If you’re looking for family-friendly things to do in Panama City Beach with kids, look no further! PCB has so many opportunities for kid-friendly entertainment, exploring nature, cooling off from the sun, and enjoying fun family activities and attractions in PCB. Take a look at 28 family-friendly things to do in Panama City Beach with kids.
28 Family-Friendly Things To Do in Panama City Beach with Kids
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1. Ripley's Believe it or Not
Discover the fun and weird exhibits at Ripley’s Panama City Beach. With a 7.D. Moving Theater, the Marvelous Mirror Maze, and Impossible Laser Race, there’s something for everyone at the Believe It or Not!
2. Wonder Works
WonderWorks is an amusement park for the mind with 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment”. The attraction combines education and entertainment with more than 100 hands on exhibits that challenge the mind and spark the imagination.
3. Daniel's Shells & Thomas Donuts in Laguna Beach
Located right across from the beach in the part of Laguna Beach with the dedicated beach, these are two separate, unrelated establishments just a few doors down from each other and are both West End staples. Thomas Donuts & Snacks has all the snacks you need, not to mention the delicious donuts and the VIEW..... and Daniel's Shells has a large selection of seashells at very reasonable prices....not tourist trap prices. If you want to buy seashells to supplement the shells you collected on the beach yourself, this is the place...if you need anything else, you won't find it here, so...
4. Free Summer Concert Series
Bring a blanket or chair and the whole family to enjoy some great bands in the park all summer long. Food and Drinks are available for purchase. Coolers, food and pets are welcome.
5. Have a Bonfire on the Beach
Since 2017, beach bonfires are allowed on the beach in Panama City Beach but only with a permit only available through licensed vendors. Permitting is required so that bonfires are never set up in proximity to a sea turtle nest. Bonfires are available only at specific locations, so contact the bonfire vendor directly to determine if you are in a serviceable area.
- West End of Bay County
- Sunnyside Beach & Tennis Resort
- Panama City Beach
- East End of Bay County »
- Over on 30A in Walton County »
6. Take an Airboat Tour
(...Then eat at BoonDocks or Something Salty right there)
Take a ride on an exhilarating, family-friendly airboat ride in Panama City Beach on the West Bay side. You can get out in nature and have the opportunity to spot all sorts of sights as you take a fast and fun ride over swampy waterways.
Admire the natural moss-covered cypress and tupelo-gum trees as you explore bayous teeming with life and take advantage of incredible photo ops. Climb aboard and journey into a nature lover's paradise on this highly educational and fun adventure tour for all ages.
Choose from a group airboat tour, or rent the whole boat for a private airboat tour.
7. Visit the Man in the Sea Museum
The Man in the Sea Museum is located on Back Beach Rd. on the West End of Panama City Beach. It's is a great place to explore fascinating exhibits and get acquainted with the roots of diving.
The exhibits illustrate early attempts to work underwater through interpretive drawings, dioramas and written records.
The large collection of rare diving equipment highlights Man's success in developing ways to live in underwater habitats for weeks at a time, including the famous SEALAB-1, as used by the United States Navy (U.S.A.).
8. Ride Bikes
In addition to the walking/hiking trails at Conservation Park, Gayle’s Trails is a system of paved greenways and trails that will eventually cover all of Panama City Beach. Right now, you can take Gayle’s Trails from Frank Brown Park over to Conservation Park.
Rent your bikes from Bike the Beach PCB and they’ll bring your bikes to you!
9. Pet a kangaroo at Zoo World.
ZooWorld Zoological Park, located in beautiful Panama City Beach, Florida is home to exotic animals from all over the world to be seen up close and personal! Visit a sloth, hold a baby kangaroo, kiss a giraffe, pet a lemur…or even pet a porcupine! What makes Zoo World special is the number of animal encounter opportunities available. Extra fees apply for animal encounters.
10. Take a hike at St. Andrews State Park.
This popular state park gives families a perfect opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and see the area in its natural state with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and St. Andrew's Bay on the other.
There are two half-mile trails in the park to choose from: Heron Pond and Gator Lake trails. The Heron Pond Trail takes you on a hike through the flatwood pine forest and out toward Sandy Point. The Gator Lake trail provides a scenic lakeside view.
11. Mini-Golf (and more!) at Swampy Jack's Wongo Adventure
At Swampy Jack’s Wongo Adventure, admission into the park is free, so you can explore the park and see which attractions you would like to experience.
Swampy Jack's is conveniently located right next to Pier Park and includes attractions like:
- Spinning Coaster
- Eye of the Kraken (Tower swings attraction)
- Blue Hole (Bumper cars attraction)
- Yacuma (Wipeout attraction)
- Swamp Ape (Scrambler attraction)
- Marrakesh Road Rally (Go-karts attraction)
- The Ruins (Mini-golf attraction)
12. Shipwreck Island Water Park
Shipwreck Island Waterpark has family slides like the Zoom Flume, White Knuckle River, and the Pirate’s Race. Fun for mom, dad, and the kids!
Guests at Shipwreck Island Waterpark say it is one of the cleanest, well-run waterparks in America. There is fun for the whole family including a kiddy area known as the Tadpole Hole, to the Lazy River and Wave Pool, all the way up to Tree Top Drop.
13. Frank Brown Park Playgrounds (FREE!)
When looking for FREE fun things to do in Panama City Beach with kids, consider visiting Frank Brown Park. Frank Brown Park is the largest park in PCB and has extensive playgrounds and play areas, many of which are shaded. Climbing structures, swings, sand pits, foam building blocks, slides and more will keep you kids occupied for a whole afternoon.
