Tampa is a great destination for a relaxed family holiday. Its excellent beaches, theme parks, and opportunities to experience wildlife first-hand mean it's popular with adults and kids alike.
Day 1: Theme Parks
Tampa has several popular theme parks that’ll keep the whole family entertained. Take your pick from the Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo or Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The Florida Aquarium is known for its unique glass architecture and has over 20,000 species of aquatic plants and animals. Lowry Park Zoo has over 2,000 animals and takes an educational approach with its interactive exhibits. African-themed Busch Gardens is a definite favorite with the kids who love seeing the African wildlife and taking a white-knuckle ride on its thrilling roller coasters.
Day 2: Get Wet
The deep-water port of Tampa Bay is home to over 400 bottlenose dolphins and is one of the best places in Florida to view birds and native fish. Enjoy a leisurely cruise of the bay that includes a long lunch or a spot of cruise-ship dancing , or go dolphin spotting on a 72 foot (22 meter) catamaran – the choice is yours!
Day 3: Animal Encounters
Spend a day at the incredible Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit educational sanctuary devoted to rescuing and housing abandoned or abused exotic cats. Home to tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, lynx, ocelots and more, you can tour the center by day (special kids tour on Saturdays) or leave the kids behind and tour the center at night. You can even watch the big cats devouring their daily meat feed (over 18's only). More up close and personal encounters can be had at the Florida Aquarium where the kids can swim with the fishes and mom and dad can swim with the sharks!