Animal Activities You and Your Kids Will Love

St. Pete/Clearwater has a number of kid-friendly attractions that feature local wildlife. Explore and learn about alligators, dolphins, sea birds and more!

Regardless of whether your kids are in preschool, kindergarten or fully grown, there's an animal activity they’re sure to love in St. Pete/Clearwater. In fact, we’re willing to bet that you’ll love them, too! Because when it comes to animals, there's nothing more exciting than watching dolphins jump through the air, feeding giant giraffes or holding baby alligators. 


Clearwater Marine Aquarium

A female worker taking care of Rex, one of the rescued dolphins at an outdoor tank at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Experience pure wonder when you get face to face with Rex and the other rescued dolphins, sea turtles, otters and sharks at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Home to our most popular animals in the area, your kiddos might get a little star-struck when meeting the dolphin celebrities from the hit movies Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2. Fall in love with dolphins Winter, Hope, and Nicholas, admire energetic otters, watch graceful sea turtles and make friends with stingrays at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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Swim with the Fishes at RumFish Grill

Three children with in a fish tank at the RumFish Grill

RumFish Grill's main attraction is a 33,500 gallon aquarium built on Animal Planet’s hit series TANKED.

Take the plunge in a 33,500 gallon tank inside this popular restaurant on St. Pete Beach. That's right - you can snorkel with over 200 indigenous Florida fish including grouper, tarpon, snapper and a moray eel! You'll also get a behind-the-scenes tour of how the aquarists maintain the tanks and feed the fish. Swim with the Fishes is $35 per person (ages 8 and up) and available Tuesday-Saturday. Children of all ages will love the Touch Tank at the RumFish Beach Resort where you can hold live sea stars, sea urchins and more.

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Busch Gardens Tampa

A mom and her daughter fee a giraffe at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay is one of America's largest zoological institutions with more than 2,700 animals.

Feed a 15 foot-tall giraffe or watch cheetahs sprint at speeds of up to 70 m.p.h.! Busch Gardens Tampa makes for a great day trip and features one of the largest zoos in North America (with more than 12,000 animals!). Take your experience to the next level with a Serengeti Safari to search for hippos, lions, hyenas and more from your safari vehicle (ages 5 and up) or care and feed the animals in the Keeper For a Day program (ages 13 and up). Prices and availability varies. 

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Seaside Seabird Sanctuary

This place is for the birds... and it's a great thing! The Sanctuary is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and (if possible) the release of sick or injured wild birds. It also provides a safe home to non-releasable birds. Stop by for a visit any afternoon for a chance to hand-feed the pelicans at 2:30 p.m. Take some time to meet Miss Kitty the Great Horned Owl, Louie the Double Crested Cormorant, George the American White Pelican and more. A variety of educational presentations are held throughout the week, and guided tours are available (call ahead). Open daily and admission is free for all ages, though donations are very appreciated!

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Alligator Attraction

What visit to Florida would be complete without a chance to see live alligators? At the Alligator Attraction at John's Pass Village on Madeira Beach, hands-on adventures create memories and photo opportunities that will last a lifetime. It's an inviting atmosphere for children (and adults) to learn about and interact with amazing reptiles, small mammals, amphibians and more. Open daily.

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Dolphin Tours

Take an exhilarating tour to see wild dolphins off the Gulf Beaches on one of many tours at attraction such as Dolphin Quest or the Dolphin Racer and be entertained as you watch acrobatic bottlenose dolphins surf and dive alongside. All ages are welcome and cruises take place daily. 

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Snorkeling at Shell Key & Fort De Soto

Two girls snorkeling in the emerald waters off Egmont Key

The shallow surrounding waters of Egmont Key are perfect for snorkeling; it's an ideal place for experiencing some one-on-one time with Mother Nature.

Get close to live wildlife by snorkeling near Fort De Soto Shell Key. Head out on the Shell Key Shuttle to the island. This stunning island is about a half mile off Pass-a-Grille and the shuttle actually has snorkeling equipment for customer use.

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