Top St. Augustine Family-Friendly Activities
St. Augustine has so much to offer families with kids! I am a native Floridian and had never visited St. Augustine until our kids came home from school nd started talking about it. They were fascinated by the history and the fact that it’s the oldest city in the country, so we planned a trip there over Spring Break. There is SO much to do in St. Augustine and we managed to pack all of these things in in just 2 days….it just takes a little planning!
We saw a lot of what St. Augustine has to offer, and these are our top picks for your family vacation. We were surprised by some of them because we didn’t think the kids would enjoy them, but we were wrong!
My kids ages 7-14 had a blast touring this charming town and learning it’s remarkable history. The younger kids loved riding the trolley around town and my older kids appreciated the detailed stories and history given by the tour guides.
Fort Mantanzas is a must do with kids. Built in 1742, it was built to protect St. Augustine from British attack and is a U.S. National Monument. You can see the rooms where the soldiers lived and there is a Visitor Center where you can learn about the history of the Fort. They have Rangers walking around that can answer questions and if you time it right, they have a firing of the cannons! Entry to the Fort is free.
St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum is a private, non-profit museum dedicated to the history of the nation’s oldest port. You can do a docent led tour, but if you have small children, I would recommend just touring the grounds. The tour is a little long and might get boring for kids after awhile. There are many interactive exhibits and of course the Lighthouse! Visitors can climb the 219 steps of the Lighthouse to see an amazing view of St. Augustine. There’s also a scavenger hunt and a hands-on archaeological tour. You’ll want to check the times for those. Entry into the museum is free.
Oldest Wooden School House, St. Augustine
This is the oldest wooden school house in the whole U.S.! It was built over 200 years ago and you can visit not just the schoolhouse, but tour the grounds, see copies of old textbooks and school supplies and see where the schoolmaster lived.
Right next to the oldest wooden school are the City Gates. St. Augustine was once surrounded by strong walls and the City Gates are some of the last evidence of that history. They are made of coquina stone and they open onto the northern part of St. George Street, leading into the heart of the old city.
St. George Street
St. George Street is the shopping hub of St. Augustine. It’s cobbled streets are a place for you to walk and even bike without worrying about traffic and the street is lined with restaurants, galleries, bistros, gift shops. Just make sure you bring your wallet with you, because there is plenty that your kids will want to buy!
The only issue was deciding where to spend our money and repeatedly telling the kids, “No, we can’t go in the third ice cream shop you’ve seen – we just now got popsicles :)!” They have a waffle and milkshake restaurant, a french fry store (yes, all different kinds of fries! ), and a slew of other eateries!
Cost: $9.58 adult/ $5.74 child over 6
The Oldest Store in America dates back to 1900. A tour guide dressed as an 1900’s shopkeeper will take you through his store and highlight all the interesting items sold at the turn of the century. The tour guides are by turns informative and funny, and managed to keep the attention of my fidgety 7 year olds with short attention spans, which is saying something!
The tour is interactive and the guides do a good job of picking out some of the younger children to do hands on activities and demonstrations. Makes for lots of great photo ops!
Cost: $9.58 adult/ $5.74 child over 6
This Old Jail was probably my kids favorite tour stop overall. You are greeted by a tour guide in a period costume that speaks to you for the duration of the tour as if you are in the late 1800’s. Our tour guide was dressed as one of the deputies. We saw another tour guide dressed as an actual prisoner and giving the tour from the perspective of an inmate.
Your guide takes you through what the jail looked like back in the 1800’s and includes details of what a day in the life of a prisoner was like, what prisoners ate, where they slept, solitary confinement cells, etc.
St. Augustine History Museum
Cost: FREE, included in your Old Town Trolley Tour purchase
Located next to the Old Jail and Oldest Store and inside Gator Bob’s Trading Post you will find a charming little museum dedicated to all things St. Augustine.
Located on St. George Street, Colonial Quarter is like stepping back into time. You can tour the 2 acre living museum and see what life was like in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. There are musket drills, blacksmiths, historical reenactments and you can even climb to the top of a watchtower. You do have to purchase tickets to tour the Colonial Quarter, so check their website to select a tour.
The hands-on experience in one of the property’s houses was the highlight for the kids. They had hats and costumes for the kids to wear, as well as a lantern, working shutters, and a printing press. Everything was available for the children to play with. They didn’t want to leave, so they kept playing “British Are Coming”!
Olde Time Trolley
I HIGHLY recommend using the Olde Time Trolley while you are touring St. Augustine, especially with children. We did the Trolley for one day and it was a lifesaver. It has stops at every location in St. Augustine and you get a fully narrated tour of the city. We learned so much just from riding around! You can get off and on wherever you want, so it keeps the kids feet from getting tired. I can’t imagine how we would have seen everything we did without it. You can buy tickets through their website.
Our favorite stop was at the San Sebastian Winery, which offers free wine tastings! They show a short video, something that we did not watch and instead waited outside the room for it to end so we could go to the tasting room. While we sampled wine in the tasting room, the kids sat against the wall and watched movies on our phones.
