Full of lovely stretches of beach combined with amazing family friendly activities, Daytona is the perfect spring break destination. We recently spent five full days exploring the sandy beaches and city of Daytona from morning to night and could easily have done so a month if not for the responsibilities of real life.
FOR THE KIDS
We know why grown-ups love Daytona, the beach, seafood restaurants and racetrack among others. For car and motorcycle enthusiasts, Daytona is tops. But kids aren’t left out by any means. We found loads to do with our kids that combined fun with learning experiences and much of it was free. There can be no complaints from any member of the family when fun is available free of charge.
CHECK IT OUT
- Florida’s Tallest Lighthouse – By cruising just 20 miles south of Daytona Beach, you’ll find the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse. Explore this strikingly beautiful historic landmark with a shaded playground and lush landscaping. Our kids loved the height of the lighthouse and the playground. As a bonus, we grown-ups were able to soak up some interesting history along with beautiful scenery.
Miniature Golf – Kids of all ages love miniature golf and ours are no exception. Without even leaving our hotel, we played several games of miniature golf. Anytime you visit a city in Florida, check with your hotel for in-house activities. You’d be surprised how many fun on-site events are available for kids. You can also explore caves and feed the alligators at Congo River golf. Ask your hotel for coupons!
- Pet a Stingray – The Marine Science Center in nearby Ponce Inlet is a great way to spend some time, especially if it’s during a typical afternoon Florida rain shower. It’s what we did for exactly that reason. Besides the excitement of petting a live stingray, your kids can check out the skull of a humpback whale, moray eels and numerous fish. For any youngster interested in conservation, the sea turtle hospital section is a must see. The staff takes excellent care of injured loggerhead and green sea turtles and will patiently answer questions from curious minds.
- Enjoy a Luau – It’s Florida not Hawaii, yet it’s possible here in Daytona to experience an authentic Polynesian luau. We didn’t realize it was an all-you-can-eat buffet until we arrived. The food is delicious authentic Hawaiian, complete with hula and fire dancers creating an atmosphere that will have you thinking you’re several hours to the west in Hawaii. We booked our stay at the Hawaiian Inn Beach Resort right on Daytona Beach to be able to experience everything the Ohana Luau had to offer. We all went home with a few new dance moves and my littlest got a Tahitian drum set!
- Feed Your Need for Speed – Do you love NASCAR and the Daytona 500 races? Learn all about the Daytona International Speedway by taking a behind-the-scenes tour. Choose a simple informative style tour or get hands-on with the Richard Petty Driving Experience. There are ride alongs for kids as young as 6 but kids of all ages are crazy out it, especially their dads.
- Ferris Wheel – Take a stroll on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk. Play games at the arcade, enjoy carnival rides or go fishing from the historical Daytona Beach Pier. We topped our evening off with a ride on the ferris wheel for a breathtaking view of the city and the Atlantic ocean. Our kids loved the thrill but we found it nostalgically romantic.
- Children’s Museum – The Museum of Arts & Sciences offers great hands-on attractions. Our kids got a kick out of making their own pizzas but even more fun was the Tennis Ball Launcher. A free planetarium show of the night sky and a Children’s Laser Show are included with museum admission. Check show times and be sure to be present for these extra activities.
- Magic Milk Sand Art – Kids always want souvenirs. We let ours get creative and make their own at Magic Milk Sand Art. They are guided through making everything from traditional footprints in the sand to a multitude of other treasures. Think ahead and consider having them do something for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day while they’re at it.
You can see now why 5 days simply wasn’t enough time. Believe me, there is so much more to Daytona than a racetrack. However you choose to spend your spring break time in Daytona, be sure to work in beach fun for the ultimate in relaxation. Just don’t forget water for hydration and sunblock for the intense Florida sunshine. What do you enjoy most when visiting Daytona?
As a homemaker and Mother of 5, Michelle Rise has become a family travel enthusiast. While trekking through Disney parks with her Family for over 10 years, Michelle has become an expert on navigating families through Disney. When she’s not writing about her experiences or teaching her children to drive, Michelle can be found chasing the family dog up rainbow mountain with her husband of over 25 years, Ben. You can follow Michelle on Twitter, @Rise7Up, for all of her latest writings.