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Ultimate Family Travel Guide for Things to do in Key West with Kids

Every you need of the perfect Key West family vacation

Hey there, fellow adventurers! Are you looking for a vacation destination that’s as exciting as it is relaxing? Well, let me introduce you to the tropical paradise of Key West! This island gem is not only a haven for beach bums and sun worshippers but also a perfect destination for families with kids. From fascinating museums to thrilling water sports and everything in between, Key West has something for everyone in the family.

In this post, I’m going to tell you all the cool and exciting things to do in Key West with kids and why Key West should be your next family vacation destination. I’ll bet you will never want to leave this island paradise! So, get ready to book your Key West family hotel, pack your bags, soak up the sun, and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones in Key West!

Disclaimer: Links in this page are meant to help you find relevant information and book attractions easier by linking directly to specific pages on partner websites (i.e. TripAdvisor, Vegas.com). If you click a link, we may earn a small commission on transactions. This helps support the cost of running our website, and it adds absolutely no extra cost to you as the consumer. Thank you, we appreciate your support! You can read more on our disclosure policy.

Explore the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

 907 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum is a must-visit destination for a Key West family vacation! Not only is it a fascinating historical site, but it’s also home to dozens of six-toed cats, which are sure to delight animal-loving kids. Your kids will love exploring the beautiful grounds of the Hemingway House and learning about the life and works of one of America’s greatest writers. They can see the desk where Hemingway wrote some of his most famous works and learn about his adventurous life through exhibits and guided tours. And of course, they can’t miss out on meeting the friendly cats, who are descendants of Hemingway’s beloved pet cats. The Hemingway House and Museum is a unique and educational experience that the whole family will love!

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Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

 1316 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is a magical place that kids of all ages will love! As soon as you enter, you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of beautiful butterflies fluttering around in a lush indoor rainforest. Your kids will love getting up close and personal with these colorful creatures and learning about their life cycle and habitats. The conservatory is also home to exotic birds, turtles, and other wildlife that your kids can observe and learn about. The conservatory’s staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they are always happy to answer any questions your kids might have. The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is a wonderful way to introduce your kids to the wonders of nature in a fun and interactive way.

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Dry Tortugas National Park

If you’re looking for a unique and adventurous family day trip from Key West, then a visit to Dry Tortugas National Park is a must! This beautiful island park is only accessible by boat or seaplane and offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience for families. Your kids will love exploring the historic Fort Jefferson, which is the centerpiece of the park and was once used as a military prison during the Civil War. They can also swim, snorkel, and sunbathe on the park’s pristine beaches, where they can see an abundance of marine life such as tropical fish, sea turtles, and even shipwrecks. The crystal-clear waters are perfect for snorkeling, and the park offers rentals and tours for those who want to explore the underwater world. With its stunning scenery, fascinating history, and unique recreational opportunities, Dry Tortugas National Park is an unforgettable destination for families.

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Harry S. Truman Little White House

 111 Front St, Naval Air Station Key West, FL 33040

For families interested in history, the Harry S. Truman Little White House is a great option for Key West family activities! This historic building was once the winter White House for several U.S. presidents, including Harry Truman. Your kids will love learning about the life and times of President Truman and other world leaders who have stayed at the Little White House. They can see rooms that have been preserved exactly as they were when Truman was in office, including his office and bedroom. The Little White House also hosts a variety of educational exhibits and interactive displays that will engage kids of all ages. And, for kids who love to explore, the beautiful gardens surrounding the Little White House are a perfect place to run around and enjoy the beautiful tropical scenery. The Harry S. Truman Little White House is an excellent educational and cultural experience that the whole family will enjoy.

