Tampa is considered a “hidden jewel,” and is among the most popular towns in Florida. The city is situated along the shores of Tampa Bay on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It is famous for its beaches and a resort-like atmosphere, making it a year-round, family-friendly vacation destination. Tampa Bay has fabulous year-round weather and offers great roller coasters and world-class animal attractions, combined with gorgeous views from wildlife to water.
This dazzling waterfront city has so much to offer families and is a great choice for those looking for warmer climates during the winter months. With an array of exciting attractions, Tampa Bay offers everything for the family to enjoy together. If you are preparing for a vacation, we can show you the best places to visit and fun things to do with kids.
Best Places to Visit in Tampa with kids
Tampa has many beautiful resorts, theme parks, state parks, and water parks. There is always something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the best kid-friendly places to visit when you are with the whole family.
1. Florida Aquarium
If you love aquariums, then this is the place to visit. Florida Aquarium is in downtown Tampa and is one of the top attractions in the city. The aquarium features seven exhibits showcasing a range of freshwater and open ocean habitats. There are simulated coral reefs, beaches and bays, wetlands in a glass atrium, and more. Families can explore by joining one of five tours, some leaving the aquarium and heading out to the ocean or on their own.
The aquarium also features a 4D multisensory theatre that brings short films to life. There is a water play area for kids, known as the Splash Pad, included in the admission price. Other activities that visitors can engage in include diving with sharks, swimming with marine life, and participating in an in-water snorkel experience.
2. Busch Gardens Tampa
Another popular family attraction is Busch Gardens. This attraction site is a “must-visit” for families exploring Tampa with kids because it is home to many attractions. Busch Gardens offers spectacular shows and entertainment, up-close animal encounters, and larger-than-life roller coasters.
Busch Garden’s water park, Adventure Island, features fun attractions such as a lily pad crossing, water slides, an interactive splash area, and a lazy river. It provides a perfect place to cool off and have fun during the hot summer days. Adventure Island hosts special events that your kids will not want to miss during the summer.
3. Zootampa at Lowry Park
Zootampa at Lowry Park is a great zoo with many cool animals to see. The zoo is home to over 2,000 animals, including monkeys, giraffes, ostriches, and more. It is a perfect setting for kids to learn, as up-close animal encounters are allowed throughout the zoo.
You can explore Wallaby Station with your little ones as they can ride bumper boats and the Tasmanian Family Coaster. You can also visit Africa via a behind-the-scenes Expedition Africa Safari. Additionally, you can feed the giraffes and pet the animals during your visit.
4. Glazer Children’s Museum
The Glazer Children’s Museum features informative and interactive exhibits designed to keep children of all ages entertained. In addition to exhibits, there are also play spaces and different activities that kids can participate in. Regular special events are held at the museum that are perfect for family fun.
5. Ybor City
Ybor City is a historic neighborhood filled with cute shops and restaurants. It is located just across from Tampa Bay and offers some of the best places to visit in the city. Ybor City features a lot of history, with many old buildings and colonial homes still standing today. Here you can enjoy the sight, sounds, and tastes of Italian, Spanish, and Cuban influences.
There are a lot of fun things to do in Ybor City. You can relax outside at one of the many cafes and restaurants, or you can visit and check out the Ybor History Museum or the museum of science. You can also go shopping at Centro Ybor.
6. Visit the Beach
Tampa Bay has so many beautiful beaches. The two most popular beaches include Clearwater beach and St. Pete beach. They are magnificent paradise vacations and offer a great place to relax with the family. Clearwater Beach is the main attraction and has stunning views and sunsets like no other. There are many things to do at this beach, such as swimming, boating, and fishing. You can also visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is located nearby.
St. Pete beach boasts beautiful white sand and clear water to enjoy. A day at St. Pete beach can be a perfect way to relax and enjoy time together as a family. Whether you are visiting in the summer or winter, we have some of the best beaches in the country to choose from.
7. Tampa Museum of Arts
The museum is in downtown Tampa. The museum features an array of cultural collections, such as Greek and Roman antiquities and contemporary exhibits. There are also various performances, including live music, for the family to enjoy.
Money -Saving Tips
There are several ways to save money on your travel expenses while visiting the city. Below are some suggestions:
1. Stay at a Bed and Breakfast
Staying at a bed and breakfast offers a great way to save money when traveling. Bed and breakfast is like a hotel, yet it is more private, home-like, and offers personalized service. Since bed and breakfasts are smaller than hotels, they usually cost less when it comes to the nightly rate.
2.Rideshare Instead of Renting a Car
If you opt for Uber or Lyft, you can save hundreds of dollars compared to renting a vehicle. Besides with the average speeding citation coming in at $152, you can avoid the costly fines and give someone else the responsibility of driving you around town.
3. Eat Local
Many restaurants in Tampa offer delicious local cuisine. As a tourist, you get to experience the best food the city offers by eating at local restaurants without breaking the bank. Many restaurants, pubs, and cafes offer daily specials, happy hour discounts on drinks and tapas, and more. Stop by a locally owned eatery for a delicious meal that won’t leave your pockets starving.
4. Make Sure You Remember The Trip
You might be going with friends and family that you don’t often travel with. It might be a trip you won’t do again or do pretty infrequently. So, you need to try and preserve the memory of your trip. You can do this in a few ways. Pictures and videos are the obvious answer. However, you might also want physical, high-quality photos in a book or album that you can flick through whenever you feel like it. You can put together a travel photo book after the trip so you’ll always have something to remember it by. You can make one of these for each of your trips too and create a feature shelf in your home.
Whether you come with kids or a group of adults, there are plenty of sites to see and things to do in Tampa. Enjoy the sun and world-famous beaches while getting the most out of your Tampa vacation.