There is no shortage of things to do during your stay on Anna Maria Island. Of course, there is the beach and the pool at your vacation home, but sometimes we want a little more. From cultural attractions to eco-tourism, you can stay as busy as you want during your visit. If you are looking for things to do with the whole family, you’re in luck. The area has a lot of choices for family fun. Here are a few of them.
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Mote Marine started as a one-room laboratory here on Florida’s Gulf Coast in 1955. Today it is an independent, nonprofit marine research institution comprised of world-class marine scientists. A short, scenic 30-minute drive down our sister island of Longboat Key will get you there. The aquarium features an open-water Shark Zone exhibit, as well as stingrays, reef animals, sea turtles, manatees and more. The animal hospital has cared for over 650 sea turtles. Mote offers several options for family fun, including daytime and evening kayak tours and their Eco Boat Tours around Sarasota Bay. One experience that kids will be sure to love is Breakfast with Sharks. This happens before the aquarium is open to the general public and lets you watch a narrated feeding of the sharks and some Q&A with their scientists. Mote Marine is located at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236. For hours and ticket information, visit their website.
Museum of Science and Industry
Tampa’s Museum of Science & Industry, known locally as MOSI is a planetarium and scientific playground for all ages. With over 100 hands-on activities and more exhibits, there is sure to be something everyone in the family will enjoy. The Sky Trail Ropes course will thrill all ages as they move over 30 elements while 36 feet off the ground. Or you can lie on a bed of nails, explore optical illusions or build a robot. The choices are yours. MOSI is located at 4801 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33617. Visit their website for exhibit and event information, as well as hours and admission info.
The Fish Hole
The Fish Hole is a miniature golf course on the island. Open seven days a week from 9:00 am to 9:30 pm, this local favorite will have both kids and adults channeling their inner Tiger Woods (or Happy Gilmore). Go in the middle of the day or during the cooler evening hours. The kids will love seeing the turtles and feeding the fish. This hidden gem is located at 115 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217. Visit their website for more information and don’t forget to click on the coupon section to save money.
Ride Horses on the Beach
We’ve all seen horses being ridden on the beach in movies, but have you actually done it? You can at C Ponies across the bay in Bradenton. The C Ponies guides lead you onto the beach along Palma Sola Bay. After a short lesson, you and your horse will swim in the bay. The horses love swimming and riders, young and old, will find the experience to be magical. Riders have described it as feeling like they are flying. C Ponies is a popular attraction, so you will want to visit their website and book your ride early. They recommend 5 weeks in advance to ensure you get the dates and times you want. They are located at 8400 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34209.
These are just a few things you can do during your stay with us. If you want more family fun suggestions, talk to our local experts. They can give you the inside scoop on things to do to make your stay unforgettable for the whole family.
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