Family fun in the Sunshine State
Florida might just be the most family-friendly vacation destination in the whole world. From Disney’s Magic Kingdom, ‘the happiest place on Earth’ to national parks filled with cute (and excitingly dangerous!) critters, the Sunshine State has fun for kids covered.
So if you are planning your next family vacation, or looking for somewhere to visit with the kids, Florida should be top of your list. Whether you want to pack the car up and hit the road for a Florida road trip, or explore the huge range of cruises leaving from Florida, planning some time exploring the kid-friendly options in the Sunshine State is a must.
So without further ado, here are six of the best attractions in Florida for families.
Walt Disney World
The jewel in the crown of family attractions in Florida (and arguably in the world), Walt Disney World is the last word in entertainment for kids. Covering a truly enormous 27,258 acres, Disney World includes four separate theme parks, two water parks, a huge variety of themed hotels, a camping resort, golf courses, and a shopping center. As a result it offers as much for parents as it does for kids, and will provide fun and excitement for as long as you need it to.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Florida boasts some of the best state parks in the United States, and the natural springs of north and central Florida are a real treat to explore. Combining gorgeous natural beauty with a touch of magic and mystery, Weeki Wachee State Park is one of the best state parks to visit with kids. As well as the warm, crystal clear waters of the natural springs, Weeki Wachee offers extraordinary underwater mermaid shows, as well as an on-site water park, Buccaneer Bay. As a bonus, if your kids love mermaids then why not head over to Orlando and discover the Mermaid Academy, where they can learn how to become mermaids for the day!
The Everglades National Park
The Everglades National Park is one of the world’s most remarkable and unique natural wildernesses. A massive expanse of wetlands, incorporating over 1.5 million acres of mangrove swamps, sawgrass marshes, and pine woods. For kids it offers thrills and excitement galore, from airboat rides and kayaking adventures to the chance to get up close and personal with alligators, turtles, manatees, and even the rare and elusive Florida panther!
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Housed in an exquisite, palatial complex in Sarasota, the Ringling Museum of Art is the home of circus, and a fascinating and enjoyable way for kids to discover this delightful art. Incorporating a museum, an art gallery, and a vintage train, the 66 acres of European-style gardens also offer the chance for your kids to try out a few circus skills for themselves!
Mableringling, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Blue Spring State Park
Another gorgeous state park with exceptional natural springs to swim in and explore, Blue Spring State Park comes with an extra-added bonus – wild manatees! The warm, clear waters of the St John river are one of the best places in Florida to see (and even swim with) these cute and cuddly mammals in their natural habitat, and makes a magnificent day out for the whole family.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Founded back in 1972, this wonderful sanctuary for rescued marine wildlife is a great place for kids to learn a little bit about life under the ocean waves, and to see some of the most beautiful creatures the sea has to offer. The aquarium rescues, treats, rehabilitates, and releases all manner of sick and injured sea creatures, from dolphins and turtles to sea otters and nurse sharks. It is a worthy cause, and a lovely place for a family to visit.
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