Key West, Florida is the ideal spot for a family vacation. You can sample the island’s famous Conch Fritters, enjoy unforgettable sunsets, snorkel aqua waters and much more. If you want to keep children entertained during your next trip to paradise, learn more about Key West’s fun and unique family-friendly attractions.
Shopping at Mallory Square
If there’s one small place on the island of Key West that showcases just a little bit of everything it has to offer, it’s Mallory Square. Best part is, it’s a fabulous place for kids. If your children love pirates, then take them out of the heat into the cool and thrilling interior of the Key West Shipwreck Museum. Not only do they get to look at tons of treasure, but they get to touch it too. Mallory Square also houses the Sponge Market and the Shell Warehouse. Both stores showcase beautiful shells found from all over the world, and many more kid-friendly toys and sights. And if they get hungry during all of this fun, then have no fear because there are plenty of food venues. Whether you and your children are in the mood for mouthwatering Cuban food, famous Conch Fritters or maybe just an ice-cold drink, Mallory Square has it all.
The Yankee Freedom Interpretive Center
Want a taste of Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas? Then go to the Interpretive Center containing exhibits on the natural and man-made resources of the Dry Tortugas. Admission is free and children will love the interactive photomural depicting the history of nautical activity in Key West’s historic seaport. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day of the week, it is conveniently located near the Thompson Fish House at the northern end of Margaret Street.
Watch the Tarpon
Located on Margaret Street near Local Color, Turtle Kraals and the Yankee Freedom Interpretative Center are thousands of tarpon that swim along the docks and underneath the ships. It’s a great place for kids and adults alike to walk and admire the ships in addition to watching the fish dart about in the crystal blue water. And it is conveniently located near mouthwatering restaurants and chic shops.
Key West Turtle Museum
Sea turtles, mate? If you or your kids are fond of these guys, then head over to the Turtle Museum. The museum is filled with archaeological evidence and fun history about turtles. Guided explorations and experiments will keep your children engaged and active throughout the whole experience. This museum, located at 200 Margaret Street, also educates about the strategies and importance of the conservation of nature.
Nancy’s Secret Garden
This place is Parrot 101, especially for bird and parrot lovers. Nancy Forrester has been rescuing abused and abandoned parrots for 25 years and created this special place to house unique birds. Children are welcome and encouraged to spend time with the birds… play music, feed them, paint and take pictures. This wonderful experience, located at 518 Elizabeth Street, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day for you to bond with these endangered birds.
Fury Water Adventures
Ready to enjoy island paradise in, on and above the water? Fury Water Adventures offers a wide variety of excursions to please all ages and interests, from relaxing sunset sails with live music to the all-day Ultimate Adventure trip. Snorkel the only living reef in the United States aboard one of Fury’s many snorkeling trips, or take in the intricate marine ecosystem without getting wet on Fury’s Glass Bottom Boat. Grab your sunscreen and get ready to experience island life at its finest.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Petting Zoo
Bring your children to the Sheriff’s Animal Farm. They’ll love visiting with the horses, a cow, pigs, goats, bunnies, alligators, tropical birds, turtles and snakes. Home to over 250 animals and free of charge to the public, the animal farm is the ideal place to take your kids. Visitors will also see exotic animals including tropical birds, a Kinkajou, sloths, a lemur, an Emu and a family of Cavys. Your children will be enchanted by the history and exotic wildlife around them on Stock Island.
You and your kids will love walking through the old Fort East Martello. It contains relics from the Civil War as well as exhibits about wrecking and cigar manufacturing. The kids will be immersed in the ghosts of East Martello and the infamous Robert the Doll! In addition, this national landmark contains preserved military battlements, which are all right next to the beach.
The Key West Garden Club: West Martello
The West Martello Garden Club has some of the most pristine views in Key West. Adults and children both enjoy all that West Martello has to offer. In addition to the scenic walking paths that showcase the lush foliage, there is also an educational center that teaches about West Martello’s history. The vaulted ceilings, gun mounts and fort structure will captivate everyone at any age.
Gato Pocket Park
The Gato Pocket Park is a beautifully intimate green space in Key West that has been reserved for public enjoyment. The rolling, grassy lands and rich history create the perfect space for family excursions. Bring your dog and a picnic to enjoy this private little slice of sunny Key West paradise.
About the Author: Annie Biggs is a travel writer and contributor to the Fury Key West Blog, which specializes in keeping vacation guests up to date on all the exciting events and things to do in Key West. She enjoys traveling all over the world and has written over 200 articles about travel and tourism. The most exotic destination she has visited is South Africa.