Things to Do With Kids in Destin, South Walton, and on 30A

I've called the Emerald Coast home since 1990, so I'm very familiar with the area. I have five kids ranging in age from 3 to 17. Below are my top 10 things to do with kids in Destin, South Walton, and on 30A. These activities are listed in no particular order. This list was last revised on February 12, 2017.

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#1 The Beach

My favorite public beach access is James Lee Park (at the Crab Trap) because they have a playground, restrooms, showers, plenty of free parking, and an option to buy food if you're too lazy to pack snacks.

Village of Baytowne Wharf playground
Village of Baytowne Wharf playground

#2 Playgrounds

These are my favorite playgrounds and why: The Village of Baytowne Wharf (built of wood and the most interesting), James Lee Park (on the beach), Morgan Sports Center (surrounded by a tall fence to prevent little ones from escaping), Destin Commons (has a splash pad), and Clement Taylor Park (shaded with bay access).

Village of Baytowne Wharf fireworks
Village of Baytowne Wharf fireworks

#3 Fireworks

During the summer, you can see fireworks every Tuesday night at The Village of Baytowne Wharf, and every Thursday night at HarborWalk Village. Arrive early to both or parking will be a nightmare.

#4 Outdoor Movies

Throughout the summer, you can enjoy family-friendly movie night in the Seaside amphitheater every Friday night.

 Gulfarium 

Gulfarium 

#5 Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

The Gulfarium gives you an opportunity to see dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, otters, sharks, alligators, tropical fish, and more!

 Big Kahuna's 

Big Kahuna's 

#6 Big Kahuna's

My kids love water parks, especially Big Kahuna's. I hate to say it, but sometimes the beach is too hot to enjoy in the summer.

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#7 Surf or Paddle Board Lessons

My kids have never taken surf or paddle board lessons because their dad teaches them. I know there are a few companies in town that rent boards and offer lessons, but since I haven't personally used them, I'm not sure who to recommend.

 Biophilia 

Biophilia 

#8 E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center

The Biophilia is a great place to learn about northwest Florida's natural habitat and see a lot of cool animals.

 Big Kahuna's mini golf

Big Kahuna's mini golf

#9 Putt-Putt

You can play miniature golf at The Track or Big Kahuna's.

 Fudpucker's Gator Beach

Fudpucker's Gator Beach

#10 Gator Beach

Gator Beach at Fudpucker's in Destin offers free interactive gator shows every day at noon, 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm. You can even hold a gator and get your photo taken with one.

The fun doesn't stop there, but this is a good start. And if you're on vacation, this should at least keep your kids occupied for a week. If you're looking for things to do that don't necessarily cater to kids, check out this post.

Lori