Still stressing about things to do in Sarasota with kids?
This vibrant paradise is where pristine beaches, cultural gems, and endless fun collide to create an unforgettable family experience. Nestled along Florida’s Gulf Coast, this enchanting city beckons with a plethora of activities that are sure to captivate both young and young at heart.
Sarasota offers loads of possibilities, whether you’re an adventurous bunch seeking thrilling escapades or a laid-back crew looking for serene family bonding. From sun-soaked beaches and interactive museums to nature preserves brimming with exotic wildlife, this sunny haven promises endless smiles and cherished memories.
So, fasten your seatbelts as we journey to uncover the best things to do in Sarasota with kids.
Here’s our list of things to do in Sarasota with kids.
Where is Sarasota?
You will find Sarasota in Florida in America. It faces the Gulf of Mexico in the country’s southwest. It belongs to Sarasota County, about 60 miles/97 km south of Tampa and 80 miles/129 km of Fort Myers. Sarasota’s exact coordinates are 27.3365 N, 82.5310 W.
What is Sarasota best known for?
Sarasota boasts some of the most picturesque and award-winning beaches in the United States. Siesta Key Beach, known for its fine, powdery white sand, has consistently been ranked among the top beaches in the country.
The city is also renowned for its vibrant cultural and arts scene. It is home to several notable art galleries, museums, and performing arts venues, including the Ringling Museum of Art, which houses an extensive collection of European masterpieces. Sarasota also hosts the Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Ballet, and the Sarasota Orchestra, contributing to a rich cultural experience.
Sarasota’s association with the Ringling family has left an indelible mark on the city. John and Mable Ringling, famous for their involvement in the circus industry, established their winter residence in Sarasota. The Ringling Estate features the Ringling Museum, Ca’ d’Zan mansion, and beautiful gardens, providing a glimpse into the city’s history and elegance. Hence the city’s nickname, “Circus City.”
In addition to its stunning beaches, the area is surrounded by lush greenery, including parks and nature reserves. Sarasota Bay and the nearby Myakka River State Park provide opportunities for outdoor activities like boating, kayaking, and birdwatching, showcasing Florida’s diverse wildlife.
The city’s culinary scene has flourished in recent years. The city offers many dining options, from upscale waterfront restaurants to cozy cafes and trendy food trucks. Sarasota is known for its fresh seafood, international cuisine, and farm-to-table establishments catering to diverse palates.
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28 Things to Do in Sarasota with Kids
Siesta Key Beach
Location: 538 Canal Rd., Sarasota, Florida
The 8-mile Siesta Key Beach is famous and special for its dazzling white silky, powdery sands. It’s a unique feature that earned the beach the prestigious title of “America’s Best Beach” multiple times. The sand here is so fine that it feels like walking on clouds, making every step an enchanting experience.
Stroll along the shore with your children, collecting seashells and spotting fascinating marine life. Help your little architects build intricate sandcastles or host a friendly sandcastle competition. The fine sand is perfect for creating towers, moats, and elaborate sculptures.
Siesta Key Beach also boasts well-maintained playgrounds with swings, slides, and climbing frames. Let your kids unleash their energy, make new friends, and have a blast. There are also picnic areas with shaded tables and grills, excellent for your family picnic amidst the lush surroundings.
The magical allure of its turquoise waters is not only mesmerizing but also safe for swimming, with shallow entry paired with gentle waves. Introduce your kids to the wonders of snorkeling and welcome them to the underwater world and the diverse marine creatures in the area. Don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear! It’s one of the most memorable things to do in Sarasota with kids.
Don’t forget to treat your kids (and yourself!) to delectable ice cream from the charming ice cream parlors dotted along Siesta Key. From classic flavors to unique creations, the ice cream here is a sweet reward after a fun-filled day at the beach.
Siesta Key Beach is a captivating destination where your family can indulge in relaxation, adventure, and endless laughter. Its ethereal beauty combined with a wide variety of activities is a combo for a day filled with joy.
Location: 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243, United States
The Ringling in Sarasota is an iconic cultural complex that offers a wide selection of activities for visitors across all ages and walks of life. This landmark stands out because of its colorful past. Expect a diverse art collection, including works by Old Masters, contemporary artists, and captivating Asian art. Kids can engage with interactive exhibits, participate in art-making activities, and experience engaging displays. You can get lost in the Ringling family’s rich circus heritage at this dedicated museum. Children can also marvel at the world’s largest miniature showcasing a circus.
Join a guided tour of the Mediterranean mansion Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, where John and Mable Ringling used to spend their winters. Admire the opulent architecture, luxurious interiors, and the mansion’s picturesque waterfront location. And with the expansive gardens surrounding The Ringling are perfect for leisurely walks and outdoor activities.
Watch for the various events held at The Ringling, such as live performances, concerts, and family-friendly activities. It can be a stroller tour or a family art session.
And with its waterfront location, The Ringling offers ample space for children to run, play, and even picnic. Bayfront treasure hunts are also on, depending on the schedule. If you want to experience the magic of the past, The Ringling deserves to be on top of your list of things to do in Sarasota with kids.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Location: 3701 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34234, United States
Sarasota Jungle Gardens is set in a beautiful 10-acre tropical garden environment, allowing visitors to explore lush greenery, exotic plants, and vibrant flowers. The serene atmosphere provides a stunning backdrop for a family outing, making it one of the best things to do in Sarasota with kids.
