Hot Florida

Ultimate Guide for Things to do in St Pete Beach with Kids

St Pete Beach is the ultimate family vacation destination with sunshine all year long

Welcome to St Pete Beach where the sand is as white as snow and soft as powder. Where the clear waters of the gulf are as radiantly turquoise as they are invitingly warm. And where the sunsets are just too breathtaking to be real.

Known as the sunset capital of Florida, St Pete Beach has been rated #1 top beach destination by as well as earned a rating of #5 by Travel’s Choice Awards. Parent Magazine even rated St. Pete Beach as #3 of America’s Top 10 Best Beach Towns for Families in 2013.

Our family has visited St Pete Beach with kids annually since 2014. It is one of our favorite beach destinations for a relaxing family trip.

There are so many cool things to do in St. Pete Beach for kids. Each time we visit we get to explore a little something new, whether it’s a kid-friendly pirate ship cruise through John’s Pass or bottomless crab legs at a gulf view restaurant.

Look at those fierce pirates sailing through John’s Pass

In this article, we put together all of our best tips about what to do in St. Pete Beach with kids to help you have the best Florida family vacation possible.

Here’s what’s in this article:

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St. Pete Kid’s Activities

The entertainment is endless for a family vacation in St. Petersburg Beach. Here are some fun things to do in St Pete Beach with kids!

Kid’s activities at TradeWinds Island Grand Resort

5500 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

At the TradeWinds St. Pete Beach, there are 5 pools for splashing the day and night away. This includes a toddler pool, an adult only pool, a beach front pool, a shady pool, and lap pool. No matter the need, TradeWinds Resort literally has the pool for you. The kids lived at the pool – day swimming, night swimming, swimming after the beach, etc.

In addition to regular family beach vacation fun, there is a 3-story-high water-slide at Tradewinds Island Grand that my kids went on repeatedly. It must be the biggest water slide in St Pete Beach, and it has been a fixture there for all the years we’ve been going there.

There are also plenty of water sports available at TradeWinds St. Pete Beach, such as the water playground in the sea, jet packing, parasailing, water cabanas, rafting and much more. Basically all the activities you need for the perfect family beach vacation.

As a guest of the TradeWinds resort we had unlimited access to the paddle boats. It was fun to paddle around the lagoon that wraps around the resort. Kids love it! Bonus: you can take your beer.

At the Shark Tooth Tavern, adults can have fun singing their hearts out during Karaoke night and kids can enjoy in the wild tales of Red Beard. There are even real shark teeth hidden in the sand outside for the kids to find. How fun is that? At night they have live music and allow the kids in there until closing. It was literally steps from our room one trip and it was such a convenient way to have fun and end the night together as a family on vacation.

As if all that wasn’t enough, there is also a kids club with daily crafts and pirate adventures. On our last trip the kids made slime and did group activities in the Konk club while we drank Coronas outside. That’s called win-win.

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Pirate Ship Royal Conquest

140 Boardwalk Pl W, Madeira Beach, FL 33708

John’s Pass has shops, dining and adventures. We chose to board the Pirate ship Royal Conquest for pirate adventure. Your kids get to enjoy a day being honorary pirates while parents get to relax enjoying the view with unlimited beer and wine. That’s another win-win if you’re keeping score! The pirates entertain the children the entire 2-hour cruise through John’s Pass with treasure hunts, water gun fights, dance parties, face painting and story-telling.

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Dolphin Cruise & Snorkel Tour

Tierra Verde Marina Resort, 200 Madonna Blvd, Tierra Verde, FL 33715

Give your family the opportunity to see dolphins and manatees playing their nature habitat with these fun cruise tour. Great for families, this is a 2-hour tour that takes you to Boca Ciega Bay to view dolphins, before heading to Shell Key Island for some swimming, snorkeling and beach time. Here, you can spot manatees and rays during the warmer seasons. Snorkel gear and bottled water are provided.

