35 Summer Activities to do with kids
age 5 and under in Key West
We are well into Summer and how many times have you heard your kids say they are bored? Key West has a variety of summer camps to keep the kids busy, but most start at age 6 – 8. Whether you live here with young children or will be visiting our beautiful island, we have created a list of 35 things to do with your children specifically under the age of 5. Of course kids of all ages will enjoy these activities too!
Derek has two children, ages 5 and 1, so he and his family will definitely be checking off these items this summer! Enjoy and be sure to stay hydrated, it’s hot!
Free and affordable activities:
Our lovely parks are nicest in the early morning or evening hours.
1. Bayview Park – fenced in playground, basketball & tennis courts, plus a large green space.
2. Higgs Beach Park – Plenty of shade, especially in the late afternoon and totally fenced in. Bring beach toys to make it extra fun.
3. Nelson English Park – This park is adjacent to the Community Pool in Bahama Village and was recently redone. Plenty of shade over the playground equipment and rest areas for the adults. This park in not fenced in.
We have two waterparks which are perfect for non-swimmers.
4. Cozumel Park – located in New Town on 19th Terrace off of Donald Ave. this fenced in park has a playground, basketball court, large green space for playing games and a small fenced in splash pad! Adults wear your swimsuit and bring a low chair and you can cool off in the splash pad too.
5. Truman Waterfront Park – A beautiful addition to our Southernmost City. Located at the end of Truman Annex. Featuring a large completely shaded playground area, bathrooms and a large splash pad to cool off. This park is not fenced in.
6. Swim! If you do have a swimmer and do not have your own pool, there a many hotels that are local friendly. Plus the Community Pool is another hidden gem.
Get out an explore nature, whether at a beach or a nature walk.
7. Ft. Zach State Park and Natural Beach – plenty of shade under the pines with grills and picnic tables and the water is great for snorkeling. It is our only natural beach, which means it is rocky so it’s wise to wear water shoes. Explore the fort and watch the sunset. Play a game of how many iguanas you can spot around the fort. There is a fee to enter the State Park.
8. Smathers Beach – Running parallel to South Roosevelt Blvd. this beach has nice soft sand and is very accessible.
9. Higgs Beach – make a day of it while you are at the playground. There is very good clear swimming closer to the pier adjacent to the Casa Marina hotel.
10. Simonton St. Beach – located at the west end of Simonton St. Enjoy a cocktail or a bite to eat at Lagerhead’s Beach Café.
11. The Nature Walk by 1800 Atlantic Blvd. - This is a hidden gem. Follow the path and boardwalk through the mangroves and arrive a beautiful stretch of beach that is virtually private. This is a great spot to collect sea glass.
12. West and East Martello Towers – These two forts are great for exploring. The West Martello Tower adjacent to Higgs Beach host the Key West Garden Club and is a wonderful spot for a shady afternoon picnic overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The museum at the East Martello Tower by the airport is full of history. Donations are appreciated at the West Martello and there is a fee for the museum at East Martello.
13. Key West Wildlife Center – Located at Indigenous Park adjacent to the Bocce Ball Courts on White Street, this is a fun area to explore with your young child. Check out all the birds that are currently being rehabilitated. Take a walk through Indigenous Park to the turtle pond at the end. For a small donation, you can get some turtle food at the Wildlife Center entrance and feed the turtles in the pond.
14. The Botanical Garden – Located on Stock Island on College Road just before the Key West Golf Club. A fun area to explore the native landscaping and the Cuban chugs. Be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat. There is a fee to enter.
15. Little Hamaca Park on Government Road. Located in Mid-Town. Meander over boardwalks and mulched trails through mangrove, transitional, and hardwood hammock communities. See flora and fauna indigenous and endemic to Key West. Bring your binoculars and sunscreen!
16. The Sherriff’s Animal Farm – Open the first and third Sunday of each month from 1 – 3pm. This is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. If you’ve never been, it’s a pretty amazing place with the amount of exotic animals that are there. Plus the majority is located under the jail, so it’s very shady.
Ready to get in the AC? Check these indoor activities off of your Summer to-do list.
17. Tropic Cinema – located downtown on Eaton Street, offers $5 kid’s movies every Saturday at 10:45 am.
18. Regal Cinema – located in the New Town Searstown shopping center, offers all the latest films plus $1.00 kid’s movies every Tuesday & Wednesday at 10am!
19. The Key West Butterfly Conservatory – is a beautiful place to see the two resident flamingos and thousands of butterflies. The butterflies are most active in the morning.
20. The Monroe County Library – We love the library and go about every two weeks to check out new books. There is a great kid’s section with toys for toddlers and infants and a large area with games and activities for older kids. It’s a wonderful free indoor spot to cool off and expand your mind. The library also offers Preschool time every Friday at 11am with stories and crafts.
21. The Waterfront Brewery Arcade – This may be a little better for older kids, but there are some games that a 4-year-old can play. It’s a fun break and the food is quite good. You must buy a gamecard which is reusable, if you don’t spend all your money at one time.
22. Ripley’s Believe it or Not – Definitely something different to do in the AC.
Time for a treat! We love ice cream and have made it our mission to visit these ice cream shops this summer.
23. Tropical Vibes – the shaved ice is SOOO refreshing!
24. Dairy Queen – so affordable!
25. Flamingo Crossing – homemade ice cream with many local flavors.
26. Matthesen’s Ice Cream – the ginormous cookies are amazing!
Explore some Key West history. The Historic Tours of America (HTA) company offers local’s month during June where their attractions are free with a Monroe County ID. They are also free the first Sunday of each month. Take advantage and explore:
27. The Key West Aquarium – delicious $6 smoothies across from the aquarium.
28. The Shipwreck Treasure Museum – Let us know if you make it to the top of the tower!
29. Harry S. Truman Little White House
30. Old Town Trolley
31. Conch Tour Train
Other pieces of history in Key West you should check off your list include the Lighthouse, The Mel Fischer Museum, the Audubon House and the Hemingway House. However, these activities may not hold the attention for a young child.
Key West has a few Summer events as well. Be sure to check out:
32. The Rotary 4th of July Fireworks – which are set off from White Street Pier.
33. The 1st Key West Mermaid Festival – all things mermaid!
If you want to take a day trip out of Key West, check out:
34. Aquarium Encounters in Marathon
35. The Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key – you may enjoy this more if you pay extra money to interact with the dolphins. Be sure to call ahead and ask if the splash pad is working for your littles to cool off!
Don’t forget boating and the many beaches throughout the Keys. Whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed! Enjoy your Summer from Derek Epperly & Jenna Blackwell.