Childrens Activities In Sarasota
Renowned as a playground for kids of all ages, Sarasota's vast selection of family attractions can seem a bit overwhelming. To help you get started, this section offers a wealth of resources for kid and family fun, including information about facilities geared toward younger travelers.
A to Z Baby, Beach & Bike Rentals
At A to Z Baby, Beach & Bike Rentals, we have a huge selection of all new equipment to help keep you and your little travelers happy while visiting the Florida Suncoast. We feature fast, free delivery & pick-up of over 80 great items, including: Cribs, Pack-n-Plays, Strollers, High Chairs, Booster Seats, Toy Tubs, Beach Chairs & Umbrellas, Beach Cruiser Bikes & more! Daily & weekly rates. 1508 Stickney Pt. Rd., Sarasota. 941-961-3527. Mention SimplySarasota.com for $5 off your $30. order!
Bearadise Ranch - Bear Park
Bearadise Ranch, Sarasota's own Bear conservation attraction. Over 20 trained bears with a regularly scheduled bear shows. Come watch the bears splash and play in the water. Some of these bears have been used in movies, television shows and print ads. Tour days are Thursdays and Saturdays. Reservations are required.
Chuck E. Cheese's Restaurant.
Pizza and fun for the whole family. Video arcade, games and Birthday Party Packages. 905 44th Avenue West, Bradenton. (941) 752-4448.
A not-for-profit performing arts educational organization. Circus Sarasota's long-range goal is to have a permanent professional circus school based in Sarasota County, offering a progressive educational program to keep the circus arts alive. Our aim is to educate and encourage students to achieve professionalism and excellence in the circus arts, while embracing all performing arts. Circus Sarasota currently conducts limited Circus Arts workshops at various times throughout the year. (941) 355-9335
Crowley Museum & Nature Center.
A non profit nature and pioneer history center located on 190 acres of native land adjacent to the Myakka River in Sarasota County. Visitors can enjoy nature trails through the protected wildlife sanctuary, a boardwalk traversing the Maple Branch Swamp and Tatum Sawgrass Marsh and an observation tower overlooking the Myakka River. The pioneer history area includes a museum with artifacts from the late 1870's to the early 1900's, a one room homestead cabin, a working blacksmith shop, a working sugar cane mill, and a restored 1892 "Cracker" house. Trails are well maintained, and many are handicapped accessible. (941) 322-1000
Florida Railroad Museum.
The Florida Railroad Museum, Inc. was founded in 1981 to acquire, protect, preserve and operate interesting and historic examples of railroad rolling stock, engines, train cars, a caboose, and other artifacts, with emphasis on railroads that served the state of Florida. It is a not for profit corporation. The museum operates excursion trains every weekend, year round. The Museum is open every Saturday and Sunday (only) from 10 AM to 4 PM, year-round. The 1.5 hour trip departs at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM, rain or shine. Special weekend events are planned year-round. (941) 776-0906 Florida Railroad Museum.
Florida West Coast Symphony Childrens Concerts.
Though these concerts are designed for fourth and fifth grade students, other grades may attend, based on ticket availability. These concerts are perfect for both the student being introduced to music and the musically involved student. Home school organizations and private schools are welcome to attend. The program consists of a large variety of musical styles that are written for a symphonic orchestra. The selections range in music from the 1700's through modern film scores following a yearly concert theme. Selections also highlight specific musical instruments, demonstrate a wide variety of tonal colors and sounds available to a symphonic orchestra, and most importantly, it will bring the wonder of music to young concertgoers. (941) 953-4252
Fur Fun Club (Ages 7-12).
The FUR FUN Fridays program is where kids ages 7 -12 learn about animals. Activities include: dog walking, cat cuddling, animal themed arts & crafts, animal care lessons and games. The program meets Fridays from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m in a four week session at the Education Center of the Humane Society of Sarasota County – 2331 15th St. , Sarasota. The fee for the session is $30 per child. FUR FUN Fridays meets only during the school year. Registration is required. For more information please call Kate or Dee at (941) 955-4131.
GWIZ - The Science Museum.
