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A To Z Guide To Family-Friendly Fun Things to Do In & Around Tampa Bay

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Our Ultimate A To Z Guide To Family-Friendly Fun In Tampa Bay

Tampa is one of the most family-friendly cities in the US. There is no shortage of fun family activities. If you’re looking for the best family fun in the Tampa Bay area, you’ve come to the right place! We have collected all of our family’s favorite spots into this helpful A to Z guide. Some locations do go pass the Tampa Bay Area, but we just couldn’t help ourselves. Definitely worth the trip. 

Whether you want to go to one of Tampa’s famous amusement parks, explore the stunning Florida nature, or learn something new at a museum, we’ve got you covered! Find your next family outing now! 

 

1. AdventHealth Center Ice

Your family doesn’t have to head North to enjoy some cool winter fun. AdventHealth Center Ice Arena is the largest ice skating rink and facility in the Southwest US. With an Olympic-sized ice rink, this chill spot attracts figure skaters, hockey players, and speed skaters alike. Not a pro? Don’t worry; the rink also offers beginners’ classes and free skate sessions for recreational ice skaters to tear up the rink. 

AdventHealth Center Ice is also the perfect place to host a birthday party. Birthday packages include refreshments, skate rentals, and private rink time. You can also have a special guest appearance from IC the Yeti at your party.

 

 

2. Adventure Island

Adventure Island is our family’s favorite place to cool down during the summer. Full of water slides, water rides, and watery attractions, you’ll easily beat the Florida heat. The best part about hitting Adventure Island is that it is less packed than some of the more popular amusement parks. It’s the perfect place for adults to unwind while kids release their energy.

Our kids love Paradise Lagoon and the Calypso Coaster, we love to hit Mango Joe’s for delicious BBQ and frozen drinks. If you have little kids, make sure to check out the newest feature, Shaka-Laka Shores, a fun, interactive splash pad.

 

 

3. Anna Maria Island

Want to feel like you took a tropical vacation without the jet lag? Anna Maria Island is a gorgeous beachy spot for a short family getaway. Just a little over an hour’s drive outside of Tampa, this stunning island contains seven miles of pristine white sand beaches overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. There are five different islands to explore, including:

There are also adorable boutiques, restaurants serving up the local catch, and tons of outdoor activities. If you’re looking for a sweet treat, stop by Anna Maria Island Creamery and Bakery for gelato and truffles.

 

 

4. American Victory Ship

Imagine being on the deck of a WWII battleship. The American Victory Ship brings this history to life as one of the only four operational WWII ships in the country. History buffs will love exploring this historic ship. If you’re a history lover, make sure to sign up for a guided tour. The tour takes you through the detailed history of all the fascinating exhibits and artifacts. 

Comfy, flat shoes are a must because you’ll be climbing multiple flights. Always bring sunscreen because you will spend a lot of time above the deck. 

 

5. Armature Works

Armature Works is a waterfront, historic mixed-use building that has become a tourist and local spot for all things food, events and wellness activities. You’ll find a wide range of eatery spots with indoor and outdoor dining for the family. You’ll find they host tons of community and family centered events. Take a stroll outside, have th kids play at the nearby Water Works Park and enjoy the beautiful water views.

 

 

6. B&B Theatres Wesley Chapel

Ready for a family movie night? The B&B Theaters Wesley Chapel, also known as the Grove 16, has something for everyone. It’s the ideal theater to check out the newest feature films. If your family prefers older films, it’s also the perfect theater with their Retro Nights. B&B Theaters Wesley Chapel also has a tasty restaurant, a bowling alley, and an arcade right on sight. After the film, you can enjoy a nice meal and get some energy out with a little active fun.

B&B Theaters also offer sensory-friendly experiences. They have backpacks to help make all movies accessible for every child. They also have sensory-friendly films and showtimes

 

 

7. Beaches

One of the best parts about living in Florida is the gorgeous beaches. So, what better way to spend a family outing in Tampa than hitting the beach? Here are our favorites:

We love each of these beaches because they are perfect for families. Pack plenty of water and sun protection, no matter which beach you hit.

 

 

 

8. Bok Tower Gardens

Spanning 50 acres, Bok Tower’s lush gardens have so much for kids to explore. From the 205-foot-tall Singing Tower, they can see all the different birds, butterflies, and reptiles that live in the sanctuary. We always hit Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden to explore the tunnels, fair houses, and spider climb. 

Before we tour the garden, we always hit the Blue Palmetto Cafe. They have a full kid’s menu with plenty of options for picky eaters, while the adult menu has loads of fresh sandwiches and salads. We take our food to go though because there are so many gorgeous places to enjoy a picnic. Make sure to bring a picnic blanket and some extra napkins. 

 

 

9. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Known around the world for thrilling rides and exciting animal experiences, Busch Gardens is one of the best theme parks in Tampa. My kids love riding the roller coasters over and over again. Their favorites are Cheetah Hunt and Montu. We always make sure to get a Fastpass to help skip the lines.

Our kids also love petting giraffes at the Serengeti Plain. If you plan on visiting the giraffes or doing any other animal encounters, get there early to avoid the crowds. Also, download the app to navigate the park. It saves our family a ton of time! 

 

 

10. Celebration Station

If you want to have some good old-fashioned arcade fun, you definitely want to visit Celebration Station. The arcade is loaded with tons of fun games with great prizes. There are also go-karts, bumper boats, and mini golf. Celebration Station has it all! You can easily spend a whole day here because plenty of refreshments are available.

