Tampa, a vibrant city located on the western coast of Florida, offers an array of remarkable experiences and educational opportunities for families with children.
Tampa offers a vast selection of attractions that are rich in history and culture, as well as interactive activities designed for young minds.
This city offers museums, parks, and entertainment venues for all ages, ensuring unforgettable memories for families.
Here’s a list of 15 carefully curated things to do with kids in Tampa, providing families with a comprehensive guide to explore the best of the city.
The recommendations include wildlife encounters at aquariums and zoos, outdoor adventures at gardens, and adventure-themed amusement parks.
They also highlight some lesser-known gems such as historical landmarks or science centers where experiential learning can be enjoyed by the family.
Engaging in these unique experiences in Tampa can provide valuable insights into the city’s diverse offerings while promoting cognitive development and cultural awareness in children.
The Florida Aquarium
The Florida Aquarium serves as a premier destination for families seeking an engaging and educational experience.
The renowned facility features over 200,000 sq ft of exhibit space showcasing diverse marine life from around the world, with over 20,000 creatures from 1,600 species, offering ample opportunity for observation and appreciation of underwater ecosystems.
The Florida Aquarium’s immersive exhibits transport guests into natural environments, showcasing unique challenges faced by marine organisms and emphasizing the importance of conservation efforts for preserving delicate ecosystems.
The Florida Aquarium offers interactive experiences like touch tanks and behind-the-scenes tours, fostering wonderment and respect for nature’s marvels.
Zoo Tampa At Lowry Park
ZooTampa at Lowry Park is an award-winning zoo spanning over 63 acres with 1,300 animals from around the world, offering an exciting and educational experience for all ages.
From the Florida Manatee and Aquatic Center to Asian Gardens, this destination offers a chance to explore diverse ecosystems while learning about critical conservation efforts.
One of the highlights is Wallaroo Station, designed specifically with young explorers in mind. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to feed kangaroos, pet wallabies, brush goats, and even ride ponies.
The park features rare species, immersive experiences, and displays on wildlife preservation, making it an ideal location for fostering curiosity and appreciation for nature in children.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
The iconic Sunshine Skyway Bridge spans 4 miles across Tampa Bay, connecting St. Petersburg to Terra Ceia. As one of the world’s longest bridges, it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding waters and is a popular destination for sightseeing and photography enthusiasts.
Visitors can access several parks located near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge that offer family-friendly activities such as picnicking, fishing, bird-watching, and nature trails exploring.
For instance, Fort De Soto Park on the southern end boasts pristine beaches alongside historical attractions like the fort itself.
On the northern side, Skyway Fishing Pier State Park offers educational programs on marine life conservation for kids and angling opportunities or relaxation for parents in serene settings.
With its stunning vistas and abundant recreational offerings, Sunshine Skyway Bridge serves as an exceptional addition to any Tampa-based family adventure.
This 2.6-mile pedestrian trail along the Hillsborough River offers fun activities for all ages. It connects parks, museums, and attractions, providing an enjoyable outdoor experience.
Walk along the scenic waterfront and visit interactive exhibits at The Florida Aquarium or explore the past at the Tampa Bay History Center.
Children will be captivated by their encounters with native Floridian wildlife at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park’s playgrounds and splash pads.
Families can rent bikes or watercraft to explore the river and relax on picnic blankets in beautiful natural surroundings.
With its inviting atmosphere and diverse offerings, Tampa Riverwalk serves as an ideal place for creating lasting memories during one’s visit to this city.
Lettuce Lake Regional Park
Lettuce Lake Regional Park is a great outdoor destination for families in Tampa. With over 240 acres, it offers a variety of amenities and attractions for all ages and interests.
The park offers playgrounds, picnic shelters, a boardwalk, and more for children to explore Florida’s natural beauty. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, bird watching, canoeing, or kayaking in the serene landscape.
The park has an interpretive center with exhibits and interactive displays about local wildlife. Rangers lead guided tours to promote environmental awareness and educate visitors about the ecosystem.
Lettuce Lake Regional Park offers both educational experiences and recreational fun, making it an ideal choice for families seeking physical activity and intellectual stimulation during their visit to Tampa.
Bayshore Boulevard is the world’s longest continuous sidewalk, spanning 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometers) along Tampa Bay. It provides stunning views of the water and city skylines.
The palm tree-lined boulevard is a popular attraction for tourists and locals who enjoy walking, jogging, biking, or rollerblading. The wide pedestrian path accommodates families with young children and strollers without causing congestion.
Bayshore Boulevard has numerous parks with playgrounds for kids to burn off energy. Benches are strategically placed for parents to rest and enjoy bay vistas while keeping an eye on their children playing nearby for safety and peace of mind.
Teco Line Streetcar System
Kids visiting Tampa can enjoy a memorable experience on the TECO Line Streetcar System, a vintage streetcar that provides a nostalgic and educational journey through downtown Tampa, Channelside District, and historic Ybor City.
The beautifully restored TECO Line Streetcar System offers an authentic glimpse into Tampa’s transportation history while exploring its vibrant neighborhoods. It features ten stations along its 2.7-mile route, with various points of interest within walking distance from each stop.
Children can learn about historical landmarks on the TECO Line Streetcar System while riding on high-quality replica Birney Safety Cars or a fully-restored original car. Families can also explore popular attractions before continuing their journey through time aboard this unique mode of transportation.
