Earlier this month, we loaded our bags, gear, and all the boys to hit the road for a destination only a few hours from home!
After colonizing in our house for months due to the shutdown and health & safety concerns, the boys were ecstatic to hear that we’d be beachside for an entire week!
Our landing spot: Florida’s Space Coast!
This post and its accompanying social posts on my platforms are sponsored by Visit Space Coast.
If you’ve been a reader here or have followed me on Instagram for a while, you probably know how much we love history, space, and presidents! Our oldest is a huge history buff and our second son was named after JFK so, it was only fitting that we started the first day of our trip at Kennedy Space Center!
Before I get into all the details of every single thing you should do with kids at Florida’s Space Coast, you oughta know that even beyond this list, there is truly an abundance of things to do and see in this collection of Florida beach towns! From fantastic foodie spots, Â to watching sea turtles hatch and find their way down to the ocean, there is SO MUCH to do here that you just can’t go wrong with a visit!
Let’s get to it! The reason you’re really here!
EVERYTHING (& more) that we did with our kids at Florida’s Space Coast:
- Explore Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: I think if we had to choose, this would be one of the highlights of our trip! The boys love exploring the rocket garden and checking out the Atlantis Shuttle
- Night Swimming at Beachside Hotel & Suites:Â During our stay, we called Beachside Hotel & Suites our home away from home! I think the boys’ favorite part of staying at this particular spot was that the pool was open until 11:00PM! They were up late closing the pool down every single night!
- Spend the day on Cocoa Beach & watch the cruise ships in the ocean while you play: This is SO DANG COOL! I literally could not believe how closely you could see the cruise ships from Port Canaveral!! It was the neatest thing!!
- Check out the view at the top of the Exploration Tower:Â Right now, the Exploration Tower is only open on the first and seventh floors but, they are waiving all admission fees so, it’s the perfect time to go and take in the outstanding views! Also make sure to look UP when you visit on the first floor to see all of the hanging sculptures made from recycled beach plastic!
- Watch a launch at Cape Canaveral National Seashore:Â Believe it or not, this is actually where we spend most of our beach time sans vacation time! haha! We absolutely love and adore this beach! It’s the perfect spot for catching a view of the many rocket launches we have here in Florida!
- Have lunch at Port Canaveral while you watch the cruise ships load:Â While we may not be seeing a ton of cruise ships loading passengers these days, you can still see a fleet of ships and barges coming in and out of the port here and it really is a sight to see, especially with kids in tow!!
- Build a Poke Bowl at Poke Fin: Think of a frozen yogurt bar but, with fresh fillings for Poke bowls. Simple, easy, affordable, and a block away from our hotel! This was the perfect kick-off dinner to our trip!! SO FRESH.
- Feed the giraffes and visit the animals at The Brevard Zoo:Â If you haven’t visited The Brevard Zoo yet, make it a priority on your bucket list!! Not only will you catch a glimpse at several animal species but, get UP CLOSE & PERSONAL with the families of giraffes on the platform or for $2 you can feed them their lunch!!
- Take a Bioluminescent Tour and experience REAL LIFE Avatar: GUYS. If you haven’t done this yet, you truly haven’t lived a full life! This is something that only happens seasonally every year in only a few places in the entire world! Book a tour with Fin Expeditions for a small group kayaking tour in the dark and watch the water glow beneath you from all around! It’s one of, if not THE, most amazing thing I think we have ever done as a family! We took our older boys (ages 6& 8)! They stayed awake the entire time and had a BLAST.
- Snap a picture in front of the space shuttle statue by Cape Canaveral City Hall: How cute and quick is this?! Ken loved jumping into his astronaut costume to have a few pics taken in front of this miniaturized space shuttle! This little park is the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic or a place to let the kids get a quiet breather in the middle of a busy day!
- Buy souvenirs at The World’s Largest Ron Jon Surf Shop: That’s right! Right here in Cocoa Beach you’ll find the world’s original one and only, largest Ron Jon Surf Shop! Â Grab a boogie board or beach towel for your visit and while you’re there- Located in their north building is a surf museum full of boards, photos, and artifacts of some of the world’s most famous surfers!
- Stretch your neck looking at the dinosaurs in the Dinosaur Store & Antiquities Museum: IfÂ you’reÂ planning on spending a day at Cocoa Beach and visiting Ron Jon, hop across the street and check out this awesome and super affordable bucket list item!! The place is HUGE and will have your kids “oohing andÂ ahhing”!
- Float in the lazy river at Beachside Hotel & Suites: Just like the night swimming, the boys really loved the lazy river at the pool of the hotel we stayed at! While, you do have to be a guest to use the amenities here, it’s a totally awesome way to cool down, wear the kids out, and chillax! The inter tubes are always fully inflated, the lazy river isn’t so large that you’ll have anxiety that the kids are too far, and there’s a play area filled with beach sand for the tiny ones who can’t swim yet!
