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Discover the best things to do in Orange Beach with kids, with top attractions and planning tips!

Orange Beach is a Southern paradise you and your family are going to love! 

Located near the Alabama Gulf Shores, Orange Beach is home to a ton of fun family activities.

From stunning beaches to thrilling amusement parks, Orange Beach has attractions for all interests.

In this post, we’re rounding up our top recommendations for the ultimate Orange Beach vacation guide.

Orange Beach, Alabama with kids

Best Things to Do in Orange Beach With Kids

Orange Beach, Alabama is the perfect place to find thrilling activities that the whole family will appreciate!

Read on for 12 exciting Orange Beach activities to enjoy at this beach-lined destination!

1. Visit the wildlife refuge

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is set on Alabma’s Gulf Coast on the Fort Morgan Peninsula.

Created to protect engaged species, migratory birds, and Alabama wildlife, this refuge is the perfect place to explore nature as a family. 

“Bon Secour” is French for “safe harbor” – a fitting name for the many animals, flora, and fauna that this refuge protects. 

On your visit, immerse yourselves in Alabama’s natural elements, practicing your navigation through several coastal ecosystems. 

You’ll likely spot several native species, including deer, turtles, and foxes. 

The park has plenty of hiking trails to explore, as well as a visitor center, birdwatching, guided tours, and exhibits outlining the refuge’s conservation efforts.

There’s even a peaceful beach to enjoy a little rest between activities. 

There is no entry fee required to visit Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. 

Also, take note that Sea Turtle nesting takes place from May to October. Plan your trip right and you may see baby turtles toward the end of this time!

2. Enjoy a beach day

While vacationing on the coast, a beach day is always in our plans!

It’s one of those go-to family activities that take minimal effort for maximum fun.

Because Orange Beach is on the Gulf Coast, there’s no shortage of beautiful beachfronts to enjoy.

And in the state of Alabama, beach weather is always in season.

Build sand castles, swim in the ocean, and enjoy a tasty, packed picnic on your family beach day. 

Some top beaches in Orange Beach include:

  • Cotton Bayou Beach
  • Romar Beach
  • Gulf State Park Beach
  • Alabama Point East Beach

For beach packing advice, check out our posts on Our BIG List of Things to Bring to the Beach and Best Beach Bags for Moms.

3. Explore The Wharf

Located along its beautiful waterfront, The Wharf is Orange Beach’s busiest district. 

A culture hub for tourists and locals alike, The Wharf is a great place to find delicious restaurants, unique shopping, and endless entertainment. 

The Wharf Amphitheater hosts fun outdoor events, including live music and other performances.

There’s even a nearby Ferris wheel, The Wharf Express, where you can experience incredible views of the area. 

For more activities, try the Wharf’s mini-golf course and movie theater.

Or, visit the many docked yachts at The Wharf Marina. 

Finally, The Wharf is where you can enjoy a variety of seasonal festivals and events, complete with celebratory fireworks!

4. Take a dolphin cruise

Get your camera ready for some incredible photo opportunities as there are few things as thrilling as seeing dolphins in real life!

You can make this childhood dream a reality with one of Orange Beach’s signature dolphin cruises.

On these charters, you can spot bottlenose dolphins while learning more about the local marine life from your expert guide. 

This activity is also a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery as you sail along the Gulf of Mexico.

There are even sunset cruises available – a magical viewing experience watching the dolphins in golden-lit ocean waters. 

Sunny Lady Dolphin Cruises at The Wharf provides top-rated cruises and is conveniently docked at The Wharf. 

The Sunny Lady Dolphin Cruise is an hour and a half long and is suitable for all ages. Snacks and beverages are available to purchase on board. 

5. Try charter fishing

Fishing is a big part of the local economy in Orange Beach.

Many companies offer charter fishing experiences that are geared toward families with children. 

Try Blue Island Inshore Fishing Charters where kids and adults can fish for Spanish Mackerel along the Alabama coast. 

A private four-hour charter will cost $550 for two people, with an added $50 for each additional passenger. 

Additional planning tip: Kid-friendly fishing isn’t always available year-round, and last-minute cancellations are a possibility as favorable weather conditions are a necessity for safety.

