40 Places to See in Florida Before Your Kids Grow Up

You’d be hard pressed to find a state in the U.S. that’s better to visit with kids. From theme parks to museums to natural parks to beaches, Florida has so many settings that are ideal for learning, memory making, and playing. A trip to Florida with your children will be a vacation that you’ll be talking about for years to come.

In this guide, we’ll show you the 40 best places to see before your kids grow up that range from big-name theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios to smaller, off-the-beaten-path natural reserves and manatee sanctuaries. You could easily spend a few weeks in Florida with your family without seeing everything that there is to see – and still not hear the words “I’m bored” leave from your little explorer’s mouth. Here’s 40 amazing things to do in Florida with your kids:

1. Walt Disney World

 

Source: Instagram

Walt Disney World

Orlando

Why you’ve got to go: Walt Disney World is arguably the world’s best theme park for kids that sparks imagination and innovation. Parents will also love paying tribute to nostalgic Disney films. The park is over 27,000 acres and has four inside theme parks, two water parks, a camping resort, and many entertainment venues.

What to do: Throw your hands in the air on the many rides, collect your favorite Disney characters’ autographs, watch live performances, dine at themed restaurants, stay at one of the hotels, and more. You can easily spend a week exploring all that the park has to offer.

Get there when kids are: 3 to 18 years old

More info: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/

Interesting read: Being a Disney World Cast Member

2. Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Studios Florida

Source: flickr

Universal Studios Florida

Orlando

Why you’ve got to go: Children will love getting an exclusive look to how their favorite movies and shows are made. The silver screen will come alive in settings like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, the Dr. Seuss themed carousel, and E.T. Adventure. There are shows, rides, restaurants, and working movie studios to visit in this gargantuan theme park.

What to do: Go on the many themed rides and watch stunt shows. Explore Hosmeade, the city from Harry Potter that is home to Hogwarts and venues where you can sip on Butterbeer and snack on treats from Honeydukes. There is also a water park opening this summer for kids to enjoy on extra-hot days.

Get there when kids are: 5 to 18 years old

More info: https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/index.html

Check out the recommended hotels in Florida (FL)

3. Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

Titusville

Why you’ve got to go: Kids will love learning about mankind’s journey into space from the dawn of exploration to modern expeditions taking place today. There is no better place to stoke a child’s interest in outer space and rocket building.

What to do: Hop in a space shuttle simulator where you can feel what it’s like to be inside Atlantis, NASA’s icon. Watch a shuttle launch, get a behind-the-scenes look at life as an astronaut, shop for souvenirs, learn about local legends, and more.

Get there when kids are: 6 to 18 years old

More info: https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/

4. LEGOLAND

Legoland Florida

Source: Flickr

Legoland Florida

Orlando

Why you’ve got to go: This theme park combines hands-on fun with rides of all types. Fun themed sections like Ninjango, Star Wars, and Merlin are a hit with parents and kids alike. Since many statues and attractions are created entirely by Legos, it’s also a feast for the imagination.

What to do: Go on fun rides like the Safari Trek, Technicycle, The Dragon, and the DUPLO Train. Kids can learn how to drive (and even get a miniature license) at the Ford Driving school, Boating School, and Ford Jr. Driving School. Build all types of creations, dine out at one of the many restaurants, and venture over to the waterpark if the sun is shining.

Get there when kids are: From 4 to 10 years old

More info: https://www.legoland.com/florida/

5. Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park

Source: flickr

Biscayne National Park

Miami area

Why you’ve got to go: This national park protects emerald colored bushland and vibrant coral reefs – and is just a stone’s throw away from downtown Miami. Children can explore and be active in an environment that gets them one with their natural surroundings. No matter what type of outdoor adventure you’re into, you’ll likely have the perfect day out at Biscayne National Park.

What to do: Kayak, canoe, standup paddle, through the mangroves at the park. Go on a guided boat tour, snorkel or scuba over coral reef, and walk through the variety of trails within the park. During winter, kids can attend an overnight wildlife camp and join the Family Fun Fest program once spring rolls around.

Get there when kids are: 4 to 18 years old

More info: https://www.nps.gov/bisc/index.htm

6. Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

Source: nationalparks

Everglades National Park

Everglades

Why you’ve got to go: Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the country. There are hundreds of animal species – many of them rare or endangered – and there is so much to discover. Children will love the surreal natural landscape and the adventurous feeling that comes every time you step into the Everglades.

