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The Best Things to Do with Kids in the Florida Keys & Key West

Posted on: May 20th , 2024 | Activities
The Best Things to Do with Kids in the Florida Keys & Key West

It’s the wonder kids find in the Florida Keys that makes the string of islands feel like home - if home was the ultimate playground. It’s the type of place that seems to etch itself on a child’s mind forever! If you and your brood are seeking an all-ages adventure along the Overseas Highway, here are the absolute best things to do with kids in the Florida Keys and Key West.

We’re starting from the Upper Keys and working our way down to Key West. So if you’re driving in from Fort Lauderdale, Miami, or beyond, use this guide as a road trip planner.

“The Florida Keys & Key West: Come as you are!”

Things To Do in Key Largo with Kids

Dive right into your Florida Keys experience (literally) at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first underwater park in the country. The park offers kayak and paddleboard rentals, snorkeling and scuba tours of the coral reef, and glass bottom boat tours along the 70 square nautical miles of reefs and mangroves. This may not be a good fit for those with tiny children, and in that case, there’s always the Park’s beach!

[Book direct with 24 North Hotel for an exclusive Tropical Family Retreat Package - designed to create unforgettable memories for you and your loved ones]

On the south end of Key Largo, in Tavernier, there’s the Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary. The natural refuge houses nearly 30 different species of non-releasable birds that you can observe, along with a boardwalk, pelican feeding, and prime sunset views. Don’t miss the Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory in Tavernier. The factory has been featured in major publications and has some of the best key lime pie, chocolate-dipped key lime pie, and key lime flavored goodies you’ll ever try.


Things To Do in Islamorada with Kids

First up, the History of Diving Museum is fun for all ages. The colorful facility is located right off the highway and is home to artifacts, antiques, and everything else related to the history of diving and the role it played in Florida Keys history. Kids will love the fun scavenger hunt, finding the miniature ‘divers’ throughout the exhibits, and interactive exhibits. Then there’s the iconic Robbie’s Marina in Islamorada, where you can feed the massive resident tarpon lingering below the docks. For food, Lazy Days is a choice place for families to spread out on the waterfront. The seafood restaurant was voted “Best Seafood Restaurant” in the Upper Keys.

[Things to Do with Kids in Key West]

Things To Do in Marathon with Kids

Get up close with more native animals of the Keys at the Turtle Hospital. The nonprofit rehab center is one of the most highly rated places in all of the Florida Keys. Take a guided educational tour of the hospital, see the sea turtle rehab area, and feed their permanent residents. Make your reservation in advance and keep up to date with the Hospital to see when their next sea turtle release is. Sombrero Beach is a good public beach, with a new playground, narrow sandy strip, and palms to provide shade. Marathon is also the start of the Seven Mile Bridge (connecting Knight’s Key to Little Duck Key) and an excellent photo op for the family.


We’re jumping straight into Key West next, but don’t count out the rest of the Lower Keys! Bahia Honda State Park is a beautiful place to connect with nature (pictured above). On Big Pine Key, there’s the National Key Deer Refuge where you might get lucky and see a Key deer, an endangered species endemic to the Florida Keys. There’s also the Blue Hole freshwater pond’s observation deck within the Refuge, a prime spot to glimpse alligators and iguanas.

Things To Do in Key West with Kids

For beach time, we recommend Smathers Beach. It’s only a little more than two miles from 24 North Hotel and is considered the most family-friendly beach on the island with its calm, shallow water and sandy bottom. Animal lovers can’t miss the Key West Butterfly Nature Conservatory, Key West Aquarium, or Sheriff’s Animal Farm. Cultural stops include the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, Sails to Rails Museum, Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum, Mel Fisher’s Maritime Museum, and the Key West Firehouse Museum. For a fun family outing, check out the Conch Town Train, climb the Key West Lighthouse, or find a spot at the lively Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square to watch live music and performers. Commemorate the end of your journey with a photo at U.S. 1 Mile Marker 0!

[Things to Do in Key West with Toddlers]

Key West Hotel for Families with Kids

Upgrade your Florida Keys road trip with a stay at 24 North Hotel. We’re located in New Town and offer complimentary shuttle rides to Old Town for our guests. We’re in the perfect spot for families who prefer a peaceful stay outside the bustle of Old Town. Our Ocean View Double Queen Suite or Ocean View King Suite with a pullout sleeper sofa are top choices for families. Plus, there’s an on-site Starbucks, our poolside family-friendly Toasted Coconut restaurant, and a huge swimming pool.

See which of our special offers works for you. We have packages designed for the adventurous spirit, Florida and Georgia residents, and one exclusively for those with furry family members.

We recommend the Tropical Family Retreat Package for families. Designed to create unforgettable memories for you and your loved ones, this brand new package includes a curated list of family-friendly activities, beach essentials, complimentary cocktails, kid-friendly snacks, and exclusive discounts on private poolside cabana rentals.

Whether you're lounging on the beach, exploring the vibrant streets of Key West, or simply relaxing by the pool, our Tropical Family Retreat Package has everything you need for an unforgettable family vacation!


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