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Destin, Florida is a popular vacation destination for families. Due to the sandy beaches here, many families choose to enjoy their Destin stay near the water. However, there are a number of adventure parks, cruises, and kid-friendly eateries worth visiting while in this top Florida Panhandle destination. Have an unforgettable vacation when you experience these top things to do in Destin with kids.
Henderson Beach State Park
What Is It? Visiting the beach is top of the to-do list for families staying in Destin, Florida.
Why Do It? There are a number of great beaches here. However, Henderson Beach State Park is a must-visit. This state park doesn’t just have a sandy beach but also nature trails and a playground.
Good to Know: Adventurous families should consider camping here, as the beach is an easy walk from the campground.
Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park
What Is It? From water slides to mini golf, Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park is a must-visit attraction for families visiting Destin from March to Labor Day.
Why Do It? With 40 different water play spots, from racing waterslides to the wave pool, there is plenty to explore here. Parents will enjoy lounging by the pool or lazy river. For those traveling with small children, there is a splash pad too.
Good to Know: Not just home to water activities, Big Kahuna’s Adventure Park features three different mini golf courses.
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
What Is It? Head to Fort Walton, a 15-minute drive from Destin, to visit the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park.
Why Do It? This aquarium will keep the kids entertained through the touch tanks, free dolphin shows, and an outdoor obstacle course. For an additional fee, you can feed the penguins or snorkel with stingrays.
Good to Know: After visiting this adventure park, head to nearby Fort Walton Beach for some more fun in the sun.
Buccaneer Pirate Cruise
What Is It? Board this 100-foot vessel for a 90-minute cruise with swashbuckling pirates.
Why Do It? The Buccaneer Pirate Cruise will entertain the kids through water gun battles, face painting, treasure hunting, and live action pirate stories.
Good to Know: The kids will have an unforgettable experience aboard this cruise, especially when the cannon fires!
Destin Harbor Boardwalk
What Is It? Shopping, eateries, and accessibility to water activities make the Destin Harbor Boardwalk and Harborwalk Village a must-visit with kids.
Why Do It? No matter if you’re looking for a seafood joint, an ice cream parlor, or souvenir shop, this waterfront boardwalk is worth the stroll. The boardwalk draws families not only because of its great shopping and restaurants but also because of the Harborwalk Village, where you’ll find activities like zip-lining and rock climbing.
Good to Know: During the summer, expect free concerts and fireworks in this area too.
What Is It? Toddlers to teens alike will have fun at The Track, an amusement park in Destin.
Why Do It? Take the little ones on the carousel or flying airplane ride, while older kids may want a more thrilling experience on the go-karts or the Hurricane 360. This ride is a spinning coaster that takes riders up to 40 feet in the air! From arcade games to bumper cars, The Track has plenty to offer the whole family.
Good to Know: Although open year-round, some of the outdoor rides here are closed during the winter months.
Fudpucker’s Gator Beach
What Is It? This animal park offers free admission and is conveniently located at Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar and Grill, a kid-friendly restaurant that is home to an on-site playground.
Why Do It? After your meal at the restaurant, head to Gator Beach, where you can watch free alligator shows and even feed the gators.
Good to Know: Gator Beach is home to over 100 live gators and even an albino alligator, one of 40 in the entire country.
Sunset Dolphin Cruise
What Is It? Set sail during sunset for the best chance to watch dolphins in the wild off the Florida coast.
Why Do It? There are a number of cruise companies in the Destin area that offer sunset dolphin cruises. If you’re visiting Destin Harbor Boardwalk, some of the sunset cruises are located in the area.
Good to Know: Dolphin cruises usually last a couple of hours, so come prepared for snacks and drinks for the kids.
Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl and Grill
What Is It? If it’s a rainy day in Destin, head to this underwater-themed bowling alley and eatery.
Why Do It? Parents will enjoy the fishbowl cocktails, while kids will like the saltwater aquarium and colorful bowling area. No need to be a pro bowler to enjoy a bowling experience at this Destin bowling alley.
Good to Know: Due to its popularity, hit up this bowling alley on a weekday to avoid a wait time.
Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone
What Is It? Dinosaur-obsessed kids will love a day at Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone.
Why Do It? This dino-themed adventure park is home to a number of great attractions for a variety of ages. Perfect for elementary kids to teens, Wild Willy’s has an arcade, mini golf course, and a treetop ropes course.
Good to Know: Parents will enjoy the air-conditioned arcade space, which features favorite arcade games like skee ball, air hockey, and laser tag.