GWIZ is a 33,000 square foot hands-on science center for all ages. Explore the interactive gallery and critter habitat, see the Fab Lab in action and visit special travelling exhibits. GWIZ offers year-round programming including summer camps, school groups, community groups, residents and tourists. Open Monday - Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm - 5:00pm. GWIZ is located at 1001 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota. (941) 309-4949. Call for more information on upcoming events, field trips and opportunities to get involved. Web page
Hermann's Lipizzan Stallions.
Visitors are welcome to come watch the Winter training sessions beginning the first weekend after Christmas through April 23.
The Royal Lipizzans are unquestionably the rarest, most aristocratic breed of horses in the world. Included in training is such exceptionally difficult maneuvers as the Courbette the Capriole and the Levade, all highly refined leaps performed only by stallions of great strength, intelligence and endurance. In the Courbette, the horse does several jumps on his hind legs while holding his fore legs off the ground; in the Capriole, the horse leaps from all four feet and, at the peak of elevation, strikes out violently with his hind legs; in the Levade the horse rises on his haunches from a standstill position and tucks his fore legs under him as he maintains a 45 degree angle.. the Levade is often the pose of classical equestrian sculpture and art. 31404 Singletary Rd. Myakka City, FL. (941) 322-1501.
80 acres of vegetables, fruit & fun. Many children and family friendly events and activites throughout the year. Farm tours, Pick Vegetables, Hay rides, Petting Zoo, Playground, Picnic Area, Educational field trip programs, Pumpkin Festival, Country Christmas, Spring Festival, and Civil War Battle Reenactments. Rent the new party barn for businesses or organizations that want to hold their picnics on the farm. Located on C.R. 675 halfway between S.R. 64 & S.R. 70 about 10 MILES East of I-75 in Bradenton. (941) 322-2168 or (941) 331-1212
Ellenton Ice skating rink.
State-of-the-art domed "igloo-like" facility offers the community a sporting center for recreational and entertainment activities for all ages. Inside the structure are two NHL size ice rinks and a USA Hockey Official inline rink, a fitness center, video game room, four party rooms, and a full service restaurant. Hours: 9-6 Mon.-Fri., 9-4 Sat.,
Closed Sunday. Located just off I 75, Exit 43 in Ellenton. 5309 29th Street East. (941) 723 - 3663.
Lake Manatee State Recreational Area.
Extending along three miles of the South shore of Lake Manatee, these 556 acres were once used for farming, cattle grazing, turpentining and timbering. Today, the 2,400 acre reservoir that makes up Lake Manatee supplies drinking water to Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Recreational opportunities include a 60-site camping area located within walking distance from the swimming and fishing areas. Bathhouse and shower facility located close by. A large picnic area is nestled in a sandpine scrub area just a short walk from the lake. A picnic pavilion is also available and may be reserved for a fee. Open seven days a week from 8 am til sundown. The park is located 15 miles east of Bradenton on S.R. 64. (941) 741-3028
Livingstons Amusement Center.
45,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art venue (formerly the Albritton Fruit location) is the ultimate place for guests to drink, socialize and enjoy the latest in amusements and fun. Full service Bar, Pizza & Soft drinks, 5,000 sq ft Arcade, Indoor Go Kart Track, 26 Pool Tables, Private Party Room. 5947 Clark Center Ave, Sarasota. (941) 925-7665
Mote Marine Laboratory and Science Center.
Internationally recognized marine research facility, aquarium and touch tank. Includes a 135,000 gallon marine research and display aquarium where sharks and other marine animals are maintained. Turtles, rays, eels, rare fish, sharks, and manatees oh my. 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota. (941) 388-4441. Web Page.
Pelican Pete's Playland, Englewood
Features miniature golf, batting cages, video arcade and go-kart tracks. Open noon-9 p.m. daily. 3101 McCall Road S., Englewood (941) 475-2008.
Pirates Cove, Bradenton
Features bumper boats, laser tag, go-kart tracks, miniature golf, batting cages, and video arcade. Open seven days a week. 5410 14th St. W., Bradenton (941) 755-4608.
Play Away, Childrens Fun and Fitness Centers.
