13 Things to Do in Key West With Kids
Each year Key West, Florida attracts well over 2 million tourists. This sleepy little town of 26,000 residents has become a hotspot for nightclubs and Spring Break parties. It’s also a stop on many cruise lines from Orlando and Miami on the way to the Bahamas.
But did you know that Key West is also a prime family location? That’s right, there are many sights and activities for kids in Key West. If you’re looking for things to do in Key West with kids, you’re in luck.
This guide will detail 13 great things to do in Key West with kids. To discover more information on family activities for your next Florida vacation, keep reading this post below.
13. Dry Tortugas National Park
Located about 70 miles out from Key West is an island home to the Dry Tortugas National Park. It’s about a 2-hour ferry ride to get to the island or a seaplane excursion, but the trip is well worth it to take in the beauty that this island has to offer.
You can even camp out on the island for a couple of days to give you and your kids ample time for exploration and family bonding. Kids can explore Fort Jefferson and search for their own conch shells. They can also snorkel and scuba dive in Florida’s beautiful tropic waters, have a picnic, and play on the beach.
Dry Tortugas National Park is far from the typical things to do in Key West with kids, but it’s a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the busy city.
12. Key West Aquarium
The Key West Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Key West with kids because it isn’t so large as to be overwhelming. It allows kids to get up and close and personal with sharks and even feed them.
This aquarium also has interactive activities for kids like touch tanks, and they do multiple shows throughout the day. It is possible to spend a full afternoon at the aquarium taking part in the shows, the touch tanks, and viewing the other fish tanks.
The top attractions are feeding the sharks and watching aquarium staff feed the big sharks in the outside tank.
11. Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory houses an impressive 50 to 60 different species of butterflies in an immersive environment. The layout mimics a lush rainforest ecosystem. Flowering plants, trees, and cascading waterfalls set the stage under a controlled climate glass windowed greenhouse-style habitat.
The Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is one of the top things to do in Key West with kids because they can get up close and learn about butterflies and their life cycle and ecosystem. In addition to the butterflies, the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is home to a collection of 20 species of exotic birds, including two pink flamingos.
10. Key West Lighthouse
The current Key West Lighthouse opened in 1848, and although it was decommissioned in 1969, it still serves as a maritime heritage museum. For a small admission fee, you can visit the Key West Lighthouse daily from 9 am to 5 pm with the last admission at 4:30. Children under 7 and active military members are free.
It’s 88 steps to climb up to the top of the lighthouse, but once you’re up there, you can see stunning views of Key West. You can also see photographs, belongings, and journals of former lighthouse keepers.
The lighthouse is one of the neatest things to do in Key West with kids to better learn about its history.
9. Shipwreck Treasure Museum
As the name implies, the Key West Shipwreck Museum has artifacts from shipwrecked ships that crashed around the Key West area. The Shipwreck Treasure Museum offers a huge silver bar that kids can try to lift, as well as a scavenger hunt for kids to partake in throughout the museum.
The Shipwreck Treasure Museum also has a tower offering great views of Key West from the top. They show a movie in the basement of the museum that is actually below sea level.
You can also take part in a guided introductory tour of the museum. Older kids especially will enjoy learning about all of the artifact exhibits and their history, making it one of the coolest things to do in Key West with kids.
8. Danger Charters
The name of this company is misleading. In reality, this is one of the safest family activities and things to do in Key West with kids of all ages. Danger Charters is one of Key West’s top-rated charter companies.
They offer daily morning and sunset charter, snorkeling, and kayak tours. They have a limited capacity of 25 people per tour and go above and beyond to provide the best service on your trip.
A 4.5-hour excursion lets you sail, snorkel, and kayak through crystal clear waters with light healthy snacks and drinks included. The real danger is missing out on this trip.
7. Fury’s Ultimate Adventure
Part of the fun of a Key West vacation is getting to take part in water-based activities. The Fury’s Ultimate Adventure 2.0 offers an immense six hours of fun and sun playing on your own floating island water park.