What to do: Paddle through a section of the 99-mile wilderness waterway, watch for rare creatures like manatees and Florida panthers, and walk along the Anhinga Trail. You’ll also love the view from Shark Valley’s observation tower and exploring the Nike Hercules missile base. Families who love the outdoors can also camp, hike, and bike all throughout the park.

Get there when kids are: 4 to 18 years old

More info: https://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm

7. Naval Aviation Museum

Naval Aviation Museum

Source: utrip

Naval Aviation Museum

Pensacola

Why you’ve got to go: The Naval Aviation Museum is the largest naval aviation museum in the world and best of all, it’s free! Kids will love getting a behind-the-scenes view and hands-on experience inside the aircrafts – of which there are over 150 to see.

What to do: Tour the inside of many aircrafts, learn about interesting naval history, and watch the Blue Angels perform aerial tricks in the sky. There is also a flight simulator so that kids can feel what it’s really like to be a naval pilot and a wide-screen theatre featuring aviation films.

Get there when kids are: 5 to 18 years old

More info: http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/

8. Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

Source: flickr

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

Key West

Why you’ve got to go: The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is a place where you can see hundreds of butterflies in a natural habitat. There are also blooming flowers and exotic birds (including flamingos) calling the conservatory home.

What to do: The Learning Center is where children can watch butterflies and moths go through metamorphosis. They will also learn about how these insects eat, migrate, and breed. Walk through The Wings of Imagination art gallery, an exhibition with artwork by Sam Trophia. It’s a relaxing venue where children will learn nature’s technicolor wildlife.

Get there when kids are: 2 to 18 years old

More info: http://www.keywestbutterfly.com/

9. St. Augustine Alligator Farm

Crocodile Crossing

Source: alligatorfarm

Crocodile Crossing

St. Augustine

Why you’ve got to go: According to the site, this alligator farm is the “only place in the world where you can see every live species of crocodilian.” Children can learn all about different crocodiles, alligators, reptiles, fossils, and even birds. It’s a place with the perfect amount of coolness, risk, and education.

What to do: Watch the alligators and crocodile swim and eat in the alligator swamp, watch a wildlife show, go on an archaeological dig for fossils, and learn about conservation. Kids can even hold a baby alligator! There are also attractions devoted to lemurs, birds, and other exotic creatures. During the summer, children can enroll in camp here for a more in-depth experience.

Get there when kids are: 5 to 18 years old

More info: http://www.alligatorfarm.com/

10. Kelly Park

Kelly Park

Source: flickr

Kelly Park

Apopka

Why you’ve got to go: Kids and adults alike will love exploring Kelly Park, a natural refuge with hot springs and a stream ideal for inner tubing. There’s also a playground, concession station, campsite, and gazebo areas for picnicking.

What to do: Rent a tube and float down the springs, swim, snorkel, and have water gun fights. You can also hike, picnic, and release energy out on the playground. The park is also perfect for camping (both tent and TV), so families can spend a few days exploring the park and using it as a home base for the area.

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: http://www.floridasprings.org/visit/map/kelly-park-rock-springs-run/

Check out the recommended hotels in Florida (FL)

11. Highland Hammock State Park

Highland Hammock State Park

Source: flickr

Highland Hammock State Park

Sebring

Why you’ve got to go: The Highlands Hammock State Park is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the entire state. There are oak trees that are over 1,000 years old, ferns, and so many different animal species calling the park home. If your kids love the outdoors, they’ll love spending a day here.

What to do: Watch for all types of wildlife like birds, black bears, and Florida panthers. There are several picnic areas to dine on a BYO-meal and miles of trails to hike and explore. Rangers give tours and those that work here are well-known for having a great eye for spotting even the most elusive of creatures. The boardwalk in the park takes visitors over swampland known to host alligators, too.

Get there when kids are: 3 to 18 years old

More info: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Highlands-Hammock

12. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Source: pennekamppark

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Key Largo

Why you’ve got to go: One of the greatest things about Florida is its diverse wildlife both on land and underneath the sea. Children can explore the best of both worlds by snorkelling over the reef. This park was the first underwater park in the country, and once you visit, it’s obvious why the reef should be protected.

What to do: Snorkel and look for vibrant corals, reef fish, sea turtles, and even manatees – the shallow water makes wildlife easy to spot. Older children can get scuba certified and explore underwater statues that are now covered with life. Families will also love kayaking, boating, and lounging at the white-sand beach.

Get there when kids are: 5 to 18 years old.

