Is there anything more likely to bring a feeling of hope than a beautiful butterfly flitting from flower to flower?
Orange County Parks Department has done an outstanding job with Orlando’s Capehart Neighborhood Park, where the theme is butterflies.
Drawn to the park on a hot day by the splash pad, we found many other attractions. The park is situated off Lake Underhill Drive and east of S. Goldenrod Road. Set deep amid housing areas, it is a quiet, safe place for children to run and play.
The splash pad is a large area surrounded by plastic coated chain-link fence where children can experience the freedom of running through sprinklers and fountains of water without parents having to be constantly hands-on. A few tree shaded picnic tables and benches ring the area.
We were also impressed that there were two playgrounds, one for toddlers, another for older children. Both were shaded by a huge umbrella-like canopy allowing warm breezes to flow freely through the area. The padded surface around the swings and the play equipment itself are in good condition.
A fitness path circles behind the play areas in the 11 acre facility. Large butterfly shaped benches enjoy the shaded area outside the building and big colorful butterflies flank the main doorway. A flower-filled entrance is where you will find the live butterfly garden.
The game room inside the center is equipped with board and table games, and Karate, ballet, Hip Hop, and special events are held across the hall in a huge all-purpose room.
Also available are:
- Movie in the Park
- R.E.C. Squad
- Home School P.E.
- Mommy and Me
- Teens against Crime
- CampScooter (during school breaks)
R.E.C. Squad is an after-school program with free pick-up from Jackson Middle School and Chickasaw Elementary. Mom’s afternoon off (with pre-registration) is offered every other Saturday.
The friendly, knowledgeable staff were happy to show us around on a recent visit and explain the programs and activities that are offered there.
On a personal note: I swell with pride that my hometown has stepped up to the plate for its young people. I raised 3 children in Orlando and remember well the transitory time between most mothers staying home with their children and very few being able to afford life without two incomes. There was very little affordable recreation available for children caught in the middle of this societal shift.
For more info: If you really love butterflies check out