The Gift of Experience in Tampa Bay: A Holiday Gift List Must

The Gift of Experience in Tampa Bay: A Holiday Gift List Must

Rather than overloading our kids with more toys and clutter, why not give the gift of experience in Tampa Bay? An annual pass or membership to a local attraction is not only cost effective, it’s a gift that keeps on giving yearround to the entire family. 

Added bonus- many of the attractions that offer summer camps and school break camps extend special pricing for members and local reciprocal discounts too.

We’re also sharing some pretty awesome experiences you can book for your loved ones!

Related: Gifts of Experience for a perfect date night or day date

Before we dive in, we’ve got a quick note for your scroll– our guide is divided into a couple of categories:

    • Super Cool Gifts of Experience: Unique experiences your loved ones will remember for a lifetime!
    • Our Favorite Annual Passes and Memberships in Tampa Bay for Families
    • Join the Club: Local sports teams have clubs just for their pint-sized fans and it’s a perfect gift!

NOTE: Be sure to visit each attraction’s website for the latest pricing information as it can change quickly — and there’s always a chance for a flash sale.   

 Super Cool Gifts of Experience for an Unforgettable Day in Tampa Bay!

Clearwater Marine Aquarium Shark Feeding
Kids will love meeting Thelma!

Shark Care Experience at Clearwater Marine Aquarium:

Meet Thelma, CMA’s resident nurse shark, and all her friends in the lower mangrove habitat. During this program, you will assist CMA’s animal care specialists in guiding and feeding their sharks. You will learn how we improve the health and well-being of the animals, and gain a greater understanding of these misunderstood creatures. Photo is included.

Ages: 7+ | $72.99 for one, $130.99 for a party of 2 | 30-minute experience


Giraffe Feeding during Busch Gardens Serengeti Safari
The giraffe isn’t shy at Busch Gardens and loves snacks of lettuce!

Serengeti Safari at Busch Gardens:

There are several different animal experiences and tours you can book with Busch Gardens and one of our favorites is the Serengeti Safari. One of the coolest parts about the tour in an open-air vehicle is getting up close to the resident giraffe as you feed them a favorite snack—lettuce!

Ages: No age limit specified | Starts at $39.95 | 30-minute experience

Rhino Feeding experience ZooTampa
You can learn more about ZooTampa’s resident rhinos and feed them too!

Indian Rhino Feeding at ZooTampa:

This is another spot where there are some really amazing animal encounters you can book to upgrade your day and one of our favorites is the Indian Rhino Feeding because they’re such enormous and gorgeous creatures and kids really love the chance to feed them!

Ages 5+ | Members: Starts at $19.95, Non-Members: Starts at $24.95 | No time specified, but it’s about 25-minutes


SeaTREK at The Florida Aquarium
SeaTREK is totally unique and no diving experience is required!

SeaTREK at the Florida Aquarium:

Now this is something totally unique and cool! The SeaTREK experience is an UNDERWATER walking tour in the Heart of the Sea exhibit and there’s no diving experience required. Guests are in good hands as they are guided in the 15-foot deep tank by a certified SeaTREK guide. There’s a good chance you’ll see a sea turtle or shark swim by!

Ages: 10+ | $95 | 20-minute experience


Bay Rocket jet boat Tampa
The Bay Rocket jet boat is a must for the thrill seekers in your life!

For the Thrill Seeker: The NEW Bay Rocket Experience in Tampa

Blast off for Tampa’s newest 45-minute adrenaline-filled jet boat thrill ride! Experience the power of Bay Rocket’s 2800 horsepower with thrilling 180-degree spins, turns, and bow dips. Feel the rush as they crank up the music for a blast off on the bay, where you will experience spectacular skyline and bay views. The crew provides a whimsical narration, fun interactive games, and a dance party on the cruise back.

Adults: Starts at $34.95 | Children (5-12): Starts at $29.95


YMKG Children's Gasparilla Parade
YMKG float at the Children’s Gasparilla Parade. Photo by Event Fest.

Give the gift of some ARRGH-some fun at the Children’s Gasparilla Parade

While the Children’s Gasparilla is absolutely free to attend, you can give the gift of an upgraded experience with bleacher seating or our favorite, First Mate seats! We’ve got all of the details about the 2024 Children’s Gasparilla here including info on the upgrade options.