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Kid’s Activities at RumFish Beach Resort

6000 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

RumFish Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach has a ton of fun activities the kids will enjoy, as well as the parents. On the beach is fun zip line, that my kids loved. It is complimentary if you are staying at any TradeWinds sister resort too.

The Wave is a cool surfing simulator that super fun to compete with your friends and family to see who can stay on the longest. Beware, the longer you are on, the harder it gets! It is the beach version of a mechanical bull in a western bar.

The main pool is pretty basic, but at night it has changing color lights, which my kids enjoyed. Plus, it is beachfront with gorgeous views of the sunset. Parents can enjoy a nice beverage at the SandBar while the kids splash away.

By the evening gather outside for firepits and complimentary smores. Nothing like gooey marshmallows and a St. Pete Beach sunset.

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St. Petersburg Jungle Prada Site History Tour

1700 Park St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710, USA

Travel back in time, 900 years to visit the St. Petersburg Jungle Prada Site. As a history buff, this is probably one of the coolest things to do in St. Petersburg with kids. This 75-minute guided tour takes you through the best-preserved Native American sites in Tampa Bay. Explore the property as well as learn about the Spanish Conquistadors that landed here in 1528.

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John’s Pass

Madeira Beach

John’s Pass is a popular tourist destination located in Madeira Beach, Florida. It is situated on the Gulf of Mexico, offering plenty of beaches for families to enjoy. These beaches have soft, white sand and warm, clear water, making them perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles.

John’s Pass is a great place for fishing, with its long pier and plenty of charter boats available for hire. Families can catch a variety of fish, including grouper, snapper, and tarpon. It also offers a variety of water sports activities, including parasailing, jet skiing, and paddleboarding. These activities are great for families who love to be active and adventurous.

There are over 100 shops, boutiques, and restaurants, making it a great place for families to shop and dine. There are plenty of souvenirs to buy, including t-shirts, hats, and shells.

John’s Pass has plenty of entertainment options for families, including live music, street performers, and festivals. Families can enjoy the lively atmosphere and participate in various events throughout the year.

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Treasure Island

Treasure Island St. Petersburgh Fl

Treasure Island is a beautiful stretch of white sandy beaches, perfect for a Florida family vacation. Besides fun activities, like swimming, sunbathing, building sand castles, water sports, and kayaking to mangroves, Treasure Island is lined with fun family beach resorts, restaurants and shops. It is a little slice of paradise and a great why to spend the day in St. Pete Beach with kids.

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Kid-friendly Restaurants St Pete Beach

Let’s just be honest, eating on vacations is probably one of the most exciting activities. For the most part St Pete Beach is very relaxed, and the dining options reflect that laid-back vibe. Although many of the restaurants have great views of the gulf and waterways, the cuisine was pretty average at many places consisting of burgers, chicken fingers and fried shrimp. However, we did find a few delicious seafood restaurants that made my eyeballs roll back into my head!

Snappers Sea Grill

5895 Gulf Blvd, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706-2251

One of the best places to eat in St Pete Beach is at Snapper’s Seafood Grill. Snapper’s mouth watering dishes were just what the doctor ordered. I really went for it, ordering the lobster, scallops and shrimp.

I was told my chin was glistening with melted butter, as I took long lingering sips of my dry crisp chardonnay. We all cleaned our plates and left fully satisfied. It was definitely our most expensive meal of the trip, but some things are just worth it.

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Flying Bridge

5500 Gulf Blvd located at TradeWinds Island Grand, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706-2323

Located on the grounds of Tradewinds Island Grand, Flying Bridge was one of our favorite places for late breakfast/early lunches. Flying Bridge not only had beautiful views of the beach and pool, the food had some yummy options such as the chicken salad sandwich and the Caesar wrap.

I love Bloody Mary’s and the Flying Bridge had a fantastic one with garnishes galore. Hardy and spicy, I started every day off right with one of these bad boys as my breakfast.

