When they’re a little older, say teenagers, for example, parents might have to work just a little bit harder to keep them busy during their spring vacation from school.
Luckily, there are plenty of activities and places that are sure to please along the beaches of the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast.
Kid-Friendly Beaches AboundOf course, there’s the nearly 38 miles of white-sand beaches to explore. Many teens tend to want to stay very busy and find places where they can hang out with friends or even just other kids their age.
A perfect spot to find other friends is the main Gulf Shores Public Beach area, which is located at the intersection of Ala. Hwy. 59 and Ala. Hwy. 182 (Beach Road).
Here, they’ll be able to enjoy wide-open beachfront just beyond the boardwalk area that is lined with benches. There’s a beautiful green space with playground equipment and restaurants and shops such as the iconic Hangout and Pink Pony Pub.
A High-Energy Restaurant Focused On Family FunWhile the Pink Pony Pub may be more appropriate for grownups who want to enjoy a cold beverage, The Hangout is a very popular spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner for all ages.
In fact, during the summer months, the littlest ones in your group may enjoy the Pirates & Princesses breakfast, where entertainers dressed as—you guessed it—pirates and princesses, roam around the restaurant talking with the kids, passing out eye patches and tiaras, and playing fun games.
Teenagers love the Hangout also. There’s an outdoor courtyard behind the restaurant where to play games, listen to live musical performances, climb a giant sand pile and more.
Inside, the food is perfect for kids of all ages: burgers and fries, sandwiches and chicken tenders are among the kid-friendly fare. There’s also a long list of entrees for adults to enjoy, including fresh fish, steaks, chicken and other grown-up options.
If someone is celebrating a birthday, the Hangout is a great place to bring them. That’s because restaurant staff, including the awesome hosts and hostesses, ask the birthday boy or girl to join them on the dance floor, aka dining tables.
Whether celebrating a birthday or not, diners are invited every night to show the crew their fun dance moves. The crew also engages diners in fun games like the “pocket scavenger hunt,” where a crew member will call out an item like an out-of-state driver license, a left flip-flop or even a selfie with your server. The first person to bring that item to the emcee wins a prize!
The Hangout is a perfect place to create the warmest family memories!
Surrounding the Hangout are numerous beach shops to find that perfect souvenir, pick out a new swimsuit, find a quick bite to eat, buy a surfboard, or even purchase a bottle of sunscreen or a new pair of sunglasses!
Amp Up The Fun At Amusement ParksThere are lots of opportunities for your teenagers to work off a bit of energy, including mini golf, amusement parks and arcades situated throughout the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast area.
For example, the Track Family Fun Park is just north of the Intracoastal Canal Waterway bridge in Gulf Shores. No matter the time of day, you’ll see families playing mini golf, driving around on a blaster boat, racing friends on a go-kart, or playing in the arcade.
Older kids can ride go-karts on three levels of elevated tracks. The Wild Woody requires drivers to be at least 4’8” to drive a single cart or 16 years old with ID to drive the double kart.
There’s also what’s called the “Slick Track,” which features a special surface designed to let racers slip and slide as they cruise around the track multiple times.
The Family Track is curvy and features single and double go-karts on a traditional figure-eight track with overpass.
There’s also the Rookie Track that is specially designed for older kids to give them a sense of independence in a contained environment. Kiddie Karts are perfect for riders between 3’6” and 4’0” tall who want to drive by themselves.
Let the kids play a round of mini golf among jungle animals, tunnels and waterfalls or blast their friends with streams of water in the blaster boats.
For your thrill seekers, don’t pass up a chance to experience the Spinning Coaster. With rolling curves and cars that spin while zipping along the track, this coaster is a great pick for a roller coaster experience.
The younger ones will enjoy Kids Country, where they will find rides like a carousel, kiddie karts, a Ferris wheel, the Red Baron Airplane ride, a train, spin tops, and swings.
Build A Sandcastle That Will Blow Their MindGive your teens a truly unique beach experience by making an appointment for a sandcastle building lesson either at the public beach or even in front of your condo!
Sandcastle University specializes in teaching the best tools, tips and tricks of building amazing sand castles to groups of all ages and skill levels.
The Sandcastle U team will bring all the sand tools you need right out to you! Classes can be one or two hours in duration. The two-hour class provides an in-depth lesson on building multiple types of castles as well as using advanced sand carving tools.
Fly High Above The WaterNumerous companies in the area offer parasailing excursions by appointment.
One company, Ike’s Parasail, has locations in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Perdido Key. In addition to parasailing, the company also offers Banana Boat rides, paddle board rentals and kayak rentals.
For parasailing excursions, guests are flown on an 800-foot line allowing for maximum height as mandated by the Federal Aviation administration. Guests remain in the air approximately eight to 10 minutes and enjoy tranquil views of beautiful Gulf waters below.
Ike’s departs from Oceania Condominiums, Island Winds Condominiums, the Pavilion at Gulf State Park, Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar, and off the dock at the Flora-Bama Marina.
Give your teens a thrill this Spring Break with a beach vacation to Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach or Perdido Key and stay in a condo or beach house that’s right-sized for your crew.
There are plenty of kid-friendly activities that are high on adventure just waiting to be explored on a Gulf Shores area vacation!