Okay… the family trip is planned! You are headed to Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida! The kids are excited and you have extra sunscreen packed already! You know the kids are going to want to to swim and play at the beach as much as possible…
But are we going to do to entertain them when they have had enough surf and sand?
Fortunately, Sarasota has more than our beautiful beaches to entertain the kids!
Planning a vacation on sunny Siesta Key and wondering…. is there something else to do if my little ones get bored with splashing in the gentle waves and building sandcastles in the sugar white sand? Not likely to happen… but the answer is an emphatic YES! When you take a short ride off Siesta Key just over the the bridge you will find that Sarasota offers lots of one-of-a-kind kid fun! Sure we have malls and movies and all the stuff you would find back home – but my suggestion is to take your kids to at least one of the unique fun spots that those of us from Sarasota grew up loving!
Mote Marine Aquarium
Mote Marine Aquarium is a world-renowned show case of research and over 100 marine species including manatees, dolphins, sharks and sea turtles. This is a great hands on learning environment for the whole family while visiting Sarasota! There are touch pools, interactive exhibits and working labs. They also have some new exhibits such as a narrated training session with sharks, a marine paleontologist attraction where kids can dig for fossils, and the seahorse conservation laboratory.
Hours: 10 AM to 5 PM, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays
Tickets: Adults (13 & older): $19.75
Seniors (65 & older): $18.75
Youth (age 4-12): $14.75
Children (age 0-3): Free
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
This is one of Florida’s first attractions and is still a huge hit today. Jungle Gardens is full of beautiful flora, fauna and over 150 native and exotic animals! During your visit you can see birds, primates, small animals, alligators, snakes and Florida’s notorious pink flamingo. This fun spot reels in visitors of all ages.
Hours: Mon-Sun 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
3701 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34234
Big Cat Habitat
Lions, tigers, bears oh my! Come see a plethora of exotic animals at a somewhat hidden gem of Sarasota. You and the kids can watch thrilling educational demonstrations and maybe even watch the trainers head inside of a lion’s mouth! And the little ones will love the petting zoo.
Hours: Wed-Sun 12:30 PM to 4 PM
Sarasota’s Bay front Park
This island park is right on the beautiful waters of Sarasota Bay. Sidewalks wrap all around the waterfront with benches and swings and picturesque scenery. You can roller blade, picnic or dine at one of the two restaurants on property. The best part is the water fountain area for kids to play which was my personal favorite place to go growing up, not to mention its free! Dogs are also welcome in this park.
Water Fountain Hours: Summer hours (Memorial Day to Labor Day) 10 AM to 7 PM
Winter Hours: (Labor Day to Oct 31 and April 1 to Memorial Day) 10 AM to 5 PM
For more information about family friendly resorts on Siesta Key contact:Tropical Beach Resorts 6717 Sara Sea Circle Siesta Key, Sarasota FL 34242 Reservations 800-235-3493 www.tropicalbeachresorts.com