Pensacola Beach, Florida, has remained a popular family friendly vacation destination for decades. Surrounded by emerald Gulf waters, visitors to Pensacola Beach are quickly swept away by the beach side culture. Beach activities, water sports, historical sites, and a strong military presence offers a wide variety of things to do in Pensacola Beach, FL. With Spring Break already in motion, and summer vacation right around the corner, TripShock.com has compiled a list of the top 7 kid friendly activities in Pensacola Beach, Florida. With family vacations in mind, the list below was built on activities that are affordable or free, and most of all, kid friendly!
*Travelers Tip: A free trolley runs through Pensacola Beach and beyond. The service is provided by the Santa Rosa Island Authority, and is perfect for transporting the whole family to some of the activities below including Pensacola Beach Dolphin Cruises and the Pensacola Beach Pier. Trolley service is seasonal and begins in mid-May.
Looking for a water activity that's fun, affordable, and doesn't wear you out? A family fun Dolphin Cruise in Pensacola Beach provides hours of relaxing sightseeing for all ages. Adults enjoy educational narration and the serene landscapes of Pensacola Beach, while the kids revel at the sight of dolphins and other marine life. Boats tour in relatively calm waters, leaving motion sickness a rare occurrence. Food & beverages are available on most excursions, as is covered seating. Dolphin Tours depart daily and year-round!
Family vacationers in Pensacola Beach can expect to see and hear plenty of action in the skies. From Air Force Helicopters to Navy Jets, the Emerald Coast is brimming with military action. With Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field, and Naval Air Station (NAS) surrounding Pensacola Beach, it's no surprise that some of the world's finest pilots setup shop in town. Among the best of the best are the Blue Angels. This team of Navy Pilots is known worldwide as some of the fastest flying and most technically experienced pilots. A Blue Angels' air shows draw crowds in the thousands, but you could see them in Pensacola Beach from the comfort of a 63' catamaran! Hitch a ride with a handful of other anxious spectators and catch a LIVE Blue Angels practice run. This boat cruise is exciting for all ages, but especially makes for a fun activity for kids in Pensacola Beach, FL. While riding aboard the catamaran, the sights aren't limited to the skies. Look to the water to find marine life including dolphins, stingrays, sea birds, and sharks!
3. Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier
Pensacola Pier courtesy of fishpensacolabeachpier.com
Searching for a fun family activity close to the beach? Then the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier is the place for you! For a small fee, try your hand at fishing off this massive dock, and you may just catch a dinner of Cobia, Mackerel, Redfish, or Mahi Mahi. To make things easy, the Pier provides rentals and sales of all you need for a day of fishing in Pensacola Beach. Rods and reels, bait, coolers, and nets are all available at a low cost, and daily, weekly, and annual pier passes include temporary fishing licenses! Whatever you catch, you can keep (pending size and quantity requirements), and if you get hungry, there's an on-site snack bar to provide food for you and the kids. The Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier offers something different than your typical watersport tour, and will provide fun family memories for years.
The Gulf Pier makes for an amazing family fun day in Pensacola, but fishing on the Pier requires preparations, and knowledge of saltwater fishing that many don't have time to acquire. After all, when you're on a beach vacation in Florida, the last thing you need to think about is how to tie a fisherman's knot! That is why sometimes it's better to take the family on a family fishing excursion. Many local fishing charters specialize in family friendly fishing trips that are tailored for first time or novice fisherman. But just because the trip is ok for beginners doesn't mean you won't catch prized fish! With year round trips, expect to catch Redfish, Speckled Trout, Snapper, Flounder, Shark, and much more. Bait, tackle, and fishing licenses are included in the cost, and by days end you'll be so stocked up on tablefare and fond memories, putting a price on the experience will be impossible. *Book fishing charter tours early in the year for reduced rates!
So far you've seen activities that focus on the Pensacola Beach skies and coastal waters, but now you'll be able to see the beauty of the inland Gulf Coast! Head to Milton, FL, a short distance from Pensacola Beach, for a number of extreme and kid-friendly outdoor activities! From zip lining to river tubing, there are unforgettable tours for the family that seeks adventure!
6. National Naval Aviation Museum
The Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL, is home to one of the most visited museums in Florida. The all ages exhibits feature REAL historic aircraft, vintage documents, uniforms, and dioramas that display America's Naval history in shining brilliance. The family activities continue at the Naval Aviation Museum with attractions including the IMAX Theatre, Flight Simulator, Blue Angels X4D Experience, and the Cubi Bar Cafe, a delicious restaurant and replica of the famous Cubi Point Officer's Club. Best of all, admission is FREE to the Naval Aviation Museum which results in a cheap and extraordinary family fun day in Pensacola Beach, FL!
A Florida Beach Vacation is not complete without a first hand encounter with exotic marine life! The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park on Okaloosa Island offers spectacular shows, education exhibits, and beautiful ocean views. With kid friendly activities left and right, there is no better place to take the family on your gulf coast beach vacation. Most of the park is covered from rain and wind, which makes for a prime destination if you're looking for things to do when it's raining in Pensacola. The on-site food and gift shop provide all you need for a full day of fun, and with ticket prices starting at only $19.95, the value is unbeatable. The Gulfarium is open 7 days a week (besides Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day), and free parking is available to all Adventure Park guests.