Bleacher seating tickets: $48-$53 | First Mate Seating: $55-$60 | Scully Hospitality Tent: Adults ($150) Kids ($50)


Show Her Off Dance
Learn some new moves with your partner this season. Photo credit: Date Night Dancing

Date Night: Living Room Dancing for Couples

Give the gift of laughter and love this holiday season! Date Night Dancing is an easy-to-follow program that will have any couple laughing, loving, and most importantly dancing together in no time. All from the comfort of your own home – NO dance experience needed!

  • Perfect for anyone with “two left feet”
  • Fun & entertaining lessons
  • Universal moves taught: dance to ANY MUSIC!
  • Instant streaming access

Our Favorite Annual Passes to Gift in Tampa Bay!


Glazer Children’s Museum Family Membership 

With 19 themed areas and over 170 games, challenges, and activities, the Glazer Children’s Museum is set to keep your family entertained all day, no matter how many times you go. Your kids can enjoy exhibits on arts, engineering, forts, banks, and more. There are a few new temporary exhibits scheduled to debut throughout the year, so there’s always something new to experience!  A one-year family membership is $195



MOSI is perfect for kiddos in elementary age and older! Your kids can learn AND play at the same time, and we love that memberships also include Party of 5 memberships for $125. This allows five people to experience MOSI with only one named Member and includes discounts to 250+ science centers across the country! 


Busch Gardens + Adventure Island Annual Pass

Even if your kiddos aren’t quite thrill seekers yet, there is plenty to do at both parks for little ones like Sesame Street Safari of Fun and of course, the animals. To snag the best deals, we recommend you join the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay email list for alerts on flash deals and special sales! *This is one you definitely want to join the email list to get updates!  


ZooTampa at Lowry Park  

With over 120 animal species, the Lowry Park Zoo has much to offer your family. You and your family can explore the many different exhibits or go on some of the fun rides. Your membership will also allow you to experience the zoo’s seasonal events.  For one year: $249 for 4 members + 2 guests



Lots of new things are happening at LEGOLAND Florida in 2024 including the addition SEALife in 2024 and the new neighboring theme park, Peppa Pig Theme Park! Annual pass holders get special pricing at the LEGOLAND hotels and shopping discounts. The new pass system includes several options including the Gold Pass which is $279.99 and includes entrance into the LEGOLAND water park which we highly recommend. 


Tampa Bay History Center 

The Tampa Bay History Center has many exhibits that are kid-friendly like the Treasure Seekers exhibit featuring conquistadors, pirates, and shipwrecks. There is a train table for little ones to get hands on the second floor too. Family memberships are $95. 



A YMCA membership is perfect for active families who can take advantage of the many group exercises, outdoor swimming pools, childcare and discounted rates on programs and classes. 

Related: Gift of Fitness with the YMCA

Florida Aquarium   

At the Florida Aquarium, your family can experience exhibits from wetlands to beaches to coral reefs and more. Your kids will love the Splash Pad and 4D Theater. The annual pass also includes discounts on tours and guest swim experiences. For one year: $185 for a family of four; additional membership packages are available 


Clearwater Marine Aquarium 

Movie stars like Hope call Clearwater Marine Aquarium home and recently expanded and updated its facility giving your family more to love and explore. A Pod of 4 membership is $239 and you can add an unnamed guest for $49 per spot.


Great Explorations Children’s Museum

Located right next door to the beautiful Sunken Gardens in St. Pete, Great Explorations is one of our favorite ways to play. There’s a new animal care exhibit sponsored by the SPCA for your kids to explore and the climbing structure is always a hit! A basic membership is on sale for $150 right now. 


CITYPass: Tampa Bay 

If you aren’t quite ready to take the plunge with one attraction, a CityPASS may be exactly what you need. The CityPass allows for one visit to Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa, Clearwater Marine Aquarium and your choice between MOSI or Chihuly Collection.  An adult CityPASS is $139 (ages 10+) and a child pass is $124 (ages 3-9), a 56% savings. The pass is valid for nine days after first day of use.  


JOIN THE CLUB and root, root, root for the home teams! 

Jr. Bucs Fan Club
Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Game day tickets and even season passes are always a gift-giving WIN! Choose between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lighting, and the Tampa Bay Rays! We also love memberships to Thunderbug’s Kids Club and the Jr Bucs Fan Club as gift ideas!

Related: Calling all pint-sized sports fans! It’s time to join the local pro sports kids’ clubs!