Exciting Things To Get Out To See And Do In Fort Myers Beach For Fun With Kids
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Were currently snuggled inside, while the temperatures are subzero here in Michigan with a Polar Vortex going on outside. This has me particularly dreaming of warmer days of family fun in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.
For the past decade we have made it a tradition to spend a week every winter on Estero Island. We visit my dad who spends the winters as a snow bird there. It is a great little get away to break up the long winter months of the coldand from missing grandpa.
Since weve been there so often, weve gotten out and about to experience quite a lot of fun with the kids through the years. Following is a list of 25 fun family friendly activities within Fort Myers Beach.
Spend The Day At Sun Splash Waterpark
Southwest Floridas largest waterpark offers over 14 acres of attractions and fun. A massive lazy river flows around the park, while scream-worthy slides like, Cape Fear, a pitch black 215-foot tube slide, will invigorate your senses. Little ones can spend the day in Pirates Cover, an interactive water play zone featuring slides, water gushers, and geyser fountains. Sun Splash Waterpark offers lounge chairs free of charge, three different food venues, and cabana rentals. Its only 20 minutes outside of Fort Myers and well worth the trip.
Immerse Yourself In Fort Myers History
The rich history of Fort Myers, dating back to the 1880’s, can be experienced by a stroll within the sprawling grounds of the famous Edison and Ford Winter Estates located on McGregor Blvd in Fort Myers. These historic winter residences, spread over an area of 20 acres, showcase the vital contribution of these two innovative inventors to modern life and provide a valuable insight on the history of America.
Open to the general public since 1947, the grounds constitute large areas of gardens, a museum and the original 1928 Edison Botanical Research Laboratory. Visitors can enjoy snacks, a locally produced ice cream, and have access to some unique literature at the Ford Cottage Shoppe.
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Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve
Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve is located in nearby Cape Coral and offers a variety of activity options for outdoor and history-minded travelers.
For those interested in burning some calories and taking to the waterways, its possible to rent kayaks. If walking is more your speed, theres an elevated boardwalk leading to some stunning viewing areas overlooking the river.
The preserves entrance is behind a local mall, so its a bit off the beaten path, which means it doesnt get the tourist traffic that other attractions do.
Theres a poignant memorial to the soldiers who fought on Iwo Jima as well. Dont forget a good hat and sunglasses.
Explore The Islands Of Sanibel And Captiva
As popular destinations for the rich and famous for decades, this island duo boasts hotels, resorts, restaurants, shops, and activities, perfect for families and couples alike.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, the 15 miles of clear beach and 25 miles of bike paths are sure to delight, not to mention the fishing, shelling, bird watching, and golf options.
While wed recommend checking out both islands, if you can only choose one, Captiva is renowned for its serenity, while Sanibel offers a little more lively entertainment.
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Join A Ghost Walking Tour
While Fort Myers has a rich history, told passionately by local tour guides on walking tours, it also has a darker side a haunted side.
For all you horror fans, zombie lovers, and scare-seekers out there, a ghost tour through Fort Myers paranormal buildings and alleyways promises to be frightfully fantastic.
Keep in mind that a tip of a few dollars is expected on free walking tours .
Spend A Day At The Beach
Southwest Florida is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. We were excited to learn when we arrived that Fort Myers Beach is completely dog friendly and we had many sunset strolls with Kiwi here. However, we even more so enjoyed the Bonita Beach Dog Park, just south of Fort Myers Beach. This was a gorgeous area with warm, clear water and sugar sand. I definitely recommend checking out this area around Lovers Key State Park for some of the most pristine beaches. If you have time, Sanibel and Captiva Island have some excellent beaches within driving distance. Make sure to get to theses early before parking fills up though!
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What Can Toddlers Do In Fort Myers
If you have smaller children who are three years old or younger, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities in Southwest Florida for them to partake in as well. While hiking, water sports and the beach may not be ideal for toddlers, there are still plenty of things for them to do, too. If you live in Fort Myers or dont mind a bit of a drive, we recommend trying out the following:
- Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium
- Edison and Ford Winter Estates
These places are great for toddlers because there are tons of things to look at and learn about. There are interactive exhibits toddlers can participate in that will keep them stimulated. You can also spend all day at these places so your toddler will be entertained for hours. They are inside or mostly indoors, so you wont have to worry about your toddler being affected by the sun. It makes for a more comfortable experience in the warmer summer months, and its more enjoyable for both parents and kids.
