15 Best Kid-Friendly Museums in Florida

Your guide to great museums in Florida for kids

Looking for children’s museums in Florida to visit with your family? Check out our guide to awesome museums for kids in the sunshine state.

Kid-friendly museums are a staple for many families’ travel itineraries. Florida being a big family tourist destination has a lot to offer in the way of museums for kids.

We are two local Florida moms who grew up here and now live here with our young kids. In addition to our favorite Florida kids museums, we also include recommendations from other Florida traveler bloggers to give you a variety of ideas for Florida children’s museums.

The list below includes cool science museums, children’s museums and under the radar hidden gems. We also include museums that aren’t billed as children’s museums but are great for kids, like those with lots of open space for running around.

We also included museums that work with any budget, so you’ll find some free and very affordable options on this list too.

Let’s check out these great Florida children’s museums!

Museums in Florida for Kids

1. Glazer Children’s Museum (Tampa)

Climbing structures with netting all around them over the second floor for kids to climb at the Glazer Children's Museum

The Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa is three stories of interactive play experience for kids. You’ll find the biggest water table full of experiential activities, building and engineering areas, physical play with climbing structures, and a whole “kids’ city” to explore.

This children’s museum is great for very young kids up through elementary school aged kids. Older kids can also find fun, especially in the engineering areas where they can build with gears or legos.

Check out our guide to the Glazer Children’s Museum before you go!

Recommended by us at Suncoast Family Fun

2. MOSI (Tampa)

Tampa’s MOSI, or the Museum of Science and Industry, is a highly interactive museum that’s perfect for kids of all ages. Not only is it a museum, it has lots of fun add-on experiences like a ropes course.

Going to MOSI was always one of the best field trips growing up in the area. They also host cool temporary exhibits so a visit always has something new to explore. There’s a planetarium and outdoor experiences like trails and a butterfly garden too.

MOSI is also a little cheaper and includes free parking than Tampa’s other big children’s museum, the Glazer Children’s Museum.

Recommended by us at Suncoast Family Fun

3. Great Explorations (St. Pete)

publix grocery exhibit at great explorations children's museum

Great Explorations, also known as the Hands On Museum, is a children’s museum located in St. Petersburg. While the museum isn’t as big or cool as it was when we were growing up, it is still a fun and interactive stop with kids.

The museum has a city where kids can play in child-sized places like a grocery store, dentist office, fire house, doctor’s office and more. In the middle of the museum, you’ll find a big playground climbing structure and stations for building and engineering play.

They also have an area for small toddlers and a big sand pit to play in, which is nice on days when weather keeps you from hitting the beach.

Check out our guide to Great Explorations before you go!

Recommended by us at Suncoast Family Fun

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4. Railroad Museum of South Florida

A 7.5 gauge miniature train with people riding it. The engine is red and going by a railroad crossing sign.

For children and parents, a visit to the Railroad Museum of South Florida and Train Village in Fort Myers provides a family-fun experience exploring the world of trains. Inside the museum, you will discover S-scale model train displays and cool train artifacts are also on display, like a brass bell from a steam locomotive, which the kids can ring!  

The star of the show is undoubtedly the miniature train – a unique adventure that will entertain both parents and children. Outside the museum you can board a 7.5-gauge miniature train and take a ride! 

Climb aboard for a scenic 1.5-mile journey around the lake, riding through villages, towns and even a cool tunnel (the ride lasts under 20 minutes). Here’s the best part: an adult can share a seat with a child, making it a fun, family experience. Note that kids under 1-year-old and pregnant women cannot ride the train.

Get ready for a family-friendly trip that combines interactive activity with educational significance. After your visit, check out other fun things to do nearby.

Recommended by Janet at Practical Travel Concepts

5. Frost Museum of Science (Miami)

Child looking up at the overhead aquarium ceiling with stingrays swimming by at the Frost Science Museum in Miami

One of the best Florida museums for kids is, without a doubt, the Frost Museum of Science in Miami. It’s actually a science museum, planetarium and aquarium all rolled into one so it’s easy to spend the whole day there! The exhibits cover everything from space and energy production to dinosaur fossils and understanding senses and the human body. 

The centerpiece is a multi-level aquarium that encompasses much of south Florida’s distinct local ecology. The top level is on the roof and showcases mangroves, streams, beaches and their inhabitants while the next level down helps kids see what happens just below the surface in coral reefs and mangrove roots. Finally, there’s a fun unique perspective on Florida’s deep waters – and some of its most intimidating creatures. It’s not hard to see why it’s one of the best things to do in Miami with kids!

