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Vero Beach, Florida is a quiet beach town located along the Atlantic’s Treasure Coast. It’s a perfect getaway for frogs and human friends in search of riches such as golden beaches, water-based activities, golf courses and nest eggs — for sea turtles, that is. You’ll discover a wealth of cool animal encounters, including manatees, loggerhead turtles and maybe even some alligators! Hop aboard for an excursion to explore the top things to do in Vero Beach with kids.
Located between Jacksonville and Miami, Vero Beach is a relaxing place to escape the hustle and bustle of life and take time to relax and play in this seaside village. Whether you are escaping a harsh winter or coming to enjoy summer at the beach, you’ll love sinking your toes in the warm, soft sand and finding family fun for all ages.
Life’s a Beach
There’s nothing like spending time at the beach with kids. The warm water at several Vero Beach beaches welcomes you to wade, swim and collect shells during your visit. Jaycee Beach is a Frog Family favorite. It has a lifeguard, playground, boardwalk and a nearby ice cream shop. If you are looking for a quieter beach, hop over to South Beach Park. You can rent chairs and umbrellas there. Umbrellas are important for getting some shade to protect yourself and the tadpoles from the strong Florida sun. Lifeguards offer a little peace of mind to parents with little ones. Need help packing for a beach vacation with kids? We can help!
A fun beach activity at Vero Beach is treasure hunting. You can rent metal detectors and search for some ancient treasure from pirate ships that wrecked along the coast in the 1700s. The Treasure Coast has a rich history as an outpost for the Spanish Empire in the 18th century. When a hurricane destroyed a fleet carrying gold and silver to Spain off of the Florida coast, the ships lost their treasures to the sea. Some of the loot is still out there! Sebastian Inlet, Wabasso Beach and Melbourne Beach are said to provide good hunting, especially after a storm. Shiver me timbers! Wouldn’t it be fun to find a doubloon? Perhaps you’ll be more likely to discover some modern pocket change? It’s fun to dream anyway — and talk like a pirate while you search for buried treasure. Yo ho ho!
Go Wild in a Lagoon
There are several ways to observe and learn about the unique animals who live in the Vero Beach area. If you’ve never seen a manatee, you have to take the opportunity while you are there! Rent a canoe or kayak to explore the river lagoons. You can enter the jungle environment and observe the rich, biodiverse wildlife who call it home. Round Island Beach Park has some great manatee viewing. Another place to learn about manatees and other wildlife is the Manatee Observation and Education Center in Fort Pierce.
Hop over to the Environmental Learning Center, which is located on an island sanctuary. You can take an eco-excursion by pontoon, wagon ride or canoe. Plus you can meet animals up close in the touch tank!
Any fisherman out there? You can go saltwater fishing at Sebastian’s Inlet or do some freshwater fishing in the Sebastian River. Be sure to check out the fishing license laws. Anyone 16 or older needs a Florida freshwater or saltwater fishing license (however, there are a few free fishing days each year, so check the calendar).
Observe Sea Turtle Nesting
The sea turtle season runs from March through October. Disney’s Vero Beach offers Sea Turtle Night Walks (with night vision goggles!) on select nights in June and July. You can attend an informative presentation and walk on the beach to watch a turtle lay her eggs. Another option is to attend a tour at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, or sign up with the Friends of Sebastian Inlet State Park (both located in Melbourne Beach) starting May 1. The limited tours do sell out. It is illegal to be on the beach at night when they are hatching later in summer because it is dangerous for the baby turtles.
Hop About a Botanical Garden
The McKee Botanical Garden is a tropical hideaway perfect for frogs of any age to hop, skip and jump about. The 18-acre children’s garden (opening in 2019) welcomes all tadpoles to the jungle with a fairy house, jungle gym and monkey bridge. The garden has a collection of waterlilies (ribbit, ribbit!) and orchids.
Make a splash with all that freshwater and saltwater in Vero Beach by hopping on a boat. Airboat tours can take you out on an informative tour to explore natural areas that are otherwise hard to reach. Glide over the marshes to find wildlife, including alligators.
A sailboat ride makes for a relaxing way to sit back and chill out while enjoying the coastal views. You may get to see dolphins, turtles, manatees, fish and birds. Consider going at sunset for a perfect end to a warm, sunny day,
You can also rent your own boat to do some exploring on your own. Pontoons make a for a nice, gentle family outing on the water. More adventurous families may want to kick it up a notch by renting jet skis.
Find Indoor Fun
If you’ve had too much sun or need to get under cover due to rain, there are a few indoor activities and small museums you can do with kids. The Fun City Party and Play Center allows walk-ins during business hours. Parents' admission is FREE! Kids can literally bounce off of the walls with inflatable jumps, slides and obstacle courses, as well climbing walls. You’ll find laser tag and bumper cars, too!
If your tadpoles play pirates and like to search for treasure, take them to the McLarty Treasure Museum. You can hear the stories about the survivors who set up camp on the shores of present-day Vero Beach and view the coins, tools and weapons salvaged from the wrecks of pirate ships carrying gold and silver back to Spain.
The Vero Beach Museum of Art has a multi-sensory Art Zone. If you have crafty kids, your family may enjoy hands-on interaction and creativity.
If the performing art are more your speed, the Riverside Theatre offers Children’s Theatre productions. Check out the show calendar for your visit and see a show! You can also attend a themed character breakfast. Kids ages 3 to 12 can take pictures and dine with characters from the shows.
Older kids will flip for Gamer’s Realm, with virtual reality experiences, video games, escape rooms and more. Listen up, parents: You can play Retro console games (and pinball) and take a trip back to your own childhood. I challenge anyone to a game of Frogger!
Sample the Seafood
Feast on a rich bounty of local fish and shellfish while on the Treasure Coast. Many local eateries offer lobster, crab, shrimp and other seafood. The Crab Stop is popular with the locals, and you can order food to share by the platter, dozen or pound (perfect for families!). Make reservations if you want to dine at The Tides and try the pan-seared grouper. The Ocean Grill is located right on the water. You may want to save some room for their famous key lime pie!
Take Advantage of Hotel Recreation
One of our top things to do at Vero Beach with kids is to stay at a kid-friendly hotel and enjoy the ease of entertaining them without traveling far. Splash in the kid-friendly pools at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and send the tadpoles to the Disney Discovery Club, where kids ages 4 to 12 can have supervised fun for a few hours in the evenings (for a fee). The tadpoles love doing crafts, watching movies, playing games, doing sports activities and eating dinner while parents can enjoy some romantic time, a quiet meal or a stroll on the beach together. The resort also offers teen programs. There’s a spa on-site for parents to unwind, as well. The resort has campfires with s’mores at night. Sign me up for s’more fun, please! Book a character dining meal with for a special sprinkling of Disney magic.
At the beach, you can rent body boards or enjoy water craft activities. Our advice is to make advance reservations for beach chairs, umbrellas, cabanas and kayaks. Some other child-friendly hotels in Vero Beach may offer pool toys, floats and games such as inflatable bowling and cornhole.
Do you have any favorite top things to do in Vero Beach with kids? Please share them in the comments section below. Did you know that Undercover Tourist is hopping into family-friendly cities and beach destinations, including Disney's Vero Beach? Be sure to check out our discount tickets, hotels and rental car reservations. And keep hopping back because we are adding more products weekly!
Related: Our Hoppin' Guide to Visiting Vero Beach with Kids
So hopful - thanks for sharing!
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