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Skidders Restaurant

5799 Gulf Blvd, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706-2249

Skidders has REALLY good breakfast and it is right across the street from TradeWinds Island Grand. There is an overabundance of delicious omelets and breakfast items, and the prices are so wallet-friendly. We feasted on omelets, biscuits and gravy, cheese blitzes, pancakes, bacon, sausage, hash browns, corned beef hash, toast, gallons of coffee and juice. You’d think we never ate breakfast before!

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Sloppy Joe’s Treasure Island

10650 Gulf Blvd, Treasure Island, FL 33706-4819

The patio of Sloppy Joe’s spills onto the gorgeous beach of Treasure Island. We went to Sloppy Joe’s St Pete Beach with the goal of outrageous libation, but were pleasantly surprised to discover that the fare was quite scrumptious. We couldn’t leave without trying the Sloppy Joe Sliders and they were delightful. What really excited the taste buds was the Florida dessert platter which included Key Lime Pie, Coconut Bread Pudding, and Banana Cream Pie. Once the desserts hit the table the kids snapped right out of there naps and dug into the sweets.

Just because it is fun, we decided to share the Mai Tai Fish Bowl. Okay, quick funny story. My mom and I went to Sloppy Joe’s with the sole purpose of ordering this fish bowl cocktail. Call me silly, but I really was excited about that little shark. When we ordered the drink, it arrived with NO SHARK!!!! The sweet server apologized; they were out of sharks. Totally bummed, because a) I’m really into presentation and b) I promised my baby boy he could have the shark. So I walked across the street (sweating my butt off) to the beach shop and purchased two rubber sharks to stick in my drink.

My husband and dad thought I was ridiculous, especially since I forbid them to sip from our Mai Tai until I returned. As soon as I placed my hot pink shark on my fish bowl the server came running out with two sharks. The shipment just arrived. Haha! Well, I definitely got my fill of sharks that day. P.S: The shark in the photo is the one I bought.

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The Wharf

2001 Pass a Grille Way, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

While visiting the Don CeSar in Pass-a-Grille, we decided to dine with a view (which is honestly not hard to find in St Pete Beach). We chose The Wharf which captured our interest with its shabby charm and tranquil views of the waterways. Along with traditional menu items like a basket of fried shrimp, there were some very unique and, dare I say, odd selections such as the meatball salad. Two meatballs and marinara sauce over a large Caesar salad. Apparently, it is a very popular dish so that’s what I ordered. It was really tasty indeed.

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Palm Court Italian Grill

5500 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

If you like fine Italian cuisine, then Palm Court will satisfy your appetite. Located just off the lobby of the Tradewinds Island Grand. The inside has an elegant and inviting atmosphere with dark mood lighting. The patio flows out to the courtyard overlooking the pond. Dine over candle light as the frogs provide a tropical soundtrack. The menu is full of delicious Italian dishes, pastas, seafood, and steak as well as an extensive wine list. Our kids love the bread here, and it is a must every time we visit.

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RumFish Grill

6000 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

RumFish Grill is a great dining option if you are traveling with kids in St Pete Beach, because there is a huge 33,500-gallon aquarium in the dining room. The kids loved it! We had breakfast there, which was amazing by the way, and the kids were entertained the whole time! They have a great ambiance and seafood at dinner is also highly recommended.

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SandBar RumFish Beach Resort

6000 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

SandBar is probably my favorite spot for a night cap. Comfortable seating, fire pits, live music and $3 beer – all situated on the fricken beach. Plus there is a nice menu for those looking for some beachfront dining. We could let the kids run free and play activities in the sand while we adults enjoyed listening to music by the fire with a cold one. My kids made some friends and were entertained for hours. I’ve never been so relaxed while having drinks out with my kids.

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Salty’s Tiki Bar

5500 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

Definitely a favorite, Salty’s was where we hung out most of the time. Similar to the SandBar, the kids could play in the sand while we listened to live music and enjoyed tropical libations. It is located at the Tradwinds Island Grand between the main pool and the adults-only pool.

This is also the spot to grab really good wings. My kids love the wings here, so we had to make several snack stops just for those boneless wings at Salty’s. It is super casual, you can dine in your bathing suit if you wish.

