Free and Low Cost Fun in SWFL

FREE STUFF

Collier Seminole Museum – free

Seminole Village

1910 steam engine

Recreated Seminole War Fort

Dioramas

Exhibits – Spanish explorers, Seminole Indians

WWII Sherman tank

Naples Depot Museum – Free

Seminole dugout canoes

Mule wagon

Antique swamp buggy

Train cars to climb in

Model railroad

Free Fishing Clinic – April or May

(The link above will provide the next date when it is scheduled, there are also lots of other family friendly activity links for Naples)

Free stations to learn how to fish

Free fishing lessons

Free fishing pools

Free bait

Several hours of fishing on the Naples Pier with expert help

*There is also usually a similar event in Cape Coral around the same time at the Pier at the Yacht Club.  There is a list on this website of other family events as well.

Cambier Park

Free monthly movies during the winter

Giant screen with popular movies

Royal Scoop

Free summer tours

See how they make ice cream

Take a walk in a freezer

Manatee Park

During the winter you can see dozens of manatees

Underwater audio spot where you can hear them too

Bat Bridge

Every night at dusk 8,000 bats head out to eat

Matheson Street – Bonita Springs

Shell Factory

Free for the exhibits of shells, taxidermy animals – all huge life sized

Huge Christmas room

Nature Park and mining has admission prices ($8-$12)

 

Interesting Playgrounds

Estero Park has giant spider web about two stories tall

Lehigh Acres has rock climbing walls

Cambier Park – all wooden like a castle

Lakes Park – train and unique climbing structures

 

Sugden Park

A lake to swim in

Look for free sailing lessons given sporadically

 

Libraries: Lee County or Collier County 

Free programs almost every week

Read to dogs

Programs with animals

Programs with crafts

 

Naples Museum

Holds free days twice during the winter season when entire museum is free for the day. Walk under a ceiling of glass, see exhibits and take part in a children’s treasure hunt.

 

Estuary Wading Trip

Seining for fish and other sea life

Learn about things in the pass and mud flats

Lovers Key (463-4588) and Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve (463-3240) each do this trip for free about once a month during season

Reservations are required

DAY TRIPS

 

Solomon’s Castle – Ona Florida

$10 adults, $4 children

Shiny Castle with a moat

Exhibits inside made from recycled items such as car parts, old hangers, chains etc.

 

Stump Pass Beach State Park

Shark teeth – better than Venice – Charlotte County

Closer and more teeth

Free – but small parking fee

 

ButterflyWorld

Thousands of Butterfly exhibits and bird exhibits

$18-$24

 

Coral Castle

Miami

Castle and all furniture made of coral

$9.50, $4

 

G-Wiz

Sarasota

Giant science museum with lots of hands-on stuff

About $10

 

Hug a Gator

Tin City in Naples

For $5 you can hug a 4-foot long alligator named Baby Bobby or a 3-foot gator named Tiny Turbo.

 

Shark Valley

Everglades – just over the Collier line in Dade County

Tram ride

Hike up tower

Last time saw 167 alligators

On the way back stop and see the smallest post office and the skunk ape museum


INTERESTING/UNIQUE LOCAL THINGS 

Fancy Nancy Parties (Bummer This Store has Closed!) 

Learning Express holds this monthly $7

Children get to dress up, have tea, do a craft and a fashion show

 

Conservancy

To open next month with an all new children’s discovery center

 

Pirate Cruise

Pieces of Eight Pirate Cruise in Fort Myers

Kids get to pretend to be on a pirate ship

$29.95,   $24.95

 

Fort Myers Beach Pool & Golden Gate Pool

Little slides

Squirters

Zero entry pool

Squirting fountains

$2-$4 – much cheaper than the bigger water parks and perfect for little kids.

 

Planetarium (Calusa Nature Center)

Daily shows in rounded room

Admission also includes nature center

$10, $5

 

State Parks

Lover’s Key – beach, tram ride, bicycles, bridges over wetlands

Delnor Wiggins – tons of shade, barbecue pits

Koreshan State Historic Site – historic homes, Estero River, playground (Parking fee is $6, $8)

 

Ice Skating

Great on hot days

Look for coupons

Sunday is family night – admission and rental for a low price

 

C’mon (Children’s Museum of Naples) 

Opening in Feb $10 (look for coupons at local libraries)

Amazing place

Two story banyon tree

Ice cave

Tree that blows leaves

Hill to roll down

Shell to climb in

Weather Station

Farm to table

Everglades

Beach

Trolley

Building area

Art area

Sprinklers

 

Thank you Andrea Stetson from SWFL Parent and Child Magazine for providing this fantastic list to our MOPS group and presenting at our meeting!!!