Want to break your family away from the usual beach vacation routine? Next time you visit Destin, plan a one-of-a-kind beach vacay that your kids will remember for years.
If you haven’t been to Destin, now is the time. With miles of stunning, white sandy beaches, blue water, and plenty of activities for families, it’s a great vacation destination on the famous Florida Gulf Coast.
Check out this list of 10 fun family activities in Destin and let us know if you need any more help planning.
First, while you are planning, be sure to check out the availability at one of our beach front condos. Perfectly sized for small families and right on the beach – watch the dolphins from your balcony and step out onto the white sand in minutes.
So, if you want a promising getaway, particularly if you have kids, check out these fun activities in Destin, Florida, specially written for your entire family! Many of these ideas for things to do in Destin with kids are available all year long, so you can plan a summer, fall, winter or spring vacation.
Outdoor Activities in Destin, Florida
Visit One Of Destin’s Gulf Coast Beach Parks
Every trip to Destin should include at least one day at the beach – wth the soft white sand, gorgeous turquoise waters, calm waves, and fun activities, everyone, whether kids or adults, will have a fair share of fun and enjoyment any time of the year. If you have been to Destin before, try out a new beach park, there are several with kid-friendly amenities you may not have experienced before.
Henderson Beach State Park is a protected strip of the Emerald Coast with 30-foot snow-white sand dunes and offers opportunities for viewing wildlife – such as tropical fish, migrating birds and possibly a sea turtle! You can swim, hike or fish in the park (fishing tackle can be purchased right outside the park entrance.)
You may not also want to miss Crystal Beach, located just 10-minute from Destin and just across Henderson. It is a peaceful and picturesque location for a day of sunbathing and splashing, packed with valuable amenities, including a covered picnic area, restrooms, and showers. (Note, our condos are located right on Crystal Beach and offer a bit of privacy as well as umbrella and chair service from March through October.
For younger swimmers, snorkelers, and those who prefer slightly calmer waters, Norriego Point Beach Park is great to visit. Boaters love hanging out here since they can tie up their boats and enjoy the park for the day.
Captain Leonard Destin Park is another perfect beach park for the entire family, especially the littlest ones. It has an accessible beach area, boardwalk, dock, paddle craft launch, splash pad, playground, and picnic pavilions.
On the other hand, Clement Park is a fascinating bay-facing waterfront beach park. It features a swimming area on the beach, a kid-friendly playground, and a sand volleyball field that the whole family will love.
Book a sandcastle-building lesson in Destin
What is a beach trip without sandcastles? It’s time to be extra creative with your family by learning to build an epic sandcastle! Beach and Sand Sculptures help families create memories in the sand with their 2-hour sand art lessons. Dan in the Sand also teaches creative sand castle sculpture to adults and kids. This is a super fun idea your kiddos will really enjoy and gives the opportunity for epic photos to remember your trip with. It’s a fun and creative bonding activity that is perfect for any time of year.
Experience fishing, dolphin cruises and more at the Destin Harbor Boardwalk.
One of Destin’s well-known family-friendly attractions is the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. There are more than 150 fishing charter options you can choose from here, so it’s no surprise why Destin was identified as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” Also, recreational boats, fantastic restaurants, shops, and a wide range of water activities such as paddleboarding and kayaking are all conveniently accessible from the Destin Harbor Boardwalk.
Feed Alligators at Gator Beach
Gator Beach at Fudpucker’s is home to more than 100 alligators. If your family likes adventure, this is something that you should not miss because visitors, including kids, can pet and feed real alligators here, held by a trained handler. Yes, you read it right! But don’t worry; the animal’s mouth is firmly sealed shut. Wildlife exhibit is also part of the experience. This is another fun memory maker your kids will talk about for years to come. “Remember that time we petted the alligators!” Gator Beach is a free activity and is open year-round.
Explore the Gulfarium
A combination of learning and entertainment is waiting at Gulfarium Adventure Park. Visitors will learn more about marine life on the Gulf Coast while enjoying a ton of aquatic life to view. You may hold starfish and handle hermit crabs in their touch tank. Also, you can pay and join up to assist with the animals or swim with dolphins and sting rays if you like.
Theme Parks And Indoor Activities For Families In Destin
Ride Go Karts And Bumber Cars At The Track
The Track, a family fun park, is definitely every kid’s paradise! This fun park has several different Go-Kart Tracks for all ages including the three-story track, the slippery track and a track specifically designed for the little ones to drive around for themselves. It’s all fun and games with various kids’ activities such as additional theme park and carnival-type rides, mini-golf, bungee jumping, arcade, and bumper boats. There are rides specifically geared for the younger kids and toddlers so the entire family can have a super fun (and exhausting) day!
Big Kahuna’s Waterpark
Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park is one of the best places in Destin for kids and adults alike. This is the largest waterpark on the Emerald Coast and one of Destin’s top attractions. It features exhilarating attractions like twisting waterslides, raft rides, surf simulators, a lazy river, and pipeline slides. Although Big Kahuna’s is not open year-round, it is open much of the year – check their calendar for details.
Enjoy Fat Daddy’s Arcade
Fat Daddy’s Arcade is another place for family-friendly entertainment and is a great indoor activity for kids in Destin on cooler or rainy days. It has over 120 of the newest and best video games. Play engaging arcade games such as The Walking Dead, Jurassic Park, Pac-Man Smash Line, and many more! Double the fun by setting new high scores and winning prizes!
Play Laser Tag
Another fun and exciting indoor activity for kids in Destin is just next to Fat Daddy’s Arcade, Destin Laser Tag. The laser tag arena creates the perfect environment for an incredible, fun afternoon, with more than 4,000 square feet of space for hiding, leaping, and running. Ask to enter the maze without equipment if you’d rather sit it out but still want pictures. Just be careful to keep an eye out for players running around.
Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Destin
One of the most loved activities while on vacation is dining out. There are numerous kid-friendly restaurants in Destin, Florida, so you will always have good options.
Fudpucker’s is just one of Destin’s best family-friendly restaurants and is great for young children because it offers an award-winning kid-friendly menu with healthy options including gluten-free. You can find pizza, mac n cheese, burgers, and other traditional kid favorites as well as virgin mocktails, and plenty of desserts. Fuckpuckers also has puzzles, games, and lots of space to explore, and don’t forget it is right next door to Gator Beach.
The Edge Seafood Restaurant is built on a deck right on top of the water. You can feed the fish from the docks and watch dolphins and the amazing sunsets. The fish feeding frenzy can go on past dinner because the water illuminates the fish from below at night! Your kids will love this experience, which can keep them busy while you enjoy an extra beverage. 😉 Note, this probably isn’t the best option for the younger ones in your group.
Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House, situated on the Destin Harbor, is perfect for the kids because of the beach area where kids can play. It has hammocks, beach volleyball nets, cornhole games, and cane poles for the kids to fish off the port below the restaurant. Not to mention some of the best, freshest seafood in the area.
Another classic family-friendly restaurant in Destin is The Back Porch, which has a prime beachfront location and breathtaking views. You can go to lunch and then spend some time at the beach, which the kids enjoy. You might even go at night and wander along the shoreline just before dusk.
Although there are plenty of great restaurants in Destin for you to choose from, if you stay at one of our beachfront condo rentals, you’ll have access to our newly renovated and fully stocked kitchens. We pride ourselves on having everything you may need to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and even enjoy a margarita on the balcony.