Visiting St. Augustine is one of our family’s favorite places to visit any time of the year. You can find so many free things to do in St. Augustine with kids, like nature parks, beautiful beaches, and many different fun historic sites. There are also many different outdoor learning opportunities for homeschooled kiddos.
Free Things to Do in St. Augustine with Kids
St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest city, which means there is so much to do. We usually come and stay each year, and there are always plenty of things to do.
We especially love to go fishing and search for seashells on the beach. There are also many different places to enjoy the wildlife at the parks and the state and national reserves.
St. Augustine is a little hot during the summer months and can get warm during the fall, so make sure to dress in lighter clothes and bring plenty of water for your adventures. You will have a great time exploring all of the free and fun places in the city of St. Augustine, Florida.
Beaches Near St. Augustine (Don’t forget sunscreen!)
One of our favorite things to do is spend the day at St. Augustine Beach. This is one of the best beaches because it is super family-friendly, and they have lifeguards on duty, so you’ll always have extra eyes on your kiddos.
Spend the day in the sun and build sandcastles and go swimming in the calm waters. We like to go on seashell hunts in the morning when the beach isn’t at its peak hours.
There is also a splash pad near the boardwalk which is a great way for your kiddos to get out some of their built-up energy so you can relax on the beach for a little bit!
We also love to visit Vilano Beach on our family vacation because it is a little less crowded than St. Augustine Beach. They both have free parking areas. You can spend the day on the pier fishing or taking a long walk and enjoying the salty air on the boardwalk.
Fishing at the Beaches
Fishing is one of the best free things to do in St. Augustine during the day that is free at both the Vilano Beach and St. Augustine Beach piers but keep in mind you will need a fishing license.
We love to take the kids fishing on both of these fishing piers, but we have noticed that Vilano Beach is less crowded than St. Augustine Fishing Pier. We also enjoy taking a guided fishing charter when we’re visiting Vilano Beach and St. Augustine. Fishing is also a great biology and science lesson for homeschooled kids.
Historical Sites and Shopping
Fort Matanzas National Monument
We like to visit this old Spanish monument for both its history of it and it has a beautiful park surrounding it. You can explore the sand marshes on the Marsh and Nature Trails and look for the surrounding islands!
Homeschool mamas, this is one of the best free things to do in St. Augustine for a little history lesson outdoors.
Visit Old City
Another great place to visit for a fun history lesson is Old City. There are plenty of kid-friendly restaurants and museums that can keep you busy all day. You can check out the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the United States which was built all the way back in 1716, which makes it one of the best free things to do in St. Augustine. It’s also a beautiful place to take pictures that you can keep forever.
We love visiting St. George Street because it is full of locally-owned small businesses and boutiques. There is also a vast amount of delicious restaurants that you can smell while you’re heading down the cobblestone streets. This is the only pedestrian-only shopping area in St. Augustine, which is perfect because there is no need to worry about cars.
Parks and Wildlife
Anastasia State Park
Anastasia State Park is on 1,600 acres is another one of our top free things to do in St. Augustine, because there is so much room to go on an adventure and explore. There are sand dunes, exotic birds, and campsites if you want to spend the night looking at the stars.
This is the perfect place to search for wildlife, like birds and animals that call this park home.
If you’re getting a little too hot, they have a four-mile oceanfront where you can go swimming, kayaking, and fishing.
Robert P. Hayling Freedom Park
This park is a little smaller than the surrounding state parks, but there are so many kid-friendly activities to do. There are walking trails that are great for hiking and biking. There is a huge area where you can fly a kite and have a picnic near its surrounding rivers which makes it one of the best free things to do in St. Augustine.
Tip: This park doesn’t have a lot of shade, so be sure to wear hats and lighter clothes.
Playgrounds at St. Augustine
Project SWING Playground
This playground was recently updated at the end of 2022. It is filled with fun castles, mazes, balance beams, swings, and everything else that you love to do at playgrounds. There are also plenty of picnic tables to enjoy a midday picnic.
It can get a little busy during the day, so I would try to visit in the morning before it gets too hot and crowded.
Aberdeen Park Playground
Aberdeen Park Playgrounds is another one of the best free things to do in St. Augustine because it is full of slides, swings, monkey bars, and also has both soccer fields and softball diamonds. While the park has free admission, there are also places where you can purchase food, ice cream and other cold refreshments for an additional cost. This park follows the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), so it is full of motion and sensory safe fun for both kid and young kids.