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Mallory Square

 420 Wall St, Key West, FL 33040

Mallory Square is a popular destination in Key West that families will love! This bustling waterfront square is home to nightly sunset celebrations, which include live music, street performers, and local artisans selling their wares. Your kids will love watching the sunset over the water and joining in on the lively festivities. The square also offers a variety of family-friendly activities such as fishing charters, boat tours, and kayaking adventures, where your kids can see a variety of marine life such as dolphins, manatees, and colorful fish. And, for the history buffs in the family, the square is home to the Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden, which features statues and memorials commemorating important events and figures in Key West’s past. Whether you’re looking for a fun evening activity or a daytime adventure, Mallory Square is the perfect place to soak up the lively atmosphere and experience the best of Key West.

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Duval Street

Duval Street is a vibrant and iconic destination in Key West, Florida, known for its lively atmosphere, unique shops, delicious restaurants, and historic landmarks. It’s a must-visit destination for families looking for an enjoyable vacation experience in the Florida Keys.

One of the reasons families should visit Duval Street is its eclectic mix of shops and boutiques that offer a variety of souvenirs, clothing, art, and jewelry. There are also several art galleries that showcase local artists, as well as specialty stores selling tropical-themed home decor and gifts.

For foodies, Duval Street is a paradise, with a diverse range of dining options to suit all tastes and budgets. From fresh seafood and Cuban cuisine to international fare and classic American dishes, there’s something for everyone. The street is also famous for its lively bars and live music venues, making it a fun place for parents to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.

Duval Street is also home to many historic landmarks, including the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, the Key West Lighthouse, and the Harry S. Truman Little White House. These attractions offer an educational and informative experience for families, and children can learn about the rich history of the area.

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Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

 601 Howard England Way, Key West, FL 33040

Fort Zachary Taylor State Historic Park is a popular tourist attraction located in Key West, Florida. It is a beautiful and historic park that offers a wide range of activities and experiences that make it an excellent destination for families.

The park is home to the historic Fort Zachary Taylor, a Civil War-era fortress that played a significant role in the Union’s blockade of Confederate ports. Visitors can take a guided tour of the fort and learn about its history and significance in the Civil War.

In addition to the fort, the park is also known for its stunning beach, which is one of the best in Key West. Families can enjoy Key West kids activities, like swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing on the beach. The water is crystal clear, and there are plenty of opportunities to see a variety of marine life, including tropical fish and sea turtles.

The park also has several hiking trails that wind through the natural vegetation and offer beautiful views of the ocean. Families can take a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, depending on their preferences.

For families interested in outdoor activities, Fort Zachary Taylor State Historic Park has several picnic areas and BBQ grills where visitors can enjoy a family picnic. There is also a playground for younger children.

The park hosts several events throughout the year, including historical reenactments, live music, and cultural festivals. These events offer a fun and educational experience for families, and there is always something new and exciting to discover.

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U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum

 Southard St, Key West, FL 33041

The US Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum is a historical museum located in Key West, Florida. The museum is housed inside the USCGC Ingham, a decommissioned US Coast Guard Cutter that served for over 50 years in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The museum provides an exciting and interactive experience for visitors of all ages, making it a great activity to do with kids.

One of the reasons why the museum is a great activity for families is because it offers an opportunity to learn about the history of the US Coast Guard and its role in protecting the country’s coastal waters. The museum showcases a variety of exhibits and displays, including artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that provide insight into the daily life of Coast Guard members.

Kids can explore the various parts of the ship, including the bridge, engine room, and living quarters, which gives them a glimpse into what it was like to live and work on a Coast Guard Cutter. There are also several hands-on activities and interactive exhibits that allow children to experience what it’s like to be a Coast Guard member, such as trying on life jackets and participating in a mock search and rescue operation.

The museum also has knowledgeable and friendly staff who are eager to answer questions and share their knowledge with visitors, making the experience even more engaging and educational.

Finally, the USCGC Ingham is a unique and impressive vessel that is rich in history and provides an excellent backdrop for photos and selfies with the family. The ship has a rich and storied history, having served in World War II, the Vietnam War, and other conflicts, making it a fascinating piece of American history that families can explore together.

