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Top things to do with kids in Southwest Florida

Discover the ultimate guide to family fun in Southwest Florida! From beach days to wildlife encounters, explore 35 top activities to enjoy with kids in this sunny paradise.

Kids inside fake dino eggs at shell factory

Are you planning a family getaway to Southwest Florida and wondering how to keep the little ones entertained? Well, you're in luck! As a local with four kids in differ

Southwest Florida is packed with exciting and educational activities that will create lasting memories for you and your kids. From beach days to wildlife encounters and everything in between, this guide has got you covered.

So, grab your sunscreen and let's dive into the top things to do with kids in Southwest Florida!

Top things to do with kids in Southwest Florida

Step into the cosmos and ignite your child's curiosity at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium. Explore the wonders of space through interactive exhibits, catch a captivating planetarium show, and marvel at the beauty of the night sky during their stargazing events.

Read more about it here.

boy looking into microscope at Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium

Embark on a journey of environmental discovery at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. With hands-on exhibits, wildlife encounters, and guided nature walks, your kids will learn about the importance of conservation while having a blast exploring the natural world.

Plan your trip to the Conservancy of SWFL with these tips.

Fuel your child's imagination at the Imaginarium Science Center. From experimenting with science to getting up close with native wildlife, this interactive museum offers endless opportunities for learning and fun.

Find out more about the IMAG in this blog article.

woman standing in front of  huge aquarium at Imag museum in fort myers

4 - Visit Golisano Children's museum

Let your kids' creativity soar at the Golisano Children's Museum of Naples. With interactive exhibits designed to inspire curiosity and imagination, this museum promises hours of educational entertainment for the whole family.

Get up close and personal with adorable animals at the Shell Factory Nature Park. From feeding goats to holding exotic birds, your kids will love interacting with the resident creatures of this charming park.

Learn more about the Shell Factory here.

kids feeding goats at shell factory

6 - Visit The Naples Zoo

Embark on a wild adventure at the Naples Zoo. With over 70 species of animals from around the globe, exciting animal shows, and immersive exhibits, this zoo offers a day of excitement and exploration for the entire family.

7 -  Discover SWFL shells at the Shell museum in Sanibel

Unleash your inner beachcomber at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum in Sanibel. Marvel at the beauty and diversity of shells from around the world and learn about the fascinating creatures that call them home.

Experience the thrill of a lifetime with a boat ride through the Everglades. Glide through mangrove tunnels, spot wildlife in their natural habitat, and witness jaw-dropping gator shows that will leave your kids in awe.

Here are a few tips to make your Everglades trip an awesome adventure.

woman holding alligator at wootens in evergaldes city

Let your kids burn off some energy at Centennial Park. With playgrounds, and scenic waterfront views, this park is the perfect place for a family outing.

Learn more how to plan your visit to Centennial Park here.

Soak up the sun and surf at Lido Key Beach. With its powdery white sand and calm turquoise waters, this beach is a slice of paradise for families looking to unwind and play.

Read more here and find out why Lido Key Beach is the perfect beach for a family fun day.

lido key beach in southwest florida

All aboard the Lakes Park Railroad! Take a scenic train ride through Lakes Park and marvel at the beautiful landscapes and wildlife along the way.

But Lakes Park is so much more than that! This park is one of our family's favorite because of all the things and activities you can do including bird watching and nature trailing.

Get the details here and discover why Lakes Park is one of our family's top parks to visit in Fort Myers.

train ride at lakes park

Embark on a shelling adventure along the pristine shores of Sanibel and Captiva Islands. With their abundance of seashells, these islands are a treasure trove for beachcombers of all ages.

For the best shelling beaches in Sanibel Island go here and for Captiva go here.

shelling in sanibel island florida

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. Wander along elevated boardwalks through lush wetlands and keep an eye out for native wildlife.

Get a closer look on what to expect at Six Miles Cypress Slough Preserve here.

Wind down your day with a breathtaking sunset at Fort Myers Beach. With its stunning views and vibrant colors, this is the perfect way to end a day of family fun.

The roof top of Lani Kai has amazing views but you may want to call ahead and make reservations ahead of time just to ensure you get a seat.

sunset on fort myers beach

Take to the water and explore the scenic beauty of Lover's Key State Park by paddleboard. Glide through mangrove tunnels and shallow bays while soaking in the serene surroundings.

For the ultimate beach day at Lover's Key State Park, read here our family's top tips and must dos.

lovers key state park

16- Take a Dolphin Cruise

Set sail on a dolphin cruise and embark on an unforgettable adventure in search of these playful marine mammals. Watch as dolphins frolic in the waves and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Whether you choose to depart from Naples, Fort Myers Beach or Pine Island, there are so many great dolphin cruises to choose from.

17- Explore J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Discover the wonders of the natural world at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel Island. With its diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife, this refuge offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.

