Tim Cranch wearing blue shirt

Tim Cranch

Ellie Penaranda

Naples, Florida is Kid Friendly!

Although known as a playground for adults, there are plenty of opportunities for kids to keep busy in Naples. Below, you’ll find a list with ideas to keep the children active and interested. Naples is kid friendly year ’round and the greatest place on Earth for outdoor activities. I can hear my mother now, “Go play outside!”

  1. Take the kids to the new Golisano Childrens Museum of Naples in the North Collier Regional Park on Livingston Road.
  2. Go to the Naples Zoo. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful zoo here with rare honey badgers being the newest addition.
  3. Enjoy the waterpark, Sun-n-Fun Lagoon, at the North Collier County Regional Park.
  4. City of Naples is skate board friendly at The Edge Johnny Nocera Skate Park. It is located within Fleischmann Park – check out the website for rules, regulations, hours for bike and skate sessions and cost. The skate park is over 40,000 square feet with a combination of wood and concrete ramp structures.
  5. Take an excursion in the Everglades. Go on an airboat ride. See alligators in their natural habitat.
  6. Visit the Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs.
  7. Manatee Park in Fort Myers offers close up viewing of these sea elephants.
  8. Take a road trip to the Edison & Ford Estates in Fort Myers.
  9. Rent bicycles or a four- to six-seater surrey at Naples Cyclery. Ask for Peter Marsh at the bike shop and tell him that Tim & Ellie sent you. We are blessed with lots of safe bike paths for the whole family to pedal their way around and explore Naples.
  10. Go to the Farmers Market at Third Street South on Saturday morning. This is pet friendly, too.
  11. Watch the Florida Everblades play hockey at Germain Arena.
  12. On weekend evenings, the Skeletal Pirate provides street entertainment in Times Square of Fort Myers Beach. This is worth the drive. Visit his FaceBook page.
  13. Be brave and take the children to the Swamp Buggy Races.
  14. Check out Dog Beach on a weekend day. Even if you don’t have a dog yourself, this is great family entertainment (and it’s free). Check out the video in the lower right-hand corner of the home page of this website for a sample of the action at Dog Beach and read the post under the beach category.
  15. Collier County Veterans Community Park has a lot of kids activities and programs. Click on the list of programs for the latest offerings.
  16. Enjoy a scenic cruise on the Naples Princess.
  17. Check out the Collier County Museums at www.CollierMuseums.com including the Naples Depot.
  18. The Royal Scoop on Vanderbilt Drive for the world’s best ice cream (get on their mailing list – they have several special & free events for kids).
  19. Baseball spring training for the Boston Red Sox or the Minnesota Twins is in nearby Fort Myers.
  20. There are a number of playgrounds in County Parks. There’s one at the intersection of Vanderbilt Drive and Wiggins Pass Road which is well equipped and never so busy that parking or too many kids is ever a problem.
  21. Minor league baseball games in Fort Myers (great mascots & very family oriented atmosphere). Check out the Fort Myers Miracle.
  22. Another great park in the Collier County system is Sugden Park which has a a fresh water beach on Lake Avalon. Rent paddle boats or take lessons to sail or water ski.
  23. Walk the Naples Pier – there is always interesting things going on with people fishing, kids skim boarding, beach volleyball and lots of action. Never a dull moment if you like people watching. Go there early in the morning to watch the dolphins feeding for breakfast.
  24. Go to the “IMAG History & Science Center” in Fort Myers.
  25. Water activities are obvious for kids while in Naples. Depending on the ages, those activities range from just hanging out at the beach to renting jet skis, renting a stand-up paddle board, going fishing, renting kayaks, going on a guided excursion or participating in a nature walk at Barefoot Beach or Lovers Key State Park in neighboring Lee County.
  26. Take the tourist trolley around Naples for some sightseeing. You can get on and off during the route as you like.
  27. We love our fireworks in Naples and there are great fireworks displays from The Pier on both the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. Take a seat on the beach.
  28. Go on a Segway tour of Naples at Segway of Naples.
  29. Take the kids to the Collier County Fair in March.
  30. Go on the Pirate Cruise out of the marina in Fort Myers Beach. It’s an interactive excursion on a recreation of a pirate ship.
  31. If the beach is part of the program, then follow the lead of local kids and include Clam Pass Park. This county park is not just family friendly, but it’s adult friendly, too. A special arrangement with the Waldorf Astoria combines the parkland with the rental concession and the food service operated by the hotel. This means full food service at the beach including a more extensive menu and alcoholic beverage service. You can walk from the parking lot along the boardwalk through the mangrove to the beach, but there is a fun and free tram ride, too.
  32. Charter the Captain Marvel” fishing boat for a half or full day. Catch your limit of grouper and then take it to a local restaurant for them to cook it or take it home to prepare it yourself. Contact the “Captain Marvel” at (239) 261-7159. This is a family business for Tom & Lisa Marvel. Tell them Tim Cranch sent you.
  33. Take the kids to play miniature golf. There are two courses nearby – Golf Safari Mini Golf on Bonita Beach Road and Congo River which is on the west side of Route 41 (Tamiami Trail) north of Bonita Beach Road. Check out their websites for hours, special offers, coupons and information. Also, the phone numbers for each: GolfSafariMiniGolf.com and (239) 947-1377 and CongoRiver.com and (239) 948-9099.
  34. Go to the huge Easter egg hunt that is hosted by The Royal Scoop ice cream shop at the corner of Vanderbilt Drive and 8th Street in the northwest corner of Collier County. It’s a free event and includes a visit by the Easter bunny, games & races, a barbecue and ice cream (of course). Call The Royal Scoop directly at (239) 992-2000 for more information.
  35. Go on the Jet Boat ride. Check out Jet Boat Naples as well as their other cruises, fishing expeditions and rentals.
  36. Snow in Naples, Florida? Yes, of course! We have it all here. Take the kids for “snow” around the holiday season by visiting Third Street South or the Village of Venetian Bay. Another great event around the holiday season is ‘Snowfest’ which has become a huge happening for kids. Check it out by clicking here if you are lucky enough to spend the holiday season in Naples: Snowfest – Collier County Parks
  37. Be sure to sign up for the Macaroni Kids Newsletter for Naples that has other great ideas for activities and stuff to do.
  38. Also, look for coupons in the tourist flyers for discounts on a lot of these activities. You will find many special discounts at GroupOn, too.

Don’t hesitate to call Tim directly @ (239) 272-4848 for details about any of the above. We would love to hear your ideas and about your experiences, too.

Where else but Naples, Florida, can you go ice skating, soak up the sun and the beach, swim in tropical waters, and do something educational or cultural all in the same day? Full-time resident or just on vacation, Naples is kid friendly 365 days per year.