Things To Do in Key West With Kids

by Molly Horan
Originally Published: 
things to do in key west with kids
Nextvoyage, Pexels

Key West is a go-to destination for families that love the beach. There are plenty of ways to explore the shore and the local culture of this island with your kids.

Kids Attractions in Key West

1. Key West Aquarium

You can explore all the ocean has to offer at the Key West Aquarium. Creatures on display include sharks and jellyfish. If you’re looking for a more hands-on exhibit you can check out Sting Ray Bay. In shallow tide pools, kids can pet a real cow nose ray. Open daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Admissions: tickets bought online cost $15.47 for adults and $9.67 for kids. Read reviews for Key West Aquarium.

2. The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

If you and your family are butterfly fans, the conservatory is a must-see. Visitors can first learn about the lives of butterflies. After the lesson guests can walk through a vast collection of butterflies, plants, and birds. With different species from all across the globe, this is a truly unique experience. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admissions: $12 for adults, $8.50 for kids 4-12, kids three and under are free. Read reviews for The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.

3. Imagination Station

Kids will be dazzled by this cute toy store. Stocked with plenty of traditional toys, this shop also has a wide selection of kids books. The store hosts a variety of activities for kids throughout the year. Recent events include a talk about recycling and pollution. Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Read reviews for Imagination Station.

4. Shipwreck Treasure Museum

If you want to see history come alive, check out the Shipwreck Treasure Museum. From touring ships to watching actors act out scenes from the past, it’s almost impossible not to get caught up in the action. Kids will also be able to see real artifacts brought back from shipwrecks. This museum will give you a real insight into Key West’s past. Open daily 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admissions are $14.50 for adults; $8.69 for kids 4-12; kids under four free. Read reviews for Shipwreck Treasure Museum.

5. Barefoot Billy’s

Families looking for a little excitement on the water can check out Barefoot Billy’s. They offer a variety of watercraft rentals, from kayaks to jet skis. Though you must be 16 to drive a jetski, kids of all ages can ride with a parent or guardian. Kayaks for rent also include multi-person boats so you can paddle as a family. Rental prices range from $30 for kayaks to $75 for Hobie cats. Read reviews for Barefoot Billy’s.

Best Restaurants in Key West for Kids

6. New York Pasta Garden

This Italian eatery offers free parking and free Wi-Fi. Their specialties include pasta and seafood, but they also feature a variety of large salads. The big draw for this spot is the opportunity to eat outside and enjoy the Key West weather. Their courtyard is also home to tropical birds and a variety of fountains. Open daily 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Read reviews of New York Pasta Garden.

7. Two Friends Patio

Two Friends Patio has been feeding families in Key West for over 50 years. They offer a wide selection of seafood and pasta. Their breakfast menu features all the classics including french toast and breakfast burritos. Don’t be surprised if you’re serenaded during dinner, they sometimes host live music. Open daily 8 a.m., closing times change. Read reviews of Two Friends Patio.

8. The Waterfront Brewery

The Waterfront Brewery is known for its laid-back vibe. They have a menu full of unique, fun options like fried pretzel sticks. The bulk of its offerings are seafood options and sandwiches. They have a rotating selection of desserts including key lime pie and cheesecake. Open daily 11 a.m. – late. Read reviews of The Waterfront Brewery.

9. Mattheessen’s

Mattheessen’s boasts a large selection of homemade cookies and ice cream. Their famous fudge comes in four different flavors and is sold by the 2/3 lb. Their in-house ice cream comes in 23 flavors. They’re also known for their twist on key lime pie —put on a stick and dipped in chocolate. Open daily 9 a.m. -11 p.m. Read reviews of Mattheessen’s.

10. Moondog Cafe and Bakery

Moondog Cafe offers a full breakfast and lunch menu in addition to its many baked good offerings. Their specialties include burgers and grilled pizzas. The pizzas come in gluten-free and vegan varieties. Their bakery features sweets like key lime pie and banana bread. Open daily 8 a.m.-10 a.m. Read reviews of Moondog Cafe and Bakery.

