Celebrate the holiday season at Florida's state parks

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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service invites Floridians and visitors to celebrate the holiday season in one of Florida’s 171 award-winning state parks, trails and historic sites. Let the fresh air and beautiful, natural scenery fill you and your family with holiday cheer.

Visit state parks to join historical holiday reenactments, stroll in gorgeous winter gardens, give your wish list to Santa, paddle and hike through Florida’s version of a winter wonderland and see the antebellum houses, visitor centers, forts and other buildings draped in millions of lights.

“This time of year, we cherish our family and friends and reflect on all the blessings in our lives. And there is no place better than Florida’s state parks to spend time with family this holiday season,” said Governor Rick Scott. “We are blessed to live in a state with access to our natural resources and recreation opportunities. I encourage everyone to celebrate the holidays and enjoy time with family at one of Florida’s state parks.”

Most of Florida’s state parks are open 365 days a year, from 8 a.m. to sunset, including Christmas Day. Some museums or historic sites have different hours, and may be open only five days a week. Check the Florida State Park website to get more information about your favorite park.

“State Park staff and volunteers dedicate countless hours to make each of Florida’s state parks the perfect venue to celebrate the holiday season for our visitors,” said DEP’s Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “Enjoy holiday festivities and spend some time in Florida’s environment with family and friends at a state park.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.