Last Updated on September 21, 2018 by Suzy
During our 3 week holiday to Florida we spent four nights in St. Augustine on the northeast coast. It’s a really lovely city to visit and it’s steeped in history which is rather impressive for a city in the USA. We spent plenty of time chilling out by the pool, at the beach and at restaurants by the sea. Plus we had some lovely days out as well.
There is plenty to keep you occupied for a few days and below I will cover my top 8 best things to do with kids in the area. Here’s my family-friendly list of top things to do with kids, which is in no particular order. Perfect for a family holiday in St Augustine.
Top Things to Do in St. Augustine
1 – Sightseeing Trolley Bus Tour
The Old Town Trolley Tour is the oldest and supposedly the best trolley bus tour in St. Augustine. We purchased our tickets late on our day of arrival as they were offering 10% off for the next day. You can also add on additional day tickets for just a little extra. The tour has 23 stops and your ticket also includes free admission to the St Augustine History Museum. They also offer packages at an additional cost which include entry to other attractions in St. Augustine.
There are a few places around St Augustine where you can purchase your tickets or pick up a map of the tour. You can also purchase tickets online in advance. Buying online can also save you money. With 23 stops you can be assured that you will find plenty to do along the way and as this is a hop-on hop-off ticket you can get off the bus whenever you fancy.
Stops that may be more of an interest to families are Potters Wax Museum, the harbour for the Black Raven pirate ship cruise and Ecotours, the colonial quarter for the Castillo. Plus Ripleys believe it or not, the pirate and treasure museum, oldest house, old jail tour and the history and oldest store museums.
One thing we did notice is that as the day goes on it can get busier and busier on these trams. Sometimes it’s worth waiting at a more popular stop as more people may be getting off there.
They also do a ghost and gravestones tour which is priced separately.
2- Castillo De San Marcos – The Fort
The Castillo De San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. It is the main site of interest that you will spot when you arrive in St. Augustine. We stopped off on the trolley tour to have a look around. We were there for just over an hour which included watching them light the cannon. It’s not a massive place however it is worth a visit not just to see the men dressed in uniform to light the cannon but for the beauty of this fort next to the sea.
One thing I would say is to be careful with little ones while visiting the Castillo is their proximity to the edge. There are no railings around the top, neither is there any on the walls by the sea. They have also recently increased their entrance costs to $15.00 per adult, children will remain free. This has increased $5.00 for our visit and we weren’t particularly impressed with paying $10! It is worth a visit though, especially if you are American and are somewhat lacking in history where you live. You can read more about it in my review – Our Visit to Castillo De San Marcos St Augustine Florida.
3 – Black Raven Pirate Ship
The black raven pirate ship treasure adventure runs twice a day. You set sail on an authentic pirate ship with a few members of the crew that play the role of pirates extremely well.
They are great with the kids and even our shy son was successfully encouraged up to battle with a pirate and have his face painted. The pirate’s treasure is stolen by Blackbeard and you then go out to sea to have a mock battle with him and his pirate ship. It’s great fun and well worth the price. We bought our tickets in advance online and picked them up from the office at the harbour. You can find out more in my review – Black Raven Pirate Ship St Augustine Florida | Family Adventure Review.
4 – Boat Tour
There are quite a few boat tours that run from the harbour at St. Augustine. Not all of them run all year round so during our visit in February we only had a couple of tours to choose from. From reading reviews on Tripadvisor we chose the St. Augustine Eco Tour.
The captain of the boat was friendly and full of interesting facts. He did his best to find us birds and dolphins. I was really the only one, in the end, who spotted the dolphins. It was a case of blink and you missed them. I believe there’s a lot more to see in the warmer months. It didn’t matter that we didn’t see a huge amount as it was lovely seeing St. Augustine from the water. Plus our son was allowed to drive the boat for a bit.
The tour lasted for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The boats are relatively small and seat up to 14 people. We only had two other people on our tour.
Family Fun in St Augustine
5 – Miniature Golf
There are two miniature golf courses at St Augustine Beach. There’s Anastasia and Fiesta Falls. Plus bayfront mini golf over by the harbour. We chose to play Fiesta Falls as it looked the most fun. There are 18 holes set around waterfalls, a pirate ship and a cave. It is especially fun if you play as the sun is setting. It was really novel seeing a change in the light and it was certainly more challenging.
Free Things to Do in Saint Augustine
6 – Visit the Beach
The beach at St Augustine has the most stunning golden sand. We spent a lovely time on the beach digging holes and splashing in the sea.
If you park near the pier there’s a splash park that you are free to use plus a playground for the little ones. There’s plenty to splash in and keep the kids entertained if they need cooling down or have had enough of the sand. It’s always good to have a couple of free ideas on a list for kids.
7 – Alligator Farm Zoological Park
St Augustine’s Alligator Farm is located near the lighthouse and not too far from the beach. It is one of Florida’s oldest attractions as it opened in 1893. They have daily wildlife shows and plenty of animals to see. As well as alligators they have exotic birds, crocodiles, snakes, lemurs and more. For an additional cost, you can zip wire over the alligators over 2 different courses. (children must be at least 8 years old).
8 – Visit a Museum
There’s one thing that St. Augustine is not short of and that’s museums, there are at least 23 to choose from. Below I will outline which could be the most interesting ones to visit as a family.
Potter’s Wax Museum – The characters range from musicians and artists to presidents and kings, from Cleopatra to Princess Diana, and much more. At Potter’s Wax Museum, visitors can meet Queen Victoria, Austin Powers, William Shakespeare and Harry Potter all on the same spot.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not – Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum was founded by Robert Leroy Ripley to showcase some of the amazing artefacts he had collected in his extensive travels around the world and documented in his famous comic strip, “Believe It or Not!” His collection of oddities and curiosities is now housed in an entertaining museum for the public to experience.
Pirate and Treasure Museum – The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum offers complete interactive exhibits that transport visitors to the time of plundering pirates and swashbuckling adventures. In this museum, guests can experience what it was like to be a pirate in the famed Port Royal, Jamaica—a place where pirates were protected and easily traded among themselves and the natives in Jamaica.