Hot Florida

Ultimate Family Travel Guide for Things to do with Kids in Destin FL

Destin activities for families

Destin, Florida is a family-friendly vacation destination that offers something for everyone. Known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant sunshine, it’s no wonder why families from all over the world flock to this picturesque Gulf Coast town. But there’s more to Destin than just its beautiful coastline. From thrilling water sports and outdoor adventures to family-friendly attractions and restaurants, Destin has it all.

We’ll explore all the cool things to do with kids in Destin, FL, with your kids. So pack your bags, grab the sunscreen, and get ready for a memorable family vacation in one of Florida’s most charming beach towns.

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.

Destin Harbor Boardwalk & Marina

 102 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541

Destin Harbor Boardwalk & Marina is hub of exciting shops and restaurants to explore. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many seafood restaurants, or treat yourself to some ice cream or fudge at one of the sweet shops.

The harbor and boardwalk is also a great spot to book and excursion or tour. A popular attraction of the harbor is a dolphin watching tour. You can also enjoy a sunset cruise or rent a pontoon boat to explore the harbor on your own.

If you’re looking for a more adrenaline-fueled experience, try parasailing or jet skiing. These activities are available for both children and adults and are sure to provide a thrilling experience.

During the evening you can find live music, concerts and even a nightly firework display on summer nights. Be sure to see our suggestions for fun family hotels in Destin, FL that are walking distance to the Destin Harbor Boardwalk & Marina.

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Henderson State Park

 2700 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541

If you’re looking for the perfect family-friendly beach in Destin, FL, look no further than Henderson State Park. With its crystal-clear waters, sugar-white sand, and abundance of amenities, it’s the ideal spot for a day of fun in the sun.

One of the best things about Henderson State Park is its calm, gentle surf. The water is typically clear and shallow, making it perfect for little ones to splash around in without worry. The sand is soft and perfect for building sandcastles, and there are plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas available for rent if you don’t want to lug your own.

Another great feature of Henderson State Park is its abundance of amenities. There are several bathhouses and restrooms located throughout the park, as well as picnic tables and grills if you want to have a family barbecue. There’s even a playground area for kids to burn off some energy when they’re not in the water.

And if you want to take a break from the beach, there are plenty of hiking trails and bike paths to explore within the park. You can even rent bikes from the park’s gift shop and ride along the scenic coastal dune lakes.

If you would like to stay in Henderson State Park to enjoy the beach easier with your family, check out our review of Henderson Park Inn in our best family hotels in Destin article.

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Jolee Island Nature Park

 8868 Baypine Dr, Destin, FL 32550

The Jolee Island Nature Park is a stunning natural oasis and the perfect place to connect with nature and have some family fun.

First off, be sure to bring some sunscreen and bug spray, as the park is surrounded by natural wetlands and can be a bit buggy at times. Then, take a leisurely stroll along the park’s hiking trails, which wind through marshes, forests, and fields. Keep an eye out for wildlife, as the park is home to a variety of bird species, reptiles, and other creatures.

If your kids are more into water activities, bring some kayaks or paddleboards and explore the park’s waterways. You can launch from the park’s boat ramp and paddle around the island, taking in the scenic views and maybe even spotting a dolphin or two.

For some extra excitement, try your hand at fishing in the park’s ponds. The park staff can provide you with some basic fishing gear if you don’t have your own, and there’s a good chance you’ll catch some bass, bream, or catfish.

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Village of Baytowne Wharf

 9300 Baytowne Wharf Blvd, Miramar Beach, FL 32550

Village of Baytowne Wharf is a charming waterfront village is full of family-friendly activities and entertainment options that are sure to delight visitors of all ages.

One of the best things to do at the Village of Baytowne Wharf is to simply explore the area. The village is full of quaint shops, restaurants, and boutiques, all housed in colorful buildings with a charming coastal vibe. Take a stroll down the boardwalk and admire the boats bobbing in the harbor, or watch the sunset over the water from one of the many outdoor seating areas.

If you’re looking for something more active, the Village of Baytowne Wharf has plenty of options for that too. The village features a zip line, ropes course, and bungee trampoline that are sure to get your heart racing. And if you’re feeling competitive, check out the Village’s laser tag arena or arcade.

For a more relaxed experience, consider taking a sunset cruise or dolphin-watching tour from the Village’s marina. Or, catch a movie or concert at the Village’s outdoor amphitheater.

