Who doesn’t love a little fun on the weekends with the whole family? Tampa has really put together some nice options for families that want to have family-friendly fun that everyone will enjoy. These aren’t just geared towards fun for the kids, but they will bring out the joy and imagination in parents too.

You can find everything from museums to time on the water, and indoor fun to outdoor fun. Take a look at some of the top choices for families that want to have fun, and especially for those that love animals.

Big Cat Rescue – 12802 East Street, Tampa

Your first stop should be at the Big Cat Rescue over on East Street where you’ll definitely want to bring a camera. These wild cats are living in this non-profit sanctuary meant to offer a home to the animals and an education to the public.

They’ve been open for over 10 years and offer tours making your stay only about 1-2 hours long for parents of little ones. You can book a tour online to one of the world’s largest accredited sanctuaries for exotic cats and learn their stories of being in captivity before living here. You’ll see lions, tigers, cougars, and more.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa

When you love animals but you want to go somewhere that offers a little of everything, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is the perfect stop. You can have a family adventure riding thrill rides, catch some live entertainment, or just hang out at one of the largest zoos in the continent. There are over 12,000 animals to see, and you’ll love the Cheetah Hunt coaster and observing animals in the Animal Care Center.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium – 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater

For dolphin lovers, you’ll want to spend the day at Clearwater’s Marine Aquarium, the non-profit organization that works to rehab and release marine life. They also work to educate the public here while rehabbing the animals. You’ll find everything from dolphins to sea turtles, stingrays to river otters. You may recognize the dolphin winter living here, who starred in the movie Dolphin Tale with Morgan Freeman.

Croc Encounters – 8703 Bowles Road, Tampa

Florida is known for its crocs and it’s important to understand more about them as a family. That’s why Croc Encounters was created, to bring education to families on the animal and to get a closer look at the different sizes and types that you may see. The up-close and personal experience is a great time for families that want to meet the rescued crocs in a natural, outdoor setting, just 10 miles from downtown. You’ll love the guided tours, the gator wrestling shows, and the feedings!

What better way to spend the day with the family than with the animals? These top choices for families in Tampa will have your animal-loving family in heaven. Take a look at part 2 for some adventurous spots to enjoy as a family.



Posted by Mike + Michelle Grizzell on


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