5 Kid-Proven Activities for Family Fun

It’s one of the most terrifying statements for any parent to hear. And how you respond could determine whether this will go down as the Best Vacation Ever or the vacation the kids will want to forget about. Fortunately, finding something fun for everyone is not hard in the Bradenton Area. We’ve got activities from chill to thrill for all types of families. But when you need options NOW, there’s no time to waste!Don’t worry, mom. We’ve got your back. We’ve picked five proven favorites you can count on before the mood gets too dark. Whether you’re looking to turn the energy up to 11, or need to slow things down for a minute, one of these fun-filled go-tos are guaranteed to erase boredom out of your vacation equation.

Manatee Public Beach

Centrally located on Anna Maria Island at the very end of Manatee Avenue, the main route from downtown Bradenton, there’s little wonder why Manatee Public Beach is one of the most popular beaches around. Wide, spacious and immaculate, the silky white sand makes the clear and refreshing emerald green water appear even more radiant. Wheelchair accessible, with lifeguards on duty and plenty of public amenities—including bathrooms, sand-rinsing showers and changing stations—it’s an ideal destination for families to spend the day and play. There’s also a gift shop, playground, volleyball courts, and picnic tables. Concessions and a café are conveniently located right on the beach. But for those who like to explore, there are many other restaurants and stores in the nearby Holmes Beach area.

5 Kid-Proven Activities for Family Fun

Rod and Reel Pier

Looking for a breakfast, lunch or dinner location that’s far from ordinary? Then just take a short walk down to the very end of Rod and Reel Pier, where a two-story bar and restaurant juts into the Gulf of Mexico from the Northern end of Anna Maria Island. With indoor or outdoor seating (for a truly Old Florida experience), this is the perfect place for seafood and sunsets. Downstairs is a casual unique bar, serving beer and wine. With a chill atmosphere and ample fishing, which can be done right off the dock and walkways for just a small fee, there’s little wonder Rod and Reel Pier has been an island favorite of many locals and travelers for years.

5 Kid-Proven Activities for Family Fun

TreeUmph! Adventure Course

Adventure is in the air at TreeUmph! Adventure Course. Situated on 14 acres of land, TreeUmph is filled with some of the most daring, innovative adventure games you’ll find in a forest. We’re talking suspended logs, wobbly footbridges and, naturally, zip lines on which you’ll go flying from tree to tree. But don’t let the sound of all the high-flying theatrics scare you away. If you prefer a milder, easy-going experience over a full-tilt, intense workout 60 feet in the air (or vice versa), there are a variety of packages targeted to every age and ability—including easy, moderate, challenging, difficult and even extremely exciting.

5 Kid-Proven Activities for Family Fun

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

From the moment you walk into the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, you know you’re in for an epic experience. There to greet you is the skeleton of a giant mastodon, with tusks so long they seem stretch into infinity. As the largest natural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast their mission is to interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world, and beyond. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the museum features a changing lineup of temporary exhibitions—offering something new to discover with each visit. In addition to the museum is The Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium with viewings of the second-stage rehabilitation manatees. And The Bishop Planetarium is the region’s premier planetarium that shows kid-friendly and adult-fascinating shows all year round. 

The Fish Hole Mini Golf

Get hooked at The Fish Hole, a miniature golf course, where the fun and adventurous holes feature waterfalls, lagoons and a 3,000-gallon pond filled with colorful koi, turtles and more than 50 species of plants native to Florida, each tagged so you can learn as you go. And to take comfort from the sun, strategically located misting fans help make the ambient temperature feel 10 degrees cooler. With two locations, one on Bridge Street on Anna Maria Island and another in Lakewood Ranch, family fun is never far away. Party packages, coupons, and seasonal promotions are abundant. Pick your location and score a hole-in-one with the whole family.