Key West, Florida is known for its historic, fun-filled streets lined with buzzing restaurants, shopping, and natural adventures. While Duval Street’s endless bars are not quite kid-friendly, there are plenty of things to do in Key West with kids.
Here are some of the best activities that the entire family will enjoy on a vacation to Key West.
Swim With Dolphins
A visit to interact with these majestic creatures of the sea will give your kids memories that will last a lifetime. Spend a day of fun in the sun on a chartered catamaran journey for an adventure filled with everyone’s favorite sea mammal and a visit to the coveted Coral Gardens ecosystem.
Watch your kids gasp with joy and excitement as they swim with the dolphins in their natural habitat. Enjoy two of Key West’s best eco-experiences, and visit the only Dolphin SMART destination in the Florida Keys. Your kids will talk about their adventure for the rest of your vacation.
Spot Sea Turtles On A Glass Bottom Boat
If your kids aren’t the biggest fans of swimming, there are still plenty of Key West kids’ activities to take part in, including a glass-bottom boat tour.
You’ll see marine life up close without getting wet. Make it more of an adventure for the kiddos by incorporating a scavenger hunt, and see who can spot the most sea turtles, rays, and fish.
Visit The Aquarium
Another way to get up close to local marine life is with a visit to the Key West Aquarium. Watch dreamlike jellyfish glide through their tanks, get the opportunity to feed nurse sharks, and interact with stingrays.
Kids will be thrilled about holding and taking pictures with some of the resident creatures in the touch tank, like sea stars, crabs, and sea urchins.
Board The Conch Train
What child doesn’t love a train ride? Riding the conch train, rich has been running since 1958, is a favorite amongst things to do in Key West with kids.
The tour is an effortless way to get around the island without having the kiddos getting overheated, plus kids under 12 are free. Add some fun to the ride by giving your kids a map of Key West and having them pinpoint their location throughout the ride.
Be A Pirate For The Day
One part museum, one part theme park, the Key West Shipwreck Museum shares the tales of hundreds of shipwrecks along with costumed guides and lively storytelling.
Kids will love learning about the tales of pirates and maybe even get their hands on some treasure. Key West has an extensive history, often too detailed for kids to learn, but the shipwreck museum does an outstanding job at highlighting fun parts for kids to enjoy.
Experience A Parasailing Adventure
Just tell your kids they will get to fly for a day, and you’ll be greeted with overwhelming excitement by all.
Climb aboard a parasailing boat and take a deep breath as you rise into the blue sky. From your parasail, you’ll experience a panoramic view of the surrounding waters, Duval Street, the picturesque coastline, and maybe even a sea creature or two.
Encourage your kids to point out cruise ships, beaches, and fishing boats while soaring through the sky.
Ride Bikes Around The Island
There are a lot of fun ways to get around Key West, and one of those is by bike. Ride around the island to see its most popular attractions, including the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West Cemetery, Higgs Beach, and shopping center Mallory Square.
Miles of beaches may come to mind when you think of an island, but that’s not the case on the island of Key West, where beaches are limited. If your family is craving some time on the sand, head to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, often cited as the island’s best beach.
Visit the historic fort, go snorkeling in the warm waters, or simply unwind on the beach and build sandcastles. Family vacation memories won’t fall short here.
Visit The Southernmost Point Of The U.S.
Posing with the Southernmost Point Buoy is one of the quintessential Key West experiences. As it is one of the most sought-after places to visit on the island, the crowds build up quickly.
Make this stop your first point to visit for your day on the island. Most visitors start close to the pier and work their way out on the island, so do the opposite! You’ll get the picture you hoped for and will have the entire day to explore the rest of the island.
Splash In Shallow Waters
Higgs Beach is a popular spot to soak in some rays, take a dip in the shallow water, and enjoy the many amenities the beach has to offer.
You name it, Higgs Beach has it—tennis courts, volleyball courts, a children’s playground, beach accessories including chair and umbrella rentals, kayaks, and paddleboards. There’s even a pier, which is an excellent spot for a family walk with stunning views.
Explore Flora & Fauna
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your kiddos can’t learn a thing or two. Take them on a journey through Key West’s natural environments at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.
Along with fascinating exhibits showcasing the area’s varied habitats, the center also features a massive tank filled with coral reef and colorful fish.
Kayak Through Mangroves
Kayak rentals are available in multiple spots throughout the island. Glide through the calm waters alongside mangroves, native plants, and exotic birds.
During your kayaking trip, make a game of spotting marine life like stingrays and crabs. Your kids won’t be able to get enough of the widlife sightings throughout the smooth-sailing journey.
Play With Butterflies
If your children have ever found a caterpillar and asked you what they are, you can give them an up-close look at nature’s glorious ways at the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. This beautiful park boasts a pristine landscape with a variety of bird species added to the mix.
The butterfly garden gives you an up-close experience with hundreds of butterflies, closer than you have ever been before. The exhibits are set up for both interactive and educational learning, enticing your kids to gain some knowledge while having fun.
See An Old Firehouse
Being a firefighter is often on the top of many kids’ lists when they name what they want to be when they grow up. Getting an up-close and personal view of firehouses from history is something both parents and kids can enjoy together.
The Key West Firehouse Museum is housed at the former Fire Station No. 3, which was active from 1907 until 1998 and is renowned as one of the oldest firehouses in Florida. Walk through the former living and sleeping quarters to discover what life was like for firefighters in the early 20th century and see some of the old uniforms and badges worn by Key West’s bravest.
Of course, no firehouse museum would be complete without an antique fire engine, a shiny red 1929 American La France engine to be exact. Kids will jump for joy as they get to be a firefighter for a day.
Go Deep-Sea Fishing
Have you or your kids ever wanted to experience a real fishing trip? A trip to Key West is the perfect time to go on a deep-sea fishing excursion. Choose a vessel with an air-conditioned cabin to escape the sun.
Ready to take the kids on an unforgettable adventure? Visit Key West and other exciting tropical destinations on a Caribbean cruise.
Start planning your next family-filled adventure by browsing our cruises to Key West and booking your vacation online.