Challenger Park – Tips for Kids in Venice

Challenger Park in Venice

How about playing and romping around with the kids or enjoying a game of beach volleyball – this is easy and fun at Challenger Park in South Venice, a hidden neighborhood park just a few blocks from our Villa Happy Gator. With the bikes it will take you only 5 minutes to get there.

Find a nice little playground, covered picnic benches and barbecue grills, a beach volleyball field and above all a large grass field for all sorts of activities.

The park is open from 6 am until sunset. Parking is available.

371 Olivia Rd, Venice Fl 34293

10 Things to do with Kids in Venice Florida

Kids in Venice

10 Things to do with Kids in Venice Florida

Venice, the City on the Gulf, is the perfect place for a vacation with the whole family.

You are looking for ideas what to do with kids? Let me present 10 great ideas for kid’s activities in and around Venice Florida:

1. Looking for Shark Teeth

Who finds the most? Who find the largest one? Kids and adults alike love looking for Shark Teeth. All beaches around Venice are wonderful for the search for the fossil shark teeth. However, the greatest success in finding them you will have at our private beach, which you can reach with our South Venice Beach Ferry. The only visitors of this piece of paradise come with the ferry, so this beach is never overcrowded. Bring our “Shark Tooth Sifter Tool” and we guarantee you will find them – Fossil Shark Teeth of Venice!

Learn more about Fossil Shark Teeth Here

Kids in Venice - 1

2. Children’s Fountain in Venice

All kids love this water attraction. Be prepared – they could spend hours! The interactive fountain is located on 200 W. Venice Ave in Centennial Park near the Gazebo.
Please visit the Venice site for more info.

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3. Mote – Marine Laboratory + Aquarium in Sarasota

Explore the secrets of the sea through touch pools, viewable-working labs and high-tech interactive exhibits that showcase the world-renowned research of Mote Marine Laboratory. See sharks, manatees and sea turtles, along with more than 100 other species of marine life. Especially families love interactive, hands-on eco-adventures on the Sea Life Encounter Cruise.

Please visit their website

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4. Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary in Sarasota

This large-animal rescue is located in eastern Sarasota County. Founded in 1987 by Kay Rosaire, the nonprofit sanctuary is a permanent home for dozens of exotic animals, offers placement for animals in need, and works to educate the public about animal care and conservation.

Please visit their website for more info.

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5. Kayak Rental at the Jetty

Kayak or PaddleBoard to Snake Island, around Cactus Island and Bird Island.  Take some time to pick shells or look for sharks teeth on one of the islands.  Pack a lunch and explore some of the waterfront parks and water only access parks in Lyons Bay, Dona Bay, and Roberts Bay. Or head out the inlet to the beach!  The launch site is located in a Manatee Zone so you may see dolphin, manatee and a variety of fish and birds.

Personal flotation devices come in sizes from toddler to adult.
More info on their website or find them on faceebook under venicejettyrentals.

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6. Dakin Dairy Farm in Myakka City

Country life is displayed at the “Dakin Dairy Farm” in Myakka City. On a guided tour through the dairy farm, visitors can learn where milk comes from. Children can breathe fresh country air, caressing little piglets and play in the hay.

For directions and opening hours, please see their website dakindairyfarms,com.

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7. Airboat Ride and Gator Watch

Enjoy a real authentic Florida airboat ride! Located on the beautiful Peace River in Arcadia, Florida, they offer Peace River Airboat Tours, Private Charters and Swamp Buggy rides to the public.

Please see their website for more info.

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8. Treeumph Bradenton – Playtime in the trees

They got over 10 football fields of challenging terrain and hundreds of aerial adventure games. Plus, thousands of smiling faces both young & young at heart . Fly through a dense forest from tree to tree on crazy-fun obstacles that defy gravity. Get in sync with nature. Love every single moment spent with your friends and family as you experience one of the most unique attractions in Florida. Rise Above!

Learn more about them on

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9. Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Jungle Gardens is a small zoological animal park in Sarasota on the west coast of Florida. The small zoo is nestled in a beautifully designed tropical garden with dense vegetation. Already since 1939, the Jungle Gardens with the quiet and relaxed atmosphere is the ideal destination for families with young children. You will not find great attractions or rides.

Alligators, snakes, parrots and macaws, monkeys and some exotic birds can be admired from the park visitors. Highlight, especially for the children,is the Flamingo enclosure where you can feed the proud animals out of hand.

Three 20-minute shows are offered daily, in which you can learn more about the animals (wild birds, parrots and alligators).

For more info please see

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10. Indoor Fun – Skyzone

Bounce, Play and Climb Challenge

Whether it’s a birthday party, an afternoon pickup game of Ultimate Dodgeball, a charity event, or just a day out with the family, Sky Zone is a place to gather with friends, family, and your community. We provide ways for people to play together, as well as spaces for parents and non-jumpers to enjoy themselves while keeping an eye on the action.

