What are the Top Things to Do in Panama City Beach with Kids?

When you’re planning a family vacation, one of the biggest struggles can be finding activities to do together. After all, you want to find things that your kids will enjoy, but you also want activities that aren’t going to bore all the adults in your group. Striking that perfect balance can be difficult, but when you travel to an exciting city like Panama City Beach, you’ve got tons of options, including the Panama City Beach Conservation Park!

There are seemingly endless things to do in Panama City Beach with kids, so you and your family can have a one-of-a-kind getaway that everyone is sure to enjoy.

While it would be impossible for us to list every single family-friendly destination in the city, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites to get you started! Best of all, each of these destinations are located just minutes from our Panama City Beach condo rentals.

Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Sure, spending the day at the beach with your family is an incredible way to soak up the sun and make memories together. But sometimes, you want to enjoy the water without the messy sands of the shorelines. In that case, head over to Shipwreck Island Waterpark! This waterpark has been a staple of the Panama City Beach area since 1976, attracting locals and visitors alike for more than 40 years. 

The first ride at Shipwreck Island continues to be one of the most popular: the Zoom Flume, an exciting waterslide that guests of all ages are sure to love! You can also experience more than 300 feet of white water inner tube rafting on The Raging Rapids or race your family and friends at the duel slides of the Pirate’s Plunge. Want something a bit calmer? Float your way down the Lazy River for more than 2,000 feet of relaxation. Are you bringing smaller kids with you? The water park’s Tadpole Hole is perfect for even the littlest tots in your group!

Shipwreck Island Waterpark also offers a wide range of delicious foods for when you get hungry, including favorite eats like burgers, pizza, barbeque, and plenty of cold drinks. You can also grab a souvenir from the Pirate’s Plunder gift shop. Shipwreck Island is located at 12201 Hutchinson Boulevard. Hours can vary depending on the time of year when you visit, so simply check their website to see the hours of operation while you’re in town.

pirate skull

Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise

What kid doesn’t want to escape and become a pirate for the afternoon? On a Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise, you can make that dream a reality! Owned and operated by Captain “Fearless” Phil, the Sea Dragon is a great option to keep kids entertained and parents relaxed for a wonderful afternoon on the water. 

Captain “Fearless” Phil is a Panama City Beach local who absolutely loves serving his community and the visitors who come here from around the world. He and his crew work tirelessly to make sure every guest is well taken care of onboard. Your kids will be able to get an incredible view of the water (perhaps even spotting some dolphins if you’re lucky!), sing some classic sea shanties, search for treasure, and really get into the pirate spirit! There are plenty of treats on board as well, including hot dogs, candy, and snacks; there are water and soft drinks for the kids, as well as beer, wine, and margaritas for the adults!

The Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise operates from the Lighthouse Marina at 5325 North Lagoon Drive. Tickets are incredibly affordable at just $27 per adult, $19 per child, and $13 per toddler. Infants under 12 months old sail for free! If you have any questions, the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise has an extensive FAQ section on their website. 

Zoo World Zoological Park

Do you have animal-loving kiddo in your family? Be sure to plan for a day at the Zoo World Zoological Park! This incredible destination offers you the ability to get up close and personal with exotic animals you wouldn’t normally get to see on a Florida vacation. From alligators to lemurs to giraffes, porcupines, lions, and more, they have all kinds of amazing animals to see here. Not only can you see them from a distance, but in many cases, you can interact with the animals one-on-one!

Zoo World offers all kinds of exciting adventures for you to have a one-of-a-kind experience with their incredible animal friends. The Sloth Experience allows kids up to age 7 to snuggle with a friendly sloth, or if you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can get a feed bucket and feed more than 80 giant alligators! They also have an amazing giraffe feeding tower that puts you literally face-to-face with the tallest animals in the world, as well as different experiences with lemurs, budgies, and more. And if all these animals make you miss your four-legged family members, we have lots of pet-friendly rentals in Panama City Beach, so you can come home to your favorite pet!

Zoo World Zoological Park is located at 9008 Front Beach Road. They are open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. with the last admission at 3:30 p.m. Adults get in for just $19.95 (with a $1 discount for seniors aged 65 and older), children aged 2-12 get in for $13.95, and kids under 2 get in for free! Military personnel can also receive a 20% discount for their admission.

Plan Your Vacation

As you can see there is plenty to do for you and your family in Panama City Beach. All you need now is a great place to stay! Find your perfect Panama City Beach condo and make your getaway!

Gulf World Marine Park

While the last attraction we mentioned mainly focuses on land animals, there’s another place you can go if you’re looking to get to know the local marine life: Gulf World Marine Park. This incredible destination has been serving the community for more than 20 years, offering close encounters with marine mammals and studying ways to make our oceans safer for them for years to come.

Guests can enjoy a number of daily shows and interactive programs featuring awesome marine mammals like dolphins, sea lions, and manatees, as well as other marine animals like sharks, turtles, penguins, stingrays, and more! They even have several opportunities for you to get in the water and swim right alongside the friendliest dolphins you’ll meet! The Gulf World Marine Park allows you and your family to not only have an amazing afternoon together but also to learn more about the most fascinating creatures of the sea.

Gulf World Marine Park is located at 15412 Front Beach Road. They are open daily, though their operating hours can change by season. Check their website for the most up-to-date information. Adult admission costs $29.99, senior admission costs $24.99, children (5-11) admission costs $19.99, and young children (4 and under) enter for free. 

Book Your Panama City Beach Condo Rental

Of course, this list is nowhere near all-inclusive, but we hope we’ve given you a bit of inspiration about why you should vacation in Panama City Beach! Want to know the best part? Each of these attractions is just minutes away from our Panama City Beach condos on Thomas Drive! We’ve got rentals for groups big and small, and if you need help finding your perfect rental, our dedicated team is always here to help. Just contact us today to get started!


Pelican Walk Rentals
6905 Thomas Drive
Panama City Beach, FL 32408
(850) 234-8090