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101 Free & Fun Things to Do in Tampa Bay for Families and Kids

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Fun Things to With Kids

Who knew there were so many free things to do in the Tampa Bay area. We already knew there were so many free events, but now you can explore these free family outings on a daily basis. Come back often and share this list with a friend. 

There is no shortage of free museums to visit in and around Tampa, FL.

Explore the 101 free things to-do list for these free opportunities to visit a local Museum practically every day of the week.

 

1. Explore the Ringling Museum of Art

Tampa Bay Ringling Museum

via Ringling

Visit the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL to see one of the most beautiful Museums in the Tampa Bay Area. Every Monday gets you free admission into the beautiful Ringling Museum in Sarasota. So many beautiful art pieces to see. They also have a beautiful rose garden and that’s all a part of the free admission. Regular admission pricing applies if you wish to visit the Circus Museum or Ca’d’Zan.

 

2. Play at Curtis Hixon Park

600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

Pack a picnic lunch and blanket for a perfect park day. Another great waterfront park is the eight acres, Curtis Hixon Park. This park features interactive fountains, performance spaces, and a new ground mural an exciting urban green space. There’s even free wifi, so you can stream music while you play.

With a modern urban design, Curtis Hixon Waterfront
Park is perfect for families looking for a fun spot to enjoy the outdoors. 

Photo Credit: Tampa.gov

 

3. See Manatees at TECO Manatee Viewing Center

6990 Dickman Rd, Apollo Beach, FL 33572.

See our state’s beautiful manatees from November 1 to April 15 at the Manatee Viewing Center at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station. for free admission. The center is open for the 2021-2022 season. There are fun activities the kids can do in their indoor learning center. 

The family can go up to the Observation Tower and look over Apollo Beach. Bring your sunscreen & good walking shoes. 

 

 

 

4. Free Monthly Tuesday at Glazer Children’s Museum 

110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602

Tampa Bay Glazers Childrens Museum

Photo Credit: Visit Tampa Bay

What are you doing on the first Tuesday of the month? Bring the little ones and visit the Glazer Children’s Museum from Noon to 6 p.m. for free admission. Kids will love the huge water tables on the first floor, the upstairs firehouse, grocery store,  kids can make forts, learn about gadgets and robots, solve puzzles and more.

 

5. Seaside Seabird Sanctuary

18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, FL 33785

While you’re near Indian Rocks Beach, stop by Seaside Seabird Sanctuary for free admission to their outdoor bird sanctuary. Children will love seeing the huge variety of birds. With nearly 100 birds on display like Gulls, Blue Jays, Owls, Macaws and more, this is a great attraction for bird lovers.

They have a daily pelican hand-feeding presentation, an observation tower you can explore, “Reading with Rufous” Storytime event with resident Eastern Screech Owl, and other kids activities throughout the month. 

 Photo Credit: Seaside Seabird Sanctuary

 

 

6. Fort De Soto Park

3500 Pinellas Bayway S, Tierra Verde, FL 33715 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Fort De Soto Park

Explore Fort De Soto Park’s five connected islands. It’s the largest park in the Pinellas County Park System. We doubt you’ll get tired of all the fun things to do like swimming, fishing, canoeing, playgrounds, and more. Bring the family and admire the 1,100 acres of pristine white sand beaches along the park. You’ll also find a historical fort to explore.

Entrance to the park is free; however, there is a $5.00 fee for a parking permit. 

Countless national media outlets have proclaimed Fort De Soto’s North Beach is perfect for families and we couldn’t agree more! Make sure to stop by the pirate ship playground you’ll see on the way in. 

Before you go, don’t forget to look up, it’s the ultimate day trip for birdwatchers. Fort De Soto Park is home to over 300 different species of native birds. 

 

7. SKYWATCH @ MOSI 

4801 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33617

Join MOSI’s space experts monthly to enjoy an evening of space exploration through MOSI’s telescopes!

SkyWatch stargazing events are located in the parking lot outside of the Whitney Andrews Lang Center for Learning, on the east side of MOSI’s campus. Staff will have telescopes set up and trained on various celestial bodies. They’ll explain what you are viewing, whether it’s a planet, star or constellation. 

The event is open to all ages from 7-10:30PM on select nights of the month! No ticket or purchase is required. See the upcoming Skywatch dates by visiting MOSI’s website. Take note, Skywatch is weather dependent.  

 8. Visit St. Pete Pier

800 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Credit: St. Pete Pier Facebook Page

St. Pete Pier is a favorite among tourists and locals because of the variety of activities there. You can stroll along the pier, eat in the marketplace, shop, have the kids play on the colorful and magical playground, or even get wet on their splash pad. 

While at the St. Pete Pier, visit Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center for a pit stop to all things marine life. The cost to entry matches its small venue. The Discovery Center tells you the story of Tampa Bay’s vast and complex estuary — its history and recovery. 

 

9. Pass-a-Grille Beach 

113 11th Avenue Saint Pete Beach, FL 33706

Photo Credit: Pass-a-Grille Beach Facebook page

Pass-a-Grille beach is one of the easiest beaches to access. The parking is right next to the beach, which makes for a short walk to the sand. There are a few restaurant’s near the beach and one on the beach side. There is a city park with small public restrooms across the street. Great place to hangout for a day at the beach.

To access the beach is free to do. However, you may need to pay for metered parking.

10. Walk the Pinellas County Heritage Village

11909 125th Street N. Largo, FL 33774.

