Pensacola, Florida, is the perfect place for families who love to the beach. After a day in the waves there are plenty of local options for dinner and to relax for the night. Here are our favorite things to do in Pensacola with kids.
Kids Attractions in Pensacola
Pensacola Mess Hall is dedicated to helping kids learn by doing. This unique science museum features exhibits dedicated to things like illusions that will keep kids engaged. Arts and crafts and building activities supplement the exhibits themselves. Visitors will also have the opportunity to create working inventions. Open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Admissions: $10 per person. Read reviews for Pensacola Mess Hall.
This children’s museum focuses on the history of the area. That means kids will learn about everything from Pensacola’s military history to how it was influenced by the surrounding sea. Hands-on activities for the kids include the STEAM-focused Brick Makerspace. They also host kid-friendly events like story time. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admissions: adults pay $8; kids 3-14 pay $4. Read reviews for Pensacola Children’s Museum.
Adventure Island is more than your average amusement park. Yes, they have plenty of bumper boats and go-karts. They have kiddie rides to keep visitors as young as three busy. But their big draw is their five-story volcano, complete with plenty of memorable eruptions. Open daily, 9:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. Admissions: prices vary based on the activity. Read reviews for Adventure Island.
Skyzone lets your family fly through the air in a variety of ways. If sports are your thing, you can combine trampolines with shooting hoops. If you want to guarantee a gentle landing, try the foam pit. For the most freeform experience, their floor and wall room of trampolines is the way to go. Open Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Admissions: one hour of freestyle jumping is $14 for adults; $10 for kids 6 and under. Read reviews for Sky Zone Trampoline Park.
This museum is a must-see for any kids with even a passing interest in planes. Visitors are able to see over 150 different planes. Beyond the airplanes themselves, families can also enjoy an airplane themed film in 4K resolution in the museum’s theater. Guests can also take a ride in the flight simulator. Open daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admissions: free. Read reviews for the National Naval Aviation Museum.
Best Restaurants in Pensacola For Kids
The Oar House offers a full kids menu that includes classics like fish fingers and grilled cheese. Their menu focuses on seafood staples. Fishy appetizers include fried gator meat and calamari. They also have a variety of PoBoys. Open seven days a week, 11 a.m. until late. Read reviews for The Oar House.
The Burger Factory has a massive selection of burger options, from cheeseburgers to veggie burgers. They also have a collection of miniburgers perfect for kids or anyone looking for a lighter option. Side options include onion rings and fries. On Tuesdays, kids eat free. Open Monday – Friday, 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Read reviews for The Burger Factory.
Crabs on the Beach focuses on fresh beach staples. They’ve devoted a whole section of their menu to oysters, paired with extras like bacon and cheese. Beyond their seafood dishes, they also offer a selection of burgers. And if you’re ready for dessert, they offer options including key lime pie and orange cheesecake. Open Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday- Saturday, 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Read reviews for Crabs on the Beach.
This cafe is known for its authentic Southern soul food. Their kid’s menu is full of classics like grilled cheese and chicken strips. All entrees off the kid’s menu come with fruit cocktail, a drink, and fries. Their special “Southern sides” include pineapple coleslaw and fried okra. Open Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Read reviews for Five Sisters Blues Cafe.
10. Sky’s Pizza Pie
Sky’s Pizza Pie won InWeekly’s best pizza on the coast prize for two years running. In addition to its wide selection of pizzas, Sky’s also has some interesting pizza-adjacent options. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might try their pizza dog, a hot dog wrapped in pizza dough. They also have dessert options including fried dough and blondies. Open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Read reviews for Sky’s Pizza Pie.
11. Sweet Rolls
Sweet Rolls offers rolled ice cream with a Southern flair. With their collection of toppings, you can invent your own creation or order one of their’s like the coffee and doughnuts. In addition to their ice cream selection, Sweet Rolls also offers other desserts. Guests can sample their smoothies, gelatos, and cannolis. Open Monday – Thursday, noon – 9 p.m.; Friday, noon-10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Read reviews for Sweet Rolls.
Best Hotels in Pensacola For Kids
The biggest draw for this hotel is definitely its beachfront location. It’s also known for being very kid-friendly. Kids under 12 stay and eat for free. They also offer a variety of activities for kids from arts and crafts to pirate shows. Read reviews for Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front.
This hotel offers things like massages and bike rentals. Their beach has a special play area for kids outfitted with activities like ringtoss. They feature a full fitness center and an outdoor pool. There’s also often live entertainment for guests. Read reviews for Margaritaville Beach Hotel.
This hotel offers a heated (when called for) outdoor pool. They also feature mermaid visits to entertain young guests. Kids under 12 stay and eat free (families with up to four kids). Make a note, this is not a pet-friendly hotel. Read reviews for Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach.
At this hotel, each room features both a microwave and a mini-fridge. It also features both an indoor and outdoor pool. Kids activities are available throughout the year. There are also kids accessories like high chairs and cribs available for guests. Read reviews for Hilton Garden Inn Ft. Walton Beach.
SpringHill Suites offers all guests free Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast. Cribs and playpens are available for guests to borrow. The hotel also offers babysitting services. Make note, this is not a pet-friendly hotel. Read reviews for SpringHill Suites by Marriott Pensacola Beach.
Best Outdoor Attractions For Kids in Pensacola
Goofy Golf is dedicated to introducing kids to the sport. Zany sculptures are scattered across the course. The course hosts both 18 and 36 hole games. Hours might shift because of schools vacations and weather, guests should call ahead. Open Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.- 7 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.- 5 p.m. Admissions: adults pay $5, kids under 17 pay $3. Read reviews for Goofy Golf – The First Tee of Northwest Florida.
This amusement center offers go-karts and batting cages. Their mini-golf course features nine holes and plenty of surprises. They also feature an arcade where you can earn tickets to win prizes. When you’re ready for a snack, they offer ice cream and fried savory options. Open daily, 10 a.m.- 10 p.m. Admissions: free, ride prices vary. Read reviews for Fast Eddies Fun Center.
Best Water Parks in Pensacola For Kids
19. Waterville USA
Waterville USA is more than just a waterpark. It also features an escape room and go-karts. Within the waterpark, there are epic slides and opportunities to go tubing. There’s also a cabana cove when you want to relax. Open daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admissions: kids under 42″ pay $25.95, over 42″ pay $33.95. Read reviews for Waterville USA.
20. Big Kahuna’s
This waterpark features a variety of slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers. There’s also a complete collection of kiddie rides for their youngest visitors. Kids of all ages can play in the fun fountains and Buccaneer Cove. When you need to refuel, there are three separate food spots within the park. Open daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admissions: adults pay $43.99, kids pay $34.99. Read reviews for Big Kahuna’s.
This article was originally published on