Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and around Tampa
20 Best Places to Take Kids in the Tampa area: 2020'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.
Lowry Park Zoo
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is a 63-acre nonprofit zoo located in 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.
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.
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.
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!
Museum of Science and Industry
Get hands-on in Tampa's iconic science center where curious minds can explore space science, weather, engineering, physics, the human body, and more. Become and aspiring astronaut in Mission Moonbase or let your creativity run wild in Idea Zone, where anyone can design and engineer hands-on STEAM projects. Learn about the Jurassic Period and see our 30-foot tall Diplodocus in Dinovations Lab. Immerse your senses on the Virtual Reality Simulator ride, discover the night sky in the Saunders Planetarium or head outside to experience an adrenaline rush like no other on the Sky Trail Ropes Course. Get "STEAMED" at MOSI, where Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math collide!
Pump It Up
Westchase Pump It Up is the premiere children's party facility in Tampa. Parties are private, w/packages for 10, 15 or 25 kids w/basic to all inclusive options. Kids have tons of fun on 7 different inflatables, 100 plus blocks, & digital floor w/35 games.
Glazer Children's Museum
Glazer Children's Museum is a non-profit organization located in the heart of Downtown Tampa. At GCM children and their grownups can learn through play and shared discovery in over 35,000 square feet of interactive exhibits.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
A non-profit marine animal hospital dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine animals. It is also home to Dolphin Tale stars, Winter and Hope!
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.
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.
Altitude Trampoline Park
Altitude Trampoline Park in Tampa is the largest trampoline park in the bay area. It features high energy equipment such as trampolines, a foam pit, a rock climbing wall, and much more entertainment for families, groups, and individuals. Young or old, you're bound to enjoy yourself here at Altitude.
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.
Playgrounds of Tampa
Playgrounds of Tampa is South Tampa's only indoor bounce house park and coffee lounge. Bounce house rentals are available too.
A catapult for the imagination since 1926, the nonprofit Tampa Theatre is a passionately protected historic landmark and one of America’s best-preserved examples of grand movie palace architecture. Its mission is to protect, preserve and program the Theatre as a creative film and cultural center for our community.
Henry B. Plant Museum
The Henry B. Plant Museum is housed in the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, the Victorian railroad resort that defined the elegant frontier, now a National Historic Landmark. Unlike most museums dedicated to lifestyles of the past, it contains the actual furnishings enjoyed by the first guests to visit here. The Museum accurately reflects the opulence of turn-of-the-century America and the vision of American transportation pioneer, Henry B. Plant.
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.
Broadway Theatre Project
The BTP mission is to provide educational excellence, and to mold a creative, collaborative, well-rounded, professional musical theatre arts performer.
Great Explorations Children's Museum
Great Explorations Children’s Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has served the children and families of the Tampa Bay area since 1987. Designed for children 10 and under, the 24,000 square foot museum is filled with exhibits and activities to stimulate learning through creativity, play and exploration. The museum is a learning playground where children can make a discovery, make a mess, and even make a new friend.
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 EducationLaFleur's Gymnastics and Little Flipper Swim School
LaFleur’s Gymnastics and Little Flipper Swim School is a family owned and operated business that has been serving the Tampa Bay Area since 1980. We offer Gymnastics for kids, Swimming classes, Birthday Parties, Summer Camps, and much more!