Top 5 Things to Do with Kids on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is an idyllic haven for both adults and children. Adults can relax while the kids have fun, but kids-at-heart can join in on the thrills, too. There is no shortage of things to do with kids on Anna Maria Island, so nobody can complain about being bored. But just what can you do with your kids while you’re staying in an Anna Maria Island vacation rental? From a walk along the AMI City Pier to munching on your own customized donuts, families can find all sorts of exciting things on this wonderful little island.

Anna Maria Island City Pier

kid on anna maria island beach

A stroll along Anna Maria Island City Pier is a ‘must’ for any family vacations in Anna Maria Island. Among all the piers on Anna Maria Island , this one seems to be everyone’s favorite. Why is that? Just head on down to 100 South Bay Blvd and see for yourself!

This historic pier was first used as a drop-off spot for “day-trippers” who came over from the Mainland and St. Petersburg via a steamer. These visitors would disembark their vessels and take a walk down Pine Avenue to visit what is now known as The Sandbar Restaurant.

Walking the pier is free, and if you’re coming by car, park in one of the spots on South Bay Blvd. (You can also come here by way of the free trolley that runs the length of the island.) As you walk along the pier you will see tons of names etched onto the wooden planks. When you come to the end, there is a gift shop and restaurant where you can grab some ice cream. In the distance, you’ll see the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Of course, you will also see plenty of wildlife as you walk the length of the pier.

Photo from Unsplash

Dolphin Tours

Another one of the kid-friendly things to do on Anna Maria is taking a dolphin tour. Book a tour with Anna Maria Island Dolphin Tours and set sail with a highly trained captain at the helm. They offer 3- and 4-hour Egmont Key trips, a 2-hour private or 1.5-hour public guided Dolphin Eco Tour, and a 2-hour private or 1.5-hour public Sunset Tour. There are also Shelling Trips and Snorkeling Trips to Egmont Key.

You and the kiddos stand a good chance of spotting Manatees, Dolphins, Sea Turtles, Osprey, Roseate Spoonbills, and Eagles as you glide through the water. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Paint a Sand Dollar at the Shiny Fish Emporium 

Shiny Fish Emporium lets kids get crafty with sand dollars! Kids can enjoy a whole play area while their parents shop. Kids love getting sand dollars, which they can paint and take home with them as souvenirs. There are many paint colors to choose from, and the staff is on-hand to assist as needed.

This shop has a ton of eclectic gifts for adults too, so be sure to stop by when you’re browsing the shops on Pine Avenue!

kids craft stuff from anna maria island
Photo from Unsplash

Bridge Street

Bridge Street is one of the most happenin’ spots on AMI, and kids love it. There are many shops along the street, and you get an amazing view of the water. Rent Segways or electric bikes from Segs by the Sea, play mini-golf at The Fish Hole, and get your beach gear at Bridge Street Bazaar. Kids will find unique items at souvenir shops, and there’s plenty of places to grab some grub.

The Donut Experiment 

The Donut Experiment is a favorite spot for people of all ages, and that’s because you get to create your own donut! Kids can pick between many icings and toppings. The wackier, the better! Pair some Oreo cookies with maple icing or try powdered sugar with chocolate icing. Your kids can get creative here, and they will love the kid-oriented options.

Kids love staying in these Anna Maria Island rentals where they have plenty of space to themselves. Of course, they will want to head out and have an adventure every day, so make sure you work these five awesome AMI hot spots for kids into your itinerary.