701 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602
More in this neighborhood: Channelside
Even if you don't go inside the Florida Aquarium, there's plenty for kids to do. The 2-acre Explore A Shore water zone features watery waves, slippery slides, gushing geysers and an assortment of animal models. There's a two-story, 24-foot pirate ship where kids can fire water cannons, and climb across the cargo net to the ship's main deck. Take the helm and follow the map to the buried treasure. A 10-foot eel reef rock structure is perfect for climbing and there's a nice misting tunnel in the giant eel's head. Crawl through an 8-foot-high Surf's Up Wave Tunnel. Slide down the 4-foot waterslide or ride the dolphin or surfboard.
Shipwreck Shore lets toddlers build sandcastles, scoot down smaller slides, climb on animal figures and a pirate ship replica -- without being run over by charging 10-year-olds. The little ones can count the teeth in the alligator's mouth, sit in a sea horse daddy's lap and walk on the moray balance beam.
While the kids are cooling off, adults can relax in the shade at the nearby grill and bar and watch the action.