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Family Fun Day on the Cheap at Ballast Point Park in Tampa

The area was named Ballast Point in the early 1800s because that was where incoming ships would drop their ballast of rocks before proceeding through the 7-9 foot channel of Hillsborough Bay. 

Today, Ballast Point Park is a gem tucked away in a beautiful south Tampa neighborhood. It overlooks Hillsborough Bay, giving visitors a stunning view of Downtown Tampa.

It is spring break for our 6-year-old grandson, and we had the pleasure of spending some quality time with him. The days are already rather warm in Florida, so we looked for a fun place to spend the day without getting too toasty hot. The beach is usually a good candidate; however, the ocean temperature is still just a little too cool for us Floridians in March. Theme parks are always a sure way to keep a kid entertained for a day, but the price of admission is not always in the budget. Plus, during this spring break in 2021, thanks to Covid19, theme park entry requires a reservation to be made weeks in advance.

Keeping this active 6-year-old entertained for an entire day can be quite the challenge, but with all the fun kid stuff Ballast Point Park had to offer, it was the perfect place to meet that challenge.

Of course the Splash Pad was my grandson’s favorite, but he also enjoyed the playground, seeing a dolphin from the fishing pier, and the occasional flyover of a refueling tanker or fighter jet landing at nearby MacDill Air Force Base.

A video tour of Ballast Point and our day there

Park Ammenities

  • 600-foot pier
  • a splash pad
  • playground
  • picnic areas
  • gazebo
  • boat dock
  • boat ramp
  • The Taste of Boston restaurant
  • bait shop

Ballast Point Park is located at 5300 Interbay Blvd, in one of Tampa’s most picturesque neighborhoods. Admission to the park and parking is free; however, due to its popularity, you better get there early to guarantee to find a parking space.


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