15 Fun Things to Do in The Florida Keys with Kids — Family-Friendly Activities!

The Florida Keys are a 125-mile-long string of islands off the coast of Miami.

They are home to some of America’s most beautiful barrier reef diving sites, miles of pristine white sand beaches, and plenty of exciting kid-friendly activities.

Whether you want to spend the day snorkeling in crystal clear waters or building sandcastles on a deserted beach, there are tons of ways to relax and enjoy yourself while exploring the Florida Keys with your little ones.

Here are 15 great places to start planning your next trip to the Sunshine State.

  1. Higgs Beach — Key West

This beachfront park, located just steps away from Duval Street, is one of the best places to spend a day in Key West.

A large public pool, playgrounds, picnic tables, and grills make it easy to enjoy some fun in the sun.

On weekends you’ll find plenty of people enjoying the sand and surf here. There are even volleyball nets, basketball hoops, and shuffleboard courts.

Why Your Family Should Go

The beach itself is gorgeous. Its white sand stretches out for miles and features clear blue water that makes it look like a giant swimming pool.

When the tide goes out, your family can walk across the flats and explore the area. If you want to see what else the park has to offer, check out the nearby Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.

You’ll find a museum full of interesting artifacts and information about the history of the region.

What to Do with Kids

Take advantage of the park’s many free amenities, which include its dog park, kid’s play area, and basketball court.

You can also swim in its shallow waters and get some vitamin D.

If you want to get a different view of the beach, visit its Civil War-era forts.

Recommended Ages

Higgs Beach has plenty of activities for kids, teenagers, and adults alike.

  1. Anne’s Beach — Islamorada

Mile marker 73.5 Lower Matecombie Key, Florida, is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

This unspoiled, natural sandy beach at the southern tip of Upper Matecombine Key is free of development and open to the public.

Why Your Family Should Go

This small town is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

However, there are plenty of places where families can enjoy the water without spending money.

What to Do with Kids

Kids will enjoy water splashing around the beach.

The sandy shore offers a good playground for the kids to play as they enjoy the sunny weather.

Recommended Ages

Anne’s beach is open to anyone looking to unwind away from the hassles of the city.

  1. Dry Tortugas National Park — Key West

The Dry Tortugas is located just off Florida’s southern coast and are part of the larger chain of islands called the Keys.

These islands are surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and are separated from the mainland United States by Biscayne Bay.

There are no roads leading to the island; access is limited to small planes or watercraft.

Why Your Family Should Go

You won’t have to worry about finding a parking spot either; visitors are welcome to pull off onto the shoulder.

Plus, there are no restrooms or drinking water along the road, so it’s easy to keep the kiddos happy.

What to Do with Kids

There’s a kid-friendly scavenger hunt and engaging guidebooks that highlight the most significant wrecks.

Recommended Ages

Dry Tortugas has tons of fun activities for kids ages three and up.

  1. Key West Shipwreck Museum — Key West

The museum is located in Key West, Florida, where it showcases artifacts recovered from local shipwrecks over the centuries.

The collection includes a circa 1750 Spanish galleon, the San Jose, plus many smaller items, including cannons, anchors, bottles, ceramics, coins, jewelry, and tools.

Why Your Family Should Go

Keywest museum offers a  permanent collection including artworks from artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Norman Rockwell.

There are even original pieces from the wreck of the Titanic.

And while you’re here, take a tour of Fort Zachary Taylor, built during the Spanish-American War. You’ll learn about the island’s rich history and how it came to be named “Key West.”

What to Do with Kids

The museum offers an interactive experience for kids ages 5-12 that allows families to explore the history of Native America through hands-on activities, games, crafts, and storytelling.

Activities include making cornhusk dolls, learning how to make traditional food, building a tipi, and playing games.

Recommended Ages

Kids ages 5 and above have plenty of activities to engage in.

  1. Theater of the Sea — Islamorada

Theater of the Sea is located on Florida’s Atlantic coast, just south of Key West.

