Naples offers many fun activities to do with children of all ages. Indoor kids' activities include things like unique children’s museums and interactive learning centers, while outdoor family activities range from zoos and ecotours to water parks, beaches, and botanical gardens. There are also tons of beautiful preserves, parks, and sanctuaries where kids can connect with nature and learn about wildlife conservation. Learn about some of the best things to do in Naples with kids.
1. See a Florida panther at the Naples Zoo
At the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, you’ll find birds, mammals, reptiles, and other unique creatures in a lush, tropical garden setting. You can hop aboard the Primate Expedition, feed lettuce to giraffes, and enjoy engaging programming and animal feedings. You’ll also learn about some of the region’s diverse local wildlife, like the Florida panther.
2. Splash and swim at Sun-N-Fun Lagoon
Sun-N-Fun Lagoon is a great place for kids and families to cool off from Florida's sometimes-scorching temperatures. Ticket prices are budget-friendly, and this water park offers a ton of options, from 4 different pools and multiple waterslides to a long lazy river. There’s also a big splash pad playground and an area for toddlers. Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible lifts are available in several of the park’s pools and in the lazy river.
3. Imagine what you can be at the Children’s Museum of Naples
The Children’s Museum of Naples is a 2-story interactive play space for kids 14 and under. Immersive exhibits include a vet clinic for stuffed animals, an invention lab, a child-size market and cafe, and a playground within a banyan tree. The museum hosts a sensory-friendly night once a month for children with autism, physical disabilities, or neurological disabilities.
4. Join a dolphin research team on the Dolphin Explorer
On this unique ecotour, you’ll join naturalists on the Dolphin Explorer to assist in a research study known as the 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project. You’ll spot dolphins, collect data, and help perform tasks as you learn about the bottlenose dolphins in Southwest Florida. Make sure you book advance reservations for this engaging 3-hour cruise.
5. Explore interactive gardens at Naples Botanical Garden
Naples Botanical Garden is an oasis of tropical plants and themed gardens spanning 170 acres. A favorite spot for kids is the Children’s Garden, an interactive world where you can pretend to be a bug and explore a giant river of grass, play in water fountains, or explore a hidden garden. Naples Botanical Garden is also a certified autism-friendly venue and offers inclusive resources. You can find more information on their website.
6. Eat homemade ice cream in Tin City
Tin City is a quaint series of historic waterfront shops, boutiques, and local dining. Stop by Tin City Magic for some vintage nostalgia where you can watch magicians perform fun tricks, plus shop for your own magic, puzzles, games, and gag gifts. Grab some homemade ice cream in a freshly baked waffle cone at M & M's Cafe, and enjoy your sweet treats out by the waterfront.
7. Connect with nature at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a great place to help kids connect with nature and learn about conservation. In the Discovery Center, you’ll find tons of interactive exhibits and galleries with hands-on learning and get close to wildlife. Kids especially love visiting the animal patients at the Wildlife Hospital and taking a peek into the wildlife nursery to see the tiny youngsters being cared for.
8. Watch a sunset on Naples Pier
Naples Pier is known to be a great spot for fishing, dolphin-spotting, and bird-watching, plus fantastic ocean views. You can grab a snack at the concession stand and enjoy a shady eating area on the pier or on the beach below. Make sure you stay for one of the famous Gulf of Mexico sunsets, as the views from the pier are especially beautiful.
9. Go on a Manatee Eco-Tour
With Manatee Eco-Tours, you’ll go on a 90-minute eco-adventure into the Everglades to observe gentle manatees in their natural habitat. You may also see other wildlife on your tours like dolphins, turtles, sharks, and alligators. This is a low-speed cruise across calm waters, suitable for any age, and boats are also ADA-accessible for wheelchairs.
10. Build sandcastles and hunt for shells on Naples beaches
Naples, FL, has a ton of beaches that are great for kids’ activities and family-friendly fun. These beaches are known for their soft, white sands and beautiful Gulf of Mexico waters. Some of the area's best include Lowdermilk Beach Park, Naples Municipal Beach and Pier, Tigertail Beach on Marco Island, and Clam Pass Beach Park. All of these beaches have various facilities nearby that make them great for families.
11. See rare cars at Revs Institute
If you have a kid who loves cars, you’ll definitely want to check out Revs Institute. Revs is a working museum and library focused on the preservation and conservation of historically significant automobiles. Regarded as one of the best automotive museums in the world, Revs has an extensive collection that includes a wide range of rare automobiles, historical exhibits, and a large automotive research library.
12. Look for alligators at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
At the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, you’ll journey into the lush Everglades ecosystem on a scenic 2.5-mile boardwalk trail. Among the trees, wet prairies, and marshes you may spot local wildlife including alligators, otters, deer, turtles, and a wide variety of birds. Plan on bringing water, bug spray, and binoculars if you have them. The entire boardwalk is stroller-friendly and wheelchair-accessible, and the sanctuary requests that quiet voices are maintained on the boardwalk.
13. Take a mini train ride at the Naples Train Museum
You don’t have to be obsessed with trains to visit the Naples Train Museum, as their multi-level miniature railroad displays are fascinating enough to capture anyone’s imagination. You can learn about railway history, take a peek at the vintage and antique models on the Wall of Trains, and explore the diverse mini-landscape of train tracks. Each layout has activities and buttons so you can interact in various ways with the trains as they chug along the tracks. Outside the museum, you even can ride a miniature train around the building.
14. Learn local history at the Naples Depot Museum
The Naples Depot Museum is housed in a restored railway passenger station and explores the region's history through centuries of development. Interactive exhibits include Seminole dugout canoes, an old-fashioned mule wagon, an antique swamp buggy, and restored antique rail cars.
15. See local wildlife at Rookery Bay
At the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, you’ll learn about the area’s natural ecosystems through aquariums, hands-on experiences and interactive exhibits, and an art gallery. In the surrounding Rookery Bay Reserve, you can explore nature trails, look for shells on the beach, kayak, fish, and go geocaching.