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March 25, 2018

10 Day Dates: Family-friendly ideas to explore Tampa Bay

There are so many ways to explore Tampa Bay as a family. Why not schedule a day date with the kids to discover something new whether it’s trying a new sweet treat or braving the roller coasters at a local theme park! Here are 10 family-friendly things to do in Tampa Bay to get you started:

  1. Shop and Play: Visit Hyde Park Village for a fun day date with your little one. Shop, grab lunch at Bar Taco or Goody Goody Burgers and score a sweet treat at Sprinkles or The Hyppo to eat as you relax by the fountain. 
  2. Brave the Coasters: Busch Gardens has something for kids of all ages. If your bigger kid is a thrill-seeker, take them to ride the roller coasters. For the littler kids, Elmo and his Sesame Street friends have a show and rides just for them. Don’t forget to see the animals!
  3. Enjoy a Sweet Treat: Head over to Datz Dough for a special dessert date and choose from the many delicious menu items—doughnuts, ice cream, doughnut ice cream cones and more! Plus, there’s specialty coffee for the grown ups.
  4. Have Fun in the Sun: Tampa Bay is home to some amazing beaches. Pass-a-grille has a beautiful and kid-friendly beach with easy street parking and nearby public restrooms. Dine at The Hurricane Restaurant before or after you build that sandcastle for a full day of fun.
  5. Sail off on an Adventure: Spend the day on the river and enjoy our beautiful city! Start at the Sail Pavilion and hop off at Curtis Hixon or Water Works Park for some playground time. You can grab lunch at The Columbia Cafe or Ulele too.
  6. Catch a Lightning Game: Go Bolts! Support our local hockey team and spend some quality time with your child, who (if she’s 12 or under) can join ThunderBug’s Kids Club and become one of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s biggest little fans! Membership includes Lightning swag, a free ticket to a game and more!
  7. Get Your Climb On: Vertical Ventures St. Pete is a great option for the adventurous kid. With 40-foot walls and options for beginners as well as more advanced climbers, it’s sure to be a good bonding experience.
  8. Hit the Lanes: Who doesn’t love fancy bowling shoes, knocking down some pins and eating pizza?  It’s a good time for all.
  9. Paint Together: Potter’s House in Tampa is quaint and quiet, the perfect place to share a special moment creating art with your little one. Choose from a variety of options, from mugs, plates, ornaments or figurines, and enjoy!
  10. Visit Winter the Dolphin: This day date is perfect for the dolphin lover or a fan of the Dolphin Tale Films! Not your typical aquarium, Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a marine life rescue center. When you visit, learn about their ongoing work of rescue, rehabilitation and release.

By Merris Pope, Hula-Frog South Tampa editor 

More family fun:

MOSI: Tampa’s favorite science museum

Family-Friendly Beaches to Visit in Tampa Bay

Let’s GO! Spring Day Trips in Tampa Bay

This article was originally published in the February 2018 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

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