If you think of the beach or the sun when you think of Tampa Bay, you’re not wrong. Maybe baseball, football, or hockey come to mind. Right again. There is so much to our beautiful corner of Florida than you may realize. Whether you’re visiting or simply want to enjoy some time out with your family on the weekend, there are plenty of fun places to visit.

Take a look at just five places in Tampa Bay where the whole family can enjoy themselves.

Adventure Island

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You’ve been to Legoland and Busch Gardens, but have you gone to Adventure Island? This is a perfect place to take the family when you want to keep enjoying the rides but could use something to cool you down. With 30 acres and plenty of water, there’s something here for everyone. Some of the slides and rides include the Colossal Curl, the Caribbean Corkscrew, and the Key West Rapids. Dig your toes into the sand at the Spike Zone. Better yet, head to the pool and enjoy the cool water at the Endless Surf or Paradise Lagoon.

Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI)

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Ready to head inside and avoid the sun? Kids of all ages will enjoy the hands-on experience of MOSI. You can travel to the moon or even enjoy a ropes course and zip line. Your kids have their very own science center to explore. Get your hands dirty, learn more about the world around you, and see something new. When you need to sit for a bit, take in a movie at the IMAX Dome.

Big Cat Rescue

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Here in Tampa Bay, we take nature and wildlife seriously and want to protect it. Several organizations spend a lot of time taking care of animals who can’t take care of themselves. Big Cat Rescue, with more than 80 big cats, is one group. Here you’ll find tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, and more. Don’t worry, they help smaller cats too. You can find bobcats and cheetahs here, too. The rescue is a sanctuary for abused and abandoned big cats, one of the largest in the world. Get a closer look at these beautiful animals and help the rescue give them a better life than one they’ve had before.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium


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Another rescue, this time for marine life, Clearwater Marine Aquarium was made famous thanks to a special dolphin named Winter and her prosthetic tail. Yes, for those who saw Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2, Winter and her friend Hope are very real. Head out to Clearwater, and you see them for yourselves, plus meet other animals that the aquarium has rescued and rehabilitated. Want to take a sneak peek for yourself? Check out the live webcam feeds and see what the animals are doing before you visit.

Heritage Village

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Want to see history up close and personal? Take a drive over to Largo and visit Heritage Village, a working village from the 19th century. Help your kids see that there was life before smartphones and Netflix. Admission is free, and you’ll be able to see how people and lived from more than 100 years ago. Explore the museum and exhibits or watch live demonstrations in the smoke house or the sugar cane mill.

The Tampa Bay area covers several cities and towns with unique adventures for the whole family. Florida is more than our crystal clear water, sandy beaches, and sports teams. You can spend a lifetime here and always find something fun for the whole family. These five places are just a start.