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SandCastle Lessons

 5012, 2-50 Lands End Dr, Destin, FL 32541

There are so many fun Destin activities for families, but one you simply can’t miss out on the opportunity to learn how to build the ultimate sandcastle. And luckily, there are plenty of sandcastle lesson options available to help you do just that.

First off, consider signing up for SandCastle Lessons with a local instructor. These lessons are typically 2 hours long and held on the beach and can range from beginner to advanced, depending on your family’s skill level. You’ll learn how to build towers, arches, and other advanced techniques, all using nothing but sand, water, and a few basic tools.

This activity is fun for the whole family and for all ages. One adult must be present for every five kids.

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Private Crab Island Pontoon Charter

 Destin Harbor, FL 32541-7391

When looking for things to do in Destin, FL with kids, look no further than a pontoon to the famous Crab Island. That’s right, you can private charter your own pontoon for the day, complete with a captain and double waterslides. Talk about family fun.

This 4-hour excursion takes you and your family out into the Gulf of Mexico to the Crab Island where you can have a blast swimming and playing on the soft sandbar. The double-decker pontoon includes, a double waterslide, lily mat, inflatable paddleboards and water toys to enjoy throughout the day. All you need to do is bring your cooler and sunscreen!

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Dolphin-Watching Speedboat Cruise

 316 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541, USA

Who doesn’t want to see cute dolphins playing their nature habitat? There are great Destin, FL attractions for kids that include viewing these beautiful creatures, but if I said you could do it by speedboat?

Yes, at Dolphin-Watching Speedboat cruise, you get a family-friendly adventure that is both educational and fun. The speedboat is perfect for families and small groups as the boat does not accommodate large crowds, which means your kids can ask all the questions they want!

Your guide will take your family out into the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico while pointing out all the local wildlife, helping you spot animals like dolphins, stingrays, loggerhead turtles, and sharks.

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Destin Commons

 4100 Legendary Dr, Destin, FL 32541

My kids love to shop and if that something your family enjoys, you will love the family-friendly shopping at Destin Commons. This open-air shopping center offers a wide variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options that are sure to delight visitors of all ages.

For starters, Destin Commons features an array of popular stores, from big-name retailers like H&M and Belk to smaller, locally owned boutiques. And with its charming coastal architecture and inviting atmosphere, it’s a pleasure to shop here, even if you’re not necessarily a big shopper.

But Destin Commons is more than just a shopping destination. It’s also home to a range of fun activities and attractions, including a movie theater, a bowling alley, and an outdoor playground that’s sure to keep the kids entertained for hours. Plus, the center regularly hosts events and concerts, so there’s always something new and exciting happening here.

And of course, no visit to Destin Commons would be complete without sampling some of the delicious food on offer. From classic American fare to fresh seafood and everything in between, there’s a dining option to suit every taste and budget.

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Destin History & Fishing Museum

108 Stahlman Ave, Destin, FL 32541

You know I can’t end a list of things to do in Destin, FL with kids without adding something historical. The Destin History & Fishing Museum is a charming museum offering a fascinating glimpse into the history of this Gulf Coast town, from its early days as a fishing village to its transformation into the popular vacation destination it is today.

For families with kids, the museum offers plenty of hands-on exhibits and interactive displays that are sure to keep everyone engaged and entertained. Learn about the history of fishing in the area, check out vintage boats and fishing gear, and even try your hand at casting a line in the museum’s interactive fishing simulator.

But the museum isn’t just for kids. Adults will also find plenty to love here, including exhibits on the local art scene, military history, and more. Plus, the museum is housed in a historic building that’s worth exploring in its own right.

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That’s A Wrap!

A Destin family vacation is an absolute must-do for any family looking for sun, sand, and fun. With its beautiful beaches, charming coastal villages, and endless array of activities, there’s truly something for everyone in this Gulf Coast paradise.

Whether you want to learn how to build the ultimate sandcastle, take a sunset cruise, or simply relax on the beach with a good book, Destin has everything you need for the perfect family getaway. And with so many affordable Destin resorts for families and family-friendly attractions, it’s an ideal destination for families of all shapes and sizes.

So why wait? Book your Destin family vacation today and start making memories that will last a lifetime. You won’t be disappointed!

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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