Try going during the week to avoid the crowds and to take advantage of some of the best deals. Also, before heading out, always check the website for combo packages. 

 

11. Citrus Attraction at Boyett’s Grove

When touring roadside America with your family, you must take advantage of a stop at Boyett’s Grove. Boyett’s is a funky, family-friendly roadside stop in Spring Lake that features fun, family attractions. First and foremost, it is a citrus farm where kids can learn about Florida’s agriculture. It’s also a petting zoo and dinosaur cave. 

Our kids especially love visiting the llama statue when we stop by for seasonal produce. The best time of year for the orange harvest season is between October and June. However, Boyett’s Grove offers fun year-round. 

 

 

12. Clearwater Marine Aquarium

We love activities that teach children important lessons through fun. That’s what is offered at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The aquarium provides up close and personal animal experiences with marine life. Through these interactive experiences, children learn about marine conversational efforts and how to protect the Florida coast. 

Book in advance as tickers for entry, experiences, and shows go very quickly. Our kids look at the behind-the-scenes tour, where they learn from real-life marine scientists about all these fantastic animals. 

 

 

13. Crayola Experience Orlando

Have you ever wondered how crayons are made? How many different colors of crayons are there? At the Crayola Experience in Orlando, you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about crayons. You can also name your own crayon, turn your family into a coloring page, and try out the latest coloring technology. 

Our kids love crafting in the activity studio and coloring at the colossal caddy. You definitely want to get there early to avoid the lines. Also, bring an extra tote bag to bring home all the kid’s artwork. 

 

 

 

14. Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise

Ahoy, swashbucklers, pirates, and marauders! Have you ever dreamed about what it would be like to batten down the hatches on board a real pirate ship? Captain Memo and his scallywag crew may not be real pirates, but they hunt for pirate treasure aboard a realistic pirate ship. Your kids will be a pirate for the day as they sail around Clearwater Bay. 

If you truly want to get into the spirit, guests are encouraged to dress up. So put on your eye patch and peg leg and bring a camera for all the pictures! Also, if anyone in your family is prone to seasickness, take some precautions for the voyage. 

 

 

15. Crystal River Tour

Have a close encounter with a manatee in their natural habitat. In the stunning natural wonder of the Crystal River, you can explore the river on a kayak or SUP. You can swim closely with these gentle giants in the serene, crystal-clear water of the river. Visit between late November and mid-March during manatee season for the best chance to meet a sea cow. 

Make sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, and sun protection. The Crystal River tour takes about three hours. If you win one, I also recommend bringing a waterproof camera to capture these memories.

 

 

16. Cypress Breeze Farm

If you have a horse lover in your family like we do, then Cypress Breeze Farm is a must. Cypress Breeze Farm offers horseback trail riding adventures for all riding levels. You’ll join a guided tour as you ride on smooth trails through picturesque landscapes. 

When picking a trail, make sure to ride at the level of the least experienced rider in your group. If you need help determining the appropriate trail level, the friendly staff can help. Also, wear proper attire for horse riding, like closed-toe shoes and long pants. 

 

 

17. Dalí Museum

Did you know the surrealist Salvator Dalí once made a cartoon with Disney? We learned that and so much more at the Dali Museum. Containing the most extensive collection of Salvador Dalí’s works outside Europe, you and your kids will engage with interactive surrealist displays. Our favorite part was definitely the sculpture garden. 

Check the event calendar at the Dalí Museum before you book your trip. They are always hosting family-friendly art activities. Also, if you want to avoid the busy crowds, visit on a weekday morning. You’ll have the place mostly to yourself!

 

 

18. Dinosaur World

Jurassic Park may not be real, but you can still walk with the dinosaurs at Dinosaur World. Combining both real dinosaur fossils with realistic animatronics, your kids will learn about and meet their favorite dinosaurs. You’ll see real dinosaur bones and get a chance to dig up your own at a real-life fossil dig. Fossils not your things? There’s also a gemstone dig. So you and your kids can become archeologists for the day.

There is a lot of walking at Dinosaur Park, so I always make sure my kids wear comfy shoes, and we bring the stroller for the little one. 

 

 

19. Empower Zip Lines

Take a bird’s eye view of the Everglades at Empower Zip Lines. Zip lining is the coolest way to experience the glades. We had never been ziplining before going to Empower, but luckily, the instructors worked with each of us one-on-one until we felt comfortable and confident. We also loved testing our skills on the aerial obstacle course. Next time we go back, we want to try night zip-lining. 

Book in advance because this popular spot books up pretty fast. Also, make sure everyone is dressed in appropriate, comfortable clothing like long pants and closed-toe shoes.

 

 

20. Elev8 Fun Tampa

Want to spend the day at an arcade? Elev8 Fun Tampa is a perfect spot. They have all your favorite classic arcade games, as well as the modern hits your kids will love. Elev8 Fun also offers laser tag, mini golf, and virtual reality experiences. We love to go here during the week to avoid the crowds.

Make sure to check out the combo packs. You can save big by paying for multiple activities at once.

 

21. Epperson Lagoon

Epperson Lagoons is a different kind of waterpark than we’ve been to before. Rather than the classic waterslides, they have an inflatable water course. After you complete the obstacle course, you can relax on the shore, swim in the crystal clear waters, or go paddleboarding. We recommend renting a cabana if you want to make your trip extra special. Cabanas help keep everyone out of the sun and are a great place to unwind while you watch the kiddos.

