Don’t you just love this area? Whether you call Madeira Beach home, are just visiting, or have plans to one day relocate to our little slice of paradise, we have so many amazing things to offer. The weather is almost always sunny. There are so many outdoor activities to explore and things to do with the kids. Here is our list of things to do for awesome family-fun.
- Visit Alligator Attraction. Of course, we’re creating the list so we’re going to put ourselves wherever we want but our reptiles and other cute creatures are worth the trip. The focus here is education and conservation. Most of our animals are rescues. Our intimate atmosphere allows for deep interaction and up-close observation. While animal lovers of all ages enjoy a visit to Alligator Attraction, it’s particularly meaningful for toddlers to middle school-aged children. Kiss a gator, hold a snake, interact with our piggies, or feed some crocs. You can even have your selfie taken with Sid and Sylvia Sloth. There’s no other experience like this on the beach.
- Look for Shells and Sea Turtle Nests. Shells can be found year-round, especially after a good thunderstorm. Fort de Soto’s beach is a popular place to find sand dollars. While you’re strolling the beaches around here, keep an eye out for sea turtle nests. Most of them are marked and cordoned off. May 1 to October 31 is nesting season so make sure you fill in your sand holes and moats. If you go for an early morning beach stroll, you might be lucky enough to see the traces of a mama sea turtle heading back to the gulf.
- Shopping and Dining at John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk. We’re located in this area but we’d put it on the list anyway. From souvenir shops to delicious restaurants with amazing views, this is a great place to spend some time. If the kids get antsy while shopping, there’s always ice cream or fudge, or watching the pelicans crash into the water from the boardwalk.
- Get out on the Water. Whether you want to show the kids a swashbuckling good time on a pirate cruise or you’re hoping to see some dolphins up close, there are many boat options to bring a smile to your family. There are also fishing charters and special sunset cruises. Don’t forget jet ski rentals and parasailing.
- Enjoy the R.O.C. (Remember our Children) Park. Madeira Beach is fortunate to have a park on the Intracoastal Waterway. It was named R.O.C. in a beautiful tribute to victims of the opioid epidemic and others who passed too soon. While sobering reminders of the fragility of life are found on plaques throughout the park, they also celebrate the lives of those taken from us too soon. Here you can enjoy a relaxing stroll, watch a baseball game, splash in the splash park, play a game of tennis or basketball, and play on the playground. You can even bring Fido for a lap or two around the doggie park.
- Catch Dinner. Madeira Beach is a great place to fish whether you do it on your own from a sea wall or go out on a charter. There is more grouper brought into Mad Beach than any other spot in the state.
- Attend the John’s Pass Seafood & Music Festival. Every October, Madeira Beach hosts a three-day seafood and music festival that attracts about 130,000 visitors. It is the second-largest seafood festival on the east coast. Come see what all the fun is about.
- Go Snorkeling. Our calm gulf waters make this the ideal spot to enjoy sea-life up close through a snorkeling adventure. Go on your own or sign up with a snorkeling tour.
- Get a Hole-in-One. In Madeira Beach, and in the surrounding beach communities, we are fortunate to enjoy many mini-golf courses. If you get a hole-in-one on the lucky hole of the day at Smuggler’s Cove you get a free game.
- Walk the Drawbridge. Just to the south of John’s Pass Village is the John’s Pass Bridge. The bridge is one of the few that still opens on demand partly because of the very swift currents in that area. It offers amazing views of the gulf and the Intracoastal. It’s also the ideal place to watch the watercraft and boats come in and out. The bridge can be seen briefly in the movie Summer Rental although you may not recognize it in its pre-2011 makeover.
What did we miss? Leave your favorite family-friendly Madeira Beach attractions in the comments.