Family & Pets

Best Parks For Kids And Families

January 1, 2012 12:55 AM

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Voted "Best Zoo" by Parent's Magazine, your child can handfeed a giraffes, ride a camel or pet a manatee here all while enjoying a beautiful outdoor day in Tampa.

Voted “Best Zoo” by Parent’s Magazine, your child can handfeed a giraffes, ride a camel or pet a manatee here all while enjoying a beautiful outdoor day in Tampa.

Looking for a place to enjoy the best of Tampa’s nature and spend quality time with your family? Tampa has hundreds of miles of pristine coastline, and you’ll find the most picturesque of the city’s parks right on the water.

desotobeach Best Parks For Kids And Families

DeSoto Beach boasts clear water and pristine, white sand. (Credit: pinellacounty.org)

Fort De Soto Park

3500 Pinellas Bayway S
Tierra Verde, Fla. 33715
(727) 582-2267
www.pinellascounty.org/park/05_Ft_DeSoto.htm

Named one of the top beaches in the U.S. for 2009 by TripAdvisor, De Soto Park consists of 1,136 acres and five interconnected islands. Clear water, soft white sand and ample opportunity for biking, swimming, walking or even kayaking make Fort De Soto unmatched in terms of park amenities. Walk out on the pier for a spectacular view of the ocean, bring the family dog to the dog park or wander through one of the hundreds of trails this park has to offer with your favorite people in the world.

bookercreekreserve Best Parks For Kids And Families

Nestled amid a wetland forest alongside Brooker Creek, the multi-complex center offers programs designed to introduce pre-schoolers to the wonders of the natural world. (Credit: brookercreekpreserve.org)

Brooker Creek Preserve

3940 Keystone Road
Tarpon Springs, Fla. 34688
(727) 453-6910
www.brookercreekpreserve.org

Nestled amid a wetland forest alongside Brooker Creek, the multi-complex center offers programs designed to introduce pre-schoolers to the wonders of the natural world. A guided 0.75-mile hike along the Education Center Trail is designed to introduce children to ecology. Children must be accompanied by adults during all programs. Some programs are free of charge.

brookercreekreserve Best Parks For Kids And Families

Ferns are the dominant ground cover in a hydric pine flatwoods community at Brooker Creek Preserve. (Credit: brookercreekpreserve.org)

EG Simmons Park

2401 19th Avenue NW
Ruskin, Fla. 33570
(813) 671-7655
www.gothere.com/Florida/Ruskin/simmons.htm

If you have a budding ornithologist, Simmons Park is the place to take your youngster. More than 200 acres of protected mangrove swamp make Simmons a bird sanctuary. A waterfront barbecue area and picnic tables by the bay make this a great spot for a family outing.

lowryparkzoo Best Parks For Kids And Families

Voted "Best Zoo" by Parent's Magazine, your child can handfeed a giraffes, ride a camel or pet a manatee here all while enjoying a beautiful outdoor day in Tampa.

Lowry Park Zoological Garden

1101 W Sligh Avenue
Tampa, Fla. 33604
(813) 935-8552
www.lowryparkzoo.com

While not exactly a park, the Lowery Park Zoological Garden bears mentioning thanks to its wide array of animals and birds of prey and beautiful landscaping. Voted “Best Zoo” by Parent’s Magazine, your child can handfeed a giraffes, ride a camel or pet a manatee here all while enjoying a beautiful outdoor day in Tampa. The zoo also offers slumber parties with themes adjusted to particular age groups. Sleepovers include up-close encounters with animals, pizza snack and light breakfast.

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