One of Sarasota Jungle Gardens’ highlights is getting up close and personal with various animals. Kids will love the chance to hand-feed flamingos, hold parrots, and interact with animals like lemurs, snakes, tortoises, and alligators. These interactive encounters create lasting memories and educational experiences.
The park also features entertaining bird shows that showcase various bird species’ natural behaviors and talents. These interactive performances include colorful parrots, macaws, and other feathered friends that perform tricks, imitate sounds, and engage the audience with their intelligence and beauty.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens is known for its reptile exhibits, where kids can learn about different reptile species, including alligators, turtles, and snakes. The park offers educational presentations that provide fascinating insights into the lives and habits of these creatures.
There’s also a dedicated children’s play area where kids can burn off some energy. This area typically features playground equipment, slides, and other fun activities designed specifically for younger visitors.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens offers various educational programs and field trips for children. These programs provide hands-on learning experiences about nature, wildlife conservation, and the importance of preserving our natural resources.
Apart from the animal exhibits, the park has beautiful botanical gardens filled with tropical plants, flowers, and trees. Families can take leisurely walks, enjoy picnic areas, and appreciate the natural beauty of the gardens.
Big Cat Habitat
Location: 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240, United States
The primary focus of the Big Cat Habitat is to offer a permanent home to ensure the safety of various big cats, like ligers, leopards, and lions (just to name a few). They are committed to the rescue, recovery, and revitalization of these magnificent creatures, many of whom previously suffered abuse and neglect. They are currently home to more than a hundred and fifty wildlife residents.
They offer educational experiences to visitors of all ages. Kids can discover different species of big cats and learn about their natural habitats and behaviors. There’s also an emphasis on the importance of conservation efforts. Friendly staff are everywhere to provide informative talks and demonstrations and promote responsible wildlife stewardship.
Under professional supervision, you can witness thrilling live animal encounters, including up-close and personal experiences. Your family can also have the opportunity to meet and interact with smaller exotic animals, such as lemurs, tortoises, or birds. These interactions create memorable and educational experiences, so remember to add them to your list of things to do in Sarasota with kids.
Entertaining and educational shows showcasing its residents’ natural abilities are also in play. These shows often include demonstrations of agility, strength, intelligence, and cunning strategies. Watching these animals in action can be awe-inspiring for both children and adults. You can also head to the petting zoo, where kids can interact with goats, sheep, and other domesticated animals. It provides a more hands-on experience connecting the kids with nature safely.
Remember, Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary are conservation-focused, and everything is designed with the animals’ safety in mind. Stick to the guidelines and instructions of the staff to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Jumpin’ Fun Inflata Park
Location: 7321 Trade Ct, Sarasota, FL 34240, United States
Jumpin’ Fun Inflata Park in Sarasota is an exciting indoor playground with various options for all-day fun, from inflatable structures to interactive games, multiple obstacle courses, and more.
The park features a variety of inflatable play structures that are both safe and entertaining to try, giant slides, and bounce houses where children can jump, climb, slide, and explore these colorful bouncy structures. If you want to put a smile on your little one’s face, remember to add this spot to your list of things to do in Sarasota with kids. There’s also a designated spot for toddlers, ensuring that even the little ones can have a blast during your visit. This area typically includes smaller inflatables and age-appropriate activities suitable for younger children.
If you visit during open jump sessions, kids can freely explore the various inflatables. During these sessions, children can engage in active play, burn off energy, and enjoy a fun-filled experience. The park typically offers different sessions based on age groups. Well-maintained and regularly inspected, they ensure they meet safety standards to ensure the safety of all guests. Coupled with well-trained staff to monitor everyone and each play area, parents can let their kids run around with peace of mind.
When visiting Jumpin’ Fun Inflata Park with kids, dress them in comfortable clothing and socks, as they are typically required for safety and hygiene. Supervise your children to ensure their safety and to make the most out of their experience. Check the park’s website or call in advance to confirm operating hours and any specific rules or requirements.
Overall, Jumpin’ Fun Inflata Park offers an entertaining and engaging environment for children to have fun, be active, and create lasting memories.
Mixon Fruit Farms
Location: 2525 27th St E, Bradenton, FL 34208, United States
Mixon Fruit Farms is known for its expansive fruit orchards, offering visitors a unique opportunity to experience nature’s beauty and learn about different types of fruits. You can stroll through the orchards, pick your own fruits (depending on the season), and enjoy the freshest produce. An excellent detour while ticking out your list of things to do in Sarasota with kids.
The farm is home to Mixon’s Wildlife Refuge, where kids can encounter various animals and birds. They can observe playful parrots, friendly lemurs, colorful peacocks, and other wildlife species. The refuge provides an educational experience while fostering a love for animals and conservation.
Guided tram tours also take you around the farm, allowing you to learn about the farm’s history, operations, and agricultural practices. The tours are informative and entertaining for both children and adults.
The Butterfly Garden at Mixon Fruit Farms is a delightful attraction. Children can witness the mesmerizing beauty of numerous butterfly species fluttering around vibrant flowers. It’s an enchanting experience that allows kids to learn about the life cycle of butterflies and their role in pollination.
Designated areas for children to play and have fun have swings, slides, and other equipment to keep kids entertained. Additionally, you’ll find picnic areas.
