Key West Family Hotel With Suites
Key West family activities and entertainment for children
Parrot Key Resort is one of the best family hotels in Key West and offers the largest hotel rooms on the island, plus spacious one and two-bedroom Key West suites that are ideal for families! If that's not enough, kids love bouncing from one of four heated swimming pools and building sand castles on our white sand terrace. You won't have to go far for breakfast and lunch with casual poolside dining at Cafe Blue, plus plenty of options for the kids. Families and children especially love watching a gorgeous Key West sunset from the popular Sunset Pier at our Key West hotel. You can also view 10 reasons why families love Parrot Key Resort!
10 Key West Activities Your Family Will Love
1. Key West Aquarium: Pet a shark at the Key West Aquarium, located at 1 Whitehead St. adjacent to renowned Mallory Square. The aquarium opened in 1934 and was one of the first family-friendly attractions in the Keys. Unique and inviting, the Key West Aquarium is home to grouper, moray eels, barracuda, tropical fish, tarpon, sharks, parrotfish and more. The touch tank features small sea creatures that children can touch and feed. The aquarium offers guided tours that include shark feeding and even an opportunity for guests to touch or "pet" a shark.
2. Conch Tour Train: No visit to the Florida Keys is complete without a ride on the Conch Tour Train, entertaining visitors and families in Key West since 1958. During your stay, even if it is a day trip to Key West on a cruise ship, get a conch's eye view of the southernmost city's attractions and interesting stops as you tour with the 'engineers' and helpful staff aboard the train trolleys. Kids 12 and under ride free, and discounts for military and seniors are available.
3. Hemingway Home and Museum: In 1935, author Ernest Hemingway received a cat named "Snowball" while living and writing in Key West. With paws featuring six toes, "Snowball" was the first of a long line of felines that has helped make the Hemingway Home and Museum one of the most popular visitor attractions in the Florida Keys. Children love seeing the unique Hemingway cats around the Hemingway Home and Museum! View a video featuring the Hemingway Cats, here.
4. Key West Shipwreck Museum: Seek shipwreck bounty with wreckers at the Key West Shipwreck Museum. Salvaging goods from ships wrecked on Florida Keys reefs made Key West the richest U.S. city per capita in the mid-1800s. The Key West Shipwreck Museum re-creates the salvage or wrecking era through live actors, film and artifacts from the wreck of the Isaac Allerton that sank off the Keys in 1856. Wrecking master Asa Tift guides guests through the museum, explaining the unique industry, and invites them to climb a 65-foot lookout tower to ring a bell signaling that a wreck has been spotted.
5. Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society & Museum: Located at 200 Greene St., the 1910 building houses a permanent collection that includes treasure from the 1622 wreck of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha. The treasure includes gold and silver bars, coins, and chains, as well as centuries-old cannons and ships' tools. Discover the thrill of treasure-hunting by learning the story of Mel Fisher's quest for the Atocha, while discovering the intricacies of maritime history and the tragedies of shipwrecks. (Image Jake Lutz)
6. Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory: Feel your stress fade away as you enter a magical world of butterflies. Walk through a magical and inviting environment filled with hundreds of the most beautiful winged creatures in nature. During your breathtaking journey you will experience an impressive collection of flowering plants, colorful birds, cascading waterfalls and trees that set the stage for the "flowers of the sky." Witness a variety of some 50 to 60 butterfly species from around the world, along with over 20 exotic bird species, all under a climate- controlled, glass enclosed habitat.
7. Dry Tortugas National Park: Key West is the gateway to a vast ecotourism playground extending 70 miles westward to the uninhabited sand spits and coral formations of Dry Tortugas National Park. Seaplane tours to the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson are available for morning, afternoon, all-day and charter flights. Spot sharks, stingrays, porpoise and huge sea turtles, see submerged ships in the clear waters and snorkel the reefs to see colorful tropical fish and living coral.
8. Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center: With its touch screens, stunning photos, and roomy theater, this educational center has become a hit with families. It's a fun way to learn about reef and mangrove habitats before or after an excursion. The center is operated by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, phone (305) 292-0311. Admission is free at the Truman Annex Waterfront.
9. Historic Seaport District: Location- Caroline Street. Key West's civic leaders had the foresight to build a public walkway around this former commercial-fishing harbor known locally as "the Bight." The area's restaurants and charter services are now big hits, but this is also a great place to take a stroll with your children. They might find a wild sea turtle undergoing rehabilitation at the free Turtle Kraals Museum. They might also see hungry tarpon and occasionally manatees from the walkway.
10. Fort Zachary Taylor State Park and Beach: Location- Southard Street on Truman Annex. This historic fortress at the southwest end of Key West is a fascinating place to roam. The grounds offer a sandy beach with picnic tables and restrooms. Children will enjoy watching the boats sail by out of Key West Harbor. The fort was named after the 12th President of the United States.
A Few More Options That the Kids Will Love
Mallory Square: Location- Waterfront at Front Street. This waterfront park is the site of the island's daily Sunset Celebration. Your children will enjoy watching open-air performers and sampling food from vendors who gather here an hour before sunset each day. Your kids might even get drafted to help the performers.
Key West Nature Preserve: Location- Two entrances on Atlantic Blvd. The City of Key West acquired this undeveloped ocean-front property and turned it into an accessible natural area. Wooden walkways and trails take visitors through mangrove forests to a quiet strip of beach. Children will enjoy seeing butterflies, lizards and birds.
Key West Marine Park: Location- Atlantic Ocean from White Street to Duval Street. The near-shore waters along the southwest end of Key West have been cordoned off with buoys to create safe areas for swimming and snorkeling. Your children can view numerous species of coral, tropical fish and birds at this park set up by the local group Reef Relief.
Astro City: Location- Atlantic Blvd. This well-equipped playground is conveniently located just across the street from Higgs Beach. It is a popular stop for families on their way to and from the beach, White Street Pier or old town Key West.
Bayview Park: Location- Truman Ave. and Eisenhower St. This large park offers plenty of room for a family ball game. You'll also find a fully-equipped playground, basketball court, bathrooms and tennis courts. Los of community events take place here.
White Street Pier: Location- Southern end of White Street, oceanside. This pedestrian pier extends hundreds yards over the Atlantic Ocean. When winds are calm, or out of the north, a stroll along this pier reveals large schools of fish and numerous feeding shore birds. The end of the pier is a good spot to take kids fishing. In addition to small snappers and grunts, anglers have been know to hook into tarpon, snook and redfish.
Content contribution by Clay Greager and www.fla-keys.com