Want to visit a historic Florida village? Explore the Pinellas County Heritage Village the 21-acre outdoor living history museum located in the heart of Pinellas County. Explore 33 historic attractions, including a variety of historic homes, a general store, railroad depot, two schools, church, and more.

Details: Free admission from Wednesday- Saturday from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays and all county holidays.

11. Explore the Florida Botanical Gardens

12520 Ulmerton Road and 12211 Walsingham Road.

Come explore the beautiful Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo, FL and learn how Florida grows! With more than 30 acres of cultivated gardens featuring native Florida plants, butterfly garden, tropical, fruit and a variety of other gardens. Check out the children’s educational trail or stroll the gardens at your leisure. Take a break and have a picnic surrounded by the gorgeous gardens. Admission to the gardens is free.

Free admission. Gardens open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Leashed pets welcome.

 
 

 

12. Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art

600 E Klosterman Rd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Art is for everyone. Everyone is always admitted for free at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersburg College. Donations are always accepted. 

Families can pick up a Treasure Hunt activity at LRMA’s Visitor Services Desk and explore the art on view together, gallery by gallery.

Photo Credit: Leepa-Rattner Museum

13. Tampa Museum of Art – Pay-As-You Will 

120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602

This modern building in downtown Tampa is filled with amazing art pieces and sculptures. In addition to docent-led tours, they offer art classes, family events, free art activities, and more.

Details: The Tampa Museum of Art invites everyone to Art on the House every Thursday evening from 4 – 8 pm for Pay-as-you-will admission also known as free admission. You may decide to pay nothing or you may decide to pay any amount of money for admission. You get to choose!

There is a cafe in the museum. They are also located near the Glazer Children’s Museum and have free access to  Curtis Hixon Park, where there is a splash area and playground for children. Located on 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602.

 

 

14. Cool Down At Kiwanis Sprayground

1937 Ed Eckert Dr, Dunedin, FL 34698

Your kids will love this action-packed spray ground. This 3000-square-foot water playground has all sorts of fun ways to dump and sprinkle water. The best part is that it’s free—just book a reservation before you visit.

 

15. Pinellas County Museum Pass

Check Out a Museum Pass with participating museum logos

 

Enjoy free access to several museums with the library’s Museum Pass and visit museums like the Great Explorations, the Florida Holocaust Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, and more. 

Library cardholders are able to borrow a free family pass to these institutions for seven days. Each branch only has two passes for each museum, so they’re on a first-come, first-served basis. Check the availability online or by calling. Availability may change at any time.

16. Explorations V Children’s Museum

109 N Kentucky Ave, Lakeland, FL 33801

Photo Credit: Explorations V Children’s Museum

With collaboration with the City of Lakeland, freed admission is offered through their  Culture Pass for up to 5 people for 1 day. The Culture Pass can be checked out at one of the three Lakeland Library branches. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. Call your nearest library or the Museum for details.

 

17. Tampa Firefighters Museum

720 E Zack St, Tampa, FL 33602

While the Tampa Bay Firefighter’s Museum is small, it does pack a lot of history in small space and many of the items you can actually touch. Discover the beautiful history of firefighters in the Tampa Bay area and check out the old equipment and even marvel at the 911 sculpture. Free Admission. Donations accepted.

Open by appointment only from Monda-Friday (10am-2pm) Call (813) 964-6862 or email Tampafiremuseum@gmail.com to schedule your visit.

 

18. Watch Movies at parkCINEMA

Located in some of Tampa’s most scenic and comfortable parks, ParkCinema brings free family-friendly movies to the outdoors.

Families can enjoy classics like Star Wars, as well as new family films, brought to life under the stars on an outdoor big screen. Brought to audiences by the F. E. Lykes Foundation, the parkCINEMA showings travel around Tampa area parks for a new experience alongside each screening. Find out the next parkCINEMA!

 

19. Spend Time With Butterflies At Hammock Park

1900 San Mateo Drive, Dunedin, FL 

Hammock Park’s Butterfly Garden is a favorite among nature enthusiasts. The family can walk the pathway with three self-guided walking trails with permanent informational signage.

You’ll find lots of beautiful and fragrant flowers, maybe some tortoises and, more importantly, Hammock Park is home to more than 35 species of butterflies.

20. Got a 4th grader? Visit U.S. National Parks for Free

Help your 4th grader get an outdoor pass.

A federal public lands youth initiative to get all 4th graders and their families to experience the places that are home to our country’s natural treasures, rich history, and vibrant culture.

Every year, beginning September 1, all kids in the fourth grade have access to their own Every Kid Outdoors pass at www.everykidoutdoors.gov. This pass provides free access to national parks across the country.

If your 4th grader visits a national park site that charges entrance fees per person— The pass admits all children under 16 and up to three adults for free.

 www.everykidoutdoors.gov.

21. Dell Homes Splash Park

If your children are wanting to cool off from the Florida sun, they can suit up and enjoy the colorful splash pad and a huge playground nearby. There are nearby benches where parents can watch their kids play.

Opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset. Sprayground open May 1 thru October 31st.

2741 22nd St. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33712, (727) 893-7441

Admission Fee: Free

Dell Homes Splash Pad

22. Ride a Mini Train at Largo Central Railroad

101 Central Park Dr, Largo, FL 33771

Photo Credit: Largo Train

Add the Largo Central Railroad to your family’s fun list. Take a ride on the Largo Central Railroad’s miniature train on the first full weekend of every month on a 1 mile route through the beautiful Largo Central Park. 

