10 Family Friendly Activities In Panama City Beach

10 Family Friendly Activities in Panama City Beach

When you think Panama City Beach, Florida, chances are you don’t think “family friendly”. More likely you think about drunken college students doing crazy drunken things. Although there is more than enough drunken shenanigans to suit anyone just like at most beaches, there are actually quite a lot of family friendly activities to do in Panama City Beach, too.

Panama City Beach. More Family Friendly than You Think

There’s a ton of fun to be had for families and those who aren’t into imbibing themselves into oblivion at Panama City Beach. I should note that although strictly speaking Panama City Beach is just the beach, both the beach and the city are generally grouped into one.

Race City

Race City is the largest fun center and arcade in Panama City Beach. Featuring 6 different Go Kart Tracks, including a “Kids Kars” track, indoor blacklight mini golf, bumper boats with mounted squirt guns, bumper cars, a ginormous indoor arcade, a Sea Maze, and a Skycoaster ride, Race City is one of the “can’t miss” attractions in Panama City Beach.

Pirates! ARRRR!

Sea Dragon Pirate Cruises offers one of the most adventurey adventures in all of Panama City Beach. Take one of their daily dolphin cruises on a replica of a 1700’s cargo ship. It’s the real deal, and kids can do all sorts of pirate-type stuff on-board like treasure hunts, firing canons, and even sword fights! And there’s plenty of grog for the grownups, as well. FYI, grog means cocktails and cold beer!

Gulf World Marine Park

Gulf World Marine Park is one of those places that allows you to really get in touch with nature. No really. You touch it. Visitors can swim with dolphins, feed sharks, take in an alligator exhibit, pet stingrays, hold boa constrictors, and even take in a magic show. It’s all about fun and learning, and the best part is that tickets are good for the whole day. You have the freedom to leave and come back using the same ticket!

Helicopter Tours

Panama City Beach is a gorgeous place, especially when you see it from a bird’s perspective! Panhandle Helicopter offers great aerial tours of Panama City Beach and the surrounding area. And bonus – the kids can even wear their own headset and speak with the pilot while they’re on the tour.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum

If you’re like me, you loved Ripley’s Believe It Or Not on television back in the day. If that’s the case – or even if it isn’t – take the family to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. This is one of the best family friendly attractions in Panama City Beach because it tricks the kiddos into learning something. In addition to the weirdness, Ripley’s also has a 4D theater, and Laser Race.


WonderWorks is the perfect place to take the kids in Panama City Beach. Just as the name implies, WonderWorks gets the kids’ imagination working over time. From the fact that the exterior is an UPSIDE DOWN HOUSE to the over 100 interactive hands-on exhibits, experiments, and rides, WonderWorks has all kinds of amazing things to see and do for kids and adults alike.

Shipwreck Island Waterpark

It’s a universal law that all kids love water parks, so if you’re going to be in Panama City Beach, why not take your kids to one of the best water parks in the area. Shipwreck Island has a special area for toddlers called “The Tadpole Hole” as well as rides such as “Tree Top Drop” and “Pirate’s Plunge” for teenagers. It’s a waterpark with a little bit of something for the entire family.

XD Darkride Experience

According to our friends at Sandpiper Beacon Resort, no Top 10 Family Friendly Activities list would be complete without the XD Darkride Experience, located at Pier Park. Who wouldn’t love a 7D Movie that’s also an interactive video game that let’s you shoot at the bad guys on the screen as the movie unfolds. It’s a multi sensory interactive experience that the entire family will love. Oh, and it’s pretty cheap, too.

Coconut Creek

Coconut Creek Family Fun Park has no shortage of family friendly activities for vacationers at Panama City Beach. Families can have a day of mini golf at one of the best courses in all of Panama City Beach, or they can navigate their way through the Gran Maze. As the name implies, it’s a grand maze. Human mice must navigate the maze, finding four checkpoints before making their way back out.

