What to do on a family vacation to Cape Coral
When most people think of South Florida, they think of Spring Breakers and Singles having a good time. However, that’s not all there is in South Florida. Southwestern Florida, particularly Cape Coral and Ft. Myers is great for families. They have some of the prettiest beaches in the state of Florida and lots of fun activities that you can do with the kids. Whether you are into laying on the beach, feeding crocs, going on a picnic, hitting the water or more, there is something for you in Cape Coral.
Things to do in Cape Coral with Kids
Here is a list of fun things to do with the whole family in Cape Coral.
Banana Bay Tour Company
Eco-tours have become all the rage for a family day trip and Banana Bay Boat Tour Company is ready to deliver. They operate out of Cape Coral and Ft. Myers and the company offers tours that will appeal to the entire family. Families can do a dolphin and sunset cruise from Cape Coral that sails down the Caloosahatchee River into San Carlos Bay. If you just want to hang out with dolphins, do the Dolphin Nature tour which takes you along the shores of southwest Florida.
For those that want to take a ride on the rich and famous side, take the Homes and Harbour Tour where families can see the million-dollar homes and fancy yachts in the waterways of Cape Coral.
It is strongly recommended that you purchase tickets in advance to ensure you get the cruise and times that you want. The tours are perfect for children of all ages with reduced ticket prices for children three to eleven years of age.
Banana Bay Boat Tours is one of the best things to do when visiting southwest Florida.
Cape Coral Historical Museum
Located on Cultural Park Boulevard, the Cape Coral History Museum serves the community in preserving the rich history of Cape Coral and southwest Florida. Visitors can tour the three buildings that walk you through the birth and development of Cape Coral.
If you prefer the outdoors to indoors or are just not a history buff, the Cape Coral Historical Museum should still be on your list of places to visit. They have a butterfly garden, a rose garden, and a nature garden that you can visit with the kids.
The museum is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm; adult admission is only $5.00 and children under seventeen are free! The museum hosts local events as well so check their website calendar and plan your visit accordingly.
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Who knew that southwestern Florida’s waterways were filled with fossils! Fossil Expeditions helps you to become the archeologist/paleontologist that you have always wanted to be!
Go out with Fossil Expeditions and search for animal bones and teeth. The best part is that everyone gets to keep anything that they have excavated or if it is something unique, you can donate it to Natural History Museum if you so choose. Some finds on these expeditions include a cow shark tooth, an American Mastodon tooth, a Dolphin earbone, a sand tiger shark tooth and even a C. megalodon tooth.
Walking tours are available as well as kayaking tours.
While the whole family would love this experience, Fossil Expeditions is not recommended for children five and under. Visit their website for contact information and how to reserve your tour. This is a perfect Saturday morning adventure that will be sure to become an annual family vacation.
Gator Mike’s Family Fun Park
If you are looking for the premier family fun spot in Cape Coral, then you do not need to look any further than Gator Mike’s Family Fun Park.
Get lost in the arcade area with different video games, racing games, and classic arcade games. Younger kids will love getting tickets and redeeming them for prizes. Teens and adults will love battling zombies, being a pirate legend or being a warrior of old in the Omni Arena. Other fun activities for teens and adults include axe throwing, paintball, and go-karts.
The whole family will love the Dinosaur Falls mini golf course, complete with props. After you have worked up an appetite, visit the snack bar or for a more adult scene, check out Latitude 78.
Gator Mike’s is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 am to 8 pm and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm and is certainly one of the best places to put on your vacation list.
Gulf Coast Kayak
See nature at its finest by taking a guided tour on a kayak. Gulf Coast Kayak allows visitors to feed their need for adventure by doing guided kayak eco-tours of the Matlacha Preserve through the mangrove system.
Cape Coral is great for those who love outdoor activities. It has native wildlife to see like migratory birds, turtles, fish, and snakes that you can see from the safety of your kayak.
If you prefer to do self-guided tours, Gulf Coast has kayak rentals (life vests and paddles are included). It is a great way for you to see native wildlife and tropical birds too. Kids will love paddling along the waterways, going fishing, and admiring the scenery. If you are more a family of landlubbers, e-bike rentals are available too.
Please note that this adventure is best suited for elementary-aged kids and older. It is best to book online with Gulf Coast Kayak as reservations are required for this great family experience!
