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12 Best Things to Do in Destin with Kids

Sun-soaked beaches, glistening emerald waters, and endless family fun – Destin, Florida, is a paradise waiting to be explored with your little ones! Whether your crew craves heart-pounding thrills, seeks enchanting encounters with marine life, or yearns for afternoons filled with sandcastle building and seashell collecting, let Legacy Beach Homes be your trusted guide around Destin.

Dive into our list of the best things to do in Destin with kids, where we’ll unveil ‘splashtastic’ water adventures, exciting nature encounters, delicious kid-approved eats, and unique experiences that will create core memories that last a lifetime. So, pack your beach bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to discover the magic of Destin with your entire family!

1. Have A Full Day Of Fun At Big Kahuna’s Water Park

Photo Credit: Raw Pixel via Google Images CCL

Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park in Destin is a great place for family fun!  It’s the largest water park on the Emerald Coast, with over 40 water attractions, including water slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and four children’s areas.  There’s something for everyone to enjoy at Big Kahuna’s.

There are four splash areas with fountains, Buccaneer Cove with tipping buckets, and kid-sized slides for the little ones. In addition to the water park, Big Kahuna’s also has an adventure park with a mini golf course and the Skycoaster thrill ride.

2. Set Sail Around Crab Island

Photo Credit: Rotorhead 30A Productions

Crab Island in Destin isn’t actually an island but a submerged sandbar located north of the Destin Bridge on the south side of Choctawhatchee Bay. The clear waters surrounding the sandbar are shallow, ranging from 1 to 4 feet deep in most areas, making it a popular hangout spot for families with young children.

The best way to enjoy Crab Island with your family is to take a tour around the area. There are tour companies offering everything from dolphin cruises to snorkeling and even pontoon boat rentals and banana boat rides.

3. Explore Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Photo Credit: DevianArt via Google Images CCL

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is a great destination for families with kids and teens. It’s been around since 1955, and its mission is to inspire people to connect with, respect, and preserve wildlife through unique and memorable experiences.

The park offers a variety of educational shows and exhibits that allow visitors to learn about marine animals like dolphins, sea lions, otters, penguins, stingrays, sharks, and more. Enjoy the interactive elements and the opportunity to see these amazing creatures up close.

If your family wants an even more immersive experience, you can sign up for a special animal encounter program. These programs allow you to learn more about the park’s training and care.

4. Thrill Seekers Unite At The Track

Photo Credit: frantic00

Destin is one of six locations for The Track, which is known for its family-friendly activities, including go-kart tracks, mini golf courses, bumper cars, blaster boats, a dedicated area for little ones, and an arcade.

The Track has five go-kart tracks, including a Kiddie Track, that cater to all ages and skill levels. Challenge your family to a race on their signature Wild Woody track, a three-level elevated course that features an exciting drop at the end. There’s also a Family Track with single and double go-karts perfect for younger children or those who prefer a more leisurely ride.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back activity, The Track offers two 18-hole mini golf courses. These courses are a great way to test your putting skills and have some fun with the family.

Put your bumping skills to the test on The Track’s exciting bumper car arena, or take a ride on their Blaster Boats. After a day of rides and activities, challenge your family to some classic arcade games at Fat Daddy’s Arcade.

Light concessions are also available here to quench your thirst.

5. Entertain The Whole Family At Destin Commons

Photo Credit: daveynin via Flickr CC 2.0

Destin Commons is a popular outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex located in Destin. It’s designed with families in mind, offering a mix of stores, restaurants, and activities that will keep everyone entertained. There’s plenty of space for kids to run around, and there are even benches and seating areas throughout the complex where parents can relax.

There are a number of restaurants at Destin Commons with kid-friendly menus.  You’ll find everything from casual pizza and burger joints to sit-down restaurants with family-friendly fare.

Destin Commons offers a variety of free activities and entertainment options that are perfect for families.

The centerpiece is a giant Lucky Climber, a three-dimensional climbing structure that will challenge and entertain kids of all ages. There’s also a traditional playground with swings, slides, and other equipment for younger children.

6. Fudpuckers Beachside Bar and Grill

Photo Credit: Nathan via Flickr CC 2.0

Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar and Grill in Destin is a lively restaurant known for its combination of fun, family-friendly atmosphere, casual dining, and live alligators! You read that right.

The atmosphere is upbeat and casual, perfect for families with kids.  There are eight different dining areas to accommodate large or small parties.  The walls are covered in scribbles and messages left by past patrons, adding to the lively ambiance.  Kids can participate in games and activities or even get their picture taken with a live alligator.

Fudpucker’s offers live entertainment on their outdoor deck during the spring and summer months. This typically includes local high school and college dancers performing for the guests.

7. Reward Your Game At Okaloosa National Mini Golf And Ice Cream

Photo Credit: altanaka

Okaloosa National Mini Golf and Ice Cream in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is the perfect spot for a family outing with your kids. It has a relaxed and casual atmosphere, perfect for families with young children. You won’t have to worry about your kids being too loud or energetic.

