12 Things To Do With Kids In Destin

Boredom is a cardinal sin in my house. As the mother of 3 (very active) boys, my family is always on the go, looking for things to do with our kids in Destin. When I decided to put together a list of my kids’ favorite things to do, I originally set out to list our Top 10, but my kids weren’t keen on the idea of cutting anything from the list, so we ended up with 12!  Here is their kid-tested and approved list, as well as a description of each.

Things To Do With Kids in Destin

  1. Fishing. Well, of course, fishing made the list! My kids are fishing fanatics and we do live in the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village. My boys will fish anywhere: off the docks, from a kayak, on a boat, at the jetties, at the pier, from the shore… It’s always a different adventure, and you catch different species depending on the time of year, where you are fishing, and what you’re fishing with so this is always our standby activity. Check out our fishing report to see what’s biting this time of year!  family fishing fun things to do with kids in destin
  2. Crab Island. We don’t get the chance to make it out to Crab Island as a family very often anymore since we are so busy with our business and our boats are almost always all in use, but whenever we get the chance, the boys get so excited! There is a lot to do and see at Crab Island and a trip is never complete for us without sliding on the big inflatable water slide or at the Crab Island Water Park, getting ice cream from the ice cream man (who brings it to you by boat), ordering cajun boiled peanuts from Robbie (yep, he travels by boat too), and doing some snorkeling and hermit crab collecting. This item is grown-up tested and approved, too! 😉 You do need a boat to get to Crab Island. You can rent one or take the Crab Island Shuttle BoatCrab Island fun things to do with kids in destin florida
  3. Gulfarium. I’ve been going to the Gulfarium since I was a toddler. One year when I was about 10, my grandmother took a job in the gift shop there and I remember we got free tickets so we went a lot. I always enjoyed it, but hadn’t been in many years, until last summer. The place is under new ownership now, and has been completely renovated, so we took the boys to check it out and were very pleasantly surprised at all the new offerings. Regular admission gives you access to see all of the animal displays and scheduled shows, as well as spend some time at the “touch tank” (my 12 year old’s favorite) where you can play with sea plants and small marine creatures. For an extra fee you can have encounters with various marine life (ie feeding the penguins, having a dolphin encounter, “fishing” in a stocked tank, etc). In all, we were very impressed with the new offerings. From a parents’ perspective, it makes for a great learning experience. The kids just thought it was “cool”, but we all have good memories and love going back to try new encounters!
  4. Eating. I mentioned I have 3 boys (ie human vacuum cleaners), right? Of course eating made the list! There are so many places to eat in Destin that we all love, so I’m just going to skim over some of the more kid-friendly ones. The original Dewey Destin’s is great because it’s a little shack that hangs out over the water looking towards Crab Island. We like to go by boat, but you can certainly go by car just as easily. They have fantastic shrimp baskets that we all fight over, and it’s a very casual atmosphere which makes it a win for the kids and the adults! Another boat-accessible option is Boshamps Oyster Bar, located on the Destin Harbor. Their outdoor dining area is phenomenal! You can literally sit at your table and watch the kids run around and play, since they have an entire beach below the restaurant with hammocks, beach volleyball nets, cornhole games, and even cane poles for the kids to fish off the dock! Fudpuckers is fun too-there is a lot to see and it’s casual as well, plus the Destin location has Gator Beach, which the boys just love (more on that later down the list). It’s also centrally located next to Fat Daddy’s Pizza and the Laser Tag place, so if you want to really pack in the fun, you can do it all at once! Fudpuckers is a Destin icon. Everyone should try this restaurant at least once. They have excellent burgers and you can even try a taste of alligator, but the best part about Fudpucker’s is its fun atmosphere! They have plenty of fun activities geared towards kids. The Back Porch is another Destin icon, located directly on the beach with amazing views! When I was a kid, we would go for dinner and then stroll out onto the beach at night and hunt for Ghost Crabs. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve actually not thought about doing this with my boys until this post, so I’m making a mental note to change that. Usually we go for lunch and hit the beach afterwards, which is one of the things the kids like about it. Here’s my youngest clowning around at the Back Porch:backporchdestin
  5. Beach. Duh, right? Why would you come to Destin and NOT go to the beach? Emerald green waters and sugar white sand. ‘Nuff said. The beach in Destin
  6. The Track. Gokarts, an arcade, bumper cars, and mini golf, just to name a few. It’s like a carnival, only it’s open year round. Kids LOVE this place! (Dads do too!)thetrack
  7. Take a sandcastle lesson from Beach Sand Sculptures. Sand sculptor Rick Mungeam and his wife, Capri, offer fun-filled sandcastle lessons for all ages! They also sell a kit with all of the tools you need to keep making awesome sandcastles, like this: fun for kids in destin
  8. Stroll along the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. This one is good for the whole family. Bonus: it’s free! There is always something going on at the Boardwalk. Stroll along and watch the charter boat captains bring in their catches of the day, people watch, window shop, and sightsee. The walk does the whole family good and it’s a great way to really get a feel for the local culture. Wonder why Destin is known as the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village? Stroll the Boardwalk and you’re sure to find out!
  9. Big Kahuna’s. A gigantic water park with so much to do I won’t even begin to try to list them all. Guaranteed to wear you, and your kids, out!
  10. Gator Beach. This is at the aforementioned Fudpuckers. Watch and feed (from a nice, safe distance!) live alligators. You can even get your picture taken holding one! Very entertaining for the kiddos!destin things to do fun activities family
  11. Fat Daddy’s. Think of a local version of Chuck E Cheese minus the big mouse and his friends. Pizza, Ice Cream, and an arcade make for a great rainy day activity should the weather be uncooperative during your stay.fun activities for kids in destin
  12. Laser Tag. Next door to Fat Daddy’s above Sunsations Beach Store is an indoor Laser Tag and Black Light Mini Golf place. One game of Laser Tag lasts 15 minutes so it’s a great quick late afternoon or evening activity if you have some time to kill between the beach and dinner. lasertag

