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Family-Friendly Fun: Exploring Tampa with Kids

Updated: 2 days ago

Family aboard TECO Street Car

Many families find themselves visiting Florida for vacation. Florida is fun and full of beautiful cities to visit like Tampa! Tampa Bay, nestled on the Gulf Coast of Florida, is a vibrant destination brimming with activities and attractions that cater to families of all ages and interests. From its scenic parks and beaches to its rich array of museums, aquariums, and theme parks, Tampa offers a perfect blend of educational and recreational opportunities, making it an ideal spot for family vacations.

Where to Stay: The Roost Apartment Hotel!

The Roost Tampa Hotel

The Roost Tampa Hotel represents a unique blend of comfort, style, and local flavor, appealing to travelers seeking an immersive experience. Located in the heart of Tampa on Water Street, this boutique hotel offers a distinctive stay, merging modern amenities with personalized services that cater to the needs of each guest. Whether visiting for business or leisure, The Roost Tampa Hotel provides an elegant base from which to explore the rich cultural tapestry of the city.

The hotel boasts an array of features designed to enhance the guest experience. Rooms are spacious and thoughtfully appointed, with a focus on creating a relaxing environment that also meets the needs of those requiring a productive workspace. High-speed internet, luxurious bedding, and an amenity level that make a stay at The Roost Tampa Hotel both comfortable and convenient.

The hotel's advantageous location means guests are just a stone's throw away from iconic landmarks, such as the Tampa Riverwalk, Busch Gardens, and the historic Ybor City neighborhood. The rooms provide the perfect amount of space for families plus the added bonus of having a kitchen and in-room washer and dryer.

Must Visit Attractions with Kids:

The Glazer Children's Museum:

The Glazer Children's Museum, nestled in the heart of Tampa, Florida, is a vibrant hub of exploration and learning. This museum stands as a beacon of creativity and education, offering a plethora of interactive exhibits and programs that engage young minds in a wide range of subjects from science and technology to art and culture. The museum's philosophy is rooted in the belief that play is essential to learning, providing a safe and stimulating environment where children can explore, discover, and imagine.

Glazer Children's Museum Photo Op

The museum is designed to cater to children of all ages, with exhibits tailored to various stages of development. From toddlers to pre-teens, every visitor finds something to spark their interest and curiosity. One of the highlights is the "Water's Journey," a hands-on exhibit that teaches children about the water cycle and the importance of conservation in a fun and engaging way.

By fostering an environment of inclusivity and fun, the Glazer Children’s Museum continues to inspire a lifelong love of learning in children, making it a cherished institution in Tampa and beyond.

The Florida Aquarium:

One of the must-visit family attractions in Tampa Bay is the Florida Aquarium. It's an aquatic wonderland that allows families to get up close with a variety of marine life, from sharks and rays to sea turtles and coral reefs. The aquarium also offers interactive exhibits and educational programs that engage children while teaching them about marine conservation.

Many aquariums have dedicated areas or programs focused on conservation efforts, such as the rehabilitation of injured sea turtles or the breeding of endangered species. These initiatives provide valuable lessons on environmental stewardship and encourage children to think about the role they can play in protecting our planet's natural resources.

Kids Exploring Florida Aquarium

Moreover, Florida aquariums often feature immersive experiences such as touch tanks, where children can gently interact with sea stars, urchins, and even baby stingrays under careful supervision. These hands-on activities not only bring a sense of wonder and excitement but also help kids develop a deeper appreciation for marine life. With the addition of 3D shows, behind-the-scenes tours, and even the chance to snorkel or dive with certain species, a visit to a Florida aquarium is a memorable outing that educates, entertains, and inspires curiosity in the natural world.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Visiting ZooTampa at Lowry Park with kids promises an adventure-packed day filled with educational and exciting experiences. This well-loved zoo, nestled in the heart of Tampa, Florida, is designed to offer families an intimate glimpse into the lives of animals from around the globe, making it a perfect destination for those eager to combine fun with learning.

