The whole family can have a great time at Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay

Quick notes

  • There are plenty of rides that are suitable for all ages

  • The park offers a range of interesting, kid-friendly animal experiences

  • Shows and other attractions keep kids mesmerized

While Busch Gardens Tampa Bay may be known as an exciting theme park full of thrill rides and roller coasters, those adrenaline-filled rides might be too much for families with young children. For them, there’s a different set of activities. Experiences that are calmer but no less interesting. We’ve got the details:

Start with a lift on the Skyride over the park

If your kids are old enough to stay still for a bit, they might enjoy starting the day with the sky ride. It calmly takes families high enough to be thrilling, but otherwise is a fairly smooth experience. It can also provide an overview of the park’s entire campus so that you can all make plans together for what you’ll do for the rest of the day.

Visit with park animals in fun ways

With more than 200 species of animals, portions of the park have a zoo-like atmosphere that offers hours of fun for kids of all ages. Feeding the colorful lorikeets (a smaller, parrot-like bird) is a favorite activity. Additionally, there is also a section of the park known as Jungala, where families can experience a Bengal Tiger habitat from a pop-up area that is within the middle of the animals’ habitat, or view orangutans from a climbing area with a ropes course. Older kids, age 6 and up, can also try out a zip line when they’re here.


Busch Gardens animal experience offers the ultimate wildlife activity — a safari — to park guests aged 5 and older. The park’s Serengeti Plain safari is a wildlife experience that extends across 65 acres and provides habitat for animals including zebras, giraffes, and ostriches. Visitors can get up close to park animals and if the timing is right, hand-feed giraffes from an open-air vehicle.

Try out rides that the whole family can enjoy

Although the park is known for thrill rides and challenging rollercoasters with loops and inversions, that’s not the only kind of ride available. There are other options that are just at the level that kids can enjoy them. There’s even a map that families can use so it’s easier to figure out what rides they’ll be most likely to enjoy.

One example of a kid-friendly ride is the Congo River Rapids. While it probably isn’t a great experience for very young kids, it is probably perfect for kids who are elementary-school-aged and older. They’ll love the fast spinning action of the riding boat, how it jumps over waves and bumps against the sides of the waterway, and how waves splash into the boat at just the right time. As a result, almost every ride is almost certain to offer wet relief from the Florida heat.

Shows and other attractions for families

In addition to animal activities and rides, the park has plenty of shows that are perfect for families. One show that families thoroughly enjoy is the Sesame Street Safari of fun where kids can enjoy up-close interactions with a range of Sesame Street characters.

Want a break from the walking, lines, and activities? Try a show. They’re great for kids elementary-aged and younger.

There are also other shows, often seasonally-based (think Christmas shows or summer shows) that rotate through the park’s performance calendar. Each of them is sure to keep kids spellbound and offer everyone a chance to get off of their feet after hours of walking.

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