Animal Activities You and Your Kids Will Love

St. Pete/Clearwater has a number of kid-friendly attractions that feature local wildlife. Explore and learn about alligators, dolphins, sea birds and more!

A dolphin playing in the wake of a boat with another boat in the background

Wild dolphins are commonly sighted on boat trips - and even from the beach - in St. Pete/Clearwater.

Regardless of whether your kids are in preschool, kindergarten or fully grown, there's an animal activity they’re sure to love in St. Pete/Clearwater. In fact, we’re willing to bet that you’ll love them, too! Because when it comes to animals, there's nothing more exciting than watching dolphins jump through the air, feeding giant giraffes or holding baby alligators. 

1

Check Out Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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Your kiddos might get just a little bit excited when seeing the resident dolphins at CMA. They can also admire energetic otters, watch graceful sea turtles and make friends with stingrays at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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2

Swim with the Fishes at RumFish Grill

Three children with in a fish tank at the RumFish Grill

RumFish Grill's main attraction is a 33,500 gallon aquarium built on Animal Planet’s hit series TANKED.

Take the plunge in a 33,500 gallon tank inside this popular restaurant on St. Pete Beach. That's right - you can snorkel with over 200 indigenous Florida fish including grouper, tarpon, snapper and a moray eel! You'll also get a behind-the-scenes tour of how the aquarists maintain the tanks and feed the fish. Swim with the Fishes is $35 per person (ages 8 and up) and available Tuesday-Saturday. Children of all ages will love the Touch Tank at the RumFish Beach Resort where you can hold live sea stars, sea urchins and more.

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3

Explore Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

A mom and her daughter fee a giraffe at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay is one of America's largest zoological institutions with more than 2,700 animals.

Feed a 15-foot-tall giraffe or watch cheetahs sprint at speeds of up to 70 m.p.h.! Busch Gardens in nearby Tampa makes for a great day trip and features one of the largest zoos in North America (with more than 12,000 animals). Take your experience to the next level with a Serengeti Safari to search for hippos, lions, hyenas and more from your safari vehicle (ages 5 and up) or care and feed the animals in the Keeper for a Day program (ages 13 and up).  

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4

Learn at the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary

A flock of royal terns lines up along the water's edge in St. Pete/Clearwater

St. Pete/Clearwater is home to many species of water birds, including these royal terns, usually seen in flocks along the water's edge. 

This place is for the birds... and it's a great thing! The Seaside Seabird Sanctuary is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and (if possible) the release of sick or injured wild birds. It also provides a safe home to non-releasable birds. Stop by for a visit any afternoon for a chance to hand-feed the pelicans at 2:30 p.m. Take some time to meet Miss Kitty the Great Horned Owl, Louie the Double Crested Cormorant, George the American White Pelican and more. A variety of educational presentations are held throughout the week, and guided tours are available (call ahead). Open daily and admission is free for all ages, though donations are appreciated!

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5

Head to the Alligator Attraction at John's Pass Village

John's Pass at dusk

John's Pass Village in Madeira Beach is a hub for everything from shopping and dining to boating and birdwatching.

What visit to Florida would be complete without a chance to see live alligators? At the Alligator Attraction at John's Pass Village on Madeira Beach, hands-on adventures create memories and photo opportunities that will last a lifetime. It's an inviting atmosphere for children (and adults) to learn about and interact with amazing reptiles, small mammals, amphibians and more. Open daily.

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6

Take a Dolphin Tour

a pontoon boat used for dolphin tours beached on St. Pete Beach

Take a dolphin watching tour to see these beautiful marine animals in the wild.

Take an exhilarating tour to see wild dolphins i our inland waterways and off our beaches on one of many tours such as Clearwater Marine Aquarium's dolphin and wildlife tourDolphin Quest or the Dolphin Racer and be entertained as you watch acrobatic bottlenose dolphins surf and dive alongside. All ages are welcome and cruises take place daily. 

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7

Snorkeling at Egmont Key or Shell Island

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Get close to fish and other wildlife by snorkeling at Egmont Key or Shell Island. You can take one of several shuttles to get there (ask about snorkeling equipment).

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