costs $40 plus a $10 registration fee, available on Weds - Sundays 7pm - 9pm, plus 4pm - 6pm at weekends.
Try n' Fly taster sessions are also available for $10 for the less intrepid or pushed for time, which consist of a few swings back and forth and even a somersault dismount onto the safety net if you're brave (or bendy) enough.
Take a bioluminescent kayaking tour
According to A Day Away Kayak Tours, the waters of Florida's Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River come alive with bioluminescence during the warm months of summer, and their night tours are one of the best ways to experience this magical natural phenomenon.
Bioluminescence is the process by which hundreds of species of marine invertebrates and microorganisms produce light through a complex chemical reaction, resulting in sparkling flashes and an illuminating glow with every movement of the water. Just stir your paddle in the ripples to whip up what looks like a trail of glittering stars, or wait for a slow-moving manatee to swim past leaving a luminous glow in its wake.
Trips take place at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, just over an hour's drive east from Orlando on the coast just north of Cape Canaveral. They last around 90 minutes and cost $35 for adults ($39 on Saturdays) and $27 for children ($29 on Saturdays).
New ATX Family Astronaut Training
For would-be Buzz Aldrins, we also recommend the Astronaut Training Day at Kennedy Space Center which we wrote about previously in our Florida for Thrillseekers article. The experience is now available as a new half-day family programme for ages 7 and over, and you'll have the opportunity to meet a veteran NASA astronaut and perform a mocked-up space shuttle mission to the International Space Center.
The prices start at $145 plus tax and rise to $170 plus tax depending on the age of your kids. The package includes the four-hour training programme and entrance to the Space Center too - more details here.
Thanks to Bound2Paddle.com for the header photo.
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About the author: MaxineMaxine Sheppard
Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.