Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- 1. Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum
- 2. Loggerhead Marinelife Center
- 3. Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
- 4. Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium
- 5. Juno Beach Park & Pier
- 6. Surf City
- 7. Loxahatchee River Center
- 8. Kayak the Loxahatchee River
- 9. Jupiter Beach Park
- 10. Carlin Park
- 11. Dubois Park
- 12. Snorkeling & Paddleboarding at Coral Cove Park
- 13. Harbourside Place
- 14. Beachfront Lodging
- 15. Waterfront Dining
- 16. Golf Galore
The delightful town of Jupiter, Florida, situated at the northern end of Palm Beach County, is a decidedly family-friendly vacation spot. With a less rowdy vibe than Florida beach cities to the south like Fort Lauderdale and Miami’s South Beach, there are plenty of family-friendly fun things to do in Jupiter FL. It’s a picture-perfect beachfront destination.
As the state that gives us all the Disney Parks, Universal Studios, the Kennedy Space Center and miles of white sandy beaches, Florida has long been a favorite family vacation destination. But while you may be familiar with Orlando, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, Tampa Bay, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, tucked away at the northern end of The Palm Beaches in Palm Beach County exists a charming often-overlooked gem. These are 16 of our favorite things to do in Jupiter FL with kids.
1. Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum
The iconic red Jupiter lighthouse has guided boaters since 1860! For a bird’s-eye view of Jupiter, Jupiter Island, and the Atlantic Ocean, kids 48” and taller can climb the 105 steps. There’s a fee for climbing and kids under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Lighthouse climbs and grounds tours use a smartphone history tour app. For the kids, a Charlie Pierce children’s smartphone app is also available. Making history entertaining for the little ones, the app stems from a series of children’s books about one of Florida’s first pioneers, Charlie Pierce.
Locals call this the “turtle hospital.” It has a simple mission: “To promote conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles.” This must-see stop for kids includes a permanent indoor exhibit area. Volunteers gladly share information on each of the injured turtles. Outside, turtles recuperate in large tanks, which works much better than hospital beds! Walking around the tanks checking on all the turtles piqued the interest of my then-6-year-old grandson, Marshall. Maybe he’s headed for a career as a marine biologist…you never know.
3. Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
Curious about the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Eager to learn more about Florida’s wildlife and eco-system? This refuge and nature center for Florida wildlife has kid-friendly trails through woods & wetlands. Most importantly, call or check the website to plan your visit around one of the daily free “Animal Encounters.” Your kids can have a wild adventure learning about and petting skunks, snakes and more. If I need to identify a snake, my grandsons are the first ones I ask. Clearly, the education offered through these encounters works.
4. Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium
Another fun thing to do in Jupiter? Stop by this baseball stadium in the Abacoa neighborhood. It’s named after Roger Houston Dean, a naval officer in World War II and one of the first Ford mega-car dealers in the USA. Catching a game here with a sports-loving kid is sure to be a home run. The Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals play here during spring training. The rest of the year, it’s the only stadium in the country that is home to four minor league baseball teams: the Jupiter Hammerheads, Palm Beach Cardinals, Gulf Coast Marlins, and the Gulf Coast Cardinals. Play ball!
Looking for more fun things to do in Jupiter? Spend an afternoon fishing off this classic 990-foot Florida pier. Always up for casting a line, I’ll never forget the delight on my grandson’s face when he discovered a baby shark on the hook. These are the family vacation memories that stay with you for life. You’ll need to buy a fishing license, but you can rent fishing poles on the pier. In addition, there’s a gift shop, snack stand and place to buy tackle and bait.
Juno Beach Park provides an ideal spot for playing in the sand or–in the case of my grandkids–Boogie-boarding in the surf. The park offers free parking, showers, restrooms, picnic tables and shelter.
6. Surf City
Known as one of Florida’s surf capitals, one of the great things to do in Jupiter FL is checking out the surfers at Juno Beach Pier or the beaches of Dubois Park. Jupiter’s home to several surf shops where you can rent a board for the day or hire someone for a guided lesson.
7. Loxahatchee River Center
The Loxahatchee River Center has more than 6,000 gallons of fresh and saltwater aquariums, including touch tanks. Each of the exhibits represents a different habitat located along the Loxahatchee, one of two “National Wild and Scenic Rivers” in Florida. (The other is the Wekiva River north of Orlando.)