At Epperson Lake, no outside food, beverages, or coolers are allowed. However, they do allow empty water bottles and offer a restaurant and swim-up bar for refreshments. 

 

 

 

22. Fairgrounds St. Pete

Don’t let the name fool you. The Fairgrounds St. Pete is an immersive art experience your family will love. Featuring vibrant interactive displays, you and your family can engage with hands-on art. Before making your plans, definitely check the events calendar. They offer entertaining educational workshops and cultural events that kids love.

Plan to stay at least an hour. There is a lot of walking, so you will want to ensure everyone has comfy shoes. 

 

23. Florida Aquarium

Rated as one of the top aquariums in the country, the Florida Aquarium can’t be missed. Featuring more than 7,000 aquatic plants and animals, your kids will learn all about aquatic life from Florida and around the globe. Our kids love seeing all the amazing marine animals, especially in the shark tunnel. They also love the coral reef exhibit, the splash pad, and the touch pool, where they can touch real stingrays and starfish.

Check out the educational shows and tours when booking your tickets to have an extra memorable experience. Also, the cafeteria gets packed during lunch. So plan to eat early or later.

 

 

24. Fort DeSoto Park

One of the best parts about living in the Tampa Bay area is all the stunning nature. One of the best places to experience nature is at Fort DeSoto Park. Fort DeSoto is a free National Memorial located on a beach nature park featuring stunning trails and a historic fort. When you go, grab a De Soto Junior Ranger Activity Book so your kids can become official rangers, too.

We recommend renting kayaks to explore the water systems around the park. There are some beautiful mangroves that our kids loved exploring.

 

25. Florida Railroad Museum

All aboard! The train is leaving the station to history at the Florida Railroad Museum. Kids will also learn all about trains, engines, and rail systems. You’ll also be able to take a ride on a real-life train. Our favorite time to visit the Railroad Museum is around the holidays. They do seasonal-themed rides like the North Pole Express, Pumpkin Patch Express, and Willow Express.

Book your tickets early if you plan on attending a themed event because they sell out quickly. You can also book a train robbery experience, but that is only recommended for older kids because it can be a little scary. 

 

 

26. Fun Spot America

Fun Spot America is a local theme park with games, thrill rides, and attractions to fill your day but with fewer crowds than the other amusement parks. This amusement park is for you if you want to ride faster roller coasters without waiting in line. Our kids love the Hurricane and the go-karts. 

If you love over-the-top desserts while you’re there, try the unicorn taco sundae. It’s an ice cream sundae presented on a cotton candy taco shell. If sweets aren’t your favorite, you can get a Johnny Rockets burger or pizza from Sbarro instead.

 

27. Glazer Children’s Museum

The Glazer Children’s Museum was designed for kids to get hands-on with art. Featuring over 170+ interactive exhibits, your kids will learn while engaged in imaginative play. Check the calendar when making your plan. There are both permanent and rotating exhibits you will want to take advantage of! Don’t miss Big John! This triceratops is a massive hit with our kids. 

The food options are limited at the museum, so plan meals and snacks. Also, this is very important: Make sure your kids wear clothes for interactive and potentially messy playtime. 

 

28. Great Explorations Museum

Another children’s museum our family loves is the Great Explorations Museum in St. Pete’s. They offer hands-on exhibits, creative play spaces, and tons of educational programs that support imaginative play. Our kid’s favorite is the life-sized replica of a T-Rex made out of recycled scrap.

Plan to spend more time than you think at Great Explorations. Also, make sure your kids wear clothes that can get messy and allow for lots of movement. They offer discounts to certain community members like veterans, teachers, and more. Check their website to see if you qualify when buying tickets.

 

 

29. Giraffe Ranch

Ever want to meet a giraffe in person? Giraffes are one of our kids’ favorite animals. So Giraffe Ranch is one of their favorite places to visit. Not only can you have up-close-and-personal experiences with giraffes, but you can also ride a camel or go on a safari. The park offers a lot of fun and educational ways to learn about wildlife.

The Giraffe Ranch is mostly outdoors, so bring plenty of sun protection. Also, if you plan on doing any of the animal experiences, you will need to book in advance due to limited availability. 

 

30. Gatorland

Situated on 110 acres, Gatorland is a theme park and alligator habitat in Orlando. They offer alligator shows, off-road rides, and zip lines. Our kids love the thrilling Gator Jumparoo Show, where alligators jump out of the water. They’ve recently added a new attraction called Croc Rock, a 32-ft tall rock climbing wall.

Gatorland is the ideal place to have an outdoor adventure and meet animals. So make sure to dress comfortably, have plenty of sun protection, and stay hydrated! Also, keep a copy of the schedule with you so you don’t miss any of the fun shows! 

 

31. Honeymoon Island State Park

Want to add to your seashell collection? There is no better spot than along the white sand beaches of Honeymoon Island State Park. Not only will you collect some of the most unique seashells, but you’ll also encounter unique wildlife like the gopher tortoise, osprey, and armadillos. Explore gorgeous nature trails, attend a kid’s educational program, or relax on the beach.

If you’re planning on exploring the trails, definitely bring bug spray and extra water. Also, bring a copy of the park map to know where to access all the park amenities like bathrooms, concessions, and the ranger station.