St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum
The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum is another must. Our kids loved how realistic the museum was and we all learned a lot about the history of pirates. The museum houses historical artifacts, interactive exhibits designed by Disney Imagineers and animatronic exhibits. You can go on our own treasure hunt through the museum and even see some props from popular pirate movies like Goonies and Pirates of the Caribbean! You can buy tickets ahead of time or on the day of your visit. Adults are $13.99, kids 5 – 12 are $6.99 and 4 and under are free. We spent a good 3 hours at the museum.
If the kids get tired of touring, pop over to the Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Founded in 1893, it’s the only place in the world that houses every species of crocodile! In addition to crocodiles, they have alligators, monkeys, birds, fossils and other reptiles. My kids were really excited to see the albino alligators, as well as the live feedings! Tickets are $24.99 for adults, $22.49 for kids 12+ and $12.59 for kids ages 3 – 11.
Sincerely, it was very cool, and we would recommend stopping by even if you’re just passing through. They have a TON of different types of alligators, and you can see the Albino alligator and a bunch of baby albino alligators right when you walk in. Then you get to the middle section, which is teeming with massive alligators.
The zoo also has a zip line attraction called Crocodile Crossing that has 2 different courses with live alligators and crocodiles right under you! Pricing for the zip line courses are separate.
Castillo de San Marcos
Cost: $10/ ages 16+
Castillo de San Marcos is an ancient fort built by the Spaniards who first settled St. Augustine. This picturesque citadel overlooks Matanzas Bay and has lots of areas to explore for all ages. The kids all had fun playing an old fashioned coin game with some of the soldiers at Castillo de San Marcos.
To add an extra element of fun they offer kids the opportunity to become Junior Rangers by completing a information book. If they complete the questions and required activities they are rewarded with a Junior Ranger certificate, badge and patch. My 10 year old and 7 year old enjoyed this part of the tour!
If your child is a fan of Harry Potter, I highly recommend touring Flagler College. It is a beautiful campus and you feel like you’re in Hogwarts! Tours are available at 10am and 2pm seven days a week. In addition to seeing the grand lobby with 68 foot domed ceiling and the Tiffany Stained glass in the dining room, you get to learn a little about Henry Flagler, who helped build much of St. Augustine. There is a fee for the tour: Adults are $10, kids 4 – 12 are $1 and children under 4 are free.
Flagler College campus is absolutely beautiful and so picturesque it’s hard to believe it is actually an operational school and not a museum! Originally built as the Ponce de Leon Hotel, it houses amazing architectural features and the largest collection of Tiffany Glass in the world.
You can wander through the college campus on your own or book a guided tour through the college for $10/adult, $1 kids.
Whet’s Chocolate Factory
Who doesn’t want to tour a chocolate factory?! Their tasting tour is 45 minutes and you learn about the different types of chocolate, how they’re made and you get to taste each one as you go! Atthe end, there is an animatronic Lucy and Ethel that you can take a picture with! Of course, the tour ends in their chocolate store, where you can choose from many sweet treats! Free for kids and $8 for adults.
Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops
Located in downtown St. Augustine, Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops has over 450 flavors of all natural popsicles, everything from Banana Bread to Nutella (my son’s favorite) to Rum Raisin. They only use fresh fruit and since they’re so healthy, you can eat more than just one!
The popsicles are made by hand using natural and local ingredients. They also have some really cool flavors, such as Sweet Potato Pie, Resiling, Vanilla Bean, Peanut Butter, and your standard fruit flavors. If you ever have the chance, I highly recommend stopping by to try one! They do cost about $3 to $4 per popsicle, so plan accordingly.
Located on St. George Street, Kernel Poppers is a popcorn lovers dream. They have over 100 popcorn flavors, in categories like Cheese, Candied and Gourmet and sizes from kiddie to large tins! We spent forever just picking out our flavors and we loved the Butterscotch, Chicago Blend and English Toffee!
Also on St. George Street, Pizza Alley has two sides: Chianti Room, which is a fine dining experience and St. George Room, which is very family friendly. Delicious pizza and fun atmosphere and they even have gluten free crust!
MOJO Old City BBQ
The best BBQ in all of Florida, this is a great place for lunch or dinner. MOJO’s has a very relaxed atmosphere with outdoor seating for pets and blues music playing. Their food is top notch and there’s something for even the pickiest eater!
St. Augustine is filled with so many fun things to do with kids of all ages. I hope this post has helped you plan a fun-filled visit to the Oldest City in the U.S.!
Your family may be headed to St. Augustine for the beautiful beaches, but be sure to take a break from the sun and sand to experience the TOP family friendly activity in St. Augustine, the Old Town Trolley Tour.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I booked an Old Town Trolley Tour last minute for my family of 7, but I was pleasantly surprised. Did you know St. Augustine is the oldest city in America? With it’s unique history there are lots of fun historical sites to visit as well as beautiful architecture to admire.
- Top St. Augustine Family-Friendly Activities
- Fort Mantanzas
- St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
- Oldest Wooden School House, St. Augustine
- City Gates
- St. George Street
- Oldest Store
- Old Jail
- St. Augustine History Museum
- Colonial Quarter
- Olde Time Trolley
- St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum
- Alligator Farm
- Castillo de San Marcos
- Whet’s Chocolate Factory
- Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops
- Kernel Poppers
- Pizza Alley
- MOJO Old City BBQ