5 Affordable, Family-friendly Outdoor Adventures in Tampa Bay

From beaches to museums, Tampa really offers something for everyone. Why not spend time exploring Tampa Bay. There are many family-friendly outdoor adventures in Tampa Bay. Let’s start with some great outdoor activities where the kids can play and get moving while learning about Tampa’s history and ecology.

Outdoor Adventures

Florida Botanical Gardens  – Cost: Free
12520 Ulmerton Rd.
Largo, FL 33774

Pack a picnic lunch and go explore 30 acres of gardens and nature. Be sure to check out the special Children’s Trail that starts at the Butterfly Garden and takes the kids on an adventure through trees, wildlife and fruit. Finally, be sure to head next door to Heritage Village to explore the 21-acre living history museum complete with an old school, railroad depot, and general store. The best part, it’s all free!


Canoe or Kayak down the Hillsborough River – Cost: $25 canoe, kayak rental fees

15402 US 301 N.
Thonotosassa, FL 33592

Head to the Hillsborough River State Park, rent a canoe or kayak from the park concession, and take a scenic trip down the river. Next, stop in the Poolside Cafe for a snack and finish the day exploring the park’s 7 miles of trails. Finally, if you’re feeling really adventurous, camping facilities are even available.


Bike the Suncoast Trail – Cost: $2 parking fee 

16175 S.R. 54
Odessa, FL  33556

Pack up the bikes and go explore the Suncoast Trail. The trail begins in northern Hillsborough County, and heads north through Pasco and Hernando counties. Along the trail, you’ll find signs detailing the trail’s historical significance and identifying the local ecology. But, don’t worry – there are plenty of rest areas along the way, too! Afterward, stop for a picnic at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Preserve and take in some beautiful natural scenery before heading home. This is a must-see on our list of family-friendly outdoor adventures in Tampa Bay.


The Tampa Riverwalk  Cost: Free

Take a day to explore everything downtown Tampa to offer by taking a stroll down the new Tampa Riverwalk. First, be sure to check out the Historical Monument Trail featuring monumental people and events that helped shape Tampa’s history. Then, with three splash zones along the walk, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to cool off and many dining options available too. Finally, make a day of it by visiting the Children’s Museum, the Aquarium or the History Museum.


Lettuce Lake Regional Park  – Cost: $2 parking fee 

6920 E. Fletcher Ave,
Tampa, FL 335637

Lake Park offers plenty of options to spend an entire day exploring – trails, picnic areas, fishing, an observation tower, canoeing or kayaking, and playgrounds. Plan ahead and prepare a nature scavenger hunt for your visit.

Did we miss your favorite family-friendly outdoor adventures in Tampa Bay?  Share it with us so we can explore Tampa Bay together.

Check out our other Guides to Tampa Bay!

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