ZooTampa Elephant

One of the highlights of ZooTampa is its array of interactive exhibits and hands-on activities that cater specifically to children. From feeding giraffes in the African-themed area to watching the manatees being cared for in the Manatee Critical Care Center, kids are given the rare opportunity to connect with wildlife in a meaningful way. The zoo also features several splash pads and play areas, ensuring that children have the chance to cool off and burn off some energy between animal encounters.

With a little planning, a trip to ZooTampa can be both a delightful and enlightening experience for children and adults alike.

Want to save? Try the Tampa Riverwalk Pass!

The Tampa Riverwalk Pass offers an exceptional opportunity to explore the vibrant heart of Tampa, Florida, in a unique and immersive way. This pass is not just a ticket to some of the city's best attractions; it's a gateway to experiencing the rich tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty that Tampa Bay has to offer. Stretching along the Hillsborough River and Tampa’s downtown waterfront, the Riverwalk connects visitors to museums, parks, restaurants, and entertainment venues through a beautifully landscaped pedestrian pathway.

Family outside Childrens Musuem

One of the most appealing aspects of the Tampa Riverwalk Pass is its versatility. Whether you’re interested in exploring the wonders of marine life at the Florida Aquarium, delving into history at the Tampa Bay History Center, or engaging with contemporary art at the Tampa Museum of Art, the pass facilitates access to a wide array of experiences.

Purchasing the Tampa Riverwalk Pass not only offers savings on entry fees to various attractions but also encourages a more leisurely exploration of Tampa’s downtown area. Visitors can take their time strolling along the Riverwalk, enjoying the scenic views and stopping at leisure to explore the attractions that interest them most. With its ease of use and the flexibility it offers, the pass is an excellent choice for both first-time visitors and locals looking to rediscover the charm of Tampa’s waterfront.

Family Friendly Dining

Armature Works

Dining at Armature Works

Armature Works stands as a remarkable testament to the city's commitment to preserving its historical architecture while infusing it with modern vitality. This mixed-use building is nestled in the heart of Tampa Heights, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, and offers a dynamic blend of old and new. It houses Heights Public Market, a food lover's paradise, offering an array of artisanal food and drink options from local vendors. The market emphasizes the concept of communal dining, encouraging visitors to share tables and experiences, fostering a sense of community among Tampa residents and visitors alike. Armature Works is not just a place to eat and shop; it's a destination that reflects Tampa's rich history, its present-day vibrancy, and its future possibilities, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the heart and soul of Tampa.

Columbia Restaurant

The Columbia Restaurant is not just a dining venue; it's a portal to the rich tapestry of Spanish and Cuban cultures that have influenced the Tampa Bay area for over a century. Established in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., this iconic eatery has grown from a modest corner café into one of the most beloved and largest Spanish restaurants in the United States.

Walking into the Columbia Restaurant is like stepping into a bygone era, with its ornate hand-painted tiles, vintage chandeliers, and flamenco dancers that grace the stage nightly, adding to the ambiance. The menu is a tribute to Spanish-Cuban heritage, offering a wide array of dishes that blend traditional flavors with contemporary flair. Dining at the Columbia is more than a meal; it’s an immersive experience that celebrates history, tradition, and the art of good living.

Goody Goody Burgers

Originally opened in 1925, it became an iconic spot known for its mouth-watering burgers, homemade pies, and a unique sauce that kept customers coming back. The menu boasts the famous POX (pickle, onion, and the secret sauce) burger and breakfast offerings that blend traditional flavors with contemporary culinary trends. Goody Goody Burgers represents a piece of Tampa's history, embodying the spirit of community and the joy of shared meals. It's not just a place to eat; it's a destination that offers a journey back in time with the comforts of familiar flavors and the warmth of excellent service.

Visit Tampa Bay

Tampa is wonderful place to add to your family summer travel destinations, staycation or even a weekend getaway. Tampa has it's own airport or a short drive from Orlando. Visit Tampa Bay offers an array of ideas and itinerary planning tools to help make the most of your trip. With a wide variety of activities, dining, shopping and rich culture you can't go wrong. Together, these aspects make Tampa not just a place to visit, but a destination where families can grow closer through shared discoveries and adventures..

Until our next expedition....

Our visit to Tampa was in Partnership with Visit Tampa Bay. All thoughts are my own!

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