 

 

32. Heritage Village

Want to learn more about the history of Pinellas County? Explore 21 historical homes at this living museum. Featuring two galleries, your kids will learn a ton about local art and history. They also feature living spinning, weaving, and blacksmithing demonstrations. We highly recommend taking a guided tour. The tour guides are really knowledgeable and help bring history to life.

Definitely wear comfortable footwear because you will do a lot of walking. Also, check the event calendar when scheduling your visit. They offer concerts, festivals, and art programs all year.

 

 

33. Henry B. Plant Museum

Once a popular tourist destination, this Victorian-era hotel turned museum is a gorgeous place to explore. This National Historic Landmark offers events and exhibits the whole family will enjoy. We recommend taking the expert-guided tour to learn more about the period furnishings, architecture, and artifacts. If you don’t want to take a tour, there are also complementary audio guides that can be downloaded onto your smartphone. Henry B. Plant Museum is also a sensory-friendly museum.

If you’re a fan of the award-winning television show Upstairs/Downstairs, make sure to catch a live theatrical performance held once a week.

 

34. Hillsborough River State Park

Ready to have some outdoor fun? Head over to Hillsborough River State Park for hiking, canoeing, and fishing in pristine nature. Want to stay on land? Explore the winding hiking trails full of diverse flora and fauna past historical landmarks. Make sure to pack a lunch because there are tons of beautiful picnic areas to enjoy. If you really want to have some fun, they also offer glamping in air-conditioned safari tents. That’s my kind of camping!

Definitely bring plenty of sun protection, water, and snacks. Also, bring a bottle of bug spray and some binoculars if you are going to do the trails. 

 

35. iFly Indoor Skydiving Tampa

Enjoy the thrills of skydiving in safety. Our kids were so excited to “fly,” and they had so much fun defying gravity. The instructors were so helpful and worked with our kids one-on-one to make sure they were safe and had fun. We also had fun in the tube. I will say the only downside was everyone had so much fun that it was tough to leave.

Definitely wear comfortable clothing and go a few hours after everyone’s already eaten. Make sure to really listen to the instructors because they are highly knowledgeable and can show you how to do a flip.

 

36. In The Breeze Ranch Tampa

Visit a real working ranch and learn what it’s like to live on a farm. Not only will your kids get to meet a variety of animals, In The Breeze Ranch offers some of the most gorgeous horseback riding trails in the country. No matter your skill level, you’ll enjoy beautiful scenery while you wind through stunning natural trails. 

Make sure to wear suitable riding clothing like long pants and closed-toe shoes. Also, you will be out in the sun, so bring plenty of drinking water and sun protection for you and the kids.

 

 

37. John & Mable Ringling Museum

Who knew Circus history was so fascinating? As part of the Florida State University, the John & Mable Ringling (aka The Ringling Brothers) Museum hosts an impressive collection of both fine art and circus memorabilia. Plus, you will tour the Ringling’s historical mansion, Ca’ d’Zan. Make sure that your kids don’t miss the whimsical dwarf garden.

On Monday’s they offer free admission to the Ringling Museum.

The best time to visit is when they offer family-friendly events like stroller tours, homeschool days, and craft nights. Always check the calendar when planning your trip. There is also a lot of walking, so wear comfy shoes.

 

 

38. John’s Pass

If your family loves fishing as much as we do, add John’s Pass to your list. Book a deep sea charter, or along the piers; fishers of all levels will enjoy John’s Pass. There’s also amazing shopping, dining, and events at John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk. We always grab food at Pirate’s Pub and Grub. Then, afterward, we always get a treat and check out the growing Pez dispenser collection at the Candy Kitchen.

Parking can be a bit tough. To avoid the crowds, arrive earlier in the morning. Also, whether you are fishing or not, this is a great place to book a boat tour.

 

39. Keel & Curley Winery at Keel Farms

Keel Farms is the perfect place for kids and adults to have fun! For kids, they have tractors, a corn maze, and a petting zoo. For adults, Keel Farms has a vineyard, winery, and gourmet food. We love going here in the Fall around Halloween for spooky fun. It’s also a wonderful place to pick up some local sundries and beverages.

We highly recommend checking out the seasonal activities like Harvest Festival. Also, make sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water for when you’re exploring outdoors.

 

40. Laser Ops Extreme Gaming Arcade

Ready for high-energy gaming? Laser Ops is a high-tech facility with over 24,000 sq ft of action-packed fun. Your kids can play more than laser tag here. They can also play archery tag, virtual reality hyperdeck, and over 60 arcade games. They also have sports simulators for a truly immersive experience. 

Laser Ops is better for older kids and parents. I definitely recommend wearing comfortable attire. They also have food and refreshments on sight to help you refuel after a day of action.

 

41. Legoland

Legoland is so much more than just a Lego theme park. They have rides, a water park, and interactive character experiences. Our kids love going to LegoLand for the Peppa Pig Park. Take a ride on Peppa’s balloon ride and explore her treehouse. You can also play in the sand at Pirate Island. Our family loves Legoland and is heading back as soon as the new Pirate River Quest ride opens.

Legoland is an entire amusement park. So wear comfortable clothing, bring plenty of sun protection, and drink lots of water. Also, try to go on weekdays or outside of school holidays to avoid the crowds.

