Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and around Tampa
20 Best Places to Take Kids in the Tampa area: 2019's winners!
The best places to take kids in Tampa, based on KidsOutAndAbout's annual reader survey. After checking out the winners below: Explore KidsOutAndAbout's lists for lots more ideas: Check out our packed calendar of events, visit our Everything That's Free page, and sign up for our free weekly newsletter that will tell you everything you need to know so you can make plans to experience all of the Tampa area's family-friendly hidden gems.
Busch Gardens Tampa is a 335-acre 19th century African-themed animal theme park located in the city of Tampa, Florida.
The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)3 non-profit facility that aims to engage people through education, entertainment, conservation and research to inspire stewardship of our natural environment.
Adventure Island - Tampa
Adventure Island is a water park located northeast of Tampa, Florida, across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The park features 30 acres of water rides, dining, and other attractions.
Lowry Park Zoo
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is a 63-acre nonprofit zoo located in Tampa, Florida.
Cracker Country is a rural Florida living history museum. You won't just see history, as your experiences unfold before you you'll feel like you've become part of the past. It's a great place to create memories that will last a lifetime with your children or grandchildren. Cracker Country is open during the Florida State Fair, selected Saturdays throughout the fall, and for school programs and private tours by reservation only.
Glazer Children's Museum
Glazer Children's Museum is a place where children and their parents can learn through play and shared discovery. Created specifically for children under 12, our Museum offers 170 'interactivities' in multiple themed areas for families to explore, connect while having fun along the way.
My Local Library
Of course, the libraries in the Tampa area are not really ONE place, but MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication. They're proud that locals voted them to the list of the best places to take kids this year!
Bounce House Place
Bounce House Place is a spot where your kids would be known by their names. Children love bouncing and we love to make them happy by offering the best inflatable fun around! Bounce House Place is clean and fun full. We have 6 mega bounce rides, a jungle gym, video games, a party place, a play date place, open play times and even more.
Museum of Science and Industry
MOSI is a non-profit, community-based institution. We are dedicated to advancing public understanding of science, industry and technology. Our core ideology is to make a difference in people's lives by making science real for people of all ages.
Altitude Trampoline Park
Imagine Museum opened in 2018 in St. Petersburg, Florida is dedicated to Contemporary American and International Studio Glass. Currently, the 48,000 square foot museum has over 700 pieces of American and International Studio Glass sculpture representing artists from the United States and countries from around the world. Our mission is to inspire, uplift and educate through our collection and programs offered to the public. Imagine Museum wants families to celebrate and create art together and offers “Imagine THAT!” pop-up art making events for families every third Saturday. It also hosts several school field trips and has a summer camp for kids ages 11-14.
Florida Rail Road Museum
Founded in 1981, the Florida Railroad Museum's mission is to acquire, preserve and operate historic examples of Florida's railroad history. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM, year-round. Diesel train excursions operate on Saturdays and Sundays only, departing at 11 AM and 2 PM. Special events are scheduled throughout the year featuring themed train rides.
Pioneer Florida Museum and Village
The Pioneer Florida Museum and Village welcomes families and groups for self-guided tours or guided tours with advance notice. The museum has many buildings and displays mainly representing the 1800’s through 1945. Throughout the year, the museum puts on festivals and special events: Scarecrow Festival, Country Christmas & Vintage Market, Living History events, Raising Cane, A sweet and spicy event (Cane Syrup Competition and a Chili Cook-off), Farm Fest & Quilt Show, and a Jelly Bean Fling. The museum is dedicated to historic preservation and education. During each special event, museum buildings have docents in period clothing, traditional craft demonstrations, vendors, children’s activities, live entertainment and great food.
Astro Skate Family Fun Center
Astro Skate is a family fun center with roller skating, bounce houses, cafe, arcade games and more! The fun never stops! In addition to fun events like open skate, we offer skating lessons, birthday parties, and summer camps.
Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue is one of the world’s largest accredited sanctuaries for abused and abandoned exotic cats. More than 50 big cats are permanent residents. We offer guided tours of our sanctuary where children will learn the rescue stories of some of the cats and learn about the issues facing captive and wild big cats. Guided tours for adults and children 10+ are offered every day except Thursday; our Kids Tour for children under 10 accompanied by a parent is offered on Saturdays and Sundays only. Advance reservations required. Learn more and purchase tickets at bigcatrescue.org/tickets
The Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre offers great movies, good food, and a family atmosphere. We have a 2,000 square foot screen, clean restrooms, snack bar and clean parking lot. We are open year round â€” rain or shine, hot or cold, including holidays!
Tampa Bay History Center
The Tampa Bay History Center includes three floors of permanent and temporary exhibition space focusing on 12,000 years of Florida history. It is one of Tampa’s premier cultural venues. The History Center’s hands-on, kid-friendly activities, together with cutting-edge interactive exhibits provide a unique educational experience.
As a top-rated 4-star charity, the Tampa YMCA is more than a place to work out — it’s a place of community. Members don’t just get unlimited use of wellness centers, heated pools & 50+ different group fitness classes, they get access to a Stay & Play for kids to learn & play; splash pads & water parks for the whole family; and free family events. The Y also offers camp, afterschool care, youth sports and swim lessons. The Tampa Y motivates kids and teens to succeed in school and in life, prevents drowning and helps community members get healthier. No other local organization offers the wide array of programs and services like the Tampa YMCA.
Bricks 4 Kidz
Celebration Station is the place for family fun! Just one stop gets you an arcade, batting cages, bumper boats, go-karts, lazer tag, miniature golf, and some awesome rides. Kids will have a blast, and so will adults! There are plenty of options for everyone, so Celebration Station rarely disappoints.
Winners in Special CategoriesIn the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in six categories. Here were their choices.
Favorite Arts EducationStraz Center for the Performing Arts
Located on the bank of the historic Hillsborough River, the Straz Center serves as a cultural crossroads, bringing innovative new artists and blockbuster commercial successes to the Tampa Bay community. With its award-winning outreach programs that take the arts to underserved school children and the only accredited performing arts school in the region, the Patel Conservatory, the Straz Center also nurtures the creative spark and transforms lives.
Favorite Sports/Physical EducationTopgolf Tampa
Topgolf is the premier golf entertainment complex where the competition of sport meets your favorite local hangout spot. You can challenge your friends and family to addictive point-scoring golf games that anyone from the hopeful pro golfer to your neighbor’s 7-year-old kid can play year-round. It's not golf- it's Topgolf. Give it a shot!