From the panhandle to the southern Keys, Florida is packed with activities that are perfect for kids. This sun-drenched state has an attraction for every preference, whether you’re in the mood for a relaxing beach vacation or a wild thrill ride. For the most memorable trip, search for Florida vacation rentals near these fun, family-friendly spots. Here are nine of our favorite things to do in Florida’s that are fun for the whole family.
1. Visit a Theme Park
Experience a thrilling vacation with a trip to one of Florida’s fantastic theme parks. Start with Orlando; head to Walt Disney World to ride hair-raising roller coasters, wander through the magical lands of Epcot, and watch fireworks over Cinderella Castle. At Universal, your kids can explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and take a spin on movie-themed rides. Children’s toys come to life at Legoland Florida in Winter Haven, and Universal’s Volcano Bay in Orlando provides a wealth of island-themed water slides.
2. Explore Space in Titusville
Explore America’s amazing space history at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Your entrance ticket allows access to thrilling attractions, including the must-see Shuttle Launch Experience. Take a bus tour to see launch pads up-close, walk among massive engines in the Rocket Garden, and marvel at the enormous Saturn V moon rocket in the Race to the Moon section. One highlight of the facility is the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which appears in a dramatic reveal after an exciting interactive tour.
3. Take an Air Boat Through the Everglades near Everglades City
If your trip takes you to South Florida, don’t miss a visit to the stunning Everglades National Park. Fly through the waterways on an airboat, which is powered by a large fan. As you travel, look out for alligators and wild birds. Tour the park’s many channels, or opt to sail through stunning mangrove tunnels. A plethora of tour companies operate out of Everglades City, so it’s easy to find an option for your schedule.
4. Soak up the Sun
With over 1,000 miles of coastline, Florida has no shortage of beaches. If you’re visiting Tampa, head straight for the pristine white sands of Clearwater Beach. On Sanibel Island, your kids can collect shells between dips in the sea, and Siesta Beach near Sarasota offers perfect sand and stunning water. In the southern part of the state, check out the lively atmosphere on Miami’s South Beach, or head to the picturesque stretch of shore at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West.
5. Swim with Dolphins
Give your kids the experience of a lifetime with a dolphin swim. If you’re visiting Miami, choose from one of two dolphin experiences at the Miami Seaquarium. In West Palm Beach, Dolphin World sends a van to pick up your family for a dolphin swim, and in Key West, you can swim with dolphins in the open ocean. Orlando’s Sea World and Discovery Cove both offer safe dolphin swims in a comfortable pool. If you want to get even more involved, try the Trainer for a Day or Dolphin Day Camp at Gulf World in Panama City Beach.
6. Experience Island Life in the Florida Keys
Enjoy the relaxed vibe in the Florida Keys, a set of tiny islands off the southern tip of the state. Enjoy the soft sand on Sombrero Beach, or take a catamaran tour around the islands. Spend a full day exploring the fort at Dry Tortugas National Park, which is made up of seven small islands. Immerse yourself in sea lore at the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum, and be sure to get a photo at the Southernmost Point buoy on Key West.
7. See Fantastic Wildlife
Florida is packed with fascinating animals, both native and exotic. Watch alligators at the Everglades Alligator Farm in Florida City or the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in St. Augustine. In Fort Myers Beach, you can play mini golf and watch baby alligators at Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf. Pack the kids into the car for a trip to Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee. Drive your vehicle through the park to see animals running free in the reserve, you’re sure to see many beautiful animals, including giraffes, zebras, and lions.
8. Hit the Water
Make the most of Florida’s stunning sea coast by getting out on the water. Most cities along the shore feature one or more fishing or boat charter companies, which typically offer half-day and day-long excursions on the ocean. In Silver Springs State Park in Silver Springs, glass-bottom boat tours let your little ones see Native American artifacts and watch fish in their natural habitat. If your trip takes you to South Florida, a kayak or paddleboard is a great way to explore the calm waters of the Intracoastal Waterway with kids. For a day of fun, book a snorkeling tour in the Florida Keys to reach the island’s most spectacular reefs.
9. Visit an Aquarium
Thanks to its extensive sea coast, Florida has unparalleled access to some of the world’s most fascinating marine life. See typical Florida sea creatures as well as a variety of endangered species at the state’s excellent aquariums. In Tampa, check out the 500,000-gallon Coral Reef Gallery tank at the Florida Aquarium. Walk through the underwater tunnel to see sharks swimming above, or watch fish through the enormous panoramic window. Feel fish scales in the Key West Aquarium’s touch tank, or watch refugee animals being rehabilitated at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater.
Ready to go? Check out these amazing Florida vacation rentals on Tripping.com.