11. Cafe Sole

Though Cafe Sole focuses on seafood, they also have a full vegetarian menu. In addition, they feature a selection of daily soups. Their dessert menu is extensive. Options for sweet treats include key lime pie and bananas foster. Open Tuesday-Sunday 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Read reviews of Cafe Sole.

Best Hotels in Key West for Kids

12. Ocean Key Resort and Spa

Ocean Key Resort has a wide selection of amenities beyond the basics like free WiFi. They also offer robes in the room and chilled towels. When you arrive, you can sip some fruit-infused water in the lobby. Their full-service spa also offers kids services. Read reviews of Ocean Key Resort and Spa.

13. Travelers Palm Inn & Suites

If you’re eco-conscious, Travelers Palm Inn might be the right spot for you — it’s green certified. Beyond its commitment to the environment, it offers plenty of perks. Their solar-heated pool is bordered by trees so you always feel like you’re in a tropical paradise. They also feature suites with full kitchens, including dishwashers. Read reviews of Travelers Palm Inn & Suites.

14. Orchid Key Inn

Each guest at the Orchid Key Inn enjoys a free breakfast. They also offer a pool and whirlpool. Every day of your stay you’ll return to the room to find your bed made and a chocolate on your pillow. The concierge is also eager to help plan any family outings you might be prepping for. Read reviews for Orchid Key Inn.

15. H2O Suites Hotel

H2O Suites offers bike and scooter rental so you can explore Key West in a new and exciting way. There are plenty of spaces to relax at the resort, from the rooftop deck to the pool. Each room is air conditioned, as is the modern fitness center. And if you want to keep up with the world outside your vacation bubble, they also offer free newspapers. Read reviews of H2O Suites Hotel.

16. Santa Maria Suites Resort

Santa Maria Suites Resort has you covered whether you want to soak up the sun by the beach or by the pool. The hotel features two outdoor pools (with poolside smoothie service). The resort also employs its own beach attendants. If you’ve ever felt like you’ve needed an extra set of hands setting up your family’s spot on the beach, now you’ll have them. Read reviews of Santa Maria Suites Resort.

Best Outdoor Activities in Key West for Kids

17. Dolphin Safari

If you’ve ever wanted to experience dolphins up-close, this is your chance. Visitors are able to see the dolphins as they swim around the boat, as well as snorkel with them. Guests receive snacks and soda, as well as the chance to use noddles and floaties in the water. Each trip takes six guests or fewer. Booking times vary. Tours cost $99 for adults; $79 for kids. Read reviews of Dolphin Safari.

18. Boondocks Grille & Draft House & Miniature Golf

Attached to this bar and grill is a family-friendly mini golf course. As they’re the only mini golf course in the entirety of the lower Florida Keys, your choices for putting is limited. Still, this course is well maintained and worth the trip. The course features 18 holes and two large waterfalls. Open daily 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Read reviews of Bookdocks Grille & Draft House & Miniature Golf.

Best Parks In Key West for Kids

19. Dry Tortugas National Park

Part of getting to Dry Tortugas is the fun — you’ll need to take a plane or boat. Once there, you can explore Fort Jefferson or the nature surrounding it. Swimming, snorkeling, and diving are all options at the park. A campsite is also available to experience the park at night. Read reviews of Dry Tortugas National Park.

20. Fort Zachary Taylor State Park Beach

If you ask around, this is the one Key West beach you’ll always be sent to. There are so many options for playing in the surf, from swimming to snorkeling. Fishing is also legal in certain areas. The Cayo Hueso Café is a great place to get a meal on the beach, but there are also grills if you prefer cooking your own. The park is open daily 8 a.m.- sunset. Read reviews of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park Beach.

Flying with kids to Key West? Make sure you check out our guide before you do.

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