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Spinner’s Rooftop Grille

 5250 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

If you want a truly unique experience while visiting St. Pete Beach with kids, then you need to dine at Spinner’s Rooftop Grille. Located 12-stories up from the Bellwether’s lobby, you can take in panoramic beach views. There is even a rotating dining room that gently spins, offering you 360-views, as you enjoy your meal.

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Family Resorts in St. Pete Beach

TradeWinds Island Grand Beach Resort

5500 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

I am just going to say it – TradeWinds Island Grand is THE place to stay in St. Pete Beach with kids. An amalgam of expansive and quaint, this 20-acre tropical resort is only footsteps from the white sand beaches.

The sweet rooms are oozing with island charm containing rich woods, white billowy bedding, warmly painted walls and alluring views of the gulf and lagoon. The view from our room was so nice, I actually looked forward to the babies nap time just to enjoy some quiet time on the balcony.

At first the 20-acre property is a bit overwhelming, because the TradeWinds Island Resort feels like a city within a city. There are five pools, convenient beach access and a plethora of activities, restaurants, bars and entertainment all located on the TradeWinds resort property.

I personally love their bloody mary’s at the Flying Bridge restaurant, but sometimes I go for one of these fruity island cocktails. They also have this awesome bar on property called Salty’s Tiki Bar and Beach Lounge which has live music throughout the day and amazing beach views.

Hammocks are casually positioned around the resort ensuring that all their guests get in the right state of mind. This is Florida baby, time to relax. What always helps me relax is a good beach read and Mary Kay Andrew’s Ladies’ Night was the perfect pick since it takes place in St. Pete Beach.

Hot Tip: I wrote an extensive family hotel review for TradeWinds Island Grand.

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RumFish Beach Resort (formerly Guy Harvey Outpost)

6000 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

A part of the Tradewinds resort family, RumFish Beach Resort is only 200 “flip flops” away, although it feels a bit longer when you are actually walking it with kids in tow. A smaller sportier version of the Island Grand, RumFish has two pools, the Sandbox Beach Lounge and a number of adventurous activities. We absolutely love strolling over to RumFish for dinner and a nightcap at their beachfront fire pits and complimentary smores.

Kids will love the cool zip line as well as the surf simulator, called The Wave. Inside, RumFish is the Outpost shop with cool touch pools, where kids can learn about sand crab, starfish and more while also getting to touch these awesome sea creatures.

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The Don CeSar

3400 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

Take a step back in time as you enter into this historic pink palace. First opening in 1928, The Don CeSar Hotel is one of the most glamorous of St Petersburg beach hotels, accommodating iconic guests such as F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was even featured in Pitbull’s Sexy Beaches music video.

Although ultra chic, don’t be intimidated about bringing children. The Don CeSar is very family-friendly with rooms that are bright, airy and spacious, a library of games, pools, beach access and even Camp CeSar Kids. There are even beach activities created to keep the traveling teen happy.

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That’s a Wrap!

St Pete Beach with kids was an awesome experience. My kids woke up the first morning home and burst into tears because they wanted to be back in Florida. Waking up and running onto the sand, knowing that a day full of adventure lies ahead. St Pete Beach is the perfect destination for a beautiful family beach vacation. See you next year St Pete!

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: Also, feel free to check out our related article on the best family hotels in nearby Clearwater Beach]

If you’re more of a visual person, check out our videos highlighting our family trips to St Pete Beach

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I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".


  1. This sounds like an incredible family trip. Thanks for the hotel review. That’s always the key for a family vacation.

    • It was really fun and Tradewinds was great for families. Even the valet was awesome! My son got carsick on the way to the hotel and the valet guys were so sweet to help me and keep my little man happy while I cleaned up the mess.

  2. How have I never heard of Yapta?! Definitely using it to plan our ned trip, great tip Hot Mama! Thank you 🙂 Ps, your kids are adorable!

