Spring break for Pinellas County schools is nearly upon us, so it’s time to answer that perennial question: "What are we going to do with the kids?"
Thankfully, there is no shortage of fun places to take the whole family in the greater Clearwater area, from the beach to the upper reaches of U.S. 19.
What is your favorite spot for family time? Cast your vote below, or let us know in the comments.
. Ever since Winter the dolphin landed at this Island Estates attraction, attendance has gone through the roof. With the latest expansion helping to increase the number of activities and exhibits, this once-underappreciated beach asset has quickly become one of the hottest family destinations in town.
. Phillies spring training is in full swing, and what better way to spend a day than taking in a ballgame with the entire family? The stadium, conveniently located just off U.S. 19, is one of the more fan-friendly parks in the area, and the prices are way below Major League levels, while the quality of play is just as good. Parents can bask in the sunshine and hang out at the tiki deck while watching the kids roll down the berm or exhaust themselves in the playland.
. This U.S. 19 fun center is loaded with activities kids and adults can enjoy, both inside and outside. Outdoor attractions include miniature golf, bumper boats, bumper cars and batting cages. Inside there are tons of video and arcade games, plus laser tag and eating areas. It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny or rainy day with the family.
GattiTown. New to the Tampa Bay area, this place is like Chuck E. Cheese’s for older kids and adults. It’s loaded with state-of-the-art games and attractions, plus a miniature bowling alley and bumper car track. Plus there are two huge dining rooms, one where parents can kick back and watch TV and another that features two 150-inch screens that plays chidren's shows and movies. Plus the pizza dough is made fresh daily in house.
. For many, springtime in Clearwater is meant to be spent outdoors, and there’s no better place to enjoy the elements than down at the Pier. Located at the end of the Clearwater Beach Causeway, the Pier is a hub of activity during the day and evening — street vendors, live shows, sunsets and bouncy games are just some of the sights and activities that occupy the spot at this time of year. The Pier is beautiful, inexpensive and fun for all ages.
. The sparkling new Cobb 12 cinema at is a great place to take the family to escape rainy day doldrums. Parents can hit the mall and shop while the kids catch a flick, or the whole clan can watch a movie together. Oh, and check out the D-BOX motion seats for a thrill the whole family can enjoy.
. Whether you’re headed there for a concert or just to soak up the scenery, this park at the end of the downtown district has something for everybody. The new is just a short walk away, and the combination of water, sailboats and sunset is enough to calm any frayed nerves after a tough day at the office.
Update: The votes are in, and the Clearwater Patch readers' choice for Best Family Attraction in Clearwater 2012 is , with 96% of the vote. Congratulations!