 

42. Lettuce Lake Park

Lettuce Lake Park is a stunning hardwood swamp forest full of hardwood hammocks and pine flatwoods. Our kids love it here because they always see animals! Keep your eye out for alligators, limpkins, and barred owls. There is also an observation tower and playground. If you plan on hiking, make sure to bring a map. The trails are especially windy.

This is one of the best places to see wildlife, so bring binoculars and a camera to capture any encounters. Also, bring plenty of sun protection and fresh water to drink.

 

 

43. Leu Gardens

Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical garden in the middle of Orlando. Featuring trails, old oak trees, and over 40 plant collections, this is a wonderful place for your children to explore nature. We love the scenic walking paths that take us through the gardens. The Historic Leu House is also fun to explore. This is the perfect place to go if you want to relax but still get some healthy exercise.

You’ll be out in the sun for most of the day. Always bring plenty of sun protection and drinking water. There is no cafe, so you will need to bring your own meals and snacks.

 

44. Museum Of Science And Industry (MOSI)

Featuring tons of interactive exhibits, kids will learn STEM concepts hands-on. However, MOSI is more than just a science education museum. There are also a lot of fun physical activities to help kids explore these concepts in action, like the Sky Trail Ropes Course. If you want to unwind, hit the IMAX dome and watch educational films. You can also enjoy live science demonstrations that explore concepts from engineering to space exploration. 

Plan on spending the day here. Schedule meal breaks, as exploring takes many hours. Also, when visiting MOSI, always make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. The museum is extensive and can take a toll on even the most energetic kids.

 

45. Manatee Viewing Center

Ever want to see manatees in their natural habitat? You’ll be able to observe them from the Manatee Viewing Center at Apollo Beach, which is a great place to stop and see wildlife. Keep in mind they are only open from November 1 – April 15, so plan accordingly. Beyond checking out manatees, your kids can explore a butterfly garden and other educational exhibits about Florida’s natural wildlife.

Arrive early for the best viewing position. Also, dress according to the weather because most of the activities are outdoors.

 

46. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has two campuses in Sarasota and Spanish Point. We highly recommend visiting both. They are both pretty large, so make sure to schedule plenty of time to explore. At Sarasota, our kids love to walk around the Butterfly Garden. At Spanish Point, they love the Archaic Shell Ring. No matter which campus you visit, you’ll find themed exhibits and educational programs for kids.

Make sure to check the event calendar when scheduling your visits. They host enjoyable events. Wear comfy shoes, bring sun protection, and drink plenty of water.

 

 

47. Nature Parks

Tampa has the most stunning natural surroundings. Enjoy this gorgeous nature by visiting a nature park. You can find all the information you need by visiting the Florida State Park website. Here are some of the nature parks to consider: 

 

48. Old McMicky’s Farm

Old McMickey had a farm, and there, your kids can learn all about what it’s like to be a farmer. At Old McMickey’s farm experience, they’ll tackle farm activities hands-on and meet some incredible farm animals. At this working farm designed to educate kids on farming, your kids will learn all about where their food comes from. Our kids loved all the arts and crafts activities. 

If you’ve never been a farmer, we definitely recommend taking a tour. We learned a lot about running a farm. You’ll be outside all day, so also wear sun protection and drink plenty of water. 

 

49. Presidents Hall of Fame

US history comes alive at the Presidents Hall of Fame in Claremont. This museum has everything from real-life replicas of US presidents to the gowns of the First Ladies to election memorabilia. There are tons of historic exhibits that will teach your kids all about the founding fathers and our current leaders. My personal favorite is the mini Mount Rushmore model. It’s a really accurate representation.

Wear comfortable shoes for the tour, and definitely bring a camera. There are loads of photography opportunities. 

 

 

 

50. Pinellas Heritage Village

Pinellas Heritage Village was designed to explore the history and culture of Pinellas County. The historic site features 21 historic homes and a living museum. There are two galleries that capture the art and culture of the region. You can also attend live spinning, weaving, and blacksmithing demonstrations throughout the day. Make sure to check the calendar for events before attending.

The historic village is outdoors. Bring comfortable shoes, sun protection, and plenty of water. 

 

51. Pass-A-Grille Beach

Ready to have a family beach day? One of our favorite sports is Pass-A-Grille Beach, located right on the Gulf. This stunning white sand beach features adorable boutiques, family-friendly restaurants, and, of course, tons of beach fun. Our favorite restaurant is definitely The Hurricane because of its rooftop sunset views, but we also love the nightly sunset bell ringing at Paradise Grille.

There’s a lot to do at Pass-A-Grille Beach, and it’s also one of the best places to check the sunset. Plan to spend the whole day here when you go.

 

52. Parkesdale Farm Market

Offering a wide range of fresh, locally-grown seasonal produce, the Parkesdale Farm Market is a great place to grab groceries. The ideal time to visit Parkesdale Farm Market is between November and March during the strawberry season. Our kids love the fresh strawberry shortcake, and we love the strawberry milkshakes. It’s also a great place to pick up plants for the garden.

If you plan on going, bring grocery bags and your appetite. Their strawberry desserts are world-famous!

 

53. Rainbow Springs

Rainbow Springs lives up to its name. Kids swear that mermaids live in this colorful paradise full of waterfalls. Whether or not you will find mermaids, this lush paradise is full of wildlife like otters, alligators, and turtles. The water is crystal clear, making it the perfect place to take a cool dip. We love to spend a lazy afternoon kayaking or paddleboarding. We also love having a picnic among the lush plant life. 

