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8 Fun Things to Do in Orange Beach with Kids

8 Fun Things to Do in Orange Beach with Kids

Go ahead and put Orange Beach on the Gulf Coast of Alabama at the top of your short list when planning your next family beach vacation! Why? Because there are lots of fun things to do in Orange Beach with kids!

It’s a slow-paced, relatively undeveloped area of the coast with some of the best beaches in the country. Dig your toes into the soft, white sand and cool off with a dip in the clear, warm water. When your family is ready for some more action, pick an adventure or two from our roundup of the best things to do in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Read on to discover why Orange Beach is a perfect spot for family-friendly beach vacations on the Gulf of Mexico.

8 Fun Things to Do in Orange Beach with Kids 1
Orange Beach, Alabama | Photo by Tarlie Harris

Things to Do in Orange Beach with Kids

1. Hit the Beach

Things to do in Orange Beach with kids include hanging out at the beach
Orange Beach, Alabama | Photo by Tarlie Harris

Above all else, prioritize time on the beautiful beaches of Orange Beach, Alabama.

Long beach days are one the best ways to get some much needed no-schedule, no-plan required family time. Collect seashells, build sandcastles, and pack all the snacks!

The water in Orange Beach is great for swimming May through October, hovering right around 80 degrees. The spring and fall are perfect for long beach walks, biking the area’s many miles of pine forest trails, and, of course, boating and fishing.

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2. Explore Gulf State Park

8 Fun Things to Do in Orange Beach with Kids 2
Gulf State Park | Photo by Tarlie Harris

If you’ve never seen a forest of tall southern Pine trees blend seamlessly into ocean-front sand dunes, you are in for a special treat. Just west of Orange Beach, Gulf State Park is one of the last intact maritime forests in coastal Alabama. Explore over 6,500 acres of live oak forest, freshwater wetlands, wet long-leaf pine savanna, and 2.5 miles of oceanfront beach.

There are 30+ miles of trails and elevated walkways in the park. The park operates a bike share program, where you can borrow a bike from one of several bike stations via the Bloom Bike Share App for up to three hours free of charge.

There is a bike station at the Woodside Restaurant, so plan a lunch break filled with good food, live music, and backyard games. Alternately, Coastal Segway Adventures hosts two hour Segway tours of the park for anyone 12+.

3. Kayak Oyster Bay

Kayak Oyster Bay with Wild Native Tours in Orange Beach, Alabama
Wild Native Tours | Photo by Tarlie Harris

Just outside of Orange Beach, undeveloped landscape stretches out for miles. Take the opportunity to connect with nature and your family while you are here.

Wild Native Tours leads several nature tours, including a three-hour, guided kayak tour through prime bottlenose dolphin habitat. On this kayak tour, you may be lucky enough to see dolphins, sea turtles, ospreys, pelicans, alligators, and manatees.

You will definitely learn a ton about the animals and their habitat all while getting sunshine, fresh air, and exercise. What’s not to love about that? The tour is perfectly fine for beginner kayakers and operates at a very casual pace, leaving plenty of time to relax and look for wildlife.

Gulf Shores is Orange Beach’s neighbor. Here are our favorite things to do in Gulf Shores with kids.

4. Play at The Wharf at Orange Beach

Wharf at Orange Beach
The Wharf at Orange Beach | Photo by Tarlie Harris

The Wharf at Orange Beach is a family entertainment complex on the intercoastal waterway. It has everything from shopping and dining venues to a mini-golf course, Ferris wheel, arcade complete with laser tag, escape room, axe throwing venue, and amphitheater.

After dinner, don’t miss Spectra – a themed laser, music, and light show that runs nightly in the summer. No doubt your tweens and teens would love to be set loose here for a couple of hours!

Explore more of the Gulf Coast on this Texas to Florida Road Trip

5. Sail Wolf Bay

Dolphin in Wolf Bay at Orange Beach Alabama
Dolphin in Wolf Bay | Photo by Flickr/The Pug Father

Cetacean Cruises offers cruises on the bay in a pontoon boat as well as a 50+ foot catamaran several times each day, including at sunset.

Boats depart from the Wharf, so this is an excellent activity to do right before dinner and a Ferris wheel ride. Wolf Bay is pretty smooth sailing and land is always in sight, so it’s not too rough on sensitive tummies. Of course dolphin sightings can’t be guaranteed, but they are very likely!

6. Conquer Rollin’ Thunder at The Park at OWA

The Park at OWA near Orange Beach, Alabama
The Park at OWA | Photo by Tarlie Harris

The Park at OWA is an amusement park, just north of Orange Beach in the quaint town of Foley, Alabama. It’s clean and comfortable, easy to navigate, and has rides for every age group.

The newest addition to the park is the Gravity Island Watersports inflatable obstacle course on the lake. Families can certainly spend an entire day at OWA.

There are plenty of restaurants on-site including sushi, pizza, pretzels, as well as an arcade attached to the Groovy Goat sports bar and grill.

7. Eat at Tacky Jack’s

Tacky Jacks in Gulf Shores Alabama
Tacky Jacks in Gulf Shores | Photo by Flickr/blgrssby

Tacky Jacks has three locations in the area at Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, and Fort Morgan. The Orange Beach location is the original, dating back to 1979 when it served local fishermen almost exclusively.

They all have waterfront locations, but the Orange Beach water view overlooking the Perdido Pass Bridge on Cotton Bayou is the most expansive. Tacky Jacks is spot-on for a casual, boisterous night out with the family with great views, ocean breezes, and tons of southern seafood.

8. Drive up to Foley, Alabama for a Dose of Small Town Charm

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Downton Foley, Alabama | Photo by Tarlie Harris

For a change of pace, stroll through several charming blocks of downtown Foley, Alabama. It’s only about 30 minutes north of Orange Beach. Start the day with coffee and pastries at The Drowsy Poet (aka Mr. Shakespeare), make a wish in the Heritage Park fountain, tour some old rail cars at the Foley Railroad Museum, and then refuel at Kale Yeah! Juice Café.

Foley is off-the-beaten-path for sure, but in the best way possible. It’s exactly the kind of quaint, friendly town that welcomes visitors with open arms.

Places to Stay in Orange Beach with Kids

Turquoise Place in Orange Beach, Alabama
Oceanfront Pool at Turquoise Place in Orange Beach, Alabama | Photo by Tarlie Harris

The Alabama Gulf Coast has two primary beach communities on the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Both are to the east of Mobile Bay. Moving from one to the other isn’t necessarily noticeable, but they are separated by Gulf State Park. Gulf Shores is slightly more commercially developed than Orange Beach.

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In Orange Beach, Turquoise Place is the premier oceanfront, condominium resort. Every condo has an ocean view and the views of the Bay from the backside of the building aren’t too shabby either!

The condos and the oceanfront balconies are absolutely huge and can easily fit two families of four. There are several pools on-site, as well as a poolside bar and grill. Turquoise Place is an easy drive to the grocery store and all of the things to do in Orange Beach.

If camping is more your style (or budget!), stay in a multi-bedroom cabin or pitch a tent at Gulf State Park. Camping in Gulf State Park is featured in our list of 10 Awesome Places to Camp on the Gulf Coast.

Want to have great access to Gulf State Park with the amenities of an upscale hotel? The Hotel Indigo Orange Beach-Gulf Shores is located directly on one of the trail heads entering the park. 

The Southern Grind coffee shop is attached to the Hotel Indigo and serves fantastic food and is THE best place to buy upscale home furnishings and souvenirs with a classy, beachy vibe.

Tarlie Harris