Sarasota is one of the most family friendly cities in the Central Florida area. There is such a large amount of activities to do with your babies, toddlers, even older kids as well. Sarasota offers a wide range of family friendly events, museums, parks, beaches and much more. There are a few attractions in the area that do require a moderate fee to participate in their programs, though a lot of the activities found in the area are free of charge for everyone! (Parents included)
- The Beach
I mean, we are in the location of the beach voted #1 in America for a reason — Siesta Key Beach and the rest are all AMAZING. The local beaches are such a great place to spend the day with your family relaxing and splashing in the water. There are multiple beaches that are available to us as residents, and as visitors to the area. Siesta Key Beach, Lido Beach, Coquina Beach and Anna Maria Island Beach are a few. All of these beaches offer water, sand, playgrounds, picnic tables, outdoor grills for public use, and many shaded areas. 941 area beaches are often monitored by lifeguards as an extra safety precaution, so swim safely and have fun!
- Sarasota County Parks
The number of outdoor playgrounds offered to the residents and children of Sarasota, is, in a good way, almost overwhelming! There are more than 30 playground/parks just in the Sarasota area. Sarasota County parks are not only clean, but most have been recently updated or remodeled. These parks are monitored daily by the parks and recreation staff, and are often a sure place to find a local police officer keeping watch to make sure things are safe. A few of our family’s favorite parks are Rothenbach Park, Urfer Park and the newly renovated Siesta Key Beach Park. You can find a complete list of the 50 parks in Sarasota County on the Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources webpage.
The library is a GREAT place to spend a rainy day, attend story time and make new friends. Each library has a completely different schedule than the next. These schedules offer special classes and events for children ranging from 6 months to 5 years old. Local libraries such as Fruitville, Gulf Gate (recently named the most beautiful library in Florida), and Selby Library in downtown Sarasota offer adorable little sections inside the library specifically designed for children. You will find that these areas are equipped with tables for coloring (crayons and coloring sheets often included), comfy chairs for reading, and the shelves are lowered so your kids can pick out books that interest them. Most of the area libraries offer fun reading contests, exciting giveaways and a quiet environment to learn in. It’s one of our favorite ways to spend rainy, cold or windy Florida days. Learn more about the Sarasota County libraries here.
- Indoor Playgrounds
We are all well aware that on some summer days temperatures can reach heights that no parent wants to sit in, and no kid really wants to play in. Indoor playgrounds offered inside the two local malls provide you with a fun environment to let out built up energy, but also blow cold air conditioning as well. Sarasota Squre Mall and The Mall at UTC offer comfy couches for parents to observe and safe structures for kids of all ages to play.
BONUS: Both malls also offer coffee for Mom/Dad too, so everyone leaves happy!
- Children’s Fountain at Bay Front Park
The children’s fountain is a free splash pad for kids offered right off the bay front of Sarasota. This is a great place to spend time cooling off on a hot summer day, and the view of the bay you get while the children play is INCREDIBLE! The fountain’s hours do vary depending on the time of year and on the very unpredictable Florida weather conditions. You can find all of the information on the park and its hours on the City Of Sarasota’s webpage.