Bonus: Walk over to the Youth Fishing Pond at Frank Brown Park and say hello to the ducks!
14. Visit Gulf World Marine Park
Daily Gulf World shows feature Dolphins, Sea Lions, Reptiles, Tropical Birds and other furry animals that will amaze you. Check out the exciting special encounters like swimming with the dolphins and meet & greets with dolphins, seals and more!
15. Amusement Park Go-Kart Racing at Hidden Lagoon
Hidden Lagoon Super Golf and Super Racetrack in beautiful Panama City Beach, Florida, is a family–owned business that has been a favorite of both visitors and locals for over twenty years. Starting out as Super Golf in 1986, it added the Super Racetrack five years later in 1991.
Hidden Lagoon is a great option for miniature golf and go-kart racing and family fun in Panama City Beach.
16. Gran Maze at Coconut Creek
This giant maze at Coconut Creek Family Fun Park in Panama City Beach is a family-friendly activity you can enjoy during any season. At about the size of a football field, the Gran Maze will challenge your best navigational skills to find the four checkpoints and complete the maze!
17. Dolphin Tours
Book one of many wild dolphin-watching boat excursions in Panama City Beach. This type of adventure takes a bit of planning during peak season, meaning you need to book ahead, but the experience is well worth it.
18. Visit one of the Piers
Visiting one of the piers in Panama City Beach is a unique experience even if you don't plan on doing any fishing. The M.B. Miller County pier and the Russell-Fields City Pier are identical in length and are 2 of the longest piers in the Gulf of Mexico. There is a small fee to enter the pier (around $3 or $4).
19. Rockit Lanes & Arcade
Rock'It Lanes has a bowling, a mega-arcade, roller-skating area, snacks and a sports bar area for the parents.
This is a great break from the Panama City Beach sun, and is a great activity for when it is raining.
20. Try an Escape Room
Escape rooms are a great way to escape the PCB heat and keep the (older) kids occupied. PCB has several Escape Room Operators including:
- Royal Escape Rooms (Pier Park)
- Royal Escape Rooms (PCB)
- Escape the the Room PCB
21. Have a Sandcastle Building Lesson
Book a professional sandcastle lesson on Panama City Beach for a unique way to spend time on the beautiful beaches!
22. Take a Boat Ride to Shell Island
Visiting Shell Island in Panama City Beach is a great way to experience a pristine natural Florida beach. You can only get to Shell Island via boat. There are no amenities on the island, not even restrooms or waste receptacles. Chartering a private boat excursion to Shell Island is a great way to experience the island without having to carry everything on and off the shuttle yourself.
23. Join a crew of pirates aboard the Sea Dragon.
The Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise has a classic family-friendly Panama City Beach experience your child will never forget. Enjoy an exciting and scenic 2-hour family Pirate activity cruise that includes dolphin sightings, great music, and non-stop pirate activities for the kids. Cold beer, soda, snacks, t-shirts & pirate souvenirs are available on board as well as clean restrooms. Located on Grand Lagoon in the Lighthouse Marina next to the Grand Marlin Restaurant.
24. Visit Conservation Park
Conservation Park in Panama City Beach is 2,912 acres of total area (908 acres uplands and 2,004 acres wetlands) with 24 miles of trail length and 1 mile of boardwalks for the enjoyment of bikers, hikers and nature lovers.
Also, check out pics from our boardwalk hike in Conservation Park »
25. Visit Camp Helen State Park
NOTE: Be warned that the trek to the beach from the parking lot is about a half a mile without cover, and some of it is through sand....so you might not want to take that hike with small kids or anyone who isn't up for that kind of intense hike. It's a beautiful natural undeveloped beach right next to the Philips Inlet
Each summer Camp Helen State Park hosts Movies and Smores on Tuesday evenings which is a free movie screening and fun activities for kids. You can also take a tour of the Visitors Center and learn about the interesting history of Camp Helen. Take a look at some pics from our visit to Camp Helen from some years back.
26. Visit Pier Park
Pier Park has loads of shopping, restaurants, food stands, and lively beach vacation fun activities. It's directly across from the Russell-Fields Pier and next to Aaron Bessant Park which frequently hosts concerts like the annual free Summer Concert Series and outdoor activities.
27. Stay at a Kid-Friendly Resort Like Splash or Sandpiper Beacon
Staying at a kid-friendly resort like Splash or Sandpiper Beacon starts you off in a great position to keep the kids occupied and having fun.
At Splash, kids of all ages will love the water theme park environments including a beachfront lazy river, multiple pools (indoor / outdoor), a Lil tot splash pad, children's interactive play pools with water slides, water cannons, dive in movie theater, a huge bucket that dumps hundreds of gallons of water, interactive water toys and more.
The Sandpiper Beacon Resort
The Sandpiper Beacon Beach Resort is known as the "FUN Place!" for a reason...they are a laid-back beach resort on the West-end of Panama City Beach, Florida located directly on the beach.
The Sandpiper Beacon is still the ONLY hotel in Panama City FL with an indoor Lazy River Ride. Step inside the cool, tropical indoor atrium, grab an inner tube (provided), and let the gentle current take you on a relaxing journey. The waterslides are the most fun and refreshing way to cool off on a hot Panama City Beach afternoon.
28. Ride the Sky Wheel & Do the Ropes Course at Pier Park
Pier Park has its own amusement park with the 20 story Sky Wheel and other activities such as Panama City Beach's only ropes course and outdoor games.