Make sure to arrive early for good parking. Bring all your water gear and plenty of sunscreen. If your family loves to camp, this is a wonderful spot. Fishing is available, but not at the Headsprings day-use area. That area is a protected aquatic preserve.

 

54. River Safaris

Your Florida experience is not complete without an airboat ride. River Safaris is the perfect tour guide to help you enjoy this bucket list experience. Airboat tour guides will take you through the Everglades, where you will explore diverse fauna and flora. We highly recommend checking out the scalloping tours. Available from July 1- September 21, you’ll dig up tasty scallops from corals. When we went, we saw seahorses, starfish, and pufferfish! 

River Safaris is a top-rated company because of its professionalism. They book up quickly, so book in advance. No matter what experience you have, always wear plenty of sunscreen.

 

55. Raprager Family Farms

Raprager Family Farms is an animal-lover paradise. Our kids had so many animal interactions, from the petting zoo to Slash and Blue, the host dogs, to playing on the goat playground. Our little kids especially loved visiting the petting zoo. Make sure to plan more time than you think because there are so many fun things to do! You never know what animals you will meet.

Wear comfy clothing that you don’t mind getting messy. Also, bring water and sun protection. Raprager Family Farms also hosts seasonal events. Definitely check out the calendar when planning your family’s trip.

 

56. Sarasota Jungle Gardens

At Sarasota Jungle Gardens, you can pet flamingos. What more do you need to know? If you’re not sold already, there are also animal shows, an entire petting zoo, and some of the most extraordinary reptiles you’ll ever see. There are tons of animal interaction options available. Make sure to book online before visiting.

Sarasota Jungle Garden is a large park. So make sure to wear comfy shoes and plan plenty of time to explore. Make sure to charge your phone because, with so many animal encounters, there are also plenty of photography opportunities to capture these memorable experiences.

 

57. Safari Wilderness Ranch

Neither a zoo nor a theme park, this wilderness ranch offers a true safari experience. You can experience unique safari tours, from an ATV tour to a camel safari tour to a kayak safari. This park offers tons of outdoor adventures for animal lovers. They have activities for kids of all ages, but older kids will get the most from the experience. 

Make sure your kids wear protective clothing and plenty of sunscreen. We also recommend adding the lemur experience. Our kids loved feeding these ring-tail lemurs, and they learned a lot about these curious animals.

 

58. Solomon’s Castle

Solomon’s Castle is a funky castle, interactive art experience, and roadside stand all in one. It’s hard to describe this attraction, but all you really need to know is that you can eat at a restaurant on a pirate ship. Solomon’s Castle is just a fun place to explore that offers a truly unique Florida experience. The staff is friendly, the art is wild, and our kids love it here.

If you go, give yourself more time to explore the Castle than you expect. There’s a lot of interactive art to explore. 

 

 

59. St. Pete Pier

St. Pete’s Pier is one of the newest pier attractions in the state. Beautifully designed and with a ton of great activities, events, and experiences, it’s definitely a place to check out. Our kids love the Glazer Family Playground for kids’ play structures and the Majeed Foundation Splash pad. We love to relax at Spa Beach and have a tasty meal at the Spa Beach Bistro. 

They host a lot of community events as well. You can find the list of events on their calendar. Definitely arrive early to avoid parking issues, and plan to spend the whole day exploring.

 

 

61. Sunwest Park

Sunwest Park is an inflatable challenging obstacle course on the water on a mile-long white sand beach and cooling spring-fed freshwater lake. This gorgeous natural beach park is the perfect backdrop to the hours of bouncing, jumping, and swimming your family will enjoy. You can also try wakeboarding or kayaking with the help of knowledgeable instructors.

Sunwest Park is full outdoors, so bring plenty of sunscreen and water. The park books up pretty quickly, so make reservations online before you go. 

 

62. Splash Harbour

Splash Harbour is the perfect waterpark for a hot day. Unlike some of the other local waterparks, there are fewer crowds but plenty of thrilling water rides. Our older kids love Explore Smugglers Rum and Pirates Plunge slides, while our younger kids will enjoy the Treasure Cove Splash Zone and Iguana Falls. You’ll love unwinding in the Great White Lazy River and Blue Lagoon Big Pool. 

Also, hit the mines before leaving. Your kids can find fossils, gemstones, and other treasures. Pack plenty of sun protection and grab food at Jimmy Guana’s.

 

63. Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens is a 100-year-old botanical paradise in St. Petersburg and is home to the oldest cultivated tropical plants in the United States. Sunken Gardens is a great place to explore when you want to spend some time in nature but don’t want to travel outside of the city. It’s also a wonderful place to take a relaxing stroll after exploring the Great Explorations Museum next door.

The park offers horticultural programs where kids can learn about gardening and plant care. Check the events on their website before planning your visit to the gardens.

 

 

64. Seaworld Orlando

Seaworld May be known for its Orcas, but this aquatic amusement park offers it all. There are thrilling rides, including record-breaking roller coasters. There are also amazing animal shows and encounters. Kids especially love Sesame Street Land, where they can meet all their favorites like Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Elmo. Like the other big Florida theme parks, SeaWorld cannot be done in one day. If you plan on going, plan to go multiple times to experience everything.

