Things to Do With Kids at the St. Pete Pier
We love to explore Tampa Bay, and one of our favorite spots is the Pier, located downtown St. Petersburg, FL. From the outset, the city of St. Pete was committed to making the Pier both fun and educational. We are always encouraging you to #getoutside so here are a few areas in its 26 acres to check out on your next family day trip.
From toddlers, to teenagers and beyond, the St. Pete Pier was created for families, both kids and adults. There are a wide array of activities that are sure to keep everyone physically and mentally stimulated. Whether it’s playing on the fun splash pad, building sand castles at the beach, or learning about our Tampa Bay Fish and Friends, the Pier provides all-day fun and adventure. And since you’ll be outside, don’t forget your sun protective wear from ShapeShifter Fish and Friends, in sizes for the whole family! Who knows, you may see a dolphin, pelican, or a manatee during your day here.
1. Enjoy Some Playground Fun
At the entrance of the Pier you’ll find Glazer Children Playground, an ideal place for families with young ones to get their Pier experience started. The children will be able to burn off energy, play with their friends and have loads of fun on slides, swings, climbing structures, obstacle courses, activity nodes and more! The Glazer Family Playground is a big, colorful playground conceived by one of North America’s premier playground designers, and a favorite in the area of our kids.
2. Let Them Be Wet & Wild
After they work up a sweat on the playground, you’ll have to cool them off! At the Pier Plaza, visitors will find an interactive water feature that is both a fountain and a splash pad, with big and small vertical water jets. After a good soaking, you will be able to rest on the adjacent Bayfront Health Tilted Lawn to dry-off under the sun. Good news too, our sun protective shirts dry fast! Anyone looking for a break from the sun, can find nearby shade under trees, and a covered pavilion with snacks and cold drinks.
3. Get Beach Access
A beach in downtown St. Pete? Yes! Families can add a beach excursion into a day at the Pier. Avoid the drive across the county and check this off your list with the new Spa Beach, which has been expanded and features a natural shoreline. A little sand and sun is always fun, plus you may spot one of our Fish and Friends just off the shoreline. But don’t forget to snag a pic and tag @ssfishandfriends on Instagram to be featured!
4. Find Your Perfect Lunch Spot
While there will be plenty of places to purchase food at the Pier, sometimes grabbing to-go from one of downtown St. Pete’s favorite lunch spots is just what the doctor ordered. The Bioswalw — an eco-friendly pond facing toward Vinoy Park has its own green mini-park, with lots of grass, trees, and a small pond. The Bioswale offers plenty of picnic tables and Adirondack chairs, or throw a beach towel down and call it a day!
5. Meet Our Fish and Friends
Our favorite spot at the Pier is the Discovery Center, which is run by Tampa Bay Watch, a highly respected nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of Tampa Bay waters. This is an awesome opportunity to meet many of our fish and friends, and a must during your visit to the St. Pete Pier. There are several educational sessions in an interactive classroom, and at an open-air “Wet Classroom” bordered by walkways and railings, and including a bleacher-style observation deck. (We will share more info on The Discovery Center very soon!)
6. Take a Kid Fishing
For those who really want to get up close and personal with fish, the Pier features a fishing platform built on caissons left from the previous “inverted pyramid” pier, letting you get close to the water and drop a line. It is a spacious deck that holds a large number of anglers engaging in one of St. Pete’s favorite pastimes. Families can bring along their own rods, reels and gear, or buy necessities at the adjacent Gator Jim’s Tackle. There’s a good chance that someone will reel one of our favorites like a Redfish, Snook, or Trout!
No matter what you do when visiting the Pier, just like any other activity outside, we encourage you to stay protected from the hot Florida sun. A sunburn can happen in less than 15 minutes. Wearing sun-protective clothing goes a long way in blocking harmful UV rays, which can increase your risk of skin cancer. Thankfully, we have created multiFUNctional sun shirts, in sizes for the whole family. Check us out at ssfishandfriends.com
Want to learn more about the Pier? Check out this awesome video made by our friends at Visit St. Pete Clearwater.
*Photos courtesy https://stpetepier.org/