There is a plethora of things to do, places to go, and restaurants to enjoy throughout Florida, whether you live in Florida year-round or part-time it matters not. Some obvious fun times are in Orlando, noted for housing Disney, Universal, Sea World, Gatorland and other fun things to do and places to go. The trip from Venice/Nokomis is about 2 hours, so making a day trip to one or more of these attractions is not out of the question.
From kid-friendly museums to underwater adventures, below are just several of the best things to do with the kids throughout the State of Florida.
Scroll down a tad and you’ll quickly see there are plenty of interesting and fun places to take your adult children and/or your grandchildren. Use the left or right arrow to view all 13 selections. In no particular order they are:
Biscayne National Park
Explore underwater at Biscayne National Park
One of Florida’s most fascinating natural wonders, Biscayne National Park should be at the top of the list for any outdoor loving family. Home to the third largest coral reef in the world, the park features plenty of opportunities to go on a snorkeling adventure. Its pristine waters are teeming with colorful underwater marine life, from parrotfish to striped sergeant majors and schools of shimmery grunts, and is just a short drive from the bustling Miami landscapes.
95% of the park is covered by water, so being on – or in – the water is the best way to experience the park.
The park protects 72,000 acres of the northernmost range of the Florida Reef Tract. NPS image by Shaun Wolfe
Elliott Key is the largest island in the park. It was once a thriving community of pioneers engaged in pineapple farming, sponging, wrecking and other pursuits. Today the island offers camping, picnicking, swimming, wildlife watching and a hiking trail. Trips are best during the winter months when temperatures are mild and bugs are easier to deal with.
Admire winged creatures at Butterfly World
Located in Coconut Creek, Butterfly World is home to more than 20,000 beautiful winged creatures. You can get lost in the maze of aviaries and gardens that cover the nearly 10 acres of land, where kids can walk among over 50 species of multicolored butterflies as they’re surrounded by a lush canopy of exotic plants and flowers. You can spot hummingbirds and lorikeets in the 30-foot Tropical Rainforest Aviary, admire cascading waterfalls, then climb atop the observation tower.
Everglades Alligator Farm
Observe wildlife at Everglades Alligator Farm
Located in Homestead, the Everglades Alligator Farm offers you the chance to observe some of Florida’s fiercest wildlife from a safe distance. Home to more than 2,000 alligator’s, you can go on an exciting airboat tour, watch an alligator show and see an alligator feeding demonstration. Make sure to stop by and say hello to “Grandpa”, a famous 14-foot alligator.
Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden
Take a tour of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Offering education through its collection of eye-catching tropical plants, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens has been delighting visitors with its colorful displays since 1938. Take a tour of the gardens on a scenic tram ride and admire its 83 acres of lush greenery and foliage. Witness the hummingbird exhibit, then walk along the pathways that wind through the gardens and you’ll discover the garden’s centerpiece, the world’s greatest living collection of palms and cycads.
Admire the pink-hued beauties at Flamingo Gardens Flamingo Gardens in Davie is a 60-acre oasis, boasting a tropical setting that is a blend of botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary. Head to the flamingo exhibit to see the pink-hued beauties in their natural environment, then observe the hundreds of wading birds, black bears and river otters in the nearby exhibits. The Butterfly and Hummingbird garden is a tranquil area to explore.
Jaxson's Ice Cream
Treat yourself at Jaxson’s Ice Cream
A famous ice cream shop in Florida that has been operating for almost 60 years, Jaxson’s Ice Cream parlour in Dania Beach serves up delicious frozen treats. This retro 1950’s style restaurant serves up crazy portions of ice cream concoctions and 45 unique flavors, from a Chocolate-Peanut Gargantuan to a Fudge-ana goblet and old-fashioned banana splits.
Feed the birds at Jungle Island
Jungle Island in Miami is the perfect destinations for animal loving kids who want to get up-close to over 1,100 macaws, parrots and other winged creatures. The kids can interact with giant reptiles and exotic primates in the 18-acre park, play at the miniature water park, and admire over 500 species of plants and flowers that create its lush landscapes. Purchase a handful of bird feed and let the birds eat right from the palm of your hand.
Lion Country Safari
See exotic animals at Lion Country Safari
Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee offers one of the best animal encounters in the state, as this drive-through safari boasts more than 900 animals on its property. Take a five-mile drive through the amusement park and get a peek at large herds of water buck, orucks and rhinos, and see if you can spot lion prides, chimps and giraffes roaming the area. Walk through the area’s range of displays, where you can see colorful birds and fish, while little ones will delight in the kid-friendly rides and interactive water features.
Rapids Water Park
Cool off at Rapids Water Park
There’s nothing more exciting than enjoying a water park in Florida, and Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach offers 30 acres of thrill-seeking fun. You’ll find an impressive 35 slides to explore and two seven-story drop slides for the more adventurous. Big Thunder offers a 45-degree drop slide in complete darkness that will give you the feeling of weightlessness, while the younger crowd can head to Barefootin Bay with interactive sprayers.
Ride the waves at Sun-N-Fun Lagoon in Naples
Sun-N-Fun Lagoon is a Naples-based water park, where you can take the entire family for a day of fun. The park is home to a collection of exciting water slides, four pools and a long lazy river where you can soak up the sunshine. There’s also a splash pad playground with water features for the little ones, and enclosed water slides for those looking for a bit more thrill.
Swim With The Dolphins
Swim with dolphins in the Florida Keys!
Welcome to Dolphins Plus! Here, our guests have the exciting opportunity to observe and interact with our marine mammal friends in a unique and stimulating environment. We are one marine mammal home in beautiful Key Largo, Florida on the Gulf of Mexico (Bayside). At this location, our guests can experience our dolphins in their natural seawater homes. Along with getting to interact with our marine mammals, guests will learn all about these amazing creatures, and the importance of marine conservation, from our knowledgeable and well-trained staff of trainers and instructors.
Swim With The Dolphins
Our dolphins are always happy to meet new friends. So, come on over and jump on in. We’ll see you at Dolphins Plus.
Go swimming at the Venetian Pool
The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables isn’t like your usual public swimming hole, as this historic haven is the largest freshwater swimming pool in the United States. Dating back to 1923, it’s spring-fed waters will cool you off, while kids will enjoy exploring the cascading waterfalls and cave-like grottos. Perfect for a hot summer day, this National Register of Historic Places landmark also has picnic tables where you can set up an outdoor lunch.
THE ONLY CITY OF LIVE MERMAIDS!
Weeki Wachee is an enchanted spring where you can see live mermaids, take a trip on a river boat cruise, learn about Florida wildlife, and swim in the pristine waters at Buccaneer Bay. You can also embark on a paddling adventure down the pristine waterway of the Weeki Wachee River. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is one of Florida’s most legendary and unique family destinations, entertaining audiences since 1947. Fun for the entire family.