Spending time with your family at the beach has a way of making the responsibilities of daily life seem a million miles away. The to-do list of meetings, commutes, carpools, and soccer practices is replaced with building sandcastles, splashing in the waves, and searching for seashells.
It’s a welcome change of pace for families, but before you get too cozy in that beach chair, the inevitable question remains: What’s for dinner?
Now I love to cook, but after a day in the sun, I’d rather relax and let someone else do the work. Fortunately, the Pensacola area has no shortage of restaurants ready to let moms and dads take the night off in the kitchen.
Most places are suitable for families with children (if you haven’t already noticed, we’re pretty laid back here…), but a few are especially good choices when you have young kids in your party.
Laguna’s Beach Bar & Grill
Now this is the place for fun! Laguna’s Beach Bar + Grill serves amazing food & ice-cold drinks while offering one-of-a-kind family-friendly activities like go-karts, a 3 story ropes course, splash pad, 30ft tall clip n’ climb climbing structures, zip rail, parasailing, jet ski rentals, and more along a stretch of pristine beachfront complete with tikis and Adirondack chairs. The vibe at Laguna’s offers a variety of things to do, beautiful views, live entertainment, and a unique menu.
Water Pig BBQ
Low and Slow. That’s the way at Water Pig. It’s how they cook the BBQ and it’s how you’ll feel when you slow down beachside. The restaurant is a covered outdoor raised deck with sound-side beach access, hammocks, Adirondack chairs, and a beautiful white-sand beach. Next to the restaurant, a giant inflatable screen is used for sports games and movie nights, it’s the ultimate place for the whole family!
Red Fish Blue Fish
Noted for being the best backyard on the beach, Red Fish Blue Fish is the sister restaurant to Waterpig and has an outdoor beach lawn unlike any other. For the adults, the sweeping sound views and fresh seafood will keep you content while the giant Jenga and Connect Four lawn games keep the kiddos entertained.
Flounder’s Chowder House
One of Pensacola Beach’s original restaurants, Flounder’s Chowder House has it all. Docks, dining, playgrounds, volleyball, live music, and good fresh eats. Once you get done chowing down, take the access point down to Quietwater Beach so the kids can look for crabs.
Crab’s We Got Em’
Arguably the best jungle gym on the beach (confirmed by one of the moms in our office) Crab’s We Got Em’ serves up gorgeous Gulf views, fresh cracked crab and seafood, and fun activities for the kids including word searches and coloring sheets. The lil’ crabbers menus has great bites for the yoHeading 2ung ones and the signature Crab Trap drink is sure to help your worries fade away.
Paradise Bar & Grill
Known as the locals’ spot, Paradise Bar & Grill is a humble open-air restaurant that provides drinks, casual eats, and live music steps away from the sand and Santa Rosa Sound. Another boat up, float up, walk up establishment, it’s the perfect place to enjoy island time. Make sure to take your quarters so the kiddos can feed the fish.
Flora-Bama: Yacht Club + Ole River Grill + Lounge & Package
Don’t let us fool you, this is three separate places all under the same Flora-Bama umbrella. Recognized for being on-the-line, Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster bar is a world-famous institution. People travel far and wide to throw a mullet across the state line every year and to drink a frosty Bushwacker on a hot day. Don’t worry, there are always kid-friendly options at events and at the Bama on a weekly basis. Daily bingo and fried tenders await the kids, and oysters and beach cocktails await the adults. Come hang on the line and enjoy gorgeous Gulf views.
Across the street, the Flora-Bama Yacht Club is known as the boat up, float up spot for those looking for a delicious bite. This is our favorite spot for the foodie as it features more interesting menu items for the adults like crab and parmesan hash puppies, grilled oysters, and seafood specialties. The kiddos can enjoying playing on the sounder side of the beach while the adults sway to the sound of live music on the stage in the sand.
Next door, the Flora-Bama Ole River Grill boasts open-air waterfront deck views, chairs in the sand, and all your sports bar favorites.
The Crab Trap: Perdido Key
Found on the “lost island” of Perdido Key, Florida, The Crab Trap, Perdido is a waterfront fish-house on the Gulf of Mexico. With a boardwalk leading directly down to the sparkling white sand and emerald water, The Crab Trap is a great spot for a casual lunch, intimate night out, or a family day on the water. Easy parking, a huge playground, and a special menu designed just for kids make The Crab Trap the perfect spot for the whole family. Daily specials like local Mahi Mahi and favorites such as Blue Crab Claws and Crab Cakes make it easy to satisfy everyone in your party.
The Oar House
Notably the only restaurant in downtown Pensacola with a beach, the Oar House is the ultimate destination for family fun and good eats. Watch the boats roll through the bayou while the kids enjoy the sand volleyball courts, corn hole and kids play area.
That’s it for us for kid-friendly beach dining! To check out kid-friendly beach activities and more, visit one of our other blogs below!