Though the tiny island of Key West proudly boasts more bars per capita than anywhere else in the U.S., there are a surprising number of kid-friendly activities for families to enjoy! The natural beauty of the island and its surrounding waters make Key West a playground of exploration for the young and young at heart.
Experience the wonders of the coral reef
The coral reef is an awe-inspiring kaleidoscope of colors and seeing it first hand aboard a Fury catamaran snorkel trip will be the highlight of your child’s time in Key West. If your youngster can swim, they can snorkel! Fury’s experienced boat crew give great educational briefings and have fish identification cards to help kids (and adults!) identify the marine life seen at the reef.
Have a picnic at the beach
Grab your sunscreen and towels, and head to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. The nominal admission fee is well worth it for the serene beach, clean restrooms and concession stand. Enjoy the picnic tables and charcoal grills beneath the shade of Australian pines, snorkel off the beach or stroll through the historic Civil War fort. Kids may want to wear water shoes since the crumbled coral rocks at the shoreline can be tough on tiny tootsies.
Learn about the natural environment
Located just steps from Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is a free educational center with exhibits devoted to Keys habitats and conservation. Kids can enjoy aquariums showcasing living coral and native reef fish, or challenge their brains in touch-screen displays and exhibits. Be sure to catch the short film “Reflections of the Florida Keys,” which follows the life of a young girl exploring her way through the Keys marine environment.
Marvel at unique fauna and flora
Escape the hustle and bustle of Duval Street with a trip to the serene Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory. Once inside, visitors will have the opportunity to wander through the enclosed environment and discover some 60 butterfly species from around the world and more than 20 different bird species. An assortment of blooming plants, waterfalls and trees will round out your nature experience. After exploring the habitat, make your way to The Learning Center to gain a better understanding of the conservatory’s wildlife.
Explore the reef without getting wet
For little ones who may not yet know how to swim, Fury’s Glass Bottom Boat trip is a great way to experience the wonders of the marine environment without getting wet. The air-conditioned catamaran offers multiple viewing windows from which to marvel at the coral reef below. The trips are two hours in length, just the right amount of time for the short attention spans of kids.
Build the ultimate sand castle
No day at the beach with kids is complete without building a sand castle, but the folks at Sandisle don’t make your run-of-the-mill sand structure. These record-breaking, award-winning, television-show-appearing professional sand sculptors teach Sand Sculpting 101 at Casa Marina Resort beach. Kids as young as six are able to take the two and a half hour workshop (with a parent or guardian) where they learn the fundamentals of creating incredible sculptures using just sand and water.
Make new underwater friends
A visit to the Key West Aquarium is guaranteed to delight the animal lovers in your family. Make sure you don’t miss anything by taking a guided tour of the aquarium to discover the many sea life exhibits. You’ll also witness your tour guide feeding the inhabitants along the way. For the adventurers, get an up close experience at the touch tanks, home to conchs, sea stars, sea urchins, crabs and even sharks!
Hang out at Mallory Square
This waterfront esplanade is ground zero for all things Key West and its great for all ages. You’ll find vendors selling all manner of wares, street performers juggling or riding giant unicycles, food stands and of course, this is the most famous place from which to salute the sun before it sinks into the horizon.
Watch the World Famous Key West Sunset
Your family dance party begins the moment you step onboard Fury’s Commotion on the Ocean Live Music Sunset Sail. Our expansive catamaran is ready to entertain you and your crew with an evening of live music performed by some of Key West’s top musicians. You’ll indulge in delicious food (fresh conch fritters and other appetizers), as well as beer, wine, margaritas, soft drinks and water. And when we arrive at the perfect spot at sea, the main attraction–the world famous Key West sunset, will awe you as vibrant colors paint the sky. It’s a fun-filled family adventure all of you will remember forever!
Go On A Family Adventure
For a day in paradise unlike any other, gather up your kids, pack the sunblock and embark on Fury’s Ultimate Adventure! A day of sun, sea and nonstop fun is in store, including parasailing, Jet Skiing, banana boat riding, snorkeling and playing in Florida’s only state certified water park! The kids will feel the rush of adrenaline as they slide down our giant water slide, climb the tower and jump on our water trampoline. You’ll all be treated to breakfast and lunch, beverages, snorkel gear and of course–the unforgettable time of your lives! Fury’s Ultimate Adventure is one of the top things to do with kids in Key West!
Enjoy a Cuban Breakfast at Fisherman’s Cafe
The best vacations are filled with new experiences and trying new food is a great way to expose your kids to the local cuisine. At Fisherman’s Cafe, located in Key West’s Historic Seaport, you and your entire family can taste a variety of Caribbean and Cuban dishes that have influenced the island since its early days. Before heading out on your day of adventure, stop by the walk-up cafe and order their El Cubano Breakfast Sandwich (Black Bean Spread, Swiss Cheese, Egg, Cuban Pork, Chorizo), their Sesame Guava Toast (Guava and cream cheese on pressed Cuban bread with Sesame seeds), Cuban Cheese Toast or Cuban Buttered Toast–all tasty options that will please even the pickiest palates!
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Shop
After a day of discovering all the fun things to do with kids in Key West, be sure to treat yourself and your family to a sweet and delicious slice of what many folks consider our signature dessert, Key Lime pie. This is where this irresistible dessert has its roots–and you’d be hard pressed to find a local restaurant that doesn’t offer it on their menu. Although many restaurants all over the world serve this sweet, tart, creamy treat, there’s none that compare to the Key Lime pie made fresh right here on our island at Kermit’s. Try it dipped in chocolate, served on a stick or just a slice of heaven on a plate, there are even options to have a whole pie shipped to you so you can enjoy it again when you return home.
Take Iconic Photos at the Southernmost Point
One of the most iconic and visited spots on the island may surprise you–it’s not a bar or a museum or even a beach–it’s actually a brightly painted concrete buoy! Erected in 1938 on the corner of South and Whitehead Streets, the Southernmost Point buoy marks the Southernmost tip of the USA–just 90 miles from this spot to Cuba! This colorful buoy makes its way into more vacation photos than perhaps any other attraction in Key West, it’s the perfect backdrop and a reminder of your vacation in paradise. Take pictures of the kids at this unique Key West landmark–you may have to wait your turn but it’s worth it!