The Frost participates in the ASTC Passport program, so admission is free when you present your card from a reciprocal science center. Even the planetarium is included with the basic ticket, so your only cost for the day is parking!

Recommended by Melissa at the Family Voyage

6. Wynwood Walls (Miami)

Graffiti of the back of a little kid pulling back a curtain to show a graffiti wall at Wynwood Walls in Miamia FL

Wynwood Walls, set in the art district of Miami, is an outdoor street art museum that allows you to enjoy full wall sized art murals and graffiti art from artists around the world. The museum is almost entirely outdoors, with a couple small indoor galleries. When visiting Wynwood Walls, you are free to explore the museum on your own at your own pace. 

Alternatively, you could opt to take an early access tour before the crowds arrive, or a private tour to learn about the history and artists of Wynwood Walls. For a fun experience with the kids, the one-hour street art experience will let them get hands-on with their own spray paint.

The museum contains 35 full-sized murals, giving you plenty to see, but is not large enough to tire out little legs, making it a great kid-friendly museum in Florida. The open space also makes it very kid-friendly, allowing them to roam and enjoy the artwork. 

You won’t have to worry about your children knocking anything over or breaking it, and can actually take selfies with the artwork! The colorful designs of many of the paintings will catch their attention and keep them interested. Wynwood Walls is a great choice for learning about the cultural and art history of the area while creating a fun and kid-friendly experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Recommended by Melissa at the Navigating Mom

7. Vizcaya (Miami)

old barge in the water at the Vizcaya in Miamia with pink flowers in the foreground.

Nestled deep in the heart of Miami lies Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, where families an escape into a world where the grandeur of European palaces meets the lushness of tropical gardens. 

And here’s the thing about Vizcaya – it’s not just a museum or a garden. It’s an entire atmosphere. A place to unwind, enjoy the sunshine, and view the world through the wonder-filled eyes of your children. It’s like this perfect mix of nature’s calm and a rich, historical tapestry, all nestled in the buzz of Miami.

Children can play on winding paths and seek out hidden statues — it’s like their own magical kingdom! The museum itself is like hopping into a time machine, dripping with opulence and history.

Don’t miss the Garden Mound. It’s a perfect spot for panoramic views, photos, and letting the kids explore with a feeling of being on top of the world. They’ll also love exploring the maze garden.

Plus, the museum has free parking and the gardens are stroller-friendly! Plan to spend between 2 to 4 hours during your visit.

Recommended by Portia at When I Wander

8. Orlando Science Center (Orlando)

The Orlando Science Center is one of the best museums in Florida for kids and families. Offering lots of hands on options and room for kids to roam, it’s a great rainy day place to visit in Orlando.

In the museum, KidsTown is built for kids ages 7 and under. In the 11,000 square feet area, there is also a Toddler town focusing on kids ages 0 – 2 years old. 

For older kids, they’ll find plenty of activities to keep them busy throughout the museum with both the regular exhibits and special exhibits. Even teens and pre-teens who are hard to impress have a hard time not enjoying this one.

At Christmas, Orlando Science Center also becomes one of the top things to do in Orlando at Christmas with kids. The DinoDigs area gets a Christmas makeover with lights and music, and there is a laser light show as well.

Recommended by Christine at LiveLoveRunTravel.com

9. Museum of Illusions (Orlando)

One of the best museums to visit with kids in Florida is the Museum of Illusions in Orlando. Located in ICON Park, this museum has over 50 interactive exhibits and optical illusions that are intended to trick the eye. Visitors can take creative photos at each exhibit that are not always what they seem!

Popular with the Instagram crowd, this museum is best for older kids and teens since younger kids may not understand the concept.  Since this is one of the most popular attractions in Orlando, be sure to reserve your time slot ahead of time or you risk not being allowed to enter.

Recommended by Maggie at Milana’s Travels

10. Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral)

the rocket garden at Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center is like a cross between a museum and a theme park. NASA’s huge complex houses many educational experiences about our space program, along with a few rides and interactive experiences.

You could easily spend all day exploring the Space Center. Don’t miss the bus tour out to the Apollo/Saturn V center and the Atlantis space shuttle center, which are both the size of museums on their own.

Plus, there’s an epic indoor play area for kids that is three stories tall and fun for kids of all ages (and it has nice seating and drinks for parents!).

Check out our Kennedy Space Center guide before you go

Recommended by us at Suncoast Family Fun

11. Wizard of Oz Museum (Cape Canaveral)

The red slippers from Wizard of Oz, on display at the Wizard of Oz museum in Florida

While you’re in Cape Canaveral, you can also check out the Wizard of Oz Museum. The Wizard of Oz Museum in is easily one of Florida’s more unique kid-friendly museums.