More info: http://pennekamppark.com/

13. Fury Water Adventures

Fury Water Adventures

Source: furycat

Fury Water Adventures

Key West

Why you’ve got to go: If your children can’t get enough water time, Fury Water Adventures is a place where they can get their saltwater fix. You can mix and match the activities that your family is interested in for the ideal day out.

What to do: Go on a jet ski tour, ride on a banana raft, snorkel, parasail, slide down a water slide, paddle through mangroves, balance on a standup paddle board, and listen to live music. There are a variety of tours and activities to choose from – some more child-friendly than others.

Get there when kids are: 5 to 18 years old

More info: https://www.furycat.com/

14. Dry Tortugas National Park

Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park

Source: flickr

Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas

Why you’ve got to go: Getting to Dry Tortugas National Park is an adventure in itself – after all, the only way to get there is via boat or seaplane. It’s home to a fort, coral reefs, and wildlife areas.

What to do: Walk around Fort Jefferson, an incredible 19th century fort and learn about the interesting history of its existence as a prison during the Civil War. Since the water is generally only five to 15 feet deep, it’s a prime spot for snorkelling where kids can get a close-up view of vibrant colors and reef fish. The island is also a great spot to bird watch, build sandcastles on secluded beaches, and camp.

Get there when kids are: 4 to 18 years old

More info: https://www.nps.gov/drto/index.htm

15. Gatorland

Gatorland

Source: Flickr

Gatorland

Orlando

Why you’ve got to go: Gatorland is an educational park that hosts thousands of alligators, crocodiles, reptiles, and birds within its walls. Children will learn all about Florida’s most iconic animal and have a chance to see a variety of species.

What to do: There is a heart-pumping Gatorland zipline where kids can fly 1,200 feet over a swamp as well as a program where children can experience what it’s like to be a trainer of the day. Visit at night to see the park really come alive, as you tour the swampland with only a flashlight in hand – turn the light towards the water and don’t be surprised to see hundreds of eyes looking back at you.

Get there when kids are: 3 to 14 years old

More info: http://www.gatorland.com/

16. Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens

Lake Wales

Why you’ve got to go: This natural park and garden center was built with children in mind. There is so much for them to do as they take advantage of all senses through singing buildings, peaceful gardens, and an area dedicated to children.

What to do: Bok Tower Gardens is also a hotspot for geocaching, a real-life treasure hunt. There are also tens of trails to hike, bike, and go bird watching. Listen to the sounds from the Singing Tower, a 60-bell carillon that plays twice daily. The Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden is also a place where kids can learn through hands-on exploration by crawling through tunnels, build forts from natural sticks, climb, and play in nature.

Get there when kids are:

More info: https://boktowergardens.org

17. International Drive

International Drive

Source: expedia

International Drive

Orlando

Why you’ve got to go: This theme park hotspot is where you can hit all the state’s major parks, watch live shows, shop, and dine. Tourists of all ages will love walking down the road that makes Orlando one of the best places to visit in Florida with kids. You’ll be in the center of it all.

What to do: Watch pirate, circus, mystery, and comedy shows over dinner, play mini-golf, go on amusement rides, try to outsmart escape rooms, and go on a helicopter ride. There is also a wax museum, a go-kart track, and Ripley’s Believe it or Not! to visit. No matter the age or interest, there’s something for every child to enjoy on International Drive.

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: http://www.internationaldriveorlando.com

18. Mote Marine Laboratory

Mote Marine Laboratory

Mote Marine Laboratory

Sarasota

Why you’ve got to go: This world-class laboratory and aquarium is a place where children can learn about marine ecosystems with all senses. The venue focuses on education through entertainment and science. Children will also be introduced to key issues of our time like plastic pollution and coral bleaching.

What to do: Meet sea creatures at the aquarium’s touch tidal pools and view over 100 species of oceanic life like manatees, sharks, and sea turtles. Children will also acquire tips for conservation at the educational talks and guided tours. Children can also get attached to animals checked into the animal hospital and learn about the status of their health.

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: https://mote.org/

19. Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach

Source: flickr

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater

Why you’ve got to go: Clearwater Beach lives up to its name. This stunning beach area has white sand and clear water, making it a haven for beachcombing kids of all ages. Near the beach is Pier 60, fishing boats, restaurants, and a lively downtown area.

What to do: Kids can spend the day seaside building sandcastles, swimming, snorkelling, and looking for seashells. Walk along Pier 60, dine at the nearby restaurants, or even go on a boat tour. If you want a low maintenance day, rent a cabana and umbrella and simply spend the day on the sand.

