Whether you’re planning a vacation to Southwest Florida or you’re lucky enough to live here year-round, the area is an excellent place for families. You can keep kids of all ages entertained and happy by visiting some of these popular sites.
Naples Zoo – Naples
Wild fun abounds at the Naples Zoo, and your family can explore botanical gardens, take a boat ride and more when you spend a day at this nonprofit facility. It’s been named one of the best places to take kids in the area, and you can make your day even more special by participating in some of the zoo’s special activities. Experience the thrill of feeding a giraffe or take a family camel ride!
Golisano Children’s Museum – Naples
This fun-filled museum was created just for children, so your kids are sure to have a blast exploring and touching everything in site! Special exhibits are brought into to the museum regularly, and you can also explore standing exhibits like Build It, a Produce Market and an Art Studio. The Golisano Children’s Museum is a great place to learn more about Florida, especially in the Journey Through the Everglades Area.
Edison and Ford Winter Estates – Fort Myers
The gorgeous Edison and Ford Winter Estates will impress your entire family. Learn about the history of old Florida by touring over 20 acres of historic buildings, beautiful gardens and more. The Edison Ford Museum is a wonderful place to learn while having fun, and you can snap some beautiful family photos in one of the property’s numerous, well-kept gardens.
If your children or teens are especially interested in history and science, consider signing them up for one of the estate’s many educational programs. These offer an in-depth look at the property and a detailed look back at Edison’s discoveries.
One of the most popular family-friendly attractions in the area is the impressive Imaginarium Hands-On Museum and Aquarium. You might find that you need even more than one day to explore everything this facility has to offer. Families can take in a 3D science-based movie, conquer the Hurricane Experience and even try to forecast the upcoming weather.
The Imaginarium includes an aquarium, and the hands-on fun doesn’t stop when you see marine life. Three marine touch tanks allow you to get up close and personal with sea creatures, and the outdoor Lagoon allows further exploration in the fresh air. A special Tiny Town area is perfect for the youngest Imaginarium guests.
Sun Splash–Cape Coral
If you’re feeling hot, the Sun Splash Family Waterpark is the perfect location to cool off! The park includes over 14 acres of water slides, pools and other wet fun, and there’s something available for everyone from toddlers through adults. Your bravest family members can try to tackle Cape Fear, a slide that takes riders over 200 feet through darkened tubes.
Lake Trafford Airboat Tours–Immokalee
One of the area’s most unique attractions is Lake Trafford Airboat Tours. There’s nothing quite like riding on an airboat, and these tours allow visitors to explore over 1500 acres of natural Florida beauty. If you want to do some fishing during your stay, head to the Lake Trafford Marina to purchase supplies and acquire your fishing license.
During your airboat tour, you’ll see plenty of local plants and animals. Snap a picture of a crocodile, gaze at gorgeous native birds or sit back and enjoy the lush vegetation. Even though Lake Trafford is located just minutes from I-75, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world as you explore its untouched beauty.
The Dolphin Explorer–Naples and Marco Island
It’s not hard to love dolphins, and seeing some of these beautiful, playful creatures in person is an experience that can’t be missed. Book an eco-tour with The Dolphin Explorer to see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.
You’re sure to enjoy your relaxing trip on a beautiful catamaran, and your experienced guide will provide information about the area’s sea creatures and point out dolphins when they swim near your boat. Complimentary beverages are included with every boat tour, and you can sit in both sunny or shady areas as you head out to sea.
Jumping Jacks Fun Zone–Fort Myers
If you’re stuck inside on a rainy Florida day, you don’t have to abandon your plans for fun. Jumping Jacks Fun Zone is the perfect place to escape stormy weather. This indoor play area offers a variety of huge inflatables, climbing structures and bounce houses. Your kids can challenge each other in the obstacle courses, try out the circle cycles or unwind in the video game area. A special toddler area is available for your little ones.
Fossil Expeditions–Lehigh Acres
Everyone ages five and older will love taking a step back in time at Fossil Expeditions. Let your little adventurers find something they’ll never forget by searching for fossils in a fun and safe environment. Guides are available to assist you in your search, and you can also view an impressive collection of fossils found by professionals and other searchers.
No list of things to do in Southwest Florida can be complete without mentioning the area’s incredible beaches. Whether you’re traveling with toddlers or teenagers, the beach is one of the few locations that truly offers something for everyone. Your littlest family members can make sandcastles while the older kids and teens play beach volleyball, and everyone loves cooling off in the ocean on a hot Florida summer day. When you’re visiting southwest Florida, you’re never far from an incredible beach!
Although this list provides enough ideas to keep you busy for weeks, there are still many other wonderful places to explore in Southwest Florida. If you’re visiting us, we hope you’ll plan more trips to discover new adventures. If you’re a Florida resident, don’t forget to schedule time for family fun as you enjoy all that your home has to offer.