Nestled within the Boggy Bayou of the Florida panhandle, the city of Niceville has a population of 12,941 according the the 2011 U.S. Census estimate. It is close to Eglin Air Force Base and other neighboring towns providing activities for kids. With the beaches close as well, parents can find things to do for their children in and around Niceville.
Parks and Beaches
The Niceville Children's Park (cityofniceville.org/park) provides several fun elements for kids. It has sandboxes with buckets and shovels provided, a bubble-making button, slides, monkey bars, rocking toys and water spray features. Thirteen miles from Niceville in the town of Destin is Henderson Beach State Park (floridastateparks.org/hendersonbeach). It has 6,000 feet of white sand beaches, playgrounds, a nature trail, a boardwalk and green space for play. Newman C. Brackin Wayside Park (no website; 1300 Miracle Strip Parkway; 850-689-5772) is 14 miles away from Niceville in Fort Walton Beach offering playgrounds, beaches, picnic pavilions and dune walkovers.
Seven miles from Niceville at the Eglin Air Force Base in the Air Force Armament Museum (afarmamentmuseum.com). It contains several exhibits of aircraft, including the fastest plane ever built, the SR-71 Blackbird. The museum provides interactive displays with children in mind. Fourteen miles to the south of Niceville in Fort Walton Beach is the Emerald Coast Science Center (ecscience.org). It has hands-on displays teaching kids about the five senses, flight, automobiles, reflection and light. Many live critters are on display such as snakes, geckos and tarantulas.
Wildlife and Outdoors
The Turkey Creek Trail and Boardwalk (cityofniceville.org/turkey) will please the kids with a nature walk. Turtles, ducks and several kinds of birds frequent the area while the trail provides swimming holes and benches. The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park (gulfarium.com) is 15 miles from Niceville in Fort Walton Beach featuring sea lions, sea turtles, sting rays, seals and otters with opportunities to feed penguins. Kids ages 3 and older can try their hand at fishing while learning about native fish to the Gulf Coast.
The Niceville Family YMCA (ecymca.org) provides swim lessons for children and a variety of sports programs. Soccer, T-ball, basketball, flag football, softball and volleyball are available at certain seasons of the year. A Dance Studio (adancestudio.net) offers dance classes in tap, lyrical, jazz, ballet and hip-hop for preschool and school-age children. Amplified Performing Arts Center (getapac.com) features dance, tumbling and cheer classes for ages 3 and older.
- City of Niceville: Children's Park
- Florida State Parks: Henderson Beach State Park
- Okaloosa County: Newman C. Brackin Wayside Park
- Air Force Armament Museum: Exhibits
- Emerald Coast Science Center: Exhibits
- City of Niceville: Turkey Creek Park
- Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park: Home
- YMCA of Florida's Emerald Coast: Programs
- A Dance Studio: Home
- Amplified Performing Arts Center: Classes
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