Mixon’s Market and Deli is a must-visit spot on the farm, where you can indulge in delicious treats like homemade ice cream, freshly squeezed juices, and citrus-based products. It’s an excellent opportunity for you and your youngster to try different flavors and learn about the local produce to recharge for the rest of the day following your itinerary of things to do in Sarasota with kids.
Mixon Fruit Farms offers a unique blend of agricultural experiences, wildlife encounters, and family-friendly activities. It’s an ideal destination to introduce kids to the wonders of nature, enjoy outdoor fun, and create lasting memories in a beautiful setting. Double-check with their website for updated schedules.
Myakka River State Park
Location: 13208 State Rd 72, Sarasota, FL 34241, United States
Spanning 37,000 acres, this massive natural gem is a must-explore for any nature lovers and their families in Sarasota. The Myakka River State Park offers various recreational opportunities. You can rent canoes, kayaks, or pontoon boats to explore the river’s serene waters and observe the abundant wildlife along its banks. An exciting way to experience Myakka River State Park is when you sign up for an airboat tour. It will take you through shallow marshes, where you will encounter the park’s wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and numerous bird species.
The park features a unique 100-foot-long canopy walkway suspended 25 feet above the ground. It provides a thrilling perspective of the park’s lush vegetation and offers excellent opportunities for birdwatching. You might spot deer, over 300 types of birds, alligators, and bobcats. Go on a family hike through the natural trails, like the Birdwalk or the Oak Canopy Trail, and spot these fascinating creatures and their behaviors in the wild.
Tent and RV camping sites are also available for those who want to extend their stay to absorb the natural surroundings fully. Family camping is one of the most memorable things to do in Sarasota with kids! It’s an excellent time for stargazing, campfire cooking, storytelling, and more. If you’re not staying overnight, there is a picnic area to enjoy snacks and drinks, and then take your kiddos to the playground for extra fun.
Circus Park/Payne Park
Location: 2010 Adams Ln, Sarasota, FL 34237, United States
Circus Park, or Payne Park, is a popular 60-acre recreational area offering various activities for children and adults. It features a large, well-maintained playground perfect for kids of all ages. It has swings, slides, climbing structures, and other play equipment designed to engage and entertain children.
One of Circus Park/Payne Park’s highlights is its splash park, which provides a refreshing water play area for kids. They can enjoy running through water sprays, fountains, and other interactive features, making it a great place to cool off during hot summer days. If you want a place where your children can run loose while having the time of their life, add this spot to your list of things to do in Sarasota with kids.
Older kids and teenagers who enjoy skateboarding, rollerblading, or scootering will love the skate park at Circus Park/Payne Park. It offers ramps, rails, and other obstacles for them to practice their skills and have fun.
The park also boasts various sports facilities where kids can engage in different activities. It includes basketball courts, tennis courts, and open fields for soccer, frisbee, or other team sports. Well-maintained walking and biking trails that wind through beautiful green spaces are also available. You can take your kids for a stroll, ride bikes, or even bring scooters or rollerblades to explore the park’s surroundings.
Circus Park/Payne Park offers picnic areas with tables and benches, making it a great family picnic spot. Pack a lunch and spend quality time surrounded by the park’s natural beauty with your kids.
If your family has a furry friend, you can bring your dog along, provided they are on a leash and you clean up after them. It’s an excellent opportunity for your kids to spend time with their four-legged companion.
Circus Arts Conservatory
Location: 2075 Bahia Vista St, Sarasota, FL 34239, United States
The Circus Arts Conservatory has been dedicated to preserving and promoting circus arts since 1997. There are various circus education programs for children of all ages aiming to teach circus skills such as acrobatics, juggling, aerial arts, and more. In a safe and supportive environment, kids can learn from professional circus performers and trainers.
It’s also home to Sailor Circus, one of the longest-running youth circus programs in the United States. Kids can participate in Sailor Circus as performers and gain valuable experience in front of live audiences. They can learn to perform acts like flying trapeze, high wire, and clowning.
There are also exhibits about the rich history and heritage of the circus. Kids can explore interactive exhibitions and historical artifacts and learn about the legendary circus performers who have contributed to the art form over the years.
The Conservatory hosts various special events and performances throughout the year. These include circus shows, aerial performances, and workshops by world-renowned circus artists. Attending these events with kids can be a great way to experience the magic and excitement of the circus firsthand, so don’t miss this one on your itinerary.
When visiting the Circus Arts Conservatory with kids, you can enroll them in circus classes or workshops to learn new skills, watch circus performances, explore the Circus Arts Museum, and attend special events or festivals. It’s an opportunity for them to be inspired by circus arts’ artistry, discipline, and creativity while having a memorable and enjoyable time.
The Mote Marine Laboratory
Location: 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236, United States
The Mote Marine Laboratory is renowned for its advanced marine research, covering topics such as shark biology, coral reef ecology, and harmful algal blooms. Exploring this 10.5-acre laboratory allows visitors to learn about ongoing projects and the importance of protecting marine ecosystems.
It’s home to a public aquarium that showcases a diverse array of marine species. Children can engage with interactive exhibits, including touch tanks with stingrays and sharks, educational displays about marine habitats, and informative presentations about different sea creatures. The highlight is the 130,000-gallon shark tank.
