15 Best Things to Do with Kids in Sarasota, FL

Things to Do with Kids in Sarasota, FL
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Sarasota in Sarasota County, Florida, is a prime destination if you’re looking to vacation in Florida.

Filled with art, culture, gorgeous views, and an endless array of vacation rentals, it has everything tourists could need.

It’s also only a few hours away from Orlando, so it’s not hard to schedule a few trips to the big theme parks while you’re staying in the city.

Here are the best things to do with kids in Sarasota, Florida:

Take a Sailing Tour at the Marina Jack

Exterior of Marina Jack
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There’s no better way to get started on seeing the sights of Sarasota than by joining the sightseeing tours hosted by Marina Jack.

Ride one of their boats and enjoy relaxing views of the area from the bay.

You'll enjoy the utmost luxury in the boat and sumptuous dishes during the tour.

View of Marina Jack yachts
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The dishes include specialty rice made by the chef, chicken marsala, and iced tea, among others.

Children under 9 get a discounted price for the tour.

Marina Jack is dedicated to giving all their patrons the best sailing and tour experience, and if you’re going to start your journey in Sarasota, this is the best place to do it.

Develop a Newfound Love for Opera at the Sarasota Opera House

Exterior of Sarasota Opera House
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Operas may not be the first thing on anyone’s mind when looking for something to do with their kids, but the Sarasota Opera House proves there’s more to the art form.

It provides an extraordinary cultural experience that’ll give you and your family a new appreciation for theater performances.

If you and your family are looking for something a little fancy and fun, the opera provides the best of both worlds.

Building sign of Sarasota Opera House
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The opera house hosts multiple performances throughout the year, so catch a show when you get the chance.

The Sarasota Opera House is on Pineapple Avenue.

Experience Theater in New and Interesting Ways with Westcoast Black Theater Troupe

In 1999, the Westcoast Black Theater Troupe was founded to produce and promote theater productions that celebrate the African American Experience, engage a wide variety of audiences, and foster and build self-confidence among youths of color.

Seeing one of their shows is an unforgettable cultural experience; their shows are filled with life, amazing acting, and production value.

This theater troupe has a large repertoire covering a variety of genres, so you can be sure that whatever performance you end up seeing, you’re going to get a top-tier performance.

Some of their previous works include concerts, broadway musicals, and heartfelt plays.

There’s always something for every member of the family, whether it’s light-hearted comedy for the young kids or deep, philosophical shows for the adults.

The theater is located in a convenient area in the downtown area, right next to a large number of local restaurants, so it’s incredibly easy to get a post-show dinner once you’re done.

Relax at Bayfront Park

Entrance arch of Bayfront Park
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The bay is one of the most beautiful assets of Sarasota, and Bayfront Park on Bayfront Drive is a great spot where you can truly appreciate bay views.

Check out the many different pieces of public art and sculptures that litter the place.

Dolphin fountain at Bayfront Park
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If you’re looking to take a break from sightseeing, the picnic areas are the best spot to do so.

Chilling out and relaxing at Bayfront Park may just be what you need to top off an amazing vacation in Sarasota.

People at Bayfront Park
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Catch an Unforgettable Show at the Florida Studio Theater

Exterior of Florida Studio Theater
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Florida Studio Theater will get you to fall in love with theater.

The place is Sarasota’s own contemporary theater, founded in 1973 and providing unforgettable shows since.

These days, it’s a major force in the American theater landscape, and you and your family are in for a treat if you end up watching performances here.

Interior of Florida Studio Theater
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Their repertoire is diverse and full of interesting and unique performances.

You can find Florida Studio Theater on North Palm Avenue.

Marvel at the Artworks in Sarasota Art Museum

Sarasota Art Museum had more than 10,000 square feet spread across several floors, all solely dedicated to displaying and celebrating art.

There are also sculpture installations scattered around the outer parts of the museum.

General admission is $15 for adults but free for anyone under 17, making it a perfect destination for families.

You can find Sarasota Art Museum on South Tamiami Trail.

Discover the Wonders of the Underwater World at the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Exterior of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
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The Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is a great destination for nature and science lovers.

Here, you’ll discover the wonders of the ocean and get to meet the scientists who’ve dedicated their lives to learning more about the ocean and its creatures.

