There's more to Clearwater, Florida than the beach.

Indoor Family Activities Near Clearwater, Florida

by Michele Norfleet

A visit to Clearwater, Florida offers many outdoor activities in town and at nearby Clearwater Beach. But on rainy days, or when you just want to get the family out of the sun, you’ll find indoor family activities for all ages in and around Clearwater to keep your family entertained. A short 30-minute drive to St. Petersburg or Tampa provides additional indoor activities to keep all ages and interests involved.


A visit to an aquarium provides an opportunity to learn about and view marine life native to the Florida coast, as well as other aquatic animals. Both the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater Beach and The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, offer up close views of a variety of marine life, including sea turtles, otters, stingrays, dolphins and sharks. The aquariums are sites for public education, research and animal rescue.


Hands-on museums provide a learning experience for your kids as well as old-fashioned fun. Great Explorations in St. Petersburg and Glaser Children’s Museum in Tampa have interactive exhibits where kids can learn through creative play and exploration. The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa is an opportunity for families to experience science through hands-on activities.


Cultural experiences are available at nearby art museums for the art lovers in your family. The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg houses a collection of artwork by the Spanish surrealist. The Tampa Museum of Art includes both permanent and traveling exhibits. The Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg features a permanent exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s glass artwork work in a building designed specifically for the presentation of his art.


It’s hard to pass up a little arcade fun while on vacation. Although many hotels and restaurants include game rooms, adults and kids alike can get their game on at indoor arcades in Clearwater. Celebration Station and GattiTown are two options. Game cards are available for purchase in varying amounts. Arcade games offer tickets for redemption at both facilities. At Celebration Station, air hockey and pool tables are available, as well as laser tag. GattiTown has bumper cars, mini-bowling and a play area for children for an afternoon or evening of entertainment.

About the Author

Michele Norfleet is a freelance writer who writes on travel, home and garden and education topics. She has coauthored a handbook for teachers on school-wide discipline and has contributed tips for special-needs students in the basal curriculum for RCL Benziger. Norfleet holds a master's degree from Southern Illinois University and has experience as a special-needs teacher and speech pathologist.

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