Free Admission. Donations Accepted. 

23. Julian B Lane Riverfront Park

1001 North Blvd. Tampa, FL 33606

 

Nearby to the University of Tampa, the Hillsborough River, and the David A Straz Center for the Performing Arts is Julian B Lane Riverfront Park.

The park is filled with public art, an updated playground and splash pad for the little ones.

There is also a nice walking path, sports fields, picnic areas, and the Community Front Porch equipped with game tables, chairs, and tables to relax beside.

24. Sulphur Springs Museum

1101 E Ricer Cove St, Tampa, FL 33604

Located in Tampa, FL is dedicated to preserve and celebrating the natural and social history of Sulphur Springs, a community that helped shape Tampa

Details: Free admission. Donations are accepted. Open on Wednesday-Saturday from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Located on 1101 E Ricer Cove St, Tampa, FL 33604.

 

25. Great Explorations Children’s Museum

1925 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704

Located in St. Petersburg, come get a full day of creativity, play, and exploration at no cost by presenting your SNAP EBT or WIC card upon arrival. EVERY TUESDAY!

Learn more about 10 Tuesdays program for families receiving SNAP EBT or WIC.

 

 

26. Water Works Park In Downtown Tampa

This riverfront park not only has a scenic view but also has an iconic bucket drop that kids love. Since Water Works Park is in downtown Tampa, there are numerous attractions to visit in the area after playing at the park.

1710 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602, (813) 274-8615

Admission: FREE

Photo Courtesy:Tampa Gov

27. Palm Harbor Museum


2043 Curlew Rd, Palm Harbor, Florida

Photo Credit: Palm Harbor Museum

Open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10 am to 2 pm.

Admission to the museum is free. 

The early settlers of Palm Harbor have stories to share, and you can live them at the Palm Harbor Museum. Held in the Hartley family home built between 1914 and 1919, guests experience the history of fishing, orange farming, and railroads in the Palm Harbor area. 

28. Sweet Blossoms Alpacas Farm

37543 Pappy Road, Dade City, FL 33523

Photo Credit: Sweet Blossoms Alpacas Farm

Did you ever want to see an Alpaca up close? Your kids are going to love stopping by Sweet Blossom Alpacas Farm located in Dade City, FL.

Your family can stop by on their free monthly Alpaca Farm Tours to see alpacas and llamas. Take pictures with them, possibly feed them (if it’s not too hot), and just enjoy their peacefulness.

29. The Woodson African American Museum of Florida

 2240 9th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Visit between Tuesday-Friday 12-5pm or call for appointment. Free admission. 

 

Come learn about the Father of Black History Month, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, and the history of African Americans in the St. Petersburg region. The museum serves to preserve and celebrate this rich history by sharing it with all guests of the St. Petersburg area.

Exhibits change so make sure to come back again and again. You can also check out their Black Lives Matter street mural in front of the museum.

30. Jenny’s Petting Zoo

12611 Andrews Rd, Wimauma, FL 33598

Girl at petting farm with goat at Jenny's Petting Zoo
Photo Credit: Jenny’s Petting Zoo

Camels? Goats? Yes! This wonderful hidden gem in Hillsborough County will keep you coming back with the family. When you visit Jenny’s Petting Zoo you’ll see a wide variety of farm animals. They even host a dog show and you can hold raccoons, chickens, and other farm animals.  

Visit Jenny’s Petting Zoo on the weekends for free admission. They do offer animal feed, rides, photos, and refreshments for a small fee. Strollers and wheelchairs can be used on-site. 

 

 

 

31. The Straz Center 

1010 N Macinnes Pl, Tampa, FL 33602

The Straz Center offers free performances throughout the year in the downtown Tampa area. Visit their free event series to see what’s coming up next. They usually have outdoor concerts on Riverwalk Stage in the evenings. 

32. Indian Rocks Historical Museum

203 4th Ave N, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785

 

Before heading over to take a dip at Indian Rocks Beach, stop by the Indian Rocks Historical Museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. 

Admission is free, donations are accepted. 

The museum focuses on the rich and storied history of Indian Rocks, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, and part of Largo. Photos, postcards, artifacts, and maps tell the story of Indian Rocks to guests.

Your family can even “Walk Indian Rocks Beach” for a free self-guided audio app tour designed to be downloaded to a smart phone or tablet.

 

The app will take you on a narrated, self-guided tour of 14 stops with historical images and music.  The tour takes about is about 2 miles.  It starts and ends at the Indian Rocks Historical Museum.

 

33. Kiwanis Sprayground at Highlander Park


The Kiwanis Sprayground at Highlander Park has a 3,000-square-foot play area with colorful, action-packed features that spray, gush, dump, and pour water from a variety of devices and structures. There is also a pirate ship where kids can slide down, tumble buckets, and more.
You’ll also find the spray-ground is located right near the pool and a playground area where kids can visit before getting on the splash pad. The sprayground is ADA accessible, so all the kids can have access to all the fun.
1937 Ed Eckert Drive, Dunedin FL 34698, (727) 298-3266.
Admission: FREE, Reservations required due to COVID-19.
Photo Credit: Dunedin Gov

34. Museums on Us at Tampa Museum of Art

120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602 

The Tampa Museum of Art & Bank of America have partnered to bring you Museums on Us. For the first weekend of every month, active Bank of America, Merrill, or Bank of America Private Bank (U.S. Trust) credit or debit cardholders with photo ID receive one free general admission to the Tampa Museum of Art.

