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7 Best Things to Do in Venice, Florida

As far as I’m concerned, a trip to Florida is an unbeatable family-friendly vacation destination that sweeps you right off your feet into the bluest waters and gentlest sands. With tons of sights and attractions at every turn and an average of 250 sunny days a year, this state is ideal to visit year-round.

This year we kicked off our vacation season early in January and discovered some of the beaches and sights near Sarasota and Venice, Florida. 

Here are the 7 best things to do in Venice, especially if vacationing with the kids. The best part? They are all (except #5) free.  



1. FantaSea Venice

FantaSea Venice is a public art project directed by the Venice Art Center that showcases 22 mermaids and 30 seahorses in public locations throughout Venice.

FantaSeaVenice, Venice, Florida

Talented artists supported by the local businesses created these unique colorful sculptures, transforming this small, tucked-away community into a magical waterland.

Whimsical sculptures breathe a second life into public places and are simply fun to discover and pose with. 

Each one is one-of-a-kind with its own theme, style, and meaning.

FantaSeaVenice, Venice, Florida


One thing to remember, this fun art display will be available for the public to enjoy until April 2023. After that, these sculptures will be auctioned off at the 2023 FantaSea Auction.

There’s a free app you can download on your phone that will help you find all the FantaSea mermaids and seahorses. After the quest is completed, you can visit the Venice Art Center for a special prize. 

FantaSea Venice

To learn more about the FantaSea Venice and see the sculpture locations, visit the FantaSea Venice.


2. Murals 

When out and about discovering new places, I always look for those eye-catching painted urban walls that add so much personality and meaning to public places. On our short walk through downtown, we came across these two touristy photo ops: Venice and a flowery mural on the Post Office wall.

Venice Mural
Where: 303 W Venice Avenue Venice, FL 34285

Venice Mural in Florida


The blooming mural is a little gem that reunites the urban wall with its beautiful environment.

 Where: 350 W Venice Ave, Venice, FL 34285

The Post Office Mural in Venice, Florida


3. Kaleidoscope

As a kid, I’ve always been mesmerized by those hand-held tubes that produced ever-changing symmetrical patterns from the colorful loose parts when pointed directly at the light source. Those cheaply made cardboard kaleidoscopes could hold me hypnotized for a really good amount of time. Apparently, they still do.

After wandering through downtown, we decided to give our feet a little break in the shade of Centennial Park. And as it often happens, we unexpectedly came across a giant kaleidoscope that combined science and nature in a fun way.

Venice Kaleidoscope, Florida

In the heart of the park, there was a whole new world of wonder that simply looked like two kaleidoscopes pointed directly at a turning bowl of flowers. 

The kids spent most of our break self-entertaining themselves, just turning the flower bed left and right at a different speed and wondering at how rapidly new patterns change inside the viewing ends.

Kaleidoscope in Venice, Florida

The good news is that there are two kaleidoscopes, so the kids don’t have to argue whose turn it is to look into them. This fun interactive art display gives parents a break as the kids more than likely entertain themselves with it for a good amount of time.


4. Shopping in Downtown Venice

Downtown Venice is a palm-lining historic promenade of nice restaurants, art galleries, fancy stores, and souvenir shops.

Even if you don't have some money to burn, Venice Avenue is still a great destination to visit for window shopping and people-watching.

Downtown Venice, Florida

Downtown Venice, Florida

Downtown Venice, Florida

Downtown Venice, Florida

Downtown Venice, Florida



5. Kilwins

Yes, Kilwins is a very vacation thing for us. Mostly, we visit this cute little ice cream store only when traveling to Florida. Mint chocolate chip ice cream in a hand-made waffle cone is a go-to treat.

Kilwins in Venice, Fl

If you are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, you’re undoubtedly in the right place. After getting your scoop of perfection, you can go outside and stretch your legs on one of the many benches to enjoy your evening and watch people passing by. 

6. Shark Spotting

10 bronze shark sculptures have been placed throughout downtown. The shark adventure starts in Centennial Park, where you can also find the Maggie the Megalodon, shark #1. The world’s largest shark that has ever existed is lurking between the splash pad and the gazebo.  

Venice Shark Spotting, Florida

We didn’t look for the apex predators on purpose, but when the kids spotted the one, they got as excited and accomplished as probably any baby shark after a first hunt. Such things make the walk more entertaining and memorable.

This permanent family-friendly exhibit is displayed in Venice for good reason. After all this Sarasota County’s little town is well known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World.

More information about shark spotting is here.


7. Beach

Inspired by Venice’s fame as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World, we headed to the beach to dig up some toothy souvenirs. There’re a few public beaches where you can laze on the sand and try your hand at shark tooth hunting. Probably the most famous among the visitors are Venice and Caspersen Beaches. The latter is more rocky and shelly, so we skipped it in favor of Venice beach. 

Venice Beach in Florida

Anticipating a question, no we didn’t succeed in finding any shark teeth. It could be that the toothy treasures are getting harder to find these days, or we didn’t put enough effort into doing the sifting job right as we were distracted by the paradise-like views, waves lapping at our feet, and a company of hungry seagulls. 

Venice Beach, Florida


Besides a few pretty seashells and rocks that somewhat looked like shark teeth, we couldn’t find a thing.

Venice Beach in Florida


Nonetheless, we had a great time and enjoyed playing tag with waves to our heart’s content.

Venice Beach, Florida



Be sure to check out  Pensacola, Florida: The Perfect Family-Friendly Getaway, which includes many free and family-friendly activities too.


7 Best Things to Do in Venice, Florida

Downtown Venice, FL



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1. From Tampa to Sarasota in a Day: 4 Must-Do Experiences   
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