You can also witness a working marine animal hospital in action. Children can learn about the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured marine animals, including dolphins, sea turtles, and manatees. There are also guided tours and educational programs suitable for children. These may involve behind-the-scenes tours, boat trips to observe marine life, hands-on activities, and interactive presentations by marine scientists.
And since the laboratory is situated in a picturesque waterfront location, providing scenic views and outdoor spaces to explore. Families can enjoy leisurely walks along the water, utilize picnic areas, or relax in shaded spots while overlooking the ocean. It’s another must of things to do in Sarasota with kids for nature and animal lovers traveling around the city.
Crowley Museum And Nature Center
Location: 16405 Myakka Rd, Sarasota, FL 34240, United States
The 191-acre Crowley Museum and Nature Center is a unique destination in Sarasota, Florida. It offers a variety of experiences that blend history, nature, and education. The museum features interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience life in the late 19th-century Florida pioneer settlement. Kids can explore historic buildings, such as the Tatum House and the blacksmith shop, and learn about the daily activities of early settlers.
The nature center boasts over three miles of trails through diverse ecosystems, including pine flatwoods, oak hammocks, and wetlands. Families can embark on guided or self-guided nature walks, spotting various wildlife species, such as birds, butterflies, and turtles. Taking the Children’s Discovery Path offers an excellent opportunity for kids to learn about local flora and fauna.
There are also activities for children, like crafts, woodworking, and historical games. They can also try their hand at using old-fashioned tools and gain insights into the skills required for survival in early Florida.
Crowley Creek flows through the property, providing opportunities for canoeing and fishing. You and your family can rent canoes and paddle along the creek, observing the natural beauty and possibly spotting wildlife. Fishing is permitted in designated areas, so you can teach your kids the basics of angling.
Educational programs designed specifically for children are also available. These programs focus on topics like ecology, sustainability, and conservation. Kids can participate in interactive learning experiences, nature walks, and hands-on activities that foster a deeper understanding of the natural world.
TreeUmph! Adventure Course
Location: 21805 State Road 70 E, Bradenton, FL 34202, United States
TreeUmph! Adventure Course in Sarasota is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, especially families with kids. They offer an exciting treetop obstacle course set amidst the beautiful natural surroundings of Sarasota. The course features zip lines, suspended bridges, swinging logs, nets, and other thrilling elements that allow you to navigate the trees.
The adventure course at TreeUmph! is designed to cater to different age groups and skill levels. There are multiple courses available, each offering other challenges and heights. It allows both kids and adults to find an appropriate level of adventure that suits their abilities. Safety is also the priority, ensuring all participants are appropriately equipped with harnesses and other safety gear. Before the course, trained guides provide comprehensive safety instructions and demonstrations, ensuring a secure and enjoyable experience.
Sitting in a scenic natural environment, this spot provides a unique opportunity to explore the beauty of Sarasota’s outdoors. As you navigate the courses, you’ll encounter breathtaking views of the surrounding trees and vegetation, enhancing the overall experience.
Kids will have a blast conquering the treetop obstacles and zipping through the air on the zip lines. TreeUmph! also offers ground-based courses designed for younger children. These courses feature elements closer to the ground, allowing kids to have their own adventure and build confidence before progressing to higher courses. There are also picnic tables and shaded areas, making it a great spot to relax, have a picnic, and enjoy the natural surroundings. Take a break from the adventure and enjoy quality time with your family amidst the trees.
Remember to check TreeUmph!’s official website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on activities, pricing, and any additional services they may offer.
For an unforgettable family trip, place TreeUmph! as one of your top things to do in Sarasota with kids!
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Location: 1534 Mound St, Sarasota, FL 34236, United States
The 15-acre Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a renowned botanical garden with more than 250 flora species calling it home. It has a world-class orchid collection, including many species and hybrids. Kids will be fascinated by these beautiful flowers’ vibrant colors, unique shapes, and fragrances.
The Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden is designed specifically for children, with interactive displays, hands-on activities, and educational exhibits allowing kids to explore the wonders of rainforests. They can learn about diverse plant species, discover the importance of conservation, and engage in creative play. Kids can climb, slide, and explore a multilevel treehouse. This interactive structure encourages imaginative play and physical activity.
Selby Gardens also organizes various family-oriented events and workshops throughout the year. These events may include art activities, nature walks, storytelling sessions, and plant-themed crafts. Check their website or contact the gardens for information on upcoming events suitable for children.
The Tropical Conservatory at Selby Gardens provides a climate-controlled environment where visitors can explore a lush tropical landscape. Kids can marvel at various plants, observe butterflies, and learn about different ecosystems.
Whether you’re a green thumb or just want to immerse your little ones in nature, visiting the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will be a rewarding addition to your checklist of things to do in Sarasota with kids.
St. Armands Circle
Location: 300 Madison Dr., Suite 201, Sarasota, FL 34236-1300
St. Armand’s Circle is a unique and popular shopping and dining district known for its charming European-inspired atmosphere. It offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages, including children. It has grown to over 140 boutique shops, galleries, and specialty stores after it opened in 1926. You can explore the area and find unique clothing, jewelry, artwork, toys, and more.
The Circle has many dining options, including restaurants, cafes, and ice cream parlors. From family-friendly eateries to gourmet dining experiences, there is something to suit every taste. You can enjoy a leisurely meal or grab a quick snack with your kids. We enjoyed the servings at Settimi’s Gelato and Ben and Jerry’s selection.