This offer applies to the cardholder only and excludes ticketed and special exhibitions and fundraising events.

Learn more about Bank of America’s Museums on Us program. 

Then cool off at the two splash fountains at the Curtis Hixon Park.

35. St. Pete Second Saturday Artwalk

Held on the second Saturday of each month, the St. Pete Second Saturday Artwalk throws a free celebration of all things arts that guests can walk (or drive) through to enjoy.

 

Studios and galleries along the ArtWalk route will be opening up for new exhibits and showings, showing around 200 different local artists. The free Downtown Looper runs every 15 minutes and makes it easy to see the entire ArtWalk in one night.

 

36. Ballast Point Park

5300 Interbay Blvd, Tampa, FL 33611

 

Ballast Point Park is located on the east coast of South Tampa, and it’s a park that makes it easy to spend a fun day outdoors. With breathtaking views of Hillsborough Bay and Downtown Tampa, the park features a large 600-foot pier, splash pad and play areas, a boat ramp, and plenty of picnic space for enjoying meals out in the park. 

 

37. Tampa Downtown Partnership Free Guided Walking Tours

Learn the history of the city with the free guided walking tour held the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month starting at the Poe Plaza. While tours remain free, a suggested donation of $5.00 is appreciated to help feed a hungry child in our community. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit programs of Where Love Grows.

 

38. Saturdays @ The Morean Arts Center

719 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Saturdays @ The Morean is a FREE family drop-in art and clay studio hosted by the Morean Center for Clay. Now, it will just require pre-registration, in order to keep group sizes smaller. Art projects run from 10:30am – 2:30pm. With five socially distant stations for five families at a time.

Pre-register to ensure your free art-making experience. 719 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 3370

39. Rock the Park

600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

Take a stroll down to Curtis Hixon Park for Rock the Park, downtown Tampa’s FREE music concert series for all ages scheduled the first Thursday of every month.

Come rock outside with the family and stop by the local playground at Curtis Hixon Park to keep the kids entertained. 

 

Photo Credit: Rock the Park Tampa

40. Ride the TECO Streetcar

Tampa, FL

Photo Credit: TECO Streetcar

Driving and parking Downtown can be a bit of a hassle. Luckily, the TECO Streetcar will take you and your family anywhere you want to go in comfort. 

Service is FREE seven days a week to 11 different stops, it’s not just easy to get around the city; it’s a fun historic experience your kids will love.

 

 

 

41. Volunteer With the Family 

A family that volunteers together? Yes, it’s free to do and maybe one of the most rewarding things to do.

Helping others can be lots of fun and a great family thing to do throughout the year. It won’t cost you anything but your time. Youth can also earn their volunteer hours for school.  Check out the full list of volunteer options for kids, teens, and the rest of the family. 

 

42. Free Events at Armature Works

1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

Explore the green space and attend weekly free events at Armature Works. You’ll be able to enjoy live music, yoga on the lawn, movies and more for free! While you’re there you may want to grab a bite to eat. If you’re having trouble picking a restaurant everyone in the family will enjoy, you’ll find a wide selection. 

 

Located in the Heights Public Market, Armature Works is a mixed use space that features an excellent variety of restaurants and a large outdoor eating space. Everyone can get the food they want, but still, eat together.

43. Go On A Walking Tour in Tampa 

Walking is a great exercise for the whole family and it’s free. It’s also fun and relaxing, too. Bring the camera or your phone, some water and you’re good to go! Make it a fun bucket list to take a picture with as many wall and street murals. 

Immerse yourself with Tampa’s Downtown Murals.

Find even more murals in Tampa.

 

Location: PPK – Florida Ave and Royal Street

ARTIST: CARL COWDEN III

44. Reciprocal Membership- Free & Cheap Admission 

Did you know that your membership can get you into other attractions for FREE?

Little boy and girl watching tropical coral fish in large sea life tank. Kids at the zoo aquarium.

If you have a membership to any museum, zoo or aquarium, they may also offer discounted admission or free admission to other museums around Tampa and the United States. Members on average get 50% off of reciprocal membership programs.

45. IKEA Tampa

Yes, IKEA Tampa is a furniture store. But it’s also a great place to spend an air-conditioned day. The store offers free crafts and sometimes they offer free kids’ meals. Check the store’s schedule for upcoming free events. 

Get creative this summer and make a fun keepsake to remember the best summer ever!

 

46. Waterplay Sprayground At Zephyr Park

Zephyr Park’s 7,000-square-foot sprayground has arches that shoot water, soaker cannons, fountain jets, and buckets of water. The interactive sprayground will surely keep your kids busy for a few hours. Nearby you’ll find a playground to continue the fun.

The Water Park is closed each year from December 15th thru March 1st for maintenance.

38116 5th Avenue, Zephyrhills, FL 33542

Admission: FREE

 Zephyr Park

47. Tampa Riverwalk

Want to see the sights and stay active? The Riverwalk is the perfect place to ride bikes, jog, or take a walk with your family. The Riverwalk, which includes the Bayshore Boulevard is actually the longest continuous sidewalk in the United States. How cool is that? There’s a lot of great free things to enjoy along the way like Water Works Park, Curtis Hixon Park, and more.

 

 

Make sure to check out 10 Fun Things to Do Along Tampa Bay Riverwalk 

 

Kids Eat Free Every Day 

Take a break from making meals at home and take the family out for a dinner night out. Better yet, kids eat FREE & CHEAP every day across Tampa Bay. 

