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Things to Do With Kids in the Tampa Bay Area






     The Tampa Bay area is known for its beaches and resorts, as well as for a thriving retirement scene in St. Petersburg and southern Hillsborough County (Sun City Center). It also is a great place to bring kids for vacations. In addition to the proximity to the famous attractions an hour or so away in Orlando, there are many things to do and see right around Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater.

What follows is a non-inclusive list of activities and attractions that are sure to delight the kids in your life. They range in cost from free to pricey, but each attraction or activity is unique to the region.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The Tampa area isn't teeming with theme parks like Orlando, but Busch Gardens can hold its own with any of the Disney or Universal parks up Interstate 4. It is actually a combination theme park and zoo, with an incredible menagerie of free-roaming African animals on the park's miniaturized version of the Serengeti Plain. Take the train ride around the Serengeti to get the best views of the rare white rhinos, giraffes, zebra, antelope, and African birds. Busch Gardens also features some of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the Southeast, and the shows are near-Broadway quality.

TECO Manatee Viewing Center

From Tampa, drive south on Interstate 75 to Apollo Beach to find the TECO power plant. There, nestled under the smokestacks, is one of Florida's best free attractions, the Manatee Viewing Center. It is open November-April, and features close-up views from boardwalks of dozens sometimes hundreds of manatees enjoying the warm waters of the cove next to the plant. There also is an information center and snack bar.

Lowry Park Zoo

Routinely selected as one of the most kid-friendly zoos in the country, this Tampa landmark pays homage to animals from Africa, Australia, Asia, and elsewhere. The highlight is a boardwalk that features animals from Florida, including a baby black bear and a Florida panther named Lucy.

Fort DeSoto Beach

There are plenty of Gulf of Mexico beaches in the area, and you can't go wrong with any of them. But kids will particularly love Fort DeSoto Beach, which (as the name implies) is home to an actual Spanish-American War era fortress where visitors can roam the ramparts and imagine keeping watch for the (non-existent) Spanish fleet coming to invade the American mainland in 1898. Fort DeSoto is routinely voted one of the top beaches in America by beach experts year after year.

Glazer Children's Museum

Located in downtown Tampa, this museum is actually an interactive kid paradise. There are so many things to do that if you live in the region, it makes more sense to buy an annual pass and come back again and again than to try to cram it all into one trip. This is especially true for kids aged 4-8, who will get a kick out of the full-sized fire engine cab, the interactive grocery store and restaurant, the working model of an electrical grid in a house, the paper airplane experimental wind tunnel, and so much more. The facility also offers birthday parties in private rooms that include several hours of enjoyment for the kids in the museum proper. While there, take a look at the revamped Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, which features a new playground and spectacular views of the University of Tampa's Plant Hall (formerly the Tampa Bay Hotel) across the Hillsborough River.

Florida Aquarium

The glass, shell-shaped building in Tampa's Channelside District is a must-see inside for kids and grownups. The shark reef exhibit is particularly interesting, and daily talks are given by expert divers from inside the tank itself, with sharks and other aquatic life swimming around. There also is an outdoor water park for kids.

John Soland is an experienced writer who has contributed to a number of notable publications. As a lifestyle expert, Mr. Soland is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including those pertaining to travel and hospitality.

John Soland is an experienced writer who has contributed to a number of notable publications. As a lifestyle expert, Mr. Soland is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including those pertaining to travel. http://www.westintampabay.com/laser-spine-institute-hotel






Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com

John Soland is an experienced writer who has contributed to a number of notable publications. As a lifestyle expert, Mr. Soland is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including those pertaining to travel and hospitality.


Posted on 2013-01-14, By: *

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