My kids had Spring Break last week and my family and I headed to Tampa, Florida for a few days. Tampa is under three hours away by car so it was nice to get away without the hassle of flying. My husband did an awesome job planning our trip because we got to do some amazing things with our kids who are 6 and 8.
HorsePower For Kids
My 8 year old daughter loves horses but hasn’t ridden one other than for short pony rides. We booked a one hour trail ride for our family of 4 at HorsePower For Kids. I admit that I was a little nervous about riding a horse but it was a great experience. Chuck was our guide. He carefully selected horses for each of us and had the kids in line right behind him. The trail led us through a lot of natural Florida and into a bay. Chuck took the time to take pictures of us in the bay.
Before and after our horseback riding session, we played on the farm. The kids got to hold baby rabbits, guinea pigs and pet other animals in the petting zoo. They also enjoyed playing on one of the three tire swings that was on the property. You can also visit the farm without riding horses for a $5 general admission. I highly recommend a visit to HorsePower For Kids!
Little Toot Dolphin Watching Cruise
My husband researched dolphin watching cruises in Clearwater Bay and found Little Toot which guaranteed a dolphin sighting or your next outing is free. Little Toot is a 40 foot tugboat which is perfect for dolphin watching because the boat sits low on the water. We saw so many dolphins! Our first encounter was with a momma dolphin and her baby.
We saw a few other pairs of dolphins in Clearwater Bay and then headed out to the Gulf of Mexico just off Clearwater Beach for sunset. That is where we this dolphin jumping action.
I took my DSLR on the boat but didn’t take it out of my camera bag because once we got going there was salt water flying everywhere. I took photos and videos with my iPhone.
Largo Central Park Playground
When my husband wanted us to drive 30 minutes to go to a playground I thought he was out of his mind! When we got there I realized it was worth the drive. The Largo Central Park Playground had so many amazing areas for play.
There was a lot of shade provided by large trees. The ground underneath the playground equipment seemed like it was padded and was covered by an outdoor turf that was good for the kids to run around on. My kids spent 4 hours playing there and they were never bored for a second.
Caspersen Beach is famous for the prehistoric shark’s teeth that wash up on its shores. Our family drove about an hour south of Tampa to Venice in search of shark’s teeth. When we first got there we had no idea how to look for the teeth. We searched for about an hour before my husband finally found one in between the large rocks on the beach. We eventually found a bunch of shark’s teeth. After our hunt for shark’s teeth was over, my husband and kids played in the water while I walked along the beach. I spotted two shark’s teeth just laying on the sand as I walked! These are our favorite that we found.
Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
My kids love science museums and I love to sneak in a little bit of learning on Spring Break. As a member of the Orlando Science Center, we were given free admission to MOSI in Tampa. There were so many activities in the “Kids In Charge” area of the museum. My son spent 30 minutes in the technology take apart workshop taking this computer apart and putting it back together.
My daughter loved the Mission:Moonbase exhibit which was full of interactive games and displays about colonizing the moon. She learned about balancing resources for survival, solar flares and telescopes among other things. Both kids spent over an hour in the Moonbase exhibit.
We drove to Honeymoon Island State Park and then took the ferry to Caladesi Island. We were lured to the island by kayaking and the promise of good shelling. When we got to the island we rented kayaks. I was surprised there were very few kayaks available. My husband and son had to share a single kayak because there was only one double available. We did the one hour kayak trail. It led us through the mangroves and was completely shaded for the first half of the trail.
About halfway through the trail goes through the open water where it was a little hard to kayak because of the strong wind. The hour was the perfect length for my husband and I to enjoy the trip and for our kids not to be bored. We ate lunch and then went out to the beach. It was very windy so the kids played in the shallow water with my husband while I went to look for shells. I found this fighting conch in about knee deep water.
Be aware that when you take the ferry to the island, you receive a timed ticket for return. For us it was 4 and 1/2 hours after we took the ferry over. Returning after the time on your ticket might cause a delay because timed tickets get on the ferry first.
I’m sad that Spring Break is over but my batteries are recharged and my creative juices are flowing. Looks for a lot of creativity coming up soon!