Are you looking for family things to do with your family in Cocoa Beach? Check out our blog post on the top family activities in Cocoa Beach, including water sports, beach volleyball, and more! Perfect for families looking for a fun-filled day in the sun. I am sharing tons of things to do in Cocoa Beach, Florida with kids.
Thank you to the Space Coast for hosting us.
We just returned from Spring Break in Cocoa Beach in Brevard County. We had the best time. It is a must-see destination. There is so much to do on Florida's Space Coast. I am rounding up everything we did, the best spots from where we stayed, our favorite things to do. And the best places to eat. It is an ideal place for families. See a video of our trip here.
Cocoa Beach Area is an exciting destination that offers many family-friendly activities. It has beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast. Visitors can explore the unique attractions, such as the Florida Surf Museum, Lori Wilson Park, the Dinosaur Store, and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on nearby Merritt Island. The area has excellent restaurants and shopping.
Lori Wilson Park
It is a must-visit destination in Cocoa Beach for people who want to enjoy the great outdoors. Located just south of Cape Canaveral, this beautiful park with picnic tables. It is famous for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. This park is perfect for a family outing with its vast stretch of beach, playgrounds, and picnic pavilions. It is also a dog park.
One of the park's main attractions is the large playground area suitable for children of all ages. The playground has a nautical theme and features play structures in the shape of boats, lighthouses, and other seaside elements. There are also swings, slides, and climbing structures that provide hours of entertainment for kids.
Lori Wilson Park offers various options for families who enjoy outdoor activities. The park has several beach volleyball courts, a horseshoe pit, and a disc golf course. The beach is also excellent for surfing, boogie boarding, and fishing. Families can rent surfboards, kayaks, and paddleboards from local vendors or bring their equipment.
Lori Wilson Park also has several picnic pavilions with charcoal grills, making it an excellent spot for a family barbecue. You can reserve the pavilions in advance for a small fee. In addition, several restrooms and outdoor showers are available for visitors.
Overall, Lori Wilson Park is a fantastic destination for families enjoying the sun, sand, and surf in Cocoa Beach. With its wide range of activities and amenities, this beautiful park has something for everyone.
Florida Surf Museum
The Florida Surf Museum is a great place to take your family if you want an educational and entertaining experience. This museum showcases the history of surfing in Florida and is to preserve the state's surfing heritage. Visitors can learn about the sport's pioneers in Florida, the evolution of surfboards, and the many surf spots across the state.
The museum also features exhibits on the role of women in surfing, the industry's growth, and the surfers' culture and lifestyle. Kids can enjoy interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, such as shaping their mini surfboard and participating in a virtual reality surfing experience.
This family-owned store offers a variety of dinosaur-themed merchandise and a museum area. The Hall of Dinosaurs has life-size replicas of dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures. Kids and adults will love exploring the exhibits, which feature fossils, bones, and interactive displays.
The store also offers educational programs and workshops, making it an excellent destination for families interested in science and history. Go to the gift shop before you leave to pick up a souvenir to remember your visit!
NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral
Our daughters, B and Kurt, are both space lovers. B would like to work for NASA in mission control. Kennedy Space Center did not disappoint; it is one of the best things our family did on the trip. Here are some of our tips:
- Before you go, download their app.
- The gates to the parking lot open 30 minutes before the center opens. Plan to get there early. We arrived 15 minutes before opening, and a long line of people was 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 most fantastic 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.
It is a great place to explore nature and enjoy outdoor activities with your family. One of the top attractions on the island is the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which offers over 140,000 acres of protected land to explore. Visitors can hike, bike, fish, and bird watching. All while enjoying the natural beauty of the island. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is on Merritt Island. It provides a unique opportunity for families to learn about space exploration and the history of NASA.
Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier
This Pier is one of the most popular destinations in Cocoa Beach, Florida. This historic pier is a must-visit spot for families looking for fun things to do. Visitors can enjoy fishing, surfing, beach volleyball, or stroll along the pier to enjoy the stunning ocean views. The pier has multiple dining options, including fresh seafood restaurants and casual beachside cafes. Kids will love the arcade games and gift shops, and live music events and other entertainment often happen at the pier. Suppose you're looking for a fun and family-friendly activity in Cocoa Beach. In that case, the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier is worth a visit.