- Have lunch on the Cocoa Beach Pier: Anywhere inÂ Cocoa Beach in my opinion, will serve you with great food and a fantastic view but, ESPECIALLY on the Cocoa Beach Pier!
- Take a surfing lesson/learn how to surf from a pro
- Take a picture with Sonny from Sun Bum: One of our favorite beach essentials is our Sun BumÂ collection ofÂ suncareÂ products so, to have their home base at Cocoa Beach was so insanely fun! We popped by their office and grabbed a pic with the Sonny sign and big yellow Sun Bum van out back!!
- Cool down with a fresh juice smoothie from Juice & Java Cafe’: Or grab a coffee if you need aÂ caffeine boost!! This place was such a gem that we stopped here two days in a row!! The juice is on point and the coffee will keep you going all.day.long!
- Eat the BEST dairy free (or regular) ice cream from The Fat Donkey: If you watched my stories during our trip (or want to go back and watch them HEREÂ & HERE!) you may have seen how super indulging and delicious our dairy free ice cream was from The Fat Donkey! (They also have regular flavors but, the coconut and chocolate dairy free flavors are so dang good without the milk!) Also, the spot makes for the perfect Insta-worthy photo with an orange squeeze wall mural on the side of the building!!
- Have a Slurpee after the zoo: This is a MUST!! Nothing big or spectacular here but, super fun with the kids since the 7-11 is rightÂ down the street from The Brevard Zoo!!
- Buy and try Astronaut Ice Cream from the World’s Largest Space Store at Kennedy space center: If you’ve never tried space food, this is a cool treat for kids! Grab it whileÂ you’re exploring the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for a couple bucks and save for a treat in your hotel room! Such a fun way to incorporate a little extra education into your trip while snacking on a sweet treat!!
- Indulge in pizza from Pizza Gallery and Grill: YUM. Don’t miss out on this local spot while you’re visiting!!
- Have a photo scavenger hunt with as many wall murals as you can find: There are SO.MANY. wall murals scattered throughout the towns that make up Florida’s Space Coast and within those sweet beach towns you’ll find wall murals for days!Â Don’t miss the opportunity to glance out your car window or down a smallÂ street during your travels! You never know what you’ll come across! (The mural below can be accessed by guests staying at Beachside Hotel & Suites!)
- Go window shopping at Historic Cocoa Village: An easy & free thing to do if you’re looking for a way to explore and step out from your hotel for a bit if you need a break from the sun! (If you look closely on the lefthand side of the image below, you’ll see a peek at the boy’s favorite from our stroll-wooden toy houses!)
- Play at Riverfront Park
- Spot the four suites of cards in front of The Porcher House: The home was built in 1914 and is still standing today! The wife of the homeowner loved to play bridge so he added the four suites of cards to the Coquina Rock out in front! See if you can spot them during your visit!!
Between adventures and excursions, we had the chance to stay at the newly renovated Beachside Hotel and Suites! It served as a place to call our home away from home during our trip!
All the deets on accommodations:
- Located right next to Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach
- 300 ft away from the beach access (while, the hotel is not directly located on the beach, it is in very close proximity waking distance!)
- FREE Beach Rentals for guests (Bikes, Beach Rentals, Boogie Boards, Ron Jon Surf Boards, and Wagons!)
- 2 Bedroom Suites with pull-out sofas located right in front of the pool!
- Lower access level rooms have direct access to the pool
- Walking distance to restaurants, shopping locations, beaches, and more!
- Lazy River Lagoon style pool
- Poolside Tiki Bar
- Beach Sand play area for kids
- Great music at the pool
- Late pool closure (11PM)
- Next door to Mini Golf
- (Also, a super rad wall mural near the outside amenities that’s great for photos!!)
Great places to eat while you’re here:
- Fat Snook
- Pub Americana
- Seafood Atlantic Port Canaveral
- Sage Garden
- The Fat Donkey
- Juice & Java Cafe’
- Bonefish Willy’s Riverfront Grill
- Pizza Gallery & Grill
- Dixie Crossroads
Favorite Beaches to spend the day:
- Canaveral National Seashore/Playalinda
- Jetty Park
- Lori Wilson Park
- Cocoa Beach
- Paradise Beach
- Sebastian Inlet State Park
We had such a blast (pun intended haha) during our stay at Florida’s Space Coast! If you’re contemplating a stay somewhere near or on the beach with tons of things to do (kids in tow) and fantastic places to eat, I promise you won’t go wrong with a stay on Florida’s Space Coast!!
A huge thank you to Visit Space Coast for having us!!
We can’t wait to back on your side of town!