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The Overseas Highway

The Overseas Highway is a scenic route that connects the Florida Keys to the mainland, stretching 113 miles from Key Largo to Key West. It is an iconic and breathtaking drive that offers stunning views of the ocean and the unique landscapes of the Florida Keys.

Families will love the Overseas Highway because of the many exciting activities and attractions along the route. The highway passes through several quaint towns and villages, each with its own charm and character, and there are plenty of places to stop and explore.

One of the highlights of the highway is the Seven Mile Bridge, a famous landmark that offers spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding islands. Families can stop and take photos, or even walk or bike across the bridge for a truly memorable experience.

The highway also passes through several state and national parks, including John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Bahia Honda State Park. These parks offer opportunities for snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and other outdoor activities, as well as opportunities to see a variety of wildlife and marine life.

Families can also visit several attractions along the highway, such as the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters, the Dolphin Research Center, and the Turtle Hospital. These attractions offer educational and interactive experiences for children and adults alike.

The Overseas Highway is also known for its delicious seafood restaurants, many of which offer stunning views of the ocean. Families can enjoy fresh seafood and other local specialties while taking in the beauty of the Florida Keys.

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Southernmost Point

 1400 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

The Southernmost Point in Key West is a famous landmark located at the southernmost end of Duval Street in Key West, Florida. The Southernmost Point is a large concrete buoy that marks the southernmost point of the continental United States, just 90 miles from Cuba. It has become an iconic symbol of Key West and is a popular tourist attraction that families should visit.

One of the reasons why families should visit the Southernmost Point is that it offers an opportunity to take a memorable family photo. The buoy is brightly painted and marked with the words “Southernmost Point Continental USA,” making it a great backdrop for photos with the family.

In addition to being a great photo opportunity, the Southernmost Point is also a unique and interesting piece of history. The buoy was placed in its current location in 1983 to mark the southernmost point of the continental United States, and it has since become a popular destination for visitors from around the world.

Families can also enjoy the scenic views of the ocean and the surrounding area while visiting the Southernmost Point. The buoy is located near the ocean, and there are several benches and picnic areas nearby where families can relax and enjoy the view.

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Key West Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Cruise

 631 Greene St, Key West, FL 33040, USA

The Key West Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Cruise is a Key West family-friendly activity that takes visitors on a boat tour to observe wild dolphins and other marine life in their natural habitat, followed by a snorkeling excursion in the warm waters of the Florida Keys.

One of the reasons why the Key West Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Cruise is a great family activity is because it offers an opportunity to observe wild dolphins in their natural environment. Dolphins are playful and curious animals that often swim alongside the boat, providing an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. The boat crew is knowledgeable about dolphin behavior and can provide interesting facts about these amazing creatures.

In addition to dolphin watching, the cruise also includes a snorkeling excursion in the clear, warm waters of the Florida Keys. Families can observe a variety of colorful marine life, including tropical fish, coral reefs, and other underwater creatures. The boat crew provides all the necessary equipment and can offer guidance and instruction for those new to snorkeling.

The Key West Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Cruise is also a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Florida Keys. The tour takes visitors to some of the most picturesque spots in the area, including remote islands, secluded coves, and shallow bays. Families can take in the scenery and enjoy the warm sun and sea breezes.

Finally, the Key West Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Cruise is operated by experienced and knowledgeable guides who prioritize safety and environmental conservation. The tour company is committed to protecting the fragile marine environment and promoting responsible tourism practices.

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Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum

 938 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum is a historical museum located in Key West, Florida. The museum is housed inside the historic Key West Lighthouse, which was built in 1847 and served as a vital navigational aid for ships navigating the treacherous waters of the Florida Keys. The museum provides an engaging and interactive experience for visitors of all ages, making it a great family attraction.

One of the reasons why the Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum is a great family attraction is because it offers an opportunity to learn about the history of the lighthouse and its role in maritime navigation. The museum showcases a variety of exhibits and displays, including artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that provide insight into the daily life of the lighthouse keepers.

