Tallahassee, Florida may be home to Florida State University, but this city has more than academics. Thanks to the college student population an explosion of food trucks and local restaurants has appeared over the years, making this a tasty town to chow down in. Young kids aren’t ignored either. There are multiple parks; museums and even an old-fashion ice cream shop ready to welcome you and your family with open arms.
After a $33 million dollar renovation, Cascades Park is drawing visitors and locals in for concerts, great food, and family fun. Splash pads and playgrounds make this park perfect for parents with young kids. Dogs and their owners will love running around the paths throughout the park, or they can just pull up a chair at The Edison restaurant for dinner as the sun sets over the park.
The Tallahassee Museum is more of an outdoor discovery center than an indoor space where kids have to keep their hands in their pockets. The Tree-to-Tree Adventures allows kids of all ages try zip lining and tree top courses. Although bigger kids will want to do the main course, there is a junior course for little ones to get a taste. Families can walk through fields of Cypress trees in Lake Bradford as they say hello to native Florida animals in the exhibits. There is a living history section of the museum that features a 1880s farmstead too. Don’t miss the stencil glass windows in the church.
The history of Florida comes alive when you walk through the doors of Mission San Luis. Roam from building to building as you and your children meet characters straight out of the 17th century who settled around the mission, many having moved up from St. Augustine. Apalachee Indians and Spanish settlers lived side by side, drawn together by religion, as well as the fort that brought more commerce to the region.
Ice cream lovers and those who crave all things sweet will want to pull up a stool at the counter of Lofty Pursuits. This old fashioned candy, ice cream and soda shop is creating ice cream sundaes that can easily replace any meal, and keeping the Victorian candy making business alive. Browse the toys and make a few silly calls on the payphone. Don’t miss the yo-yo museum or the haiku gumball machine either.
When you come to Florida, your kids may ask when they get to see a manatee. These native creatures can be found in Wakulla Springs State Park. Take a 40-minute boat ride down the river to see alligators, birds, turtles, and if you are lucky, manatee. Don’t miss having lunch at the lodge either. It is famous for its fried chicken and hummingbird cake, a delicious banana-pineapple spice cake. Swimming is available at the lodge, so pack up your swimsuit if it is warm out. Just remember, there are gators in those waters. Keep the little ones close.
Yes you’ve had your ice cream, but sometimes you need something a little more substantial (and healthy!) to get you through your day when in Tallahassee with kids. It’s easy for families to enjoy the local food truck scene on Food Truck Thursday near Lake Ella in Midtown. There is also a Tallahassee Food Truck Court downtown. Local U-Pick farms are available if your kids crave blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and grapes, but sometimes mom and dad just need a cup of coffee. Parents should head to the local-favorite, Lucky Goat, for your morning fix, before chowing down at Uptown Café or Canopy Café for breakfast. Lunch on the go at Dog et Al is a right of passage, but if hot dogs 10,000 ways aren’t your thing, the Midtown Caboose is serving up burgers, salads and appetizers that can fit any family’s palate.
Keryn is an East Coast native living life as a freelance writer in Seattle surrounded by her two little boys and one incredible husband. When not dragging the men in her life across the globe you can find Keryn writing on her blog Walking On Travels, a site that gives hope to today's modern parent that doesn't see kids as a roadblock to travel, but an excuse to get out the door and explore. Keryn has laughed at the naysayers by bringing her boys to far off lands like China, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii, back and forth across the USA, Mexico, Canada, and even across Europe. Keryn loves to encourage families to take that first step out the door, the hardest step of all. Follow Keryn on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
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