Family things to do in St. Pete Clearwater

Family things to do in St. Pete Clearwater

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Family Vacations

Great family vacations in St. Pete/Clearwater may begin at the beach, but they don’t need to end there. Get your dose of sun and sand, then meet our dolphin movie stars up close, take a swashbuckling pirate cruise, or cheer for the Rays at Tropicana Field, and you’ll realize you’re just getting started with all the family fun this area holds. 


Beachy Fun for Kids

Wide beaches with gentle surf, tot-sized tidepools, food concessions and a pirate-themed playground attract families to North Beach in Fort De Soto Park. Let the kids play to their heart’s content, stretch your legs on rented bikes along seven miles of paved pathways, paddle on an easy kayak trail, or catch the ferry to Egmont Key State Park for awesome snorkeling and to explore the ruins of Fort Dade, built during the Spanish-American War.

Clearwater Beach, about an hour to the north, was named America’s No. 1 beach in 2019. It definitely has something for every family member: vast stretches of soft white sand, parasailing and other watersports, plenty of nearby restaurants and shops as well as a large playground and nightly sunset celebrations at Pier 60. Find more beautiful beaches in our America’s Best Beaches story.
 

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A happy little girl wearing a pirate hat on board Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise.

No family vacation in St. Pete/Clearwater is complete without a pirate cruise. Little ones, in particular, will appreciate the outing.

Fun on the Water for Families

Young kids (and their parents), will love Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise (sailing from Clearwater) or the Pirate Ship Royal Conquest (sailing from John’s Pass). Enjoy scenic views of the beaches and watch for dolphins swimming near the boat while kids hunt for hidden treasure, have their faces painted, play games, join the dance party and listen to pirate tales. 

Nature-loving families will have fun kayaking through Weedon Island Preserve’s mystical mangrove tunnels (and their dense canopy is a good shelter from the sun, too). Have a night owl in the family? Vacation is the perfect time to stay up past bedtime during a nighttime kayak adventure. Shell Key Clear Kayak Glow in the Dark Tours offers outings with kayaks that are illuminated by underwater LED lights. 

The whole family will want to go offshore island hopping on Jet Skis or a powerboat rented from Hubbard’s Marina near John’s Pass in Madeira Beach. Water sports rentals are available throughout St. Pete/Clearwater.
 

Kid-Friendly Attractions

Meeting real live movie stars (of the dolphin type) will thrill kids no end. Head to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to meet Winter and Hope of the “Winter’s Tale” and “Dolphin Tale 2” movies, feed stingrays and watch playful otters. In Madeira Beach, see nearly 200 animals including tortoises, pigs and a sloth at Alligator Attraction in John’s Pass Village.

Just north of downtown St. Pete, the Great Explorations Children’s Museum is packed with opportunities for kids to learn while playing. They’ll discover their inner engineer as they build, learn how to grow vegetables, see themselves on TV on the Live On Air display and watch live shows in the Explorations Theater. 

Downtown St. Pete Attractions

Opened in July 2020, the new St. Pete Pier has all the makings for a fun family outing in one cool place – a beach with gentle surf, playground, splash pad, family-friendly restaurants (with lots of ice cream!) and plenty of greenspace for running around. Kids can learn about the local marine environment at the new Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center in the St. Pete Pier District. 

Nearby, check out a Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer match at Al Lang Stadium or cheer for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team at air-conditioned Tropicana Field. Here, kids can run the bases after Sunday home games, which are designated as Family Fun Days. 

Chill out at the world-class Dalí Museum – explore the kid-friendly gallery, listen to an audio tour geared to kids on the free Dalí app, and try your luck on the self-guided scavenger hunt. Other local art institutions recognize that kids need creative outlets, too - check with the Morean Arts Center and the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts for art activities geared to little ones.