More info on

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Kids in Venice Florida: Ultimate Family Fun at Sky Zone Sarasota

Sky Zone Sarasota

What to do with kids in Venice?

You are looking for ideas what to do with kids and teenagers on a cold or rainy day? How about a visit to Sky Zone Sarasota? This exceptional indoor trampoline park has lots of places to play for all ages to burn off energy. Just put on a pair of orange trampoline socks and here you go!

Have fun with Freestyle Jumping and let go of gravity! It is so amazing!

Next is: Test your parkour skills to the next level. Conquer the tricky curved incline of the Warped Wall. Or battle your friends in the gladiator style combat Sky Joust. Do you think you can keep your balance?

Foam Zone is all about big air and soft landings while with Sky Line you have to manage to keep your balance. Grab a friend and challenge them in a test of strength with a round of Tug of War! In the Challenge Zone you put your coordination and balance to the test across a series of obstacles. Ultimate Dodgeball takes the classic game to a whole new level.

Sky Zone Sarasota         Sky Zone Sarasota

Rock the rim on Skyslam or rip a Dodge Ball as fast as you can at a target in the Speed Zone. Sky Ladder and Free Climb are also Zones that challenge your strength and balance.

Sky Zone Sarasota

The Toddler Zone is an exclusive area for Toddlers to Jump and Play. Separated from the main jumping area, protected from the older jumpers. Parents can watch their child play and interact from the platform directly in front of their little one.


Sky Zone is located on 6180 Edgelake Dr in Sarasota, FL 34240, only a short 30 minutes drive from your vacation home in Venice .

For prices, events and opening hours, please got to their website.

Have in mind that they participate with Groupon – so you might get a deal.

South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve – Great for Nature Lovers

Lemon Bay Preserve

Here in South Venice we are fortunate to have a real gem for nature lovers right at our doorsteps: the South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve with its 222 acres of protected land along Lemon Bay.

The preserve is nestled in the densely packed suburb of South Venice, is a refuge for several protected animals and plants.

There are several miles of trails through coastal habitats including mangroves, tidal swamp, tidal marsh, coastal hammock and upland communities such as mesic and scrubby flatwoods. On your walk you will have the chance to meet a variety of wildlife such as gopher tortoise, Florida scrub-jay, bald eagle, river otter and an assortment of snakes, including the eastern coachwhip. Also bobcats have been seen there. Boardwalks afford visitors access across the recreated and restored wetland slough.

Be sure to wear sturdy shoes as sand spurs are very common. Also carry some water as you may walk longer parts of the trails in the open. With so much to discover, your walk could always take longer than planned. If you are lucky, a bunch of scrub jays will play their games with you.

The Preserve is divided in 2 parts. Each part has 2 entrances, all of them only minutes from your vacation home Villa Happy Gator:

Northern part:
5472 Kenisco Road + 1101/1199 Ocelot Road South Venice

Southern part:
1101/1199 Ocelot Road + 6200 Osprey Road South Venice

Mote – Marine Laboratory + Aquarium in Sarasota

Mote Aquarium Sarasota

„The Answers are in the Ocean“
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

If you are in the Venice area, be sure to visit this fantastic presentation of marine life in Sarasota!

Explore the secrets of the sea through touch pools, viewable-working labs and high-tech interactive exhibits that showcase the world-renowned research of Mote Marine Laboratory. See sharks, manatees and sea turtles, along with more than 100 other species of marine life.

They offer

  • Bay Walk and Talks
  • Birthday Parties
  • Breakfast Programs
  • Eco Boat Tours
  • Kayaking
  • Morning Rounds
  • Research Charters
  • Seahorse Lab Tours
  • Shark Encounters

You may also join one of Mote’s Science Cafés in a local restaurant and take part in lively discussions.


Especially families love interactive, hands-on eco-adventures on the Sea Life Encounter Cruise. Eco Boat Tours are ideal for kids and a fun and fascinating extension of any visit to The Aquarium. Meet our marine natives — dolphins, manatees, osprey, eagles and other marine birds in their natural settings — and learn more about Florida wildlife from the ship’s biologist.

How about a Full Moon Paddle? Take a break from the sun and join them for an evening paddle as they explore Florida’s coastal waters at dusk. Discover the animals that bring Sarasota Bay to life at night while taking a relaxing paddle on the moonlit water.

Mote – Marine Laboratory&Aquarium  started in 1955 with Dr. Eugenie Clark’s foundation of shark research and is now more than 200 employees strong, including more than 30 Ph.D. scientists. They conduct groundbreaking research with more than 20 diverse research programs focusing on today’s challenges as well as identifying and addressing future impacts. The advancement of this kind of research is vital to unlocking potential solutions to some of today’s most daunting global challenges.


