Tallahassee, the capital city of Florida, is a fantastic destination for families traveling with kids. Known for its rich history, beautiful parks, and interactive learning centers, Tallahassee offers a wide range of exciting activities to keep both children and adults entertained. If you’re planning a family trip to Tallahassee, here are ten must-visit attractions to include on your itinerary:
Things to do in Tallahassee with kids
1. Lofty Pursuits
- Address: 1415 Timberlane Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32312
- Website: Lofty Pursuits
Lofty Pursuits is a unique gem in Tallahassee, combining sweet treats with a touch of history. It’s a place where old-fashioned soda fountain meets the art of candy-making. The kids will be captivated watching the candy-making process right before their eyes. The variety of candies and ice creams will satisfy their taste buds while educating them about the traditional methods of confectionery. Be sure to try their delicious homemade waffle cones and, for a real treat, order one of their famous ice cream sodas.
2. Museum of Florida History
- Address: 500 S Bronough St, Tallahassee, FL 32399
- Website: Museum of Florida History
For an enriching and educational experience, make your way to the Museum of Florida History. This family-friendly museum provides a glimpse into Florida’s vibrant past. Its interactive exhibits and extensive collection of artifacts offer a captivating journey through the state’s history. The kids will be delighted as they learn about the cultural and natural heritage of Florida. Check the museum’s website for special exhibitions and events. They often host programs designed specifically for children, making the visit even more engaging.
3. Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
- Address: 3540 Thomasville Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32309
- Website: Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
If your family enjoys spending time outdoors, Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park is a must-visit. This tranquil park features beautiful gardens, serene walking trails, and picturesque lakes. It’s a fantastic place for picnicking, hiking, and bird-watching. The kids will have plenty of space to run around, play, and appreciate the park’s stunning natural surroundings. Visit during the spring when the azaleas are in full bloom for a breathtaking display of colors.
4. Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee
- Address: 200 S Duval St, Tallahassee, FL 32301
- Website: Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee
For families looking for things to do in Tallahassee with kids, especially young aspiring astronauts and space enthusiasts, the Challenger Learning Center is an out-of-this-world experience. This hands-on science center offers a range of interactive exhibits and activities related to space exploration and science, making it a fantastic choice for families with curious children who are eager to explore the wonders of the cosmos.
What makes this attraction even more enticing for families is that it’s not just educational; it’s also incredibly entertaining. The center has a knack for turning learning into an adventure, ensuring that both kids and adults are thoroughly engaged.
As you explore the Challenger Learning Center, be sure to plan some time for the IMAX theater. It regularly features space-themed movies that provide a larger-than-life experience, further igniting the curiosity and imagination of young space enthusiasts. It’s an opportunity to venture beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and explore the vast cosmos, all while staying within the heart of Tallahassee.
5. Railroad Square
- Address: 602 McDonnell Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32310
- Website: Railroad Square
Railroad Square is a vibrant arts and culture district in Tallahassee. It’s a captivating place where creativity thrives, featuring art galleries, unique shops, and often live music and events. The kids will appreciate the eclectic atmosphere, and you can explore the various artistic expressions on display. Check the event calendar for special family-friendly happenings like art walks and outdoor festivals.
6. Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
- Address: 465 Wakulla Park Dr, Wakulla Springs, FL 32327
- Website: Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
Nature lovers will find Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park to be a paradise. The park’s crown jewel is its pristine springs, which offer crystal-clear waters and a chance to see manatees up close. Families can enjoy boat tours, swimming, and picnicking in this breathtaking natural setting. Bring a pair of goggles to explore the underwater world of the springs, and don’t forget your camera to capture the beauty of the park.
7. Goodwood Museum & Gardens
- Address: 1600 Miccosukee Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32308
- Website: Goodwood Museum & Gardens
Goodwood Museum & Gardens is a delightful place to explore the historic side of Tallahassee. The main attraction is the Goodwood Mansion, a beautiful antebellum house surrounded by well-manicured gardens. It’s an ideal location for family outings, as the kids can explore the outdoor spaces while parents take in the historical charm of the property. Look for family-oriented events and activities hosted by the museum. They often have themed events that cater to kids.
8. St. Marks Lighthouse
- Address: St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, St. Marks, FL 32355
- Website: St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
A visit to the St. Marks Lighthouse, situated within the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, offers a fantastic blend of history and natural beauty. The kids will enjoy the hike to the lighthouse and the opportunity to climb to the top for panoramic views of the surrounding area. The refuge also provides excellent opportunities for bird-watching and wildlife photography. Bring binoculars to get a closer look at the abundant birdlife in the refuge.
9. Cascades Park
- Address: 1001 S Gadsden St, Tallahassee, FL 32301
- Website: Cascades Park
Cascades Park is an outstanding destination for families seeking things to do in tallahassee with kids. This central hub of outdoor activities in Tallahassee offers a delightful blend of nature and recreation right in the heart of the city.
The park’s centerpiece is a breathtaking waterfall, which is a sight to behold and perfect for family photo ops. On hot days, children can enjoy the splash pad, offering a fun way to cool off and enjoy some refreshing water play. It’s an ideal spot for kids to release their energy and create memorable moments.
Cascades Park also provides ample opportunities for family picnics. Spread out a blanket, savor some delicious snacks, and enjoy quality time together in a serene and beautiful setting.
Moreover, the park frequently hosts family-friendly events, adding even more excitement to your visit. Check the park’s event schedule for upcoming outdoor concerts, where you can groove to some music as a family, or movie nights under the stars, where you can snuggle up with your kids and enjoy a film in a unique open-air setting. It’s a wonderful way to add a touch of magic to your family outing in Tallahassee, as you explore fun Things to Do in Tallahassee with Kids.
