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Key West Time
April 23rd
6:12am · 73°F

Is Key West for Kids? 41 Things to Do with Kids in Key West on Vacation

By Cindy M. Rhoades

Updated on October 4, 2021


Parents often ask us if Key West is a good place for kids on vacation. Our definitive answer is, YES! Our unanimous enthusiasm is based on our personal experiences of living on this island for decades. At VHKW - Vacation Homes of Key West - several of our children (and some of us), were even born here. We are a boutique locally based company of dedicated professionals, several of whom are parents and grandparents; and we truly enjoy raising our families in this amazing tropical paradise.

Just as we take pride in assisting travelers to choose the best Key West vacation rental for them, our in-house concierge also enjoys helping our guests to plan a fun and memorable experiences to have with their kids. We understand that this island has a reputation as a party-town for adults, but that part of the experience only scratches the surface of life here. Growing up in Key West, our kids do all the same things that yours do - they go to school, play sports, swim, join debate teams and science clubs, take music and dance lessons, perform in recitals, ride skateboards and bicycles, spend time in the wilderness, and more. But growing up on a small tropical island surrounded by warm turquoise seas, also offers some very special activities to most places to live, especially when the outdoor wilderness is on them and in the ocean!

A couple of our senior staff members originally put a list together, of things for kids to do in Key West, when some family friends called us and asked what they could plan with their kids if they came for a visit in Key West. With so many unique things for kids and families to do in Key West, the real question becomes, "Where do we begin to choose?"

We've updated this list to include 41 Things To Do in Key West for Kids. These activities will get you in the tropical island groove and assure that everyone has a fun time. Suggested activities are organized by 1)Destination Experiences; 2) Pre-Civil War Forts, and 3) Water Activities. We also suggest some restaurants and dessert places to take your kids that our grandchildren love.

Fenced in Playground for tots at Higgs Beach

Destination Activities

There are some unique destination activities for kids and families in Key West. These include maritime museums, beachfront playgrounds, tropical gardens, beaches, ghost, and haunted tours, and one of the most unique aquariums you’ll discover anywhere. Here is a list of our favorites:

Visit the Pre-Civil War Forts

Did you know that there are three pre-civil war forts built on the tiny island of Key West ... and a fourth one 68 miles out to sea? Today they stand as massive brick historic structures filled with art, historical artifacts, and gardens. Choose to visit at least one of these forts during your vacation with children:

Activities on the Water

Learning to Kayak in Key West

Experiencing the warm turquoise seas around the island of Key West is a wonderful way to help your children develop a curiosity and appreciation for the earth's incredible oceans. It is thrilling to see our little ones take to boating, kayaking, and snorkeling at very early ages. For our own grown children, it has led to their love of and respect for the sea, and life-long hobbies that include surfing, sailing, diving, and boating.

During your family vacation in Key West, there are many water activities you can choose from. Some are guided, some give you the freedom to explore on your own, depending of course, on interest and skill level. The VHKW concierge is happy to help you choose and plan the activities best suited for you and your family. And when you book your stay with VHKW, we have a growing menu of free itineraries, including 3 planned Key West Family Fun Days so you get on with having fun.

  • Learn to Kayak

  • Guided Wild Dolphin Watch Tours

  • Guided Snorkeling on the Barrier Reef

  • Guided Fishing Trips on the Barrier Reef, Deep Sea Fishing, Gulf of Mexico Back Country

  • Jet Ski Rentals

  • Glass Bottom Boat

  • Charter Sailing Excursions for Day Trips and Sunset

  • Parasailing

  • Rental Launch Boats for Exploring the Surrounding Waters on Your Own

  • Hobie-Cat Rentals to Learn to Sail

Fun Places to Eat and Dessert Treats

We know that kids can be picky eaters and that on vacation it is important for them to have fun and memorable dining experiences too.  One of the advantages of renting a private vacation rental with a fully equipped kitchen is that you can plan to prepare as many meals as you want in your home-away-from-home, and make sure they get what they like. But it's also fun to go out and try some new foods unique to island life as well as special dessert treats like homemade ice cream and fudge!

Where to Stay

At VHKW - Vacation Homes of Key West, we have many vacation rental homes and condos that are ideal for your family vacation. Many of our rentals have outdoor pools, decks, and patios in tropical gardens that create the center for outdoor fun for kids and the entire family, and many are close to the beach, on the ocean, or have an ocean view. Check out our exclusive inventory of homes and contact us for assistance in choosing the ideal home-away-from-home for your family. Book direct with us for the best price guaranteed. 


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