Pre-Trip Fun for Key West, Florida
"Baby Road Trip BEACH" -- Reggae tunes and bright, cheerful animals and beach toys will get even the tiniest traveler thrilled about the Keys. (Babies and Toddlers)
"Key Largo" -- Although this 1948 Humphrey Bogart-Lauren Bacall classic is not for young children (it's unrated, but features gangster and hurricane themes), teens will love seeing how the island's changed -- yet stayed the same -- over the decades. (Teens and Up)
Conch Chowder -- Conch is such a popular shellfish it's practically the Keys' mascot (local residents are called conchs).
Key Lime Pie -- The small, yellow, and sour Key Lime makes for a delicious, tart/sweet dessert.
"Good Night Florida Keys" by Mark Jasper -- Kids can dream about all the beautiful beaches they'll see, then fall asleep to the memories when you return. (Ages 4 to 8)
"S Is for Sunshine: A Florida Alphabet" by Carol Crane -- Fun facts and pictures that get small travelers excited about what they'll see. (Ages 1 to 4)
"Mrs. Willoughby and the Key West Cat Calamity" by Noel Horton -- Show them they'll have just as much fun in the Keys as these adventurous cats, but you'll be there to save the day. (Ages 4 to 8)
"The Mystery of the Hidden Beach" by Gertrude Chandler Warner -- The Boxcar children investigate a coral caper, this time on their vacation in Key West. (Ages 9 to 12)
"The Florida Water Story: From Raindrops to the Sea" by Peggy S. Lantz -- Kids will be fascinated by all the different creatures swimming next to them in the Keys. (Ages 9 to 12)
"Flush" by Carl Hiaasen -- Quirky characters and a fun plot mix with serious environmental themes -- a major concern to the Florida Keys. (Ages 10 to 14)
"A Farewell to Arms" by Ernest Hemingway -- Best for older teens reading the classics. Hemingway wrote this masterpiece in his Key West home (available for touring). (Teens and Up)
Chime Bracelets -- Use store-bought shells to get them into beach mode; then on vacation search for unique originals and make another when you get home.
Beach Bag -- Kids can decorate their own, then pack it with towels, toys, and shoes for the pool.
Water Purse -- Perfect for collecting shells and other beachy treasures
"Come Monday" by Jimmy Buffett -- Second to his biggest hit "Margaritaville" (which, while explicitly about the Keys, features lyrics not appropriate for children), you'll hear this and other Buffett songs played (over and over and over and over!) in pretty much every store and restaurant down here.