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Top 8 Activities to Do with Kids in Destin, Florida

Are you planning a family vacation to Destin, Florida, and wondering about the top activities to engage your kids? This article will be a perfect guide to navigate you through the range of diverse activities that Destin has in store, which ensures fun for kids of all ages – and parents too! Let’s dive into exploring this city’s valuable treasure of beaches, nature parks, museums, kid-friendly restaurants, and more.

1. Explore the Gorgeous Beaches

Destin’s pristine white sand beaches are undeniably its most captivating attractions that simply cannot be overlooked. These natural wonders not only offer a spectacular combination of sun, sand, and surf but also provide endless opportunities for fun-packed experiences for the entire family.

  • Henderson Beach State Park

  • Henderson Beach State Park is a picturesque location featuring over 6,000 feet of scenic shoreline with towering sand dunes as the perfect backdrop. This park prides itself on offering numerous facilities and outdoor activities for kids. Children can indulge in building creatively-designed sandcastles, splashing around in the shallow waters, or even trying their hand at beach volleyball. For a more relaxing experience, the whole family can enjoy a delightful picnic under the shade of a rented umbrella or simply soak up the sun while creating memorable moments together.
  • Crystal Sands Beach

  • Henderson Beach State Park is a picturesque location featuring over 6,000 feet of scenic shoreline with towering sand dunes as the perfect backdrop. This park prides itself on offering numerous facilities and outdoor activities for kids. Children can indulge in building creatively-designed sandcastles, splashing around in the shallow waters, or even trying their hand at beach volleyball. For a more relaxing experience, the whole family can enjoy a delightful picnic under the shade of a rented umbrella or simply soak up the sun while creating memorable moments together.

2. Adventure at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Gularium Marine Adventure Park

If you are keen on introducing your kids to the fascinating world beneath the ocean’s surface, nothing fits the bill better than the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. This exciting destination not only provides stellar entertainment but also educates your kids about diverse marine life. Here they can discover and engage with a spectrum of ocean dwellers, from playful dolphins and charismatic penguins to majestic turtles and even intriguing sharks!


At the Gulfarium, your kids will be immersed in a vibrant underwater world where they can observe a fascinating array of marine creatures. It’s a genuine treat to watch their faces light up with joy and curiosity upon seeing seals performing their playful tricks, alligators lounging lazily, or bright-colored tropical fish darting swiftly in their aquatic abodes.


One of the extraordinary highlights of the Gulfarium is the engaging and interactive shows. These performance includes jumping dolphins, mischievous sea lions, and magically colorful parrots, enhancing both the fun and educational quotient. The expert trainers also host live demonstration sessions, offering insights into the natural behaviors of these animals in the wild, which helps kids develop a newfound appreciation for marine life.


Kids can enjoy the thrilling experience of feeding an adorable group of African penguins. Under the supervision of well-trained experts, children learn about the dietary habits of these charming birds while offering them a healthy snack. Moreover, they can join in unique animal encounter programs, interact with friendly dolphins or snorkel with stingrays, making the marine adventure even more exciting.


No doubt, the icing on the cake at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is their extraordinary ‘Sleep with the Sharks’ program. After enjoying an evening filled with fun activities and games, children can set up their sleeping bags in the shark exhibit, offering a unique sleepover experience. Basking in the soft glow of the aquarium, this is an unforgettable way of “diving deep” into the fascinating world of marine life.

Big Kahunas Water Park

If your family is a group of thrill-seekers looking for the perfect adventure sliding through waves, then Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park is just the ticket. This enthralling theme park, having more than 40 water-based attractions, a host of rides, and numerous dry activities, caters to children of all ages, turning your trip to Destin, Florida, into a memorable experience.

The main highlight of Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park is undeniably its vast selection of water rides. From rip-roaring slides like the Cobra Twister to the leisurely Congo River Rapids, every ride offers varying levels of thrill and excitement. The younger crowd might enjoy the kid-friendly mini slides and sky buckets, while the older ones and the adults can quench their thirst for adventure by taking on the challenging Maui Pipeline Slides.

The excitement doesn’t stop at the slides, as Big Kahuna’s also features a gigantic wave pool called Tsunami, perfectly simulating the ocean’s waves. Your family can enjoy leaping over waves or chilling on inflatable tubes. For a more tranquil experience, float in the Lazy River cruise as it gently traverses the park. Younger kids particularly enjoy these mellow activities, making for an enjoyable family fun time.

Beyond the water-based attractions, Big Kahuna’s also lures visitors with its Adventure Park. This section of the park incorporates a variety of fun, adrenaline-rushing activities such as Sky Coaster, mini golf, and the Cyclone Twister ride.

After all the water-soaked fun and off-water activities, your family will likely have worked up a good appetite. Big Kahuna’s comes to the rescue with its range of dining options, offering a variety of delicious snacks and meals that cater to everyone’s tastes in the family.

