5 family-friendly attractions for Tampa

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Tampa’s top outdoor adventures

With sunshine and near perfect temperatures all year round, who wouldn’t want to vacation in Tampa? Because of its location and weather, this Florida hot spot has numerous outdoor adventures available to all ages every day of the year. Even if you don’t consider yourself an outdoorsy person, these Tampa destinations will appeal to you.

Adventure Island

Adventure Island isn’t just a water park, it’s a water adventure. Whatever you want that’s water related — pools, a rambling river, water slides and waterfalls — they have it all. In between racing down a swirly water slide and floating down the river, try out one of their white sand volleyball courts in the Spike Zone. There’s also a section just for kids, so every age has something to look forward to. Take a break from the water and sun to have some lunch at one of their restaurants or buy yourself some water shoes or sunscreen at their Island Surf Shop.

Hours: Opening and closing times vary based on day of the week and time of the year, so check the calendar on their website.
Price: Single-day tickets are $38 for kids ages 3-9 and $42 for adults ages 10 and older. You save $5 when you buy your ticket online.


Busch Gardens

This African-themed park gives you animal encounters, live shows and jaw-dropping rides. Busch Gardens is a SeaWorld theme park and is one of only two in the U.S. Strap in and enjoy the Cheetah Hunt rollercoaster, the longest thrill ride in the park, or get up close and personal to beautiful flamingos and nearly 500 other tropical birds in the Bird Gardens. Every ride, show and other park experience are animal-themed and will wow you with your eyes see and your brain learns on your visit.

Hours: Opening and closing times vary based on day of the week, so check the calendar on their website for more information.|
Price: Single-day tickets are $77 for kids and $82 for adults. Save $10 when you buy your ticket before your visit. Buy a multi-park ticket for Busch Gardens and Adventure Island and pay $87 for kids and $92 for adults.


Safari Wilderness Ranch

Travel about 35 miles from Tampa and go on a safari through more than 260 acres of wilderness. Safari Wilderness Ranch specializes in wetland exotic species, and you can see all of them on a vehicle safari or on a camel expedition if you’re feeling a little more rustic and want to be even closer to nature. You could be one of the lucky visitors who gets to accompany animal caretakers during their daily feeding routines if you time your visit right. Reservations are required and visitor numbers are limited so be sure to make a reservation in advance.

Hours: Daily tour times begin at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Price: Vehicle Safari: $70/adults, $65/seniors (65 and older), $60/kids and free for kids under 2. Camel Expedition: $150/person but those under 3 can’t ride. They also offer private safaris staring at $700 a vehicle and group rates that require a 20 person minimum.

Giraffe Ranch

Giraffe Ranch is another Tampa attraction bringing you closer to nature and wildlife. This ranch sits on 47 acres of countryside just north of Tampa and borders the Green Swamp. See tall oak trees, lush green pastures, wetlands and exotic and domestic animals from various continents as you go exploring on one of their safaris. Find out which animals you click with as you pet or ride a camel, watch a herd of Irish Dexter cattle in motion or feed a giraffe.

Hours: Two tours happen daily, starting at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tours last between 1 and 1 ½ hours, are by reservation only and reservations can only be made by phone.
Price: Safari Vehicle Tours: $69.99 for adults ages 12 and up, $64.99 for seniors 65 and older, $59.99 for kids ages 2-11 and free for those under 2. Private rentals are $700 per vehicle. Camel Expedition: $150/person but kids under 3 can’t ride. Optional extras are also offered.

 Tampa’s Top Outdoor Adventures

Canoe Escape

An escape from concrete sidewalks, towering buildings and work stress is what you’ll have at Canoe Escape. Rent a canoe or a kayak and paddle down the Hillsborough River. Canoe Escape lets you go down the river by yourself or on a guided trip. They also offer special events like a Moonlight Trip where you’re out on the river just before sunset seeing all the night creatures out and about. You could spend two hours or even a full day appreciating nature as you’re on the water and with rare Florida wildlife and vegetation.

Hours: Opens at 9 a.m. daily and is open year round, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Price: Rates vary on what type of canoe or kayak you rent, what trip you take and how long you go for. Check their website for exact pricing.

Tampa gives every kind of outdoor adventure you’d want to have. Don’t delay your chance to go on a thrilling rollercoaster or a wilderness safari with exotic animals. Book your hotel and trip to Tampa as soon as possible!


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