The Edison and Ford Winter Estates has a museum that the younger kiddos will enjoy. Its also a treat to see how Thomas Edison and Henry Ford lived. The attraction does a fantastic job of preserving their homes, both inside and out. You really get a feel for who they were and how they spent their lives.
The IMAG History and Science center has over 50 exhibits, live animal encounter shows, a 3,200-gallon aquarium, a living lab with animals, a stingray touch tank and more.
Learn About Great Inventors At The Edison And Ford Winter Estates
For the history buffs out there, listen up.
The fully restored botanical laboratory at Edison and Ford is the actual place where Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone worked together!
Besides the incredible historical significance, the estates also offer a beautiful botanical garden and a 15,000-square-foot museum dedicated to the works of two of Americas most iconic inventors.
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Rev That Engine At The Muscle Car City Museum
Listen up, petrolheads: if you appreciate cars, this place is for you.
Filled with different vintage cars spanning the entire 20th and 21st century, the locally-adored Muscle Car City Museum showcases a range of cars as impressive and as diverse as any.
The collection spans from the 1902 Oldsmobile to the Hugger Orange 1969 COPO Camaro, 2020 Chevrolet Corvette coupe, and 1970 Oldsmobile 442, with plenty of memorabilia and souvenirs on offer too.
Fun Things To Do In Fort Myers Florida
Whether youre journeying down to the white sand beaches of Fort Myers for Spring Break, a family holiday, or just for a much-needed breath of fresh air, this blissful southwest Florida city can dish up an adventure sure to delight any and every kind of traveler with its buzzing nightlife, relaxing beaches, and everything in between.
From the deep-sea fishing charters to the pristine golf courses, charming Gulf Coast islands, and top-level shopping and dining opportunities, as youre about to see, youll be spoiled for choice when it comes to unique and fun things to do in Fort Myers, Florida.
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What Is There To Do In Southwest Florida For Kids
Weve already mentioned that the beach is one of the top kid-friendly things to do in Southwest Florida. Some of our favorite Southwest Florida beaches include:
- The Naples Pier
- Barefoot Beach Preserve in Bonita Springs
- Fort Myers Beach
- Bowmans Beach on Sanibel Island
- Turner Beach on Captiva Island
Get out and explore the regions natural beauty at one of the following:
- Six Mile Cyprus Slough Preserve
- J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
- Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
- Koreshan State Park
These are all excellent choices if you like being outdoors or if youre new to the area and you want to discover more about the place you now call home. People move to Southwest Florida from all over the country and the world. The beaches and the weather are some of the areas biggest draws.
After all, those two reasons are why many choose to vacation in Southwest Florida in the first place. However, the perk of living here is that you get to come home to your own space every night not a hotel where everything looks the same, or someone elses vacation rental home, where you dont quite know where everything is. Living here is almost like being on a staycation all year long. Many consider it paradise for a reason.
Map Of Things To Do In Fort Myers
How to Use This Map: Click on the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest.
If you click the star next to the title of the map, this will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps. Then click on the menu button, go to Your Place and click on Maps. You will see this map added to your list.
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Things To Do In North Port With Kids
North Port is growing like crazy! Lots of young families, and with that comes new playgrounds, events and other fun places to visit with kids. There are SO many fun playgrounds in North Port to choose from. Our favorite thing in this area, though, is the North Port Aquatic Center. Click the link below for a big list of things to do in North Port with kids.
The Shell Factory And Nature Park
From alligators to lemurs, The Shell Factory has over 400 animals in the nature park. The park also offers bumper boats, restaurants, 68,000 square feet of retail space, and a rainforest attraction. Admission rates are $13 for adults, $8 for kids aged 4-12, and free for kids 3 and under. Theres also a family annual pass if you think youll visit a few times.
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See An Everblades Ice Hockey Game
Ice hockey in Florida? Seems a little out of place, right? But the Florida Everblades are a professional hockey team affiliated with the NHLs Carolina Hurricanes. You can catch a game during the season which runs every year from October to April, with the Kelly Cup playoffs happening soon after. The Florida Everblades play in Hertz Arena in Estero, just 20 miles south of downtown Fort Myers.