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/clearwater-beach.html

20. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens - Splash Down

Source: Flickr

Busch Gardens – Splash Down

Tampa Bay

Why you’ve got to go: Busch Gardens is where wildlife and thrilling rides meet to create an environment that is fun and educational for kids. There is a Serengeti Park where African animals roam, a reserve that holds endangered primates, and over 12,000 animals on site. In addition, there are tens of rides to get your heart pumping.

What to do: Visit the wild animals and observe how they act, ride on thrilling rides like the drop tower Falcon’s Furt, the SheiKra coaster, the water flume ride called Stanley Falls, and more. True to its name, the park is also lined with all types of blooming flowers.

Get there when kids are: Up to 14 years old

More info: https://buschgardens.com

21. South Beach

South Beach

Source: flickr

South Beach

Miami

Why you’ve got to go: Lively, vibrant, and filled with interesting people, South Beach is a fun place for everyone while the sun is shining. Spend a day on the sand and head along the main drag to shop, people watch, and dine.

What to do: Play in the sand, go for a swim, boogie board, and lounge in the turquoise water. Walk along the sand to look at the different lifeguard towers and head over to the main street for bicycle riding and people watching. You can also shop and eat at a variety of places in one of Florida’s most popular places.

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/south-beach.html

22. Old Town

Old Town Kissimmee

Source: flickr

Old Town Kissimmee

Kissimmee

Why you’ve got to go: Go back in time and do the things that you and your parents used to love as a kid. Think arcade games, carnival rides, old fashioned diners, and car shows. Old Town is an amusement park that focuses on having fun the old-fashioned way.

What to do: Play classic 1960s arcade games, visit the Mortem Manor haunted house, watch the magician’s hands at a magic show, and try your hand at shooting targets at the Rootin & Tootin Shootin’ Alley complete with a 1949 pickup truck. Time your visit to see a car show and save room in your stomach for carnival fare – just try to keep it in on the rides!

Get there when kids are: 5 to 14 years old

More info: https://myoldtownusa.com

23. Florida Caverns State Park

Florida Caverns State Park

Source: flickr

Florida Caverns State Park

Marianna

Why you’ve got to go: This state park is an adventurous destination that will teach children about geology while making them feel as though they’re on their very own expedition. Informed tour guides are renowned for being experts in the area, and can answer even the most confusing questions that your family will have.

What to do: Take a guided tour of the caves and explore the only dry caves open to the public in the state. Learn the difference between stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, draperies, and more. There is also the nearby Chipola River and Blue Hole Spring where you can swim, kayak, and hike around the area.

Get there when kids are: 5 to 18 years old

More info: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Florida-Caverns

24. Salvador Dali Museum

Salvador Dali Museum

Source: thedali

Salvador Dali Museum

St. Petersburg

Why you’ve got to go: Children with a penchant for painting will love seeing the art of one of the world’s most imaginative painters firsthand. It will inspire your whole family to live uniquely and ignite creativity.

What to do: Admire Salvador Dali’s work inside a blue-glass building. The permanent collection includes many of his sculptures, paintings, sketches, and book illustrations – including classics like The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory and portraits of his muse, Gala. There are also rotating exhibits that typically feature talented artists as well.

Get there when kids are: 8 to 18 years old

More info: http://thedali.org/

25. Adventure Island

Adventure Island, Tampa

Source: mapio

Adventure Island, Tampa

Tampa Bay

Why you’ve got to go: What better way to spend your time in America’s Sunshine State than splashing around at various rides and water parks? Kids will love letting their energy out at Adventure Island’s slides, pools, and even a sand zone.

What to do: Go down fun slides like the Colossal Curl, Aruba Tuba, the Endless Surf wave pool, the Calypso Coaster inner tube ride, and race along the Caribbean Corkscrew. There also pools with obstacles like the Paradise Lagoon, Water Moccasin, and Fabian’s Fun Port. The Spike Zone is also a beach volleyball court where families can compete against one another.

Get there when kids are: 3 to 18 years old

More info: https://adventureisland.com

26. Blue Springs State Park

Blue Springs State Park

Source: floridahikes

Blue Springs State Park

Orange City

Why you’ve got to go: This beautiful 2,600-acre park is a refuge for several hundred manatees where these mermaids of the sea can rest from November to March. Visitors can see these stunning creatures and explore the largest spring from the St. Johns River. There is also the Thurby house, built in 1872, and a campground for families to stay.