Check out the local restaurants offering kids eat free options for families.

 

48. Monday – Kids Eat Free

On Monday stop by Carmelita’s Mexican restaurant, Cody’s Roadhouse, and more for kids-eat-free deals. 

Photo Credit: Carmelita Mexican Restaurant

49. Tuesday- Kids Eat Free

Tuesday is the day with the most amount of Kids-eat-free offers, including Smash Burgers, Fred’s Market & more! 

 

50. Wednesday- Kids Eat Free

Looking for Seafood? Check out Wednesday kids eat free and cheap offer by Pinshakers Crab Shack and you’ll find other restaurant options too! 

 

50. Thursday- Kids Eat Free

Thursday offers include Green Cafe and many others for Kids eat free & cheap offers! 

Photo Credit: Green Cafe

51. Friday- Kids Eat Free 

While Friday’s kids-eat-free offers are limited, there are a few options for fun evening out. 

52. Saturday- Kids Eat Free 

Stop by Crispers on Saturday and other restaurants for Kids-eat-free and cheap offers. 

53. Sunday- Kids Eat Free

Sunday is a great day to visit some fun kids-eat-free and cheap offers like Evos restaurant in Tampa. 

 

Photo Credit: Crispers Restaurant

54. Brooker Creek Preserve 

3940 Keystone Road
Tarpon Springs, FL  34688

With 8,500 acres and 6,000 square feet of exhibits, there is so much to see and do. With free admission to the natural preserve, you’ll love the scenic walking route, a six-mile horseback trail, and free guided nature hikes on weekends. 

Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center features exhibits that help visitors understand how natural Florida has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes.

 

55. Take Pictures: St. Pete Urban Mural Tour

Stay in St. Petersburg long enough and you’re bound to find a cool mural on a wall or on the street. The best part? It’s free to visit and take tons of pictures with the family. You will stumble upon hundreds of colorful, powerful, and inspiring murals by some of the most prominent St. Pete artists.

Come check out some crazy-cool street art in St. Pete for a fun family outdoor scavenger hunt for free. 

 

By Derek Donnelly and Sebastian Coolidge

56. Indoor Play Areas at Malls

Many malls in the Tampa area have free indoor play structures to entertain the kids. It’s a great way to escape the heat and the rain and take some time to relax while the kids get some energy out.

If you like window shopping then a mall could be a great place to stay cool while planning for future purchases.

Check out some of our favorite malls in the Tampa Bay area.

57. Pops in the Park with The Florida Orchestra

Photo Credit: Pops in the Park
If your family likes the orchestra then you may want to stay on the lookout Pops in the Park. Pack a blanket and picnic for free music under the stars at various locations throughout the Tampa Bay Area. It has been a Florida Orchestra tradition for nearly 30 years to offer free outdoor concerts to the community.
 
Visit the Florida Orchestra events calendar for the next free Pops in the park concert.
 
 

58. Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team 

 

Come watch the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team  perform for free at a Tampa Bay Area location. In 2021 they had events mostly during the summer. Since they had to move from their home base in Oldsmar, they now have very few scheduled events.  

 

However, when you don’t get to see the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show team perform, it’s a real treat and loved by all. Make sure to stop by their Facebook page to see upcoming events.

 

59. Pick Up a Free Craft at Lowe’s

While all in-store DIY Kids Workshops are currently on hold, Lowe’s is offering  Kids Workshop Kits for FREE, in-store pickup! Your family will love assembling these step-by-step, hands-on wood building kits at home – for free!

 

Best of all, new kits are released each month so you can register again and again. Kits usually include a wood project that includes all the supplies needed. Some past projects range from wood planters to wooden toys. 

 

Space is limited, so register in advance today at your local store! Kits are recommended for ages 4+. Reserved kits can be picked up in-store at Lowe’s customer service desk on event date.  

 

60. Sunsets at Pier 60

1 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

 

Photo Credit: Sunsets at Pier 60 Facebook page

 

Free: Take in and experience Clearwater beach at the famous Sunsets at Pier 60. Enjoy the sunset and you’ll find a sunset countdown timer on Pier 60’s website so you can plan ahead.

Walk the large boardwalk with artisans, crafters, street performers and live musical entertainment. Food is available for purchase.

61. Carrollwood Village Park Conservancy

4680 West Village Drive, Tampa, FL 33624, (813) 264-8956

 Photo Credit: Aquatix

Carrollwood Village Park is a newly renovated Hillsborough County park that has numerous outdoor activities, including a splash pad for kids. The splash pad is good for cooling off after a day of playing at the Nature Play Playground Area nearby. The kids can manipulate the play structures to move the water in different directions. Parents can enjoy shade structures to sit under while watching children play.

 
Admission: FREE
 

62. Free Events- Family-Friendly Tampa Bay 

For more ideas for free events and fun with your kids, check out Family-Friendly Tampa Bay. Our website is full of fun ideas for children of all ages that parents will enjoy too. Plus, we offer discounts and deals to help you get the most out of your budget.

 

63. Kate Jackson Splash Park

821 S Rome Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

 

Open from April until October, the Kate Jackson Splash Park is the perfect place for families with littles to cool off and run out some energy. Public art, stone lions, and splash fountains galore make for a day that the whole family can enjoy. After splashing around in the fountains, guests can take a walk to see the many local art installation scattered around the park.

64. Zephyrhills Museum of Military History

39444 South Avenue, Zephyrhills, Florida 33542

 

Photo Credit: Zephyrhills Museum

The museum admission and parking is free They are open on Saturdays, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. If your family are military enthusiasts, you’ll love to visit and learn firsthand from veterans about WWII, Korean War & Vietnam War.