There are two 18-hole miniature golf courses, providing a fun challenge for the whole family. After conquering the mini-golf courses, you can cool off and enjoy a celebratory ice cream treat. They offer over 24 flavors, so there’s something for everyone’s taste buds.

8. Get Back to Nature At One Of Florida’s State Parks

Photo Credit: Alycia Meile

All the state parks along 30A are great for families, but there are some that might be a better fit depending on your kids’ ages and interests.

Grayton Beach State Park is directly on 30A and offers a beach, a lake, hiking trails, and plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing. Build sandcastles on the beach, go for a swim in the surf or the calm waters of Western Lake. You can also rent kayaks or paddleboards to explore the lake. Hike or bike the park’s nature trails and look for birds, deer, and other wildlife.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is on the western end of 30A and offers a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.

Deer Lake State Park is closer to central 30A and offers a beautiful freshwater lake, hiking trails, and a scenic boardwalk.

9. Find Swashbuckling Entertainment At Buccaneer Pirate Cruise

Photo Credit: Blue Sky imagery

Buccaneer’s Pirate Cruise is a Destin adventure designed to be a fun and interactive experience for the whole family, especially kids!

The crew will keep everyone entertained with pirate-themed shows, complete with silly songs, jokes, and exciting tales of pirates and hidden treasure.  Your kids will be encouraged to participate and may even get a chance to interact with the costumed pirates.

Your crew can also participate in a splashtastic water gun battle! Fun ensues as pirates of all ages engage in a friendly water war.

Feel the rumble and hear the boom of the ship’s cannons (fired with blanks for safety), adding to the pirate adventure atmosphere.

10. Have An Adventure At The Village of Baytowne Wharf

Photo Credit: Scott Beale via Flickr CC 2.0

The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin, Florida, is absolutely a kid-friendly destination! It’s a pedestrian-friendly complex packed with shops, restaurants, entertainment options, and activities specifically designed to keep children entertained.

The Adventure Land Playground is a fenced-in playground that is an imaginative nautical-themed paradise for younger kids. It features slides, swings, climbing structures, and more to keep them occupied for hours.

The Blast Arcade & Laser Maze offers a wide variety of classic and redemption video games, perfect for all ages. They also have a thrilling laser maze where kids can test their agility and strategic skills.

The Baytowne Adventure Zone is also for families seeking an adrenaline rush with a zipline to soar across a lagoon and enjoy breathtaking views of the Village, a EuroBungy experience with controlled trampoline jumps, and a Sky Trail Ropes Course with a challenging series of ropes, ladders, and obstacles suspended in the air.

And if you haven’t had enough mini golf, chip their Birdie Balls across the lagoon to the floating green. Even if you miss your target, it’s so satisfying.

Throughout the year, The Village of Baytowne Wharf hosts various special events and live entertainment geared towards families. This includes magic shows, children’s character appearances, live music, and seasonal festivals.  Check their events calendar for a current list of events.

11. Build Core Memories With A Surfing Lesson

Photo Credit: Denis Moskvinov

Taking a surfing lesson offers an exciting experience for your kid that will give them the vacation memory of a lifetime while also helping to burn some spare energy!

Austin Magee’s Surf School, located directly on the beach in Seaside, Florida, serves all of 30A and the Emerald Coast. They offer a variety of surf lessons for all ages and skill levels, from beginner to advanced. Their lessons are typically 1-2 hours long and include all the necessary equipment.

12. Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone

Photo Credit: Martin Lewison via Flickr CC 2.0

Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone, located on Okaloosa Island just outside of Destin in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is a massive entertainment complex that caters to families with a variety of fun activities for all ages. With over 17,000 square feet of indoor entertainment space and some thrilling outdoor attractions, Wild Willy’s makes a great rainy day activity too.

Get ready for some friendly competition in the state-of-the-art arcade featuring over 65 games! Dive into another dimension with the exciting 4D movie theater. Put your strategic skills to the test in the thrilling Urban Assault Laser Tag arena. After all that gaming excitement, satisfy your sweet tooth at YogoMogo’s Creamy Cool Creations.

Take a prehistoric journey on the 18-hole Animatronic Dinosaur Mini Golf Course. Or, set sail on the 18-hole Animatronic Pirate Mini Golf Course.

Whether you’re looking for classic arcade games, thrilling mini golf courses, or heart-pounding outdoor adventures, Wild Willy’s has it all!

Book a Family Getaway to Destin

Destin isn’t just a beach vacation – it’s a springboard for creating unforgettable memories with your entire family. From exhilarating water adventures to fascinating encounters with the natural world and from delicious meals to unique experiences, Destin offers something special for every kid (and grown-up!).

So, pack your bags, grab sunscreen, and embark on an unforgettable Destin adventure with Legacy Beach Homes. After all, the moments you share with your kids on this trip are the souvenirs you’ll treasure forever.

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