10. AJ Henry Park
- Address: 3617 Kinsail Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32303
- Website: AJ Henry Park
AJ Henry Park is a local favorite for families. It boasts a spacious playground, sports facilities, and a picnic area. Kids of all ages will have a blast running, playing, and enjoying quality family time in this welcoming park. The park is an excellent place for a birthday party or a casual family gathering. Consider renting one of the picnic pavilions for a special occasion.
Planning Your Trip
Before you embark on your Tallahassee adventure, here are some essential planning tips:
- Check Operating Hours: Be sure to check the operating hours and days of operation for each attraction. Some places may be closed on certain days or have seasonal variations in their schedules.
- Admission Costs: Familiarize yourself with admission costs. Some attractions may offer discounts for children or family packages.
- Pack Snacks: For outdoor adventures, pack snacks and water to keep the little ones energized and hydrated.
- Comfortable Attire: Dress appropriately for outdoor activities, and don’t forget sunscreen and hats to protect against the Florida sun.
- Check for Special Events: As you plan your visit to explore things to do in Tallahassee with kids, it’s advisable to be on the lookout for any special events or programs happening during your stay. Many of the family-friendly attractions mentioned in this guide host events specifically designed for families, adding an extra layer of excitement to your trip. By synchronizing your travel dates with these events, you can ensure that your kids have a fantastic time enjoying both the attractions and the unique programs.
- Explore Local Cuisine: Don’t forget to explore the local cuisine. Tallahassee has some fantastic dining options with delicious Southern flavors that your family will enjoy.
Planning Your Itinerary and Getting Around
Planning your family vacation to Tallahassee involves more than just choosing attractions. It’s about creating a well-structured itinerary and navigating the city efficiently to make the most of your trip. Here are comprehensive tips for a successful and enjoyable visit:
1. Plan Your Itinerary
Create a Flexible Schedule
Before your trip, take some time to create a rough itinerary that outlines the attractions you want to visit each day. It’s important to maintain a balance between planned activities and flexibility. Families with children often have unique needs and preferences, so having a flexible schedule can accommodate unexpected stops or changes in plans.
To make the most of your day, especially when exploring outdoor things to do in Tallahassee with kids, consider scheduling visits to museums and indoor attractions during the hottest parts of the day. This not only keeps your family comfortable but also provides a welcome escape from the sun’s intensity. You can save outdoor activities for cooler times when the weather is more favorable for exploration.
Check Opening and Closing Times
Take note of the opening and closing times of the attractions. Arriving early in the day can help you beat the crowds and ensure a more relaxed experience. Some attractions may offer special early morning hours for visitors who want to avoid the rush.
Time for Breaks
Remember that kids may need more breaks and downtime than adults. Schedule breaks for meals and relaxation during your itinerary. This is a chance to recharge and enjoy some downtime in between your adventures.
2. Transportation Options
Tallahassee offers a public transit system, which can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get around the city. The bus system is known as StarMetro and offers routes that can take you to various parts of the city, including popular attractions. Check the StarMetro website for route information and schedules.
Renting a car can provide the flexibility and convenience to explore Tallahassee at your own pace. It’s an excellent choice if you plan to visit attractions that may not be easily accessible by public transit. Many car rental companies operate in Tallahassee, and you can pick up your rental vehicle at the airport or various rental locations in the city.
Services like Uber and Lyft are also available in Tallahassee, providing convenient transportation within the city. Rideshare services can be particularly useful if you want to avoid parking hassles or need a quick ride to an attraction or restaurant.
Tallahassee is known for its bike-friendly culture, with numerous bike lanes and trails. If your family enjoys cycling, consider renting bikes to explore the city. Many hotels and bike shops offer bike rentals. The flexibility of biking allows you to explore neighborhoods and parks at your own pace.
Depending on your accommodation’s location, you might find that many attractions are within walking distance. Walking can be a great way to soak in the local atmosphere and discover hidden gems along the way. However, make sure to check the weather forecast and dress appropriately, especially during the hot summer months.
3. Keeping Kids Entertained
Travel Games and Activities
During your travels to explore things to do in Tallahassee with kids, it’s essential to have strategies for keeping your children entertained during downtime. Long drives or waits at attractions can sometimes test the patience of kids. That’s where the magic of preparation comes into play. To keep your kids engaged and content, pack a variety of travel games, coloring books, and other entertainment. These items are your secret weapons against restlessness and boredom.
Snacks and Refreshments
Having a supply of snacks and water on hand can be a real lifesaver, especially when kids get hungry or thirsty. Pack a variety of healthy and tasty snacks to keep everyone content between meals. A small cooler with cold drinks and fresh fruit can be a welcome relief on a hot day.
First-Aid Kit and Medications
While you hope for a smooth trip, it’s wise to be prepared for unexpected circumstances. Bring a basic first-aid kit with essentials like adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, and over-the-counter medications for common ailments. If anyone in your family requires specific medications, ensure you have an ample supply during your trip.
4. Be Flexible
Flexibility is the key to a stress-free family vacation. While having a well-planned itinerary is essential, be open to spontaneity. Kids can be unpredictable, and sometimes the best moments are the ones you didn’t plan. Embrace unexpected discoveries, interesting detours, and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
Tallahassee, with its rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture, is a fantastic destination for families seeking things to do in Tallahassee with kids. The city’s commitment to preserving its heritage while embracing creativity and education makes it an ideal location for a family getaway.
As you plan your trip to explore Things to Do in Tallahassee with Kids, remember that the city offers an array of attractions to cater to different interests and age groups. Whether you’re exploring historical museums, taking in the natural beauty of parks, or immersing yourselves in the local art scene, Tallahassee has something for every member of the family to enjoy. It’s a city that harmoniously combines education, entertainment, and adventure, ensuring that your family’s visit is both enriching and memorable.