There is no time to be bored in Tampa Bay during summer break! Below we have a comprehensive list of fun outdoor family-friendly activities all across the Tampa Bay area.
Visit a beach or natural spring
Clearwater Beach isn’t the only beach in Tampa Bay! There are more than 20 beaches located throughout Tampa Bay with varying levels of popularity.
Looking for something a little different? Try visiting one of Tampa Bay’s natural springs!
Weeki Wachee state park is only an hour away from Tampa and offers cool fresh water springs.
Spend a day at a local theme park
Tickets to Busch Gardens start at $65 for a weekday ticket (children under 3 are free). Busch Gardens offers rollercoasters for thrill-seekers, entertaining shows, animal attractions, guided tours, dining, shopping, games and many family-friendly activities.
Dinosaur World tickets start at only $14.95 (children under 3 are free). There are over 200 life-sized dinosaurs to see in this 20-acre park with many interactive experiences all within a natural, outdoor setting.
Legoland tickets start at $69 for their Pick-a-Date & Save program. Sitting on 150-acres of property and featuring more than 50 rides, shows, attractions and even a water park, children (and adults!) who love Legos should make a visit to Legoland a priority this summer!
Watch a free movie on the beach
Sunset at Pier 60 is a daily festival that takes place on Clearwater Beach at Pier 60. Each night, weather permitting, they show a movie near the playground. Bring a blanket or beach chairs and enjoy a movie along with various entertainment provided by artisans and street performers.
Cool off at a splash park or sprayground
Pair your day at a local attraction with a visit to the splash park at The Florida Aquarium or simply visit a splash parks at one of many locations throughout Tampa Bay such as:
- Kiwanis Sprayground in Dunedin
- Del Homes Park in St. Petersburg
- Cypress Forest Spray Park in Oldsmar
- WaterPlay at Zephyr Park in Zephyrhills
- Highland Family Aquatic Center in Largo
- Ballast Point Park in Tampa
- Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park in Tampa
- Morningside Pool in Clearwater
- Childs Park Pool in St. Petersburg
- Ross Norton Aquatic Complex in Clearwater
Enjoy a free Water Ski show
Every Saturday during May and June, the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show team performs free for the public starting at 5:30pm located at 130 Burbank Road in Oldsmar.
Have fun at summer festivals
There are outdoor festivals in Tampa Bay happening during the summer for the family to enjoy such as the big Tampapalooza at the Florida State Fairgrounds, a free family-friendly festival featuring local vendors, food and activities. There are also smaller, ongoing festivals such as Night on the Islands in Tarpon Springs or 3rd Friday in Safety Harbor that feature vendors, music and other entertainment.
Spend an exciting day at a local water park
Go big, go small or go natural… Tampa Bay has some fantastic water to cool you off in the summer.
The Legoland Water Park is a $15 upgrade to their normal admission price. Along with all the attractions at Legoland, the water park includes a wave pool, several water slides, splash ground, dining and shopping.
Buccaneer Bay is a more affordable option starting at $13 per ticket and includes a unique water park experience: The 3 water slides at the park dump into the Weeki Wachee spring. There is a diving board farther out into the water and a lazy river surrounded by nature. There is a kiddie pool area, a beach, dining and shopping as well. Tickets also include admission to Weeki Wachee Springs, home of the mermaid show!
For an hour of water play, you can buy a pass for $25 ($16 for guests of the resort) at Tradewinds Splash Island Water Park. Floating Water Cabanas are also available to rent for $21.50 for two hours. This unique water park is in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the shore. There are floating slides, trampolines, rafts, loungers and a swim area.
Encounter animals at local zoos and farms
Between farms, zoos, rescues and sanctuaries, there are a lot of outdoor options when the kids want to interact with their favorite animals over the summer in Tampa Bay, such as:
- Big Cat Rescue in Tampa
- Dade City Wild Things in Dade City
- Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa
- Giraffe Ranch in Dade City
- Old McMicky’s Farm in Odessa
- Horse Power for Kids in Tampa
Bask in the beauty of Botanical gardens
The Botanical gardens located in Tampa Bay are great places to decompress and unwind from the summer whirlwind. Enjoy a stroll through one of these gardens, learn about the plant life and maybe even stop and enjoy a picnic amidst the greenery. Keep an eye out of fun events happening at any of these gardens!