This aquarium attracts visitors with live sea creatures such as sharks, stingrays, and turtles. There are over 300 species of fish and coral reefs here too.

Why Your Family Should Go

With a theme similar to that of an amusement park, this zoo offers visitors a chance to see some amazing animals up close.

A bonus for your family is the lush tropical gardens with birds shows, and the ride through the aquarium.

What to Do with Kids

Watch a movie with the kids, and be amazed at the cool antics and tricks performed by the animals in the zoo.

Recommended Ages

The park has lots of entertainment options for children aged three and older.

  1. History of Diving Museum — Islamorada

The Florida Keys History of Divers Museum is located in Marathon Key, Florida, USA.

Its mission is to collect, preserve, display, and interpret artifacts, antiques, documents, photographs, oral histories, and other materials related to the History of Divers.

Why Your Family Should Go

Through photographs, artifacts, and documents, the museum beautifully highlights the region’s diving history and culture.

Your family can see how divers use equipment, explore underwater vehicles and even dive into tanks.

There are also interactive displays where kids can try out gear and learn about the different types of dives.

In addition, there are special events like Dive Into History, Science Night, and the annual Triton Scuba Showcase.

What to Do with Kids

Explore the depths of the ocean by navigating through a maze of exhibits and reliving the 4,000- year history of mankind’s journey to explore the undersea world.

Recommended Age

The art gallery is best suited for children aged six to twelve years old.

  1. Turtle Hospital — Marathon

The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida, has released more than 1.5 million sea turtles into the ocean since it opened in 1986.

In addition to releasing thousands of baby green sea turtles each year, the hospital also rehabilitates sick and injured marine animals.

Among the species treated are loggerhead sea turtles, Kemp’s ridley turtles, hawksbill sea turtles, leatherback sea turtles, olive Ridley sea turtles, and green sea turtles.

Why Your Family Should Go

This place is dedicated to caring for injured sea turtles. They are releasing healthy ones into the wild.

There are also exhibits where children can see what the turtles look like, what they eat, and how they grow. In addition, there are games, crafts, and even live animal encounters.

What to Do with Kids

Visit the hospital for at least an hour, feed its patients and take a look at its rehab tank.

If you go there at the right time, then you might be able to see a live animal release.

Recommended Ages

The Turtle Hospital is suitable for children aged six years and older.

  1. Conch Tour Train — Key West

Everyone will be able to appreciate this fully narrated, 90-minute sightseeing experience in Key West.

Why Your Family Should Go

One of the best things to do in Key West with kids is taking a ride on this colorful boat.

Besides visiting some Key West sights, this trip is also comfortable and convenient to take the kids on.

What to Do with Kids

Enjoy yourself as you take in the sights, like the Southern most point and the Hemingway house.

If you’re going to be driving for a long time, take breaks at each of the three rest stops.

Recommended Ages

Conch Tour Train offers a relaxing ride for children of all age groups.

It’s actually a convenient and relaxing method for doing some sightseeing when you’re traveling with a child.

  1. Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory — Key West

The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory is located at Duval Street in Key West, Florida.

This enchanting place shelters 50 different butterfly species, including monarch butterflies. If you want to see them, you must make reservations.

To observe butterflies, visitors are welcome to enjoy the conservatory’s tropical plants, waterfalls, fountains, and lush gardens.

Why Your Family Should Go

Families can see butterflies in the Tropical Butterfly Rainforest up close while listening to live music.

Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and spend some quality time together.

Admission is included with regular museum admission.

What to Do with Kids

At the Butterfly Garden, children can learn about the behaviors and life cycles of butterflies.

They can watch how butterflies eat and mate and even help feed the butterflies.

There are also interactive exhibits where children can touch and feel the wings of butterflies.

Recommended Ages

  1. Fort Zachary Taylor State Park — Key West

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is located just south of downtown Key West, Florida.

This state park was designated a national historic landmark in 1973.

On July 9, 1848, Commodore David Porter received permission from President James K. Polk to establish a fort at what is now known as Fort Zachary Taylor State Historic Site.

