Living in Miami, Florida we’re lucky to be just under two hours from Naples making it a great destination for weekend getaways or a longer trip. If you’re flying into the area the closest airport is the Southwest Florida International airport, 30 miles away or 100 miles from Fort Lauderdale International Airport. We spent a long weekend in Naples and I’m sharing our favorite things to do in Naples with kids to make it easier for you to plan your own trip.
Things to Do in Naples with Kids Day One
Cape Romano Shelling Tour
On our first full day in Naples we actually headed to Marco Island at first for a Cape Romano Shelling Tour with Florida Adventures and Rentals. The tour was two hours and since it was only $40 more for a private tour over the price for the four of us we chose that option and had the whole boat to ourselves. First our Captain took us around the island, telling us about the area and best beaches.
Next we went to one of the sand bars for shelling. We previously went shelling on our trip to Fort Myers and Sanibel Island and the girls loved it so much I knew they’d be excited and they were. They got so many shells including sand dollars and claim they’ll be making us a mermaid crown out of the shells they collected.
Once they collected all the shells they needed we were off to explore the outer islands. The water near Marco Island is filled with dolphins and we saw a pod of four fishing for lunch. They kept coming up and down and eventually decided to ride our waves from the back of our boat, jumping in and out of the water giving us an amazing show!
Our last stop was to the Dome Houses built in 1981 and inhabited by Bob Lee where he lived in the 6 domes for 10 years. Unfortunately Hurricane Andrew caused great damage to the property and it pretty much became abandoned afterwards. There are now only 4 remaining domes as two were knocked down by Hurricane Irma. This article shows the domes in their prime when Bob actually lived in them.
Gordon River Greenway Park
Gordon River Greenway Park is the perfect thing to do in Naples with kids. There are various types of hiking/biking trails; the boardwalk trail, paved trail and uneven trails going into “the woods”. The park is open from 6:30am-10:00pm with the boardwalk and paved paths lighted in the evenings. During our hike we saw bunnies, Blue Jays, and a tortoise. You can also find bobcats, otters, bald eagles and alligators.
We love hiking and do it on various trips, our favorite has to be the Pedra do Telegrafo hike in Rio de Janeiro. We always get our hiking gear from Backcountry, as they have great prices and products from our favorite brands. It’s where we got these cute Take a Hike shirts, hiking shorts, and Salamon hiking boots. There aren’t any water fountains on the trail so be sure to come prepared. We try to avoid bottled water as much as possible and instead carry our Osprey Hydration Backpack. If you end up picking something out from Backcountry use promo code HAMBRICK15 for 15% off your purchase.
One of the Boardwalk trails at Gordon River Greenway leads right to Naples Zoo. It’s a great activity to add to the day you visit the Greenway or vice versa. Admission is $22.95 for those 13 and up and $14.95 for those 3-12, kids under 3 are free. You can view a map of the zoo here, to see all the exhibits.
Things to Do in Naples with Kids Day Two
Naples Botanical Garden
My daughters love flowers and learning about various plants so I knew we had to go to the Naples Botanical Garden. It was a hit as they walked around the various sections like Brazil, the Caribbean, Florida and Asia. We also saw bees pollinating, tons of butterflies flying around the garden and pretty birds. There is an entire Children’s Garden section as well for a hands on experience and an activity packet they can do while in the gardens or when they get home. The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for kids 4-24, children 3 and under are free.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
When looking for outdoor things to do in Naples with kids Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park was at the top of our list. It’s open 365 days a year from 8am to sundown and while it costs $6 per car to enter it’s well worth the price. Inside the park you can go boating, fishing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming. Their beaches are the most highly rated beaches in Naples.
Vanderbilt Beach is perfect when visiting Naples with kids. The water is calm and fairly shallow where you can bring kids out a bit and still feel comfortable. The soft off white sand is great to play in and there are a good amount of sea shells if your kids want to collect them.
We were able to rent a sun shade/cabana to keep us cool from the beach hut. They also rent umbrellas, jet skis, and stand up paddle boards. If you forgot anything at home you can also get beach toys, sunscreen and other supplies which is helpful. The beach is free, we just had to pay for parking which we found on the street for $2.50/hr.
Things to Do in Naples with Kids Day Three
My girls love visiting waterparks on our vacations. Their favorite is the one on Cococay island which they experienced on our cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. They’ve also enjoyed going to the new water park Island H2O, at the Margaritaville Resort in Orlando, and Shipwreck Island Waterpark in Panama City Beach, FL. So if there is a waterpark in the destination we’re visiting we try our best to visit it. Nu-N-Fun Lagoon has water slides, a lazy river, four foot deep pool for families, and two attraction pools for kids and toddlers with fun activities. It’s currently closed for renovations but should be opening up soon.
Wootens Airboat Tours
Naples is just 30 minutes from Everglades city where you can experience Florida’s Swamps at Wootens Airboat Tours. You can go on an airboat, swamp buggy tour or kayak airboat combo. No matter what you choose you’ll have the opportunity to see alligators, manatees and lots of birds. Tickets start at $27.50 for adults depending on the adventure you choose.
Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples
If you’re looking to beat the heat and enjoy an indoor activity, head to the Children’s Museum of Naples. Parents who have been to Naples with kids rave about this museum, especially the interactive experiences. We unfortunately weren’t able to visit during our trip as we were practicing social distancing and chose to only do outdoor activities. However, the amount of recommendations I got for it on this Instagram post makes me comfortable in recommending it.
Where to Stay in Naples with Kids
We love RVing and have taken many RV trips including a Southwest road trip, Nevada road trip and Southern California road trip. We usually rent a Class C RV but for our trip to Naples we decided to rent an Airstream! It’s been on my bucket list for a while and happy we were able to cross it off. We rented this Airstream from Outdoorsy who we’ve rented from 4 times now. Sign up here for $50 off your first rental. Click here for some tips on vacationing in an RV.
Since we were staying for a few days and had no plans to move the Airstream we had it delivered by the owner who set everything up and then took care of the clean up and return as well. It was the same amazing experience with zero work! We booked 3 nights at the KOA Holiday Naples/Marco Island location which is great for families.
Even if you don’t have an RV/Airstream you can still stay at the KOA Naples/Marco Island by renting one of their cabins, cottages or by tent camping (scroll down pictures of these).
The location has a playground, pool and plenty of space for kids to run around outside. So many families were staying here while we were and the kids would ride their bikes around and play with each other. They also have multiple spot options with fire pits making it easy to make the essential camp dessert, s’mores!
If you forgot anything don’t worry as the front desk is equipped with a store filled with essentials. You can purchase firewood, ice, RV toilet paper, food and more.
We had an amazing time on our trip! I hope this post was helpful in giving you ideas of things to do in Naples with kids. If it was please share it on Facebook, Pinterest and/or Twitter.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Backcountry for collaborating on this blog post. The offer of 15% off does not apply on top of any other offer or discount, and it’s one use per customer. As always, all opinions are my own. This post does contain some affiliate links, which means if you buy something my blog will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.