6. Find thrills at Waterville USA

Eager to get some wiggles out?

There’s no better place to burn off some extra energy in Orange Beach than at Waterville USA!

This waterpark and amusement park is filled with endless attractions, including rides, slides, and even an escape house. 

Over at the waterpark, you can find big thrills like the Flowrider surfer experience, or chill out at the kid-friendly Shrimp Boat Village. 

At the neighboring amusement park, you can experience go-karts, roller coasters, mini-golf, and more. 

Fuel your adventures with snack stands throughout the park with fair food menu staples.

Additional planning tip: Waterville USA is seasonal and is typically open from March – September.

A general admission ticket is required for the waterpark and allows access to the entire waterpark.

There is no admission fee to visit the amusement park as you pay per ride or attraction.

Top Golf Swing Suites (golf simulators) are also available for $40/hour, 8 people max.

7. Meet the animals at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Calling all animal lovers!

A trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is a must-add to your family vacation in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Here, you’ll witness animals from all around the globe.

Kids can see their favorite animals including lions, giraffes, and kangaroos!

This zoo also offers up-close animal encounters where you can feed and interact with the wildlife.

Feeding the giraffes and meeting the lemurs were two of our best memories! 

Other fun attractions include animal presentations and a safari train ride. 

8. Explore a trail at Gulf State Park

Alabama’s Gulf State Park is the best place to immerse yourself in the area’s natural world, with stunning beaches, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing. 

Nature lovers will adore hiking through the area’s ecosystems, from pine forests to coastal dunes. 

When you’re ready for a break, take a pit stop at one of the park’s picnic areas to enjoy a packed lunch. 

We highly recommend camping a night here for the most immersive experience possible.

There are several camping areas and cabins available for rent if booked well in advance.

9. Play at Adventure Island

Adventure Island was made with family fun in mind and includes activities designed for all ages.

It’s hard to tell who will have a better time – the kids or the adults!

Here, your family can choose between a range of attractions, including go-karts, mini golf, arcade games, bumper boats, and laser tag. 

There are also a variety of kiddie rides for the little ones to enjoy. 

Looking for more fun?

Check out The Track Family Recreation Center for a range of go-kart tracks, rides, and arcade games. 

10. Embark on a Pirate Ship Adventure!

For a themed cruise with loads of fun, set sail on an Orange Beach Pirate Ship Cruise

Kids will experience life at sea, learning pirate lingo, listening to stories of Pirate Cove, and ‘defend’ the ship in battle.

Other activities include face painting and other playful activities. 

Bonus – you may spot dolphins on your voyage!

Additional planning tip: All ages are welcome in this experience, adults included.

11. Try a new water sport

Did you know that Orange Beach is known for its many water activities? 

Called a “water sports hub,” Orange Beach is the perfect place to try out a new water sport under sunshiney skies!

There are endless water sports to choose from, with many rentals available centrally from The Wharf and at Gulf State Park. 

Available water sports in Orange Beach include:

  • Jet skiing
  • Parasailing 
  • Snorkeling
  • Kiteboarding 
  • Scuba diving
  • Wakeboarding 
  • Kayaking 
  • Paddleboarding
  • Water skiing
  • Banana boat rides

Kayaking is one of our top recommendations because it’s kid-friendly and is a great way to get a little exercise while having fun!

Banana boat rides are also super fun and are available for all family members over the age of 3. 

12. Get panoramic views from a helicopter tour

Commemorate your incredible family vacation with helicopter views that you need to see to believe.

Lost Bay Helicopters will take you on an incredible helicopter tour of the Alabama Gulf Coast, traveling high above the area to best take in its natural beauty. 

This is a more spendy family activity in Orange Beach, but may be worth the splurge if a helicopter tour is on your bucket list.

Conclusion: Things to Do in Orange Beach With Kids

That rounds off our top recommendations for fun things to do in Orange Beach with kids!

We hope you use our tips to help you plan a family vacation filled with lifelong memories!

From relaxing days playing at the beach to thrilling fun at the waterpark, Orange Beach has all the makings for the trip of a lifetime!

If you have any further questions about visiting Orange Beach with kids, please leave them in the comments below. 

And, if you’re a local, we’d love for you to share your tips with us all!

Happy travels!

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