The beautiful Gulf Shore town of Tampa is as much of a Florida attraction as Orlando, but offers a respite from the crowds. Whether you’re coming for the waterfront, sandy beaches or one of the town’s cultural attractions, there’s something for everyone. Travelling mums and dads will have an especially good time in Tampa, which offers plenty of opportunities for family-friendly fun.
Opened in 1982, Lettuce Lake Park is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. With a mile-long bicycle and jogging trail, a fitness course, wooded picnic areas and a playground, it provides a chance for the whole family to have a refreshing day under the open sky. The park also provides educational exhibits, where visitors can view and learn about a wide variety of wildlife.
AirHeads Trampoline Area
Transform any sport into “airsports” in this massive indoor trampoline playground. Matches of dodgeball, basketball, and volleyball are regularly scheduled. For when the legs get tired, there’s also an in-house arcade with games and prizes. Whether jumping for fun or to get fit, kids and grown-ups will all have a great time hurtling around this unique massive trampoline arena.
Lowry Park Zoo
A popular destination for school field trips, the Lowry Park Zoo is a great place to bring the family for a fun and informative afternoon. The zoo is also a refuge for injured and abandoned animals. It cares especially for manatees, an endangered resident of the waters off Florida Bay. The zoo puts on different displays for each season of the year – so any time you’re in Tampa is a good time to visit Lowry Park!
This theatre was built in 1926 as a “movie palace”, where the public could, for a small price, be transported to a completely different world in which to experience cinema. The interior of the massive theatre, which seats over 1000, is decorated in a Mediterranean style and with a ceiling painted to look like the night sky, complete with twinkling stars and even a fog machine for extra atmospheric effect.
Adventure Island is a water theme park that will keep the whole family entertained for a full day. It includes a full 30 acres of rides and water-based attractions, ranging from small splash pools to corkscrew slides with hair-raising twists and turns. It also boasts sandy beach areas and an artificial wave machine, ideal for surfing.
The Florida Aquarium in downtown Tampa is more than your average aquarium. As well as viewing an incredible array of sea life, visitors can enjoy a cruise with wild dolphins, participate in a “behind the scenes adventure” to find out how the aquarium is run, and participate in feeding the animals and learning about where they all come from. Certified scuba divers aged 15 are invited to dive in the aquarium’s large tank, coming face to face with massive sharks as well as moray eels and green sea turtles.
Glazer Children’s Museum
Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Tampa, this 53,000 square foot facility offers mind-expanding and fun activities for kids of all ages. The museum’s “Play & Discover” exhibitions help kids to learn about subjects ranging from air travel to exercise, design and building, and even tug boats through exciting hands-on learning.
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