About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Zoos
Arenas & Stadiums
Arenas & Stadiums
Game & Entertainment Centers
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Hiking Trails
Ferries, Taxis & Shuttles
Nature & Wildlife Areas
Theme Parks, Playgrounds, Game & Entertainment Centers
Game & Entertainment Centers
Bars & Clubs, Bowling Alleys
Flea & Street Markets
Theme park + zoo = lots of thrills! Busch Gardens offers attractions suitable for all ages, including massive high-flying roller coasters, bumper cars, water rides, safari animals, and even a circus. There are also fun seasonal attractions, such as ice skating and outdoor music.
Penguins, otters, sea turtles, and sharks! At the Florida Aquarium, kids and adults alike can enjoy napping turtles, swimming seahorses, and more. Highlights include a water tunnel where the aquatic life swims around you, reptile and deep sea displays, and a water play area for children.
Cool off from Tampa's heat at Adventure Island, where you will find activities and areas suitable for children of all ages. Teenagers can appreciate the zippy water slides, while younger children will enjoy the wading pools and play areas. With a wave pool for the especially energetic, and a lazy river for relaxing, this park's got water enough to float anyone's boat.
The Museum of Science and Industry offers hands-on fun and learning. Don't save this spot for a rainy day! If your children are interested in 'how stuff works' — from airplanes to exoskeletons — this museum a must. The site caters to families, with areas such as a sky trail, zip line, and playground where kids can blow off steam, along with more relaxing areas, including the IMAX theater, butterfly garden, and planetarium. The sheer array of things to do, see, and learn across biology, geology, meteorology, astronomy, and more will keep everyone absorbed.
Lions, tigers, cheetahs, and mountain lions! If you like big cats, you will enjoy this special place with a special story. Bug Cat Rescue is a wildlife reserve rescues, rehabilitates, and lovingly raises these majestic creatures. Each cat has a unique tale, and the whole family will thrill at seeing them in all their massive, furry glory as you make your way around the park.
Whether or not the local Buccaneers are your family's team, a football game at Raymond James Stadium makes a fun outing The famed stadium features its own pirate ship in Buccaneer Cove (a.k.a. the end zone), and it comes to life with booming canons every time the home team scores. Little visitors will also enjoy an animatronic parrot who talks to those passing beneath his perch on the pirate ship, as well as the games that show up on the big screen throughout matches. There are plenty of music and concessions to keep the family both dancing and fed, too.
If you're more of a baseball family than football (or why not both?), the George M. Steinbrenner field offers a wonderful opportunity to catch a taste of Tampa's minor league baseball vibe. Designed to welcome families to games, the gorgeous outdoor stadium offers activities for children during game nights. Take your seventh inning stretch and watch a deep sunset as the hitters 'play ball.' Even better, it's an inexpensive evening (but just as fun!) compared with other major league sports.
The Tampa Bay History Center tells a bold and startling tale about the city, and even America. Designed to engage children — but interesting for adults as well — the center features three floors of videos and exhibits that paint the pictures of the once-local Seminole tribes, Tampa's launch into the cigar trade, and challenges of the modern era. Other treats are the view of the bay from outside the Center, the tasty eats at the on-site Columbia Cafe, and cool items at the unique gift shop.
A wonderful place to take toddlers and young children for explorative play, Glazer Children's Museum offers a vast amount of themed areas that allow kiddies to jump, climb, build, and share. The name 'museum' is a bit of a misnomer here. This is an education and fun center where the various hands on-activities incorporate learning and growth, and kids will encounter everything from sandboxes to weather patterns to familiar cartoon characters.
The Grand Prix Fun Center offers an escape from tours and sightseeing. It might seem slightly old-fashioned now, but its mini golf, go-karts, batting cages, and video games make the fun center a a great spot to cool off or escape the rain.
Lowry Park is quiet and charming, with grassy patches and plenty of space to run around. In addition to a zoo located on the premises, there is also water play area where children can don a swimsuit and chill out.
For a day out at a more low-key amusement park, the Tampa Lowry Zoo is just the ticket. The rides accommodate younger children, with gentler roller coasters, a carousel, a light-up animal art park, and a small water play area. And while the elephants and Komodo dragons are show stealers, children will love the more interactive elements, including the petting zoo goats and stingrays they can feed.
Morris Bridge Park is a shady hideaway offering nature walks along a pretty boardwalk. Families can take advantage of walking, biking, hiking trails, many of them easygoing. Being situated along a river also makes for delightful views, and little ones can enjoy spotting animals, fish, and critters along the way.
As its name implies, Picnic Island Park is a great place for a family picnic under the palms. You can grill up some goodies at one of the public facilities, or simply bring along treats to enjoy at the picnic tables. Either way, the playgrounds make for great post picnic fun, and the small beach offers good wading waters for little swimmers.
The Upper Tampa Bay Trail is a picturesque nature walk, and its forest and waterways offer a wonderful way for the family to take advantage of sunny weather. Take on the trail by biking, blading, or even horseback riding. There's great birdwatching here too.
Hop on board the boat 'Never Never Land' and be whisked away along Tampa's Bay. This boat tour is a lovely way to see the city, and to learn about it from witty, insightful guides. You'll delight in the scenery and the wind on your faces — and you may even spot a few dolphins during your cruise!
A beach located right in the heart of the city, Cypress Point Park is great for whiling away a few hours building sandcastles and eating picnic lunches. Tables and small shelters are available close to the beach for diners, and the beach itself, while pebbly, is good for sticking your feet into and spotting baby crabs.
Upper Tampa Bay Park has a ton of options for a day outdoors. Here you'll find everything from kayaking and canoeing to grills, a volleyball court, and grounds for running around and having a game of catch!
The coastal boardwalk at the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center is beautiful in any season, but it's especially exciting in cooler months, when you can spot plenty of manatees chilling out in the waters. Even if aren't visiting during a manatee month, it's work stopping here to enjoy other wildlife along the nature trails, and the center itself has interesting exhibits on nature and preservation.
Playgrounds is good for very young children who need a break from the sun. The clean facility has a series of inflatable play houses, including slides and bouncy castles. It is entirely indoors, and offers a snack and coffee bar.
Q-Zar is Tampa's laser tag spot. Games are glow-in-the-dark adrenaline rushes that accommodate big groups and single players alike. The arcade and pizza stand outside the arena can keep kids occupied between and after matches.
Jump up and get down: AirHeads Trampoline Arena offers an off-the-beaten-path alternative to fun. The arena is made up of bouncy surfaces where the young (and young at heart!) can do acrobatics or engage in games like basketball or dodgeball.
Do some good old-fashioned bowling at Splitsville, where the ambiance is retro and hip. Besides bowling, you will also find pool tables and other fun games, as well as great selection of food to keep everyone happy, from fresh salads to tasty pulled pork burgers and sandwiches.
CineBistro is the best place in Tampa to grab a burger with your flick. Delicious foods, including drinks, popcorn, desserts, and full meals, are served right in the comfort of your cozy cinema seat.
The Ybor Saturday Market is a wonderful way to explore local goods and crafts, and to pick up a fresh and healthy bite to eat. Located in a historic part of Tampa, the market offers everything from toys and souvenirs to locally-made oils, baskets, and even cigars. The fresh fruit, vegetables, and homemade cookies will surely not to go amiss!