Is Tampa Florida Kid Friendly? A Parent’s Guide to the City’s Attractions

If you ask me whether Tampa, Florida is kid-friendly, I’d nod a resounding yes before you could finish the question!

Having explored Tampa with my own lively bunch, it’s safe to say the city is a playground for all ages.

It’s peppered with attractions designed to dazzle those curious little minds, from the wild encounters at ZooTampa to the enchanting underwater ballet at The Florida Aquarium.

A sunny day in Tampa, Florida. A playground with colorful equipment and children playing. Families enjoying picnics and strolling along the waterfront

Finding family activities in Tampa is like a breezy stroll down Bayshore Boulevard—effortless and refreshing.

Whether you’re basking in the thrills of Busch Gardens or eyeing up the pirate water taxis along the Hillsborough River, the city’s vibe is as welcoming as a Floridian summer.

And speaking of pirates, Gasparilla season turns the city into a treasure trove of parades and eye patches, ensuring the kids are more than amused.

Tampa’s not just about tagged attractions; it wields the magic of spontaneous moments too.

Maybe it’s the impromptu picnic at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, where the kids can dash through fountains, or a family bike ride on the winding paths of Al Lopez Park.

Grab your little adventurers; Tampa’s sunny embrace has a knack for turning even a simple day out into cherished memories sealed with sun-kissed smiles.

Discover the Thrills at Tampa’s Theme Parks

Families enjoy Tampa's theme parks, with colorful rides and smiling faces. The sun shines as kids laugh and play, creating a joyful atmosphere

Tampa, Florida is a playground for families seeking adventure and excitement.

At the heart of this city’s allure are its illustrious theme parks, where thrilling rides and aquatic escapades promise memorable experiences for both the young and the young at heart.

Busch Gardens: Adventure Beyond the Horizon

I cannot help but get psyched every time I enter Busch Gardens.

This 335-acre African-themed park knows how to blend exotic wildlife with some of the most electrifying roller coasters I’ve ever ridden.

Key Attractions at Busch Gardens:

  • I’m always amazed by the Iron Gwazi, a record-breaking coaster that gives me a rush with its gravity-defying drops.
  • For those who love a good combination of speed and spinning, the Cobra’s Curse spins its riders for an additional kick of exhilaration.


There are plenty of fun things to do in Tampa with kids, but Busch Gardens tops that list with its mix of adventure and wildlife.

You’ll find that the park has way more than just thrills; it’s a full-on sensory overload with sights, sounds, and attractions that can fill your entire day.

Adventure Island: A Water Park Oasis

Let me spill the beans on what I think is the best way to beat the Florida heat – a trip to Adventure Island.

This sprawling water park is my go-to for cooling off and enjoying water-based fun.

Best Picks at Adventure Island:

  • The Colossal Curl is a must-try for thrill-seekers; it’s like an adrenaline shot wrapped in a water slide.
  • For the little ones, Fabian’s Fun Port offers a splash pad that keeps them giggling and splashing for hours.


Adventure Island isn’t just a place to cool down but also an oasis teeming with exciting water rides and relaxing wave pools.

It’s a family-friendly zone that makes sure everyone, irrespective of age, leaves with a wide grin and a plan to return.

Educational and Interactive Family Fun

Tampa doesn’t play around when it comes to offering enriching experiences for the young ones.

Trust me, the city is packed with places where kids can touch, play, and learn. Every corner turned leads to an adventure that’s as educational as it is exciting.

The Florida Aquarium: Marine Wonders Await

Dive into the aquatic world with your family!

Let’s start with The Florida Aquarium, a submerged treasure where curiosity bubbles over.

Here, marine animals like sharks and manatees become teachers, and glass walls are the only thing separating kids from underwater wonders.

The up-close encounters are stellar—seriously, when was the last time you locked eyes with a shark without a screen in between? They don’t call this spot one of the kid-friendly attractions Parents Magazine loves for nothing.

Experiences to Catch:

  • Touch Sea Stars in the No Bone Zone
  • Be mystified by the grace of sea turtles
  • Gawk at the glow-in-the-dark jellies

MOSI and Glazer Children’s Museum: Igniting Curiosity

Next up, MOSI—that’s the Museum of Science & Industry, for those who haven’t had the pleasure. I can tell you that it’s a goldmine for inquisitive minds.

With the Saunders Planetarium, they literally bring the stars close enough to marvel at during the day. Is there anything cooler than that?

Then there’s the Glazer Children’s Museum, where interactive learning goes through the roof.

Have your tykes tried a ropes course? They can here, and it’s the perfect combo of physical challenge and problem-solving.

Museum HighlightsInteractive Elements
MOSI’s Saunders PlanetariumStargazing sessions, Moonbase Labs
Glazer Children’s MuseumRopes Course, Water Play

Families, you’re in for a treat because Tampa’s all about sparking that joy of discovery in kids—and honestly, in us grown-ups too.

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