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Momma To Go readers definitely know that our family loves to travel each year to Southwest Florida. My parents stay there all winter and we have been taking annual trips to this part of Florida for over 10 years! In that time, we have found so many great things to do in the Ft. Myers/Naples area! So whether you are looking for cool things to do in Ft. Myers this weekend, or some activities for your next vacation, keep reading for my best picks!
Things to do in Ft. Myers this weekend… or on your next vacation!
Every year we travel to Southwest Florida. My parents have lived in both Estero (South Ft. Myers) and North Naples. In this region, there is SO MUCH to do! In our many visits, we try to mix in our annual favorites, with new activities! If you are heading further south, to Naples proper, check out this post of my Must-Do Activities in Naples. If you live in Ft. Myers or are traveling to SW Florida, these are things to do that you don’t want to miss!
Visit the Beach in Ft. Myers
Ft. Myers Beach. If you are heading to SW Florida, you probably have some beach time in mind! In Ft. Myers, we love spending a day at Ft. Myers beach!
We love Ft. Myers beach because it’s clean, with beautiful sand and waves strong enough to splash and boogey board in, but not too crazy that you will be afraid to swim! The water in the gulf is so clear; you will see fish and crabs swimming alongside you!
Ft. Myers beach is located on a barrier island and easily accessed via San Carlos Blvd from the east, or coming up Estero Blvd from the south. These thoroughfares can see very heavy traffic, especially on a prime beach day. Parking in this area can also be a nuisance. There is a small beach lot, but it fills quickly. I definitely advise to go early!
Once you do park, you can easily walk to nearby restaurants and bars. We usually bring a picnic lunch, but end the day with a stop at the Dairy Queen, which is located right at the entrance to the sand! Be sure to pack all your gear, check out what to pack in your beach bag with kids.
There is also Sanibel/Captiva Island is just west of Ft. Myers proper.
Things to do in Ft. Myers with Kids
Lakes Park Railroad. On the way home from Ft. Myers beach, head down Gladiolus Drive and stop off at Lakes Park. This park has an awesome playground, but what makes it really special is the fun train ride!
The Lakes Park Gulf Railroad ride covers 1.5 mile of track. The ride runs about every 30 minutes and there is a small fee to both park in the park, and ride the train. I’ve never seen a train like this before – each rider sits one in front of the other, pretty low to the ground. It’s quite a fun experience!
Congo River Mini Golf. A visit to SW Florida would not be complete with out a round of Congo River Mini-Golf. We LOVE this mini-golf course, its challenging and fun, but the holes are not too hard for the little ones. Hubby and I get very competitive over mini-golf and I have to let the world know that I most usually win. I even beat him when I played here with little man sleeping on my back in the Ergo!
IMAG. When we travel, we always like to have a good indoor activity in the wings for when the weather is bad, or we have had too much sun. Plus my kids love science museums, so each year we make a point to visit the IMAG in Ft. Myers.
The IMAG is a science museum located downtown on Cranford Avenue. Here you will find many great exhibits, especially focused on the nature and animals that you might find in SW Florida. When you enter, there is a stingray touch tank! To the left, there is a room with reptile tanks. My kids love seeing the mini alligators, snakes, and turtles! Check out the museum’s schedule for demonstrations and feedings!
For little ones, the IMAG has a preschool play area. Needless to say, little man has spent many hours in this toddler play spot! The IMAG does have an outdoor garden, where your kids will love the area where they can feed giant koi fish! PRO-TIP: Bring quarters for the fish food machines.
The other exhibits rotate, so on each visit you can explore something new!
PRO-TIP: If you have a local children’s museum membership, the IMAG offers a reciprocal discount.
Sun Harvest Citrus Factory. After an IMAG visit, head south down Route 41 and make a left at Six Mile Cypress Parkway. This will take you to the Sun Harvest Citrus Factory, a favorite stop of the Momma To Go family!
The Sun Harvest Citrus Factory is the retail shop of the Sun Harvest Citrus Farm. In the store you can sample both various citrus fruits and the many citrus juices, free of charge. You can purchase what you like!
PRO-TIP: The strawberry lemonade is amazing; pick up a bottle or two!
In the retail shop you also can shop for local souvenirs, as well as ship boxes of your favorite Florida citrus products to your loved ones back home.
And no visit to the Sun Harvest Citrus Factory would be complete without a cone of some of the best ice cream in SW Florida! You can chose from chocolate and vanilla, or stick with the Florida theme and choose orange or key lime ice cream! After your ice cream break, kids can play on the outdoor playground. Needless to say, my kids always look forward to a stop at the Citrus Factory!
Sun Splash Family Waterpark – This is technically in Cape Coral (just to the northwest of Ft. Myers) but worth a visit with kids. Sun Splash is a little waterpark with some thrilling slides, a lazy river and a splash pad for the little ones.
We recently visited Sun Splash in the summer of 2020 and spent the entire day at the waterpark. Kids LOVED the big drop slide and I of course hit up the lazy river. This waterpark is open from about March until October, so check the operating hours before you plan to go.
Professional Sports in Ft. Myers
See a spring training baseball game. Hubby and little man are big baseball fans. By the time February rolls around they are itching for baseball season to start. Each year, since we travel to Ft. Myers in late February or early March, they have been able to attend a spring training game.
Ft. Myers is home to the spring training stadiums of the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins. Hubby, little man and my dad have seen games at both stadiums. If you are interested in tickets to a spring training game, purchase your tickets sooner than later as the stadiums are small and tend to sell out!
Catch an Ice Hockey Game. If you are an ice hockey fan, consider getting tickets for a Florida Everblades game at the Germain Arena. Last winter we spent two weeks in SW Florida and the Florida Everblades game was my son’s #1 highlight of the trip!
Shopping in Ft. Myers
If you are like me, and shopping is more your sport – Ft. Myers offers two of my favorite places to shop.
We love to visit the Coconut Point shopping center – not just a mall, but a destination! Here you will find literally every store you could possibly want to shop at. From mall favorites like Dillard’s to a giant Target! Coconut Point has tons of eateries – from fast casual like Moe’s and Five Guys to your high end sit down restaurants like Ruth’s Christ Steakhouse. Coconut Point has a 16-screen movie theatre, a Build-a-Bear and a Barnes & Noble
If you are looking for awesome bargains, hit the Miromar Outlets, located right off of Highway 75. I always find great deals here, just be sure to have room in your suitcase to bring everything home!
PRO-TIP: There is also a large play area at the Miromar Outlets!
Take a Ferry to Key West
There is so much to do in Ft. Myers! There really is an activity for everyone! What are your favorite Ft. Myers activities?
I am also a Ft. Myers/Sanibel specialist, so there is no one better to help plan your Southwest Florida trip!
WANT MORE SW FLORIDA FUN? CHECK OUT:
Southwest Florida with Kids (my interview on the Vacation Mavens podcast)