Where to Eat, Stay and Play in St. Pete With the Kids

This post may contain affiliate links. We earn commission if you shop through these links at no additional cost to you.

The fifth stop on our road trip was St. Pete. St. Pete is a great city located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. St. Pete has lots of museums, coffee shops and restaurants. While we had a great time in St. Pete, it might be more suited to older kids. Our time in St. Pete, was more relaxed than the other stops on our road trip.

On our visit to St. Pete, we saw a lot of art, strolled around and discovered different shops, and tried different restaurants.

Where we stayed in St. Pete with the kids

On our visit to St. Pete, we stayed at Hyatt Place which is located in the perfect spot right in the middle of all the action. It is a short walk to the movie theater, to shops, restaurants and even the St. Pete Pier.

dream vacation ad

The Sunrunner that goes to St Pete Beach is close by, as is the Looper, which is a free bus that runs through the downtown area of St. Pete. Once we parked in the garage at the hotel, we didn’t move the car for the rest of the weekend.

Hyatt Place is not a fancy hotel by any means, but our hotel room was perfect for a family, as we had two beds and a separate seating area that turned into a couch bed. The lobby had lots of seating and there are computers for use; my son played games here one afternoon while I lounged nearby reading a book.

The hotel offers free breakfast in the morning, though I would recommend going out to breakfast at least once while you are there as there are so many places serving up good eats in St. Pete. The hotel also has a bar that is open in the evenings with live music. Don’t worry the bar is on the far side of the lobby and doesn’t disturb regular guests at all. It just offers a place to get a drink if you don’t feel like leaving the hotel.

Things to do in St. Pete with Kids

There are a variety of fun things to do with kids in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Visit St. Pete Pier 

The St. Pete Pier is one of the best things to do in St. Pete.

They have a free splash park that is perfect to visit when it’s hot outside. Right by the splash pad is a small café, where you can grab some eats or a drink and sit in the shade while the kids play.

The Glazer Family Playground is also on St. Pete Pier. The playground is nautical themed featuring a giant octopus at its center. Kids will love climbing the netting and playing on its slides. It’s a great free activity that you can incorporate into a visit to the pier.

While this is not an activity per se, I do recommend taking the pier shuttle all the way to the end of the pier and then back. There are some really great views at the end, but it is a bit of a long walk especially if it is a hot day or you have little legs with you. There is no fee to enter the pier or for the shuttle.

The St. Pete Pier also has a unique art installation called Bending Arc. Every night the sculpture lights up in a wave of magenta and violet light. The sculpture is unique to St. Pete and will definitely be something cool to see.

Go Fishing 

At the end of the St. Pete Pier, there is a fishing deck. If you have your own gear you can bring it with you or you can rent everything that you need from Gator Jim’s Tackle. They have gear, tackle, nets, bait and more.

Visit Fairgrounds St. Pete

Fairgrounds St. Pete is a unique art installation located in the Warehouse District of St. Pete. Inside, you will see a variety of neon art displays from signs to sculptures to entire rooms all with different themes. Fairgrounds St. Pete is great to just wander around if you are an adult, but for kids, we do recommend paying a bit extra for the scavenger hunt. Kids will enjoy the museum a bit more as they have a specific activity to do beyond looking at the displays.

Visit the Discovery Center and Wet Classroom 

The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center and Wet Classroom has interactive exhibits where the entire family can learn about Tampa Bay and the plants and animals that live there. They also offer education programs, hands-on learning programs that showcase the wildlife and the unique ecosystems of Tampa Bay. If you want to go out and explore Tampa Bay itself, they offer tours onboard their eco-vessel. The Discovery Center and Wet Classroom is located on St. Pete Pier.

See and Make Some Art

If your kids like art, then they will love St. Pete. St. Pete has lots of museums that you can visit. Some of the museums in St. Pete include the Dali Museum, which features over 2,400 works by Salvador Dali; the Chihuly Collection which features glassworks (and has a great gift shop with different glass objects); and the Museum of Fine Arts which features over 5000 years’ worth of art. The museum also participates in the Bank of America free first-weekend program, where the admission fee is covered for Bank of America customers, and the museum also has an artisanal bakery/casual eatery serving up great treats from Thursday to Sunday. (check website for café hours)

St. Pete not only has lots of museums, but they also have lots of art galleries. The first Friday of each month is an art walk, which coincided with our visit. My son and I had a great time walking around St. Pete and visiting the different galleries. This is a great free activity to do if you are in the area the first Friday of the month.

