Southwest Florida has so much to offer visiting families from our beautiful beaches and parks to our many wonderful attractions!
Here are some family fun things to do while visiting our area. Take the kids or reserve one of our Elite Nannies while you play golf or tennis, have some alone time on the beach, dine out, and more.
Aventure Away / Anna Maria Island Rental Center
AMI Beach N’ Rides is the premiere Rental Center on Anna Maria Island. We provide visitors and locals the opportunity to discover Anna Maria Island by land and by sea. Our location is perfect to start your paddle sport or biking adventure from because we are close to the Coquina Trail and conveniently located on Bradenton Beach.We offer a full assortment of land, water, and beach rentals. Whatever your activity, we have the equipment for you! Come join us and let us get your adventure off to a great start!
Siesta Sports Rentals
Siesta Sports Rentals located on beautiful Siesta Key Island provides you with hours of fun, whether vacationing or living in Florida, we offer you the opportunity to see Sarasota and Siesta Key, Florida the way it was meant to be seen. We rent bikes, kayaks, scootercars, motor scooters, boogie boards, snorkels & masks and so much more.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Sarasota Jungle Gardens features 10 acres of lush tropical vegetation, winding jungle trails and entertaining, educational bird and reptile shows throughout the day. The “Kiddie Jungle” features a brand new playground. The Flamingo Café serves delicious sandwiches, ice cream and snacks and is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. Our Café has a wide variety of choices.
Big Cat Habitat
Big Cat Habitat is a non-profit safe haven for big cats, bears, and other animals in need. The Big Cat Habitat was founded by Kay Rosaire who has more than 30 years of experience working with and caring for exotic animals. Our goal is to educate the public by fostering appreciation for animals and stressing the importance of habitat preservation.
Mote Marine Aquarium
At Mote, you can explore the secrets of the sea through touch pools, viewable-working labs and high-tech interactive exhibits that showcase the world-renowned research of Mote Marine Laboratory. See sharks, dolphins, manatees and sea turtles, along with more than 100 other species of marine life.
Bounce Down Under
Bounce Down Under is Sarasota’s largest Aussie themed indoor inflatable part and play center. We offer 11,000 square feet of clean, safe, air conditioned, happy and healthy fun for kids up to 13 years of age including our “Jumpin Joey’s” area set aside for the toddlers. Please bring socks.
Sky Zone Sarasota offers open jump, a SkySlam court, SkyRobics fitness classes, Ultimate Dodgeball, (when available) Ultimate Volleyball, and a huge Foam Pit. For just about any age, shape or size, Sky Zone Sarasota is the ultimate 3-D play experience!
Jump in Fun
Jumpin Fun is a spectacular indoor trampoline park that serves Bradenton and Sarasota. Fun for the entire family, Jumpin Fun has something for everyone. With over 13,000 square feet of trampoline jumping surface, we have a variety of activities including Open Jump, Kid’s Court, Dodge Ball Court, Foam Pit, Basketball Dunk and Fitness Classes.
Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf
At Miniature Golf Adventure come play the best in Florida Adventure Style Mini Golf amid rushing waters, mysterious caves, and waterfalls on mountainous tropical terrain for a truly unique Florida miniature golf experience!
Ringling Museum of Art
In 1911, John Ringling and his wife, Mable, purchased 20 acres of waterfront property in Sarasota, Florida. Today that investment welcomes visitors from around the globe with fine art, historic mansion, two circus museums, and a jewel-box of a theater.
Mixon Fruit Farms
Visit Florida’s sweetest attraction. Voted Florida’s #1 grove destination, Mixon Fruit Farms has been here for over 70 years. Mixons has a large gift shop full of gifts and Florida Souvenirs. We have Florida Wines with sampling daily, honey, dressings, jellies, unique jewelry, and more. Pick up some fresh fruit and juice, orange swirl ice cream and homemade fudge. Ride the Orange Blossom Tram through the grove with a stop at the Wildlife Rescue. Enjoy a delicious meal in the Groveside Cafe.
Children’s Fountain at Bayfront Park Sarasota
The Steigerwaldt/Jockey Children’s Fountain at Bayfront Park on Sarasota’s bayfront in downtown Sarasota, offers a nice break from the beach and is a fun way for the kids to cool off. Features a great splash water fountain and there is a large playground and picnic area nearby. Children 3 years and younger must wear swim diapers. Summer Hours (Memorial Day – Labor Day) Noon – 7 p.m., Winter Hours (Labor Day to Nov. 25 – Feb. 1 to Memorial Day): 10 a.m. to 5p.m., daily. Closed Easter, July 4th. Free family fun.
Dakin Dairy Farms
We bottle our “Farm Fresh” milk right here on our sustainable family farm! Hayrides, pig races, feeding calves & making butter are all part of our guided tour. An old fashioned “farm fun” play area concludes your visit under our gorgeous oak hammock. Concession stand, gifts and more. Make memories every Oct-April, M-F 12pm. Saturday’s 10, 12 & 3pm. Oct-Dec ONLY – CORN MAZE Open Saturday’s until 9pm (bring a flashlight) – Sunset Picnics, Karaoke, Camp Fires & Cow Train Rides. Groups over 20 please call to schedule.