Families can climb the 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. The climb can be a bit challenging, but it’s a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the beauty of the Florida Keys.

In addition to the lighthouse, the museum also includes the Keeper’s Quarters, which provides a glimpse into the daily life of the lighthouse keepers and their families. The quarters are furnished with period-appropriate furniture and artifacts, giving visitors an authentic look at what life was like in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Key West Aquarium

 1 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

The Key West Aquarium is a popular family attraction located in the heart of Key West, Florida. It is one of the oldest aquariums in the state and has been entertaining visitors for over 80 years. There are many reasons why the Key West Aquarium is a great thing to do in Key West with kids.

One of the main attractions of the Key West Aquarium is its interactive and educational exhibits. Visitors can get up close and personal with a variety of marine animals, including sea turtles, sharks, rays, and tropical fish. The aquarium also offers educational programs, including animal feedings and educational talks that provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about marine life and conservation efforts.

The Key West Aquarium also offers a touch tank exhibit, where visitors can touch and interact with a variety of marine animals, including starfish and sea cucumbers. This hands-on experience is a great way for kids to learn about the different textures and behaviors of marine animals.

Another reason why the Key West Aquarium is a great thing to do in Key West with kids is that it is both entertaining and educational. The aquarium offers a fun and engaging experience that teaches kids about the importance of marine conservation and encourages them to become stewards of the environment.

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Key West Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour

 501 Front St, Key West, FL 33040, USA

The Key West Ghosts and Gravestone Trolley Tour is a spooky and fun-filled activity that takes families on a journey through the haunted streets of Key West, Florida. It is a great way for families to explore the history and legends of this fascinating city.

One of the reasons why the Key West Ghosts and Gravestone Trolley Tour is a good activity for families visiting Key West is that it offers a unique and entertaining way to learn about the city’s rich history. The tour takes visitors on a journey through the haunted streets of Key West, stopping at some of the city’s most notorious haunted sites. Visitors will hear tales of pirates, ghosts, and supernatural occurrences as they explore the city’s dark and mysterious past.

Another reason why the Key West Ghosts and Gravestone Trolley Tour is a good activity for families is that it is both entertaining and educational. The tour is led by knowledgeable and engaging guides who share interesting facts and stories about Key West’s history and culture. Families can learn about the city’s colorful characters and important historical events, while also enjoying a spooky and fun-filled adventure.

The Key West Ghosts and Gravestone Trolley Tour is also a great way to explore the city at night. The tour takes place in the evening when the city is bathed in a soft glow, creating a spooky and atmospheric setting for the tour. Families can enjoy the cool night air and the beauty of the city’s historic architecture, while also experiencing the thrill of a haunted adventure.

To explore haunted places in Key West as well as across America in some of best towns to visit during Halloween.

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That’s A Wrap!

All in all, Key West is a fantastic destination for your next family vacation. With its warm weather, beautiful beaches, unique attractions, and friendly locals, it’s no wonder that this little island has become such a popular spot for tourists. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the island’s many sights and sounds, there’s something for everyone in Key West.

So if you’re looking for a fun and exciting getaway that the whole family can enjoy, be sure to add Key West to your list. From the colorful houses on Duval Street to the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, there’s a whole world waiting to be discovered on this little island paradise. So what are you waiting for?

If you need to find a place to stay during your Key West family vacation, check out list of the best hotels in Key West for families. If you are an expecting mama, be sure to look at our guide to the perfect Key West babymoon. And as always, have fun exploring all that Florida has to offer for traveling families, right here on HotMamaTravel.com.

Disclaimer: Links in this page are meant to help you find relevant information and book attractions easier by linking directly to specific pages on partner websites (i.e. TripAdvisor, Vegas.com). If you click a link, we may earn a small commission on transactions. This helps support the cost of running our website, and it adds absolutely no extra cost to you as the consumer. Thank you, we appreciate your support! You can read more on our disclosure policy.

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Author

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".

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