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to do with 15 month olds?

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Washington DC...
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to do with 15 month olds?

Hi,

we will be in clearwater the week before spring break season starts with our family - grandparents, sibling, and our twin 15 month old boys. it's mostly family time for our family to spend time with the kids and so we're thinkg a lot of pool time probably and maybe the aquarium one day.

any other suggestions? how friendly is downtown clearwater for 15 month old twins? we will be staying at the sheraton sand key. thanks for your help!

also, hoping for a date night with the husband - any recommendations for a special night out for us?

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: to do with 15 month olds?

There isn't much in downtown Clearwater- it is pretty much commercial development, however Clearwater Beach is very tourist friendly with some very good restaurants, shops and many activities to keep tourists entertained.

You didn't mention when you will be in Clearwater Beach. Spring break is very spread out throughout the US - so the area stays busy from February through April with families, snow birds and young adults. Parking can be difficult to find, but If the parking lots along Beachwalk are full - you will likely be able to find parking in the parking garage at the Hyatt.

The beach at the Sheraton is very wide and the beach is not nearly as soft on Sand Key as the sand on Clearwater Beach - however it is much quieter - so an excellent trade off for a young family.

Clearwater Beach has beautifully white, powder soft sand. There is a playground right on the beach by Pier 60 - your sons might enjoy it. At sunset there is a nightly celebration at Pier 60 with street performers as well as arts and craft sales, that you might want to check out.

The Marina also has many attractions. If you want to go on a dolphin sighting cruise, there are cruises for all interests. I don't know if your sons are old enough to enjoy Captain Memos Pirate Cruise. The cruise ship offers face painting and pirate stories for children while cruising the bay looking for dolphin. Captain Memo's is the most child friendly cruise, but Little Toot is my favorite for actually viewing Dolphins. They offer a cruise on a small tugboat. The captain is excellent - very respectful of the dolphins and the dolphin love to play in its wake.

There is also a small aquarium in Island Estates. The star of the movie "The Dolphin Tale" resides at the aquarium. They also offer a cruise that is interesting. They are licenced to use a catch net and pull up sea life that children are allowed to look at and touch. The day we cruised the bay, they pulled in sea horses, sea urchins, sponges and some other small sea life. The children and adults enjoyed being able to see and touch the sealife - afterwards they were put back in the water.

There are also some very good restaurants in the area. Across from you hotel is a strip mall. In the strip mall is The Columbia Restaurant. It is one of my favorite restaurants with great Cuban food. The inside of the restaurant is somewhat upscale - the patio is very casual. Down the mall you will find a very tiny breakfast and lunch restaurant - Maggie Mae's. Their breakfast is very nice and lunch is under $10.00 - however the restaurant can be very busy. Backwaters is also located in the mall and is a very good, casual, seafood restaurant. From the patios of these restaurants, you will often see dolphin as they swim in from the Gulf for the night.

Over the bridge on Clearwater Beach, you might want to check out the Frenchy Restaurants. They serve lovely, fresh fish and are very casual. The Palm Pavilion is another casual seafood restaurant. It has a large patio where you can dine while watching a beautiful sunset.

If you want to take a day trip, you could take a drive up the coast to Tarpon Springs. It has sponge docks and is a Greek Village with Greek Restaurants, Bakeries and shops.

I don't know if your sons would enjoy the zoo - but Tampa's Lowry Zoo is an excellent family zoo. They have a manatee center for injured manatees which you might enjoy viewing.

I hope your family enjoys your visit - Clearwater Beach and Sand Key are beautiful.

2. Re: to do with 15 month olds?

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Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: to do with 15 month olds?

I forgot to mention special places for a date night. My favorite restraurant is the Salt Rock Grill (about 10 minutes south of your hotel). The restaurant is more upscale than most of the restaurants in the area, but is still quite casual. It serves lovely seafood as well as very nice steaks. If you are seated by 5:30 they serve a very good early bird menu. Make sure you make a reservation as they are very busy. http://www.saltrockgrill.com/

If you are into gourmet food, The Black Pearl Restaraunt in Dunedin can compete with any large city restaurant. The food is pricey, but they serve a lovely meal and it's a special experience. http://theblackpearlrestaurant.com/

If you want a restaurant closer to your hotel, The Columbia Restaurant across the street from your hotel serves very nice Cuban food. The inside is lovely with white tableclothes, and the window seats have excellent views of the intracoastal waterway. You should try their 1905 salad, their warm cuban bread is excellent and you could enjoy their Sangria and just walk back to your hotel. You can dress up - or wear casual dress. tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g34141-d494…

Washington DC...
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4. Re: to do with 15 month olds?

Thanks for that information! if it makes a difference we will be there the last full week of february. i figured this is the week before spring break starts because my college had hte earliest spring break week in the country generally and this is before that. but we understand that this time of year is popular and areas will be crowded.

thanks for the parking information - given that there will be 5 adults and 2 kids requiring car seats we will be renting a car instead of relying on the jolley trolley and local transportation, so its good to know.

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: to do with 15 month olds?

Hi Tirsabel. The end of February will be quieter than March, but it will be a busy time in the area - so keep that in mind when you go out to eat. If you want to beat the rush - arrive no later than 5:30 - and you will be able to get a seat.The area will be full of snowbirds and families and will be really busy from Presidents' Day on.

Your hotel is on a quiet beach - it will be much quieter than Clearwater Beach - so good choice for your young toddlers. If you have more questions, feel free to ask.

Berkshire, England
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6. Re: to do with 15 month olds?

We have stayed at the Sheraton Sand Key and it is a nice hotel, right on the beach. The only thing we didn't like was the pool, which is way too small for the size of the hotel and gets very crowded. Also, the pool deck is in the shade of a high-rise condo. Right next door to the hotel is Sand Key Park, which is nice to stroll round, has a small lake with some fish in, a children's play area and also leads onto the beach.

Over the road, next to the Marriott, you have the Shoppes On Sand Key, which have a great breakfast place, Maggie Mae's Sunrise Café (very popular), Columbia Restaurant, Backwaters Restaurant (recommended), Dunkin Donuts etc and a few shops. There is a boardwalk along the back of the shops and from there you can often spot dolphins.

Hope you have a lovely time.

7. Re: to do with 15 month olds?

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