Nestled off the coast of Sarasota, the barrier island of Lido Key is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Featuring a wide range of beach houses, condominiums, and luxury hotels, this area is ideal for families seeking sun and relaxation in a more private setting. When vacationing in Lido Key, Florida, it’s hard not to notice the pristine beaches and blue waters. However, in addition to water adventures, you can also entertain the kids with fun-filled activities when you’re not relaxing in your Lido Key vacation rental. From enticing seafood dinners to watching the sunset with the family, choose from these top 9 things to do in Lido Key with your kids.
1. Spend a Day at the Beach
Entertain the kids with more than just a splash in the ocean at Lido Key Beach. This beach is known for offering sidewalk performances to entertain all ages. Opt for a face painting session, see the clowns showcase their talents, and grab a bite to eat at the restaurants and beach cafes adjacent to the pristine waters and white sand. Build a sandcastle or dip your feet in the water as the waves crash in.
2. Go Fishing
When your fishing enthusiasts are seeking an adventurous day, set out for a day of fishing. Cast your reels at Lido Key Beach while hoping to catch sheepshead, mackerel, jacks, or whiting snooks that are plentiful in the waters. Get wet and wild while wading in the water to fish or stay dry by fishing with the family at the Ken Thompson Parkway.
3. Take a Paddle Boarding Adventure
Make the most of the warm temperatures at Lido Key Beach by taking the family on a paddle boarding adventure. Rent your gear and boards at Paradise Adventures or Liquid Blue Outfitters in nearby Sarasota. Challenge your kids to wade on the boards as the waves come crashing in, or opt for a guided lesson from the outfitter companies to paddle like a pro.
4. Shop Until You Drop
If your kids want souvenirs from your Lido Key vacation, take a short jaunt to Sarasota to St. Armand’s Circle to find just the right treasure. This downtown area filled with locally-owned stores supplies you and the kids with jewelry, clothing, souvenirs, and handmade art. The family-friendly area features free parking so you can stroll down the street and window shop as long as you want. Grab a bite to eat at one of the diners or restaurants before heading back to your vacation rental.
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5. Visit South Lido Park
Plan for a day of basking in the sun, picnicking with the family, and watching the sunset while at South Lido Park. This beachfront park boasts a spectacular view of the water and clean sand with picnic benches so you can savor your packed lunch in comfort. As part of the mainland of Sarasota, this park is connected to the John Ringling Causeway Bridge so you can view the Gulf of Mexico and then cross the bridge to see Sarasota Bay. Accessible restrooms make your stay at the park much more convenient when you plan to stay for the Florida sunset.
6. Take a Boat Tour
See the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding bays up close and personal with a boat tour while vacationing in Lido Key. Take a guided tour to learn more about Lido Key when reserving a spot for the entire family with Key Life Charters or rent your own boat or kayak from Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures to explore the bays at your own pace. Opt for entertainment while on board a boat tour from LeBarge Tropical Cruises, a journey that features live music, performers, and dining.
7. Walk Through the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Show your children the beauty that nature has to offer when taking a leisurely walk through the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. Your family can surround itself with tropical flowers, plants, and trees that are native to Lido Key and the nearby areas. The facility features 16 acres of property and hosts nature-themed exhibits all year long for you to enjoy. Learn more about gardening, plant life, and flower food when taking the kids to these botanical gardens.
8. Spend the Day at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
When the kids are tired from splashing in the ocean, give them an underwater experience they can enjoy with a visit to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. This aquarium offers fun for all ages with sea animals on display for your entire family to feed and touch. Take a guided tour to see how the laboratory works to preserve sea life or spend a few hours viewing the manatee and coastal exhibits at the aquarium.
9. View the Artwork at Marietta Museum
Tap into your kids’ creativity when showing them the inspiring artwork at Marietta Museum in Sarasota. With artwork ranging from extensive sculptures to small to hand-painted teacups, this museum spotlights the work of local artists for all to see. Plan your trip accordingly as this museum is only open on select afternoons through the week. However, it’s well worth the trip!
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