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Family-Friendly Activities To Do In Naples

Naples, Florida, is not just a haven for retirees and beach lovers; it also offers many family-friendly activities, making it an ideal destination for visitors of all ages. Known for its stunning beaches, upscale shopping, and vibrant arts scene, Naples provides a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment for families. In this article, we’ll explore various things to do in Naples Florida, as a family, ensuring an unforgettable experience for parents and children alike.

Family-Friendly Activities To Do In Naples
In this article, we’ll explore various things to do in Naples Florida, as a family, ensuring an unforgettable experience for parents and children alike.

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Naples Zoo 

For an educational and entertaining experience, families can visit the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens. Home to a diverse range of animals from around the world, this zoo emphasizes conservation and wildlife education. Children can enjoy interactive exhibits, feed giraffes, and even take a boat cruise through islands inhabited by monkeys and lemurs. 

The lush botanical gardens surrounding the zoo add a layer of beauty to the visit. With its unique blend of botanical beauty and conservation initiatives, the Naples Zoo offers a memorable adventure for families, wildlife enthusiasts, and those seeking a deeper understanding of our planet’s diverse ecosystems.

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Encompassing over 110,000 acres of pristine mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and diverse coastal ecosystems, Rookery Bay serves as a living laboratory for scientific research, environmental education, and the protection of one of the world’s most productive and biologically rich estuarine environments. 

There’s also a 2,300-gallon aquarium, a touch tank, and stroller-accessible hiking trails. Boat and kayak tours are available, too. Beyond its ecological significance, Rookery Bay is also intertwined with human history. The reserve strives to preserve cultural heritage sites, including Calusa Indian shell mounds and historic pioneer-era structures. 

📖 Recommended Reading: If you’re looking for more useful information, check out Top Waterfront Destinations in Florida.

Naples Botanical Garden

At this floral wonderland, guests can stroll through 170 acres of tropical vegetation. Spread across 170 acres, this horticultural paradise offers a captivating blend of themed gardens, vibrant landscapes, and educational experiences. A highlight of the Naples Botanical Garden is the Smith Usonian House and the adjacent Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja Visitor Center. 

The Butterfly House, a part of the visitor center, provides a captivating experience as visitors walk through a screened enclosure filled with vibrant butterflies. Kids especially enjoy the butterfly house and the David Byron Smith Children’s Garden.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center

This nature center, set on 21 acres just south of the Naples Zoo, serves as a gateway to the pristine habitats of Southwest Florida, offering visitors a chance to connect with nature, learn about environmental stewardship, and witness the region’s rich biodiversity firsthand. 

It also includes interactive exhibits on Florida’s ecosystems, birding, electric boat tours, and even a sea turtle exhibit. There’s an electric boat tour along the Gordon River, which is a unique way to explore the waterways surrounding the nature center. 

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The Golisano Children’s Museum

For hands-on indoor fun, the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, affectionately known as C’mon, is a safe bet for children of all ages. This imaginative museum goes beyond traditional exhibits, offering a hands-on experience that sparks curiosity, fosters creativity, and encourages a love for learning. It provides a truly playful and enriching experience, from innovative exhibits to engaging programs. 

This two-story, 30,000-square-foot museum inspires learning through play, teamwork, and imagination. The first of its kind in Southwest Florida, the museum is filled with non-stop brain games and interactive exhibits, including an Everglades-themed maze and a “Build It!” station for mindful creations.

Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Journey into the heart of the Everglades at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Kids will delight at the sight of otters, white-tailed deer, and red-bellied turtles as they stroll along Corkscrew’s 2.5-mile boardwalk through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, a marsh, and finally, into the largest old-growth bald cypress forest in North America. 

You can take on the adventure as a family or take a complimentary guided tour. If you have a particular nature lover, there are numerous specialty tours, including an early morning bird walk or an ancient forest walking tour.

Family-Friendly Activities To Do In Naples
Journey into the heart of the Everglades at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary take on the adventure as a family or take a complimentary guided tour.

Gordon River Greenway

The Gordon River Greenway spans over 140 acres, providing a green lung for Naples residents and a haven for nature enthusiasts. This green space allows visitors to escape city life’s hustle and bustle without venturing too far from its conveniences. Its central location makes it easily accessible, inviting individuals and families to explore its trails, boardwalks, and observation points. 

The Greenway boasts a network of paved and unpaved trails that wind through various habitats, creating an immersive experience for hikers, bikers, and joggers alike. One of the highlights of the Gordon River Greenway is the opportunity to observe Florida’s native wildlife in its natural habitat. The Greenway is home to various bird species, including herons, egrets, and ospreys. 

IMAG History & Science Center

Formerly known as the Imaginarium Science Center, this dynamic facility has evolved into a comprehensive center that seamlessly integrates history and science, offering visitors of all ages an immersive journey into the marvels of our world. 

Each exhibit, from physics and engineering to biology and environmental science, is designed to captivate the imagination and ignite a passion for learning. IMAG caters to a diverse audience, offering hands-on learning experiences for visitors of all ages. This is one of the best places in Naples, Florida, to indulge in something educational while having fun. 

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Naples Train Museum

The Naples Train Museum offers a nostalgic voyage back in time, where the rhythmic chug of locomotives and the echo of train whistles evoke the golden era of rail travel. The Naples Train Museum displays an impressive collection of historic trains and rolling stock, providing a glimpse into the evolution of rail transportation. You can see steam locomotives that once powered the industrial revolution and sleek diesel engines that revolutionized travel. 

The museum’s exhibits narrate the story of how trains shaped the evolution of America. The museum occasionally offers train rides, allowing visitors to feel the clickety-clack of the tracks. Guided tours are also available that provide valuable insights into the technological advancements and cultural impact of trains over the years.

Clam Pass Park

Clam Pass Park is a coastal park offering visitors a perfect blend of sun-soaked beaches, diverse ecosystems, and recreational opportunities, making it a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. It has a vast expanse of powdery white sand stretches along the Gulf Coast. Visitors are greeted by the gentle sound of waves, warm sea breezes, and the breathtaking sight of the Gulf’s azure waters. 

The beach is ideal for sunbathing, picnicking, and enjoying the serene beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. Here, you can rent chairs and umbrellas and explore the waters by renting kayaks. The park also features picnic areas with grills, making it ideal for a beachside barbecue or family gathering.

Cambier Park

This pristine park, named after city founder Walter N. Haldeman’s wife, Juliet Cambier, provides a green oasis where locals and visitors alike can unwind, engage in recreational activities, and partake in community events. 

The park offers a serene backdrop for relaxation, family picnics, and strolls. Throughout the year, Cambier Park hosts seasonal festivities and events that capture the spirit of the Naples community. So, if you are lucky enough, you can enquire about the events and join one during your visit.

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

Often referred to as the “Amazon of North America,” this expansive preserve offers a glimpse into the rich biodiversity of the region housing one of the most significant collections of orchid species in North America. The park boasts over 40 native orchid species, including the elusive ghost orchid. 

The park has an extensive list of bird species, including herons, egrets, hawks, and the elusive limpkin. Reptiles, like alligators and snakes, inhabit the wetlands, while mammals like river otters and Florida panthers call the preserve home. It’s the biggest state park in Florida, where families love to go with their kids.

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is the the biggest state park in Florida, where families love to go with their kids.

Get Ready To Explore The Family-Friendly Side Of Naples!

In short, Naples, Florida, is not just for beach lovers but also an excellent place for families with lots of different things to do. You can explore the beaches, nature, and history, learn, and have fun at Naples. Naples truly has something for everyone in the family to enjoy!

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Last Updated on March 4, 2024

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