Relatively new, it opened in 2021. Children (and kids at heart!) can go on a magical journey through the museum as they follow in Dorothy’s footsteps, interacting with hands-on activities. 

One of the museum’s highlights is the Immersive Experience, which allows visitors to feel like they’re inside some of the most famous scenes from the movie. For example, cows, tractors, and other flying debris swirl around you in the Tornado Scene. The museum’s impressive collection of 2,000-plus pieces of memorabilia, including many original movie props, is also a must-see. These items include one of Judy Garland’s original dresses, movie scripts, and signed contracts. 

While you’re in the area, take advantage of the museum’s proximity to several spots nearby where you can see manatees. You can even go kayaking with manatees in Cocoa Beach, less than 10 minutes from the Wizard of Oz Museum, or in the Titusville area, just 30 minutes north.

Recommended by Taryn at Chasing Trail

12. Lightner Museum (St. Augustine)

Outside of the Lightner Museum looking towards the building in St. Augustine

The Lightner Museum in St. Augustine should be on any artsy family’s must-do list! Once a decadent hotel in the 1880s-1920s, the Hotel Alcazar was turned into the Lightner Museum in the 1940s to showcase the owner’s growing collection of antiques, art, and oddities. 

Unlike other art museums that can feel stuffy and anything but kid-friendly, the Lightner Museum is quirky and accessible to visitors of all ages. The museum has an eclectic mixture that will keep kids fascinated throughout. Mixed in with modern art pieces are rooms filled with colorful crystal glasses, a stuffed lion that was presented to Winston Churchill, a child mummy, antique furniture and more. 

The hotel’s empty pool now holds the Cafe Alcazar, where visitors can dine on delicious lunch options in the pool’s deep end. Elsewhere in the museum, visitors can explore the old bath houses where hotel guests relaxed in the saunas and showers.

Ask at the ticket desk for the available children’s activity sheets–they will often have a scavenger hunt page to help younger visitors interact with the exhibits. The docents throughout the museum are patient and knowledgeable, and are eager to engage children who visit.

On the way out of the museum, stop in the stunning Moroccan-inspired courtyard to see the koi fish swim around. For just a quarter, you can toss them some fish food. 

Recommended by Natalie at Camping Kiddos

13. Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Children’s Art Museum (Dunedin)

dunedin fine art center children's museum exhibits

We absolutely love the Children’s Art Museum in Dunedin and think it is a total hidden gem for families in the Clearwater area. It’s full of interactive areas for kids to explore like any of the big children’s museums, but at a fraction of the cost!

Kids can play with green screens, do art, build and make their own stop animation at this museum. Plus, its usually not busy since it is not as well known as other museums on this list.

Check out our full guide to the Dunedin Children’s Art Museum

Recommended by us at Suncoast Family Fun

14. Florida Museum of Natural History (Gainesville)

The Florida Museum of Natural History holds a special place in my heart because we’d go all the time in college to visit the giant sloth. The museum is so cool and best of all, it’s free (donations welcome)!

Yes, general admission to this museum is free which is ideal for families with young kids. You don’t lose anything if you have to make a quick exit because of the kids. There are a few exhibit that require additional tickets like their impressive butterfly rain forest. However, you can easily fill a visit with just the free areas.

For those with older kids, you can make your visit to the Natural History museum a double-header and check out the Harn Art Museum next door. The Harn is also free to enjoy.

Recommended by us at Suncoast Family Fun

15. Cade Museum (Gainesville)

Inside of the Cade Museum looking into the doom in Gainesville Florida

Gainesville’s Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention is a very child-friendly stop located next to Gainesville awesome family-friendly Depot Park. It’s fun for all ages, especially if you’re willing to channel your inner child for an hour or two. 

It’s a very interactive museum and has exhibits that would interest both adults or older kids and younger kids.  The downstairs area is more adult or older kid oriented in it’s interaction and displays, with a permanent exhibit about Gatorade (which was invented in Gainesville) and other rotating exhibits.  

But upstairs is where the real fun happens.  There are motion activities, a foley artist trial area, a small inventing activity, and more.  Follow up your time at the museum with a walk through Depot Park and some time on the amazing big playground and splash pad. You can also grab great food and beer in the pavilion next to the playground.

Recommended by Megan at Red Around the World

there are four pictures in a vertical line, the first is of an old barge, the second is of a museum water table, then an aquarium with stingrays, and finally a graffiti wall. the text says 15 kid-friendly museums in Florida

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