Raymond James Stadium
Raymond James Stadium, or the ‘Ray Jay,’ is a multi-purpose venue in Tampa that opened in 1998 with a seating capacity of over 65,000. It’s home to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the South Florida Bulls college football team and hosts various events such as concerts and sports competitions.
Taking kids to Raymond James Stadium is a great way to have fun and learn. Watching live sports games together on game days can bring families closer and give them a chance to share their love for their favorite teams.
Buccaneer Cove has interactive exhibits for kids to learn about NFL history and professional football players. It also hosts non-sporting events like music festivals and monster truck shows throughout the year for diverse experiences to suit all family interests.
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Families can enjoy another exciting attraction for sports enthusiasts and young fans: George M. Steinbrenner Field, away from the bustle of Raymond James Stadium.
Named after the late New York Yankees owner and serves as the spring training home for the team and regular-season home for minor league affiliate Tampa Tarpons.
George M. Steinbrenner Field offers family-friendly activities and amenities in addition to high-quality baseball games.
The stadium offers numerous concession stands featuring classic ballpark fare such as hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, and more.
Children have ample opportunities to meet mascots and get autographs from their favorite players during designated times throughout each game day event.
George M. Steinbrenner Field is an affordable and engaging option for local residents and tourists with children seeking memorable experiences in Tampa.
Horse Power For Kids & Animal Sanctuary
Horse Power for Kids & Animal Sanctuary is a unique destination in Tampa that lets children interact with different animals, fostering their appreciation for nature and wildlife.
The establishment is a non-profit organization that rescues and rehabilitates animals while educating visitors. They have a diverse range of animals, including horses, goats, pigs, llamas, rabbits, tortoises, and exotic birds.
Children can participate in horseback riding lessons while observing proper safety guidelines. Guided tours enable them to gain insight into the daily lives of these fascinating creatures by witnessing how they are fed and cared for by dedicated staff members.
Horse Power for Kids & Animal Sanctuary serves as an unforgettable experience particularly suited for those seeking family-friendly attractions in Tampa.
Museum Of Science And Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is a science museum with over 100 hands-on exhibits on technology, astronomy, weather, robotics, and natural sciences. It’s a great place for scientific exploration and discovery.
Kids can learn STEM through interactive displays like piloting lunar rovers or designing video games at MOSI. ‘Kids in Charge!’ is a special attraction with experiments for children aged 12 and younger.
Visitors gain knowledge and lasting memories from exploring MOSI.
Adventure Island is a popular water park in Tampa, located beside Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, with 30 acres of aquatic activities including slides, pools, and play areas for all ages.
Notable attractions at Adventure Island include Colossal Curl, a thrilling slide, Riptide Raceway, high-speed racing slides, and Wahoo Run, a rafting adventure with surprises in a dark tunnel.
Adventure Island has well-maintained facilities, including changing rooms and lockers, and multiple dining options in the park to keep hunger at bay.
Attentive staff members provide exceptional customer service at Adventure Island, ensuring children’s safety while they explore the park.
Adventure Island is a cherished destination for residents and tourists seeking memorable family outings in Tampa, with plenty of splashes and laughter.
Glazer Children’s Museum
The Glazer Children’s Museum in downtown Tampa offers engaging and educational experiences for children of all ages with interactive exhibits that promote creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
The museum has a water play area, an art studio, and science-based displays for hands-on exploration. They also host special events and programs to encourage a love of learning.
The Glazer Children’s Museum aims to foster imagination and connections between children, families, and the world. It has 170 exhibits on two floors for curious minds to explore.
The institution offers age-appropriate activities for children from toddlerhood to adolescence, creating a safe space that inspires curiosity and wonder. It’s a must-visit destination when exploring Tampa with kids.
Hillsborough River State Park, located 20 miles northeast of downtown Tampa, offers recreational opportunities for all ages, with nature trails through different ecosystems and educational programs that promote appreciation for Florida’s natural habitats and wildlife.
Lowry Park Zoo is an attraction along the Hillsborough River that houses over 1,300 animals from 330 different species. Visitors can explore themed areas like Safari Africa, Primate World, Asian Gardens, and Wallaroo Station Children’s Zoo, all designed to encourage learning about global conservation efforts.
Zoo offers interactive animal encounters for guests to feed giraffes or touch stingrays up close while learning from knowledgeable zookeepers about their unique characteristics and behaviors.
Croc Encounters is a reptile park that offers a unique opportunity to engage with alligators and crocodiles in their natural habitat. It’s a sanctuary dedicated to rescuing unwanted or improperly cared for creatures and providing them with a safe environment for rehabilitation and growth.
They offer guided tours through exhibits where visitors can learn fascinating facts about alligators and crocodiles and witness up-close interactions with these captivating predators.
Interactive experiences such as holding baby alligators allow young explorers to form lasting memories while fostering respect and appreciation for these often-misunderstood creatures.
Educational programs emphasize conservation efforts and responsible pet ownership, providing valuable insights into preserving diverse ecosystems.
With its engaging encounters and commitment to animal welfare, Croc Encounters is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience for both children and adults alike.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Tampa is a great place to visit with kids as there are many family-friendly attractions and activities.
Some popular attractions in Tampa for kids include Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo, and the Museum of Science and Industry.
Tampa is located approximately 70 miles west of Walt Disney World, which is located in Orlando, Florida.
Yes, Tampa has several beaches including Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, and Honeymoon Island State Park.