You definitely should also get the app. It really helps with planning to make sure you get all of the excitement. You can download it here on their website

 

65. Suncoast Primate Sanctuary

Located in Palm Harbor, Suncoast Primate Sanctuary is home to over 100 different animals, including primates and tropical birds. You’ll see over 70 unique species of primates, including chimpanzees, orangutans, and lemurs. On Saturdays, you can meet caregivers and educational animals. Make sure to call ahead to plan your visit. As a non-profit, they offer limited availability for visits and experiences. 

Make sure to pack a picnic to eat on site as there is no restaurant available. Also, wear comfy clothes and bring plenty of sun protection because you will be outside. 

 

 

66. Sand Key Park

Offering 95 acres of sprawling wilderness, this gorgeous white sand beach has miles of beautiful shore. Lifeguards are available at this popular park during peak season. If you visit during April and October, you will see sea turtles nesting. Our kids love coming here because the waves are perfect for beginner surfers and wakeboarding. We love the stunning views. The park also has playgrounds and boardwalks to explore.

Beyond the beach, there’s a beautiful salt marsh that is full of native wildlife. This is the perfect place for a family beach day, so pack beachwear, sun protection, and meals and snacks.

 

 

 

 

67. Tampa Riverwalk

You could spend weeks at the Tampa Riverwalk alone. Featuring 2.6 miles of restaurants, boutiques, museums, and parks along the Hillsborough River. When we go to the Riverwalk, our kids love to go to Empower Adventure Ziplines, The Florida Aquarium, and the Glazers Children’s Museum. We like to grab food from Cafe Waterslide, Fresh Bites, and Anchor and Brine. 

If you’re planning on going, make sure to have a plan for parking. The parking is limited, and the Riverwalk is very popular. This is a helpful map with all the parking areas to help you plan where to park when you visit. It also shows where all the main attractions are so you can find close parking.

 

 

68. Tarpon Springs

A charming spot located right on the Gulf Coast, settled by Greek sponge divers, Tarpon Springs is the sponge capital of the world. Featuring 51 miles of gorgeous waterfront and an adorable historic downtown, it’s a great place to fish, shop, and meet local artists. If you’re looking for family adventures, there’s also tons of sports, water parks, and outdoor adventures to do.

Plan to eat more than once! Tarpon Springs also features incredible restaurants. If you’re on a short trip, we recommend taking the food tour so you can try everything this foodie hub has to offer.

 

 

69. Top Golf

Top Golf is more like a video game than a golf game (though it can help improve your golf swing). Your family will play some of the world’s most famous golf courses on the Top Golf simulators. Plan to spend a couple hours here to play and to eat. Top Golf has a tasty menu for kids and adults. 

To go, you will need to book a bay on their website. When you get there, you and your family will check in and pick your game. They’ll take you to your booth, where you will play and order food.

 

70. Tampa Museum of Art

Featuring both ancient and contemporary art from around the world, the Tampa Museum of Art has an incredible collection of art to explore. Check out the event calendar for child-specific programs and events. They also offer free family days sometimes. If you have a budding Picasso in the family, sign them up for art classes. They have options for kids of all ages, including teens.

The Tampa Museum of Art is massive. So plan to wear comfy shoes for all the walking. While you are there, eat at the Sono Cafe. The fresh, healthy local dishes at Sono Cafe are created as part of the slow food movement. You’ll be sure to find something tasty.

 

 

71. Trapped From The Future Escape Rooms

Escape Rooms challenge kids to think logically to solve complex puzzles. We love them because they give us an opportunity to work together as a family. The newest adventures from Escape the Terrace, Trapped From The Future are so much fun. They are 80s and 90s themed, with tons of bright colors and period references. Our kids loved the puzzles and had fun playing with all the vintage accessories.

Definitely book your escape room ahead of time. They do offer last-minute 24-hour scheduling, but only if available. If the 80s and 90s aren’t your thing, you can also hit up Death to Disco, the 70s-themed escape room.

 

 

72. TreeHoppers Tampa

Part obstacle course, part tree house, Treehoppers Tampa is a fun zipline adventure through the trees. Children will challenge themselves on different aerial courses. There are experts on site to help with training at every step. Once you get a little bit of experience on the course, we highly recommend going back for the Cosmic Night Climbs. They are really fun.

Even though you’re mainly in the shade, TreeHoppers is outdoors. So make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and drink lots of water. Also, wear appropriate clothing like long pants and closed-down shoes. 

 

 

73. Urban Air Trampoline Park Tampa

Urban Air takes the trampoline park to the next level. Not only can your kids bounce several feet into the air from large trampolines, but they also have climbing walls, a leap of faith, and a sky rider. If that’s not enough, your kids can challenge themselves on the warrior course, ride go-karts or bumper cars, and have an adventure in virtual reality. 

They are only open in the afternoons during the week. Check the schedule before going. Also, note that to enter the park, you will have to sign a liability waiver, which is standard for most trampoline parks. You can grab food and drinks after at the Urban Cafe in the park.

 

74. Universal Orlando Resort

One of the most popular parks in Florida is Universal Orlando. We love Universal for the movie experiences and the rides. Our kids especially love Jurassic World, Harry Potter, and Mummy Rides. When you go, download the app and get the Universal Express pass. This will help you make reservations and avoid all the lines. 

Universal Orlando is a huge park, so plan to go for more than one day if you want to experience everything. A secret tip is that they offer free VIP backstage tours of the rides. It’s a really cool insider way to see the park. Learn more here.