Offering music classes for kids 3 months to 6 years old. Incorporating Music, Tom Toms, Egg Shakers, Rhythm Sticks, Creative Movement , and Singing. Also Offering Art Classes, Pre-school Ballet, Mommy and Me, Yoga Bugs, and More. Classes meet once a week. Ask us about "Parents Night Out." (941) 921-2616 (Sarasota). (941) 755-1070 (Bradenton).
Police Athletic League.
PAL offers numerous programs for the youth of Sarasota County and our enrollment has grown to exceed 1000 participants. The programs currently offered by PAL include such activities as daily after school programs, sports and athletics programs, basic equestrian training, a Reality Awareness Program, a Youth Director's program, and our most recent addition, a youth circus program. After School Programs provide homework assistance, tutoring, arts and crafts, athletic programs, and field trips. The Main PAL offices are located at the PAL Sailor Circus Facility at 2075 Bahia Vista St. Sarasota. (941) 316-8108
Red Barn Flea Market.
Boasting over 600 Booths, the indoor/outdoor market has been a proud tradition in Bradenton since 1981. Clothing, collectibles, antiques, electronics, tools, housewares, furniture, pet supplies, watches, and flowers. You can spend the entire day at the market and not see everything! 1707 First St. E Bradenton. (941) 747-3794.
Known throughout the world for its rich and varied collections, the Ringling Museum of Art was planned by the Ringlings to be part of a grand legacy. They built their winter home, Ca' d'Zan, in 1924-26 and opened the galleries to the public in 1930. Also on site is the Ringling Museum of The Circus, and Cà d'Zan The Ringling Winter Residence. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. (941) 359-5700.
Ringling Circus Museum.
A collection of circus art and memorabilia--from posters and photographs to wagons and costumes. Established in 1948, the Ringling Museum of the American Circus was the first museum of its kind to document the rich history of the circus. With so many circus people living in the immediate area, the collection grew quickly. Because of this, the Ringling Museum has a fine collection including rare handbills and art prints, circus paper, business records, wardrobe, performing props, as well as all types of circus equipment, including beautifully carved parade wagons, sturdy utility wagons, tent poles and massive bail rings. There are also 19th- and early 20th-century posters and props used by famous performers. A large collection of circus history and literature includes newspaper clippings dating as far back as 1816. Web Site
Sarasota Bay Explorers.
An exciting, hands-on, educational and fun experience on the water. Offering several types of eco-tours including the Sea Life Encounter Cruise, Guided Kayak Tours, Nature Safari and private charters aboard the Miss Explorer. In addition to the regular cruises, you may charter a trip on one of the 40-foot pontoon boats for a private group. Private charters are available for anything from school field trips to company outings to birthday parties. 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy.
City Island, Sarasota. (941) 388-4200
Sarasota Classic Car Museum.
Built in 1952, the Sarasota Classic Car Museum is the 3rd oldest automobile in the United States. The museum hosts three primary exhibits within the 60,000 sq ft. of space under roof. The automobile exhibit has over 100 automobiles and spans nearly ten decades of automotive history beginning with the horseless carriage. Open daily 9:00 - 6:00pm. 5500 N. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota. (941) 355-6228. Web Page. COUPON.
Sarasota County Boys & Girls Club.
We Inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Sports & Recreation programs as well as Life-enhancing programs and character development experiences. More than 25 national programs are available in the areas of education, the environment, health, the arts, careers, alcohol/drug and pregnancy prevention, gang prevention, leadership development and athletics. (941) 366-3911
Sarasota County Library System.
8 libraries in the area to serve you. Including The Summer Reading Program - for children ages 5-11 (K-5th grade). Thematic, literature based programs offered weekly during the summer. Programs encourage children to read so that they retain and reinforce their reading skills while school is not in session. Reading logs are provided for children to keep track of daily reading. (941) 861-5000. Also, listen to Dial-A-Story (941) 486-2330 - You will hear a 2-4 minute story. These stories might be fairy tales, legends, holiday stories, or fables.
Sarasota Family YMCA.