Check out the vintage aircraft they have on-site.  The veterans who volunteer are very knowledgeable and you’ll find some unique memrobillia. 

 

 

65. Wall Springs Park

3725 Desoto Blvd, Palm Harbor, FL 34638

Photo Credit: TlyleSheph3rd –

Wall Springs Park is another historical outdoor venue. This park is a great free thing to do in Palm Harbor.

View the natural spring that was once a bathing area and have fun in other recreational facilities throughout the 210-acre park.

There are two large playgrounds for the younger and older kids. Bring the bikes to enjoy the biking trails, a nature trail, and picnic shelters with grills—perfect for a family fun day.

Make sure to stop by the three story look out tower.  There is even a small butterfly garden with beautiful flowers to see.

66. Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail

If you’re in the mood for physical activity, head to Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail. The trail spans from Tarpon Springs to Gulfport. This is a multi-use trail so you can walk, run, cycle, or skate as you please.

The trail is open from 7:00AM to Sunset daily and free to use. 

Get a map of the Pinellas Trail. 

 

67. Picnic Island Park

7409 Picnic Island Blvd, Tampa, FL 33616

 

 

Picnic Island Park is another relaxing outdoor spot for the whole family. While the kids play in the sandy playground, you can play beach volleyball, disc golf course, or simply sunbathe on the beach.

You could also go on a boat ride around the island.

Admission to the park is free. 

 

68. Children’s Board Family Resource Centers

Tampa, FL

If your family lives in Hillsborough County then you’ll love the quality programs that they offer for free. They provide Storytime, crafts, workshops, CPR classes and more. 

Check out their children’s programs to find a free resource center near you. 

69. Free Events at Local County Library 

Hillsborough, Pasco & Pinellas County 

Photo Credit: Land O’ Lakes Library Facebook Page

Your local library is the best resource for all things free. Bring the family to check out a book, storytime, crafts, and so much more. 

70. St. Pete Second Saturday Artwalk

Does your family love art? Held on the second Saturday of each month, the St. Pete Second Saturday Artwalk throws a free celebration of all things arts that guests can walk (or drive) through to enjoy.

Studios and galleries along the ArtWalk route will be opening up for new exhibits and showings, showing around 200 different local artists. The free Downtown Looper runs every 15 minutes and makes it easy to see the entire ArtWalk in one night.

71. Gulf Beaches Historical Museum

115 10th Ave, St. Pete Beach, Florida 33706

While you’re at Pass-a-Grille Beach, make sure to take a moment and visit the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum and it’s free admission for everyone. 

Though they have limited hours of operation due to volunteer availability, everyone is invited to come visit Fridays and Saturdays 11am to 2pm. 

Housed in what was the first church in Pass-a-Grille, built in 1917, the museum collection highlights from life as it was in the early development of the South Pinellas beach communities with it’s ongoing exhibits.

Come visit this unique museum and learn the legacy of the islands colorful heritage. View post cards from years past, hundreds of photos showing the growth progression of the beach communities, memorabilia of two island schools, church artifacts and much more.

72. Largo Central Park

101 Central Park Dr, Largo, FL 33771

Photo Credit: Via Roadtrippers.

Definitely, one of our favorite parks to visit in Pinellas County, if not the whole Tampa Bay area. Spanning over 70 acres, Largo Central Park features a bevy of amenities for families to enjoy.

The Rainbow Rotary Playground inside Largo Central Park is one of the only playgrounds in the area completely accessible to guests with disabilities. Picnic pavilions make it easy to spend the day enjoying the park with a picnic.

 

 

73. Geocaching Florida State Parks

Geocaching turns every location into a free adventure where you can join the world in the largest treasure hunting game. Millions of cleverly hidden containers, called geocaches are waiting to be found.

Sign up for free at Geocaching.com. Enter the ZIP code for the state park where you are interested in searching. Select “Go.” The website will help you find the caches and will provide clues for the search.

You can also check out different apps on your phone for other local geocaching options.

74. Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum Society, Inc.

102 North Palmer Street, Plant City, Florida 33563

Photo Credit: Robert W. Railroad Museum

The Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum is located in the Historic Train Depot In Downtown Plant City. The Train Viewing Platform, located adjacent to the museum, it’s closed Sunday-Monday and open Tuesday thru Saturday, from Noon-4:00pm  

It is well lit for great train viewing in the evenings.

Admission to the museum is free for everyone. 

75. Free Kids Craft at JC Penny Kids Zone

Tampa Bay Area Locations 

On the second Saturday of every month JC Penny offers a Kids Zone for kids to create fun arts and crafts projects. JC Penny also treats parents to a 10% off coupon for use in store only on the day of the event. Coupon can be combined with other coupons!

During COVID-19  JC Penny is doing pick up crafts & coupons from 11am-Noon on the second Saturday of every month.

Find out this weekends Kids Zone Craft.

76. Jose Marti Park 

1303 E 8th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

On the corner of 8th Avenue and 13th Street in downtown Tampa, Jose Marti Park is a truly unique small park. For almost 60 years, it was the only Cuban owned land in the United States all the way up until 2015. The park is still owned by the people of Cuba, and inside sits a statue dedicated to Jose Marti who lived in Tampa during his time in exile.