St. Armand’s Circle is conveniently located near Lido Beach, just a short walk away. You can take your kids to the beach for a fun-filled day of swimming, building sandcastles, and soaking up the sun. Combining your visit to St. Armands Circle with beach time is another fantastic addition to your things to do in Sarasota with kids.
The place is adorned with numerous outdoor sculptures and art installations, adding to its unique charm. Children might enjoy spotting and exploring these art pieces as they stroll through the area.
Various events and entertainment options also happen throughout the year. These include art festivals, live music performances, car shows, and more. Check the calendar of events for any special happenings during your visit.
Location: 5947 Clark Center Ave, Sarasota, FL 34238, United States
This 50,000 sq. ft. of entertainment hub can keep your kids busy and engaged all day. The Livingston Amusements is one of the fun things to do in Sarasota with kids when it’s raining. It’s a place for the young and the young at heart. With 22 billiard tables, you can play as many rounds as you wish without worrying about crowds. There are 8′ and 9′ tables where children can play, too, but the main ones are strictly for 21 and over.
Once your family gets to the Bazooka Ball, it’s time for paintball war in a black light room. It’s one of the highlights that guests enjoy the most. The thrill and adrenaline rush is one of a kind!
Livingston Amusements also has go-karts, where your family plays a friendly competition. The bumper cars also allow you to enjoy the crash safely without consequences. Remember, any child must be under adult supervision in these activities.
Smash the buttons at the arcades where both classic and new games are available. And if you collect enough e-tickets (you need to download their app), you can grab prizes as souvenirs. And after all the fun and entertainment, head to the bar for some satisfying servings and drinks.
Livingston Amusements is a one-stop shop for things that will keep your kids smiling all day.
Sarasota Children’s Garden
Location: 1670 10th Way, Sarasota, FL 34236, United States
The 2-acre Sarasota Children’s Garden is a delightful destination explicitly designed to cater to the interests and imaginations of children. It offers a range of unique features and activities that make it a special place for kids and families to visit. It features colorful plants, playful sculptures, and interactive exhibits that engage the senses and spark creativity.
One of the most beloved attractions at the Sarasota Children’s Garden is the enchanting Fairy Garden. Kids can explore tiny fairy houses and whimsical fairy-themed displays and leave notes or gifts for the fairies.
There’s also a butterfly house where children can observe and learn about various species of butterflies. It’s a fantastic opportunity for kids to witness the magical transformation of caterpillars into butterflies up close.
Your kids can also unleash their musical talents by playing the outdoor musical instruments scattered throughout the garden. These instruments include xylophones, drums, and chimes, providing an interactive and melodic experience.
The Sarasota Children’s Garden also has a treehouse and expansive playground. Children can climb, slide, swing, and explore, promoting physical activity and imaginative play.
They host a variety of seasonal events and workshops throughout the year. These may include arts and crafts activities, storytelling sessions, gardening workshops, and themed celebrations. Remember to check their schedule for specific events during your visit.
The garden includes several sensory areas designed to engage children’s senses. These spaces feature plants with different textures, scents, and colors, providing a multisensory experience for kids to explore and enjoy.
Sarasota Children’s Garden offers a unique blend of natural beauty, interactive exhibits, and engaging activities, encouraging children to learn, explore, and use their imagination. It’s a beautiful place for families to spend quality time together while fostering a love for nature and creative play. Don’t forget to include this gem on your things to do in Sarasota with kids!
Evie’s Family Golf Center
Location: 4735 Bee Ridge Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233
Evie’s Family Golf Center offers a range of activities and features that make it a special place to visit. It has an impressive 18-hole miniature golf course. It’s a fun and interactive activity suitable for both children and adults. The course is well-designed, with various obstacles, challenging holes, and beautiful landscaping, creating an enjoyable experience for the whole family. Remember to keep this one of your things to do in Sarasota with kids.
If your little ones are interested in golf or want to try it, Evie’s Family Golf Center has a driving range where they can practice their swings. There are different targets and distances to aim for, making it an engaging activity for aspiring golfers of all ages.
In addition to golf-related activities, Evie’s Family Golf Center has an arcade area with various games. Children can play classic arcade games, try their luck at redemption games, or participate in interactive challenges. It provides a perfect opportunity for some friendly competition and entertainment.
And when hunger strikes, you and your kids can head to the snack bar at Evie’s Family Golf Center. They offer a selection of tasty treats, such as hot dogs, ice cream, nachos, and refreshing beverages. Furthermore, the center has a picnic area where you can enjoy a family meal or take a break amidst the green surroundings.
Evie’s Family Golf Center provides a family-friendly atmosphere with various activities suitable for kids. It’s an ideal place to spend quality time together, engage in recreational sports, and create lasting memories.
Dakin Dairy Farm
Location: 30771 Betts Rd, Myakka City, FL 34251
The 1,200-acre Dakin Dairy Farm has advocated sustainability since its operations in 1973. You and your family can join guided tours that provide an up-close look at a working dairy farm, from various stages of milk production and milking cows to processing and packaging. The knowledgeable tour guides explain the process, answer questions, and offer exciting insights into their farming practices.
The farm features a petting zoo where children can interact with friendly animals such as goats, sheep, chickens, and rabbits. Kids can pet and feed the animals, creating memorable and hands-on experiences. If you want your little ones humbled by farming while learning and having a blast, this spot is a must on your things to do in Sarasota with kids itinerary.
