Fill your days with fun in the sun when your getaway is at Melbourne, which is situated along Florida’s Space Coast. With part of the city on the mainland, as well as on a barrier island, Melbourne offers a unique mix of natural beauty, sandy beaches, and outdoor activities for visitors of all ages. Book a stay at one of numerous Melbourne vacation rentals today. Look forward to enjoying the coastal beauty, and a peaceful place to unwind after beach days and trips to local attractions. Check out the top family-friendly activities in Melbourne.

1. Visit the Zoo

giraffe
Source: Flickr/Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos

Brevard Zoo houses a diverse collection of animals despite its modest size, offering many unique options for viewing animals and having special encounters during your trip. Train rides and giraffe and bird feeding opportunities are fairly standard and suitable for all ages. Consider a rhino encounter, jungle encounter, or lemur rendezvous for an extra thrill. Ride a paddle boat or kayak at the zoo to see animal exhibits from a different perspective. Older kids might enjoy a view from above on the Treetop Trek aerial obstacle course and zipline, with different course options available.

2. Ride an Airboat

airboat ride
Source: Flickr/Experience Kissimmee

Tour the St. Johns River Marsh on an exhilarating airboat ride. The boats zoom through the marsh, giving you and your family a heart-pounding look at a variety of Florida wildlife, including alligators. Airboat rides are safe for all of your thrill-seeking kids, even the young adventurers. Take a sunset or night ride to see nocturnal types of wildlife.

3. Explore Sebastian Inlet State Park

Sebastian Inlet State Park sign
Source: Flickr/Jeff Muceus

Plan an afternoon at Sebastian Inlet State Park to soak in the coastal beauty and activity. The pier and jetties let you walk out over the water, while the sandy shoreline is perfect sandcastles and finding shells. Pack a picnic lunch at your vacation rental to enjoy at one of the pavilions or picnic areas in the state park. Take a break from the sun at the McLarty Treasure Museum or the Sebastian Fishing Museum, which are both located within the state park.

4. Learn About Barrier Island Wildlife

Source: Pixabay/Kanenori

The Barrier Island Sanctuary covers 34 acres along South Melbourne Beach, with an emphasis on educating visitors about the diverse barrier island habitats. Walk along the nature trail and ocean view boardwalk to see those habitats for yourself. Head inside the education center to explore the interactive exhibits on barrier island life.

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5. Scope Out the Art

Source: Pixabay/StockSnap

Melbourne features a strong connection to the arts, particularly in the Eau Gallie Arts District near the Indian River Lagoon. This historical area includes well-preserved architecture, with an eye for art and design intrinsic to almost everything in the area. Discover the many art galleries in the area to enjoy with older kids who appreciate the visual arts. The Foosaner Art Museum is a key attraction in this area, housing artwork spanning several centuries and countries, as well as across various art mediums. The museum also hosts special workshops for kids, designed to immerse them in the world of art.

6. Go Kayaking

kayak
Source: Flickr/Don and Janet Beasley

Kayaking gets you close to the water and the diverse aquatic life in this vibrant area of Florida. Rent your kayaks from a local dealer, or bring your own kayaks to store in your vacation rental’s garage space. Go all-out and take your family on a kayaking tour with an experienced tour guide leading the way through various wildlife areas. Look out for manatees, alligators, turtles, otters, other wildlife during the tour.

7. Look for Dolphins

dolphin
Source: Flickr/The Pug Father

Hop on a dolphin tour boat for a chance to see wild dolphins in their natural habitat. Dolfun Tours offer 90-minute cruises in the Indian and Banana River Lagoon that are suitable for kids young and old. You may also spot other animals like manatees, osprey, and great blue heron, and this route that takes you near multi-million dollar homes and other thrilling sights.

8. Go Fishing

Source: Pixabay/127071

Its coastal Florida location means Melbourne has several fishing options available. Fish off of the pier if you want to enjoy dry land and a relaxing breeze. For older kids, consider a thrilling deep sea fishing trip on a chartered boat. Cook up what you catch when you get back to your vacation rental.

9. Visit the Space Center

space center
Source: Flickr/Reinhard Link

When vacationing on the Space Coast, it’s a natural choice to visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at nearby Cape Canaveral. Hop on a bus tour to see launch sites and spaceflight facilities. The outdoor Rocket Garden lets you walk around massive rockets from numerous NASA programs. See various spacecraft and artifacts in exhibits that chronicle the history of American space travel. Astronaut training simulators and the Shuttle Launch Experience make your kids feel like astronauts. The center keeps kids of all ages busy for hours with the many interactive exhibits.

10. Play on the Beach

Melbourne Beach
Source: Flickr/Thomas Gaume

Melbourne lies along Florida’s eastern coast, making it an ideal spot for a family beach day. Younger kids enjoy digging in the sand and exploring the different textures at the beach. Older kids have the opportunity to splash in the waves, swim, or even try surfing. Pack your own surfboards, and store them in your vacation rental garage until your beach day.

11. Enjoy Thrills

Source: Pixabay/Unsplash

Challenge your kids a little friendly competition at the Andretti Thrill Park. Multiple go-kart tracks make it easier to pick a course appropriate for your kids. Step up to the plate at the batting cages, or play a friendly game of laser tag. Rookie Row offers several gentle rides for even your youngest family members. Other activities include roller coaster rides, mini golf, ropes course, mini bowling, and a huge arcade.

 
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