Tampa Bay, Florida is an amazingly beautiful place. I was born and raised in this sunny paradise and still find myself spending a good deal of time here. We never run out of things to do.
Beaches? Award-winning children’s zoo? Broadway shows? Natural wildlife? Yeah, we’ve got that. And an aquarium and a children’s museum. The list goes on and on. Tampa Bay is full of amazing things to do. Why not plan a staycation there this year?
There are more fun and inexpensive things to do in Tampa Bay than I could possibly ever list, but I hope this will at least get you started. Let’s dive into the fun!
Be a tourist—>
Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks provide fun and excitement for any age. Eat at one of many amazing greek restaurants. Go dolphin watching. Take a walk through the greek village and browse over 100 shops. And of course, don’t forget to pick up some sponges!
Ringling Museum of Art is free on Mondays. They have beautiful grounds full of unique banyan trees, dwarf gardens and a super fun playground. There is no admission fee to the playground or the gardens. Enjoy anytime!
Clearwater Marine Aquarium has gotten a lot of notoriety in recent years after the release of the movie Winter. This aquarium is the focal point of the movie and Winter still lives there today. Last summer, we had the opportunity to visit and we loved it! (This is not particularly cheap, but it is super fun.)
Sunsets at Pier 60 is a free and fun way to enjoy the beauty of the sun setting on the Gulf. There is a large boardwalk with artisans, crafters, street performers and musical entertainment.
Go to the park—>
Common Ground Park Lakeland is a newer playground that boasts an amazing play experience! A few of my old favorites include Alderman Ford which has a gorgeous walking/bike trail through a nature preserve and a nice playground. Medard Park has canoeing, fishing, picnic areas and playgrounds, but it also has really neat large dirt hills for kids to climb and explore (used to be a phosphate mine). For a reasonable fee, you can go canoeing on the Little Manatee river.
Or go swimming at Lithia Springs Park or explore 596 acres of God’s creation at Upper Tampa Bay Regional Park. And of course, Paul Sanders Park is our all time family favorite place to be. The shaded wonderland is full of amazing climbing trees for all ages.
Learn something new—>
Hydrofarm is one of the coolest things. If you’ve never been, it’s a must see. Most of them give tours and offer upick produce. It’s fascinating to see how they grow. Of course, you can go the traditional route and pick just about anything from strawberries to tomatoes in central Florida!
Ft. Desoto Park is full of rich history, wildlife and beauty. Stroll the 7 miles of beach, tour the historic fort and check out the FREE museum on site. Of course there is also a huge boardwalk for biking/walking and a boat ramp. Or check out Sawgrass Lake.
Want to learn about Florida’s heritage? Check out Cracker Country or Pinellas County Heritage Village. Both are full of buildings sharing the story of Florida’s past. Check their schedules for demonstration days when volunteers will be on site teaching many of the trades of the time period.
Got an idea? Share it with us!