Save Our Seabirds
Our 130,000 square foot facility is home to approximately 250 birds consisting of over 30 species both native and exotic. Come stroll our mostly shaded boardwalk while observing many of our residents in more than 45 manicured enclosures.
Sailor Circus now in its sixth decade of operation has grown from a small high school gymnastics class in 1949 to the present spectacular 4 ring youth circus production known worldwide as the Greatest “Little” Show on Earth. Students from the 4th through 12th grades in Sarasota and surrounding counties have an opportunity to experience the performing arts in a circus atmosphere. Our dedicated students practice 20 – 30 hours a week and are trained by volunteer coaches who are retired circus performers, sailor circus alumni and enthusiastic parents. More than 200 volunteers donating over 25,000 hours of their time each season to Sailor Circus demonstrates strong community involvement.
Greater Sarasota Beaches
Siesta Key Beach is central Sarasota’s gateway to the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico, an island that combines luxurious amenities with a relaxed vibe that appeals to both visitors and locals. Siesta Key ranked the #1 beach in America by Dr. Beach 2011. Read More
Almost a city unto itself, Longboat Key is one of the only barrier islands in the Sarasota area without direct access to the mainland, which makes it a perfect refuge for residents and visitors who desire seclusion without sacrifice. Drive over the bridge from Lido Key in the south end, or from Anna Maria Island in the north, and you’ll discover an elegant tropical setting that offers every amenity you can imagine. Read More
Lido’s beaches are one of Sarasota’s most interesting and varied waterfront locations. South Lido Park is a large area of public land that juts into Big Pass, which connects Sarasota Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a short walk from the wooded shoreline of the pass, where pleasure boats pull up to drop anchor, to the crashing waves of the Gulf. In the middle of the island is Lido Beach, a long stretch of white sand convenient to recreational facilities. Lido beach extends to North Lido Park’s long expanse of secluded rolling dunes, with paths leading from the beach to nature trails that wind through the park’s tranquil pine forest. Read More
The narrow, 8-mile long island of Casey Key is one of Sarasota’s hidden gems, an isolated and exclusive enclave just off the sleepy mainland town of Nokomis. There are only around 400 residents, no massive hotels and little else besides a single road and two public beaches. Casey Key might not have as much going on as some of Sarasota’s more lively islands, but for many people that’s part of its charm. Read More
Walk from one end to the other and you’ll find a section of beach called Paw Park and South Brohard Beach. This Florida beach is devoted to man’s best friend, where dogs can dig, run and sun themselves alongside their owners. You’ll also see people digging through the sand along the edge of the waves with everything from plastic beach buckets to the metal and wood sifting baskets sold in area shops, looking for the triangular, fossilized sharks’ teeth brought to the area from deep waters of local currents. With little effort, you can start your own collection of pointy keepsakes that have made Venice the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World” and fostered an annual festival that brings aficionados to the area every April. The Sharks Tooth Festival features more than 100 Florida artists alone in a family-friendly celebration of art, music and beach. Read More
Much like its sister key to the north, Manasota Key is home to some of the most exclusive homes around. A quiet winding drive takes you past secluded homes that seem to cherish their solitude more than their grandeur. To the south, Manasota Key is bordered by Lemon Bay and its many rookeries and mangrove islands, where the manatees and dolphins are found in abundance. At the north end of the key, the historic buildings of the Hermitage Artist Retreat offer a tranquil setting for writers, composers, visual artists and more as they soak in the peace and solitude to nourish their creative juices. Blind Pass Beach, where the Hermitage sits, is one of the most peaceful, secluded beaches to be found. Just don’t tell anyone. Read More
Anna Maria Beach
Facing the Gulf of Mexico, this quiet, undeveloped sandy beach offers over three acres of beautiful views.
Found at the center of Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach presents a full range of amenities including grills, playground, showers and picnic area, as well as 14,400 feet of sandy Gulf of Mexico beach.
Manatee County Beach
Has over 900 feet of sandy beach on the Gulf of Mexico with access at Gulf Drive (S.R. 789) and 40th Street (S.R. 64) in the city of Holmes Beach. 120 parking places as well as public transportation drop off/ pick up.
Cortez Beach (aka Bradenton Beach)
Cortez Beach showcases 140 feet of undeveloped beach. Parking and public transportation drop off/pick available.
Located on Anna Maria’s southern tip, Coquina is a popular public beach lined with towering Australian pines. A full-service concession stand, ample parking, barbecue pits, picnic facilities, boat ramp, playground, restrooms, showers and lifeguards make this beach a popular, bustling beach.
All Sarasota County Parks
All Manatee County Parks
Florida State Parks