Here is a list of a few Botanical gardens located in Tampa Bay:
- Eureka Springs in Tampa
- USF Botanical Gardens in Tampa
- Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo
- Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg
- Nature Coast Botanical Gardens in Spring Hill
Play in a park or playground
With over a dozen parks in the Tampa Bay area, there are a lot of options to choose from if your children want to play on a playground, enjoy a picnic or various other activities.
Choices range from more natural parks such as the Hillsborough River State Park, waterfront parks such as the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, parks with “themes” such as Edgewater Park and Marina or parks with interesting activities as well as playgrounds like Sunshine Limitless Playground at the Long Center which has an enclosed butterfly garden.
- For a comprehensive list of kid-approved playgrounds and parks see this list from Tampabay.com.
- This lists the Top 10 Parks in Tampa from About.com.
- This is a list of Florida State Parks in the Tampa Bay Area.
Have fun in the sun and on the water
Enjoy a warm afternoon canoeing, kayaking, rafting, boating, jetskiing or otherwise enjoying activities on rivers, lakes or in the ocean.
Here is a list of just a few locations in Tampa Bay that are perfect for these summer activities:
- Canoe Escape in Tampa
- Paddling Adventures at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Weeki Wachee
- Speed Boat Adventures in Tampa
- eBoats Tampa in Tampa
- Hillsborough River State Park in Tampa
- Picnic Island Park in Tampa
- Rowlett Park in Tampa
- Veteran’s Memorial Wilderness Park in Tampa
- Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg
- Fort DeSoto Park in Tierra Verde
- Weeki Wachee River in Weeki Wachee
Stay active on Tampa Bay’s Trails
Tampa Bay has a surprising amount of trails for walking, biking, hiking or horseback riding whether it be in State Parks or trails made specifically for these activities.
Check out these lists of some of the best trails in Tampa Bay:
Whether it is on a boat, kayak or off of a pier, Tampa Bay has some great locations for fishing with the family!
Here is a list of just a few fishing spots in Tampa Bay:
- Pier 60 atClearwater Beach in Clearwater
- Gulf Pier at Fort DeSoto Park in Tierra Verde
- Merry Pier at Pass-A-Grille Beach in St. Petersburg
- Picnic Island Park fishing pier in Tampa
Learn more about the Tampa Bay area with a guided Tour
No matter how long you have lived in the Tampa Bay area, there are still sure to be some sights yet unseen. Even if you have seen all there is to see in this area, there may be guided tours that show you Tampa Bay in a different light.
Here is a list of a few guided tours offered in the Tampa Bay area:
- Exercise and enjoy local food with Florida Bike Tours. Entry fees include light dishes from all the restaurant stops on the tour.
- If your family likes getting spooked, enjoy these ghost tours in Tampa, St. Petersburg, John’s Pass, Ybor and Brooksville.
- Children 6 years and older can hop on a horse and enjoy a guided tour on horseback at HorsePower for Kids in Tampa.
- Segway tours are all the rage in Tampa Bay and there are several different locations all through out the bay area: Electric Glide Tours in Tampa, Remi’s Segway Tours in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Segway Tours and Magic Carpet Glide in Tampa. Keep an eye on Groupon and other crowd saving websites for discounts!
- Sensing Nature offers 14 different types of exciting and unique Eco-Tours.
- Tampa Water Taxi Company has a variety of boating tours to choose from if you’d like to sit back, relax and enjoy the view, including a Children’s Pirate Treasure Hunt
- The Education Center Trail at Brooker Creek Preserve has guided nature tours such as Birds of Brooker Hike, Botany Hike, Forestry Hike and even a Photography Hike.
Is there a location or activity that we missed on this list? Tell us your favorite outdoor summer time activity to do across Tampa Bay in the comments!
It isn’t too late to sign up for Summer Camp! Academy at the Lakes invites all children in the Tampa Bay community ages 3-14 to join us for a summer of adventure, sports, creativity and friendships. Learn more about Summer at the Lakes here.