Destin Boardwalk

A visit to Destin, Florida, is incomplete without experiencing the charm and beauty of the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. This bustling waterfront area, featuring stunning views, vibrant shops, and a variety of attractions, offers a perfect setting for a family excursion. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll, a bike ride, or simply sitting and soaking up the ambiance, the boardwalk is a delightful spot that promises fun and learning.

The broad, well-maintained Destin Harbor Boardwalk extends for nearly a quarter of a mile along the beautiful harbor, making it an excellent path for family walks or bike rides. Take a leisurely stroll and enjoy panoramic views of the emerald-green waters, or rent a bike and cruise down the path for a more active venture. It also features several benches, where you can rest and watch the sunset while the kids enjoy their ice-creams.

The Boardwalk is home to an array of small shops and vendor stalls selling everything from beachwear and fishing gear to local artisan crafts and unique souvenirs. Whether window shopping or hunting for a special vacation keepsake, the variety of items on offer keep visitors engaged. Kids will especially love strolling through the candy and ice cream shops for a delicious treat.

One major attraction at the Destin Harbor Boardwalk is the close view of the operations of the charter fishing boats. Children can observe different types of boats, see the day’s catch being brought in, and even learn about various fish types. This scene not only gives kids a real-world demonstration of commercial fishing but can also kindle a deeper appreciation and understanding of marine life.

The Boardwalk frequently hosts a variety of community events such as free concerts, firework displays, and seasonal festivals, making it a real hub of local culture. These events add to the cheerful and lively atmosphere and offer an added layer of entertainment for families.

Destin History and Fishing Museum

Journey to the past and delve deeper into Florida’s most beautiful beach town’s history at the Destin History & Fishing Museum. By stepping inside the museum, visitors get to discover Destin’s transformation from a modest fishing village to a beloved tourist destination today. A visit to the museum offering an intriguing display of historic fishing rods, reels, and other artifacts, turns educational and engrossing, particularly for children intrigued to learn about the area’s unique heritage.



Steeped in a rich narrative, the Destin History & Fishing Museum breathes life into the town’s small-scale fishing background. A journey through the museum will lead you through exhibits detailing the life and efforts of early residents, predominantly fishermen, who braved the waters of the Gulf in search of sustenance and livelihood. The transformation of this humble fishing village into a thriving tourist hub forms the crux of the museum’s narrative.



The museum boasts an impressive collection of antique fishing rods and reels that tell a tale of Destin’s affinity with fishing. One of the attractions is an exhibit featuring a rod-and-reel owned by angling pioneer, Ernest Hemingway. The mechanisms of these erstwhile equipment can leave children fascinated with the progression of fishing tools over time. Coupled with interesting anecdotes by the museum guides, the display elucidates how these apparatus contributed to Destin’s thriving fishing industry.



Making history engaging for children, the museum presents comprehensive information in a simplified, understandable, and interactive manner. It houses a remarkable collection of over 75 mounted fish caught in Destin’s coastal waters, which help kids understand local aquatic biodiversity. Children can examine the displayed prehistoric fossils, learn about significant periods and people, and comprehend the evolution of fishing techniques — transforming their museum visit into an unforgettable learning experience.

Dewey Destins

Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant is a must-visit dining spot for families vacationing in Destin, Florida. Offering a delightful combination of delicious seafood, waterfront views, excellent service, and lively ambience, this beloved eatery is a haven for both kids and adults. Its playful environment, where children can enjoy a playground and receive dough to mold while waiting for their meal, sets it apart as an entertaining and memorable experience for the entire family.



At the heart of Dewey Destin’s mouth-watering appeal is its extensive seafood menu featuring a range of fresh, locally-sourced dishes. Prepared traditionally using local recipes and ingredients, every dish tantalizes taste buds and provides guests with an authentic taste of Destin’s coastal cuisine. From grilled fish and fried shrimp to delectable fish tacos and gumbo, the restaurant offers something to quench every seafood lover’s cravings.



Located right on the waterfront, Dewey Destin’s provides striking panoramic water views to enhance the overall dining experience. The indoor seating presents a cozy atmosphere, while the outdoor seating boasts a lively environment with fresh sea breezes and stunning sunsets. It’s the perfect setting for families to enjoy their meals as they soak in Destin’s natural beauty and charm.



Dewey Destin’s is not your average seafood restaurant; it genuinely caters to the needs and enjoyment of younger visitors, as well. A charming playground located within the restaurant’s premises keeps the kids active and engaged, allowing them to burn off energy while waiting for their meals. In addition, the restaurant provides kids with dough to shape and play with, which not only adds a creative element to their experience but also keeps them occupied during their wait.



The restaurant’s atmosphere is warm, welcoming, and genuinely family-friendly. The staff members are attentive, courteous and skilled in accommodating the diverse needs of families with children. Their commitment to providing excellent service ensures that families of all generations can appreciate their dining experience at Dewey Destin’s.

