The Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
The Florida Aquarium, located in Channelside, is well loved by both kids and adults. Marine life enthusiasts will discover a vast assortment of both saltwater and freshwater sea creatures, including sharks, sea turtles, hundreds of species of fish, huge rock lobsters and the new stingray touch pool, where you can get up close and personal with Florida’s beautiful skates and rays. You’ll also get a close look at some of Florida’s other inhabitants, including birds, river otters, alligators and even a huge python.
5402 Pioneer Park Blvd., Suite E
Tampa, FL 33634
If you have an adventurous spirit and are looking for a fun new hobby to make your heart pound, check out Vertical Ventures, an indoor rock climbing gym. If you have no experience, no problem. Introductory classes are offered on a daily basis to familiarize climbers with safety information and climbing techniques. Best of all, you can return to Vertical Ventures again and again and never climb the same wall twice – the routes are always changing.
110 W. Gasparilla Plaza
Tampa, FL 33602
Bring the kids for this one. For safety reasons, no adults are allowed in the museum without children, and no children are allowed in the museum without adults. Glazer helps foster inquisitiveness, discovery and learning by letting kids do what they do best: play. In the Engineer’s Workshop, for example, kids can practice building highways, designing and flying airplanes and generating electricity. Then there’s the Vet Clinic, where children can look at x-rays and examine charts to determine the best treatment for their “patients.” With over a dozen different exhibits, kids can play the day away and not even miss playing outside.
12350 Automobile Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33762
If you want to try something that will make your heart pound, indoor go-karting may be your new favorite activity. Adults must be 56 inches or taller to participate. Children must be at least six years old and at least 48 inches tall. All drivers must sign a waiver before participating. If it’s your first time racing, all you have to do is pick out a race package and purchase an annual racing license. As soon as your race is ready – 10 people can race at one time – you will be called into the pit for safety and instructional briefing. After that, you’ll be given a head sock, helmet and kart number, and you’ll be whizzing around the track before you know it.
2223 N. West Shore Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607
Sometimes, all you really need is a little retail therapy. International Plaza and Bay Street is one of the best shopping destinations in the state, with over 200 stores and 16 full-service restaurants in addition to concessions kiosks. Serious shoppers will love to explore high-end merchandise like Gucci, Juicy Couture, Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus and others. When you’re ready to eat, you will enjoy a great selection of dining choices including The Cheesecake Factory, The Pub, Pelaggia Trattoria and The Capital Grille.