Fun for the Whole Family

You won’t find any theme parks here on Pensacola Beach, but that’s not why you came! For decades, families have visited our Caribbean-quality coastline to bask in the natural beauty of the island.

While hitting the throttle on a jet ski or soaring high in the sky by parasail are always great options, our real treasures can be found in the simple memories and quality time spent as a family. Isn’t that what it’s all about? With sand that stays cool even on the hottest summer days, you’ll find the perfect respite from those hectic schedules back home.

We want every parent who packs up the kids (and minivan) and treks to Pensacola Beach to experience as many joy-filled moments as possible. Nearly everything there is to do can be done as a family, but this page is dedicated to “must try” activities by land, sea, and air.

UFO's Pensacola Beach

UFO’s Mini Golf, Ice Cream, and Arcade is out-of-this-world fun on Pensacola Beach. UFO’s offers over 25 flavors of amazing Hershey’s ice cream as well as an Arcade-style game room, candy, and snacks. Enjoy 18 holes of friendly competition on their alien-themed golf course that is truly one of a kind. 

By Land

When the kiddos have finally had enough sand, sun, and saltwater, check out the activities at Casino Beach and Quietwater Beach. At Laguna’s Beach Bar + Grill, you can work up an appetite racing around the go-kart track, testing your climbing skills on a three-story rope course, or flying through the air by zip rail.

Then head over to UFO’s for a round of mini golf and out-of-this-world ice cream treats. While you may or may not encounter actual aliens, the newly renovated course pokes fun at our many reported visitations from other galaxies.

For a little bit of history and unending natural discoveries, make sure to put Fort Pickens and Gulf Islands National Seashore on your list of must-do’s.

By Sea

There’s a wonderful joke that counters the old claim that money can’t buy happiness. The punch line goes something like this, “Have you ever seen anyone frowning on a jet ski? Well, have you?” While you can’t directly exchange dollar bills for bliss, a jet ski rental is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Lucky for you, jet skiing around Pensacola Beach is next level. Just go see the good people at Radical Rides, Key Sailing, or Laguna’s Beach Bar + Grill and your rental will be taken care of start to finish. You’ll learn important safety basics and experience the island in a whole new way hanging onto the seat of a WaveRunner.

If gliding over the water under sail or testing your paddle power sounds appealing, you can rent a catamaran, kayak, or paddleboard for the day and cruise the sound in search of dolphins, rays, and manatees. When you book your spot on the Pelican at Key Sailing, the only boat built for snorkeling charters, you can take in grass beds and artificial reefs while exploring the rich biodiversity on the sound side.

By Air

Everything looks different from above, including our powder-white beaches flanked by golden sea oats, colorful buildings, and signature emerald waters. So don’t pass up the chance to see the entire island from the front seat of a helicopter. You’ll enjoy heart-stopping visibility all round, thanks to big wide windows in the cockpit. See the friendly folks at Hang Ten Helicopter Tours to book your adventure in the sky.

When you’re ready to try parasailing, check out the boats that depart regularly from Radical Rides, Key Sailing, or Laguna’s on Quietwater Beach. Sure you’ll be 500 feet in the air, but rest assured that our operators use vessels certified by the U.S. Coast Guard. Conquer your fears, hold on tight, and have a blast!

Under 6

We didn’t forget about the littles ones! There are plenty of spots to take your tykes for a fun-filled day of excitement. Pop over the bridge into Gulf Breeze to visit the Sunset Children’s Park & Splash Pad, an outdoor park where the kids can cool off on those warm summer days. Enjoy more outdoor adventures at the Gulf Breeze Zoo with over 800 animals from around the world. Search for birds and other endangered wildlife at the Bayou Marcus Boardwalk or venture the jungle gym at the Hitzman-Optimist Park. Don’t fret over cloudy skies or rainy afternoons because there’s plenty of indoor fun happening in Pensacola at Bounce House Pensacola, SkyZone Pensacola, and Pensacola Kids Place. And if you prefer a more mentally stimulating break from the beach, the Pensacola Children’s Museum and Pensacola MESS Hall make learning about Pensacola history and science an interactive day of wonder and amazement!

Pensacola Beach Report 1/1/2022