What to do: Admire the manatees that call Blue Spring State Park home and snorkel, scuba, and swim in the spring. (Swimming with manatees is not permitted.) Camp with your family and hike, cycle, and explore the lush surroundings. This is one of the best places to witness nature all-year-long.

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Blue-Spring

27. The Ringling Museum

The Ringling Museum

The Ringling Museum

Sarasota

Why you’ve got to go: With various museums like the Ca’ D’Zan building, the Circus Museum, the Museum of Art, and the Historic Asolo Theater, families with varying interests will have a wonderful time learning and browsing through the many exhibits. The Circus Museum is spectacular for kids – who will love seeing how the famous circus once ran.

What to do: Step right up to the Circus Museum and try your hand at trapeze walking, fitting into a clown car, and fake tiger taming. Kids will love all the colors and attention to detail. Then, once you’re done looking at the oddities in there, watch a live performance at the theater.

Get there when kids are: 4 to 18 years old

More info: https://www.ringling.org/

28. Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens

Source: flickr

Sunken Gardens

St. Petersburg

Why you’ve got to go: This 100-year-old garden has some of the oldest tropical plants in the state, flamingos, and cascading waterfalls. It’s almost like being in a fairy tale with over 50,000 plants and flowers packed into four acres of land.

What to do: Wave hello to the flamingos and practice standing on one leg, stop and smell the flowers, attend hands-on workshops on gardening, and learn how to make succulent wreaths. The park focuses on teaching anyone willing to learn all about tropical plants and plant care. Your child might even be inspired to flex their green thumb back at home after this visit!

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: http://www.stpete.org/attractions/sunken_gardens/index.php

29. Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona

Why you’ve got to go: If your child loves thrills, speed, and shiny cars, they’ll have an incredible time at the Daytona International Speedway, where race cars do laps around one of the world’s most beloved speedways.

What to do: Watch the race cars go around and around and root for your favorite driver. Take a guided tour of the speedway together, listen to live music, and collect autographs. There is more than the Daytona 500 event to enjoy – there are also other races, motorcycle races, and the NASCAR Coke Zero 400 also taking place throughout the year.

Get there when kids are: 4 to 18 years old – for many races, kids under 12 are free

More info: http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/

30. Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria

Why you’ve got to go: Getaway from the chaos of the theme parks, the busy beaches, and the city by escaping to Anna Maria Island. With white sand beaches, a pier, restaurants, and shops, there is plenty to do with children of all ages.

What to do: Lounge, swim, and build sandcastles at the white-sand Bean Point beach, walk along the Anna Maria City Pier, and watch a show at the Island Players Community Theatre. There are also tens of souvenir shops and art galleries where you can find the perfect token to take home as a memento. Active kids will love standup paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkelling, and going on boat tours.

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: http://www.annamariaislandchamber.org/

31. Cape Coral Sunsplash Water Park

Cape Coral Sunsplash Water Park

Cape Coral Sunsplash Water Park

Cape Coral

Why you’ve got to go: This small water park is great for younger kids who want to spend a full day out splashing, sliding down rides, and floating along on inner tubes.

What to do: Have a slide race, lounge on the lazy river, and swim in one of the many pools. It’s a great place for younger children to go on rides without being pushed away by some of the older children – as can happen with many of Florida’s older parks.

Get there when kids are: 5 to 14 years old

More info: http://sunsplashwaterpark.com/

32. Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory

 

Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory

Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory

Daytona Beach

Why you’ve got to go: Take your children to a real-life Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory experience by going on a chocolate factory tour (complete with free tastings). This factory and shop is consistently hailed as a favorite by locals and tourists alike.

What to do: Take a 20-minute-long guided tour of the chocolate factory and taste different varieties of chocolate. After all, what child can say no to that? Free samples are given at the end of every tour and there are all types of chocolate goodies to buy and take to your next adventure.

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: http://www.angellandphelps.com/

33. Wonderworks

Wonderworks

Wonderworks

Orlando

Why you’ve got to go: Wonderworks is one of the rare theme parks in the world that takes pride in combining education with thrill and fun. Most exhibits are hands-on and the building is designed to look like it’s upside-down and placed there from the Bermuda Triangle. If your child is imaginative and inquisitive, they will love spending the day here.

What to do: Visit themed exhibits like the natural disaster center, the physical challenge zone, the light and sound zone, space discovery area, and the imagination land. There are also comedy science shows, obstacle courses, glow-in-the-dark ropes courses, and a 4D motion theater.

