Fun Things to Do in Jupiter, Florida, with Families

Terri Marshall Avatar

things to do in Jupiter Florida -- visit the Jupiter Lighthouse
Jupiter Florida Inlet Lighthouse. Photo credit: Sean Pavone for Shutterstock

The town of Jupiter, Florida, situated at the northern end of Palm Beach County, is a delightful family-friendly vacation spot. With a less rowdy vibe than Florida beach cities to the south like Fort Lauderdale and Miami’s South Beach, there are plenty of family-friendly fun things to do in Jupiter FL. It’s a picture-perfect beachfront destination.

As the state that gives us all the Disney Parks, Universal Studios, the Kennedy Space Center and miles of white sandy beaches, Florida has long been a favorite family vacation destination. But while you may be familiar with Orlando, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, Tampa Bay, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, tucked away at the northern end of The Palm Beaches in Palm Beach County exists a charming often-overlooked gem. Plan a visit to this South Florida town. Here are 17 of our favorite things to do in Jupiter FL with kids.

1. Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Locals call this the “turtle hospital.” It has a simple mission: “To promote conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles.”

This must-see stop for kids includes a permanent indoor exhibit area. Volunteers gladly share information on each of the injured turtles.

Outside, turtles recuperate in large tanks, which works much better than hospital beds! Walking around the tanks checking on all the turtles piqued the interest of my then-6-year-old grandson, Marshall. Maybe he’s headed for a career as a marine biologist…you never know.

2. Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

The iconic red Jupiter lighthouse has guided boaters since 1860! For a bird’s-eye view of Jupiter, Jupiter Island and the Atlantic Ocean, kids 48” and taller can climb the 105 steps.

There’s a fee for climbing and kids under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Lighthouse climbs and grounds tours use a smartphone history tour app.

For the kids, a Charlie Pierce children’s smartphone app is also available. Making history entertaining for the little ones, the app stems from a series of children’s books about one of Florida’s first pioneers, Charlie Pierce.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Check out these Florida resorts. We think they’re worth the splurge!

3. Busch Wildlife Sanctuary

Curious about the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Eager to learn more about Florida’s wildlife and eco-system? This refuge and nature center for Florida wildlife has kid-friendly trails through woods & wetlands.

Most importantly, call or check the website to plan your visit around one of the daily free “Animal Encounters.” Your kids can have a wild adventure learning about and petting skunks, snakes and more.

If I need to identify a snake, my grandsons are the first ones I ask. Clearly, the education offered through these encounters works.

Get More Florida Family Vacation Ideas

4. Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter FL

Another fun thing to do in Jupiter? Stop by this baseball stadium in the Abacoa neighborhood. It’s named after Roger Houston Dean, a naval officer in World War II and one of the first Ford mega-car dealers in the USA.

The Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals play here during spring training. The rest of the year, it’s the only stadium in the country that is home to four minor league baseball teams: the Jupiter Hammerheads, Palm Beach Cardinals, Gulf Coast Marlins and the Gulf Coast Cardinals. Play ball!

I find that minor league games with the grandkids are actually more fun that the major league games. These teams don’t seem to take themselves quite to seriously and there is plenty of silly fun between innings to entertain the kids.

5. Juno Beach Park & Pier

Looking for more fun things to do in Jupiter? Spend an afternoon fishing off this classic 990-foot Florida pier. Always up for casting a line, I’ll never forget the delight on my grandson’s face when he discovered a baby shark on the hook. These are the family vacation memories that stay with you for life.

You’ll need to buy a fishing license, but you can rent fishing poles on the pier. In addition, there’s a gift shop, snack stand and place to buy tackle and bait.

Juno Beach Park provides an ideal spot for playing in the sand or–in the case of my grandkids–Boogie-boarding in the surf. The park offers free parking, showers, restrooms, picnic tables and shelter.

6. Surf City

Known as one of Florida’s surf capitals, one of the great things to do in Jupiter, FL is checking out the surfers at Juno Beach Pier or the beaches of Dubois Park.

Jupiter is home to several surf shops where you can rent a board for the day or hire someone for a guided lesson.

7. Loxahatchee River Center in Jupiter FL

The Loxahatchee River Center, located in Burt Reynolds Park, has more than 6,000 gallons of fresh and saltwater aquariums, including touch tanks. Each of the exhibits represents a different habitat located along the Loxahatchee, one of two “National Wild and Scenic Rivers” in Florida.  (The other is the Wekiva River north of Orlando.)

There are a ton of outdoor activities here.

Kayaking the Loxahatchee River is one of the fun things to do in Jupiter, Florida
Kayak the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter FL. Photo credit: FamVeld via Shutterstock

8. Kayak the Loxahatchee River

Kayaking the Loxahatchee River is one of the best ways to see Old Florida up close. It can take five hours or more to make the eight-mile trip from Riverbend Park in Jupiter to Jonathan Dickinson State Park, the largest state park in southeast Florida. But there are easy, kid-friendly 1-2 hour paddles as well.

The river is lined with cypress trees, ferns, air plants and cypress knees along a narrow, twisty route. My grandkids and I have seen birds, turtles and alligators along the way. If you prefer to let someone else do the boating, book a river ride on the Manatee Queen pontoon boat instead.

SheBuysTravel Tip: On the longer kayaking trip, stop at Trapper Nelson’s camp to explore and enjoy a picnic lunch. 

9. Jupiter Beach Park

The oceanfront beach park includes a protected swimming area with lifeguards, sand volleyball courts and picnic sites with grills. The wide sidewalks along the beachfront are perfect for strolling, rollerblading and biking.

Nearby, the Jupiter Dog Beach lets the furry family members join the fun off-leash.

10. Carlin Park

Another beachfront park, this one has a playground, tennis courts, picnic areas, shower, restrooms and the Seabreeze Amphitheater. It’s the place for summer Shakespeare in the Park, an annual seafood festival and free summer concerts.

11. Dubois Park

Located at the southern shore of the inlet, Dubois Park boasts 1,200 feet of palm tree-lined beachfront. In addition to watching the surfers (see #6 above), DuBois Park has swimming areas, picnic facilities and the DuBois Pioneer home, built in 1898. It’s a fun way to get out of the sun for a few minutes and show your kids how frontier kids lived.

12. Snorkeling & Paddleboarding at Coral Cove Park

My grandkids never tire of discovering underwater treasures while snorkeling. Perched at the north end of Jupiter, Coral Cove Park offers the ideal place to explore. Darker shades of water provide a clue to the location of underwater rocks that attract the fish.

When my grandkids are not underwater, they’re on top of it paddleboarding in the gentle surf.

13. Harbourside Place

This shopping, dining and entertainment mecca sits on the Intercoastal Waterway. It offers free music performances and kids yoga classes.

Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa has an oceanfront pool and hot tub. Staying here is one of the fun things to do in Jupiter FL
Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa has an oceanfront pool and hot tub area. Photo credit: Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

14. Beachfront Lodging

Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa is the only oceanfront hotel in Jupiter and one of the best Florida resorts. Needless to say, this makes it the BEST option for families. Besides beautiful beaches, the resort has plenty of great things to do. There’s a fun pool where fountains spray water and a sublime waterfall hot tub overlooking the ocean.

The hotel’s oceanfront restaurant, Sinclairs, specializes in seafood, with a great selection of locally caught fish. A pool table and TV area is adjacent to Sinclair’s Lounge. You can easily keep an eye on your kids while enjoying a date night cocktail and drinking in the ocean views.

Looking for more things to do? There’s a tennis and basketball court with complimentary equipment. Families with tweens and teens will also appreciate the complimentary adult size beach cruisers. When Mom needs a time out, there’s a world-class spa or just take a nap in one of the hammocks on the beach.

Jupiter Beach REsort and Spa is the only oceanfront resort in Jupiter, Florida. Staying here is one of the fun things to do in Jupiter fl
Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa is the only oceanfront resort in Jupiter, Florida. Photo credit: Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa

An Uber from the West Palm Beach International Airport to Jupiter Beach Resort costs about $40. Every attraction listed here, except for Busch Wildlife Center and Roger Dean Stadium, can easily be reached on a bike. No need to rent a car! Jupiter is bicycle-friendly, with wide bike lanes and wide sidewalks.

15. Explore the Riverwalk

Jupiter is very easy to navigate even without a vehicle. One way to focus your efforts is to travel along the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk’s southern end starts at Ocean Way, near the Atlantic Ocean. There are numerous things to do in Jupiter located along the Riverwalk walking/biking trail. You’ll travel by Jupiter Ridge, home to manatees and unique habitats. Mangrove Bay features the unique trees and the Riverwalk connects there to the Jupiter Yacht Club via the Lagoon Bridge. You can see all types of sea creatures in the lagoon including crabs, stingrays and manatees.

The Riverwalk also connects the Plaza Down Under, a venue for community events, to Harbourside Place where you can shop till you drop. If you head far enough on the Riverwalk you’ll run into Burt Reynolds Park and the Intracoastal Waterway. Tired? Grab a water taxi at Harbourside to take you the rest of the way.

1000 North is Jupiter's newest waterfront restaurant and one of the delicious and fun things to do in Jupiter fl
Jupiter, Florida’s 1000 North waterfront restaurants. Photo credit: 1000 North

16. Waterfront Dining

No Jupiter visit is complete without dining on one of the waterways. The Jupiter Inlet is a hub for waterfront dining. Several restaurants line the waterway with views of the lighthouse. While there are plenty of options, we went with 1000 North. Especially relevant for sports-loving kids, it’s partially owned by basketball legend Michael Jordan, who owns a home in Jupiter.

A modern steak and fish restaurant with views of the marina and lighthouse, it’s a great place for a date night or Sunday brunch with the whole family. The chef gives a Florida twist to classics like lobster tail and crab cake Benedict, and shrimp & grits. Since kids might not be as adventurous, they can enjoy the standard eggs and bacon or yogurt and fruit. For a real Florida experience, dine on the outdoor patio.

1000 North serves classic fare with a Florida twist.
1000 North serves Florida versions of classics, like lobster tail Benedict. Photo credit: 1000 North

17. Golf Galore

If you happen to have any golfers in the family, they’ll find paradise here. Jupiter, Florida, is a golf mecca, with 16 golf courses. And, within 20 miles of Jupiter, The Palm Beaches area offers an additional 71 courses.

How to Get to Jupiter, Florida

Jupiter is located in South Florida. It is roughly a two and a half hours southeast of Orlando. The West Palm Beach Airport (PBI) is 17 miles away. If you’re looking for a larger airport flying into Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) will put you 60 miles away and Miami (MIA) is an 80 mile trip.

Where to Stay in Jupiter, Florida

There are lots of family-friendly options for lodging in Jupiter. No matter what your budget is you’ll find a great hotel.

If you want to be in the middle of it all at the Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place has every amenity you can dream of. They offer standard hotel rooms and suites. If you’re looking for the same area on a tighter budget the La Quinta is located nearby on the other side of the waterway.

Looking for the beach and activities? The Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is well-priced for all it offers.

The Hampton Inn Jupiter Beach/Juno Beach offers rooms that sleep up to 6. The beach is walking distance but you’ll need to walk or bike a little further to check out other things to do in Jupiter FL.

There are also lots of options for hotel stays near Jupiter, including vacation rentals.

Where’s your favorite place to take the kids in Florida? What are your favorite things to do in Jupiter? We’d like to know!