If you want to create some art, check out Morean Arts Center which has glassblowing classes, jewelry-making classes, drawing classes and more.

Get out on the water 

You might mistakenly think that since St. Pete is not on the beach they don’t have water sports, but you would be mistaken. Some fun water activities you can do in St. Pete include taking jet boats out for a spin going on a Tiki Boat Tourpaddleboarding on Tampa Baykiteboarding and more.

Visit the murals 

St. Pete also has a lot of great murals. Every year, during the Shine Mural Festival, new murals are painted by various artists around St. Pete and these are of course free to see. Taking a walk to visit the murals, coffee in hand is a great way to spend the morning.

If you would like to join an organized tour of the murals, so you can learn more about them, you can join the Original St. Pete Mural Tour is held each Saturday, except in the month of August or the St. Pete Art and Mural Biking Tour.

Walk Central Avenue

Central Avenue is the perfect place to go for a stroll. It has lots of great shops, restaurants, chocolatiers, juice bars, ice cream places and more. Just stroll along Central Avenue and you will find lots of places to pop into and look around or get some great eats or treats.

Visit the Great Explorations Children’s Museum

The Great Exploration’s Children’s Museum, while a smaller museum, has lots of fun exhibits for kids to play with. There is a dental exhibit where kids can learn about dental health and visiting the dentist, a Lego wall, a building exhibit where kids can build with different materials, a farm-themed space for younger kids to work on gross-motor activities, a live on-air news exhibit, a climbing structure and more.

​Visit a Garden or Preserve

If you love being outside, then check out the Sunken Gardens, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve or Weedon Island Preserve. Sunken Gardens is over 100 years old and has some of the oldest tropical plants in the area. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is home to Lake Maggiore and has great trails for walking and exploring. Weedon Island Preserve is over 3,000 acres of natural plants and animals. There are numerous trails and boardwalks for exploring the park. They also offer guided tours and nature hikes.

Fort de Soto Park covers 5 islands and over 1,000 acres on the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. The park features beaches with white sands, a fort from the Spanish-American War time period, and a pirate ship playground that kids will love. Explore Fort De Soto Park by land or by sea.

Some other fun activities include going to a Tampa Bay Rays game, going to the Saturday morning market, going on a segway tour (minimum age 10) or an electric bike guided city tour or visiting Busch Gardens (about a 40-minute drive).

Where to eat in St. Pete

St. Pete has a lot of great restaurants where you can eat; they are some of the best restaurants that we have eaten at in Florida.

family friendly restaurants in st. pete

Some of the best places that we ate at during the weekend include:

2D Café

Inside the 2D Café looks like a 2D drawing and they serve up coffee, pastries, sandwiches and more. We visited the café for an afternoon snack and had a really great charcuterie board.

The Glass Noodle

The Glass Noodle serves up noodle dishes from all around Asia. Some of the dishes that they serve include pho, Bangkok noodles, Sichuan hot pot soup, Singapore noodles, pad see ew and more. We ordered the curry ramen which was extremely tasty and had a bit of spice and the Pad Kee Mao, which the kids really liked. I would return to the Glass Noodle and get the curry ramen again, it was that good.

Twisted Indian

Twisted Indian is a contemporary take on Indian Food. While they did offer more traditional options such as bowls with chicken tikka and wraps made with naan bread. They also offered updated options such as an Indian burrito, called a currito or  fries covered in chicken, paneer or tofu tikka masala with tikka masala sauce, raita, cabbage and mozzarella cheese.

Social Roost

We had brunch at Social Roost on our last morning in St. Pete. I had the shakshuka, which I loved. I have had it before and they had a great version, even though it was a little different from a traditional shakshuka. I shared some with my kids, their first time trying it, and they loved it as well. My kids shared a stuffed French toast and were definite fans. I plan to go back to Social Roost when I visit St. Pete again as they have so many dishes that I want to try.

The Cereal Bar

My son tried out The Cereal Bar and enjoyed his creation. At The Cereal Bar, you pick your container/base, the type of ice cream that you want, your cereal options to mix with the ice cream and then any toppings that you might want. This is an interesting concept, and kids will really enjoy the personalization aspect and ability to create their own desser.

St. Pete has lots of different restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries and more to try. If you are looking for more great restaurants in St. Pete, we highly recommend checking out Explorcation’s What’s New in St. Pete series.

Go or No Go to St. Pete With the Kids

​St. Pete is a great place to visit and we plan to return many times in the future.

Similar Posts