39 Things to Do with Kids in St. Pete FL


Looking for fun things to do in St. Petersburg with kids? You’ve come to the right place! Below you’ll find kid-friendly activities in St. Pete, Florida.

St. Petersburg is home to so many cool things, like great beaches and world-renowned art museums. Plus, it’s home to ~261,256 residents, and a whooping 16% of them are children under 18 so there’s a big market for kids’ stuff in our area (source: U.S. census data for St. Pete).

We are two local Pinellas moms who also grew up in this area, and writing about family-friendly Pinellas as we were looking for things to do with our own kids. We hope that they help other families find kid-friendly fun in our area.

The list below is divided into sections for easy navigation. The first section is things to do with kids that are truly located around St. Pete and St. Pete Beach. Because nobody likes those “local” list where most of the suggestions are actually farther away. We also include a section specifically for older kids since those ideas can be harder to come by.

At the end, we include a separate section of kids things to do near St. Pete but outside city limits. We intentionally limited these activities to only those that we personally think are worth an extra drive and hope this helps people find even more fun.

Let’s explore St. Pete kids activities!

Things to do with kids in St. Pete

1. St. Pete Pier

The St. Pete Pier is awesome and there is a lot to do with kids there. We’ve broken down the best kids things there below.

We especially like that there are food and drinks for sale right next to the playground and the splash pad. You can sit at a table with a drink and watch your kids splash around, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Glazer playground

The Glazer playground is an amazing playground. We think it may be the coolest outdoor playground in Pinellas. It’s definitely worth the trip to the pier for the playground alone.

Check out the coolest playgrounds around Pinellas County

glazer park playground at st. pete pier with a big yellow slide in the background and a climbing tube structure in the foreground

Splash pad

Next to the playground, you’ll find a splash pad. It is only fountains and it’s not shaded, but it is a great way to cool off after a day at the pier. Plus, it’s easy visibility from the cafe tables to the splash pad.

Here’s our list of other great splash pads near St. Pete

a spalsh pad with chairs and umbrellas, and a brown sign that says Majeed Foundation splash pad at st. pete pier

Little beach

Just north of the splash pad, there’s a small beach for kids to play. It’s not the nicest beach in Pinellas but it’ll get the job done. It also has a nice accessible pathway to the beach, which is also nice for strollers.

The best part of this beach location is that after the beach, they can do run in the splash pad and not come home full of sand.

toddlers in a turtle and duck costume walking to a beach on an accessible path at st. pete pier

2. Tampa Bay Discovery Center

Tampa Bay Discovery Center is technically at St. Pete Pier too but we think it deserves it’s own spot on the list. It’s a smaller nature center but they pack a lot in!

They also offer cool programing for kids, like animal dissection classes and sessions for kids 6 years old and younger.

FOR OLDER KIDS: The Discovery Center also offers guided educational nature walks around the pier. They recommend them for ages 12 and up.

For more aquariums, check out our list of aquariums near Pinellas

Angular small building with a triangular roof on the St. Pete Pier

3. Albert Whitted Park

Just a little south of the St. Pete Pier, you’ll find Albert Whitted Park. The park’s claim to fame is that it is located at the Albert Whitted Airport. They have a plane-themed playground where you can watch the planes take off and land, a hit with kids (and adults!).

4. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is a big nature park in St. Pete that offers cool education programming for families, hiking trails and nature tram tours. Its also home to camp grounds and the Pinellas Pioneer Settlement (more on that below).

There is a small fee to enter the preserve and for the tram tours. If you’re a Pinellas local, you can also swing in to a St. Pete library branch to get a free pass to visit through the museum pass program.

5. Pinellas Pioneer Settlement

Pinellas Pioneer Settlement is located within Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. It’s a living history museum, focused on Florida life in the last 1800’s. There are old historic buildings and educational opportunities for turn-of-the-century skills like blacksmithing and print making.

6. Great Explorations

Great Explorations is a smaller children’s museum that focuses on experiential and pretend play. It is set up like a kids-sized city with every day spaces like a vet office, fire station and grocery store (the grocery store was a real hit when we visited).

They also have a lot of STEM building stations and a cool climbing structure in the middle. Best of all, Pinellas locals can get free passes to visit through their local library branch (learn more about the Pinellas library museum pass program).

publix grocery exhibit at great explorations children's museum

Check out our guide to Great Explorations

7. Sunken Gardens

You’ll find Sunken Gardens in the same parking lot as Great Explorations. Sunken Gardens has a long history in our area, dating back to being a roadside attraction since 1903.

Sunken Garden has pretty gardens and some animals like flamingos to visit. Locals can get free passes through the Pinellas Library Museum Pass program, but you have to get them from St. Pete library branches (and they’re popular so they go quick!)

Learn more about the Pinellas Library Museum program.

sign for Sunken Gardens with a flamingo on it

8. St. Pete Beach

You truly can’t go wrong at any of our gulf beaches and St. Pete Beach is no exception. There are public beach accesses along the beaches, but they do get crowded on the weekends. Beach accesses have parking but they are pay-to-park lots.

