School's out for the summer, and the kids are looking for some summer fun adventures to tell all of their friends about when they return in August. If you live in Manatee County, there's plenty you can do with your kids so they bring lavish stories to the first day of school.
If your kids like animals, Sarasota has several places you can go. The beach? Plenty of them. Museums and learning? Got it covered. State parks and nature? All set.
No matter what your kids enjoy doing, Sarasota has a destination for it. Even if you don’t think your kids will enjoy something, make them step out of their comfort zone. A day outside doing something different could help ignite a new passion in their daily lives!
The Ringling Campus includes the Art Museum, Circus Museum, Ca’D’Zan, Historic Asolo Theater, Education Center, and Bayfront Gardens, but it also holds much of Sarasota’s rich history. Whether your kids love art, unique museums, or peaceful walks outdoors, this is one spot that almost everyone can find something to love.
Ringling is a really cool place to take your kids this summer if they’re from Manatee County because it holds a lot of local history inside the gates. Your kids may not even know they’re learning so much while they're there because of the extravagant beauty that lies within the Ca’D’Zan and Bayfront Gardens. They might just think they’re getting a tour of one of the city's most wealthy locales! Let their imagination go wild inside the doors of the Ringling Campus.
If you’re trying to entertain the future zoologists of America, the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is a great place to take them this summer! Your kids can get an up-close-and-personal looking at lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!
There's also a petting zoo so your little ones can meet, pet, and feed the barnyard animals. They can get to know cute and cuddly goats, llamas, chickens, and emu because these animals love gentle attention and praise. Check out this cool video of the animals you may see at the sanctuary on your next visit:
Do your children dream of being adventurers? Well, you can take them on an adventure through the jungle at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens. They'll have an opportunity to see and learn about red-tailed hawks, kookaburras, owls, skunks, hissing cockroaches, alligators, reptiles, and many different species of birds during their journey through the gardens.
There are 10 acres of land for you and your family to venture through this summer! The coolest thing about these experiences in the wild is that they're all interactive! Your kids can feed the flamingos, have butterflies land on them, and even interact with birds during the educational portion of their day. Show your kids around the jungle and go on a fun family adventure!
TripAdvisor named Siesta Key Beach the #1 Beach in the country in 2017, and, to the Manatee County locals, it has remained at the top! The white sand beaches and sky blue waters will make you feel like you're on vacation, even if you just took a short drive to the shore for a beach day with your family.
Bring plenty of sunscreen and an umbrella because you’ll want some shade on these hot and humid summer days when the UV index is unusually high. Pack a cooler filled with drinks to keep you hydrated and snacks to keep your tummy from rumbling while you’re playing or laying in the sun.
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Myakka River State Park is the first of its kind in Florida and also one of the state’s largest state parks. The park consists of 37,000 acres of wildlife including unspoiled wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. In a scene reminiscent of what early settlers saw, you'll witness arching palm trees and live oaks reflect on a winding tea-colored stream.
The cries of limpkins and osprey pierce the air while alligators and turtles sun lay lazily on logs and riverbanks. The kids will love feeling like Lewis and Clark as they adventure through the seemingly unsettled wildlife at Myakka River State Park.
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If your kids love Nemo, they’ll really enjoy their time at the Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium this summer! Come to meet their fish and their scientists as this working aquarium gives you an up-close experience with a variety of underwater life.
The kids will be sure to enjoy the two touch tanks and the 135,000-gallon shark habitat. If you have a little scientist on your hands, they'll bask in the glory of watching Mote Marine’s scientists at work in their viewable-working labs. Be sure the kids say hi to their resident manatees, Hugh and Buffett, too!
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I can tell you first-hand that any man, woman, or child without a fear of heights will thoroughly enjoy swinging through the trees at TreeUmph! This five-level course will have you 20-50 feet above the ground as you zip line and travel through obstacles in the treetops.
The best part about TreeUmph! is that you have full control over your cables and how quickly you move through the courses. You're also rewarded with a 300-foot zip line at the end of your adventure no matter where you choose to end it.
Cover photo courtesy of Unsplash