Cocoa Beach Boardwalk
Regarding family-friendly activities in Cocoa Beach, the Cocoa Beach Boardwalk is a must-visit destination. This iconic boardwalk stretches along the beach for over 800 feet. It offers stunning ocean views and a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions.
The historic Cocoa Beach Pier is one of the most popular attractions on the Cocoa Beach Boardwalk. This 800-foot pier was built in 1962 and offers visitors the chance to fish, dine, and shop. The pier is home to five restaurants and bars, including Rikki Tiki Tavern, which offers stunning ocean views and delicious drinks.
In addition to the pier, the Cocoa Beach Boardwalk is home to various other family-friendly attractions, including beach volleyball courts, playgrounds, and a splash pad. Visitors can also rent beach equipment, such as umbrellas and chairs, to enjoy a day of sun and sand.
Ron Jon's Surf Shop
Ron Jon Surf Shop is the World's™ Most Famous Surf Shop! There are tons of fun photo ops outside Rob Jon's. Inside they have two floors with everything you need for a beach trip, from surfboards to swim shirts.
Ron Jon Surf School
Ron Jon Surf School is a must-visit for families looking for a fun and unique activity during their Cocoa Beach vacation. The school offers surf lessons for all skill levels, including beginners. It has a team of certified instructors who ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
The classes are on the beach and include all necessary equipment, such as surfboards and wetsuits. Kids will have a blast learning to surf, and parents can relax and soak up the sun while watching their little ones catch their first waves. It is an ideal destination for families visiting Cocoa Beach.
The Exploration Tower is in Port Canaveral. Right now, just the lobby and the observation deck are open. The deck has a great view of the entire coast. We enjoyed watching the boats come in and out of the port. One of the most exciting boats was carrying the rocket we had just seen take off the day before.
It is a must-visit attraction for families visiting the Cocoa Beach area. The zoo has over 900 animals and boasts exciting exhibits like Expedition Africa, Wild Florida, and Paws On. Expedition Africa allows visitors to see majestic animals such as giraffes, zebras, and rhinos in their natural habitat.
Wild Florida offers an up-close and personal look at some of Florida's native animals, including alligators, panthers, and bears. Paws On is an interactive exhibit that allows children to get up close with domestic animals and learn about their care. In addition to the shows, the zoo also offers train rides, a zip line, and kayaking adventures. A visit to Brevard Zoo will surely be a highlight of any family's Cocoa Beach vacation.
Historic Cocoa Beach
Historic Cocoa Village is the downtown of the City of Cocoa. It dates back to the mid-1800s. It has lots of historic buildings. Today it is the for unique shopping. And yummy dining experiences in a relaxing atmosphere with a village vibe!
We enjoyed it so much. We came back a second time.
Banana River Aquatic Preserve
When visiting Cocoa Beach with your family, the Banana River Aquatic Preserve is a must-visit destination. This area is home to a diverse range of marine life, including manatees, dolphins, and various species of fish and birds. The preserve has a variety of activities for families, such as kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Visitors can enjoy scenic hiking trails and picnic areas with beautiful waterfront views. The Banana River Aquatic Preserve is a unique and educational experience that the whole family can enjoy while exploring the natural beauty of Cocoa Beach.
Indian River Lagoon
It is a must-visit destination for families visiting Cocoa Beach. Known as the "most diverse estuary in North America," the lagoon is home to a wide range of wildlife, including manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, and more than 4,000 species of plants and animals. Families can take a guided boat tour or kayak through the lagoon to see the wildlife up close and learn about the area's unique ecosystem. The Indian River Lagoon is also a popular spot for fishing, with species such as redfish, snook, and trout among the catches.
Lighthouse Cove Mini Golf
If you're looking for fun family activities in Cocoa Beach, stop by Lighthouse Cove Mini Golf. Located on the world-famous Cocoa Beach Pier, this mini-golf course offers a fun and challenging experience for all ages. The system features two 18-hole courses, both with unique obstacles and themes.
