Sarasota, Florida Family Activities & Things to Do
Museums in Sarasota and South Florida
G. WIZ - The Science Museum
Parents needn’t worry about saying, “Don’t touch!” inside this dynamic, kid-friendly Sarasota attraction. With two floors of interactive exhibits covering the physical, earth and health sciences, this state-of-the-art educational center offers scores of fun things to do in Sarasota for kids.
Bring the kids to the Mote Aquarium, part of the noted Mote Marine Laboratory complex. Enjoy an exciting day of petting stingrays, watching sharks and much more!
Big Cat Habitat
Visit the Big Cat Habitat a safe haven to a variety of wild animals including tigers, lions, bears, primates and birds. Drop by or schedule a visit to watch training, bring a school tour or a corporate tour.
Sarasota Classic Car Museum
Head out on the highway to visit America's third-oldest automobile museum, which includes numerous audio visual displays, fascinating artifacts and more than 100 vehicles.
South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium
The South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium is a popular Sarasota museum that represents state's geologic and cultural history, ranging from prehistoric fossils to the recreated dwellings of Florida’s earliest Spanish settlers. The complex also boasts the Parker Manatee Aquarium and the Bishop Planetarium, where shows are featured daily.
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is Florida’s official art museum, filled with more than 500 years of European and American works - including one of the world's grandest collections of 17th-century baroque paintings. The Ca' d'Zan Mansion is the Ringlings' magnificent, 32-room Venetian-Gothic mansion on beautiful Sarasota Bay.
Ringling Museum of the Circus
Experience this big-top Sarasota attraction devoted to circus memorabilia, from parade wagons and calliopes to costumes and colorful posters. The grounds also include a classical courtyard, a rose garden, a museum shop, and the historic Asolo Theater - a 19th-century Italian court playhouse that the Ringlings moved to Sarasota in the 1950s. On weekdays, the center offers guided tours of the art museum, house and circus museum from 10:00a.m. to 5:30p.m. While you're waiting for the next tour at the family-friendly Sarasota museum, explore the gardens or have lunch at the Banyan Cafe.
Crowley Museum and Nature Center (CMNC) is a non-profit nature and pioneer history center located on 190 acres of native land adjacent to the Myakka River in Sarasota County. Visitors can enjoy nature trails through the protected wildlife sanctuary, a boardwalk traversing the Maple Branch Swamp and Tatum Sawgrass Marsh and an observation tower overlooking the Myakka River. The pioneer history area includes a Sarasota museum with artifacts from the late 1870's to the early 1900's, a one-room homestead cabin, a working blacksmith shop, a working sugar cane mill, and a restored 1892 "Cracker" house. Trails are well maintained, and many are handicapped accessible.
Sarasota Bay Explorers
Escape into natural Florida with Sarasota Bay Explorers. Experience Florida's ecological wonders with guides who are familiar with Florida's flora, fauna, natural and cultural history. These Eco-friendly boat tours use great care to ensure that the habitats visited are protected and preserved. Enjoy the intimacy of small group outings and private charters. Boat tours are well suited for all age groups and skill levels, from the novice to the experience adventurer.
Historic Spanish Point
Spanish Point is a 30-acre archaeological, historical, and environmental museum on Little Sarasota Bay. The annual Heritage Holidays Festival is held in November and December.
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