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

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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 mote.org.

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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 peacerivercharters.com 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 treeumph.com.

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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 sarasotajunglegardens.com.

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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 skyzone.com/Sarasota

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Vacation in Venice Florida – Pack your Running Shoes!

running in Venice Florida

Vacation in Venice Florida – Pack Your Running Shoes!

The wonderful climate of Florida offers year round running experience. A lot of us select their vacation spot by running opportunies in the neighborhood.

To sporty friends of Forida’s Gulf Coast I can warmly recommend Venice. Within a good 10 minutes you can choose between 5 beautiful nature parks.

Of course you can start your running directly from your door. As there are no canals or dead end streets, a great variety of rounds are possible. The typical American neighborhood with small lakes and unique buildings – new and modern, lovingly restored or aging – has its own charm.

I love to run in a nature surrounding. In Venice, I can recommend the following parks:


  1. Shamrock Park

The park encompasses some of the last remaining scrub habitat in the coastal area of Sarasota County. Visitors will meet a lot of animals such as Gopher Tortoises, snakes, rabbits, Iguanas, birds – even the famous Florida Scrub Jays live here. With some luck you will see jumping dolphins. A trail system of about 3 miles in total and in 2 courses is ideal for walking, jogging or biking.

  1. Alligator Creek Trail

This beautiful Trail starts at Woodmere Park and is a an insider tip. Enjoy the quietness and seclusion when running along the creek within lush vegetation.

  1. Pinebrook Park

The almost 2 miles long trail partly leads along Curry Creek within picturesque surrounding. Integrated is a fitness parcours – well kept and usable. Even a small slope is included.

  1. Manasota Scrub Preserve

You run softly on pine needles in this beautiful nature preserve at the border of South Venice. Trails are marked and can be combined easily into larger rounds. The typical Florida vegetation is always an experience.

  1. Lemon Bay Park

This 210 acre Nature Park is in Englewood, still in Sarasota County and only minutes from Venice. It is beautifully located at Lemon Bay. If you like you may attach a relaxing stroll on the boardwalk trail and enjoy the gorgeous view.




3 Great Places You Must Take Your Camera in Venice

Caspersen Beach Venice

Taking pictures is a wonderful way to make memories alive. We love to remember happy moments with family and friends, beautiful nature surroundings or impressive buildings. Let me show you today my favorite 3 places where I can never resist using my camera:

  1. Caspersen Beach

  2. Shamrock Park

  3. Venice Ave Drawbridge

I love Caspersen Beach. This beach is a beautiful and long sandy beach that has been left almost untouched in its natural state. With about 4 miles the longest beach in Sarasota County, it is the perfect place to enjoy unspoiled beauty far away from the crowds and a great spot to find the famous fossil shark teeth.

There is a beautiful short nature trail through a coastal hammock from where you always have a fantastic view. The unique look with the large rocks always reminds me a bit of the California coastline. Every time I visit this beach, I add some new photos to my “beach folder”.

Shamrock Park, only minutes away from our Villa Happy Gator, is my favorite place for walking and running – and for meeting all kind of animals. I love animals and get never tired of capturing them on pictures. My special friends are tortoises and scrub jays – although the latter are a real challenge to focus.

Biking along the Venetian Waterway Park at the Intracoastal Waterway is a must when I am in Venice. Away from the traffic, this trail provides exercise and relaxation alike. You pass the 2 Venice draw bridges – the Circus Bridge and the Venice Ave Bridge. I always admire those impressive monuments, that replaced the old small bridges in the 1980s. After crossing under Circus Bridge and just before reaching the Old Venice Train Depot, you have a great view of the Venice Ave Bridge. When a high boat is coming, the drawbridge is raised – and my camera is ready!

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.

For Animal Friends: Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary in Punta Gorda Florida

Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary

You love animals? How about a trip to Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary in Punta Gorda?

Since 1970 this truly impressive private non-for-profit organization has been rescuing and rehabilitating exotic wildlife. The Sanctuary is not a zoo, but a nursing home/retirement village for abused and unwanted animals.

You will see bears, lions, tigers, birds and a lot more other species. Each animal has a name and its own story, sometimes really touching.

You may pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a whole day at Octagon. Especially kids will love it. They are wheelchair accessible and have beverages available for purchase.  There are multiple beautiful areas to sit, eat, relax, or cool off at the misting stations. Always check the weather before you come!

For more information, please go to their website www.octagonwildlife.org

Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary
41660 Horseshoe Rd
Punta Gorda, FL 33982, USA

Enjoy the Venice Christmas Boat Parade on Dec 1st

Venice Christmas Boat Parade

The Venice Christmas Boat Parade is an amazing attraction since 1989. Every year it gets bigger and better. Off course, Venice with its Intercoastal Waterway is the perfect place for a boat parade, as there are a lot of public areas for visitors to enoy the beautifully lighted and decorated boats passing by. There are also several great restaurants along the water that offer spectacular views.

The parade starts December 1st at 6 pm just north of the Albee Rd. Bridge near Casey Key. It continues down the Intracoastal Waterway and out to the channel marker in the jetty. The parade continues south and turns around before Circus Bridge.

Best is to have a look at the map to pick your favorite location. And be sure to be early as this event is very popular!

For info please visit the website VeniceChristmasBoatParade.com.

Venice Christmas Boat Parade

Boat Rental in Florida – Pure Water Fun!

Boat Rental in Florida

A boat tour along the beautiful coastline of Florida is a great experience for vacationers. Discover Florida from the water and see a whole different world. Find idyllic, natural beaches, discover the diverse island world or take a trip on the Caloosahatchee River.

Enjoy dolphins or turtles swimming by and admire the many colorful birds. The boat trip on Florida’s southwest coast will certainly be a highlight on your vacation.

Incidentally, renting a boat is quite easy in Florida: you only need your valid car driver’s license and you should be at least 21 years old. If you were born on or after January 1, 1988, you would need to purchase a “Florida Boating Safety Identification Card” in advance. You can purchase this life-long card with an online course here: https://www.boat-ed.com/florida/. With each rental you will receive a detailed introduction.

Our Venice area is perfect for a boat trip, so there are plenty of good boat rentals for all kinds of watercraft.

Furthermore we have dear friends that own a boat anchoring in Gasparilla, about half an hour south of Villa Happy Gator, and that they rent out to travelers at a very special and low rate. We gladly provide the contact info to our guests. Of course a profound introduction and fully comprehensive insurance is included. Please ask us for more information.

The Legacy Trail – Biking at its best in Sarasota County

Legacy Trail

How about combining nature and sports? Do a bike tour on The Legacy Trail! This trail is an 11 mile long bike path, that was built on a former railway. Away from the traffic you roll through wonderful landscape such as the Oscar Scherer State park.

It is so great to hear that Sarasota County is now planning to extend The Legacy Trail and its connections with adding nine miles north to Payne Park in downtown Sarasota. There are also discussions how to improve the connection from the city of North Port in the South. The Legacy Trail currently runs from the Historic Venice Train Depot to Culverhouse Nature Park in Sarasota.

Getting to the starting point at the Historic Train Depot in Venice by bike is easy from Villa Happy Gator. Just cross Shamrock Park and ride along the Venetian Waterway. It will take you only half an hour to the Train Depot. As our guest, you are welcome to use the bikes at Villa Happy Gator. For larger groups we can recommend a trustworthy bike rental.

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