77. Al Lopez Park

4810 N Himes Ave, Tampa, FL 33614

Spanning around 130 acres, Al Lopez Park features walking trails, a freshwater pond, a community center, and athletic areas where families can partake in sports, work out, or just get some good old-fashioned exercise in the fresh air. The 15-foot-wide park trail has overhead lighting to keep the park feeling safe, secure, and family friendly. Picnic shelters and grills make it easy to spend the whole day at the park with a cookout lunch or dinner.

78. Sundays @ Morean Arts Center 

719 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

 

 

Come create on Sundays @ The Morean is a FREE family drop-in Clay Play Session hosted by the Morean Center for Clay. Clay, tools, and working tables provided, please bring your imagination. This session is open to all families with children.

(not recommended for children under 3 years old)

Seats are limited! Please only book a one-hour session per family to allow others to share in the fun!

79. Family Day Out at Tampa Museum of Art

120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602

 

Family Day returns to the Tampa Museum of Art!

Families of all ages, shapes, and sizes are welcome to join us for a day of art, music, and fun! We have planned art-making inspired by our current exhibitions, gallery activities for the whole family, a holiday recipe swap, and more!

Admission is free on scheduled Family Days Out. Please check the event schedule to find the next Family Day at Tampa Museum of Art! 

 

80. Vinoy Park

701 Bayshore Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

If you’re looking for scenic views of the St. Petersburg area, look no further than Vinoy Park. With some of the most beautiful scenery in the region, the park is a paradise for walking and biking families looking to enjoy a bit of fresh air. The park, while excellent for casual everyday enjoyment, is also an excellent place to catch a show, festival, concert, or sporting event as they’re held frequently within the park perimeters. Trails go along the riverfront and are perfect for catching a fresh St. Petersburg breeze.

81. Eureka Springs Conservation Park 

6400 Eureka Springs Rd, Tampa, FL 33610

Eureka Springs Conservation Park offers a truly unique experience as the only botanical gardens in the local parks system. Over 30 acres of gardens and natural beauty, guests enjoy touring the gardens via walking trails and scenic boardwalks.

82. Veterans Memorial Park & Museum 

3602 Highway 301 North, Tampa, FL 33619
 

The Hillsborough County Veterans Memorial Park and Rear Admiral Leroy Collins, Jr, Veterans Museum was established to provide a centralized location to which all citizens and visitors could memorialize and honor the Veterans of all eras. 

The park also serves as a grounds for regional ceremonies on Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Patriot Day; along with a variety of organized events. It has a reputation as a well-designed location for reading, reflection, meditation, picnicking, gathering as a family, or walking/jogging it’s many paths, and has fitness stations along the trail of the Bypass Canal.

The park’s  war memorials currently include:

  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • Korea
  • Vietnam
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Spanish American
  • Fallen Heroes
  • Committed Forces

83. Moccasin Lake Nature Park 

 2750 Park Trail Ln, Clearwater, FL 33759

Moccasin Lake is a 51-acre nature preserve with trails and boardwalks under a canopy of mature oaks and across ponds and creeks, with an array of wildlife including gopher turtles, raccoons, and many birds. It is home to several injured birds of prey. The park offers classes, programs, camps and meeting/reception rentals with both indoor and outdoor meeting space. 

Open Tuesday-Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Free admission! 

84. Zephyr Park 

5039 4th St, Zephyrhills, 33542, FL

 

The interactive Waterplay Sprayground at Zephyr Park in Zephyrhills packs in a great punch. Water cannons and dumping buckets will keep the kids cool and entertained.

 

The rest of the park is great for the family to spend some time enjoying as well. There are tennis courts, l courts.

With fun playground equipment, fishing areas, picnic pavilions and grills, as well as exercise areas, it’s certainly a park where you can spend several hours enjoying. 

There is a nice walking loop that many residents like to use. 

85. Dade City Heritage & Cultural Museum

Photo Credit: Dade City Heritage Museum

14206 Hwy 98 BypassDade CityFL. 33525

 

Step back into history and learn about the former railroad town of Dade City. The train depot houses the museum and it’s OPEN to the public Saturday  1 to 4 p.m. Donations are accepted.

Check on their Facebook page for up-to-date event schedules.

86. The Tarpon Springs Historic Train Depot

160 East Tarpon Avenue, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Photo Credit: Tarpon Springs Train Museum

 

Did you know the Tarpon Springs Historic Train Depot has been around for over 100 years.? While it is no longer a train station, it now serves as a museum operated by the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society, Inc. to preserve the history and artifacts of the area. 

They welcome you to stop in to see all of the historical exhibits and enjoy a guided tour or browse on your own.  The kids can also get in on the fun by taking a History Hunt. 

There is no entrance fee, but donations are always appreciated!  The museum is open Wednesday-Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

87. Madeira Beach

Madeira Beach is absolutely beautiful and a fun place to visit. There is so much to do in the area at John’s Pass Village for families. You may want to check out Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center where kids can feed alligators safely. 

The white sandy beach is usually not very crowded. Convenient parking lot located near beach. 

 

Free Kids Admission

88. Visit the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum 

3301 Gateway Centre Blvd, Pinellas Park, FL 33782

If you have a car enthusiast in the family, make a pit stop at the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum in Pinellas Park. Your family is going to love seeing these vintage cars under one roof.

Admission is FREE for children 12 and under and it’s only $8 for those 13 and up. What a great deal for a unique family outing. 

