10 Of The Best Family-Friendly Activities To Do In Fort Myers

Fort Myers is a riverfront hidden gem perfect for mystery and nature lovers.

10 Of The Best Family-Friendly Activities To Do In Fort Myers
Photo by Taryn Manning on Unsplash

Fort Myers is a captivating city which offers an array of attractions and entertainment for all ages. From exploring historic estates to connecting with nature, this spirited Gulf Coast destination is perfect for an unforgettable trip. Here are the top 10 activities to do in Fort Myers with the whole family.

The Butterfly Estates

1815 Fowler St, Fort Myers, FL 33901

Explore the magical world at The Butterfly Estates, located in downtown Fort Myers. This nonprofit organization opened its doors in 2009 and offers educational programs for all ages while also hosting research projects to help increase the insect’s declining population. Marvel at thousands of colorful butterflies as they flutter through lush tropical gardens. Learn about the life cycles of these graceful creatures and witness mesmerizing butterfly releases that will leave guests in awe.

Edison and Ford Estates

2350 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33901

Step back in time inside the Edison and Ford Estates, the former waterfront winter homes of inventors Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Explore several carefully preserved innovations, artifacts, homes, laboratories, along with other structures dating back to 1885. Wander through over 20 acres of property, including lush botanical gardens containing more than 1,700 plants from six continents. This activity is perfect for travelers of all ages who have a fascination for science and history.

Manatee Park

10901 Palm Beach Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33905

For an offbeat wildlife encounter, check out Manatee Park. This tranquil haven provides a natural habitat for dozens of manatees during the winter. Observe these magnificent creatures from viewing platforms and learn about conservation efforts for this endangered species. Kayak or paddleboard along the scenic Orange River for an even closer encounter. The park also offers various hiking trails, a boardwalk, and playgrounds. It is important to note that manatees should not be touched, since they’re extremely sensitive and can suffer severe stress if disturbed.

Manatee Park
Photo by Iyan Darmawan on Pexels

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

7751 Penzance Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33966

The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is a wetland sanctuary committed to preservation and protection, made up of over 2,500 acres. This slough works by slowly filtering rainwater on its way toward Estero Bay. The park offers several boardwalks and trails that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the captivating beauty of cypress swamps. Keep an eye out for alligators, wading birds, as well as turtles while exploring this hidden gem. For more outdoor activities, check out these 5 outdoor activities you must not miss in Jacksonville, Florida.

Murder Mystery Dinner Train

2805 Colonial Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33916

Solve a captivating case when you board the Murder Mystery Dinner Train. Be entertained by talented actors that bring intriguing storylines to life while enjoying an upscale five-course meal in a vintage train car. The dining experience consists of an appetizer, soup, salad, one main entrée, and dessert. Guests can choose from slow-roasted prime rib, poached salmon, or baked chicken for their entrée. This three-and-a-half-hour journey makes for a memorable day with friends and family.

Murder Mystery Dinner Train Instagram
Photo by Murder Mystery Dinner Train Instagram

Fleamasters Flea Market

4135 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33916

Indulge in a bit of retail therapy at Southwest Florida’s largest indoor flea market, Fleamasters Flea Market. Open since 1978, explore the vast array of vendors who have been selling everything from antiques and collectibles to fresh produce and handmade crafts. Budget-conscious shoppers will delight in the diverse selection available every Friday through Sunday. A wide variety of food stands are available, offering samples of dishes from different cuisines around the world.

Fleamasters Flea Market Facebook
Photo by Fleamasters Flea Market Facebook

IMAG History and Science Center

2000 Cranford Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33916

Dive into a world of discovery at the IMAG History and Science Center. Engage in interactive exhibits that showcase the region’s rich history, scientific phenomena, and technological advancements. From virtual reality experiences to hands-on exhibits, this center offers educational fun for visitors of all ages. Explore numerous featured displays, including a hurricane simulator, a roller coaster builder, and touching tanks where travelers can interact with stingrays after feeding them.

Matanzas Pass Preserve

199 Bay Rd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Escape to tranquility at the Matanzas Pass Preserve, a 60-acre coastal nature preserve which is home to a diverse ecosystem of mangroves, salt flats, and dunes. Explore scenic hiking trails that wind through this natural oasis while ensuring to keep an eye out for native birds, reptiles, and other wildlife. The serene ambiance provides an ideal setting for birdwatching or enjoying a peaceful picnic with scenic views of Estero Bay.

Matanzas Pass Preserve Website
Photo by Matanzas Pass Preserve Website

Sun Splash Family Water Park

400 Santa Barbara Blvd, Cape Coral, FL 33991

Cool off with friends at Sun Splash Family Water Park – Southwest Florida’s largest water park. This park offers boundless hours of excitement for families and friends with its thrilling water slides, lazy river, wave pool, and interactive play areas. Whether you prefer lounging in a cabana or leisurely floating along the lazy river, there’s an endless supply of aquatic adventures available. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, don’t miss the renowned Cape Fear ride, a 30-foot-high slide which plunges travelers through a pitch-black tunnel. For more exhilarating activities, don’t miss 10 amazing things to do in Key West.

Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium

3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905

At the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium, explore interactive exhibits, hike challenging trails, and discover the diverse wildlife inhabiting this 105-acre preserve. Don’t miss the captivating planetarium shows, displayed since 1970, offering an educational journey through space. This establishment strives for an easy-to-understand holistic environmental program covering everything from astronomy to ecology for young children. Bird lovers should check out the aviary, which houses injured birds of prey, including eagles, vultures, and red-shouldered hawks.

Natalia Guerra

Contributing Editor

Natalia Guerra was born in Miami and comes from a Cuban background. Aside from her passion for travel writing and culinary arts, she also loves to step out of her comfort zone to live life to the fullest. Her lifestyle is being a digital nomad, working remotely as she travels the world one city at a time. Her favorite country has been Spain for its beautiful architecture and food, which reminds her of her Cuban culture.

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