Witnessing a live cow milking demonstration is a unique experience for kids. They can observe the process and learn how milk is extracted from the cows in a safe and educational environment. And during the fall season, Dakin Dairy Farm offers additional attractions like a corn maze and a hay mountain, where you and your youngsters can navigate through the twists and turns of the maze and have a blast climbing and jumping on the hay mountain.
You’ll also try out their fresh milk, produce your own butter, and taste chocolate. And before leaving the farm, you can visit the on-site gift shop, which offers a variety of farm-related products, including dairy products, locally sourced honey, and farm-themed souvenirs. It’s a great place to find unique gifts or souvenirs for your visit.
Oscar Scherer State Park
Location: 1843 S Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229, United States
Sitting on 1,400 acres, exploring everything in a day in this natural treasure trove, is impossible. The Oscar Scherer State Park showcases ecosystems, including scrubby flatwoods and hardwood hammocks (just to name a couple). It is home to numerous flora and fauna, like the endangered Florida scrub jay. Families can go on nature strolls or explore the park’s 15-mile trail to discover its rich biodiversity.
Your kids can enjoy swimming in the park’s lake, which features a sandy beach for relaxation and fun water activities. Fishing is also permitted, providing an opportunity for children to try their hand at catching fish.
Your family can also access various family-friendly nature trails suitable for all ages. These trails traverse diverse habitats and provide opportunities for observing wildlife. The park includes both shorter and longer trails, with the Lester Finley Barrier-Free Nature Trail designed to accommodate visitors with disabilities.
Experience the great outdoors by camping at the park’s designated campsites, some of which have electrical hookups. Camping allows children to connect with nature and enjoy a memorable outdoor adventure. Additionally, picnic areas are equipped with tables and grills, making it an ideal spot for a family picnic.
South Creek also flows through the park, offering some opportunities for paddling a canoe or kayak. You can rent them from the ranger station and scour the scenic waterways with your kids.
Oscar Scherer State Park is a haven for birdwatchers, with diverse bird species to observe, including the iconic Florida scrub jay. You and your kiddos can also participate in the educational and recreational programs park rangers lead. It is one of the best things to do in Sarasota with kids for those who want to disconnect from the world for a while.
The Celery Fields
Location: 6799 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240, United States
Celery Fields is a famous wetland preserve covering over 400 acres, offering essential habitat and diverse wildlife collection. Roughly 220 bird species call it home, making it a must-visit for birdwatchers who come to the city. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars! It’s a fantastic educational kids’ activity where they can discover different species and their behavior in their natural habitat.
With picturesque landscapes, photography is also a well-loved practice. Your shots will usually have rolling hills in the background. It offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area, so if you want additional feed to your Instagram, you must add Celery Fields to your things to do in Sarasota with kids.
There are also several well-maintained walking trails throughout Celery Fields. You take it slow on a nature walk, observe wildlife, and plunge into the heart of nature. Keep an eye out for turtles, alligators, rabbits, and other creatures that inhabit the area.
Remember to follow any posted rules and regulations, respect the environment, and stay on designated trails to preserve the natural habitat. Enjoy your visit to the Celery Fields and make unforgettable memories with your family!
Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show
Location: 1602 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236, United States
The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show offers thrilling water ski performances and family-friendly entertainment every Sunday. It happens near the Mote and is open to the public for free.
Expect a variety of impressive water ski stunts and tricks performed by skilled athletes. From high-speed jumps and flips to synchronized formations and pyramids, these thrilling maneuvers captivate audiences of all ages, including children. The performers at Ski-A-Rees don vibrant and eye-catching costumes that add an element of visual appeal to the show. Kids are often fascinated by the bright colors and imaginative outfits, enhancing their overall experience.
The water ski show is accompanied by lively music that complements the performers’ routines and adds an energetic atmosphere. Aside from the water ski show, kids often have the chance to participate in specific segments. Some shows may invite young volunteers to join the performers on the water or interact with them during particular acts. If you want a trip of a lifetime, list this on your things to do in Sarasota with kids.
Announcers may offer interesting facts about water skiing, the local environment, or the Ski-A-Rees’ history during the show. This blend of entertainment and education can make the experience both fun and informative for young spectators.
The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show offers kids a unique and exciting experience. Through its thrilling stunts, colorful costumes, energetic music, family-friendly environment, interactive elements, and educational aspects, the show captivates young audiences and creates a memorable day of entertainment.
Shark Tooth Hunting in Venice Beach
Location: 1701 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291, USA
Shark tooth hunting in Venice Beach, Sarasota, is a unique and exciting activity for children and adults. Famed as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World” due to its exceptional concentration of fossilized shark teeth, the area’s geological history and underwater currents have contributed to accumulating these ancient treasures along its shores.
Venice Beach is famous for shark tooth hunting because of its accessibility. The 14-mile shoreline is easily accessible, making it suitable for kids of all ages to explore. The fossilized shark teeth can often be found on the sand or in shallow water, requiring minimal effort to start seeing them.
Your little ones can discover teeth from various shark species, such as megalodon, great white sharks, tiger sharks, and more. It’s a hands-on experience that combines fun and education. Plus, they make for fantastic souvenirs! It’s like a real-life treasure hunt where they can search for unique and ancient shark teeth. The joy of finding a tooth, especially a rare or well-preserved one, can be a thrilling and memorable experience for children.
