If you have a toddler, you know how difficult it is to entertain them. Most toddlers have short attention spans and rival freight trains with the amount of noise they’re able to make. But they certainly are adorable and eager learners.
At Alligator Attraction, we love toddlers because we believe in the importance of being able to teach children from a very early age how to interact safely with animals.
We’re not the only place you can have fun with your toddler in Madeira Beach (although we are awesome. Just ask the animals.). So we’ve put together a list of enjoyable things to do in the area.
We are fortunate enough to have gorgeous beaches in Madeira Beach. They are family-friendly with soft sand and warm waters. Our beaches are ideal for building sandcastles and digging moats. But if it’s between June and October, sea turtle nesting season, please fill in the moats and holes and knock down any sandcastles before you leave for the day. You don’t want any sea turtle friends to fall into the holes. Bonus: Toddlers are really good at demolition.
Another fortunate thing about our local beaches is that the Gulf of Mexico is generally smooth with very small waves. That means even tiny toddlers can enjoy playing at the water’s edge. t’s important to be vigilant with any child playing around the water but it’s less likely that they’ll be knocked down by a wave on this side of the coast.
Number 3: Feed a Gator
Feeding a gator is a memorable experience but it’s important your child understands that feeding a gator is not something they should do in the wild. There are several opportunities at local businesses to feed gators including Alligator Attraction where you can not only feed gators but you can interact with a number of creatures. Most toddlers are interactive learners and enjoy the experience of touching our animals as they learn about them.
This park is beautifully set on the Intracoastal and gives toddlers plenty of room to run. There’s a fun pirate-themed playground set as well as a paved walkway, baseball fields, tennis courts, basketball hoop, and a painted dolphin or two. You can bring a picnic lunch and gaze out on the waters looking for dolphins. Speaking of which…
Number 5: Dolphin Boat Tour
There are a number of tour boat operators that can take you and your family out to find some dolphins. These mammals have the energy and love for fun that toddlers do and they’re bound to make your favorite little one giggle with happiness. You can also take a short drive up to Clearwater Beach to the Clearwater Aquarium to see Winter and Hope, stars of the Dolphin Tale movies.
Madeira Beach is fortunate to have it’s very own pirate ship. It runs tours out of St John’s Pass and is very popular with children. They regale the young ones with stories, tall tales, and pirate shenanigans. But be prepared and vigilant because you never know when those crazy kids will start a water gun fight.
Okay, so this isn’t in Madeira Beach but it is very close in downtown St Pete. Great Explorations provides a hands-on learning experience and is ideal for little ones. Toddlers even have their own section of the museum floor. The whole museum seeks to educate through fun. Sometimes they even have special presentations geared to the children. While you’re there, stop in at Sunken Gardens, a tropical oasis with meandering pathways and gorgeous plants.
St. Pete Beach Library currently hosts a sing and learn program on Mondays for kids ages 0 to 5. The program teaches numbers, letters, and colors in an enjoyable way. It’s ideal for toddlers and their parents or caregivers. Check their website for other fun activities including family movie nights and a costume party around Halloween.
Our area has several fantastical mini-golf spots. There’s Smuggler’s Cove here in Madeira Beach and Indian Shores as well as Polynesian Putter in St Pete Beach. Clearwater offers Congo River Golf and Celebration Station. In Clearwater Beach, you’ll find Captain Bligh’s Landing.
Rent a bike and ride up the Pinellas Trail with your toddler on the back end or if you prefer water vistas, rent a beach bike and enjoy the views. When your little one gets fussy or tired, you can stop and go searching for shells or take a siesta under a rented beach umbrella or cabana.
Madeira Beach is the perfect setting for your next adventure with your toddler. Whether your child is always on the go or prefers a quieter atmosphere, there are plenty of ways to put a smile on your precious one’s face.