Not long after moving to Winter Springs in 2010, I found myself out for a drive trying to entertain a very bored and out-of-sorts three year old. Lacking a real plan, I made my way toward the nearby Lake Jessup, thinking I might find a boat launch or public park to explore. After following Tuskawilla road to its end at the shore of the lake, I wound my way west along a street of enviable lakefront homes, some of them grand, classic pieces of architecture, all of them beautifully located. I followed the road and eventually stumbled into Central Winds park. It’s a large park with lots of facilities but the gem, for our young family, is the playground in the rear of the park, the star of which is the two-story towering slide house.

Three years on, and now with two little girls, we visit Central Winds Park often, the girls absolutely love it. Most of their time is still spent on the playground but we do often make use if the nature trail, hidden at the very rear of the park, which runs along the shore of lake Jessup. We recently watched a cormorant catch a fish only to have a hawk snatch the fish from its beak, it was an amazing sight.

The park also houses competition quality baseball, softball and soccer fields along with a nice, well maintained, volleyball court. There are no pets allowed directly inside the park but there is an attached dog park.

Central Winds, the playground anyway, is relatively lightly used with plenty of parking and restrooms nearby. With all the fun to be had I have to give it a perfect 10 for family fun, despite the lack of a, now requisite, splash pad.

park website: http://www.winterspringsfl.org/EN/web/dept/pr/cityparks.htm

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