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February 9, 2017

Tampa Bay’s Best Staycations for Families

By Tampa Bay Parenting

So you want to travel with your kids, but you can’t get enough time off from work or the kids have so many activities it’s hard to get away.  We get it; but a staycation can be as little as one night away.  And, sometimes our kids need to get away as much as we do.  Whether it’s camping, the beach or a city getaway, here are three fun staycation ideas in the Tampa Bay Area the kids will love.

The Great Outdoors 

Tampa Bay's Best Staycations VW Camping at Fort DeSoto Camping isn’t always what the adults have in mind. In fact, I’m more of a City Mommy, but here’s a way you can take the kids camping with the city still close by. Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County has been named one of America’s best beaches, but it also has a waterfront campground. The 238-site family camping area has picnic tables, grills, play areas for kids and even a camp store.  So pack your tent or rent a VW camper if you’d like to stay the night.   Don’t worry, mom and dad: They’ve got restrooms and showers too. So pack your marshmallows and chocolate bars so you and the kiddos can enjoy s’mores over the campfire while getting some quality family time you can’t buy.  Trust me; this one is a fun adventure they won’t forget.


Beach Bums

Trade Winds Resort Tampa Bay's Best StaycationsWhat kid doesn’t want to go down a huge inflatable slide? This staycation allows parents to relax on St. Petersburg beach while kids enjoy activities you usually find at a theme park. The Tradewinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach has a 200-foot long slide that’s three stories high.  And the best news for parents? It’s included in the resort amenity fee so the kids can go down it as many times as they’d like.  This kid friendly resort also offers “Dive-In Movies” where kids and adults can grab a raft to watch a feature film on Island Grand’s inflatable big screen at the resort’s beachfront pool.  Your kids will also love the KONK Activities center, where they can create crafts like a beach candle.  There’s even a painting studio.


Big City Lights

The_Florida_Aquarium_Divers_in_Coral_Reef_cb4dd49d-67f7-4257-adce-4e47350381f8Downtown Tampa can be a fantastic destination for the entire family.  Even if you live in South Tampa, don’t rule out staying the night at a downtown hotel.  It will give you a chance to explore family friendly activities that visitors travel here to enjoy.  At Curtis Hixon Park, you can enjoy a family picnic and enjoy the park playground while taking in beautiful water views and city views. Right next to Curtis Hixon Park, you’ll find the Glazer Children’s Museum where kids can learn and play at the same time. On hot days, head for Water Works Park, a riverfront park with beautiful green space, a playground and a splash pad for children.  Downtown is also home to the Florida Aquarium (ranked in the top 10 aquariums by Tripadvisor), a place the kids 6 and older can actually swim with the fish, and those 15 and up who are scuba certified can be more daring and swim with sharks. Still have energy to spare? Try stand-up paddle boarding, electric boating or renting a bike ride along The Riverwalk using Tampa’s very own ride sharing program.  In the evening, catch a show at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.  There’s so much to do as a family on this staycation, there’s no doubt you will have to come back again.




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