Family vacations are so much fun, but the planning can be oh-so-stressful. If you’re anything like us, you feel like you need a vacation just after planning your perfect vacation! The possibilities are endless, and we understand how important it is to keep the kids entertained the whole time. We’ve outlined our favorite kid’s activities in the Destin, Miramar Beach, and 30A areas. We hope you enjoy, and keep in mind, this list doesn’t begin to cover everything our local area has to offer – contact us for more tips and local recs!
Family Vacation – a trip where you create memories to last a lifetime with those whom you love most dearly.
Outdoor activities with the kids
Big Kahuna’s – Splish, splash all day long at Destin’s waterpark. Big Kahuna’s is all the rave, with a kiddie pool area, fun and slippery slides for the big kids, and a refreshing lazy river that has your name written all over it. They even have a putt-putt course right out front!
Buccaneer Pirate Cruise – For a swashbuckling dangerous time, step aboard the fanciest, funnest, and biggest adventure in the Destin Harbor. Practice your “Ahoy, Mateys” and plunder for lost treasures along the turquoise seas. Don’t worry, adults, this is a fun and safe voyage where the kids will be entertained while you get to kick back and relax. Their sister boat, the Southern Star, offers top-notch dolphin tours as well.
Fun Pug Rentals – Did we have you at the “fun” or the “pug” part? All jokes aside, these guys are seriously amazing. They offer a plethora of bike rental options – from their monster multi-speed cruiser, a beach bike, or even a sweet new electric ride, you’ll get around in style. And for those who prefer the water, try out their paddle board and kayak rentals!
Gulfarium – Mix a little education and excitement, and you get Okaloosa Island’s oh-so-popular Gulfarium! Have fun exploring the interactive exhibits, and make sure to check out their animal encounters for a wild good time. We hear you can pet a seal, snorkel with a stingray, and even get to feed a dolphin!
Luther’s Watersports – They have it all! Rent your own pontoon boat, wave runner (aka: jet ski) and get out on the water in no time. This small, local company is fantastic to work with, so give them a buzz today.
Smile N’ Wave – Let that cool salty breeze flow through your hair as you join Captain Pam for an epic sailing excursion. Her private catamaran offers you a perfect escape on the water, and her trips can be customized to fit your needs. It’s time to work on that mermaid tan, and let all your stresses drift away.
The Track – “If you ain’t first you’re last” says Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights. What better way to practice your A-game than over to The Track in Destin. Zoom to the finish line in your go kart, or stack up the tickets in the awesome indoor arcade. They have a few kiddie rides that are great for the littles, truly making this a great family fun center.
The Village of Baytowne Wharf – There’s no other place you’ll find a playground a carousel, and a super fun adventure zone all in one place for the kiddos, than at Miramar Beach’s Baytowne Wharf. This happenin’ family-friendly spot hosts events all year long. Whether you have toddler or teenagers, you’ll enjoy an afternoon here, venturing around the shops, eating good food, and strolling along the docks to the marina for an epic sunset view.
Indoor activities for kids
Gulf Coast Axe House – For a wicked good time, you need to check out Miramar Beach’s axe throwing shop (and we’ve even heard they have lanes opening along the Destin harbor!) While this is geared for the older kids (must be at least 13 years old to enter), adults have themselves a high ol’ time here, too!
Hurricane Lanes – Get your bowl on at Destin’s favorite local hangout. The adults can grab a cold beverage, or four, from Rupert’s Sports Bar, and enjoy some family fun as you compete for the highest score.
Rock Out Climbing Gym – Test your rock climbing skills over at Destin’s bouldering gym. No ropes. No harnesses. Just a good time and enough challenge to keep the kids entertained for a few hours.
Urban Air Trampoline Park – One of our favorite top picks, this indoor family fun center in Destin has it all. From a ropes course to climbing walls, and even the epic battle beam and sky rider, this is a kid-favorite. They have a few different packages available.
Kid's activities worth the drive
Blue Wahoo’s Baseball – Nothing screams “America” like a good ol’ fashioned day at the ballpark. Grab a cold beverage, a hot dog and popcorn, and take your seats to watch the action. The stadium sometimes hosts firework’s shows and other kid-friendly events, so make sure to check out their website before heading over to Pensacola.
Dave & Buster’s – Who will be arcade dominator this year? Play some games, rack up the points, and grab some sweet surprises with your hard earned tickets at Panama City Beach’s favorite family friendly arcade. The grown ups can enjoy the pub-style menu selections, as well as cold beers, refreshing cocktails, and so much more while the kids play their hearts out.
OWA – Imagine Disney, on a smaller scale, at the beach, and you have yourself Orange Beach’s coolest amusement park: the OWA. Scream your head off on the Rollin’ Thunder, or enjoy a more relaxing spinning time on the magical teacups. They have a plethora of rides, shows, food, and shopping, making this an excellent one-stop-shop to make everyone in the family happy (and sane).
Vortex Springs – The kids give this activity a thumb’s up – make that two, actually. This 500 acre Resort offers amazingly cool diving experiences, walks about the nature trail, and an opportunity to relax in the turquoise waters at the swimming hole. Hop onto a slide, hang onto your bathing suit, and have the time of your lives in Ponce de Leon.
““Why aren’t we flying? Because getting there is half the fun.”
— Clark Griswold, National Lampoon’s Vacation
Remember, it’s okay if everything isn’t *PERFECT*. Don’t plan so much that you forget to enjoy your vacation. Sleep in, make breakfast, sip on that warm cup of coffee (or bloody mary) all mornan’ long. There’s plenty to do and see here – sign yourselves up for a few fun things, and plan a second trip later this year to finish out that adventure checklist.
Make sure to check out one of our most popular blogs, Outdoor dining along the Florida Panhandle.
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