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The Ten Most Family-Friendly Attractions in Naples, FL

naples-zoo-giraffe-feeding

Naples is a very family-friendly destination. At first glance, one wouldn’t think so, because of all the luxurious things to see and do, the shopping, and the fine dining.

However, Naples has a lot of great things for the entire family to do; attractions that will appeal to kids and their parents alike.

Here is our list of the ten most family-friendly attractions in Naples, FL.

1. Golisano Children’s Museum – Founded in 2002, the Golisano Children’s Museum has interactive exhibits for children of all ages. The interactive exhibits help to teach children about art, culture, where produce comes from, the ecosystem of the Everglades and Florida beaches, basic science and math concepts and more! For more information on these and upcoming events, please visit their website at www.cmon.org.

2. Naples Zoo- Originally called the Caribbean Gardens, the Naples Zoo has been a major site in Naples for almost 95 years, first as a botanical garden, and then as a zoo. This is a great place for the entire family to see animals from around the world, and also some local animals as well! In addition to several animal exhibits for reptiles, mammals and birds, there are several family programs where children can meet some of the animals, in addition to the onsite botanical exhibits.

The zoo also holds several events throughout the year, like “Boo in the Zoo,” which will allow kids the chance to trick or treat at the zoo, visitors to visit the zoo half-price, and have special activities for the kids related to the resident animals and Halloween. For more information, please visit their website at www.napleszoo.org.

3. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary- Corkscrew prides itself as a family-friendly destination. Its boardwalk is a wonderful place for the entire family to see local animals, including a family of alligators, a family of owls, a family of otters, and a family of enhingas. In addition to the boardwalk, they often have kid-friendly activities during their “Corkscrew After Hours” program, which is held after normal business hours once a month.

Child-friendly activities include face paintings, art projects, special guests like artists and writers who will talk to the children about their craft and share their work with them, and simple science experiments. For more information on Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, please visit their website at www.corkscrew.audubon.org.

4. Naples Botanical Gardens- The Naples Botanical Gardens are not only an educational attraction or a nice place to take a relaxing stroll, but is also a great place to take the kids to. The Naples Botanical Gardens has a special kid-friendly area called the W.O.N.D.E.R Garden. What makes this garden special is that it has activities for children that fall under a specific, monthly theme.

The W.O.N.D.E.R. Garden also has an interactive butterfly garden, herb garden and vegetable garden that volunteers at Naples Botanical Gardens will gladly help to show and teach children about how their food grows and about the life cycle and types of butterflies. For more information, please visit their website at https://www.naplesgarden.org/education/children-and-families/w-o-n-d-e-r/.

5. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida- The Nature Center has a lot of activities that are extremely family friendly. These activities include the interactive exhibits at the Dalton Discovery Center, Little Explorers, the Jr. Vet Lab and the hospital exhibits, the Shorebird Rehab Pool and the Sustainability Courtyard Exhibits. In addition to the Nature Center, the Conservancy has several nature trails, onsite guided boat tours, and kayak rentals that the whole family can explore and enjoy the natural surroundings and search for local fawn and fauna.

The Conservancy also owns Smith Preserve and the Shotwell Wavering Filter Marsh, which might be of interest to the family that loves the outdoors and is looking for educational experiences for the kids. For more information, please visit their website at www.conservancy.org.

6. Collier County Museum- If you are determined to make sure your kids do something educational while you are on vacation, the Collier County Museum is just the place to take them. Even though it is a history museum, this museum has very interactive exhibits that are fun, concise, yet are detailed and informative enough to teach the entire family a little bit about Southwest Florida history.

In addition to the indoor exhibits, you can take the family outside to see the outdoor exhibits, which include an old train, an old tour boat, and replicas of traditional Seminole and Calusa villages and homes. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.colliermuseums.com/locations/collier_museum

7. Naples Depot- This is a museum connected to the Collier County Museum system that focuses strictly on the history of Naples. The reason why this is included on our list is because it has a collection of trains, automobiles and locomotive related memorabilia that will peak any child’s interest in trains and automobiles.

Additionally, this museum and the Naples Train Museum that it shares the property with, has special events on Saturdays where children can take train rides and do activities related to trains. To learn more about this museum and its child friendly events, please visit their website at http://www.colliermuseums.com/locations/naples_depot

8. Naples Pier and Naples Municipal Beach- Naples Pier is a great location for the entire family, because of the multitude of opportunities available for people of all ages and interests. For example, one of the parents can take the kids fishing off the pier while other family members can sunbathe somewhere nearby on Naples Municipal Beach. Maybe the whole family wants to fish off the pier, or use the pier to look for dolphins and pelicans.

With Naples Pier’s location along Naples Municipal Beach, the whole family can spend the entire day either fishing, dolphin and bird watching, go swimming, collect shells, sun bathe, or enjoy water sports like jet skiing, parasailing, paddle boarding and/or kayaking. For more information, please visit http://www.naplespier.com/ or http://www.naplesgov.com/index.aspx?nid=340

9. Delnor-Wiggens Pass State Park- Another beach located in Naples, Delnor-Wiggens State Park is great place to take the entire family out for some fun in the sun. This is a popular spot for those who want to go snorkeling, bird watching and dolphin watching, sunbathe, hiking, picnicking, and searching for sea shells. Furthermore, it is a popular spot for kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing.

If you can’t bring your own paddle board, kayak or canoe, you can rent or take a tour with Naples Beach Adventures, which has a concessionaire onsite. For more information, please visit the state park website at https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Delnor-Wiggins or to learn more about Naples Beach Adventures, visit http://www.naplesbeachadventures.com/.

10. Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center- This is another great place to take the kids to show them some great local nature and also a great chance for them to learn more about ecology and biology. The learning center offers daily themed programs where visitors of all ages can learn about different animals in the estuary.

There is also a touch tank where visitors can actually touch and see some of the animals on display. There are also guided boat and kayak tours, camping opportunities, and it is a great place to see birds, collect shells, go fishing, take photographs, and launch a kayak or boat. For more information, please visit their website at www.rookerybay.org.

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