9 Free Family-Friendly Things to Do in Florida

Any history-loving family should visit St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., founded in 1565. In 1740, the Spanish soldiers erected Fort Matanzas to safeguard the “Ancient City.”

1. FORT MATANZAS

Williford Spring is free and has fresh water, even if it lacks waterpark features! A renowned swimming hole 25 miles north of Panama City is available year-round from dawn to dusk.

2. WILLIFORD SPRING

Watch hundreds of alligators at the Emerald Coast's biggest free alligator park! Free entrance to Gator Beach and most live events produced by “world-class gator handlers.

3. GATOR BEACH

Caspersen Beach may be the finest place to legally uncover ancient shark teeth in Florida. This free, family-friendly beach is 21 miles south of Sarasota and offers several amenities. 

4. CASPERSEN BEACH

No street art discussion is complete without Wynwood. Wynwood Walls charges $12 for adults (kids are free), but much of the street art in this colorful Miami area is free.

5. WYNWOOD

Gainesville's Florida Museum of Natural History claims to be one of the nation's top five. No matter your opinion, spending a wet day here exploring Florida's fossils, people, canals, and animals will be worth it.

6. FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Florida has fewer than 7,000 manatees, so seeing one in the wild is unlikely unless you visit Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center. This popular family-friendly attraction is free and has an information center.

7. TAMPA ELECTRIC’S MANATEE VIEWING CENTER

Disney Springs offers free Disney entertainment if you've been to Disney World or can't afford it. This massive shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, formerly Walt Disney World Village and Downtown Disney.

8. DISNEY SPRINGS

Universal CityWalk, 11 miles distant, rivals Disney Springs. If you have energy and nice shoes, do both in one day. Parking is free after 6 p.m. every night except Halloween Horror Nights, so visit CityWalk last.

9. UNIVERSAL CITYWALK