The Best Places to Enjoy a Picnic in Tampa Bay

Summer is here! Many families are planning to spend a lot of time outdoors. A classic summer activity is having a picnic in the park. Thankfully, we have so many beautiful places for families to enjoy some fresh air and a delicious meal. Whether you’re looking for a spot with views of the water or a chance to run into wildlife, there are so many amazing places to enjoy a picnic in Tampa Bay.

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Best Places to Enjoy a Picnic in Tampa Bay

I made sure to include places that may have a playground, splash pad, trail or other activities for the family. If your family is not interested in sitting on a blanket to eat, some of these places may have picnic tables or shelters available.

Here are some options for picnic baskets and blankets.

  • LIQING 35L Large Picnic Basket
  • Fern & Soul Picnic Backpack for 4
  • Extra Large Picnic Outdoor Blanket
  • GOOD GAIN Waterproof Picnic Blanket

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL 33602

This park is located in downtown Tampa. A picnic here will give your family a nice view of the Hillsborough River. You can set up under a tree near the playground or the spacious lawn by the Glazer Children’s Museum. If the children want to cool off, there’s a splash pad nearby.

picnic in Tampa Bay with your family, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

Largo Central Park

101 Central Park Dr, Largo, FL 33771

If you’re looking for a picnic spot near a cool playground, check out Largo Central Park. This is a popular park with a 2.5-acre beautiful lawn space and over 1,000 shade trees. There are 8 picnic pavilions if you prefer to sit at a table.

Carrollwood Village Park

4680 West Village Drive, Tampa, FL 33624

This is one of my family’s favorite parks to visit. It provides fun for the whole family and perfect for all ages. There is a covered pavilion with 4 picnic tables that is close to the bathrooms. After having a nice picnic, the kids can enjoy the cool playground or splash pad. You can also take a stroll along the walking trails.

Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park

1001 N Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607

Are you looking for a park that has it all? This 25-acre park has several picnic pavilions as well as a benches along the Hillsborough River. There are plenty of shaded areas to set up your picnic with the family. My kids love spending time at the playground and splash pad. You can also enjoy the park’s sports courts.

picnic in Tampa Bay, Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park

Philippe Park

2525 Phillippe Pkwy, Safety Harbor, FL 34695

There is plenty of shade from oak trees at this park which makes it a great spot for a picnic with the family. Prefer to sit at a table? There are 8 picnic shelters with grills. Kids can enjoy the playgrounds that are located in this park.

Lettuce Lake Park

6920 E Fletcher Ave, Tampa, FL 33637

A picnic at Lettuce Lake Park will be memorable. They have plenty of space (240 acres) to find a quiet area for a picnic. There are wooded picnic areas where you can enjoy a nice meal with your family surrounded by nature. After your picnic, you can take a stroll along the wooden boardwalk that leads to an observation tower. This park also has nature center and two playgrounds that the kids will enjoy. FYI: there’s a $2 entrance fee per car up to 8 people.

Plant Park

399 W John F Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606

This is a beautiful park with an amazing view of the Hillsborough River. My husband surprised me with a luxury picnic experience at this park for Mother’s Day a few years ago. There was plenty of shade from the trees and a nice breeze. We also spotted some dolphins which was an exciting experience for everyone. You can take a stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk once your family is finished eating.

picnic in Tampa Bay, Plant Park

Vinoy Park

701 Bayshore Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

If you’re looking for a park with incredible water views, you have to check out Vinoy Park. It is located in downtown St. Pete. This park has lots of beautiful open green spaces with lots of trees that provides shade. If you’re lucky, you may get a chance to see dolphins.

Edgewater Park

51 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698

This 4-acre park has beautiful views of the marina and plenty of picnic tables in the shade to have a wonderful picnic. There are playgrounds to keep the kids entertained after their meal.

Coachman Park

300 Cleveland St, Clearwater, FL 33755

There is plenty of space at Coachman Park to set up a picnic. It is located in downtown Clearwater with amazing water views. There are shade structures, restrooms, splash pad and a cool playground. You can take a stroll along the trail and check out some impressive large-scale art murals. This park will provide your family with wonderful day out.

picnic in Tampa Bay, Coachman Park

Water Works Park

1710 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

The festival lawn at Water Works Park is the perfect spot to set up a picnic. You will get a nice view of the Hillsborough River and get a chance to people watch. There is a nice playground and splash pad nearby. You can avoid the heat by setting up your picnic at the covered picnic tables.

