Thinking about a trip to the Space Coast? I am sharing things to do in Cocoa Beach, Florida with kids. From Kennedy Space Center to surfing there is so much to do in Cocoa Beach.
Thank you to the Space Coast for hosting us.
We just returned from Spring Break in Cocoa Beach. We had the best time. There is so much to do in the Space Coast. I am rounding up everything we did from where we stayed to our favorite things to do and best places to eat. See a video of our trip here.
Where is Cocoa Beach and what is the Closest Airport to Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach is 45 minutes east of Orlando. The closest international airport is Orlando International Airport.
Things to do in Cocoa Beach, FL with Kids
Kennedy Space Center
Our daughter, B and Kurt are both space lovers. B would like to work for NASA at mission control. Kennedy Space Center did not disappoint. Here are some of our tips:
- Before you go download their app.
- The gates to the parking lot opens 30 minutes before the center opens. Plan to get there early. We arrived 15 minutes before opening and there was already a long line of people waiting to get in.
- When you are in line look for the QR code to sign up for the bus to the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
- Head straight to Space Shuttle Atlantis. It is at the other end of the center from the entrance. We went through the exhibit with only a couple of other families.
- If you have kids make sure you do not miss Planet Play. It was the coolest indoor playground I have ever been to.
- Make sure you buy astronaut ice cream. I remember that being the highlight when I was a kid.
- Spend time in the rocket garden. It is incredible to think that these machines have been to space.
See the highlights from our visit here.
Ron Jon’s Surf Shop
Ron Jon Surf Shop is the World’s™ Most Famous Surf Shop! There are tons of fun photo ops around the outside of Rob Jon’s. Inside they have two floors with everything you need for a beach trip from surfboards to swim shirts.
The Exploration Tower is in Port Canaveral. Right now just the lobby and the observation deck are open. The observation deck gives you a great view of the entire coast. We really enjoyed watching the boats come in and out of the port. One of the most exciting boats was one carrying the rocket that we ha just seen take off the day before.
Historic Cocoa Beach
Historic Cocoa Village, the downtown core of the City of Cocoa. It dates back to the mid 1800s. Today it is the for a unique shopping and dining experience in a relaxing atmosphere with a village vibe!
We enjoyed it so much we came back a second time.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Beachside Hotel & Suites. It is a newly renovated boutique hotel in Cocoa Beach, Florida. I love the retro beach vibe. When you arrive you are greeted by the lazy river and a fun sand area with lots of toys. The location is perfect. It is just 300 feet from the beach, right next door to Ron Jon’s Surf Shop and a mile from the pier.
It is a great resort to go with a group of friends or family. They have great open spaces for hanging out, Saturday they had a dj and then hosted a movie next to the pool. We loved the beach area just off the pool area, it was the perfect place for the kids to play. They offer free Bike and Beach Rentals, Boogie Boards, Surfboards and Beach Wagons. The Duck Dive is their onsite restaurant and it was a great option everything from for drinks by the pool to family dinners. The pool is open until 11pm and while we were there people were partying in the pool right up until it closed.
Our suite was the perfect layout for our family, see a room tour here. We loved the decor and we loved having a kitchenette.
Where to Eat
Historic Cocoa Village
We were so impressed with the restaurants. They were so many creative concepts and the food was delicious with lots of variety.
This restaurant has a great rooftop restaurant with great views of the waterways. They also sell pizza by the slice which we love especially when we are on vacation and don’t want leftovers. I had their tacos and really enjoyed them.
This one of the coolest biergarten I have ever been to in the states. We all felt like we had been transported back to Germany. The night before when we walked by they had a band playing. Looks like they have lot live music.
If you like poke bowls I highly recommend Poke Fin, it was just a couple of blocks from the Beachside Hotel. The food was so good we went there twice!!
Kurt and B got tacos and queso from here and both loved it.
This gastropub is one of the cutest outdoor restaurants I have ever been to. They converted a gas station into a fun family friendly spot under a 100 year old oak tree. My family loved make your own mac & cheese bar. Make sure you save room for their dessert bar. When you are there, you can stop by the Kelly Slater statue. We love a good photo opp.
Things to do in Cocoa Beach, Florida with Kids