8 Great Teen Activities in Sarasota

By Vanessa Caceres

It’s sometimes hard to find activities for teens to enjoy when you’re traveling. Fortunately, Sarasota has plenty for teens to do, from outdoors fun to escape rooms to shopping and eating. Here are some of the best activities in Sarasota, Florida for the teens in your travel group.

8 Great Teen Activities in Sarasota, Florida.

1. Escape rooms. Escape from Sarasota? Not exactly. Engage your teens with some mind-bending fun at Sarasota’s escape rooms, including Escape Room Sarasota, Escape Reality, and Escape Room Countdown. Challenge your group to use critical thinking skills and escape from your room by the time limit—or else!

2. Livingston’s Amusements.Here’s where you can set up the teens—and everyone else in your family—for a night of fun. Livingston’s has go-karts, billiards, arcade games, bumper cars, and “glow-in-the-dark foam balls in an interstellar galactic battle,” per its website. You’ll also keep your teens’ bellies full with pizza, sandwiches, or snacks like a jumbo pretzel and mozzarella sticks.

3. Ellenton Ice Rink.Ice skating—in Florida? Yes, believe it or not. The Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex has special hours for public ice skating on its two National Hockey League-sized ice rinks, but it also has a gym, dance studio, fitness studio, birthday party rooms, and a concession area. The ice rink is located near the Prime Outlets Mall, so you can squeeze in some shopping at discounted prices.

4. Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. See more than 100 types of marine life at Mote, locally respected for its involvement with caring for sea life in Southwest Florida. Highlights include a Shark Zone exhibit, touchable sting rays, seat turtles, reef life, and otters. Teens and kids of all ages always learn something new at Mote that helps them appreciate their visits to beaches and coastal waters.

5. Kayaking. One way to take in Sarasota’s beauty is on a serene kayak tour that takes you through mangrove tunnels (mangroves are shrubs and trees that live along the coast). Kayaking SRQ, Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures, Ride & Paddle, and iKayak Sarasota are among the local companies that lead kayak tours through mangrove tunnels. Even the most reluctant teen will likely come out of his or her shell after seeing all nature has to offer on a Sarasota kayak tour.

6. Stand-up paddleboard rental. For another kind of aquatic adventure, set up a time for SUP (stand-up paddleboard) rental and/or lessons for your teen. You can do this at many of the area beaches, including Lido Beach. However, Nathan Benderson Park near the University Town Center Mall also allows SUP at its large lake. 

7. Donuts and ice cream galore. Sarasotans love to eat, so it should be no surprise that there are plenty of delicious donut and ice cream shops spread around Sarasota. On St. Armands Circle, The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops offers hand-crafted popsicle flavors (chocolate peppermint or mocha cheesecake, anyone?), but there’s also a Kilwin’s Chocolate, which always smells delectable. Five-O Donut Co. opens early and stays open until it sells out. Get the scoop on what donuts are available with the “donut surveillance” camera on its website. Big Olaf Creamery on Siesta Key features ice creams and yogurts hand-mixed by local Amish craftsmen. Yum.

8. Malls and other shopping. Teens love to shop, right? So keep them happy with a visit to University Town Center, which has a Starbucks, H & M, PacSun, Champs, and even a Louis Vuitton (for the brand-conscious among your adolescents). At Westfield Siesta Key, teens can visit the CinéBistro for a meal and a movie before 6 pm. Over at Westfield Sarasota Square, there’s an AMC Theatres, H & M, and Saturn 5 Family Entertainment, filled with arcade games. For shopping outside the malls, you can’t go wrong with St. Armands Circle near Lido Beach. This European-style area encourages visitors to walk around the circular-designed area and explore unique shops and enjoy outdoor seating at restaurants like Columbia Restaurant and Shore Diner. St. Armands is dog-friendly, so animal-loving teens can do plenty of hound-watching.

Best Activities for Teens in Sarasota, Florida. Ways to keep teenagers entertained from outdoor activities to attractions, arcades, shopping and more! Must Do Visitor Guides.

Written by: Vanessa Caceres | Author Website

Vanessa Caceres is a Bradenton-based travel, food, and health freelance writer, specializing in writing about Florida. She regularly writes about Florida food and travel for Visit Florida, Edible Sarasota, Forward Florida, and other media outlets. Her work has appeared on the Today Show website, The Huffington Post, USAToday's GoEscape, and other venues.