13 Vacation Activities for Families
While Naples is known for its fine dining, luxury shopping and endless opportunities for sunshine, it’s also a great vacation spot for families! We enlisted the help of Kelsey Barr, owner of premier local babysitter and nanny staffing service Three Flamingos Agency, to round up her 13 favorite kid-friendly activities to do in Naples.
1. Baker Park (1433 Second Avenue South, Naples). Baker Park is a must-visit destination for families vacationing in Naples. This park offers multiple trails for walking, biking and sightseeing and is only minutes from Fifth Avenue South and downtown Naples. This newly built community park has something for everyone, from boardwalks overlooking the Gordon River for a family run (or scooter ride) to a splash pad, tot lot, or big kid ninja playground. Families can even bring their furry friends along, as there are two designated dog parks. Shaded pavilions provide ample space for picnic lunches, as well!
TSG Tip: Grab a coffee and breakfast to-go from Ridgway Bar and Grill before heading here to spend the morning!
2. Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (15080 Livingston Road, Naples). The perfect indoor activity for families with children under 10. Spend the day engaging in hands-on activities and experiences from any of the museum’s interactive exhibits. Kids can use their imaginations with fishing or grocery shopping activities, or splash around in the outdoor water table. No matter your interest, there is something to keep every member of the family entertained! We highly recommend bringing a change of clothes as little ones tend to get wet in the outside water exhibit.
Kelsey’s Tip: If visiting from another city where guests are museum members, CMON is part of the Association of Children’s Museums Reciprocal Network, which gives members a reciprocal benefit of 50% off general admission for up to six people.
3. Celebration Park (2880 Becca Avenue, Naples). What’s more fun on vacation than trying new foods and restaurants? At Celebration Park, all members of the family can embrace their inner foodie as you try different dishes from local food trucks and enjoy lunch with a view on the water. Visitors can reach Celebration Park by car or boat and enjoy the laidback Florida vibe of live music daily. Even the pickiest of eaters have had fun at Celebration Park, which makes this the perfect choice for a family fun evening out.
4. Famous Naples beaches. Did you know that Naples’ white sand beaches are consistently ranked some of the best in the world? Spend the day making sandcastles in the powder sand or going for dips to cool off in the gentle waves of the Gulf. Stay for a picturesque sunset, and you might even spot a family of dolphins off the horizon. Live like a local and stop by Publix to pick up a “Pub sub,” snacks and sunscreen before the fun begins!
Kelsey’s Tip: pick up a small container of baby powder for easy sand removal post-beach fun. Simply rub onto legs and arms, and the sand will fall right off.
5. Naples Zoo (1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples). What better way to let your little explorer’s imagination go wild than to spend a day at the Naples Zoo? Take a cruise with the primates on a river cruise, feed a giraffe (and possibly get licked by their long tongues), catch an alligator feeding, or pretend to be a lion, tiger, or bear on their newly built playground. The Naples Zoo is a popular family-friendly spot for all visitors to the area, so we recommend arriving a few minutes before opening as parking spaces get filled quickly.
6. Conservancy of Southwest Florida (1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples). For over 50 years, the Conservancy has been a leading environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the water, land, wildlife and future of our community. Make sure to include a stop here during your time vacationing in Naples–there’s tons of fun for the entire family, including a 21-acre Nature Center with a collection of indoor and outdoor exhibits and artifacts curated to showcase Southwest Florida’s unique ecosystem. Spend an afternoon with wildlife by engaging with the classic Touch Tank and Little Explorer Play Zone, or spark curiosity through Augmented Reality and Science on a Sphere exhibits.
7. Eagle Lakes Aquatic Park (11565 Tamiami Trail East, Naples). For families needing a little bit more adventure when it comes to water play, we recommend spending an afternoon at Eagle Lakes Aquatic Park! While it’s not the biggest water park, it is open year round and provides water activities for the whole family. Bigger kids can enjoy twisting and turning down one of the two water slides, while younger kids can enjoy splashing around in the tot area. For more adventurous family members, there are several diving boards to try out, as well as a lap pool.
8. Coral Cay Adventure Golf (2205 Tamiami Trail East, Naples). Take a break from the beach and pool and bring the family for mini golf! Coral Cay Adventure Golf is centrally located near downtown Naples and is an easy drive from Fifth Avenue South. Choose from either the Cave or Waterfalls Course, or do them both to play 36 holes. While members of the whole family can participate, we recommend this activity for ages 3+.
9. Third Street South Farmers Market (Third Street South, downtown Naples). Start your Saturday morning with a trip to the Third Street South Farmers Market! Adults and kids alike will enjoy strolling through this local morning market right off the charming energy of Third Street South. From fresh baked pastries and coffee to Florida-grown produce, there is no shortage of tasty treats here! Live music, entertainment, and dog-friendly treats make this activity something that the whole family can enjoy.
TSG Tip: Make sure to check out Third Street South’s website before incorporating the Farmer’s Market into your visit. The market changes location seasonally.
10. Sweet Liberty Catamaran Sunset Cruise (880 12th Avenue South, Naples). One of our favorite family-friendly activities is a sunset cruise on the Gulf of Mexico! There are many companies who offer sunset boat cruises; however, our favorite has been the Sweet Liberty Catamaran Cruise. Spend the evening sailing through Port Royal and mangroves on the Gulf of Mexico as the knowledgeable captains share information about the history of Naples. Passengers can often spot dolphins and other Florida wildlife as they watch the sun set on another perfect Naples day. For families where a sunset cruise might be too close to bedtime, Sweet Liberty offers other cruises throughout the day.
11. Sweet Annie’s Ice Cream (692 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island). What’s a family vacation without a stop for sweet treats? While Naples is home to many different ice cream vendors, our favorite is Sweet Annie’s Ice Cream on Marco Island. This adorable nostalgic ice cream shop is filled with candies and games from childhood, giving it a true vacation feel—and the ice cream is worth waiting in line for! We recommend spending the day at Tigertail Beach on Marco Island and stopping by Sweet Annie’s before heading home.
12. Cambier Park (755 Eighth Avenue South, Naples). We love this downtown Naples playground as it’s steps away from the lively entertainment, shops, and restaurants of Fifth Avenue South! Not only is Cambier Park one of the most interactive playgrounds in the area, it’s the perfect spot for kids to burn off some energy in between shopping and dining. This playground has an expansive setup and is perfect for toddlers to teens. Kids can play hide-and-seek in the castle structure, or spend some time swinging on the monkey bars. Extended family members can even join in and use one of the tennis facilities nearby.
13. Naples Botanical Garden (4820 Bayshore Drive, Naples). This family-friendly destination is the perfect place to spend a morning or afternoon. Stroll through beautifully manicured gardens before stopping into the Fogg Café for a quick bite or coffee. Before you venture into this floral paradise, pick up a W.O.N.D.E.R. (Walk, Observe, Navigate, Draw, Explore and Read) activity pack so kids can enjoy the creative theme of the month.
Kelsey is here to help with an extensive network for babysitters and nannies to care for your little ones while the adults explore all the rest that Naples has to offer. Contact her directly to set up a qualified babysitter during your visit and learn more about her boutique staffing agency online.