 

 

75. Vertical Ventures in St. Petersburg

Vertical Ventures is one of the oldest indoor rock-climbing gyms in the area. Since 1996, they’ve offered challenging indoor climbing walls for climbers of all skill levels. Our favorite part was the friendly staff. The accommodating instructors showed our kids and us how to climb safely. My kids are great climbers because of their tips.

While your kids climb, you can take a yoga or fitness class. They offer a full range of classes that can help you stay in shape. If you love climbing gyms, we highly recommend getting a membership to take advantage of all the offerings. 

 

76. VR Galaxy Lounge

Are your kids gamers? Put them right in the action at VR Galaxy Lounge. VR Galaxy Lounge offers an immersive virtual reality experience for kids and parents. They have over 100 virtual experiences, including roller coasters, racing, and flying. They also have virtual escape rooms where your family can play. They also feature VR booths for single and multiplayer games for the whole family to play together.

If your kids love to play, check the website. They often host tournaments and other fun events for VR players. Make sure to plan meals, as there is no food on site.

 

 

77. Wild Florida

Located on Cypress Lake, Wild Florida offers airboat tours, a drive-through safari, and a walkable Gator Park. No matter what type of safari experience your kids want, you can have it here. You can also book an interactive animal experience with animal ambassadors. There is also gem mining, a bird aviary, and a petting zoo. Make sure to hit the playground and the restaurant/gift shop on your way out.

We love this place for little kids. Most of the experience is outdoors, so make sure to bring extra sun protection and plenty of water.

 

 

78. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

Want to meet real-life mermaids? At the enchanted springs of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, you can explore Florida’s nature and see real-life mermaids perform! There are a ton of fun water activities to do, like swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking. You’ll also definitely want to take a boat cruise and go down the waterslides!

Plan to spend the day here because there is a lot to do. If you want to see the mermaids perform, make sure to check the calendar for the mermaid show schedule when planning your trip.

 

 

79. Walt Disney World

There is no place more magical for families than Walt Disney World. Featuring four different theme parks and two waterparks, there is always something new to experience when you go. Our family loves Disney for the food, the character experiences and parades, and mostly the magic. If you are going with small kids, plan to spend most of your time at the Magic Kingdom. If you are going with older kids, they might enjoy Epcot more.

Make sure to download the app to plan your trip, get tickets, and make reservations for parks, rides, and restaurants. It makes life so much easier when planning.

 

80. Xtra Ice

Are you looking for a place to cool off from the Florida heat? Why not hit an ice rink? At Xtra Ice, your kids can learn to ice skate and play hockey. They offer lessons, skate rentals, and free skate times. It’s the best place to go to escape the heat! No matter your skill level, you’ll have fun cooling off at Xtra Ice.

Xtra Ice is a non-profit, so it closes at 6 pm. You can also go and watch hockey games with local teams if you’re not into skating.

 

81. Xtreme Fun Center Largo

We would argue that Xtreme Fun Center has the best laser tag in the area. The arena is so much fun and great for kids of all ages. After laser tag, you can also hit the arcade or hit some balls in the batting cages. We especially love this place for birthday parties. The kids had a blast, and the staff was super friendly.

Before going, always check the website for discounts and book online. They offer regular specials that can save you a lot of money, especially if you book a group.

 

82. Ybor City Walking Trail

Take the family on a self-guided tour of Ybor City, a destination for artists and Cuban cigar makers. To get the most out of the tour, download the app for a personal recorded tour guide to take you along from one stop to the next. This historic area was founded in 1885 and features historic homes, museums, art galleries, and boutiques. Once known as “Cigar City,” Ybor City has gorgeous architecture and lots of fun activities.

When we go, we eat at Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que. This bright local spot has an incredible BBQ and is exceptionally kid-friendly. We also loved Carmine’s for authentic Cuban dishes.

 

 

83. ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Voted one of the top ten best zoos in the United States, ZooTampa is an incredible zoo to visit with kids. You’ll learn a ton about conservation while exploring all the fascinating exhibits across these 63 acres. Featuring 1300 different animals, your kids will see all of their favorites. Our kids love the Asian Gardens that have rhinoceros, tigers, and Komodo dragons.

When planning your trip, always check the event calendar. ZooTampa always hosts extraordinary events for kids, like Creatures of the Night or Bugtopia. Don’t forget to stop at the Manatee Critical Care Center, the only non-profit hospital dedicated to manatees. 

 

84. Zip Lines

Ziplines are such a fun way to spend a family day out. In the Tampa area, there are zip lines of every type. You can find zip lines over the swamp, over the ocean, and even indoors! Here are our favorite zip lines to check out: 

No matter which one your family chooses, always wear appropriate clothing like longer pants and closed-toe shoes when you zip line.

85. Zubrick Magic Theater

Experience magic tricks like never before at the Zubrick Magic Theater, Tampa’s only magical theater. Illusionists Chris & Ryan Zubrick offer a family-friendly magic show that will have your kids laughing as much as wondering how they did that. The show is about an hour and ten minutes, so give your family about an hour and a half. You’ll have so much fun at this multiple award-winning kid’s show.

You can find the schedule and tickets on their website. After the show, make sure to stop by the magic shop and get a few magical tricks to take home. 

No matter what type of adventure you go on with your family, you’ll have a fantastic time in Tampa. For more family guides, make sure to sign up for our newsletter. We not only let you know about upcoming family events, but we also offer tons of discounts and deals so you and your family can do more for less. Sign up here now!



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