30A is home to a variety of perfectly kid-friendly activities ideal for learning, making memories, and for all ages to feel like a kid again. From exploring the area’s natural beauty to spending time taking in local arts and culture to fun-filled educational programs, and beyond, you are sure to find something for everyone and every age.
The 30A Sea Life Discovery Center is located in Grayton Beach and hosts interactive sea-life programs providing kids opportunities to snorkel with sea turtles, kayak across serene coastal dune lakes, and participate in evening scavenger hunts to learn about species that only come out at night. The whole family can get up close and personal with starfish, plankton, sea turtles, shark pups, and more!
Austin Magee’s Surf School is located on the beach in Seaside, Florida, and serves all of 30A and the Emerald Coast. From Kids Camps to private and group lessons to mini sessions, they provide everything you need to learn how to surf. All you need to do is wear a bathing suit and be ready for something new! Be sure to contact ahead of time for reservations.
For those looking for something off the beaten path, head north to Freeport to explore the E.O.Wilson Biophilia Center. Focused on environmental science lessons like the importance of biodiversity, sustainability, conservation, preservation, and restoration of ecosystems, the Center is open to the public for special events, and during the summer, they host summer overnight camps and hold public hours each week all summer long.
Enjoy a round of FootGolf at the Origins Golf Club. FootGolf combines the skills of soccer with the rules of golf. If you can kick a soccer ball, you can play this game! FootGolf is a precision sport, in which players kick a soccer ball into a cup in as few shots as possible. The Origins course is a 9-hole course where all ages and skill levels are welcome. Please call at 850-213-5090 for further information.
30A is lucky enough to be home to not one, but two!, premier theatre companies providing Theatre for Young Audiences (a show performed by professional adult actors intended for a young/child-based audience). The Repertory Theatre company (known by the locals as The REP) travels throughout the 30A area to a number of outdoor venues, including Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach, and Seaside, and has established its indoor home in the heart of Seaside. Emerald Coast Theatre Company is based in Miramar Beach offering professional and local youth performances. Both offer a variety of stage performances as well as youth classes, camps, and more. Be sure to check out their schedule of events for your next visit!
A classic is a classic for a reason! With beautiful weather year-round, you can always enjoy one of the playgrounds of 30A. Run, jump, swing, and slide with the little ones at one of the parks whether you prefer something remote, or right near your favorite 30A hotspots!
Anyone who’s been to the 30A area knows one thing for sure – bikes are the best way to travel! With 19 miles of paved bike path running the length of 30A, state park trails, and easy-to-navigate roads within each community, biking in South Walton is king! Also – baby seats, bike trailers, and pull alongs are available (for an extra fee) at most rental companies for any little ones not riding solo just yet!
After a long day of fun in the sun, head back to the beach after the sun sets to hunt elusive Ghost Crabs. Their scientific name, Ocypode means “fast feet,” as they’re often seen darting sideways at up to 10 miles per hour, and their coloring blends in perfectly with the sugar-white sands of 30A making them hard to catch which only makes it all the more fun!
Of course, while it’s part of many childhood rituals to hunt for Ghost Crabs, please be gentle on the crabs and free them quickly so they can get back to their hunt for food and remoisten their gills to keep breathing. Also – remember to always use turtle-safe, red-light flashlights or stickers for your flashlights when on the beach at night. The local sea turtles count on it!
The Baytowne Adventure Zone in The Village of Baytowne Wharf is South Walton’s exclusive adventure zone. Get an aerial view of the Village and its surroundings as you soar across the lagoon on the Baytowne Zipline, then head over to the Sky Trail Ropes Course to test your balance and agility. If you still haven’t had enough fun and excitement, the Tower Climb and Eurobungy are sure to thrill you. For more information and updated hours, click here.
What kid, or kid at heart, doesn’t love ice cream? No matter where you are staying or playing – there’s a delicious spot nearby. Check out the list here and for a full list of kid-friendly dining options, click here.
What rivals a kid in a candy store? A kid in a toy store! Check out Duckies in Seaside for the ultimate “Shop of Fun.” Don’t forget to snap a photo with “The Duck” just outside the store. Gigi’s Fabulous Kids’ Fashions & Toys in Rosemary Beach is much more than a children’s clothing and toy store. It’s also a place where kids and kids at heart are welcome to hang out a while, do a happy dance, make a friend, be silly, and become a star. Check out more shopping options here.
What is more precious than a child’s creativity? Let their inner artists flourish and create a wonderful memory while visiting 30A. Many local galleries and studios offer kids classes (or kid-friendly, mixed-age classes) like Estelle Studio & Gallery in Freeport. While exploring Grayton Beach, walk into Rock, Paper, Scissors and let their imagination run free. And, be sure to check in with Cultural Arts Alliance, a local nonprofit supporting local artists, and art education. They list their own Creative Kids Camps along with events happening in the area on their Events Page.
Teach a kid to fish, and they’re hooked for life! Known for some of the best fishing in the world, 30A has options throughout the Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. You can choose to go solo, take a guided tour, or try your hand at deep-sea fishing on an overnight trip. Be sure to check all the regulations and purchase a permit when needed. Find out more here.
BE HONEST!! ???? Have you ever called this the Ocean?
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Posted by 30A on Wednesday, 2 February 2022
Take a break from the beach and head out for a hike! There are over 200 miles of hiking and biking trails throughout South Walton state parks, so there is something for all levels. Taking a hike is one of the best ways to view 30A’s coastal dune lakes, rare plants, and unique perspectives of the Gulf.