Southwest Florida has a lot to offer tourists in terms of shopping, dining, and activities for the retired population. It may surprise you to learn that there are a variety of exciting activities for young families around the area.
Spend a Day at Estero Park
You won’t believe how much fun this is for kids in Southwest Florida, and it’s totally free! Enjoy a day at the park by grilling or packing a picnic basket and warming up on the BBQ grills. Estero Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the world.
Lee County Parks and Recreation administers the Estero Community Park and Recreation Center, which consists of 55 acres of land.
In this park, you will find:
• four lakes
• two bocce courts
• 12 horseshoe pits
• Outdoor amphitheater
• three sand volleyball courts
• 5K cross country course
• Shelters of varying sizes
• State-of-the-art childrenʼs play area
An additional 40,000 square feet of extra space is also located within the park. The gymnasium here has three basketball courts and four volleyball courts, which can be used as needed. A fitness center and locker rooms are also available, along with a computer lab, a game room, a teen center, and an art studio. In spite of the abundance of outdoor activities on offer, you may want to take a break from the heat and enroll in a class or program at a recreation center. Whether you are looking for art classes for adults, toddler programs, or wellness classes for children, there is something for everyone. You may also want to consider sports leagues and a number of children’s programs if you live in the area.
Take advantage of the Imaginarium’s hands-on activities
It’s sometimes the perfect weather for indoor activities in the air conditioning on hot Florida days. In the Imaginarium, kids and adults can enjoy a variety of fun, educational, and entertaining activities, all at a low cost!
With hands-on experiences, your children (and you) can try everything at the museum! There is no shortage of activities at the Imaginarium to keep everyone occupied for hours. Among them are:
• Play with Legos, K*nex, and other building blocks
• Explore the wonders of energy and motion
• Learn about and “Touch” electricity
The Imaginarium has an exhibit where you can watch a machine shoot your shadow onto a bright green wall. Put on a funny pose or do a handstand while letting the magic work. Your shadows will remain on the wall even when you step away from it. All these cool and fun factors make this place a perfect destination for families.
Naples Botanical Garden
The Naples Botanical Garden is a wonderful place to see the beauty of Florida’s nature if you want to relax and unwind. This garden includes a special children’s area called the “Smith Children’s Garden.” It offers children a chance to experience some of Florida’s habitats on land and in the sea. It offers hands-on experiences such as climbing a treehouse, making chalk artwork, and crawling through river grass from a spider’s perspective.
With Naples Cyclery, you can keep your kids active and still explore Naples at the same time. There are several bicycles to rent, including tricycles, four-person bikes, and bicycles with carts, so you can choose the one that is best suited to your family. You can rent a helmet for your family members for free when you rent a vehicle. It is a great activity to perform with your children and spend a cheerful and active day with them. It provides you and your family members to live the best day without paying attention to their phones or other devices.
Discover the shores of Sanibel and Captiva
Family time is the best way to spend a day together. Explore the beautiful islands of Sanibel and Captiva, Southwest Florida’s own natural oasis. Thousands of visitors come to Sanibel and Captiva each year to experience island life. The islands of Captiva and Sanibel are known for their charm. Several quaint restaurants are scattered around the islands, offering a variety of cuisines and atmospheres ranging from casual and beachy to upscale and elegant. Enjoy kayaking or nature walks while inspecting an abundance of wildlife or browsing the island’s shops and galleries. These rules contribute to the charm of Sanibel and Captiva by keeping the natural feel of the islands.
The tallest palm tree is the limit of the height of a structure, and neon lights are not allowed! Visit the famous Sanibel lighthouse located on the eastern tip of the island if you want to explore the shorelines of the island. A harsh weather blow caused the light to become automated in 1963, nearly 100 years after it was built and manned in 1884. There is no other beach in southwest Florida that offers such a unique view in working conditions. Enjoy the fantastic shelling you will find as you stroll the island shores. Shells are easy to find and can be added to your collection in a variety of ways.
An exciting day at the Naples zoo
You might want to take your kids to the Naples Zoo if they are animal lovers. A great non-profit zoo that is located off Goodlette-Frank Road is the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens in southwest Florida. The Gulfshore Life Magazine has rated this attraction as one of the best places to take kids. Ticket sales close at 4 p.m., and the zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prices vary depending on your age and where you live. Tickets are often available at special prices or at a discount.
Your children will love seeing kangaroos, bears, lions, monkeys, lemurs, apes, and bears at the zoo! There is even the possibility of feeding the giraffes if you are an adventurous child. Starting early and bringing a stroller for young children is a good idea since the zoo’s path is nearly a mile long. Zoological exhibits and shows are always happening at the zoo. It’s also a popular place for children to watch snake handlers, see alligators being fed, watch zookeepers at work, and take a Primate Expedition through monkey enclosures, lemur enclosures, and ape enclosures.
There is also a tranquil setting overlooking the water where you can relax. A total of 52 acres of grounds are available for your enjoyment. There is plenty of shade under the canopy of tropical foliage in the northern tropical gardens, which are an excellent place for parents and children to hide from the sun. There is a stroller rental service, a baby changing area, and restrooms for families at the Naples Zoo. Food can be brought from home, or you can eat at Subway, the Jungle Café, or the Safari Café. The zoo will surely make a lasting impression on both parents and children! Having fun while learning new skills is something kids don’t even realize when they’re having fun.
Discover Nature at the Six Mile Cypress Slough
Several native Florida plants and animals can be found at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, a wetland park. This is an official Lee County park and a protected area. In Fort Myers, the slough can be found off Six Mile Cypress Parkway. Park hours are from dawn to dusk seven days a week.
It is possible to lead your children on guided walks, or you can explore the trail on your own. There is just over a mile to walk, so prepare ahead by bringing water, wipes, and anything else you might need along the way. It is important to be as quiet as possible when walking through the slough in hopes of seeing animals.
You should walk slowly and take frequent rest breaks just to look at nature. Don’t be afraid to look underneath leaves and rocks for animals hiding there! Make sure you are watching for any movement and paying attention to all directions. Look out for surprises by taking binoculars and using the particular seating areas. There are many native plants to enjoy even when you’re noisy.
There are hundreds of plants growing in the slough, which has 2,500 acres. Depending on the elevation, soil type, and water depth, every area has different kinds of trees and shrubs. The park’s front desk will have a guide that can help you identify the various zones, such as Pine Flatwoods, Hardwood Transition, Flag Pond, Hammock, and Cypress Slough. The slough will also look different throughout the year, depending on the season. The slough seems like an actual swamp when there is lots of water in it during the rainy season.
The Southwest Florida region is full of exciting activities. With so many activities to enjoy with your family in Siesta Key to the fun attractions in Naples and everywhere in between, you will be sure to have a great time. It’s the perfect place to visit, live, and vacation! We love this area so much.
Southwest Florida has a variety of great places to visit and kid-friendly restaurants for your family to enjoy.