Daytona Beach is more than a party beach. There are tons of family friendly things to do in Daytona Beach — perfect for family vacations any time of the year. From playing in the Atlantic Ocean to feeding stingrays, there is something fun for every member of the family. This Traveling Mom recently took her kids and siblings on a trip to Daytona Beach to check out some of the best family friendly activities. Check out 7 of her top favorites!
7 of the Best Family Friendly things to do in Daytona Beach
- Take in the Beauty of the Beach
- Check out the many different waterside playgrounds
- Explore The Marine Science Center
- Climb the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
- Stroll along the Riverfront Shops
- Play at The Ocean Walk Shoppes
- Walk along the Boardwalk
A Daytona Beach family vacation is a must do when in Florida. Known as the “most famous beach in the world”, Daytona Beach has more to offer than just the beach. If your family is looking for lots of fun, you’ll love these activities just like my family did. From science adventures to magic tricks, Daytona Beach offers at very reasonable prices.
Is your family fans of beach vacations? Then you should know what to pack for a family beach vacation and be sure to click on over to The Complete Guide to Planning a Family Beach Vacation for more tips.
1. Take in the Beauty of the Beach
Since Daytona Beach is known as the most famous beach in the world, the beach is a must-see for your vacation. We started off the day every morning by taking a nice stroll on the beach in front of our hotel.
The most fun part about Daytona Beach is that you can drive on the beach! We didn’t go for a drive since we were staying on the beach, but we had fun watching people drive by. People drive on the beach and then park to set up their spot for the whole day.
You can find chair rentals, golf cart rentals, and food all along the beach. It’s possible that you could stay all day for multiple days at the beach and never get around to checking out the other family-friendly things to do in Daytona Beach. My kids would have been happy staying on the beach during our entire trip!
2. Check out the many different waterside playgrounds
Kids need to stay in motion, don’t they? At least mine do! That’s why we always check out local parks when we travel. Our favorite park in Daytona Beach was the playground in front of the Ponce Inlet lighthouse. The kids loved the chance to play at a park, and I loved the view of the water surrounding the inlet. This isn’t the only park in town; in fact, discover several beachfront parks!
3. Explore The Marine Science Center
If I had to pick a favorite family-friendly activity in Daytona Beach, I’d choose the Marine Science Center. We loved it so much that I will definitely take the kids back anytime we are in the area. As a former biology teacher, I can’t express enough how impressed I was with the staff and the overall structure of the Marine Science Center.
What it lacks in size, it makes up for in staff energy and knowledge. The educators are full of life and love talking to the kids. My 3-year-old shadowed one of the educators for an hour and refused to let him talk to other patrons. Even my 1-year-old wanted to play with the snake! Adults 13 and over are $5, kids are $2, and babies 2 and under are free.
Kids can touch and feed stingrays, feed wild birds, touch a snake, and learn about the sea turtle hospital. They can even watch the staff feed the octopus!
My son, Robert, got to pet and even feed the stingrays!
4. Climb the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Museum is a quick walk from the Marine Science Center. It’s so close that I’d definitely advise that you visit both in one day. We couldn’t get over the prices. Adults, 12 and over, are only $6.95 and kids 11 and under are $1.95! Kids two and under are free. Lucky for me, my 1-year-old, Jackson, fell asleep on the way and enjoyed his nap while I took the older two boys into the lighthouse.
The grounds are beautiful! One thing you should know is that you can’t bring water onto the grounds because water can destroy the historic floors, walls, and exhibits. Leave those water bottles in the car!
I have to admit that I didn’t want to walk up the lighthouse because I was absolutely terrified. Not only do I have a small fear of heights, but I was also worried about taking a 3-year-old up that high. I was convinced he would get scared halfway up and I’d have to carry him down this very long set of stairs.
Turns out, he loved it! And he convinced me to keep going. Anytime I sounded nervous or scared, he would help me get over my fear. I wish I could be as fearless as a three-year-old! I did, however, see a lot of kids his age and older that were afraid. I’d advise going up only a few stairs with your kids and then ask them if they want to keep going before you get too high. I felt really sorry for the parents who were carrying their scared kids down the steep stairs!
The view from the top was worth it. Isn’t this gorgeous?
5. Stroll along the Riverfront Shops
When my kids got too exhausted to engage in activities, we headed to the Riverfront Shops on Beach Street. It’s a great place to stroll and shop. The best part? The shops and restaurants are very kid friendly. My boys loved the chocolate shop and magic shop.
Of course, we had to stop at Angel and Phelps Chocolate Factory. They offer free tours, but we opted to just buy the chocolate this time! I couldn’t resist the chocolate covered bacon and the dark chocolate sea salted caramels. I highly suggest them both.
Once we restored our energy with chocolate, we walked over to the Daytona Magic Shop where they gave us a quick magic demo. The kids loved it!
6. Play at The Ocean Walk Shoppes
If you want to shop and eat with a beach view, then you have to check out the Ocean Walk Shoppes. My kids loved running around and playing in the bandshell.
Choose from lots of different food options here such as Bubba Gump’s, Sloppy Joe’s and Johnny Rocket’s. There is also a movie theater and retail shops. The Bandshell has bands pretty often too. Wouldn’t it be fun to listen to live music while sitting on the beach?
7. Walk along the Boardwalk
The Boardwalk is located right next to The Ocean Walk Shoppes. It’s fun to walk over to the boardwalk if you’re already at the Shoppes, but it’s just as much fun to walk back for an early morning stroll. We picked up breakfast and coffee at Starbucks on the way to the Boardwalk one morning and enjoyed our drinks with this view.
A quick walk down the boardwalk with our coffees was the perfect way to start our day. Imagine this view with a great cup of coffee.
You can even see surfers.
We can’t wait to go back to Daytona Beach
Before having kids, I’d visited Daytona Beach a couple of times and always considered it more of an adult destination, even a spring break party town. Now that I’ve experienced it with kids, I know that Daytona Beach has so much more to offer. It may always be a popular spot for spring breakers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of family-friendly things to do in Daytona Beach.
Traveling to Florida? Check out our best Florida Beaches for Families.