Marine Laboratory&

1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34236
Ph: (941) 388-4441

Website for info, hours and prices:

Photos: credit to Mote Marine Lab

Yofresh – Delicious All Natural Yogurt in Venice FL

yofresh in venice

This will be your favorite spot if you love frozen yoghurt! Step into this bright and cheery place and you will feel immediately special. There is always a smile to greet and a great song on the speakers to welcome you.

Enjoy a large selection of delicious all natural frozen yogurts with a variety of tasty toppings, fresh yogurts and fruit smoothies.

They even provide almond milk flavors – vegan and dairy free – which are my personal choice. You will also find gluten and fat free options.

Do you know how “Hit Lucky 13” will create a “Yo Smile” on your face? Put exactly 13 ounces into your cup and you will enjoy it for free! Give it a try!

FroYo Your Way!

Yofresh Yogurt Café
4197 Tamiami Trl S
34293 Venice (Florida)
+1 941-244-0394

Meet them on Facebook!

Yoghurt in Venice  yogurt in Venice

yogurt in Venice  yogurt in Venice

Where to eat in Venice: Snook Haven at Myakka River

Snook Haven

Experience Snook Haven, one of Florida’s most unique restaurants, tucked away on the banks of the Myakka River in a true Old Florida setting. Enjoy your meal in the dining room, or on the deck while taking in the peaceful view of the river and wildlife.

Snook Haven features a delicious Back Woods Smokehouse menu featuring ribs, chicken, pulled pork as well as fresh fish, and shrimp. They have over 30 different beers to choose from, including some of Florida’s own craft beers, and other international favorites.  Snook’s outdoor stage is home to a rich history of local live music entertainment. Check out their monthly entertainment calendar to see who is performing. Come out for an afternoon of blues, country, rock music and more!

River Tours and canoe/kayak rentals

You are looking for activities? Book a River Tour or rent a canoe or kayak with Logan River Tours.

More info

Read more about the History of Snook Haven here. For opening hours and menu as well as for river tours and boat rentals please go to their website

Snook Haven


Great Time on a Historic Walking Tour in Venice Florida

Venice Florida Tours

Have fun on one of the interactive Historic Walking Tours through Downtown Venice provided by your tour guides Ronnie and Tiffany. Whether you have lived in Venice for many years or are just vacationing – let them surprise you with facts and stories that you never heard of and that will help you to appreciate this beautiful city even more than you already do.

Ronnie and Tiffany invite you to a 1 mile tour, that will take around 90 minutes and will be peppered with historical talking point stops. Their charming personality combined with knowledge and humor guarantee that everybody will have a great time.

Please contact them to inquire about their schedule. A reservation is required. See their Facebook Page for more info.


Venice Florida Tours 1  Venice Florida Tours 2

Venice Florida Tours 4   Venice Florida Tours 5

Best Beaches of SW Florida: Manasota Beach Venice

01_Manasota Beach Venice

The Manasota Beach Road bridge in the northern part of Manasota Key leads you directly to this quiet and pristine beach. Take the boardwalks over the sanddunes and enjoy the crystal clear, turquoise-blue waters and the bright, soft sand that are ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Manasota Beach is also a popular area for snorkeling.

As far as the eye can see, the beach stretches along the coast. On long, peaceable walks you can find many beautiful shells and fossil shark teeth. Even on high season, this beach is never crowded. With some luck, you can even see manatees and dolphins. At the northernmost end, Manasota Key is a quiet bird sanctuary. Many native birds, dolphins and sea turtles live on this stretch of coastline.

There are picnic tables in shady areas, BBQ areas, changing rooms, restrooms and showers. Manasota Beach is staffed with lifeguards all year round. Parking is free – as always on Sarasota County’s beaches.

South of the drawbridge there is a boat ramp that provides easy access to Lemon Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Manasota Beach is located on 8570 Manasota Key Rd, Englewood, FL 34223 – only a short 10 minutes drive from our Villa Happy Gator in Venice.

Let us inspire you with some pictures and a beautiful video:





Where to Eat in Venice: Ice Cream at its best at Venice Avenue Creamery

Creamery Venice Florida

What could be better on a hot sunny day than enjoying a scoop of delicious ice cream?

There are so many flavours to choose from. Or what about having a Key Lime Pie? It tastes irresistible. Frozen Yogurt is offered in addition to ice cream for the froyo lovers out there.

Venice Avenue Creamery offers premium, homemade ice cream and yogurt using local dairies. They are family owned and operated. They are located on 249 West Venice Avenue, Venice, FL. Please see their Facebooksite for more info.


Creamery Venice Florida  Creamery Venice Florida  Creamery Venice Florida