This destination is full of natural and educational activities for juniors. Area attractions also offer wonderful options for children to learn while having fun.
Some of the best beach wildlife-watching is at Tigertail Beach Park on Marco Island. This popular area is known for 86 species of wild birds. You can join a free nature walk with guides from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Naples Nature Center. Beach amenities include kayak and umbrella rentals, showers, restrooms, a play area, and snack bars.
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens has a wide variety of exotic animals rarely seen in zoos, like the African honey badger, slender horn gazelle, striped hyena and the fosa from Madagascar along with giraffes, lions, zebras, leopards, and more. Feed the giraffe herd or and catch feeding time with the keepers at Alligator Bay. Prefer monkeys, lemurs, and apes? Get on a guided catamaran boat ride through cage-free islands filled with them. You can even talk with professional zookeepers and see the animals they care for up close during special Wild Encounter activities, which are as entertaining as they are informative, making for a day that the whole family will enjoy.
The Naples Zoo has a regular calendar of special events and exhibits.
This garden is a place where you can learn as a family about the world around you and provides as much delight for parents and grandparents as it does for kids! Naples Botanical Garden Preserve offers a mile-long paved pathway as well as sandy trails through pine flatwoods and coastal scrub, offering children the opportunity to explore on an easy walk/hike through these restored ecosystems.
If you become a repeat visitor to the botanical garden you are bound to discover an ever-changing variety of plants and art exhibits as well as the seasonal rotation of blooming trees, flowers, and orchids.
To see jaw-dropping looks on their faces, take the kids to the unique Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples known as C’mon.
It is a two-story, 30,000-square-foot cultural institution including permanent and temporary interactive, fully accessible exhibits that blend state-of-the-art technology with a replication of the natural world and human communities. Developed by experts in child psychology, this experimental play fosters creativity, curiosity, empathy, and self-esteem.
Dolphin Explorer – This amazing eco-tour lets you get up close and personal to wild dolphins in an expedition of sighting and studying dolphins in the Gulf. The Dolphin Explorer is a 30-foot catamaran departing from Rose Marina on Marco Island. Be a citizen scientist onboard, assisting naturalists by spotting dolphins, collecting data, and logging photos. Kids perform tasks in the Dolphin Challenge. The three-hour cruise includes shelling on a barrier island beach.
Everglades National Park – Explore the only subtropical preserve in North America—the famous “River of Grass.” It is home to Florida panthers, black bears, manatees, alligators, crocodiles, snowy egrets, storks, bald eagles and many more. Diverse habitats allow you to enjoy boat tours, canoeing and kayaking, fresh and saltwater fishing and camping in the ultimate wilderness. The Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City provides access to the beautiful Ten Thousand Islands saltwater portion of the park.
Manatee Sightseeing Adventure is a private boat trip into a remote Everglades manatee hideout. The huge and gentle creature is an endangered species. They seem to hover in the water, then surface silently to breathe. No trip is complete without seeing one of these awesome giants.
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