Why Your Family Should Go

Fort Zachary invites visitors with its impressive collection of Civil War-period artillery.

It also has a nice place for relaxing and enjoying a picnic.

What to Do with Kids

Visit the fort and learn more details about its past.

Recommended Ages

There are activities for all ages at Fort Zachary

  1. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park — Key Largo

John Pennekamp Coral Reef is one of Florida’s most popular parks.

Located just off the coast of Key Largo, it features miles of pristine beaches, coral reefs, mangroves, and maritime forests.

Visitors can snorkel among tropical fish, swim with dolphins, scuba dive, kayak, canoe, and paddleboard.

Why Your Family Should Go

The country’s first underwater park is a perfect place for teenagers and older children who enjoy swimming.

Kids can still have fun at SeaWorld Orlando without diving deep underwater.

What to Do with Kids

Take a cruise with your kids in a clear-bottomed boat and enjoy the beauty of the underwater world.

Recommended Ages

Children aged nine and older will enjoy themselves at this state park.

  1. Dolphin Research Center — Grassy Key

The Dolphin Research Center opened in 1984 and houses hundreds of bottlenose dolphins.

Visitors can observe the animals up close throughout the facility.

There are several interactive areas where visitors can feed fish to the dolphins, play games with the dolphins, touch and hold the dolphins, and watch trainers perform tricks.

Why Your Family Should Go

A nonprofit organization dedicated to marine mammal conservation, this aquarium allows visitors to interact with dolphins and whales up close.

What to Do with Kids

Spend a memorable day at SeaWorld San Diego with the California sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins on the narrated tours.

Recommended Ages

The Dolphin Research Center will amaze adults and children ages six and above

  1. Smathers Beach — Key West

Smathers Beach stretches for about a half-mile along the southern end of Key West.

This family-friendly cove is home to the historic Smathers Beach House, a restaurant, bar, and gift shop.

Why Your Family Should Go

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an exciting adventure, you’ll find your perfect vacation spot at Smathers.

There are tons of family-friendly activities at the beach.

What to Do with Kids

Take advantage of the park’s facilities, which include a volleyball court, picnic areas, and water activities.

Recommended Ages

There are plenty of things to do at Smathers Beach Park for people of all ages.

  1. Bahia Honda State Park — Big Pine Key

Bahia Honda State Park is located just south of Key West, Florida.

This 524-acre park sits along both the gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean.

The park features many different activities, including hiking trails, kayaking, snorkeling, fishing, bird watching, camping, swimming, diving, and boating.

Why Your Family Should Go

For families looking to spend quality time together, there are many activities that you can do here.

You can rent bikes, go parasailing, take horseback riding lessons, or enjoy a day at Seaquarium.

If you want to learn about nature, check out the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit, where you can see exotic butterflies flutter around.

Or, you could head over to the Nature Center to learn about the plants and animals that call this place home.

What to Do with Kids

Relaxing at the beautiful beaches, enjoy their warm, crystal clear waters!

Meanwhile, active children can go snorkeling, swimming, hiking, and canoeing.

Recommended Ages

This state park offers lots of fun things for kids ages three and up.

  1. Key West Aquarium — Key West

The aquarium is home to thousands of marine creatures, including sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, fish, tropical birds, and even a few manatees.

You’ll find exhibits dedicated to coral reef life, the ocean floor, sharks, rays, jellyfish, octopuses, seahorses, eels, starfish, crabs, lobsters, butterflies, mollusks, reptiles, and amphibians.

There are interactive touch tanks where you can pet some of the animals. And there’s plenty of information about the creatures’ habitats, diets, and reproduction.

What to Do with Kids

There are plenty of activities for kids to do during the day, including feeding the stingray, touching conch shells, and playing with horseshoe crabs.

Afterward, there is a special exhibit called Sea Creatures Unleashed, where your family can see live rays, sharks, jellyfish, and even giant Pacific octopuses.

Recommended Ages

The Key West Aquaria will amaze and entertain visitors of all ages.

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