Clermont’s attraction has something for everybody!!Your five senses will come alive with pure enjoyment as you enter the Showcase of Citrus in Clermont, Florida. There is so much to do here including, but not limited to: 4 X 4 Monster Truck Tours, U-Pick Citrus and Blueberries, shopping for all sorts of goods at the Country Store, Catch & Release Fishing, Kid’s Playground, Wine Tasting, Gem Mine, Feeding the Farm Animals, Donkey Rides, and now featuring The Alex Emelin Show. With free admission, you can drop in just to pick up a Legendary “Orange Juice Slushy” or you can stay all day and do everything!
Home of the World’s Largest 4 X 4 Monster Truck Rides, the Showcase of Citrus will keep you coming back. This outdoor adventure features modified school buses that are of MAMMOTH proportions at 14 feet wide, 16 feet tall, and 40 feet long. With plenty of space, these Monster Trucks allow your entire family (plus!) to comfortably ride through native woodlands, pasturelands, grovelands, and directly through the waters of swamplands. Our friendly and knowledgeable guide gave us the grand tour of the 2,500-acre ranch, taking the time to educate us on what we were seeing and pointing out what we may have missed if out on our own. He taught us all sorts of interesting facts about oranges including why color doesn’t determine ripeness and how oranges were names for their scent and not their color. We saw one of Florida’s most famous residents, an American Alligator. Much to my toddler son’s delight, we were able to feed some tasty oranges to a herd of beautiful beef cattle when we passed through the pasture they were grazing in; and in another pasture, we were able to observe the antics of the resident exotic animals including Zebra, Watusi and Longhorn cattle, and Water Buffalo. Operating 365 days a year, with tours at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, and even 6pm during daylight savings time, the open-air trucks feature a canopy cover that allows you to feel the fresh Florida breezes without being scorched by the relentless Florida sun. Reservations are strongly recommended, and rates are quite affordable at $25 for adults and $15 for kids aged 4-12 (3 and under are free!). Please note that active and veteran military personnel ride free with ID!
After our Monster Truck ride, we were able to enjoy the Alex Emelin Show which is a circus style act featuring performing poodles, aerial acrobatics, comedy, magic, juggling, dance, and so much more! They are soon to be featured on the next season of America’s Got Talent. Hailing from Russia, Alex is the perfect showman blending comedy and magic while including audience members and keeping kids riveted to their seats. He juggled, did card tricks and did this hilarious trick with a bucket and coins that left us all guffawing. Still, his 13 beautiful poodles stole the show. Jumping over five feet in the air and slaloming between each others legs, they were magnificent. Alex’s partner, The Beautiful Jenny was an integral part of the show with her amazing aerial acrobatics, her contortionist floor routine, and a fun-filled dance with several dozen hula hoops. Both Alex and Jenny have performed all over the world with “The Greatest Show on Earth” Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey until their recent closing. In the words of Mr. Emelin, “ a good comedian…must have the ability to make people laugh without saying a word” and he, his partner, and his beautiful troupe of athletic poodles does just that. You can catch them at the Showcase of Citrus Thursday through Monday. Rates are a steal at $15 for adults and $10 for kids aged 4-12 (3 and under as well as active/veteran military with ID are free!). Call ahead for times and reservations (352-394-4377).
Among the many things to do at Showcase of Citrus is U-Pick Citrus (and blueberries and blackberries too!). The Citrus season lasts from November to May and coincides with Florida’s best weather! At the time of our visit, there were red & yellow navels available and they were so juicy and delicious fresh from the tree. However, the Showcase Estate grows over 50 different varieties with some (Meyer lemons!) available year-round! Next door to some of the U-Pick groves is a petting zoo with over 200 beautiful free roaming chickens providing farm fresh eggs. There were also a pair of elegant & friendly Sandhill cranes, a sweet little pony, playful goats, beautiful peacocks, hungry pigs, a mated pair of miniature donkeys, and even a kangaroo! They offered donkey rides (much to the chagrin of the male donkey pining for his mate) near the well-equipped playground that provided a welcome paradise for our active toddler. For the young (or old) geologist, the Showcase offers a Gem Mine on site where you can find many varied treasures in the rough ore sold at the country store. This Old Time Farm Store and Market features some of the finest handmade and specialty products including Jams, Jellies, Salsas, BBQ Sauces, Marinades, and more. You can sample almost everything including some spicy hot sauces and some superbly sweet honeys. My favorite was the Saw Palmetto honey that is harvested on-site along with 3 other varieties. As if this isn’t enough, they offer free wine tasting! With a huge selection of citrus, tropical, and berry wines, there is sure to be a flavor that tickles your fancy. We liked the dry yet fruity Black Gold, the powerfully tropical Hurricane Class 5, and the Award-Winning Cherry Red. You can also find more exotic selections here such as gator meat, wild boar jerky, and even boiled and fried peanuts. With so many scents and flavors, this is Florida at its best!
The Showcase of Citrus is open every day from 8am to 7pm and is a family owned and operated estate. In visiting different attractions throughout our beautiful Sunshine State, we’ve fond that in corporate-owned facilities, you get herded in and out like cattle and treated like an open wallet, but here you are treated like family. In fact, we got the pleasure to meet with one of the owners, Tara, and like the citrus they grow, she was a true gem! You can tell that she really loves her work and with such dedicated staff, things will most definitely continue to improve. Located only 15 minutes west of Disney at 5010 US Highway 27 in Clermont, you MUST stop in and see this Showcase of Florida’s Best!