Four fitness branches offerering more than 60 youth and family development programs within six counties. The Sarasota Family YMCA provides free childcare at the Frank G. Berlin, Sr. and Evalyn Sadlier Jones branches. Children as young as six weeks up to 5-years-old are welcome for two-hour periods seven days a week while their parents enjoy the Y. The YMCA also provides after school care programs. When school is out or after the school day is complete, children are supervised at Sarasota County schools by a professional and licensed YMCA team. Children socialize with other kids their age and enjoy indoor and outdoor games, sports, arts & crafts and other challenging activities. (941) 951-2916 x1061. Child Care Offices (941) 952-9533 ext. 201
Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
Acres of beautiful gardens and nature trails make this a perfect setting for leisurely strolls. Birds of Prey exhibition, Critters and Things show, Reptile Encounter interactive show, Birds of The Rainforest show, and Meet the Keeper. Open daily 9AM to 5PM, closed Christmas Day. 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. (941) 355-5305. COUPON
Sarasota Reading Festival.
A FREE EVENT for the whole family featuring acclaimed authors, panel discussions, book signings, children’s events, storytellers, booksellers, free giveaway books for kids, food and more. A once a year event held at 5 points, downtown Sarasota. In front of Selby Public Library, 1331 First Street. (941) 906-1733
Sarasota Sailor Circus.
Dedicated to the development of programs that provide a safe environment for kids to participate, learn, and achieve while developing positive relationships between kids and law enforcement. The mission of Sailor Circus is to keep the family tradition of the Circus alive while using the circus arts as an alternative teaching method and intervention program for youth at risk in the community. Students are trained in various circus skills from clowning to tumbling, from high-wire to flying trapeze, from unicycle to juggling and much more. We incorporate every aspect of circus training from rigging and costuming, to presentation and performing. 2075 Bahia Vista Street. (941) 361-6350
Sarasota Youth Sailing Program.
A nonprofit educational organization established to teach the youth of Sarasota and Manatee Counties to learn to sail, as well as to develop boat and water safety skills. Through a variety of programs, the organization introduces youth to a lifelong activity, and instills a sense of the value of sportsmanship, responsibility, self-discipline, and self-esteem. Classes are provided at low cost. The calm waters of Sarasota Bay provide an ideal location for youngsters to learn to sail. The YSP operates out of facilities provided by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron located at 1717 Ken Thompson Parkway. (941) 924-5118
Siesta Key Drum Circle.
Every Sunday in Sarasota, about 1 hour before sunset, located just south of the main pavilion between lifeguard stands 3 and 4 on Siesta Public Beach. Just follow your ears. This is not a commercial event but local phenomenon that began sponteneously and now has a life of its own. Web Site
Smugglers Cove Adventure Mini-Golf
Two great locations in the Sarasota-Bradenton area! Come play “adventure” mini-golf amid pirate shipwrecks, caves, beautiful waterfalls and live alligators!!! Feed the live alligators too! The best courses on Florida’s West Coast. Open 9am-11pm daily. 3815 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota / (941) 351-6620 &
2000 Cortez Road W., Bradenton / (941) 756-0043.
South Florida Museum - Bishop Planetarium & Parker Manatee Aquarium.
*Planetarium - Planetarium Starshows, these presentations can place
visitors in a simulated thunderstorm or propel them through the universe
on a photon of light.
*Laser lightshows, - One of the longest continuously-running laser shows
in the world (20 years!) offered at 2:30 pm daily, features artistic
interpretations in light to a wide variety of musical styles. Weekend
evening laser shows - Feature various rock & roll music, presented on
Fridays and Saturday nights.
*The Rooftop Observatory - Solar observing is open to the public Friday
and Saturday nights 8:30 PM until 10 PM (weather permitting) for lunar,
planetary and deep-sky observation. The observatory is also open
Saturdays from 11:30 AM until 1 PM for solar observation (weather
*The Parker Manatee Aquarium - Above and below-water viewing of West
Indian Manatees. The pool holds approximately 60,000 gallons of water
and includes both deep and shallow areas to provide viewing of Mo and
Snooty the Manatee’s. 201 10th Street West. Bradenton. (941) 746-4131.
Stardust Skate Center.
Sarasota's largest air conditioned roller skating/dance arena. D.J. playing all of your favorite music and a large projection screen playing your favorite videos. Open Fri, Sat, & Sunday. 2571 12th Street. Sarasota. (941) 365-6888. Web Site
* Business viability, hours & activities subject to change. Please call ahead to confirm.