And theres more than just hockey at Hertz Arena! Each hockey game features fun promotions and events, like painting the ice after a game, or bounce houses and face-painting artists at Saturday games.
Wander Around Times Square
The small but vibrant area by the sea offers a little something for everyone: from an array of restaurants and shops to more thrilling activities like parasailing and jet ski rentals.
Grab some ice cream at the Fat Royal scoop, take a stroll down Fort Myers Beach Pier and stop to appreciate the street performers, or grab a table at one of the areas revered restaurants and enjoy the near-permanent live music.
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Edison And Ford Winter Estates
Celebrated as the home of two American geniuses, Fort Myers most-visited historic attraction is the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. The riverside grounds hold the twin homes that inventor Thomas A. Edison built and Henry Fords place next door, plus the gardens Edison planted for his experiments, his laboratory, a museum and special kids programs. In the museum, the hands-on Smithsonian Spark!Lab appeals to families inventive nature. The popular guided tour costs $18 for ages 612, $25 for ages 1319, $30 adults.
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Mcgregor Boulevard Fort Myers Florida
The Grand Dame of roadways in Fort Myers is McGregor Boulevard. It represents some of the citys oldest and wealthiest communities. Thomas Edison and his wife, Mina began the beautification of McGregor Boulevard by importing palm trees to line the roadway. Today, there are over 1800 palm trees and other types of trees along the boulevard. Visitors will find restored buildings, quaint eateries, and botanical gardens with over 1,000 plants. Some of the homes on McGregor Boulevard could easily be featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, or on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. The 14-mile-long boulevard is opulently eye catching.
2350 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL, Phone: 239-334-7419
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Jn Ding National Wildlife Refuge
The JN Ding National Wildlife Refuge is part of Sanibel island but is well worth the beautiful drive out to the island. It is home to over 245 species of birds like ospreys, egrets, herons, pelicans and hawks. Bald eagles are also known to visit the area.
The refuge is a four-mile-long road that you can drive, walk or bike through. There is also a guided tram tour as well. We drove through the preserve and stopped at multiple points throughout the park.
We recommend stopping at the visitors center to get an idea of how to spend your time in the preserve. Tell the rangers how much time you have, and they will help you with your itinerary including where you are most likely to see the alligators.
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Explore The Beaches Near Fort Myers
Any trip to Fort Myers wouldnt be complete without experiencing some beach time. And let us just say that the beaches near Fort Myers are some of the best in Florida Sanibel beaches, Fort Myers Beach, and Lovers Key are all right here! The seven mile coastline along Ft. Myers Beach alone provides ample space for beach enthusiasts to enjoy some quality time on some of the best beaches in Southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico.
Due to its unique location on Estero Island, the waters around Fort Myers Beach are calm and warm and offer plenty for visitors to enjoy, especially water related activities like kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, jet skiing, and parasailing. On the shore, there are plenty of spots on Fort Myers Beach to hang out and relax on the famed sugary sand.
Fresh Florida seafood is served in many restaurants or funky beach shacks. In fact, the annual Shrimp Festival held in March makes Fort Myers a paradise for both beach goers and foodies.
The tranquil waters off Lovers Key Beach near Fort Myers
Become A Savvy Seashell Collector
Fort Myers Beach offers terrific shelling, particularly on the southern half of the island. Start on the beach side of Strandview Avenue and begin walking south along the beach. The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum in Sanibel also offers guided beach walk, with experts who can help you identify your discoveries. Note that Florida state laws prohibit collecting live creatures, which include live shells, sand dollars, and starfish.
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Take A Shelling And Dolphin Boat Tour
The Fort Myers is known for having tons of stunning seashells, but they can still be hard to find if you donât get to the beach early. An even better way to find some is to take a shelling cruise with Adventures in Paradise to an island that can only be reached by boat! Here, you take a boat tour where you can spot dolphins, manatees and turtles to an island that you get to walk around and explore for the day! They offer a variety of tour options, so check it out for the ultimate Fort Myers Beach attraction.