Facade of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
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Remember to get your tickets online to avoid any problems when you get there.

The Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is on Ken Thompson Parkway.

Learn about Circus Kings and Queens at Ca' d'Zan

Exterior of Ca' d'Zan
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The Ca’ d’Zan was once the home of a circus king and his wife, also known as "The Ringlings."

The home was designed by the famous New York architect Dwight James Baum and built by Owen Burns.

The house boasts a grand exterior and opulent interior, showcasing the luxury that the circus folks lived in.

Facade of Ca' d'Zan
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The Ca’ d’Zan is located in The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art on Bay Shore Road.

Observation deck of Ca' d'Zan
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Watch a Circus Performance by The Circus Arts Conservatory

Treat your family to spectacular sights at the Circus Arts Conservatory.

It was established in 1927 when the world-famous circus impresario John Ringling and his brother Charles Ringling moved the winter quarters of their Ringling Circus from Connecticut to Sarasota.

Eventually, the circus troupe built a conservatory to help preserve the area’s unique circus heritage and pass on their knowledge to future generations.

These days, they host multiple shows throughout the year on their home base, and you and your family shouldn't miss out on the opportunity to see one.

Watch trapeze artists and contortionists perform death-defying stunts!

The conservatory students also perform shows in the spring.

See the magical performances at Circus Arts Conservatory on Bahia Vista Street.

Admire the Plant Sanctuaries of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Statue at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a bayfront sanctuary featuring air plants and native plants.

Found in the downtown area, it hosts various exhibits throughout the year.

Flora at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
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Ranging from art exhibits to plant displays, you’re sure to find something that everyone in the family will love.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is on Mound Street.

The grounds of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
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Marvel at the Performances at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Facade of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
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Sarasota certainly has no shortage of theater troupes and performance spaces, but if you’re looking to add another show to your itinerary, then try to catch a production at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

The place is a cultural jewel, and no visit to Sarasota is complete without it.

Located next to the area's stunning beaches, you’re in for a wonderful view even before you step into the hall.

Exterior of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Once you’re inside and comfortably seated, you'll enjoy the amazing performances.

From plays to concerts to musicals, any show you see at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is guaranteed to take your breath away.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is on Tamiami Trail.

Bright-colored building of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Heidi Besen / Shutterstock.com

Explore the Bird Sanctuary Kept by the Save Our Seabirds Organization

Save Our Seabirds seeks to ensure that sea birds stay safe and protected.

One of the highlights of the bird sanctuary is the museum with birds that have been injured in the wild and treated by staff before they're returned to the wild.

You and your family can also explore the bird walk and see different kinds of birds.

Visit the bird sanctuary of Save Our Seabirds at Ken Thompson Parkway.

Visit the Sarasota Jungle Gardens

A macaw at Sarasota Jungle Gardens
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Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a family-owned and operated attraction that kids will love.

It's home to over 200 native and exotic plants and animals.

The grounds and pond of Sarasota Jungle Gardens
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Various adventures await here, such as animal interactions and private animal experiences.

It also presents an array of delightful animal shows.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens is on Bay Shore Road.

Flamingos at Sarasota Jungle Gardens
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Learn about Classic Cars at the Sarasota Classic Car Museum

Exterior of Sarasota Classic Car Museum
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The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is every car lover’s dream.

It’s the second oldest continuously operating car museum in the country and is filled with memorabilia that’ll amaze even the most casual automobile fan.

Take your kids around and see the countless antique vehicles the museum has on display.

Learn about the stories of these cars and their manufacturers.

You can find Sarasota Classic Car Museum on Tamiami Trail.

Discover Unique Art at the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy

The mission of the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy is to collect and preserve artistic and whimsical art.

This interesting site is full of fascinating items.

People are welcome to go on a self-guided tour or attend one of the artist talks or events the place regularly hosts.

With various peculiar items on display, Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy on Tamiami Trail is worth checking out.

Final Thoughts

Sarasota's attractions cater to various interests.

From its fascinating circus heritage to the numerous art galleries, Sarasota is worth discovering.

Book a trip today and try these best things to do with kids in Sarasota, Florida.

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