Best Places for Kidding Around in the Naples Area

Despite its relatively high cost of living and vacationing, Naples is as family welcoming as cities come in Florida. A number of attractions that are either designed especially for kids or are attractive to all ages brings families to the region in great numbers.

In the first category, the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples and adjacent Sun-N-Fun Lagoon Water Park are the newest additions to the family scene. Other, quintessential nature attractions such as Big Cypress National Preserve fascinate families with intriguing wildlife, hands-on interpretative centers and hiking, biking and paddling opportunities.

Then, of course, there are those oversized sand boxes to excite families – gorgeous white sand beaches with facilities that range from a fishing pier to playgrounds and a duck pond.

Within this list, your family will discover a full range of educational and just plain fun attractions and activities to keep even the hardest to please members of the family engaged and entertained. The list covers the breadth of the Naples region from the Everglades wilderness expanse in the southeast to the very heart of the city. For a fun and complete guide to Naples for families, look for the new, colorful A (mostly) Kids’ Guide to Naples, Marco Island & the Everglades guidebook by local author Karen T. Bartlett.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


The Conservancy's Nature Center, which underwent a major up-design in recent years, comprises an indoor and outdoor complex with many facets. The Dalton Discovery Center is an interactive museum where visitors can explore the eco system of...  Read More

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Photo courtesy of Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB


Nationally accredited, the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is one of the best attractions in the city. Celebrated by locals and travelers, this 52-acre park features exotic creatures such as panthers, alligators, leopards, bears and lions. ...  Read More



Recognized as one of the best beaches in the US, the sandy shore at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is all-natural and devoid of the high rises and development of most of the other local beaches. A nature trail leads to an observation tower...  Read More

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


The Environmental Learning Center at the reserve does a stellar job of interpreting the habitat of the estuary in a modern, state-of-the-art facility. The first floor holds a gallery that hosts changing exhibits of wildlife art in addition to...  Read More

Lowdermilk Park


Lowdermilk Park holds the most full-service facilities of any Gulf of Mexico beach in the Naples area, making it a good fit for families with children. They can gather for picnics in one of the two gazebo pavilions that the park rents out, go...  Read More

Big Cypress National Preserve
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


For nature lovers traveling on a budget, it doesn't get any better than the land and water trails of Big Cypress National Preserve. This behemoth freshwater neighbor to Everglades National Park covers more than 720,000 acres and is home to such...  Read More

Collier Museum at Government Center


While visiting museums is not a typical activity for visitors to Naples, Florida, this one is a must-see for those interested in the multi-textured bygones of Collier County. Impressive indoor vignettes and an outdoor historical park take you...  Read More

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary


While Naples is famous for its pristine beaches, the city also has flourishing wetlands such as the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - known for its ancient cypress forest and colony of nesting American woodstorks. The Audubon facility is also the...  Read More

Sun-N-Fun Lagoon Water Park
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


Located adjacent to Golisano Children's Museum of Naples (CMON) in North Collier Regional Park, it provides a get-wet, splashy sequel to a museum visit. The family can kick back in the lazy river or wage water pistol war, dare the five steep 38...  Read More

Golisano Children's Museum of Naples (CMON)
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


A microcosm of Naples culture and nature in pint-sized stature, C'MON opened in 2012 in a park setting in North Naples. The Naples Trolley is the centerpiece as you enter the 30,000 square-foot hall of the colorful ship-shaped building....  Read More


Meet Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton – the Local Expert for Naples, Florida and the Caribbean – has been covering the destination for 30 years. Her top-selling Sarasota, Sanibel Island, and...  More About Chelle