You and your family can enjoy the beach atmosphere, soak up the sun, and feel the sand between your toes while engaging in an activity stimulating curiosity and exploration. It’s a shared experience that encourages teamwork and fosters a sense of adventure.
Don’t forget to bring a mesh bag or bucket to collect your kid’s finds, a small shovel or trowel for digging, and a sifter or sieve to sift through the sand. Remind them to watch out for the ocean’s tides, avoid going too deep into the water, and stay aware of their surroundings. Applying sunscreen and wearing hats and sunglasses will also help protect them from the sun.
You can also bring a field guide or use online resources to learn about different types of shark teeth and their characteristics. This knowledge will make the activity more educational and exciting.
Allow them to appreciate the coastal environment, collect seashells, and observe other marine life they may encounter. Shark tooth hunting in Venice Beach combines adventure, education, and the thrill of discovery, making it an enjoyable activity for the whole family.
Smugglers Cove Sarasota
Location: 3815 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34234, United States
Smugglers Cove offers two beautifully landscaped 18-hole mini-golf with a pirate theme. They are complete with everything pirates are filled with the ship, statues, caves, and waterfalls, creating a fun and immersive experience for children and adults.
One of the iconic features of this spot is its live alligator exhibit. Kids can get close and personal with these fascinating creatures while learning about their habits and characteristics. There’s even an opportunity to feed the alligators under staff supervision.
Dropping by offers entertainment with education. The facility provides informational signs and displays throughout the attraction, offering insights into pirate lore, the Florida pirates’ history, and interesting facts about alligators. And as part of the mini-golf experience, kids can participate in a treasure hunt. They are given a treasure map and clues that lead them through the course to find hidden treasures. It adds an extra layer of excitement and engagement for young adventurers. When you’re out of things to do in Sarasota with kids, this one will add flavor to your family trip.
There’s also an arcade with various games and prizes, providing additional entertainment options for children. And once hunger strikes, you can refuel refreshments or snacks from the snack bar.
When visiting Smugglers Cove, plan a fun-filled day by playing putt-putt, exploring the alligator exhibit, searching for treasures, smashing the buttons on the arcade, and indulging in snacks.
Location: 1704 99th St NW, Bradenton, FL 34209, United States
The 487-acre Robinson Preserve has many activities and features, making it an excellent destination for families with kids. It’s home to a network of well-maintained trails that wind through various habitats, including mangrove forests, marshes, and coastal wetlands. Exploring these trails is a fantastic way to introduce children to the wonders of nature and wildlife. You can spot birds, butterflies, turtles, and even the occasional manatee along the way.
The preserve features a 40-foot observation tower that provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Climbing up the tower with your kids can be an exciting adventure. You can admire the breathtaking scenery from the top, including the nearby river, estuary, and the Gulf of Mexico.
You and your kids can also explore the designated paddling trail that allows visitors to explore the waterways by canoe or kayak (definitely one of the best things to do in Sarasota with kids!). Remember to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the food with your kids while surrounded by the serene beauty of the preserve.
Take a detour to the on-site nature education center for interactive exhibits, displays, and educational materials about the local flora, fauna, and ecosystems. You can also bring the kids to the playground area, where they can spend all their energy running around.
Robinson Preserve is also home to diverse wildlife, including various bird species, fish, reptiles, and mammals. Encourage your kids to bring binoculars and guidebooks to identify the animals they encounter during their visit. Birdwatching is particularly popular here, as the preserve is a stopover for migratory birds.
Mysterium Escape Rooms & VR
Location: 1900 Main St Ste 104, Sarasota, FL 34236, United States
Mysterium Escape Rooms & VR Sarasota is a unique entertainment venue that offers immersive escape room experiences combined with virtual reality (VR) technology. You can choose from themed escape rooms designed to challenge players’ problem-solving and teamwork abilities. These interactive adventures often have compelling storylines, intriguing puzzles, and hidden clues that participants must uncover and solve within a set time limit.
You’ll experience cutting-edge virtual reality experiences where you’ll be fully immersed in a digital world, enabling your family to explore fantastical environments, engage in thrilling adventures, or play exciting games. Iconic themes like Escape the Lost Pyramid and Prince of Persia are two of our favorites.
The family-friendly environment and the staff are trained to ensure everyone feels welcome and comfortable, making it one of the must-try things to do in Sarasota with kids. Mysterium’s VR experiences are designed to be age-appropriate, so your kids can enjoy them without compromising their safety.
The young and the young at heart can have a blast while practicing critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. Children’s communication abilities, creativity, and logical reasoning through the challenges presented in the escape rooms and VR adventures are also put to the test.
Mysterium Escape Rooms features a range of themes to cater to different interests. Whether your child is fascinated by fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, or adventures, there is likely a room that will capture their imagination.
We love the alien-inspired Area 941 and the classic Wild Wild West. And to complete the circus fame of the city, you can meet the challenges at their upcoming room, Freak Show.
Downtown Walking Food Tour
The Downtown Walking Food Tour in Sarasota offers a unique culinary experience that allows you to explore the city’s vibrant food scene while enjoying a leisurely walk through its charming downtown area. It will take you to several hand-picked local eateries, ranging from casual cafes to gourmet restaurants. It ensures you and your family can sample various culinary delights, including regional specialties, international cuisine, and delicious desserts. It’s an excellent opportunity to discover new flavors and satisfy everyone’s tastes.