Plus, with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the pier, it's the perfect spot to enjoy some family-friendly competition while taking in the sights and sounds of the beach. Remember to snap a family photo with the pier and ocean in the background!
Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures
It is a thrilling outdoor activity that families can enjoy together. It features a ropes course with different difficulty levels, zip lines, and other exciting challenges. The system is suitable for children aged seven and above, so it's perfect for families with older kids looking for an adrenaline rush.
The course is in a scenic location surrounded by trees and offers a great view of the nearby Indian River. Safety is a top priority at Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures. All participants must wear safety harnesses and receive a safety briefing before starting the course.
Cocoa Beach Skate Park
It is another fun activity for families to enjoy in Cocoa Beach. The park features a 10,000-square-foot concrete skate park with ramps, rails, and other obstacles for skateboarders, roller skaters, and BMX riders. The park is open daily and offers equipment rentals and lessons for those who want to learn how to skate. It's a great place for the family and exercise while having fun.
U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame
Suppose you're looking for an educational and entertaining activity in Cocoa Beach. In that case, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame is a must-visit for families. It is located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; this attraction showcases the history of space exploration and the brave men and women who have traveled to space.
Visitors can learn about the various NASA missions, see actual artifacts and spacesuits used in space, and even meet real-life astronauts. Kids enjoy the interactive exhibits and the chance to experience what it's like to train for a space mission. It's a great way to inspire a love of science and exploration in kids of all ages.
Cocoa Village Playhouse
It is a popular spot for families visiting Cocoa Beach. This historic theater has entertained audiences for over 90 years with various productions, from Broadway shows to children's theater. The Playhouse offers something for everyone, including musicals, comedies, and dramas, and often features local talent. Families can enjoy a night out together while experiencing the magic of live theater. The Playhouse also offers educational programs and workshops for children, allowing them to explore the world of theater and the arts. It's a must-visit destination for families looking for fun and entertainment in Cocoa Beach.
While Cocoa Beach may be known for its beautiful beaches, it is also a popular spot for families to catch a cruise ship. Many families enjoy the excitement and adventure of cruising, and Cocoa Beach is located near some of the busiest ports in Florida. With ports in Port Canaveral just a short drive away, families can quickly embark on a fun-filled cruise to the Caribbean or other destinations. So if you're looking for a unique and exciting family activity in Cocoa Beach, consider a cruise ship adventure.
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. The lazy river greets you when you arrive, and a fun sand area with many toys. The location is perfect. It is just 300 feet from the beach, next door to Ron Jon's Surf Shop, and a mile from the pier. They had free parking.
It is a great resort to go with friends or family. They have great open spaces for hanging out; Saturday, they had a DJ and hosted a movie next to the pool. We loved the beach 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. It was an excellent option for everything from drinks by the pool to family dinners. The pool area is open until 11 pm, 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 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.
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 enjoyed them.
This Bier Garten is one of the coolest Biergarten I have ever attended in the States. They have a lot of live music. The night before, they had a band playing when we walked by. We all felt like we had been transported back to Germany.
If you like poke bowls, I highly recommend Poke Fin; it is just a few 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.
Rikki Tiki Tavern
Suppose you're looking for a fun and family-friendly spot to grab a bite, eat, and enjoy some drinks. In that case, Rikki Tiki Tavern is a must-visit location in Cocoa Beach. This open-air bar and restaurant is at the end of the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier and offers stunning ocean views and a laid-back atmosphere.
While you relax with a tropical drink or cold beer, the kids can play games in the arcade or take a spin on the pier's classic amusement park rides. Rikki Tiki Tavern offers a variety of menu items, including fresh seafood, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. With its beautiful views and lively atmosphere, it's a fun place to spend a sunny afternoon or evening in Cocoa Beach.
This gastropub is one of the cutest outdoor restaurants I have ever visited. They converted a gas station into a fun, family-friendly spot under a 100-year-old oak tree. My family loved to 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.