 

 

Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Automobile Museum[/caption]

89. Dunedin History Museum

349 Main Street, Dunedin, FL 34698

Local Florida history comes alive at the Dunedin History Museum. With over 2,000 artifacts, 2,500 photographs, and a library of over 200 volumes, guests are invited to step back in time and fall in love with the stories and charm of Dunedin.

Admission: Children under 12 are admitted for free.  The fee for adults is super affordable. 

Photo Credit: Dunedin History Museum Facebook Page[/caption

90. Visit The Showmen’s Museum

 6938 Riverview Drive, Riverview, FL 33578

Photo Credit: Showmen Museum, Riverview, FL

If your family loved watching The Greatest Showmen, you’ll get a taste of the circus magic at this one-of-a kind museum.

Kids 10 and under are admitted to the museum for free. Visit their website to learn about their admission fee for adults. 

Over 54,00 Square Feet of Fun, Memories, and Enjoyment!

Open every Saturday and Sunday 12- 5 pm

Admission: Adults $12.00

A museum that is uniquely different from any other museum in all the world.  As the name suggests, our beautiful new building houses amazing artifacts, countless photographs spanning over a century of traveling shows in America and eclectic memorabilia from the colorful carnival and circus midways of the past. Simply put, there is nothing like the Showmen’s Museum, showcased under one roof.

Seasonal Freebies

91. Free Entrance to Florida National Parks

The National Parks will always be a family destination and an American way of getting outdoors and enjoying nature. The beautiful U.S.A. has about 405 national parks spread from north to south and east to west.

Photo Credit: Nps.gov, CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS NATIONAL MONUMENT

Only 124 of these national parks charge an entrance fee. For those who do charge an entrance free, the U.S. National Park Service is providing free entrance on select dates yearly. You’ll find National Parks around the Tampa Bay Area. 

Make sure to stop by St. Augustine and visit the Castillo De San Marcos National Monument.  

These are the usual dates of free entrance days to national parks. 

92. Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

Photo Credit: Henry B. Plant Museum

It’s an annual event, so save the date! Nationwide Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live event occurs a day in September, where Museums across the U.S, offer free admission.

If you’re not available this day, make sure to check out the daily ways you can get free admission to local museums.

Museums affiliated with the Smithsonian will offer free admission for two with a Museum Day Live free ticket that you can sign up for at  smithsonianmag.com/museumday.

How it works: Museum Day is a one-day event in which participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Participants are allowed to download one ticket per email address. The ticket provides free general admission on a specific Saturday in September, for two people.

Past Smithsonian Day Live Participating Museums:

Tampa, FL:

  • Cracker Country
  • Henry B. Plant Museum
  • Tampa Bay History Center
  • Tampa Museum of Art

Visit our Smithsonian LIVE museum day post for the most updated date and participating museums. 

93. Busch Gardens Preschool Card- Free Admission for 5 & Under

Usually debuts February-March 

Usually, around February, Busch Gardens offer their Preschool Card for a limited time, kids 5 and younger at time of redemption can enjoy FREE admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island through the current year with the Preschool Card. What a great time to be a kid! This offer applies to Florida residents only.

How do you redeem your Preschool Card? After registering online, stop by and visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Adventure Island ticket window with the following: Your registration confirmation, your child’s birth certificate or travel passport, and your Florida resident ID/Drivers License.

Please note, this deal does not include free parking, separately ticketed events or other discounts

Register for your free Preschool Card by clicking here.

94. Free Fishing Days  

Fishing is an outdoor attraction, right? Spend a fun weekend with the family fishing in Florida water for license free-freshwater fishing days and license-free saltwater fishing occurs.

License-free freshwater days

  • First consecutive Saturday and Sunday in April
  • Second consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June

License-free saltwater days

  • First consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June
  • First Saturday in September
  • Saturday following Thanksgiving

Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comission for details.

95. Hop on the Florida Railroad Museum 

12210 83rd St E, Parrish, FL 34219

Seasonal Freebie – June & July

If you love summer, then you’ll enjoy the many free & cheap things to do in and around the Tampa Bay Area. During the summer months in Parrish, FL  kids can ride free all summer at the Florida Railroad Museum.

Children 3-11 years old can enjoy a trip on the museums regular weekend excursions completely FREE with an adult ticket!

Make sure to call ahead to confirm before purchasing tickets. 

 

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99. Sign Up For Vacation Bible Schools 

Seasonal- June & July

VBS Background for Vacation Bible School

Looking for some spiritual fun? During the summer months, local churches host Vacation Bible Schools for a week-long fun and faith-filled experience for children.

You’ll find many VBS programs are free or they charge a nominal fee for families to help cover expenses. 

The Tampa Bay Area VBS guide is updated every summer. Check out the latest Vacation Bible School Guide. 

100. Military Families: Blue Star Museums

Many Tampa Bay museums participate in the Blue Star Museum program for military families.

This program offers free admission for military members and their families at select museums from Armed Forces Day and ends on Labor Day of every year.

101. Bass Pro Shops Tampa 

10501 Palm River Rd, Tampa, FL 33619

Free events throughout the year  

 

Bass Pro Shops is known to have free events like free fishing at their nearby pond, free crafts and pictures. 

 

Ever year Bass Pro Shops hosts Santa’s Wonderland
Starting in mid-November each year, for a fun and magical place for your family to enjoy free pictures, crafts, fun and games. Schools or groups can contact Cheryl at cakehrmeyer@basspro.com to plan a visit.
 

Don’t forget to stop by their 11,000-gallon freshwater aquarium to see a variety of sea life. The aquarium is located right in the middle of the store.   

 
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