18- Visit Sun Splash Family Waterpark

Beat the heat and make a splash at Sun Splash Family Waterpark in Cape Coral. With thrilling water slides, lazy rivers, and splash zones, this waterpark is guaranteed fun for the whole family.

Cast a line and reel in the big one on a fishing adventure in Pine Island. With its pristine waters and abundant fish species.

The kids get so excited when they catch a fish, the look in their faces in so priceless. You can see how much fun our kids has in this video.

20- Take a Bike Ride

Explore the beauty of Southwest Florida on two wheels with a scenic bike ride. Whether you choose to pedal along the Legacy Trail or the Sanibel Island Bike Path, you're in for a memorable outdoor adventure.

21- Go Mini Golfing

Putt your way to victory at one of Southwest Florida's many mini-golf courses. With whimsical themes and challenging obstacles, mini-golf is a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy together.

22- Attend a Spring Training Baseball Game

Cheer on your favorite teams during spring training season in Southwest Florida. Experience the excitement of America's favorite pastime and create memories that will last a lifetime.

23- Go Bird Watching at Koreshan State Park

Grab your binoculars and explore the diverse birdlife of Koreshan State Park. With its peaceful trails and scenic views, this park offers a prime spot for birdwatching enthusiasts.

24- Enjoy a sunset cruise

Set sail into the golden hour and soak in the breathtaking beauty of a Southwest Florida sunset. Whether you choose a sailing yacht or a scenic cruise, watching the sun dip below the horizon is a magical experience for the whole family.

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and spend a day at Southern Fresh Farm. Let your kids interact with friendly farm animals, pick fresh produce, and enjoy farm-fresh snacks straight from the source.

Read more about it here.

26- Visit the Naples Botanical Garden

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at the Naples Botanical Garden. Wander through lush gardens, encounter exotic plants, and participate in family-friendly activities and events.

27 - Search for manatees at the Manatee Park

Embark on a quest to spot gentle giants at Manatee Park. Explore the park's scenic waterways by kayak or canoe and keep your eyes peeled for these elusive marine mammals.

28 - Check out the Mound House in Fort Myers Beach

Step back in time and learn about Southwest Florida's rich history at the Mound House. Explore ancient Calusa Indian mounds, stroll through historic gardens, and uncover artifacts from the past.

Savor a seaside feast at Gasparilla State Park. Pack a picnic basket with your favorite treats, spread out a blanket on the sandy shores, and enjoy a relaxing day by the water with your family.

Find out more Gasparilla State park and how to spend a beautiful day with the family here in this article.

lighthouse at gasparilla state park

30 - Watch a Broadway show at Broadway Palm's Theater

Experience the magic of live theater at Broadway Palm's Theater. Treat your kids to a dazzling Broadway-style performance featuring talented actors, elaborate costumes, and show-stopping musical numbers.

Embark on a kayaking adventure along the scenic Caloosahatchee River. Paddle past mangrove forests, scenic islands, and waterfront mansions as you explore this picturesque waterway.

Get more details here to plan ahead.

riverside park in fort myers florida

Discover a hidden gem of Southwest Florida at Silver Key Preserve. Trek through lush forests, serene wetlands, and pristine beaches in this secluded natural paradise.

What I love most about Silver Key Preserve is how private it feels. Now, there are two ways to get there and you can find out which way may work better for your family right here in this blog article.

silver key preserve in sanibel island

33 - Jump away at Sky Zone

Let your kids unleash their energy at Sky Zone Trampoline Park. With wall-to-wall trampolines, foam pits, and interactive games, this indoor playground promises hours of bouncing fun for kids of all ages.

34 - Watch the planes flying in at Page Field airport

Marvel at the marvels of aviation at Page Field airport. Bring your little aviation enthusiasts to watch planes take off and land, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of some vintage aircraft in action.

In this blog article I share exactly where you can park and get ice cream to make the experience a little sweeter.

Step into the past and explore the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Wander through historic gardens, tour museum exhibits, and learn about the innovative legacies of these iconic figures.

Learn here everything you should know before visiting the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.

Edison & ford winter estates in fort myers florida

With this ultimate guide to the top things to do with kids in Southwest Florida, you're well-equipped to plan an unforgettable family vacation. From educational experiences to outdoor adventures, there's something for everyone in this sunny paradise.

I hope you have a fantastic time and enjoy your time in Southwest Florida.


Comments (5)

Oct 09, 2023

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Aug 22, 2023

I also got my cranberry hibiscus at Echo in Ft. Myers over 13 years ago and I love that they still pop up in my yard. I've been trying to find the exact macros this plant provides to your diet but all I ever come up with is info on either the tea or the flowers. I use the leaves in my salads daily when its growing fresh in my yard. I do prefer the smaller leaves for salad. Any additional info you may have is appreciated!



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Aug 16, 2023

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