Friday, May 6, 2011

An evening at John's Pass

I have found that one of the more challenging aspects of traveling with a small child is figuring out how to fill the evening hours. For me, it's pretty simple to plan an outing or two for most of the morning and mid-day, retreat back to our lodging of choice for naptime, and then head to dinner. But what to do post-dinner?

So many constraints in the evening: not enough time before the witching hour hits to do anything "big," the fear that the pre-bedtime crankiness will strike early, and the fact that many kid-friendly attractions close around dinner anyway. But I hate to waste a few precious hours of vacation, and particularly if you're confined to a hotel room with a toddler, hanging in the room can be rather unpleasant, also.

I really enjoyed one of our evenings during our February trip to St. Petersburg, Florida. On our way back to our condo from dinner, we saw a busy parking area and lots of bright lights. So we pulled in and strolled around. John's Pass is an old fishing village that has been converted to a boardwalk/shopping area just minutes from both St. Pete and Clearwater.

It's really nothing fancy and very touristy, with plenty of Florida kitsch (think air-brushed t-shirts and seashell jewelry), but the arrow was happy to relax in the stroller while we wandered around and ate ice cream. All the makings of a fun nighttime stroll.

We even stumbled upon a fish cleaning lesson which was interesting, although smelly, to watch.

Just one of the many wonderful memories we made on this trip.

If You Visit:
John's Pass
150 Johns Pass Boardwalk W.
Madeira Beach, FL
Open daily. If you visit during the daytime, I'd research some of the boat trip options in advance. There were all kinds of interesting choices, from pirate ships to duck boats.
Insider Tip: It does get quite crowded, so I was glad we didn't choose to eat dinner here (long waits and toddlers don't mix). Also, parking can be a little steep if you don't snag one of the free street spots.

This post is a part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby.


  1. Love the name - Anything with Pass in it makes me think of something different and special.

    I lived near Loveland pass in Colorado so Pass in general hold a sentimental meaning to me. And if it's a restaurant - forget about it:)

  2. Oh man, that ice cream cone looks yummy!

  3. I love little evening walks like this myself...trying to take a few photos, enjoying a cool breeze...well, maybe not the fish smell :lol:

  4. cleaning lesson? Every time we visit the pier here, my kids want to watch the fish cleaning and all I want to do is run the other way!