Destin may be in the Sunshine State, but we do get our fair share of wet weather. The summer and winter can bring many days of rain, so it’s nice to have indoor options to keep the kids busy and having fun.
Whether you’re trying to escape the rain, or just need a break from the beach (is that even possible?!), here are 10 ways to stay dry and have fun in and around Destin.
This isn’t your average bowling alley! You’ll feel like you are actually in a fish bowl, surrounded by tons of sea life. There is a full restaurant and bar, so come for lunch or dinner, and stay for a few frames of bowling.
Located right next to Fudpucker’s, Fat Daddy’s offers all the fun arcade games your kids could want, plus pizza and sodas. This arcade is on the smaller side, so it can get pretty crowded in peak vacation months.
Get up close and personal with our native marine life! The Gulfarium is home to dolphins, sharks, rays, otters, sea lions, alligators, and much more. There are daily shows with the animals, as well as a petting pond. Much of the park is actually outdoors, but with plenty of overhead coverings.
Located in the heart of Destin Commons, AMC is a full-service movie theater, showing 14 movies (with multiple viewing times) each and every day. The concession stand is fully stocked with all your favorite movie snacks and there is also a bar with adult beverages. Starbucks, Kilwin’s (ice cream and fudge), Red Brick Pizza, and Johnny Rocket’s are just steps away from the theater if you’re up for dinner (or lunch) and a movie.
Blast is all about fun! It’s an arcade, shooting gallery, and lazer maze all in one. Blast is located in the heart of Sandestin’s Village of Baytowne Wharf, which is the perfect spot for families. Tons of shopping and dining options, as well as an awesome playground. When the weather isn’t suitable for exploring Baytowne, pop into Blast for tons of fun! Moo La La is directly next door to feed your ice cream craving.
If you are a military or history buff, this museum is a must-see! Located on Eglin Airforce Base, visitors get to experience everything from early aviation warfare armament up to today’s high tech bombs. The museum boasts an extensive collection of weaponry and cockpit simulators, as well as real, full-sized planes. You can even check out the fastest plane ever built, the SR-71 Blackbird! The best part? This museum is FREE!
If you find yourself in Grayton Beach on a rainy day, stop by Andy Saczynski’s gallery in the Shops of Grayton. Andy is well-known locally for his contemporary mixed media art. He uses a lot of materials he finds (or as the website puts it, the materials find him) such as old musical instruments, reclaimed wood, and more. What he creates is truly amazing. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
The Emerald Coast Science Center came about in the late 1980s as a place for local families to learn about science together. The museum offers more than 5,000 square feet of space, with many exhibits featuring reptiles amphibians, the human body, color and light, robotics, and more. Admission rates are very affordable (kids are $7, $9 for adults) and Fridays are only $5. There are also special rates for Okaloosa County residents (must provide proof of residency).
Wild Willy’s is located on Okaloosa Island, which is a strip of land between Destin and Ft. Walton Beach. The 17,000 square foot arcade is Northwest Florida’s largest family entertainment center. Inside you’ll find a 4D movie theater, laser maze, Salvati’s Pizza Factory, and Yogo Mogo’s frozen yogurt, in addition to arcade games. The inside is only the beginning! Once you step outside you can try out the dinosaur-themed mini golf, ropes course, roller coaster, and bungee trampoline. Believe me- the kids will go wild for this place!
Fishing enthusiasts will really get a kick out of this museum! The 5,500 square feet of exhibit space showcase Destin’s history from its journey as a small fishing village to the major tourist destination it is today. There are more than 75 mounted locally caught fish, photographs, artifacts, and even equipment from the early days of Destin’s fishing industry. Ever wonder why Destin’s sand is so white? Find out the science behind it here!