9. Fort DeSoto

Fort DeSoto is a county park made of up beautiful islands and long beach stretches. In the past, it’s been named the most beautiful beach in the U.S. by Tripadvisor.

If you want to get really technically, Fort DeSoto is actually located in Tierre Verde. But it is so so so close to St. Pete Beach and St. Pete that we’re including it in this section.

10. Mural Walk in downtown

Downtown St. Pete is known for it’s many murals that you can visit for free. You can do a self-guided walking tour of the murals (you can find a list of murals here).

There are also guided walking tours of the murals; the original is offered by the Morean Center and kids 5 and under are free (website).

11. Thrill Hill

Thrill Hill is a hill in St. Pete with a century’s old history of making your stomach drop when you go over it. It’s on 3rd St. between 15th and 17th Ave.

My parents grew up in the St. Pete area and I remember them taking me to thrill hill when I was little. It’s a true St. Pete experience — here’s a nice write up on its history from Tampa Bay Times.

12. Dell Holmes Park

Dell Holmes is a great park that has a huge and cool playground (plus it’s fenced!), a splash pad, pier and even a golf course. We think its a park that’s worth the trip.

large playground field with playground structures spread throughout at dell holmes park in st petersburg fl

13. Saturday farmer’s market

St. Pete’s Saturday farmer’s market is probably the best farmer’s market in our area. It’s big and fun with lots to see and things to try.

14. Kid events at the Dali Museum

The Dali Museum runs special programming for kids each month. They have an event called DillyDally with Dali which is a free activity for kids age 6-11 on select Saturdays at the Dali Museum. They explore arts and craft activities inspired by Dali’s work.

On the first Sunday of the month, they also do “little surrealist” tours for families with kids ages 4-11.

15. Morean Center weekend kids art activities

The Morean Center is a collection of four art venues with the mission of connecting people to art. They are home to a free fine arts gallery, in addition to the paid Chihuly collection.

On the weekends, they offer free art experiences and crafts for families with kids. Saturdays are arts and crafts based on a theme, and Sundays are clay classes. Prior registration is required on their website as space is limited

16. Bowling

St. Pete is home to Sunrise Lanes and Ten Pin Lanes bowling alleys. Bowling is a great Florida activity since you can beat the heat inside during the summer.

TIP: Both St. Pete bowling alleys participate in the “Kids Bowl Free” summer program. Kids get a free game of bowling a day through the summer if you sign up online here.

toddler bowling at a bowling alley with a little ramp for the ball

17. Fairgrounds St. Pete

Fairgrounds St. Pete bills itself as “Florida’s Weirdest Immersive Art Experience.” It is a museum of “multi-sensory” art exhibits, all themed around Florida. It looks super cool and its high on our list to do this summer.

18. Romp n’ Roll

Romp n’ Roll is a space for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. They offer classes throughout the day for kids aged 5 and under, broken up into age groups. There is also open play sessions where families can come and play in their facility without a class.

19. Runrun Kids Store

Runrun Kids Store is a curated kids toy and clothing store. The items are eco-conscious and generally adorable. Best of all is that they’re about to open a kids play space soon.

20. St. Pete city pools

St. Pete Parks & Rec department is awesome for putting water slides at so many of their city pools. You can find a list of city-run pools here, and nearly all of them have water slides!

The North Shore Aquatic Complex also has a little kids area with zero-entry depth and fountains, especially nice for kids too young to swim.

21. Free Downtown Looper rides

The St. Petersburg Downtown Looper is a free trolley throughout downtown St. Pete. It stops at all the main tourist stops. Plus, its just fun to ride public transport (and its a good way to take an AC break when its hot out).

22. St. Pete to Tampa ferry

Take the ferry across the bay from St. Pete to Tampa. The trip takes about 50 minutes and costs $12 each way for adults and $10 for children 5 and older (4 and under are free). Its recommended to get tickets in advance because departure times can sell out and you don’t want to get stuck in Tampa. You can find their website here.

23. Weedon Island Preserve

Weedon Island Preserve is a free nature park in St. Pete with an cultural center and lots of waterfront trails. Here is where you can find their website.

24. Rays Game

St. Pete is home to the Tropicana Field where the Rays play. Going to a game is a fun family outing, and its indoors so you don’t have to worry about weather like other sporting arenas. Plus, there’s a big stingray touch tank which is a hit for kids.

TIP: Over the summer, local kids can earn free tickets to a Rays game by participating in Pinellas libraries summer reading programs.

back of woman's head looking into the stingray tank at tropicana field
Tropicana Field stingray tank

25. Gymnastic Gyms

Tampa Bay Turners and Bayside Sports Academy are two gymnastic centers located in St. Pete. Both offer opportunities for play, like open gym times and toddler tumbler classes.

Tampa Bay Turners also has a swimming program and Bayside does ninja warrior and circus classes in addition to gymnastics.

26. Catapult Adventure Park

Catapult Adventure Park looks like the most epic bounce house experience, with different features like slides, obstacle courses and more. We haven’t personally tried it yet though because the price is pretty steep (almost $30 per person for 2 hours as of May 2024).

