Sarasota is a great destination for those planning a vacation with small children or the entire multi-generational family – babies, big brother or sister, mom, dad, grandma and grandpa and all your favorite extended family members included!
Local families claim that each of Sarasota’s popular attractions are an ideal “size” for families looking to enjoy a half-day outing. (Perhaps before the little one’s afternoon nap back at your suite at the Comfort Suites Sarasota!?)
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
This working aquarium gives you an up-close experience with a variety of marine animals and fish, including two touch tanks and a 135,000 gallon shark habitat. You can also witness Mote’s scientific research—as it happens—in viewable working laboratories. Be sure to meet manatees Hugh and Buffett, and the sea turtles Hang Tough, Harry, Shelley, Montego and Squirt 2. More than 100 species of marine life call Mote their home, including river otters and crocodiles, alligators and caimans at Mote’s newest exhibits. Mote Aquarium is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, having met rigorous, professional standards for animal care, wildlife conservation and research, education and more. Click here to begin planning your visit to Mote.
You may also be interested in extending your visit on City Island by purchasing a separate ticket to an eco-boat cruise with the Sarasota Bay Explorers. Click here for boat tour information from the Sarasota Bay Explorers which is based on-property at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.
This tropical botanical garden is a living museum and children’s rainforest garden on Sarasota Bay, focused on the research and conservation of epiphytes. When the NEW Ann Goldstein’s Children’s Rainforest Garden opened in November 2013 at Selby Gardens, it ushered in a new era in ways for the Garden to connect and build relationships with and among children and families. Open daily during regular hours (10 am to 5 pm), the children’s rainforest offers a delightful, natural space for discovery, exploration, learning and PLAY! In conjunction with nearby Kids’ Corner, there are hands-on, developmentally-appropriate activities and programs available on a regular basis. Also check the calendar of events at selby.org for details about upcoming family programs or events.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Step back in time at this “Old Florida” gem. A wide variety of birds and animals – many of them rescued – includes Florida’s noted pink flamingos, parrots, crocodiles, lemurs, snakes and more. Walk up to and feed free roaming flamingos within 10 acres of lush, tropical landscaping connected by winding jungle trails. Popular holiday events as well as daily bird and reptile shows will be entertaining, educational and fun for the entire family. Click here to plan your visit to Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
The Ringling is the State Art Museum of Florida and is administered by Florida State University. It features an art museum, historic mansion, circus museum, historic theater, conservation laboratory, and research library, situated on sixty-six acres of spectacular bay front property in Sarasota. The Ringling is a place of art, architecture, and circus in an environment that inspires, educates, entertains, and honors the legacy of John & Mable Ringling. Sure to please art or history buffs in your family, the kids will be happy to discover the Ringling’s outdoor playground: The David F. Bolger Playspace. Click here for more details about the playspace, and also be sure to check The Ringling’s calendar for family programs offered throughout the year.
Opportunities to play, exercise and explore together with nature abound throughout Sarasota.
From our very own #1 beach Siesta Key Beach, the natural shores of South Lido Beach, convenience of a public pool at Lido Public Beach, or the dog park at Venice Beach, you can certainly find “your beach” in Sarasota. Relax at the drum circle on Sunday night on Siesta Key Beach or Nokomis, or stroll together as a family any time of day with your own nature walk to take in the beauty of the shores and wildlife.
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources Department boasts 160 parks and preserves in Sarasota County. From playgrounds, tennis courts, ball fields and trails, click here to explore Sarasota County parks.
Our area is also host to Myakka River State Park and Oscar Scherer State Park.
From splash parks at area parks to indoor play zones, be prepared to play in Sarasota! If you and your family need a break from the sun, perhaps you’d be interested in a visit to the indoor bounce zone Bounce Down Under or the indoor trampoline park Sky Zone. Catch a movie at multiple local movie theaters, or get a little competitive at multiple putt putt courses during your vacation in Sarasota.
Whatever your specific itinerary, the Comfort Suites Sarasota is ready to take great care of you and your family during your stay in Sarasota. Click here to check rates and availability.