Tag Archives: garden

Sarasota Florida Fun Family Activities

Sarasota is a splendid destination for your family vacation.  Yes, Sarasota does have some of the most amazing beaches in the US, but it’s not just a beach destination.  When you’re looking for other diversions, you’ll find a variety of family friendly things to do.

Check out Mote Marine Aquarium for a close up look at marine life and current research and conservation programs.  The entire family will enjoy seeing over 100 species of marine life, including sharks, dolphins, manatees, seahorses and sea turtles.

Mote is open every day of the year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mote is located at 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy. on City Island, 1 mile north of St. Armand’s Circle.

For the animal lovers, the Big Cat Habitat is a sanctuary for animals right here in Sarasota.  Not just tigers and lions and bears…you can also see coatimundis, a camel, birds, lemurs, tortoises and more.  And don’t miss the Mia the Liger.  Yes, a liger – her mother is a Bengal tiger and father is a lion!

The sanctuary is located at 7101 Palmer Blvd.  The habitat opens at 12:30 five days per week, but the schedule may be changed based on the weather.  So check their event calendar for current activities and prices or call them at (941) 371-6377 for all the details.

Your children will also appreciate some non-structured, imaginative play time.  Make sure you plan to visit the unique Sarasota Children’s Garden and let the kids be kids.  You can’t beat this whimsical spot for family fun.

These are just a few of the family friendly amusements you’ll find when you vacation in Sarasota.

Sarasota, Florida – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens – Sarasota, Florida.
Opened to the public on July 7, 1975, Selby Gardens sits on a stunning 14 acre location on Sarasota Bay.  Over 130,000 visitors annually come to this museum of over 20,000 plants.  In addition to thousands of colorful exotics, Selby Gardens has a remarkable collection of more than 6,000 orchids.  The grounds are often a venue for private parties and weddings.

The cafe is open everyday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and offers sandwiches, salads, soups, pastries and other snacks.  The Garden Shop offers a selection of plants, books and gifts especially for children.  A great place to shop for gifts for plant lovers, this shop also helps support the gardens.

The Gardens are open 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM every day except Christmas Day, so make it a point to schedule part of your vacation time in this lush tropical spot.
Admission prices:  Adults $17, Children 6-11 $6, Members Free.
An annual membership begins at $60 and includes:

  • Membership for one adult
  • 1 guest per visit
  • 2 free distribution plants annual Fall Members’ Day

The gardens is the location for many Sarasota events also offers classes year round:  gardening, photography, art, and health/self discovery!  Members get discounts on class fees.

See a list of the current events at the gardens on their website calendar.  Contact the gardens for information about group tours and school programs at 941-366-5731.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is located at 811 South Palm Avenue in Sarasota.

Sarasota Children’s Garden

Tucked into the city of Sarasota is a fanciful two acre garden for children.  Want to cultivate a child’s imagination?  Just set them free in this park under a beautiful shade canopy.  It’s a feast for the eyes with whimsical art, topiary animals and funky buildings.

I last visited during the annual Reading Day event and was delighted with the fun that children of all ages were having.  With sculptures to climb on, a stage for performing, a pirate ship to stimulate creative play and colorful creatures around every corner – this may just the best place in Sarasota for interactive play!

The garden is open 7 days a week from 10-5.  It’s also available for birthday parties and weddings as well as the weekly story time on Thursday mornings.  Make a Wish foundation, All Faith’s Food Bank, and the Humane Society of Sarasota are just a few of the local organizations that benefit from special events Robin holds at The Children’s Garden annually.

The Sarasota Children’s Garden is a non-profit gem located at 1670 10th Way.  The cost per child (under 13) is only $5, for kids over 13 – including adults who may feel like a kid in this fairyland – a day ticket is $10.  Many locals who frequent this amazing playground take advantage of the Family Membership.  It’s just $75.00 for 2 adult cards and 3 guests.  Check out their special events and other details at their website.