Siesta Beach Playground
Siesta Beach Playground
Legacy Trail.
Riding the Legacy Trail.

60 Fun Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer

60 fun activities to do with kids this summer in Sarasota, eliminating the dreaded “I’m bored!” declaration

With so much to do in Sarasota, there should never be the dreaded “I’m bored!” declaration uttered this summer. But if you’re drawing a blank and can’t remember any of the myriad fun things you were hoping to do with your littles this summer, you’ve come to the right place. Take a pick and get ready for summer fun!

  1. From climbing amongst banyan trees to train and circus themes, there’s no shortage of novel parks to visit.
  2. Feed the baby gators and play a round of putt putt (aka mini golf) at pirate-themed Smuggler’s Cove.
  3. Escape the heat and wear those long sleeves again with a few hours of ice skating at the Ellenton Ice Sports Complex.
  4. Search for shark’s teeth in Venice.
  5. Pet both a shark and a sting ray at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.
  6. Grab your buckets and nets and search for sea critters in Sarasota Bay. Our family’s favorite spot is at Ken Thompson Park the end of City Island amongst the sea grass. (Don’t forget water shoes)
  7. Run a mile along the surf with your little ones at the Summer Beach Fun Run. Hosted by the Manasota Track Club, the 1-mile jaunt along Siesta Beach costs $1 (only the first time – after that it’s free!) and finishers receive a ribbon and a popsicle. 6:30 on Tuesday evenings from June 5 – August 7.
  8. Dance to the beat as the sun sets at the Siesta Key Drum Circle on Sunday evenings.
  9. Savor an artisan popsicle at the Downtown Farmer’s Market.
  10. Go to – or be in! – the circus through the Circus Arts Conservatory or kids-only Sailor Circus.
  11. Spend your Saturdays getting soaked in the sun, surrounded by succulents, at Selby Splashin’ Saturdays.
  12. Feed a liger (not a typo) at Big Cat Habitat.
  13. Feed a flamingo and meet the reptiles at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
  14. Discover a whole new world with a kayak or SUP through the Lido Key Mangrove Tunnels.
  15. Cool off at the free children’s fountain at Bayfront Park.
  16. Grab your rod and see what you can land with a few hours of fishing, be it from a boat, dock, or right from the beach.
  17. Sarasota County Libraries abound with activities throughout the summer, spanning from Lego club to magic shows, reading to the dogs to music for babies.
  18. Tackle the adventure course – and zip line – at TreeUmph!.
  19. Grab your bikes (and helmets) for a cruise down Legacy Trail.
  20. Hike Myakka River State Park in search of armadillos, turtles, alligators, and deer.
  21. Do a little birding at Oscar Sherer in search of the Scrub Jay.
  22. Skateboard (or rollerblade, BMX, or scoot) at the skate park within downtown Sarasota’s Payne Park.
  23. Paint pottery at The Artful Giraffe.
  24. Needless to state the obvious, but, duh, beach.
  25. Splish, splash at the YMCA water park where there’s a splash pad for the little ones, a water slide for the older ones, and lap pools for the serious ones.
  26. Perfect that long shot at Evie’s driving range, then discuss your backswing over ice cream and air hokey at this one-stop shop.
  27. Visit the Ringling Museum for Family First Saturdays, where kids explore, enjoy art, and make crafts with a different monthly theme.
  28. Learn about the world beyond ours with a visit to the Bishop Planetarium. Be sure to pay a visit to the manatees before departing.
  29. Enjoy Historic Spanish Point with a little one with games, crafts, and songs as part of their TOTally Kids Nature Adventure.
  30. Countdown as the sun sets.
  31. Spend at day at Pinecraft Park – hike the trails and kayak/canoe/SUP down Phillippi Creek.
  32. Learn a bit more about the waters around us with knowledgeable and fun Sarasota Bay Explorers.
  33. Take a walk over the Ringling Bridge.
  34. Visit the Jetty in Nokomis for some fishing, dolphin spotting, and prime surfing.
  35. Take a dip in the Warm Mineral Springs in North Port and reap the benefits of its 51 minerals.
  36. Have a family race up the Celery Fields, followed by a hilltop picnic. Listen for the lion roaring!
  37. Take it old school for milkshakes and burgers at the Hob Nob Drive In.
  38. Visit Sun N Fun for a zip down their mega waterslide.
  39. Cool off while watching the waves at Lido Beach Pool.
  40. Build a sandcastle – anytime, anyplace.
  41. Skate, scoot, or blade around the 3.5-mile path at Nathan Benderson Park.
  42. Make a wish at the Mable Ringling Memorial Fountain.
  43. Stop and smell the roses and hike the trail at the historic Phillippi Mansion.
  44. Have a picnic in the woods at Rothenback Park.
  45. Unstrap and ride freely on the trolley to the beach, be it Siesta Key, Longboat Key, or Anna Maria Island.
  46. ‘Let’s bowl, let’s bowl, let’s rock and roll!’ Get your strike on at Sarasota Lanes.
  47. Let your imagination roam at the Children’s Garden where outdoor and creative play merge into a child’s dream.
  48. Grab your gloves and play ball at the Englewood Sports Complex.
  49. Face off in a game of cornhole (aka baggo) at the new South Lido Beach Playground.
  50. Indulge in pie as big as your head at Yoder’s Amish restaurant.
  51. Check out the view of the beach from the skies with a parasailing ride.
  52. Go on an ice cream tasting tour of St. Armand’s. Hint: the chocolate peanut butter cup at Kilwin’s is a worthy contender for best ice cream the littles can find.
  53. Decorate cookies in the historic downtown village of Sarasota.
  54. Kids bouncing off the walls? Bring them to trampoline haven SkyZone where it’s not only allowed but encouraged.
  55. Create something innovative at the Suncoast Science Center. Laser cutters? 3D printers? Yes, please!
  56. Get your hands dirty and pop into the Kids and Clay class at Carla’s Clay to learn to throw clay or make one of her preplanned projects.
  57. Enjoy a $1 movie as part of the Regal Summer Movie Express at the newly-renovated Regal Hollywood 11 theatre on Main Street. View the schedule online to see which G- and PG-rated movies will be playing on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10am. June 5-August 15.
  58. Venture through the Children’s Discovery Path at Crowley Nature Center and become the panther, bat, tortoise, and spider.
  59. See an owl up close (and during the day) at Save our Seabirds.
  60. Rent a scooter car and zip around Siesta Key Village.

Or you can always do nothing. Stay in your jammies, make a fort, turn on The Greatest Showman soundtrack and have a dance party. It is summer, after all.

Related Topics: