Home Entertainment Pensacola Spring Break Staycation Top 10

Pensacola Spring Break Staycation Top 10

The locals give this Spring Break list 5 stars.

Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties will have Spring Break the last week of March 25-29. With the weekends included, the dates are March 23 – March 31. Please note that March 31 is Easter Sunday.

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Because we are lucky enough to live where others come for Spring Break, we wanted to give you a list of 10 things you can do to enjoy a staycation right here at home. If you’re visiting, we’re glad you’re here and hope you love our city and beaches. I have personally done and recommend everything on this list (except climb the Lighthouse and parasail) with kids of all ages in tow! I have also personally eaten at every recommended restaurant except Philly’s Cheesesteaks in Pace, which I included because it had over 400 positive reviews.

  1. BLUE ANGELS PRACTICE AND NAVAL AVIATION MUSEUM

On Tuesday, March 26, and Wednesday, March 27 the Blue Angels will practice at the Naval Air Station. The National Naval Aviation Museum will open the flight line behind the museum to view Blue Angels practice flight demonstrations. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. and the Blues are scheduled to take to the skies at 10:30 a.m. The Blue Angels will sign autographs in the museum on Wednesday, March 27.

Don’t forget to check out the PENSACOLA LIGHTHOUSE AND MARITIME MUSEUM at the Naval Air Station. Details and ticket prices: https://www.pensacolalighthouse.org/

LUNCH TIP Grab lunch at the Cubi Bar Cafe inside the Museum or pack a picnic to enjoy at nearby at Perdido Kid’s Park, Big Lagoon State Park, or Tarklin Bayou Preserve State Park. Fees to enter State Parks vary. Please see the website for details: https://www.floridastateparks.org/index.php/plan-your-visit

2. DOWNTOWN PENSACOLA/HISTORIC PENSACOLA

Admission Provides entrance to the Pensacola Museum of Art, the Pensacola Museum of History, the Pensacola Children’s Museum, and the museums of Historic Pensacola Village for seven (7) days from the date of presentation at a service desk.

Tickets may be purchased online or at one of the service desks in the Tivoli High House Shop, the Pensacola Museum of History, the Pensacola Children’s Museum, or the Pensacola Museum of Art. Included with admission are our guided Historic House Tours at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in Historic Pensacola Village: Lavalle HouseOld Christ Church, and the Lear/Rocheblave House.

*RAINY DAY IDEA The Mess Hall is also a wonderful place to spend a few hours interacting with experiments and mess kits. For more information on this Math, Engineering, Science, and Stuff learning and play space, visit: https://pensacolamesshall.org/

SNACK TIP Take a break for lunch at The Dog House, return to the museums, and then finish the day with treats at one of the many dessert spots along Palafox. Candy or ice cream at Bubba’s Sweet Spot; fudge at Kilwin’s; gelato at Peterbrooke; or banana pudding at The Dog House. 

3. ICE FLYERS 

*RAINY DAY IDEA After a day of relaxing, take the entire crew to a Pensacola Ice Flyers ice hockey game at the Pensacola Bay Center. Friday, March 29, and Saturday, March 30 the Ice Flyers take on the Evansville Thunderbolts. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. with all kinds of fun and entertainment throughout the game. On March 31, the Ice Flyers host the Macon Mayhem at 4 p.m.

Tickets are available here: https://iceflyers.com/full-schedule/

DINNER TIP Head out early for pizza at Graffiti Pizza on Palafox or get your grub at the Ice Flyers on-site concessions. 

4. LAGUNA’S

On Saturday, March 23 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Stalecracker will be cooking up some jambalaya at Laguna’s with tickets here. The Six Piece Suits will be playing live music on stage and as always, there’s lots of entertainment all around. There’s a ropes course with ziplines, go-karts, and climbing on their wacky climbing walls. With beachfront and covered tiki areas, there are plenty of spots to park your crew and make a day of it.

Check out their website for full details: https://lagunaspensacolabeach.com/

MEAL TIP This one is easy…Laguna’s is also a Bar + Grill with pizza, burgers, wraps, salads, and more. They also have a full Fat Tuesday frozen drink selection and a full bar upstairs and downstairs. 

5. UFOs GOLF AND ARCADE

If you haven’t been in a while, you will be pleasantly surprised at the UFOs makeover! UFOs is the miniature golf course and arcade on Pensacola Beach. This 18-hole miniature golf course is situated right in the heart of Pensacola Beach. This is a great activity that can be done in as little or as long as you like. We played golf first, ate at Sidelines, and then returned to UFOs for ice cream and arcade games. https://www.ufospensacolabeach.com/

LUNCH TIP UFOs is in between Sidelines and Crabs on the Beach, which are both great places to take kids for lunch without having to cross any streets. I recently took three boys ages 7-9 and they loved sitting in a booth at Sidelines, ordering chicken tenders, and watching all the sports on the screens inside Sidelines. Of course, Crabs is a great choice for Gulf front dining that includes a playground. 

6. DOLPHIN TOUR

Spotting dolphins never loses its magic, no matter how long you’ve lived on the coast. Now and again, if you’re paying attention, you’ll catch a view from the bridge or someone’s back dock. But the best way to almost guarantee seeing them is on the water on a dolphin cruise. There are several places to choose from on Pensacola Beach, but I have had personal experience with The Frisky Dolphin and highly recommend them! Website for Frisky Mermaid: https://www.friskyboattours.com/

SNACK TIP Food and beverages are allowed on Frisky Dolphin cruises (just no glass containers). There are nearby restaurants like Shaggy’s if you want to eat out, but you can also pack a picnic lunch or snack to take with you or eat after your excursion at a nearby picnic table or across the street at Baby Beach. Please use the nearby designated crosswalk to cross. 

7. FT. PICKENS

An excursion to Ft. Pickens can be an all-day affair. Recently, we walked the trails near the most popular area that we all visualize when we think about Ft. Pickens. The trail was easy and gave several wonderful surprises like spotting wildlife and evidence of some that sparked curiosity and great conversations. If your wild ones need to shake off school and being cooped up, this is the place to go.

After a trail hike, explore the fort. In preparation for a day of exploring, read the history of Ft. Pickens here: https://www.nps.gov/guis/learn/historyculture/fort-pickens.htm

Every week on Sunday, Monday, Friday, and Saturday, there is a 20-minute history presentation at 2:00 p.m. Topics vary depending on the park ranger leading the program. Please visit the Fort Pickens Visitor Center for the day’s topic. All programs will take place at historic Fort Pickens. Programs are subject to change and/or cancellation due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Fees are $25 per vehicle for 7 days. If you are local to the area, I would highly recommend buying an annual pass at $45, giving you access for the entire year. Do not forget your Driver’s License!

FOOD TIP 100% pack a picnic/cooler for your half or full-day trip to Ft. Pickens. There are plenty of places to enjoy a packed lunch or snack. If you’re in a hurry, stop by Publix for some PubSubs or pre-packed deli offerings. Take a water bottle!

8. OOPS ALLEY OR CORDOVA LANES

*RAINY DAY IDEA Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday Oops Alley has a $4 shoe rental and a $25 lane charge for up to 8 people. They open at 11 a.m. and close “about 10 p.m.” according to their website. Check out the website here for info on Friday & Saturday Cosmic Bowling, the arcade, and outdoor tactical laser tag. https://www.oopsalley.com/

FOOD TIP Oops Alley does offer food on-site and most major fast-food chains (McDonald’s, Sonic, Taco Bell, etc.) are within 1-3 miles of Oops Alley on Highway 90 in Pace. Philly’s Cheesesteaks is next door and comes highly recommended with 4.7 stars in online reviews!

Cordova Lanes is a traditional bowling alley located in the center of Pensacola! This is a great activity to add to a shopping outing at Cordova Mall next door or a Target run.

FOOD TIP Cordova Lanes has pizza inside or you can grab Chik Fil A or Tijuana Flats, which both have perfect options for kids of all ages. 

9. BEACH DAY

This seems like a no-brainer, but if the weather is nice take advantage of a lazy day at the beach. If the green flag is flying, nothing beats staking out a spot a little down from the crowd. I highly encourage staying within close range of a lifeguard stand. Take along fun activities like Spikeball, TidalBall, or Bucketball. Dick’s and Target both have a great selection of beach games. Visit https://www.visitpensacolabeach.com/beach-safety/ for beach cams and information on visiting Pensacola Beach.

If you want to spend some time at the beach without getting sandy or wet, schedule an excursion with Glow Paddle or go Parasailing with Key Sailing. There are several jet ski, sailboat, and pontoon boat rental spots as well.

For dry activities, I highly recommend renting one of the Funny Cars! The Fun Store has several different rentals like golf carts, funny cars, paddleboards, bicycles, and more.

FOOD TIP There’s food everywhere on Pensacola Beach. If you plan on being lazy, I recommend getting out to the beach early and filling up on pancakes at Native Cafe, before laying on a chair in a food coma. HA! My friends and I love going to Red Fish, Blue Fish and ending the night by the fire. Now that Water Pig has reopened for the season, both spots are great places to let kids play in the sand while the adults hang with friends nearby. 

10. BUC-EES AND OWA

You know every man, woman, and child from here to West Texas will be stopping at that Buc-ees in Foley, before heading down to the beach! We shouldn’t miss out on the road trip snacks, just because we’re not going anywhere! Just a short drive down the road and you, too, can roam around aimlessly loading up on Beaver Nuggets, beef jerky, BBQ sammiches, and every piece of Buc-ees licensed merchandise your wee wittle heart can dream of!

I’m a huge fan of the Beaver Chips and if you’re a rabbit, don’t sleep on that Ceasar salad! I ain’t playin’!

FOOD TIP Get it all. That’s my food tip. Get it all, baby. And a picture with Bucee or it didn’t happen. 

If you want to make a day of it, OWA Parks & Resort has become a full destination. Check out their spring calendar of events here. OWA has a theme park with rides and attractions, Tropic Falls indoor waterpark, the OWA Theater, and pickleball is coming soon!

For ticket prices and hours of operation, click https://visitowa.com/!

There are so many more things to do and see in the Pensacola area, but this is a full list of activities to keep you and your crew active and entertained all Spring Break long! And I didn’t even cover Easter events like egg hunts or special brunches and services.

Enjoy the break, stay safe, and love where you live!!