Picnic Island Park

7409 Picnic Island Blvd, Tampa, FL 33616

If you’re looking for a waterfront experience, your family will love this park. You can set up your picnic on the beach or the grass. There are also plenty of shaded picnic tables if you’re not a fan of sitting on the ground. Restrooms are available and there’s a playground for the kids.

Cypress Point Park

5620 W Cypress St, Tampa, FL 33607

The park features plenty of green space to set up a nice picnic with the family. There is also a pavilion with picnic tables. The park has a cool playground for the kids that features swings, slides and monkey bars.

St. Pete Pier

800 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

My family loves visiting the St. Pete Pier. There is so much to do and something for everyone in the family. You will be able to find plenty of spaces to set up your picnic. The Family Park has plenty of trees that will provide shade for your family. After finishing your meal, visit the playgrounds, splash pad, spa beach or Discovery Center.

picnic in Tampa Bay, St. Pete Pier

Watch this video to get a preview of what it’s like to visit The St. Pete Pier. Make sure to follow me on YouTube for more fun content!

Tips for a Perfect Picnic in Tampa Bay

  • Check the weather: Always check the forecast (it’s Florida) and plan accordingly.
  • Pack Essentials: Bring a reusable and insulated water bottle, blanket, Bluetooth speaker, extra water, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first-aid kit.
  • Arrive Early: The best picnic spots fill up fast, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Do Not Feed Wildlife.
  • Clean Up: Please clean up after yourself and dispose of trash properly. Don’t be a litterbug!

Luxury Picnic Businesses in Tampa Bay

  • Picnic Ave
  • Noble Picnics
  • The Picnic Boys
  • Picnics Perfected
  • InstaPicnic & Co
  • The Picnic Charm
  • St Pete Picnic Co
  • The Curated Picnic Co
picnic in Tampa Bay, Black family enjoying a picnic in Tampa

If you’re looking for some amazing recipes to elevate your picnic experience, check out these amazing food bloggers who are always creating something delicious.

  • A Little Spoon
  • Beach Girl Grills
  • Domestic Gourmet

You can also check out seasonal recipes from Chef Justin Timineri with Fresh From Florida. From quick snack ideas to sandwiches and wraps, you will find some great recipes to elevate your picnic experience.

picnic in Tampa Bay

If you’re visiting Tampa Bay during the summer and don’t mind taking a road trip, visit Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland. Watch this video to get a preview of what it’s like to visit with your family. Make sure to follow me on YouTube for more fun content!

You can find these adorable summer books for kids on Amazon (As an Amazon Associate, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. This only applies if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for your support!), your local library or visit a local book shop.

  • Camp by Kayla Miller
  • I See Summer by Charles Ghigna
  • Cannonball by Sacha Cotter
  • Summer Is for Cousins by Rajani LaRocca
  • It Began with Lemonade by Gideon Sterer
  • Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones
  • Summer: A Pop-Up Book by David A. Carter
  • And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner
  • Summer Vacation, Here I Come! by D. J. Steinberg
  • The Wonders of Summer by Kealy Connor Lonning

Looking for easy and engaging summer activities for kids? Check out these digital products from my ETSY shop.

summer activity bundle for kids, digital download, Etsy shop

Want to create more memories with your family? Check out these adorable art projects and fun activities:

Things to do in Tampa Bay

Kids Eat Free in Tampa Bay

Paper Plate Ice Cream Cone

Summer Activities for Kids

Cardboard Ice Cream Craft

30 Indoor Activities for Kids

FREE Summer Reading Printable

Guide to Bonnet Springs Park

Summer Activities for Toddlers

Paper Sun Craft

Sandcastle Sand Art

Paper Plate Ice Cream Craft

Tissue Paper Ice Cream Craft

Puffy Paint Cardboard Ice Cream

Ice Cream Stamp Art

FREE summer coloring pages for kids

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