As you stroll through downtown Sarasota, your knowledgeable tour guide will provide fascinating insights into the city’s history, architecture, and local culture. You’ll learn exciting facts about the area’s landmarks, art scene, and food’s role in Sarasota’s vibrant community. It’s an educational and engaging experience for the whole family.
These tours are usually designed to be interactive and personalized. The group sizes are generally small, allowing for a more intimate experience and the opportunity to interact with the guide and restaurant staff. You can ask questions, share your food preferences or dietary restrictions, and receive recommendations tailored to your family’s needs.
The tour is conducted at a relaxed pace, allowing you to savor each culinary stop and take in the ambiance of the downtown area. It provides ample time for children to enjoy food and explore their surroundings without feeling rushed. If you have a foodie family, this is one of the best things to do in Sarasota with kids.
Some tour companies may offer specific family-friendly versions of the Downtown Walking Food Tour, considering children’s preferences and needs. Look for options that cater to families to ensure a seamless experience. And if any family members have dietary restrictions or food allergies, inform the tour operator in advance. Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. Consider bringing a water bottle, sunscreen, and other essentials to keep your family comfortable throughout the tour.
Bring a camera or smartphone to capture the tour’s highlights and create lasting memories. You can also document your family’s favorite dishes or moments to share with friends and reminisce about the experience later. Signing up for a food tour is an excellent way to bond with your loved ones while discovering the vibrant food scene of this charming city.
Here are some of our recommended food tours:
Guided Segway Tour
Location: 614 Florida Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236, United States
Riding a Segway is a thrilling experience that allows you to glide through the streets of Sarasota effortlessly. It offers a unique perspective of the city and its surroundings, making it a memorable adventure for kids and adults.
These tours usually come with experienced guides knowledgeable about the city’s history. They provide informative commentary throughout the tour, adding educational value to the experience. Segway tour companies in Sarasota often design routes to accommodate families with kids. They select safe, scenic, and interesting paths, ensuring children enjoy the tour without concerns.
Segways are relatively easy to operate, and most children above a certain age (usually 12 or 14 years old, depending on the tour company) can participate. The tour guides provide thorough training and safety instructions before the tour begins, making it accessible for people of various skill levels. So double-check and confirm the minimum age and weight requirements set by the tour company beforehand to ensure your children meet the criteria.
Remember to book your guided Segway tour in advance, arrive on time, and come prepared with comfortable shoes.
If you want to add a Segway tour to your list of things to do in Sarasota with kids, check out Sarasota by Segway.
Guided Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Tour
Location: 190 Taft Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236, United States
The Guided Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Tour takes you through a network of stunning mangrove tunnels, which are narrow water passages formed by the intertwined roots of mangrove trees. As you paddle through these natural tunnels and intricate root systems, it creates a magical atmosphere. Your little ones will love the sense of adventure and the feeling of being in a secret world. Want a mystical experience while in the city? Book your family’s spot as part of your things to do in Sarasota with kids.
Sarasota’s Lido Key Mangrove Tunnels are home to diverse wildlife, including birds, fish, crabs, and sometimes even dolphins and native manatees. During your tour, you’ll also encounter the unique ecosystem of the mangroves. And it’s not just about paddling; it also provides an educational component. Knowledgeable guides will share fascinating information about the mangroves, their importance in the coastal ecosystem, and the various plant and animal species that call them home. Kids will be able to learn about marine biology and environmental conservation in an engaging and hands-on way.
The 2.5-hour guided kayak tour is designed to be accessible to all skill levels, including children. The kayaks are stable and easy to maneuver, making it a safe and enjoyable activity for kids. Guides are experienced and provide instructions on paddling techniques, ensuring everyone feels comfortable and confident on the water.
The Lido Key Mangrove Tunnels offer a serene environment away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The calm waters, the gentle sound of paddles, and the beauty of nature create a peaceful atmosphere that allows kids and adults to relax and appreciate the beauty of their surroundings. Sign up with Sea Life Kayak Adventures and paddle away!
And it’s a wrap!
We hope our list of things to do in Sarasota has inspired you to embark on an unforgettable family experiences in this captivating city. Sarasota’s unique blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and endless entertainment ensures that every family member, big or small, will find their own slice of paradise.
From building sandcastles on its pristine shores to marveling at the wonders of science in its interactive museums, the things to do in Sarasota with kids offer a world of endless possibilities. Don’t forget to indulge in the local cuisine, from fresh seafood delights to mouthwatering treats, and discover the charm of the city’s vibrant communities.
Safe travels, and may your Sarasota adventure be filled with joy, laughter, and the spirit of exploration!
Traveling with Family?
Read our Family Travel Tips
Check out these spots to create beautiful memories with your little ones:
– Siesta Key Beach
– The Ringling
– Jumpin’ Fun Inflata Park
– Mixon Fruit Farms
– Myakka River State Park
Get the entire list of Things to do in Sarasota with kids.
You will find the city of Sarasota on the west coast in Florida with exact coordinates of 27.3365 N, 82.5310 W.
Learn all about Sarasota in our guide and get the list of 28 Things to do in Sarasota with kids.