This headline might shock some people, since it counters what many have grown up believing, but I’d like to dispel the misperception that downtowns are not family friendly. After living, working and playing in downtown Daytona for over a decade now, I’ve come to understand the ins and outs and, now that I have a family of my own, can say that it’s even better with children. Here’s why…
1. IT’S VERY WALKABLE
I’m a huge advocate of health through everyday activities and walking is my number one source. With all the concentrated amenities like restaurants, shops, activities, and parks within a short walking distance, it makes having to use our car a rare occurrence. Strolling three children around to get to these places makes it an even greater adventure as we enjoy the scenery and fresh air.
2. EXPOSURE TO LOCAL FOODS FOR A HEALTHY LIVING
We have so many great resources when it comes to food and health options in the core area of downtown and it becomes very important to teach children the benefits. The farmers market is great for natural, raw foods and allows us the ability to make the girl’s food from locally sourced farms. In addition, the local restaurants are also a great way for the family to experience how a local economy works while steering clear of the fast-food lifestyle. This will be important as they mature and will hopefully one day be part of this community.
3. ACTIVITIES FOR EVERYONE
Our girls are too small to appreciate the many activities available downtown, but as time goes on, the Tortugas baseball games, water related activities, like paddle boarding, and biking the Sweetheart Trail, will be a great way to keep them entertained. For now, our one year olds will be taking advantage of the local parks and most importantly our Library’s children’s section, which has become a regular visit.
This is only a small sample of the ways we find our downtown to be family friendly. Even if you don’t live downtown, using these resources only makes the opportunities grow and improve. The options offered to a family are out there, I encourage you to use them next time you want an adventure with your family and to engage with your local community.