6 budget-friendly family activities in Tampa Bay!

Hey there, parents! As a family and child photographer and dad of three kids, I’m constantly on the lookout for new places to explore that will bring smiles to my kids’ faces. But, I’m also a typical dad, and I’m as frugal as they come! That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 6 budget-friendly activities for you to enjoy with your family in the Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida areas. So, without further ado, here’s my list of 6 budget-friendly family activities in Tampa Bay!

Climb the Banyan and Bombax Trees in St. Pete

N. Straub Park
St. Petersburg, FL

If you tested my son’s DNA, you’d probably find a strong link to chimpanzees. The kid absolutely loves to climb, and I think he would move into a tree if we would let him. If your kids are anything like mine, they will absolutely fall in love with Straub Park and the amazing climbable trees. My wife and I love to grab a delicious coffee at Paradeco and then walk over to Straub Park to chat while the kids get their climb on. Want to know more about that scrumptious coffee I mentioned? Make sure to check out my post about the 5 best coffee shops in St. Petersburg for families.

Boy climbing a Banyan tree in St. Petersburg, FL, which is a budget friendly activity in Tampa Bay.

Visit the Tampa Bay Water Works Park

1710 N. Highland Ave
Tampa, FL

Did someone say splash pad? If your kids love water and outdoor activities, this City Park is the perfect spot for them and you (shaded picnic areas for the win!). A riverfront park with an open green space, dog park, Tampa’s Pirate Water Taxi, a playground, and a splash pad for children. And the best part? Admission is free! Don’t miss out on this one!

Explore the Glazer Children’s Museum

101 Gasparilla Plaza
Tampa, FL

The Glazer Children’s Museum is a great place to engage your child’s imagination and entice them to learn while having fun. With over 170 interactive exhibits, including a fire station, a market, and a veterinary clinic, your kids will be occupied for hours. Admission is $16 for adults and for kids (babies under 1 are free). Hot Tip: Families get in FREE on the first Tuesday of the month. Make sure to arrive early, as this is a hot ticket! 

Take a Stroll Through the Florida Botanical Gardens

12520 Ulmerton Road
Largo, Florida

The Florida Botanical Gardens are a 100-acre Park, managed by the Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources Department. The gardens inspire and educate visitors by highlighting vegetation, wildlife and natural resources in stunning surroundings that promote environmentally-friendly techniques. The best parts? Admission is completely free and a new children’s garden is coming soon! This is also a pet-friendly (leashed) location, so bring those four-legged friends. The barky ones, not the meow-y kind.

Kids Bowl Free Summer! 

Wanna beat the heat and enjoy some indoor family fun? Like throwing heavy round objects as fast and hard as you can to knock other heavy objects down?  Take advantage of the Kids Bowl Free Summers.  Over 1,500 bowling centers, including 7 in the Tampa Bay area, participate in this awesome program. Families can enjoy 2 free games of bowling each day during the summer!  Most locations require you to rent the shoes and each may have their own times where you can bowl, but even with that, it is an awesome deal for the whole family. 

Have a Picnic at Fort De Soto Park

3500 Pinellas Bayway South
Tierra Verde, FL

Pack a lunch and head to Fort De Soto Park for a day of fun in the sun. The park, the largest in Pinellas County, boasts over 1,100 acres of beaches, nature trails, and picnic areas, making it the perfect spot for a family day out. Pack your bikes for a great trail ride or rent a family bike along the path or enjoy the awesome playgrounds while you are at it! Admission to the park is only $5 per vehicle. 

Family enjoying a budget-friendly activity in Tampa Bay.

There you have it! 6 budget-friendly family activities in Tampa Bay! Not only will you create lasting memories, but you’ll also save a little cash in the process. 

Oh one last thing, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t remind you to snap some priceless photos while you’re out and about, and remember to cherish every moment spent with your family.