From popular theme parks to white sandy beaches, Panama City Beach is the perfect place for a family vacation. Located on the northwestern Panhandle of Florida, this coastal city includes an abundance of exciting activities and attractions. Book a stay at one of many incredible Panama City Beach vacation rentals today, including beachfront homes, condos, and cozy apartments. Check out a few of the most prominent family-friendly things to do in Panama City Beach.
1. Play a Round of Mini Golf at Pirate’s Island
A trip to Panama City Beach is not complete without a family-friendly game of mini golf. Challenge your children to a round amidst a tidal lagoon, waterfalls, and over bridges. This activity is ideal for those looking for something to do at night before heading back to your vacation rental. The park is within walking distance to several restaurants, so you can grab an ice cream cone as a reward.
2. Experience the Thrill of Parasailing
Paradise Watersports and Adventures by the Sea have various locations along Panama City Beach for parasailing. View sweeping views of the coastline and see large underwater marine life that you can’t see while you’re in the water. The ride doesn’t require any experience, and at the end of the adventure, you can purchase a small video clip of your ride to show off to your friends.
3. Tour Ripley’s Odditorium
Easy to locate as you travel down the main strip, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium looks like a giant ship sinking in the horizon. Kids will enjoy looking through more than 500 weird and wacky exhibits, including shrunken heads, a vampire kit, and various hands- on activities. This fun museum is ideal for days when it rains or when you want to cool off from the heat.
4. Take a Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise
Satisfy your dreams of being a pirate on a Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise. Set sail for a 2-hour cruise with Captain Fearless Phil and his crew and take on the role of a pirate. Kids can learn how to fire the kid cannon, read a treasure map and find sunken treasure, have water gun fights, and there is even face painting. Along the way, you’ll see plenty of dolphins and other marine life, so be sure to pack a camera for your vacation rental. Children under the age of 2 are free, and if you prefer, you can take a sunset cruise to beat the heat.
5. Ride the Carousel at Pier Park
Pier Park is the largest shopping center complex at Panama City Beach. Teens will enjoy browsing through the shops for clothes and shoes, while younger children can take a ride on the carousel located near the center of the complex. The mall covers an impressive 900,000 square feet of space, so you are sure to find shops for everyone. Grab gifts and souvenirs for family and friends and then stop in one of the restaurants for a bite to eat. If you’re looking for snacks, you can sample the frozen yogurt at Bippy’s or grab a pretzel at Auntie Anne’s.
6. See the Animals at Zoo World
Explore one of the nicest zoos in the area with your kids at Zoo World. Home to over 260 animals, this animal reservation center includes several shows, and you can even take part in multiple hands-on activities. Hold a baby alligator, snuggle up with a lemur, and even feed the birds. Children will enjoy feeding the zoos animal babies and the resident giraffes. Listen as the park guides include facts about the various wildlife. Take pictures and visit the gift shop for keepsakes.
7. Swim With Dolphins
If you’ve ever wanted to swim with dolphins, several programs provide a way to do this. Gulf World offers three levels of participation in an enclosed pool with certified trainers by your side. Blue Dolphin Tours and Water Planet takes you out in the Gulf where the dolphins play. Here you can slip into the water and enjoy swimming alongside these friendly creatures, or if you prefer you can stay on board and take pictures.
8. Go Fishing From the Pier
The Panama City Beach pier reaches far out into the Gulf of Mexico which offers anglers of all ages to cast out into the blue waters. Children under the age of 6 can fish for free. You can also bring nets for crabbing. Sit on the benches and watch the beach or witness some fabulous catches from some of the professional fishermen.
9. Go Snorkeling at St. Andrew’s State Park
Pack your snorkeling equipment for your vacation rental and then head to Shell Island and St. Andrews State Park for a day of snorkeling. Here, you’ll find the Shell Island Shuttle that transports you and the family to the west end of the island. There is a small jetty just up the beach that is ideal for viewing. The water remains crystal clear year round and in the summer water temperatures are perfect.
10. Have Fun at Loco Bubble Fight
Let the kids have some fun at the Loco Bubble Fight. Suit up in a protective bubble and bounce around the close-off arena. A referee keeps things under control, and there are also several other activities like a giant game of pool or giant Jenga.
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