27. Arcades

Arcades are always fun and there are a few kid-friendly arcade options in St. Pete. There is the classic Chuck E. Cheese and also a Cici’s Pizza. We went to the Clearwater Cici’s Pizza location recently and the arcade games were more affordable than I expected.

inside the arcade at cicis pizza in clearwater looking at the prize counter

28. Kid-friendly breweries

St. Pete has some of the best kid-friendly breweries in Pinellas. 3 Daughters is the biggest, with lots of games and space for kids to play. But, Cage Brewing and Green Bench also have great outdoor spaces that are family-friendly.

Check out all our favorite kid-friendly breweries in Pinellas

turf grass lawn area of Cage brewing
Cage Brewing

Things to do with older kids in St. Pete

So many ‘things to do with kids’ leave out older kids. We wanted to highlight a few things that could be nice for older kids in the area.

29. Art museums

St. Pete is full of really nice art museums, including the Dali Museum, the Chihuly glass collection and the Museum of Fine Arts. These are all amazing places, but probably not top of the list if you’re looking for things to do with toddlers. We think they’re great for older kids though.

museum of fine arts in st pete, showing the front entrance of the building

30. James Museum

The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art is an art museum focused on Western-themed art. It also celebrates Native American artists. It is a cool museum theme, but like any art museum could be tougher for little little kids.

The James Museum is also part of the Pinellas County museum pass program so locals can snag free passes from their library.

31. Go Karts

Pro Kart Experience is a go karting track located in St. Pete. You have to be 52 inches to ride so it’s mostly for older kids. That said, they also have events for kids 2-6 where you can bring your own powerwheels car to race.

32. Mazzarro’s Italian Market (older kids)

Mazzarro’s Italian Market is awesome for older kids who like food, but isn’t one we recommend for little kids.

The market is crowded and aisles are narrow so it is tough to navigate and can be overwhelming for little kids. But for big kids, there’s so much to explore, different foods to try and beautiful desserts to eat.

33. Vertical Ventures

Vertical Ventures is a rock climbing gym in St. Pete. Technically any age can climb at Vertical Ventures but their FAQ says that age 6 and up is about when kids can get more out of the experience.

34. St. Pete Shuffleboard Club

St. Pete Shuffleboard Club has a century-long history and is a uniquely St. Pete thing to do. You can become a member of the club but non-members can also play shuffleboard during open play hours. Non-members pay $10 (and kids are free!). Check out their website here.

Kid-friendly things to do near St. Pete

Next, here are some things to do with kids near St. Pete that are a short drive away. These are all activities we personally think are worth the trip and places we go with our own families.

35. ZooTampa

ZooTampa is the closest zoo to St. Pete. The zoo is great, includes rides for free and has a wonderful manatee center.

It’s a bit of a drive from our area but from St. Pete you can take highways most of the way. We are both zoo members and think it’s worth the trip.

Manatee statue surrounded by water fountains at the entrance of ZooTampa at Lowry Park

36. Aquariums

St. Pete is nearby a few great aquariums: Clearwater Marine Aquarium & the Florida Aquarium. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is famous for Winter the dolphin and focuses on conservation and rehabilitation. Check out our Clearwater Marine Aquarium guide.

Florida Aquarium is the flagship aquarium in the area. They have more diverse exhibits than Clearwater Marine Aquarium but can get busy. Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit for their awesome splash pad. Here’s our Florida Aquarium Guide.

Don’t forget to check out our list of aquariums near Pinellas worth a visit

toddlers showing a red fish stuffed toy to dolphins at the clearwater marine aquarium

37. Johns Pass

Listen, Johns Pass is overpriced and can get overcrowded. But, its also has a fun kitschy Florida tourist vibe. It’s changed a lot from the Old Florida feel it had when I went as a kid, but there are still fun experiences to be had there.

Johns Pass has an Alligator Discovery Center, a little beach to play at, views of a draw bridge, and lots of little shops to explore.

TIP: Parking prices vary wildly. We found the cheapest parking to be in the parking garage. The street level spots were $20 for 2-hours on the weekend, compared to $5 for the first hour and then $2 per 30-minutes in the garage. There’s also a lot that was trying to charge $35 for two hours when we visited!

view from an upper story looking down at the pier at johns pass in florida

38. Seaside Seabird Sanctuary

The Seaside Seabird Sanctuary a bird rescue and rehabilitation center right on the beach in Indian Shores. It’s free to visit, though donations are appreciated.

I grew up going to the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores and recently went back with my kids. It was a great activity, there are lots of birds to see, a few aquatic tanks, and an observation tour with stunning beach views.

sign for the seaside seabird sanctuary in indian shores florida

39. Florida Botanical Gardens

The Florida Botantical Gardens are another free kid-friendly activity outside St. Pete. It is over 100-acres of gardens and Florida flora to explore. The best part is they recently opened a children’s garden with lots of cool interactive elements for kids, like a water pump, building area, and a cool section just full of huge sticks to play with.

honeycomb wooden structure for kids to play on at the florida botanical garden majeed discovery garden

Read more:

Looking for more St. Pete things to do? Check out our list of free things to do around St. Pete-Clearwater.

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