5 Top Tampa Parks for Kids and Families

Curtis Hixon Park Tampa

I love parks.  I love that they are not only free, but I think that they are just great places to head to with your family, kids, families and friends for an afternoon of fun, a morning of exercise or an evening of music at an event.  I wanted to highlight my favorite parks in Tampa.  These parks not only have great playgrounds, but they also offer more, are located in close proximity to additional fun activities and also offer special events that might attract your family for an outing.
Curtis Hixon Park (Downtown Tampa)

Such a great place to head to if you are looking for a fun day in the city.  Located in the heart of downtown, this park is 75,000 sq. ft of open space.  The Glazer Children’s Museum is located right next to the park, as are a few places to eat or snack.  And make sure to check out the list of events that happen in the park too.  We love the Rock the Park and Fit Kids Playground events that happen monthly.
Ballast Point Park (South Tampa)

A hidden park located in South Tampa, just south of Gandy Blvd. and Bayshore Blvd.  It has a newly redesigned playground and splash pad.  My favorite part about this park is the pier. It’s fun to take a walk and go fishing on a Saturday afternoon.  There is a small place to eat or snack (or buy bait) too!
Kate Jackson Park (South Tampa)

A favorite South Tampa park located just south of Hyde Park Village.  So much fun to venture down to this park and bring a lunch, bathing suits and a bike or scooter for the kids.  They have so many things to do for kids.  Basketball court, a splash pad, playground and a recreation center that often has classes for kids too!  A place to eat is near by and Hyde Park Village is such a fun place to walk around as well!
Rivercrest Park (Seminole Heights)

Located in Seminole Heights and not too well known.  Bring your bike as the bike path is my favorite part of this park! (It is where all my kids learned to ride!)  The path will take you down by the Hillsborough River and the playground is always fun for everyone!
Lowry Park (Across the street from Lowry Park Zoo)

This park is located right across the street from Lowry Park Zoo.  This park is just off the Hillsborough River and is in walking distance to the zoo.  There are a few playgrounds and lots of shelters for parties and gatherings.  The park has nature paths that are super fun to walk through.
I hope that you take advantage of some of our free parks this summer.  Jump around and try to hit a new one each week.  Kids love new adventures!  Remember, it starts in the parks!

Marisa Langford a local Tampa mother to 4 kids under 8. She founded the Fit Kids Playground Project in Tampa, FL in 2008 because she felt kids needed to know that play is a way to keep their bodies healthy. Her mission, simply put: Real Kids. Real Change. Really Simple. Through the online resources and community events that are produced by Fit Kids Playground, kids and families are encouraged to live healthier lives. Currently, she is a We Can!* Community Leader for the NHLBI, a Truck Farm fleet operator for Truck Farm Tampa and Food Revolution Ambassador for Jamie Oliver. Marisa has also received national recognition for her work as the 2012 award winner of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition- Community Leader Award. Fit Kids Playground was also awarded the 2011 & 2012 We Can!* National Assistance Grant for the Playin’ In The Park project in the Tampa Bay area. She was named finalist for the 2012 Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year as well as a finalist for the 2011 Tampa Bay Business Journal Up & Comer award, all for her Fit Kids Playground project. She has also successfully secured over $30,000 in grants and private funding to help keep her community project alive! She is an active Mom on a mission.


  1. We frequent all your park choices, except for one. I have never heard of Rivercrest Park! I’m going to add it to my list to check out with the kids over the summer break 🙂

  2. Good stuff! I will have to visit some of these. We are up in the Trinity area so we frequent some of the parks here, one of our favorites is Wall Springs Park.in Palm Harbor.

  3. Assuming that, as a dad, I am not persona non grata here, I’ll contribute a fun suggestion.

    You fellow park-goers may want to check out geocaching, if you haven’t already. (The activity might also make for a good article.)

    Geocaches are essentially hidden containers you can locate with with a free membership to geocaching.com and the use of any of several free gps smart phone apps. There are about a million of them hidden around the world, and hundreds in the Tampa Bay area.

    Though some are on the tops of mountains and the bottom of the sea, most are kid-friendly. They often contain very small toys. Kids are encouraged to pick one, but then replace it with something they brought for that purpose.

    My daughter, Devan, now a second-grader at Roosevelt, has a large container filled with toys hidden at Ballast Point Park–The Pegasus Toy Bin. Here’s a Youtube video of her describing it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I7bdzfQcTA. And here’s the official description and location: http://coord.info/GC2K09C.

    If you find it, we’d be pleased if you signed the log digitally and mentioned that you learned about it here.

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