So, there you have it. My kids’ 12 favorite things to do in Destin (in no particular order)! Remember, this is just a taste of what awaits you here on our sugar white shores. But don’t just take my word for it…Discover for yourself why Destin is known as one of America’s top family travel destinations.

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  2. and kids love stores to rome free in a store of course they will want a million toys and you will by them toys,but they might…………………………………………..



  3. Jason McClain says:

    What a great website!! Thank you for sharing your advice and stories. Looking forward to our visit in a few weeks, we will be stopping by for sure!!

  4. Thanks for the advice, we’ve been to Destin a few times and didn’t know about some of these things.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing. We are planning a trip to Destin. This helps me to finalize my itinerary.

  6. Orlando Elliott says:

    I am planning a vacation in November with my family I have 2 teenagers and 2 kids that are 12 how can mix the fun up for them

  7. Are there any crab island excursions that you are aware of? My mother and I will be traveling to Destin this summer with my two kids and my niece and nephew. Crab Island sounds like fun, but neither of us drive boats. Thank you!

    • Hi Paige, Thanks for stopping by. Driving a boat isn’t as hard as you might think! If you can drive a car, we can get you comfortable with driving the short distance to Crab Island in a matter of a few minutes! If you absolutely don’t want to drive, we can add a driver for an additional fee. Hope that helps!

  8. lisa robinson says:

    where would you recommend a family of 4 stay in Destin? we have a 12 and 13 year old. we would like to be within walking distance of some good restaurants/casual. thank you.

  9. Brandy Boyce says:

    you guys are awesome !!!

  10. Michelle Jones says:

    Thank you for this! We are traveling to Destin with 5 kids under 5~ two of which have special needs and it can be difficult at times to find things to do for all of us. I am thankful that you took the time to post this list! We are looking forward to several of your suggestions!

  11. Sophie van der Linden says:

    Very nice place to spend there the weekend with family. Thanks for sharing your good experience with us. Handsome boys)

  12. I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, appreciate it for all
    the great posts.

  13. THANK you so much for your insight. I’ve taken notes and have lists 🤣 your little one tho 😍 so cute


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