Florida is not all theme parks and beaches.
The Sunshine State is full of great family-friendly activities, from alligator hunting to rocket launches. Here are five of the weird and wonderful family adventures that you can try in Florida.
1. Go alligator-spotting in the Everglades
If you visit Florida and don’t get to see an alligator, you’ll feel like you’ve missed out. With a wealth of locations to choose from, we’d recommend the Fort Lauderdale Everglades. From here you can take a guided airboat ride through the mangrove swamps and learn first-hand about the staggering numbers of creatures that make their home here – including manatees, dolphins and ospreys. And if you’re feeling brave enough, you can try a bite of alligator meat before they get a chance to take a bite out of you.
2. Kayaking in the mangroves
Located on an island just off the Gulf of Mexico and the previous winner of ‘The Best Beach in the United States’, Caladesi Island State Park is home to a wealth of leisure activities for all the family. Visitors can take part in snorkeling, kayaking, boating and fishing all in one day.
But the real draw is the three-mile kayak trail that curves through the depths of the nearby mangrove forests. With multiple stop-off points, your family can easily go on land to take photos of the local herons, black skimmers owls and take a guided tour of the local pelican colony.
Just be sure your travel insurance covers your activities before you set off. A week’s stay in a US hospital can cost $140,000, so its importance can’t be underestimated.
3. Watch a rocket launch
Spend a day at the Kennedy Space Center and learn all about the history of the space race – you can even experience a shuttle launch simulation, and meet real-life astronauts! If you’re really lucky, you could even get to witness a rocket launch up close. Just check the launch schedule on the Space Center website and plan your visit accordingly.
4. Swim with dolphins
The warm, calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico are beloved by dolphins, porpoises, sea turtles and manatees all year round. Head to the Florida Keys or Panama City Beach for your best chance of seeing these gorgeous creatures in the wild. Choose a reputable tour company and your whole family can experience the sheer joy of swimming with dolphins in the wild.
5. Ride all the rollercoasters
Let’s face it, most families travel to Florida to visit the world-famous theme parks, and there is no greater adventure that a family can have than a week of wild rollercoaster fun.
Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom is probably the most famous rollercoaster in the world, and as long as every member of your family is taller than 3’6”, you can all enjoy the ride together.
At Universal Studios, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a high-speed, white knuckle bonanza, while Busch Gardens’ iconic Montu is one of the tallest and longest rollercoasters in the world. Just don’t eat lunch right before you board.
Or if you just want to relax one Florida weekend check out this secluded Florida Beach Resort.
I want to inspire you to spend authentic time with your family! From playtime to travel. Whether you explore your city, state or the world, just get out and see, do and eat new things! And I strive to encourage women to pursue their dreams. In addition to my favorite job of being the mother to two crazy little kids, I am the Marketing & Events Director for Housewives In The City South Florida, a freelance travel writer, and manage digital marketing for small businesses. Let’s connect!