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What to Do with Your Toddler in Destin, FL

toddler playing int he waves at a destin beach

Many people ask: Should I bring my toddler to Destin? The answer is most definitely YES. There are plenty of fun activities for the whole family. Here are some of the best ideas:

The Best Beaches to bring a Toddler

What is it? The Beach! Build a sandcastle, put your little one's toes in the sand or take nap time to the sound of waves. This is an obvious one, but which beach is the best?

Why you will love it: Pompano Joes and Whales tail can end up being a little more “adult”.  While other beach accesses have such small parking lots it’s a miracle to get a spot sometimes. I’d have to say we end up bringing our toddler to the Crab trap a good bit. Playground for him. Beach bar for us. If you want more seclusion pay the $6 parking fee and go to Henderson Beach State Park.

Local tip: Skip a lot of the headache of parking by getting a beachfront vacation rental!



What is it? A marine adventure park

Why you will love it: With a general admission ticket, you will have access to animal exhibits and shows.  Special animal encounters are also available.

Local tip: Plan your trip in the morning to avoid island evening traffic. Not a large park, you can see everything within two hours.

Penguins at the gulfarium

Destin Commons   

What is it? A water splash pad

Why you will love it: Let your toddler cool down and run around in the splash pad with an adjoining outdoor play park, free of charge! Afterward, enjoy a train ride around the shopping center.

Local tip: Parents pick up a to-go margarita at El Jalisco and enjoy while you watch your kids play, or enjoy patio dining overlooking the park at Yuga Sushi and Sake House.

Destin commons train ride

Big Kahuna's Water Park

What is it? An outdoor water adventure park

Why you will love it: Wave pools, lazy rivers, splash pads, and kiddie slides provide all-day outdoor entertainment during the hot summer days.

Local tip: 2 and younger are free.


The Track

What is it? A family fun park

Why you will love it: If you have kids of all ages this is a win, win.  Specifically for toddlers, there is at least 7 or 8 rides right up their alley like the train ride, airplane ride, Ferris wheel, and carousel. Mini golf is a great idea too!

Local tip: Buying a points card can be used at the track and Fat Daddies Arcade nearby.

Toddler riding a ride at The Track

Buccaneer Pirate Cruise

What is it? A 2-hour themed sunset cruise.

Why you will love it: Lots of sensory stimulation here! pirate-themed activities, witty banter, singing, dancing, sword fighting, water gun battles, a treasure hunt, and authentic cannon fire.

Local tip: This may be better for older kids but we love how there is plenty for your little one to see oh and there is a bar.


Gator Beach at Fudpucker’s

What is it? A restaurant. But with a cool kids twist.

Why you will love it: A really extensive kids menu, a cool gift shop, oh, a live gator park. VIP packages and showtimes are available but you can go check out the gators whenever you want. Like while you wait for your food.




Published by Erin Rodgers
Wednesday, July 28, 2021