    • Aww, thank you! I know I love Yapta. I just discovered Google Flights a couple days ago and now I’m obsessed! I’ll be talking it in today’s post.

  3. Great review! Thanks for sharing. Looking to go to Tradewinds in the fall. What were the dates of your travel? Thanks!

  4. Toni calcaterra Reply

    Want to come to sp for Christmas but need help planning

      • heather farina Reply

        I am just wanting to get a perspective on taking a trip during early June and hotel accomodations, best family spots, saving money, etc etc

        • Hi Heather,
          Check out St. Pete Beach, Pass a grill and treasure island. They are all great for families. I took the kids on a really fun pirate adventure at John’s Pass. The Tradewinds is extremely kid-oriented, but it can be pricey. Rates may drop in June, so double check. I like to use the site for hotels and google flights and for flights. Let me know if you have any more questions. Have a fun trip!!

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  15. St. Pete Beach, sure looks like a great place to head to with the family in tow. The resort also is so spacious and a great place to relax and unwind.

  16. The scallops and shrimp at the Snappers Seafood Grill look incredible. I agree, some things are just worth it!

  17. Always love your super comprehensive posts, Hot Mama! You make research for family destinations so much easier for me! Them food looks soooo good!

  18. OMG, this is so much my kind of place: gorgeous beach, great food and that relaxing vibe all around. Thank you for sharing!

  19. Alexandra Howard Reply

    Im planning on visiting SPB in July with a 7yo and 3mo. We looked into staying across the street at the sunrise resort, which would give us access to tradewinds. However, Im a bit worried about finding respite from the heat for the baby/nap time should we decide to spend our days at tradewinds. Tradewinds is far out of our budget (the exchange from the CAD dollar is awful). Thoughts?

    • Hi Alexandra! So we have always gone to SPB in May and always stayed at Tradewinds (both because that is the location of a science conference my husband attends, and we like to tag along). I imagine July is substantially hotter and more humid so you are smart to be concerned about the heat with a 3mo. In fact, just this past May 2018 I took my 3mo to SPB and it was something we had to contend with (we all had a totally safe and great time there, btw). My advice is to take frequent breaks to go indoors and escape the heat with the 3mo. Luckily Tradewinds has a few spots you can casually escape to, for example, by grabbing lunch at Beef O’ Bradys or the flying Bridge, or grabbing a drink at the Awakenings center bar in the lobby. Sharktooth tavern is next to the kid’s pool and is a place we like to escape the heat as well (and grab a cold beer!). I would call ahead and find out if they will allow you to purchase a wristband to use the facilities (waterslide, paddleboat, etc) if the kids are interested in that, but I imagine it would be similar to their resort fee of $45, but to be honest I am not sure what they do now because it seems policies have changed. I’d give them a call about that.

  20. Thanks for all the info. We are headed there in a few days and staying at Guy Harvey! How many of the restaurants were you able to walk versus drive to? Did you do much driving? We are deciding whether we need a rental car for the whole trip or not. Thanks!

    • Hi Emily! You guys will have a blast there. Honestly, our first trip we rented a car and that allowed us to drive a few mins down to Pass a Grille to check it out, and about 15 mins north to St John’s Pass, which is a funky marina-side area where we took a 1 hour tour on a pirate ship for the kids. But the last 3 times we’ve gone, we actually did NOT rent a car because honestly we had no desire to leave the Tradewinds properties. Between Tradewinds and Guy Harvey there are probably a dozen different places to eat, and there are several others within walking distance. You can totally get away with not renting a car and spending the whole trip at Guy Harvey and Tradewinds, and you won’t regret doing so (and saving some money on the rental). Hope that helps!

  21. We visited Johns Pass when we stayed at Madeira Beach last year! What a wonderful vacation and such a beautiful area! Can’t wait to go back and spend more time on the St Pete side!

    • We have never made it up to Madeira Beach, maybe next time~ We highly recommend staying at Tradewinds, though, if you decide to stay in St Pete. LOVE that place!

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