Goofy Golf

Experience the sensibilities of a 50s miniature golf course while you’re in Panama City Beach at Goofy Golf. The biggest Goofy Golf course ever built by Lee Koplin, the course in Panama City Beach is run by Koplin’s son, and it remains largely unchanged from its 1959 opening state.

Panama City Beach. It’s Not All Booze and Bad Choices.

Panama City Beach my be synonymous with excessive drinking, partying, and generally endangering one’s future, but that’s not all there is there. Panama City Beach is actually a wonderfully family friendly destination. Between mini-golf, outdoor adventures, amusement parks, and more, Panama City Beach has something for everyone.

Have You Ever Been To Panama City Beach?

About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for EatPlayRock.com, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. what a great list of things to do. I’ve only been to florida to go to disneyworld. I never knew there were such cool things outside of it. Maybe next year.

  2. YOu know i have lived in FL for over30 years and have never been to Panama Beach. I think I need to remedy this soon.

  3. I had no idea there was so much to do in Panama City! I will have to add this stop to our next Florida visit.

  4. Kimberly Stroh says:

    I would love to take a helicopter tour of the panama city! That sounds like a fun way to explore and avoid the heat for a bit. Can’t wait for my FL trip soon!

  5. We love Ripley’s believe it or not museum. It is such a fun thing to walk through with the kiddos!

  6. The Helicopter tours and the Coconut Creek park were my favorite out of the list! I live in Miami so the trip is only a few hours away!! Might be my next weekend getaway!

  7. I have not experienced Panama City but have heard good things about the townw. That there are pirate adventures sells me! I will have to check it out.

  8. Wow thats hell lot of activities that can keep the whole family engaged! Absolute fun! Are the pirate games open to adults as well. Sounds quite interesting.

  9. It sounds like there are lots of family friendly things to do there and it’d be a great place for a vacation. I’m sure my son would love the Goofy Golf best.

  10. Florida is the place to be all summer! I’m loving this list because there’s really so much that you can do with the kids there. I think it’s awesome to make the most out of the summer, you’re making memories for the kids after all.

  11. Helicopter tour must be fun to do, and quite adventurous. Florida is so famous for its beaches, but knowing there are spots for family is an extra plus.

  12. I think a helicopter tour would be an amazing way of exploring Panama beach and what a beautiful place it is. Its a great family experience too.

  13. I actually have been to Panama City Beach FL, and Panama City the country!! I went when I was in college for Spring Break (yup…) so I never went for family friendly stuff but I am glad there are lots of things for families to do!

  14. I grew up in Florida and spent many summer weekends and spring breaks in Panama City. Great memories.

  15. I’ve always wanted to take a helicopter tour. I’m not really afraid of heights so I think the family and I would enjoy it.

  16. I almost went to Panama City Beach for a wedding…wish I would have been able to make it. I would like to go on a helicopter tour one of these days.

  17. It sounds like there are so many wonderful things to do there! I love to find out about new areas that you wouldn’t necessarily think of for family!

  18. Courtneylynne says:

    Omg I almost totally forgot Panama beach existed! I haven’t been since I was college aged! Great to see there are other things to do there besides bar hop 😉

  19. I will be adding this to our florida visit list. We are always looking for good family friendly places.

  20. I’ve been wanting to take my son to Ripley’s. Guess we need to head to Florida for our next summer vacation!

  21. I would love to head to Panama City. I lived in Florida for 3 years, but never made it here. It sounds like a great place to visit

  22. Great list of activities for the famiy to do in Panama City Beach. This just really got me thinking about doing a little more traveling.

  23. Oh it’s nice that there are so many things to do with the kids. I think we’d have to try out a helicopter tour.

  24. Cool! Another place to add to my list of places to visit in my quest to discover the USA

  25. Robin Rue says:

    I have never been to Panama City Beach, but it sounds great! We are always looking for new places to explore as a family.

  26. Reesa Lewandowski says:

    All of this sounds like so much fun! Can I just hop on a plane and go now? Would that be acceptable with the kiddos needing to go to school 😉