Four Ways to Daycation in Tampa Bay

No big vacation planned? Still looking for things to do with the kids this summer?

We’ve gathered up some of our favorite daycation ideas that will make you feel like a tourist right here in our own backyard!

Tampa Bay is pretty darn cool!

TradeWinds Daycation Day Pass

Spend the day at a beachfront resort:  

Pick up a day pass to enjoy all the amenities a resort’s overnight guests get to enjoy, including access to a private beach! The TradeWinds in St Pete Beach is one of our top picks because the resort has the most to offer families.

A $45 TradeWinds Day Pass includes (kids 3 and younger are free)
·         Parking Pass (ONLY if parking is available)
·         Unlimited rides on the High Tide Slide, Paddleboats on the waterway and Surf WipeOut Inflatable Surf Simulator.
·         Hooded Beach Cabana (based on availability)
·         Access to all 7 Swimming Pools at two resorts
·         Mini-Golf
·         Participation in Resort Activities including Dive-In movies, RedBeard’s Pirate Show, Campfire S’mores, Touch Tank Experience and more! Learn more at


TPA All Access Pass Columbia Restaurant
Photo from Tampa International Airport.

Let’s fly away…or pretend…and book a TPA All Access Pass! 

Spend a Saturday afternoon at Tampa International Airport and taste your way through the local restaurants like Ulele on Airside C or the Columbia Cafe on Airside E—no boarding pass necessary.

You must sign up for the TPA All Access Pass online and select the Saturday and Airside you want to discover. Kids will need to sign up too. Spots are booking fast. There are only a handful left for June, so book now for July or August! The pass allows you access on your selected Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. While you watch the planes take off, you can plan your next big vacation. There are so many nonstop international flights out of TPA—Frankfurt or Amsterdam anyone?

Learn more about the dining options and sign up at


Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaids

Go Old-Fashioned with the Mermaids:

Go on an old-fashioned Florida getaway and explore Weeki Wachee Springs! Family Fun contributor Anna Tataris DeJesus shares her family’s experience:

If you have a little one who absolutely loves mermaids like we do, this is a great stop. It’s been around for decades and still draws crowds young and old. At the Mermaid Theater, which is slated to re-open this month after extensive renovations, you can watch “mermaids” displaying their beautiful moves in the crystal-clear spring.

Related: Mermaids in Tampa Bay. Yes, it’s true! They Iive in Weeki Wachee Springs!

The shows are definitely what most people drive to see, but make sure you pack bathing suits to enjoy Buccaneer Bay, the kiddie pool, the lazy river and some pretty big slides that drop you into the waters of Weeki Wachee Springs. For more of an adventure, rent a kayak or canoe and take 3-hour trip in the clear Weeki Wachee River where you can enjoy wildlife up close. If you live in Tampa, this trip is a little more than an hour away.
Learn more:


TECO Streetcar

Explore Tampa by Streetcar: 

Take a ride on the free TECO Line Streetcar! Street cars arrive every 15 minutes seven days a week. Start in Ybor City and grab some crepes at La Creperia Cafe near Stop 2 in Centro Ybor, and then take a ride to the Florida Aquarium and/or Tampa Bay History Center. Top it off with a popsicle and cool drink at Sparkman Wharf to see the cruise ships in port before heading back!


  • Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.