Top 10 Picks for Kicking It with the Kids in Key West

Key West is not Disney World. In fact, Duval Street’s gauntlet of bars is infamous as an adult playground. Fortunately, there are plenty of family-friendly activities far removed from the margarita-fueled revelry. You just have to know where to look.

Start by hitting the water on one of the various tours like the eco-conscious Dolphin Safari or the action-packed Gulfstream Fishing. Really want to wear out the little ones ones? Book the "Do it All" package with Sunset Watersports for six hours of nonstop play on waverunners, kayaks and paddleboats. The kiddos will especially love the inflatable slides, banana boat rides and water trampoline.

For more fun in the sun, head to Higgs Beach or Fort Zachary State Park to catch some rays, while watching the children snorkel in the shallow waters. Don’t miss exploring in the Civil War-era fort with its at-the-ready cannons and panoramic views from the roof.

Looking for some indoor fun? Attractions like the Key West Shipwreck Museum and Eco-Discovery Center offer interactive learning about the island's nautical history and ecosystems. To get up close and personal with the local critters, the Butterfly & Nature Conservatory and Key West Aquarium will delight children and adults alike. When planning your Key West family vacation, check out these top ten things to do with kids in Key West.



There's one thing both kids and adults love about the sea: dolphins. Hop aboard Dolphin Safari's six-passenger boat for a chance to see them in the wild. Along the way, you'll come across other sea life like manatees, sea turtles and stingrays....  Read More



What kid doesn't love a train? The Conch Tour Train makes a lot of top 10 lists, and for good reason. Their bright yellow trains have been winding the shady streets of Old Town since 1958. The tour is an easy way to get acquainted with the...  Read More

Key West Shipwreck Museum
Photo courtesy of Key West Shipwreck Museum


The stories of the 400 shipwrecks along the Florida Keys are told with all the bells and whistles at this part-museum, part theme-park attraction. Visitors are greeted with a 15-minute live story telling presentation before touring the museum....  Read More

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
Photo courtesy of


When the museum admissions and snorkeling tours start to add up, free options are always the way to go--especially when the kids can learn a thing or two. The Eco-Discovery Center provides a look into the ecosystems of the Florida Keys. Just a...  Read More



A common misconception travelers have when planning a trip to Key West is that there will be sparkling white-sand beaches everywhere. In fact they are few and far between. Fort Zachary Taylor is one of the exceptions with its well-maintained,...  Read More



Watch your children's eyes open in wonder, as you step into this garden filled with swirling butterflies, colorful birds, bright koi fish, pink flamingos and turtles. At any time, 1200 to 2,000 of these winged beauties reside in the...  Read More



Not far from Duval Street in Old Town Key West is Higgs Beach, a popular spot to soak in some rays and take a dip in the shallow water. Amenities include tennis courts, volleyball courts, children's playground and a dog park, and White Street...  Read More



Fishing in Key West is a lot of fun, but it certainly isn't cheap. Private charters, which charge approximately $600 per group for a half-day tour (excluding gratuities), may not be ideal for families with young children. Gulfstream Fishing has...  Read More



Sunset Watersports has it all. Families can go snorkeling, kayaking, wind surfing, parasailing or jet skiing. Have a group of kids who can't agree on what they want to do? Check out the company's "Do it All" package, which offers six hours out...  Read More



You'll spot the Key West Aquarium off Mallory Square by the distinctive great white shark bursting from the top of its façade. Built between 1932 and 1934, it's one of Florida's oldest aquariums. While on the small side, the facility offers...  Read More


Meet Claudia Miller

Claudia Miller has been writing about South Florida for over 17 years--seven from Key Largo. A budding photographer, she can usually be found stalking a sunset. Despite being a tad...  More About Claudia