Families from all over the country flock to sunny Daytona Beach for its endless stretches of soft sand, boardwalk rides, wilderness river tours, and adrenaline-pumping races on its world-class speedway. While it may not boast all the theme parks and huge attractions of other South Florida destinations, families with kids of all ages visit this upbeat city for its low-cost attractions as well as breezy Daytona Beach vacation rentals. Learn more about the top 12 things to do with your kids during your next Daytona vacation.
1. Enjoy the Rides at the Daytona Boardwalk
Parents love the nostalgic feeling of the old-fashioned beach boardwalk, and kids adore the arcade games, carnival tosses, cotton candy, and hand-pulled taffy. Ride the Ferris wheel to get a bird’s-eye view of the Atlantic and the city of Daytona Beach, or hop on the roller coaster for some drops and thrills. The amusement park area also has some kiddie rides for your tiny tots.
2. Catch a Race at the Daytona International Speedway
Rev your engines for an exciting day of races during events such as the Daytona 500. If no races are scheduled for your trip, you can still book a full-access tour of the speedway for a behind-the-scenes look at the facility. Get a bite to eat at the cafe or buy a souvenir at the gift shop when you’re done.
3. Explore the Museum of Arts and Sciences
From the hands-on exhibits of the children’s museum area to the frequent shows at the planetarium, this fun museum has something for all ages. Kids can marvel at the fully assembled skeleton of a prehistoric giant sloth, step into old train cars, and view a huge collection of old Coca-Cola products. After exploring the artwork and American artifacts in the museum, enjoy a picnic in the park outside.
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4. See a Concert at the Daytona Beach Bandshell
After riding the Ferris wheel or laying on the beach, walk over to the Daytona Beach Bandshell to see a free concert before heading back to your laid-back vacation rental. The venue hosts various bands singing songs from every genre and era during the summer evenings, and you may even catch a fireworks display at the end.
5. Have Some Fun at the Beach
Daytona Beach is famous for its 23 miles of sandy coastline and warm waters. Grab your recliners and beach umbrellas from your rental for some relaxing hours on the sand while the kids play in the surf. Bring a few sand toys for your littlest kids, and consider booking surf lessons, renting a stand-up paddleboard, or renting a kayak if you’re traveling with older kids.
6. Cool Down at the Daytona Lagoon
This small but fun-packed water park offers a lot more than just a relaxing lazy river. While younger kids have a blast in the interactive play and waterworks areas, older children are sure to enjoy the multi-lane and tube water slides. The facility also offers mini golf, go-karts, and laser tag for even more family fun.
7. Watch a Ballgame at Jackie Robinson Ballpark
Watch the Daytona Tortugas play while chowing down on cheap peanuts and popcorn at this family-friendly Daytona classic. Kids young and old can also take part in bingo, pitching contests, base runs, and other family-friendly games at the ballpark. Walk through the Jackie Robinson Museum and get some autographs from the players before you leave.
8. Take a St. Johns River Tour
Take a break from the sand and salty surf for a walk on Daytona’s wild side. Cruise the biodiverse St. John’s River on a laid-back pontoon boat ride, or rent a set of kayaks or some pedal boats for a family river adventure. Keep an eye out for herons, or travel further upriver to see the elusive manatees.
9. Hike Through Tuscawilla Preserve
Situated on the grounds of the Museum of Arts and Sciences, this tranquil park of wetlands and prairie is the perfect place for little ones to spot herons, otters, giant sandhill cranes, and alligators. Older kids may enjoy flying down the zip lines at Zoom Air Adventure Park. Stop by the Tuscawilla Learning Center to see if any kid-friendly events are scheduled for the day.
10. Try Your Luck at Sunglow Pier
Walk to the end of this old-fashioned ocean pier so your older kids can try catching some flounder, whiting, tarpon, or Spanish mackerel. If you don’t have any poles back at your vacation rental, you can always rent a few at the tackle shop. Keep an eye out for yachts, cruise ships, and dolphins while you wait for your catch of the day. Once you’re done fishing, grab a bite at Crabby Joe’s while enjoying views of the Atlantic.
11. Pick Up Some Sweets From Angell and Phelps Chocolate Factory
The young and young at heart can satisfy their sweet tooth at Angell and Phelps, an old-fashioned candy factory where you can pick up homemade fudge, truffles, chocolate-covered strawberries, and other hard-to-find candies from days gone by. Go on a free guided tour of the chocolate factory, complete with complimentary samples.
12. Visit the Daytona Magic Shop
Kids of all ages are sure to love browsing this real brick-and-mortar magic shop in downtown Daytona Beach for new tricks, illusions, juggling supplies, and magic kits. Check out the hand-made illusions carefully crafted right in town.
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