When people think of Florida and kids, often what comes to mind is Mickey and friends. But lucky for us here in Tampa Bay, there are tons more options around.
We checked in with two St. Petersburgexperts, Melane Nelson,owner of Growing Up, a clothing and accessories shop for babies, toddlers and expectant parents; and Kim De Cell Woitkowski, owner of Fifi Ruffles apparel for babies and children.
Please call for information on hours, schedules and prices.
Manatee Viewing Center
6990 Dickman Road, Apollo Beach
813.228.4289 • tampaelectric.com/company/mvc
This hidden gem, open Nov. 1 to April 15, features a tidal walk, part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, full of animals and plant life. The manatees flock there because of the warm water near the power plant. Bring a picnic lunch. Free admission.
Largo Central Park
101 Central Park Drive, Largo • 727.586.7415
This gorgeous 70-acre park offers free admission
and is open daily 5:30 am to 10 pm (restrooms open
at 6 am). The play area has two parts: for 2-5 year olds, sturdy play trains and houses; for 5-12 year olds, a climbing wall and treehouse-like jungle gyms. The huge field is the highlight of the park, perfect for running, soccer, kite flying.
GiGi’s Fabric Shop
105 S. Moon Ave., Brandon
813.661.9000 • xogigifabrics.com
Encourage your little one’s creative side! This small family-owned shop in Brandon offers sewing classes for children
and adults of all ages.
Whim So Doodle
237 Second Ave. S., St. Petersburg
727.827.4911 • whimsodoodle.com/classes
Get crafty in downtown St. Pete. The scrapbooking, fabirc
and art supply shop offers summer classes for children.
3100 72nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg • 727.580.5207
Be one with the equines! Sawgrass Acres offers weekly
horseback riding lessons.
The Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Drive, Tampa
813.273.4000 • flaquarium.org
One of the best aquariums in the country is right in our own backyard. From playful otters to scary sharks, the aquarium is a great place to learn about our ocean and its inhabitants. The annual pass program is well worth the money.
Great Explorations Museum
1925 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg
727.821.8992 • greatexplorations.org
Here is a perfect rainy-day activity for toddlers to pre-teens. Highlights include a Reefscape with a hands-on area for creating your own ecosystem, a 100-foot touch tunnel, and a Critter Cave where little ones can learn about reptiles and arachnids.
Dell Holmes Park Sprayground
2741 22nd St. S., St. Petersburg
Cool down in the Sprayground, open May 1 to Oct. 31.
The non-skid surface in the spray area is perfect for running around and splashing. The free park also has fishing areas, shaded pavilions, a play area, climbing boulders, lighted fitness trail and activities for the whole family.
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