Free or Cheap things to do in Sarasota

Welcome to your go-to source for things to do in Sarasota. There are so many fun things to do in Sarasota with kids that this list was really easy to make. From the beautiful beaches of Siesta Key to the fun parks, the list of fun activities in Sarasota goes on and on. You will not be sorry you took your kids out exploring especially when you are spending little money.

Check out this list of free or cheap things to do in Sarasota with kids.

Things to do in Sarasota that are free

The Ringling is free on Mondays

Ringling has so much to offer! We personally love the playground there and on Mondays it is free to visit! You can also walk around the grounds for free on Mondays! But it’s worth the money if you go a different day and have to pay for admission. It’s a really neat thing to do in Sarasota.

Grab some ice cream and walk around St. Armands Circle

St. Armands Circle is a fun place to go to walk around. And kids will love getting ice cream at one of the many ice cream shops there. 

UTC Mall Play Place

The UTC Mall is fun for kids and adults. They have really great stores and they have an amazing play place for the kids! It gets busy on the weekends, but we love it!

Westfield Sarasota Square Mall Playtown

The Westfield Sarasota isn’t as great as the UTC mall play place, but it tends to be less busy.

Siesta Key Beach

Did you know that Siesta Key Beach is one of the best beaches in America? It’s voted this way because of the beautiful white sands that don’t burn the bottom of your feet! During the winter season the parking can be a little hectic, but still worth visiting. In the summer, you can easily park and enjoy a beach day. And don’t forget to visit the Siesta Key Beach Park- more info below!

Nokomis Beach

We absolutely love Nokomis Beach. Nokomis is located in between Sarasota and Manasota beaches. The water can be so calm and clear. We have spent hours on this beach and it’s so shallow and the water is so clear you can walk far out without it getting deep at times. It’s a great way to spend a day!

Venice Beach

The Venice Beach is another gorgeous beach in Southwest Florida. Plus I love the Sharky’s pier on this beach…it makes for great pictures!

Children’s Fountain in Bay Front Park

The children’s fountain at Bay Front park is located in such a beautiful spot. Not only can the kids splash around, but they can also play at the Bay Front Park directly next to it and the back drop is the beautiful Sarasota bay.

Centennial Park

Splash in the Venice Splash Park at Centennial Park. Perfectly located on Venice Island, after you are done splashing, stop in for ice cream.

Hike the trails at Venetian Waterway Park

This is a pretty walking trail with water beside you the whole walk.

Venice South and North Jetties

The Jetties are a great place to do some fishing and even a picnic lunch or dinner and watch the sunset. We almost always see dolphins at the Jetties too!

Cheap things to do in Sarasota

Arlington Park & Aquatic Center

Take the kids swimming at Arlington Park & Aquatic Center. There is a fee to get in, but it’s a great way to cool off on those hot days.

Lido Beach Pool

Another great swimming option is the Lido Beach pool in Lido, Sarasota. There is a fee but they probably have season pass options as well.

Pick fresh produce at Hunsader Farms

Hunsader Farms is a great place to visit in every season. They always have fun family events happening. They have pumpkin festivals in the fall, Christmas events, and something for every season. It’s a lot of fun.

Places where you can get season passes in Sarasota

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

See fish, shark, alligators, manatees and more at Mote Marine. If you buy an annual pass it can be very cheap for a year of fun. Mote Marine is one of our favorite things to do in Sarasota.

Sarasota Children’s Garden & Art Center

See the butterflies at the Sarasota Children’s Garden & Art Center. If you buy an annual pass it can be very cheap for a year. At the Children’s Garden the kids can follow trails through the gardens and play on the different play houses and other fun things they have set up. And they have events all the time for families. We love it!

Parks and playgrounds in Sarasota

Siesta Key Beach Park

This is such a cute playground for the kids to play on. It looks like a giant sandcastle theme. It’s a lot of fun and free! Who doesn’t love free, am I right? If you are looking for something free to do in Sarasota, this is a great place to visit! Plus then you can dip your toes in the Ocean on Siesta Key Beach afterwards.

Bay Front Park

Bay Front Park is a hot spot in Sarasota for so many reasons! It’s one of my favorite parks because it has an absolutely gorgeous background while the kids play. It’s right on the Sarasota bay. The playground is shaded and lots of fun for the kids. There is a lot of grassy area for picnics as well.

Celery Field

There is a trail up the hill at Celery Fields and the view from the top is breathtaking.

Circus Playground Payne Park

Pretend you are in the Circus at this amazing playground. We can’t say enough good things about it. It’s huge and so much fun. Click the link above to see more pictures of this fun playground.

Urfer Family Park

Walk the trails and play on the playground at Urfer Family Park.  It’s huge and has so many different parts to it that is fun for kids of all ages.

Parks and playgrounds in North Port

Garden of the Five Senses

This is such a fun playground for kids that is really big and shaded.

McKibben Park

McKibben Park is a cute park right on a lake. Beautiful background for pictures. It’s also shaded- which we love in the summer heat and sun. Be careful of alligators though! This park is in North Port!

Blue Ridge Park

This is a cute little playground in North Port! Let the kids get their energy out at this playground- and it’s shaded!

Parks and playgrounds in Venice

Caspersen Beach Park

Let the kids play at a fun shaded park at Caspersen Beach Park. It’s near the Beach on Venice Island as well!

Maxine Barritt Park

This park has picnic tables, a beautiful view and a great walking trail.

Legacy Park

Legacy Park has a great train themed playground because it is located across from the historic Venice Train Depot. The kids will love it! And then ride bikes along Legacy Trail.

For more fun things to do in Sarasota and around the Southwest Florida area, click the pictures below.

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