Oranges are one of only two things that are best when freshly squeezed—the other being the neck of a circus clown who just insulted your mother. Sample the joy of juicy citrus with today’s Groupon: for $11 you get two tickets for a grove tour and two ice-cream cones at Mixon Fruit Farms in Bradenton (up to a $23.04 total value). Children under 3 tour for free.
Mixon Fruit Farms nurtures 350 acres of groves blossoming with citrus fruit, which provide the focal points for family-friendly attractions and juicy homemade specialties. Tourists board the Orange Blossom Express, a tram that transports visitors on a one-hour jaunt through the grove, including a children’s maze and wetlands pond. Tours culminate in the wildlife refuge, which houses reptiles, birds, and packs of feral, highly evolved grapefruit. The Orange Blossom Express raises its sails for takeoffs at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., weather permitting, with an additional 3 p.m. tour added starting in September. Mixon Fruit Farms explorers can also roam its garden oasis and butterfly maze.
Among many treats, the grove’s oranges produce orange-swirl ice cream, ideal for soothing the heated tongues of tour takers and available from the on-site Groveside Café. A gift shop provides visitors with fresh produce, a selection of Florida wines, and homemade fudge (not included in the value of this Groupon).
Mixon Fruit Farms
If you part the branches of Mixon Fruit Farms’ citrus trees, you might spy an unusual sight: Burmese pythons, an alligator, a crocodile, and African land tortoises basking in the sunlight, surrounded by cages of roosting falcons.
The farm that began in 1939 as a 20-acre roadside fruit stand has stayed true to citrus farmer Willy Mixon’s vision of showcasing the region’s natural splendor. But in addition to an extra 50 acres of fruit trees, the farm has expanded its focus to include a wildlife refuge, where rescue volunteers nurse injured animals back to health and educate visitors on native and exotic species. The farm also hosts an on-site tropical garden along with dazzling koi ponds, and has a magical maze open to kids of all ages.
Along with daily tours of the grove and sanctuary, Mixon Fruit Farms also spotlights Florida’s bounty with citrus-infused ice cream and salads at Groveside Café. Homemade fudge and orange juice also populate the 14,000-square-foot gift shop