Answers from Our Experts (2)
You'll turn your kids into history buffs without them even knowing after just one day in historic St. Augustine. From forts to lighthouses to zoos and old-time soda shops, there's much for children to do and see here. Check out these top five kid-friendly attractions:
1. St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. If your kiddies are into reptiles, this is the place to be. The farm is home to three types of alligators, more than 10 kinds of crocodiles, a host of boas and the crowd-pleasing Komodo dragons. Live feedings take place throughout the day.
2. Old Town Trolley Tours. A great way to get an overview of St. Augustine is to take an Old Town Trolley Tour. The guided city tour stops at 22 different locations, introducing you to spots like the St. Augustine History Museum.
3. Ripley's Believe It or Not! An outpost of the Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum, named after the once-famous television show highlighting the odd and extraordinary, is in St. Augustine. Take a break from the beach and stop by for a look at the strange exhibits (the largest working Erector Set Ferris wheel) and unbelievable artifacts (a real shrunken head) housed here.
4. The St. Augustine Jail and Old Store. Spend a day exploring the town’s historic past, starting with a tour of St. Augustine's Old Jail. Built in 1891, the jail held prisoners for more than 60 years. Your guided tour includes a walk through the cell blocks and sheriff's quarters, and a peek at the collection of weapons that the jail accumulated over the years. Many old jailers and deputies lead the tours, which means you’ll hear the best stories. Afterward, stop off at St. Augustine's Old Store Museum, where store clerks will show you life-saving potions from 1900, snake oil serum and tonics that supposedly helped to turn back time.
5. St. Augustine Eco Tours. If your little ones are more interested in St. Augustine’s marine life, hop on board for a ride down the canals and creeks that line the city. You'll get to see water life, learn about the ecosystem of the city and, on occasion, even spot a few wild dolphins.
St. Augustine is full of surprises for kids of all ages. If you're traveling to this coastal Florida city with kids in tow, consider adding one of these activities to your to-do list:
Ripley's Believe It Or Not
This museum is a longtime favorite among the pint-sized sector. Heralded as the first and oldest Ripley's museum in the world, this multi-level attraction is filled with creepy and curious artifacts like shrunken heads, wax mannequins and the world's smallest production car. Best of all? Little hands will find plenty of places to stay busy, as the museum has tons of interactive exhibits.
Black Raven Pirate Ship
What child wouldn't want to ride on a real pirate ship? Take your kids on a magical journey as they sail around St. Augustine, listening with rapt attention as pirates share stories, lead the entire boat in a sing-along and perform a family-friendly show. The "Family Adventure" tour includes free face painting for the kids, too.
St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
Alligators are the main attraction at this St. Augustine mainstay, but they're backed up with a fascinating supporting cast of exotic reptiles, birds and crocodiles. Wildlife shows help children learn more about these creatures. You can also earn major parent points by securing tickets to Crocodile Crossing, a zip line and challenge course that's open to children ages 10 and up (the minimum height requirement is 4' 9").
St Augustine Lighthouse
Climbing to the top of this historic lighthouse provides three rewards for parents — a good workout with the kids, a chance to discuss the building's history in a fun and hands-on way and, most importantly, a chance to bond over the incredible sweeping views of St. Augustine that visitors enjoy once they reach the top. Kids must be 3' 8" or taller to climb, but if they don't meet the height requirement, there's a special play area where they can burn off some of that trademark kid energy.
Anastasia State Park
This state park has enough activities to fill an entire vacation. Soak up some sun while allowing the kids to enjoy four miles of protected beaches, or gather up the gang and embark on a fun and educational hike through one of the park's trails. Campsites are available to help make this special excursion last a little longer.