Florida for Kids – Summer Break in Tampa Bay
Summertime is upon us! Time to sweat in places no one should ever need to be soggy. And time to entertain your kids a little more than usual.
If you have a child and live in Florida, especially central Florida, your summer activity options are nearly endless. And if your kid is anything like mine, the usual stuff — beaches, water parks, video games — get “boring” way too quickly. In the 3 years we’ve tried summer camps, she has yet to truly enjoy one. Solution? CityPASS. Well, for a little bit at least.
Being in between both Tampa and Orlando gives me a whoooole lot of options when it comes to kids stuff. A dozen theme parks to pick from but day tickets cost upwards of $75-$100 per person, even when I factor in Florida resident and other discounts. So, I picked up a Tampa Bay CityPASS for my daughter and me, a total of $202 ($106 for me, $96 for her). In the past, I’ve bought the CityPASS for Atlanta. The savings included weren’t as great as the Tampa Bay offers but well worth the money and time saved standing in line for sure.
CityPASS provides plenty of details on their website but I’ll break it down a bit for you myself here:
|The Florida Aquarium||$27|
|Lowry Park Zoo||$31|
|Clearwater Marine Aquarium||$22|
|MOSI or Chihuly Collection||$27 or $20|
|Total||$197 or $190|
|Tampa CityPASS Savings||$91 or $97|
A couple of things worth noting; you will still have to purchase parking a lot of these places. Off the top of my head, I think Lowry Park Zoo has free parking. The rest cost in the neighborhood of $10+. You also have to use the tickets within 9 days of your first visit to any of the attractions. Even if you can’t make all 5, you will come out on top by visiting just 3, so long as Busch Gardens makes it into your list. You have 6 months from the date of purchase to use the tickets before they expire.
Be a little extra.
One thing I like to do if I find a multiple savings kind of deal — add ons. Things like animal encounters, behind the scenes tours, swim with the fishes are really, really awesome. For example: earlier this summer, my daughter and I visited SeaWorld. I had managed to snag us tickets during their BOGO deal — buy an adult ticket, kid gets in free. Saved us a nice little $90 there.
With that little bit of pocket money available, I decided we should do something a little extra for this trip. We did an up close dolphin tour. We pet them, learned some commands, learned a lot about how they care for the animals and about the job the trainers do. It cost me $70 for this experience and I would have never considered it if I hadn’t gotten a pretty sweet deal on tickets. 100% worth it and I still came out on top, saving $20 by getting my daughter’s ticket free.
Each of these places has some really incredible experiences to offer and incredible experiences almost always cost extra. The Tampa Bay CityPASS let me include a really neat tiger experience at Busch Gardens, a behind the scenes tour at Lowry Park Zoo and a wild dolphin cruise at The Florida Aquarium. Maximized fun for the summer!
Pick up a Tampa Bay CityPASS here on their website. If you buy through this link, I get a couple bucks for the referral which would be highly appreciated!
Next stop, beaches.