Fudpuckers Beachside Bar and Grill

Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill is much more than just a restaurant; it’s a family-oriented entertainment hub located in the heart of Destin, right on Highway 98. The restaurant offers a range of exciting activities engineered to provide an unforgettable dining and recreational experience for kids of all ages.

Fudpucker’s restaurants are known for their award-winning kid’s menus. Teeming with fun foods and delightful offerings, these menus are replete with puzzles and games to keep the children engaged during their visit. Parents can enjoy a relaxing meal while their children also have a great time.


Even beyond food, Fudpucker’s provides ample opportunities for exploration. The sprawling buildings with their graffiti-laden walls and the playground offer the perfect space for the kids to unleash their creativity. Children can freely inscribe their names or messages on the walls, adding personal elements to their dining adventure.

The popular live alligator exhibit is the standout feature of Fudpucker’s, aptly named Gator Beach. Here, kids can observe alligators in a safe environment, learn interesting facts about them, and even indulge in a thrilling feeding experience. For a small fee, they can hold an alligator for a picture-perfect memory.


Gator Beach also hosts a small exhibit area with captivating displays, including an albino alligator, amplifying the fun and educational aspect of this one-of-a-kind dining destination. Guided scavenger hunts are also available, a fantastic pastime for your little adventurers.

Lulu’s Destin is an exceptional dining destination situated along the beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay in Florida’s Destin area. With incredible food, a breathtaking waterfront location, and an array of exciting activities for kids and families, Lulu’s is the perfect spot for an unforgettable dining experience.

Lulu’s Destin is famous for its scrumptious menu, featuring an array of flavorful dishes crafted from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. With Lucy and Jimmy Buffett’s touch (Lucy being Jimmy’s sister), Lulu’s boasts unique signature dishes alongside an extensive beverage menu, making it a go-to culinary hotspot for seafood enthusiasts and beyond.

The sandy beach area at Lulu’s Destin is its hallmark family-friendly spot, designed with little adventurers in mind. Here, kids have the freedom to play, build sandcastles, or just frolic along the picturesque shoreline. Observant parents can also indulge in a laid-back meal while keeping an eye on their children.

Lulu’s Destin promises a fun-filled experience for guests of all ages with its roster of engaging activities and lively entertainment. The venue frequently hosts events and activities like hula hoop contests, face painting, and more, ensuring kids and parents have an unforgettable time.

In addition to these chaotic, whimsical events, Lulu’s Destin also offers a spacious play area called The Mountain of Youth, home to a three-story ropes course and the Munchkin Mountain for younger explorers. On their adventurous escapade, kids can revel in climbing, swinging, and sliding as they traverse the obstacle-filled structure.

What adds to the Lulu’s Destin experience is the consistent line-up of live music performances that entertain the entire family. Expect anything from jazz to country to tropical tunes, creating an ideal ambiance for visitors to unwind after a fulfilling day exploring Destin or basking in the sun.

Make the Most of Your Destin Vacation by Staying with RealJoy

Destin, Florida is undoubtedly a paradise for every fun-seeking family looking to take a break from everyday life. With its special blend of attractions designed to delight and entertain your children, an idyllic coastal climate, and an array of cuisines that spoil you for choice, there are simply no bad days in this sun-kissed beach city. But your family vacation doesn’t have to end with these exciting outdoor activities.


Enjoy the comfort of home with the luxury of a hotel by renting a vacation home with RealJoy Vacations. Offering an array of properties, from extravagant condos to cozier abodes, RealJoy ensures that you can unwind at your own pace and space.


Immerse yourself in properties like the “Ocean Villa 405”  or “Sterling Beach 602”. For larger families or groups, homes like the “Hidden Dunes 901” that sleeps 10 might be the perfect pick. If simplicity is your style, “Retro Bungalow” is a great option. Whichever accommodation you choose, rest assured that RealJoy takes pride in their homes being fully stocked, cleaned, and ready for your arrival.


From the moment you step into your chosen vacation home, you’ll be wrapped in a coziness that reminds you of your own home. Equipped with numerous amenities, these homes offer comfortable living and dining spaces and often come with extra perks like private pools, beach access, and stunning views, depending on the property chosen.


But the vacation homes aren’t just about the accommodations. They are about creating lasting memories. After a long day exploring Destin’s attractions, imagine the bliss of returning to your vacation rental to refresh and recharge for another day of adventures. Picture your kids’ excitement as they wake up in their vacation home, just minutes away from the beach and Destin’s other premier destinations.


Renting a vacation home in Destin with RealJoy isn’t just opting for accommodation; it’s choosing an experience. Each property is unique, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your family getaway. So, why wait? Start planning your perfect family vacation in Destin, Florida, and discover a home away from home with RealJoy.