A Complete Guide to Kid Friendly Anna Maria Island

Traveling with kids can sometimes be complicated. That’s why we’ve put together a list of family things to do in Anna Maria Island to help you out during your stay. Fun family outings, restaurants for even the pickiest eaters, and the best kid-friendly Anna Maria Island beachfront vacation rentals await on this barrier island.

Plan your family vacation to Anna Maria Island where kids and adults can have an unforgettable experience!

kids playing at the beach

Kid-Friendly Activities On AMI

Paint Sand Dollars At Shiny Fish Emporium

Planning to buy a sea-inspired souvenir on your trip to Anna Maria Island? Why not make one instead! Take the kids to Shiny Fish Emporium, a gift shop on Pine Avenue, to paint your very own sand dollar, and let the creativity flow. 

Let the kids paint while you check out the shop’s unique gifts, or join in the fun. This north-end spot has visitors, young and old, returning year after year for memories and keepsakes that last.

Play A Game Of Mini Golf

Play minigolf among the gators at Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf in Bradenton. This 18-hole course takes players through a pirate ship, caves and waterfalls for an exciting game of mini-putt. When you get to the cove, kids will have an opportunity to feed between 20 and 30 live alligators using a pole and learn about their South Florida habitat. 

Also in Bradenton Beach is the Fish Hole, a fishing-themed adventure course. Putt your way around ponds, by mills, and through obstacles on this lush course. There’s even a candy shop attached for a sweet treat after your game! Older kids and adults can even enjoy a moonlight round after dark.

Take A Dolphin Cruise

Playful and friendly, Anna Maria Island’s dolphins love to surf the wake of boats — fun for them and for you! Join one of the island’s tour operators, such as AMI Dolphin Tours, Bradenton Beach Marina, and Island Pearl Excursions, to spend an afternoon with these marine mammals in their natural habitat.

 One of the best Anna Maria Island kid activities, dolphin cruises allow young families to spend a day on the water while experiencing the most popular wildlife in the area.

kids at the beach
Photo from Shutterstock

Anna Maria Rocks

This shop rocks! Kids can hunt for the perfect treasure at Anna Maria Rocks on Gulf Drive. The shop is stuffed to the brim with rocks, gems, and fossils, sold individually and by the bag. Or, kids can make their own shark-tooth necklaces for the perfect souvenir from their unforgettable beach vacation.

Go fishing on the City Pier

Walk down the historic City Pier, drop a line into the gulf waters, and wait for a bite. No matter their age, kids will love honing their skills on beautiful Anna Maria Island, known for its year-round fishing. 

The water around the pier is home to many species, including snook and redfish. Many fish gravitate toward structures, such as docks, rocks, and mangroves, making the City Pier a great place to reel one in. If kids get bored, grab an ice cream cone or bite to eat at the City Pier Grill and Bait Shop.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants on AMI

Beach House Restaurant

Kids will love dining with their toes in the sand at Beach House Restaurant. This waterfront spot offers a front-row seat to the Gulf of Mexico with tables right on the beach. While it’s known for its sustainable, locally sourced elevated menu, it has a 12-and-under menu with classics like grilled cheese, chicken fingers, and spaghetti, as well as local treats like popcorn shrimp and a fish platter. 

Kids’ entrees come with a frozen treat for dessert. Older kids can enjoy the Beach House burger, made of short rib and topped with cheese, as well as the grilled chicken sandwich, while teens with more refined palates will enjoy mango-salsa-topped fish tacos or the blackened grouper sandwich. The dinner menu also has a selection of seafood, steaks, and other mouth-watering mains. Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with a Key Lime pie, an old Florida favorite.

Plan Your Visit

Lizzie Lu’s Island Retreat is a highly rated Anna Maria Island rental for families and beachgoers. Book your stay today and enjoy all the amenities this beautiful destination has to offer!

The Feast

With a large and diverse menu, The Feast has something for everyone — even the kids. The Holmes Beach restaurant has a menu for those 12 and under with pasta, chicken and fries, and macaroni and cheese. 

But the main menu also has many kid-friendly items, like DIY pizzas, burgers, fish and chips, and fun shareables like coconut shrimp and grouper bites. Choose from one of two Key Lime desserts, pie or coconut cake, or shift gears and opt for a creamy peanut butter pie or a local classic, Orange Sunshine Cake.

The Ugly Grouper

Corn dog? PB and J? Cheeseburger? The Ugly Grouper is a picky eater’s paradise. One of the best-known Anna Maria Island restaurants, this Holmes Beach establishment has a long list of kid-friendly staples.

Kids can get their slushie in a color-changing cup with the Ugly Grouper logo. Ask your server for the flavor of the day! Parents rejoice. The Ugly Grouper has cocktails galore. Try the Tipsy Palm Tree, sweet tea vodka and lemonade, or the Anna Maria Mule made with Key Lime juice. Our Anna Maria Island rentals are all conveniently located near the area’s best restaurants and attractions, so your family can take the free island trolly or even walk back to your rental property and enjoy the scenery.

Kid-Friendly Vacation Rentals on Anna Maria Island

Lime Cottage

Lime Cottage pool

If you’re looking for Anna Maria Island pet-friendly rentals to stay with your family, this one’s for you. Just two blocks from the Gulf of Mexico beaches, our Lime Cottage offers a kid-friendly tropical oasis that won’t disappoint the adults and allows you to bring your dog as well. 

This ground-level rental is family-sized with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and plenty of charm. It features a spacious living area, a diner-style booth, and outdoor chairs and hammocks. Best of all, step out the back door to a private patio, heated pool, and outdoor shower.

Latitude Cottage

Latitude Cottage pool

This two-bedroom cottage is a half-duplex located just off bustling Gulf Drive and one of our best Anna Maria Island rentals with pools. Relax under the privacy of lush tropical greenery while kids splash in the rectangular pool. 

The rental, which has 2.5 bathrooms and sleeps six, has an open-concept living and dining area making it easy to keep an eye on young kids while cooking and eating. Pastel-colored walls in bedrooms and living spaces promote relaxation, while the bright-orange bathroom and butter-yellow picnic table in the garden provide a pop of fun. Get kids to find all the sea creatures in this subtly-themed rental. We spy rays, a shrimp, and a mermaid. How about you?

Sand Cottage

Sand Cottage bedroom

The Sand Cottage’s island-inspired, blue exterior is just one of its many traits. Two blocks from the beach, with a pool, outdoor shower, and patio area for fun in the sun, this cute rental is bound to impress. Lean into your Anna Maria Island vacation with a cold drink and a book on the comfy poolside lounge chairs. The kids can enjoy the water while you can lounge in the sun or cool off in the pool with them. When the sun sinks, crowd around the large kitchen island and share a meal and highlights from the day. This two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom rental overlooking Holmes Boulevard sleeps six in a king and two queens. Book your stay at Anna Maria vacation rentals like the Sand Cottage for an unforgettable experience.

Book with Lizzie Lu’s 

Lizzie Lu’s Island Retreat has the perfect rental for any group, including families with young kids. We value our guests’ comfort and enjoyment, so we are dedicated to ensuring our AMI rentals are the ultimate home-away-from-home for your island getaway.