Summer break is one of the best times of the year because you get your kids back! However, this can raise a problem: how do you keep them entertained without breaking the bank? There are plenty of camps and events offered, but they all cost way too much. Fortunately, there plenty of free things to do with your kids in Sarasota the summer that are just as fun!

Siesta Key Beach

When on the coast of Florida, the number-one thing to do is visit the beach, of  course. Just 15 minutes away from the heart of Sarasota lies the beach of Siesta Key. Every kid loves to build a sand castle, ride the waves, and scan the sand for shells, and Siesta Key is the perfect place for all these activities.

Get tired of the sand and salt water? The beach is also lined with some of the state’s best playgrounds. Perhaps the best of all of these parks is the Siesta Key Park, which is right on the beach. Kids will automatically be drawn to its splendor as its key feature is a castle jungle gym with countless slides and swings. Overall, a trip to Siesta Key is the wonderful destination for family fun, and it's free!

Related content: Sunsational Summer Staycations in Sarasota

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Ringling Museum of Art

The circus is a time-honored tradition that the Ringling Museum celebrates. The museum is perhaps the most colorful with carriages, costumes, and artwork that have been collected from circuses through the years. A visit to the Ringling feels like truly feels like a day at the circus, making it a nostalgic trip for you and a new, exciting one for your kids. The best part is that admission is free on Mondays, making it a great summer excursion to entertain your kids while escaping the heat! 

After your kids walk through the exhibits, they can let out their pent-up energy at the David F. Bolger Playspace. The playground is on the museum property and features sprawling towers and thrilling slides. There are adventures for all ages here, so make sure to stop by after your visit to the museum.

Related content: Free Things to Do in Sarasota

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Art Making at the Ringling

Feeling inspired? Your kid has the opportunity to let their artistic talents shine with the Ringling's Art Making program. Just show up anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. All materials are provided so your child can get to work on their masterpiece. Each event has a theme that is inspired by the pieces on display in the exhibits. The best part is that the event is completely free, so take advantage of this fun opportunity.

Selby Public Library

If you have a book worm on your hands, then the Selby Public Library will be your kids' new paradise. The interior of the library is absolutely breathtaking with a domed ceiling reaching up to a sky roof. Head to the children’s section and walk underneath the arched fish tank that frames the entrance to attend some of their summer events including craft sessions, youth summer lunches, and educational opportunities like an introduction to 3D printing and design. Be sure to check out their events calendar to see everything that the library has to offer.

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South Florida Museum

The South Florida Museum has a little bit of everything. To start, the museum itself features one of the state’s largest natural and cultural history exhibits with fossils, artifacts, and other pieces that teacg about our history on earth and in Florida. It also hosts the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium, so make sure to stop by the massive tank to check out the sea cows! The Planetarium is also a highlight with the massive screen that projects the galaxies to throw you into space.

Museum admission for kids costs $14, but they offer a special family night every first Saturday of the month with half-off tickets. On the second and fourth Saturday of every month, they offer a KidSpace program for $5 to guide kids into space, the sun, planets, and deep into the galaxy in the Planetarium. It lasts about an hour in the morning and is an fun way to discover the great beyond.  

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Crowley Museum & Nature Center

For a only $5, you can become a pioneer for the day! At the Crowley Museum and Nature Center, you'll see a plethora of artifacts that take you back to the day where there was no television, cell phones, or radios. Discover artifacts at the museum and then take a hike around the boardwalk that takes you through the swamps and marshes that are unique to Florida. 

The museum and nature center also have a pioneer cabin, blacksmith shop, and more, so there's no chance the kids will be bored. Throughout the summer, the park offers programs for your kids to learn how to survive in the wild, spot the alligators beneath the boardwalk, and sustain a farm. Check out their website for a full list of programs offered over the summer.

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Myakka River State Park

Calling all nature enthusiasts, the Myakka River State Park provides a rare opportunity to explore the unique Florida ecosystem. The park features the Myakka River meandering through wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. Make sure to look out for wildlife running through the lands as you take a stroll down the boardwalk. Jump into the trees to see the park from above on the tree canopy walkway. All kids with an adventurous side will have endless fun here, and the entrance fee is only $6 per car.

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Payne Park

Sprawling across 29 acres, Payne Park is a picturesque place to take your kids for the day. The park features open fields that are the ideal spot to throw a frisbee, play catch, or picnic. There’s also an expansive playground for your little ones to climb and slide. You can even bring your rackets and play a game of tennis on one of their many courts. This park is an overall perfect place to spend the day underneath the beautiful Florida sky.

Related content: Best Parks in Sarasota

No matter your kids' interests, there are a number of free things to do with your kids in Sarasota that guarantee a full summer of fun. 

For more things to do in Sarasota, register on 941area and connect to everything Sarasota and Bradenton has to offer!

Cover photo courtesy of Flickr