There are lots of things to do and see in the greater Tampa Bay area which both adults and children will find fun but which will also be quality learning experiences. (Parents, don’t tell your kids that second part.)
If you find animals and natural experiences fun, consider:
- The Clearwater Marine Aquarium with its hands-on opportunities with turtles, sting rays and other sea mammal.
- The Florida Aquarium with sharks and other Florida sea creatures and animals.
- Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary home to wild birds that have been injured and rescued.
- Unspoiled Caladesi Island, ranked a best beach in the U.S., offers natural vegetation, bird life and interpretive programs for Florida nature study.
- Weedon Isiland Preserve with both land and canoe and kayak trails.
- Moccasin Lake Park with natural habits and native animals and birds in their home environment or nature center.
- Educational water excursions out into the bay and the Gulf of Mexico to catch sea animals and fish to see, touch and release.
- Island adventures to secluded beaches for shells and cruise by mangroves filled with birds.
- MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) with over 450 very hands-on experiences – get blown away by winds up to 74 mph or feel a lightning strike or plan your mission to Mars.
- Great Explorations Children’s Museum with its touch tunnel, think tank and the body shop will fire imaginations, test wits and stretch mental muscles.
- David L. Mason Children’s Art Museum at the Dunedin Fine Art Center with playful themes, intelligent and interactive experiences.geared to parents and children.
- Heritage Village, a mid-to-late 19th century and earlier living historical museum where men and women dress in period costume and live and work as Florida’s pioneers did.
- Tarpon Springs with its authentic Greek culture to see how sponges have been harvested for centuries.
- Fort DeSoto, a Spanish American war fort, is a neat place for kids to climb the batteries and learn a little history, too.
And that’s not all … drive go-karts and practice your swing at Celebration Station; play miniature or “real” golf at a wide variety of courses; ice skate in the Florida warmth inside the Westfield Countryside Mall; become an actor at Ruth Eckerd Hall’s children’s theatre; knock down the pins at the bowling lanes; swing and play at Pier 60 Park; swim at The Long Center; catch the big one and tell fish tales on one of the fishing boats in the largest fishing fleet on the West Coast of Florida; rollerblade or bike along the 47 mile Pinellas Trail; pretend you’re a swashbuckling pirate aboard the Captain Memo Pirate Ship.