Get there when kids are: 3 to 18 years old

More info: http://www.wonderworksonline.com/orlando/

34. Orlando Science Center Observatory

Orlando Science Center Observatory

Orlando Science Center Observatory

Orlando

Why you’ve got to go: Children and adults will love learning interesting things about outer space and looking through one of the world’s most powerful telescopes. There is also a theater and program where kids can learn about what exists beyond our planet in a hands-on way.

What to do: Look through the telescope, watch an entertaining and informative show at one of the three theaters, play with magnets, and dig for dinosaur fossils. There are events happening throughout the month that are tailored specifically for kids with all types of science interests.

Get there when kids are: 3 to 18 years old

More info: http://www.osc.org

35. Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach

Panama City

Why you’ve got to go: Why visit Florida without taking advantage of prime beach time? Panama City Beach has a wide sand beach and clear water. When you’re done with the sand and sun, you use Panama City as a base for boat tours, shopping at Pier Park, and Coconut Creek Family Fun Park.

What to do: Build sandcastles, swim, go for a boat tour, shop for souvenirs and essentials at Pier Park, and enjoy your time at one of Florida’s best beach towns.

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com/

36. Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

Homosassa

Why you’ve got to go: This wildlife park is one of the best places to see manatees in their natural habitat and visitors will love looking at them swim in the underwater observatory. This park is also a refuge for other animals like bobcats, black bears, deer, alligators, otters, and crocodiles. There is a children’s education center that hosts many hands-on educational activities.

What to do: Watch manatees swim and play from the underwater observatory, go for hikes, birdwatch, and keep your eyes peeled for rare animals. Kids will love joining in on the children’s programs that will have them doing interactive conservation projects that will create memories that last a lifetime.

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Homosassa-Springs

37. Florida Aquarium

Florida Aquarium

Source: flickr

Florida Aquarium

Tampa

Why you’ve got to go: One of the state’s best sites for conservation, education, and research, the Florida Aquarium houses tons of marine animals that will teach children all about what lives in the sea. There is a learning center, camp program, and evening tide talks.

What to do: Visit the aquarium’s learning center with five learning stations, watch turtles nest, help release rehabilitated animals back into the wild, attend evening tide talks, and more. There is also a sleepover program – where children can spend the night in sleeping bags alongside reef sharks and sleeping fish.

Get there when kids are: 3 to 18 years old

More info: http://www.flaquarium.org

38. Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa

Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa

Tampa

Why you’ve got to go: The Museum of Science and Industry has such a vast variety of exhibitions ranging from hands-on learning displays to theaters to natural areas, no person – child or adult – is capable of getting bored here. It’s one of the best places to learn through exploration.

What to do: Watch a movie at the IMAX Dome Theatre for a surround-sound experience, ride in the only public driverless car in the country, print on the 3D printer, and gaze at the star exhibits at the Saunders Planetarium. Children will love the exhibit called Kids in Charge, devoted entirely to them. Then, explore the butterfly garden and attempt walking across a challenging ropes course and go for a ride on the zipline.

Get there when kids are: 3 to 18 years old

More info: https://www.mosi.org

39. Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

Why you’ve got to go: This island is an escape from the crowded tourist hotspots like Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. After a week of exploring, scale back by relaxing and worrying only about what type of seafood your family will have for dinner that night.

What to do: Scout for seashells along the shore, go for a swim in the waves, walk along the pier, and go boating. Grab a book, a bucket, and a shovel for the perfect day at the beach. The lighthouse is picturesque and temperatures usually over around a nice low 80 degrees. When you want to be more active, you can go for walks, Segway tours, and bike rides.

Get there when kids are: Up to 18 years old

More info: http://www.sanibelisland.com/

40. Glazer Children’s Museum

Glazer Children’s Museum

Glazer Children’s Museum

Tampa

Why you’ve got to go: Young children will love all the hands-on and vibrant activities created for them in mind. This museum is totally dedicated to kids and has a solid understanding of how the brain of a child works.

What to do: Visit on themed days that will have children dancing, singing, laughing, and playing as they learn about nature and problem solving. There are weekly camps, labs, and sections devoted to making math and technology cool. The galaxy exhibit is also very popular among the little ones, especially during May – when it’s Star Wars themed.

Get there when kids are: Up to 12 years old

More info: https://glazermuseum.org/

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Florida (FL)
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