Explore Tampa Bay

Things to Do With Kids in Tampa Bay

Whether you've traveled with kids before or not, you can imagine the hours of entertainment and distractions you have to plan for in order to keep your little ones from going stir crazy. Luckily for you, when it comes to fun ways to fill your time in the Tampa Bay area, there's no shortage of options. There are many activities for children of all ages, like the Glazer Children's Museum and the Florida Aquarium where they’ll even learn something along the way. But shhhhh…don’t tell them that!

From theme parks, to peeks at wildlife both on land and underwater, to museums—the choice is yours. These family-friendly attractions offer hours of fun. No only is the Tampa Bay area filled with exciting attractions, but it also features 35 miles of white, powder-soft sandy beaches from Clearwater to St. Pete Beach. It's the perfect inexpensive option for those on a budget who want to spend a full day relaxing with the kids. 

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

ZooTampa at Lowry Park has more than 60 acres of lush natural habitats and is home to the Florida manatee, Native Florida Wildlife habitat, Asian Gardens, Primate World and the expansive Safari Africa. Open daily from 9:30 am–5 pm. Adults, $36.95; children 3-11, $27.95. Located just 10 minutes north of downtown Tampa. 

Glazer Children's Museum

Offers 170-plus, hands-on "interactivities" in 21 themed areas, including a cruise ship, an engineers' workshop and a firehouse. All are intended to "grow the minds" of children up to age 10. Adults $15; children $10; children under 1 and members free. Open M-F 10 am-5 pm; Sa until 6 pm; Su 1-6 pm.

Busch Gardens Tampa

The African savannah comes to Tampa Bay at Busch Gardens. A giraffe may stretch down for a friendly nuzzle, and visitors can view majestic beasts such as rhinos and lions in action. Jungala, a four-acre attraction, allows visitors to experience up-close animal interactions with its exotic inhabitants.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

This working aquarium is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine animals. See marine exhibits, underwater viewing tanks, animal care presentations and movie stars Winter and Hope. Visit the website for the most current animal-presentation schedule and animal-interaction experiences.

Beaches

Some of the country’s most beautiful beaches are located in the St. Petersburg and Clearwater area. Bordering the warm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico are 35 miles of barrier island beaches boasting fine, white sand. On this expansive, glittering stretch is a beach for almost every visitor.

MOSI/Museum of Science and Industry

Discover the new MOSI and experience "Connectus," the all-new permanent exhibit that brings you face-to-face with the future and gives you access to new technologies before they are released to the public.

The Florida Aquarium

Exhibits at this 200,000-square-foot aquarium are categorized by ecosystems and include wetlands, bays, beaches and coral reefs.

Dinosaur World

Learn about 150-plus dinosaurs displayed outdoors and visit the site's fossil dig, museum, boneyard, cave and skeleton areas. Visitors also can take on the role of paleontologist with some hands-on activities.

Adventure Island

Corkscrew slides, waterfalls, a giant wave pool and a rambling river in such venues as Wahoo Run, Splash Attack and Paradise Lagoon: These features and more make a trip to the water park an adventure, indeed.

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

This new park in the heart of Tampa next to the Glazer Children's Museum is the perfect hangout for kids and adults. Picnic in the park, people-watch, stroll the riverwalk or enjoy the beautiful views of the river. The play equipment is modern, with an interactive video game called the NEOS 360.