St. Augustine has so much to offer families with kids! I am a native Floridian and had never visited St. Augustine until our twins came home from school in 4th grade and started talking about it. They were fascinated by the history and the fact that it’s the oldest city in the country, so we planned a trip there over Spring Break. There is SO much to do in St. Augustine and we managed to pack all of these things in in just 2 days….it just takes a little planning!
Fort Mantanzas is a must do with kids. Built in 1742, it was built to protect St. Augustine from British attack and is a U.S. National Monument. You can see the rooms where the soldiers lived and there is a Visitor Center where you can learn about the history of the Fort. They have Rangers walking around that can answer questions and if you time it right, they have a firing of the cannons! Entry to the Fort is free.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum is a private, non-profit museum dedicated to the history of the nation’s oldest port. You can do a docent led tour, but if you have small children, I would recommend just touring the grounds. The tour is a little long and might get boring for kids after awhile. There are many interactive exhibits and of course the Lighthouse! Visitors can climb the 219 steps of the Lighthouse to see an amazing view of St. Augustine. There’s also a scavenger hunt and a hands-on archaeological tour. You’ll want to check the times for those. Entry into the museum is free.
Oldest Wooden School
This is the oldest wooden school house in the whole U.S.! It was built over 200 years ago and you can visit not just the schoolhouse, but tour the grounds, see copies of old textbooks and school supplies and see where the schoolmaster lived.
Right next to the oldest wooden school are the City Gates. St. Augustine was once surrounded by strong walls and the City Gates are some of the last evidence of that history. They are made of coquina stone and they open onto the northern part of St. George Street, leading into the heart of the old city.
St. George Street
St. George Street is the shopping hub of St. Augustine. It’s cobbled streets are a place for you to walk and even bike without worrying about traffic and the street is lined with restaurants, galleries, bistros, gift shops. Just make sure you bring your wallet with you, because there is plenty that your kids will want to buy!
Located on St. George Street, Colonial Quarter is like stepping back into time. You can tour the 2 acre living museum and see what life was like in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. There are musket drills, blacksmiths, historical reenactments and you can even climb to the top of a watchtower. You do have to purchase tickets to tour the Colonial Quarter, so check their website to select a tour.
Olde Time Trolley
I HIGHLY recommend using the Olde Time Trolley while you are touring St. Augustine, especially with children. We did the Trolley for one day and it was a lifesaver. It has stops at every location in St. Augustine and you get a fully narrated tour of the city. We learned so much just from riding around! You can get off and on wherever you want, so it keeps the kids feet from getting tired. I can’t imagine how we would have seen everything we did without it. You can buy tickets through their website.
The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum is another must. Our kids loved how realistic the museum was and we all learned a lot about the history of pirates. The museum houses historical artifacts, interactive exhibits designed by Disney Imagineers and animatronic exhibits. You can go on our own treasure hunt through the museum and even see some props from popular pirate movies like Goonies and Pirates of the Caribbean! You can buy tickets ahead of time or on the day of your visit. Adults are $13.99, kids 5 – 12 are $6.99 and 4 and under are free. We spent a good 3 hours at the museum.
If the kids get tired of touring, pop over to the Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Founded in 1893, it’s the only place in the world that houses every species of crocodile! In addition to crocodiles, they have alligators, monkeys, birds, fossils and other reptiles. My kids were really excited to see the albino alligators, as well as the live feedings! Tickets are $24.99 for adults, $22.49 for kids 12+ and $12.59 for kids ages 3 – 11.
The zoo also has a zip line attraction called Crocodile Crossing that has 2 different courses with live alligators and crocodiles right under you! Pricing for the zip line courses are separate.
If your child is a fan of Harry Potter, I highly recommend touring Flagler College. It is a beautiful campus and you feel like you’re in Hogwarts! Tours are available at 10am and 2pm seven days a week. In addition to seeing the grand lobby with 68 foot domed ceiling and the Tiffany Stained glass in the dining room, you get to learn a little about Henry Flagler, who helped build much of St. Augustine. There is a fee for the tour: Adults are $10, kids 4 – 12 are $1 and children under 4 are free.
Whet’s Chocolate Factory
Who doesn’t want to tour a chocolate factory?! Their tasting tour is 45 minutes and you learn about the different types of chocolate, how they’re made and you get to taste each one as you go! Atthe end, there is an animatronic Lucy and Ethel that you can take a picture with! Of course, the tour ends in their chocolate store, where you can choose from many sweet treats! Free for kids and $8 for adults.
Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops
Located in downtown St. Augustine, Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops has over 450 flavors of all natural popsicles, everything from Banana Bread to Nutella (my son’s favorite) to Rum Raisin. They only use fresh fruit and since they’re so healthy, you can eat more than just one!
Located on St. George Street, Kernel Poppers is a popcorn lovers dream. They have over 100 popcorn flavors, in categories like Cheese, Candied and Gourmet and sizes from kiddie to large tins! We spent forever just picking out our flavors and we loved the Butterscotch, Chicago Blend and English Toffee!
Also on St. George Street, Pizza Alley has two sides: Chianti Room, which is a fine dining experience and St. George Room, which is very family friendly. Delicious pizza and fun atmosphere and they even have gluten free crust!
MOJO Old City BBQ
The best BBQ in all of Florida, this is a great place for lunch or dinner. MOJO’s has a very relaxed atmosphere with outdoor seating for pets and blues music playing. Their food is top notch and there’s something for even the pickiest eater!
St. Augustine is filled with so many fun things to do with kids of all ages. I hope this post has helped you plan a fun-filled visit to the Oldest City in the U.S.!
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