8. Kayak the Loxahatchee River
Kayaking the Loxahatchee River is one of the best ways to see Old Florida up close. It can take five hours or more to make the eight-mile trip from Riverbend Park in Jupiter to Jonathan Dickinson State Park, the largest state park in southeast Florida. But there are easy, kid-friendly 1-2 hour paddles as well. The river is lined with cypress trees, ferns, air plants and cypress knees along a narrow, twisty route. Expect to see birds, turtles and alligators along the way. On the longer kayaking trip, stop at Trapper Nelson’s camp to explore and enjoy a picnic lunch. If you prefer to let someone else do the boating, book a river ride on the Manatee Queen pontoon boat instead.
9. Jupiter Beach Park
The oceanfront beach park includes a protected swimming area with lifeguards, sand volleyball courts and picnic sites with grills. The wide sidewalks along the beachfront are perfect for strolling, rollerblading and biking. Nearby, the Jupiter Dog Beach lets the furry family members join the fun off-leash.
10. Carlin Park
Another beachfront park, this one has a playground, tennis courts, picnic areas, shower, restrooms and the Seabreeze Amphitheater. It’s the place for summer Shakespeare in the park, an annual seafood festival and free summer concerts.
11. Dubois Park
Located at the southern shore of the inlet, Dubois Park boasts 1,200 feet of palm tree-lined beachfront. In addition to watching the surfers (see #6 above), DuBois Park has swimming areas, picnic facilities and the DuBois Pioneer home, built in 1898. It’s a fun way to get out of the sun for a few minutes and show your kids how frontier kids lived.
12. Snorkeling & Paddleboarding at Coral Cove Park
My grandkids never tire of discovering underwater treasures while snorkeling. Perched at the north end of Jupiter, Coral Cove Park offers the ideal place to explore. Darker shades of water provide a clue to the location of underwater rocks that attract the fish. When they’re not underwater, they’re on top of it paddleboarding in the gentle surf.
13. Harbourside Place
This shopping, dining and entertainment mecca sits on the Intercoastal Waterway. It offers free music performances and kids yoga classes.
14. Beachfront Lodging
Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa is the only oceanfront hotel in Jupiter. Needless to say, this makes it the BEST option for families. Besides beautiful beaches, the resort has plenty of great things to do. There’s a fun pool where fountains spray water and a sublime waterfall hot tub overlooking the ocean.
The hotel’s oceanfront restaurant, Sinclairs, specializes in seafood, with a great selection of locally caught fish. A pool table and TV area is adjacent to Sinclair’s Lounge. You can easily keep an eye on your kids while enjoying a date night cocktail and drinking in the ocean views.
Looking for more things to do? There’s a tennis and basketball court with complimentary equipment. Families with tweens and teens will also appreciate the complimentary adult size beach cruisers. When Mom needs a time out, there’s a world-class spa or just take a nap in one of the hammocks on the beach.
An Uber from the West Palm Beach International Airport to Jupiter Beach Resort costs about $40. Every attraction listed here, except for Busch Wildlife Center and Roger Dean Stadium, can easily be reached on a bike. No need to rent a car! Jupiter is bicycle-friendly, with wide bike lanes and wide sidewalks.
15. Waterfront Dining
No Jupiter visit is complete without dining on one of the waterways. The Jupiter Inlet is a hub for waterfront dining. Several restaurants line the waterway with views of the lighthouse. While there are plenty of options, we went with 1000 North. Especially relevant for sports-loving kids, it’s partially owned by basketball legend Michael Jordan, who owns a home in Jupiter.
A modern steak and fish restaurant with views of the marina and lighthouse, it’s a great place for a date night or Sunday brunch with the whole family. The chef gives a Florida twist to classics like lobster tail and crab cake Benedict, and shrimp & grits. Since kids might not be as adventurous, they can enjoy the standard eggs and bacon or yogurt and fruit. For a real Florida experience, dine on the outdoor patio.
16. Golf Galore
If you happen to have any golfers in the family, they’ll find paradise here. Jupiter, Florida, is a golf mecca, with 16 golf courses. And, within 20 miles of Jupiter, The Palm Beaches area offers an additional 71 courses.