Best Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Planning a day with kids in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is easy as A, B, C. or 1, 2, 3. There are so many kid-friendly things to do at the beach, you’ll find it hard to narrow it down during your vacation. We’ll help with that.

Animal Encounters

Kids love animals. On Alabama’s beaches, we have all types, including reptiles and mammals. There are several ways to enjoy the wildlife in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores.

  1. Book a special one-on-one at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. For an additional charge, the Zoo offers the opportunity to cuddle with a kangaroo, hold a snake, touch a sloth or hang out with a lemur. The program provides interactive experiences in a safe, zookeeper-supervised environment.
  2. Take a dolphin cruise. Seeing a dolphin in their habitat makes everyone a little giddy – even the adults in your group. Reserve your spot on one of the many excursions that get you up close to these magnificent creatures. It’s one of the many kid-friendly things to do in Gulf Shores.
  3. Hike the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Seven trails wind their way along more than 26 miles of distinct ecosystems. Walkers and bicyclists have spotted deer, bobcats, lots of birds and even the occasional alligator. Be on the lookout for Lefty, the resident alligator. You’ll know her by her missing arm.

Beaches, Bays and Bayous

Of course, everyone loves spending time on our gorgeous, white-sand beaches. It’s what draws so many to our coast and is one of the top kid-friendly things to do in Gulf Shores.

  1. Kick back and relax while the kids play on our private, spacious beaches at The Beach Club. They are as big as five football fields, so there’s plenty of room to run and play. It’s the place where childhood memories are made. Fly a kite. Build sandcastles. Wade in the water. Look for sea treasures. It’s all right there.
  2. Paddle back bays and bayous. Wild Native Tours takes kayak tours to some of the more remote areas around the beach. A guide will take your group to inlets such as the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Bon Secour Bay and River, the Intracoastal Waterway or Oyster Bay, depending on weather and conditions. It’s a great way to see the beach from a different perspective.
  3. Cross over onboard the Mobile Bay Ferry, just minutes from The Beach Club. The ferry crosses Mobile Bay from Fort Morgan Historic Site to Dauphin Island, where you can visit the Estuarium at the Sea Lab and Fort Gaines. It’s about a 45-minute trip each way and you can take the car, bike or walk on board. The kids will love seeing the bay by boat and watching for dolphins.

More Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Gulf Shores

Well, okay, these are not just for kids, but kids will love these family-friendly attractions in Gulf Shores.

  1. Ride the Ferris Wheel at The Wharf in Orange Beach. It goes high. It’s got a great view of the coast. And, well it’s just plain fun. Plus, The Wharf is also home to Arena The Next Level, with an arcade and laser tag.
  2. Speaking of arcades, Fat Daddy’s, Adventure Island, The Track and Waterville USA also have video games, as well as, other fun, kid-friendly things to do in Gulf Shores like putt putt, go carts and rides.
  3. Don’t forget to plan a lunch or dinner at one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in Gulf Shores, including LuLu’s, The Hangout and The Village Lawn at The Beach Club. LuLu’s and The Hangout both offer sand play areas and live music. At The Village Lawn (open seasonally), you’ll find four food trucks so there’s something for every appetite. There’s also family games and live music nightly.

Need more ideas for kid-friendly things to do in Gulf Shores? Download our free Ultimate Vacation Guide. New sections are added each season. Get the dish on family-friendly restaurants, rainy day activities and more!