Key West is an island city and a significant part of the Florida Keys. This city is popularly known for its vibrant coral reefs, uniquely shaped houses, and diving and snorkeling activities. It is a great place to visit with family for outdoor or indoor fun.
Here is a list of some exciting things to do with the kids in Key West.
1. The Overseas Highway
Start your day by driving along the Overseas Highway and enjoying spectacular views of old rail corridors, overseas bridges, and the pristine waters of South Florida.
This is a charming stretch of 113 miles connecting Key West to the Mainland USA and is a bucket list item for families that love road trips.
The Overseas Highway is one the most scenic routes you could ever take, with most of its parts snaking over small islands and some of its longer bridges passing over the open sea. The total number of bridges on the Overseas Highway is 42.
This is a hotspot for tourists offering fantastic photo opportunities for blooming photographers in your family, so don’t forget to bring your camera.
The best spots along this road include Shell World, Turtle Hospital, and Bahia Honda State Park.
2. Higgs Beach
Spend a lazy afternoon in Key West at Higgs Beach.
This family-friendly public beach includes volleyball courts, tennis courts, a dog park, and a kid’s playground.
Take the White Street Pier extending past the sand and enjoy the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. Your kiddos can also toss some bread to fish at the end of this tier.
The beach has a seaside restaurant and bar where you can buy food and drinks and enjoy yourself at the picnic tables.
There is so much for kids to do here, but you must check the weather before visiting. Sometimes the shores are washed by seaweed.
3. Dry Tortugas National Park
One of the most famous attractions in Key West is Dry Tortugas National Park.
The park offers impressive scenery and several exciting activities. It is located on a remote island and is popularly famous for its shallow beaches, making it a snorkeling hotspot.
Your kids will be very excited about a visit to this park because the only way to it is by ferry or seaplane.
One of the unique attractions in this park is Fort Jefferson, a central feature and one of the largest ports to be built in America.
If you love fishing, this is the best place to experience it. You will find abundant species, including pompano, tuna, kingfish, and wahoos surrounding the many structures and wrecks below the waters.
You can wander in the park alone or join a tour guide.
4. Key West Aquarium
The Key West Aquarium is a popular attraction for all age groups. Built in 1932, it’s one of the oldest aquariums in Florida.
At the touch tank, your kids can touch and feed living sea cucumbers, conches, starfish, and horseshoe crabs. You can cover the whole aquarium in 45 minutes, although no one limits you on time.
There is no better place in Key West to encounter some of the most mysterious and incredible marine animals than the Key West Aquarium.
Once done with the marine experience, stop by the Gladiators Ice Cream shop, grab a few scoops of ice cream, and beat the summer heat.
5. Mallory Square
Mallory Square is an irresistible attraction in Key West that’s worth your time. Almost all commercial or social things happen in this magnetic hub that pulls in the whole city, explaining why most tourists flock to it.
Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Mexican Gulf from any angle of Mallory Square.
Come to this place ready to relax, watch people, admire boats, shop for all manner of touristry stuff, enjoy sunset celebrations, and live entertainment.
6. Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum
To escape the scorching sun that sometimes hits this island city, head to the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum.
The museum is located on Greene Street, and its existence is a dedication to the life and legacy of Mel Fisher, a famous treasure hunter.
You and your kids will be excited to learn about the rich history of shipwrecking in Key West. Visitors first watch an informative introductory video of the museum before embarking on a museum tour.
On the museum’s second floor, you will find thousands of interesting artifacts and treasures from the 17th century discovered by Mel in the ’60s.
Once done with the tour, head to the museum’s tower and enjoy beautiful views.
7. Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
A visit to Key West is not complete without visiting the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. This is a gem for anyone looking to escape the stress of the city for the weekend.
The natural setting of the beach is ideal for birdwatching or swimming.
This sandy beach is well-maintained and dotted with umbrellas and chairs, so you can bring snacks and drinks for a beautiful picnic.
Water sports rentals are also available so your older kids can have the utmost fun as you lounge in the sun.
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park also has a historic monument housing some of the world’s most enormous armaments.
As you walk through the beautiful corridors of the park, you will notice some gun ports and get an idea of how the soldiers lived as they defended the coastline of Key West.
8. Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory
Treat your kids to a beautiful time at the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservancy. Their eyes will wander as they walk around this garden full of colorful birds, butterflies, turtles, and pink flamingos.
This conservatory is home to thousands of these beauties with wings. There is a myth that if one of them lands on you, it’s good luck, so remember to hint that to your kids and watch as they sparkle with excitement.
This conservatory also offers endless learning opportunities about the insect’s life cycles.
On your way out, pass by the gift shop and grab some puzzles and nature-themed games for all ages.
9. Key West Garden Club
Take in some fresh air, soak into nature, and relax with your family at the Key West Garden Club. You will find this beautiful tropical garden at West Martello Fort, and its serenity makes it a perfect spot for contemplation.
The garden features well-manicured pathways, courtyards, waterfalls, ponds, and tropical blooms.
Come prepared to picnic, stroll with the kiddos, or unwind during your visit to Key West.
After relaxing, find some beautiful history at the Fort, a historical landmark with gun mounts and a conservatory, and learn what happened during the Civil war.
10. South Beach
There is no Key West without South Beach. This area has endless fun for families despite being small.
This beach on Duval Street offers opportunities for swimming, picnicking, biking, watersports, and lounging in the sun.
Additionally, the beach is an excellent place to treat your family to an exceptional dining experience, thanks to the many outdoor restaurants and cafes. The kiddos will love dining outside beside the Atlantic waters.
If you want a different experience, walk to Lincoln Road for shopping and entertainment and experience the culture of the people on this side of the island.
You can see the sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean if you get to the beach early.
11. Sheriff’s Animal Farm
Does your family love animals? Leaving Key West without visiting the Sheriff’s Animal Farm would be unfair.
This animal park is home to all types of traditional and exotic animals. The park receives animals from owners who cannot take good care of them and chose to hand them over to the farm.
Give your kids a chance to make friends with different animals on this animal farm and learn a few things about them. The experience is something they won’t forget soon.
12. Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
One of the best things to do with the kids in Key West is visit the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.
This is a natural history museum and a significant attraction in Key West. You will find a replica of the underwater laboratory of Aquarius and maps of Key West here and understand the ecosystem of Key West better.
One of the most exciting activities in this museum that your kiddos will love is monitoring the coral reef’s health and spawning through an underwater camera.
Additionally, the little one can engage in kid-friendly activities and learn more about puzzle solving, games, and crafts.