Not only that, but you’ll also get to snorkel around a living reef, jet ski, and ride on a banana boat. For parents and kids 6 years of age and older, they can even parasail. It’s the ultimate on the list of things to do in Key West with kids.
This full-day activity also includes breakfast, lunch, and unlimited refreshments.
6. Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum
The Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum pays homage to the life and legacy of world-famous treasure hunter Mel Fisher, who died in 1998. The museum is home to an extensive collection of artifacts from the 17th and 18th centuries.
These items were recovered from shipwrecks by Mel and his team in the 1960s, in addition to several other fascinating exhibits. There is also a lab tour that provides an in-depth look into how shipwrecks are preserved and excavated.
The museum has recently added three new exhibits featuring Spanish galleons, pirate ships, and the shipwrecks Atocha and Henrietta Marie. This is a must on the list of things to do in Key West with kids who have a penchant for discovery and a taste for adventure.
5. Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is ideal for toddlers and other small children. Admission is free and it is a great learning opportunity, providing fun things to do in Key West with kids of all ages.
The Eco-Discovery Center offers hands-on workshops where kids learn through games, puzzles, and crafts. Visitors can get a detailed look into the natural ecosystems of the Florida Keys.
They can also view interesting exhibits like interactive satellite maps, see a 2500-gallon aquarium, and watch footage from underwater-coral-reef-monitoring cameras.
4. Mallory Square
Mallory Square is the hub of social and commercial endeavors in Key West and is an important destination. Today it is home to shops, restaurants, museums, theaters, and live entertainment.
The Sunset Celebration is one of the most important events taking place in Mallory Square each night at sunset. It features artists and performers like fire and knife jugglers.
This free event draws tourists in by the thousands and offers food carts and craft vendors. Key West generated $200 million in tax revenue thanks in part to its thriving tourist community through events like this. This lively celebration is one of the can’t-miss things to do in Key West with kids.
3. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
Located at the southern tip of Key West, Fort Taylor is a National Historic Landmark and a Florida State Park within a Civil War-era fort. It’s one of the most notable things to do in Key West with kids. Children can explore the fort and see real Civil War cannons.
Kids can also go fishing along the rock jetty. There are picnic tables and BBQ grills for a picnic on the beach. You can also watch the sunset from this favorite state park.
Rent snorkel equipment and go snorkeling. Or you can walk or rent a bike to ride along the nature trails.
2. Southernmost Point Buoy
While there isn’t much to do other than just take a picture, the Southernmost Point Buoy has become a major tourist attraction and also one of the top things to do in Key West with kids.
It’s a great way to commemorate your family vacation. But you should get there early to beat the other tourists.
1. Island Safari Bike Rentals
Located in Old Town Key West, just two blocks from the cruise ship terminal, Island Safari Bike Rentals can get you moving. What better way to explore the island on your Key West vacation than on a bike?
You’ll get the fresh air and exercise you want while bonding as a family. It keeps you active and moving. Bike rentals can get you up close to all of the best family activities Key West has to offer.
Choose from top-of-the-line and colorful Jamis beach cruisers, tricycles, kid’s bikes, and tandem bicycles. You can also rent Thule trailers and child seats. Every rental comes with a helmet, lights, a basket, and a lock with keys at no additional charge.
With nearly 118 million people visiting Florida in 2021 after the travel restrictions of 2020, it’s clear that people were in need of a relaxing family vacation more than ever.
See the Best Things to Do in Key West With Kids on Island Safari Bike Rentals
The secret’s out. Bike rentals are the best and coolest things to do in Key West with kids. Bike rentals are great activities for kids and promote a sense of closeness with the family.
Island Safari Bike Rentals has over 40 years of experience with Key West bike rentals. We have a fleet of bicycles available for all abilities and ages. We also provide free delivery and pickup from any hotel in Key West, and select hotels already have bikes ready for rental on-site.
Rent your bikes today for your Key West vacation through Island Safari Bike Rentals.