Sun Splash Family Waterpark
Considered southwest Florida’s best waterpark, the Sun Splash Family Water Park is the perfect place for the family if they love spending time in the water.
If you are a bit of a daredevil, then hit up the water slides like the Electric Slide or the Power Surge or if you are a true thrill seeker then head over to Cape Fear, a thirty-foot high platform darkened tunnel that is two hundred fifteen feet long. The little ones will enjoy the Pro Racers slides (they sound bigger and scarier than they really are), as well as the interactive water play structures in Pirate’s Cove.
If your family is more of a relax and get some sun type, then you will want to hit the Main Stream River Tube Ride, which is a quarter-mile lazy river that winds around the park.
Sun Splash Family Waterpark has great eats whether you are looking for savory or sweet or a refreshing beverage. The best deal is to buy a package that includes a meal and an all-day drink package. Packages start at $39.99
The park is open daily, however, it has varying hours so it is best to check the park’s website before venturing out with the family. Whether you are doing a quick day trip or planning a great vacation with the family, be sure to put Sun Splash Water Park on the list.
Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly House and Rotary Park
There is beauty all around Cape Coral and Fort Myers and a great place to see some of the natural beauty of southwest Florida is at the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly House.
Located at Rotary Park in Cape Coral, the Butterfly House is home to beautiful butterflies native to Florida including the Zebra Longwing, the Florida state butterfly. The Butterfly House is currently offering free tours on Monday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:30 am to 12 noon. During the tour, visitors will explain the life cycle of a butterfly and all that is involved, including host plants.
After visiting the Butterfly House you can enjoy Rotary Park. They have multiple nature trails, as well as a boardwalk that is wheelchair accessible.
Rotary Park is also a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, so you will be able to see a variety of birds at the park, as well as alligators, gopher tortoises and snakes. You can bring your own lunch with you as Rotary Park has a picnic area. After lunch, the kids can run around on the playground and if your furry friend is with you on the trip, you can take them to the Dog Park. Please note that dogs are not allowed on the nature trails.
If you want to kayak through the mangroves, kayak rentals are available at the Eco Preserve from November to May.
A visit to the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly House, and Rotary Park, will certainly be an outing that the entire family will enjoy.
Eagle Skate Park
Calling all skaters! Does your kid take their skateboard everywhere, even on family vacations? Then you’ll definitely want to take them to Eagle Skate Park in Cape Coral.
The skate park has 27,000 square feet of ramps, rails, and a bowl. Don’t worry, if you are not a skateboarder, you can still have fun at Eagle Skate with a scooter or a bicycle. Helmets are required to play at the park and parents or legal guardians will have to sign a consent form for children.
After working up an appetite, visit the concession stand for some quick bites and ice cream! The admission fee for the park is $5.00 per person, per session and the park is open Monday through Friday from 3 pm to 8:45 pm, Saturday from 12 noon to 8:45 pm, and Sunday from 12 noon to 6:45 pm.
A visit to Eagle Skate Park will be filled with good food and great fun.
Not every fun family activity has to have a cost. Sometimes kids just want to run around and play and a trip to the park is just what’s needed. Camelot Park is a beautiful six-and-a-half-acre park located in Cape Coral. There are plenty of fun family activities at the park. You can play horseshoes, kids can romp on the playground, and there’s even an area that doubles as a tennis court and pickleball court.
Take the time to enjoy some of southwestern Florida’s beautiful walking trails as well.
Feeling hungry after a great day at the park? Have the whole family enjoy some delicious BBQ using one of the grills in the picnic shelter.
Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve
Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve is the second largest green space in Cape Coral, covering more than three hundred sixty-five acres. Just a few miles north of Veterans’ Park, Four Mile or “Eco Park” has something for the whole family to enjoy.
Four Mile has a 1.2-mile loop which is partially on a boardwalk. Along the trail, you will see mangroves, ferns, a variety of trees, birds and more. You can also go kayaking amongst the mangroves from the park; if you don’t have your own kayak, seasonal kayak rentals are available, but please note that they don’t allow kids under 6 in the rental kayaks. If you love to fish, you can also go fishing in the park.
Four Mile does not allow dogs in the park and visitors may not jog, skateboard, rollerblade, or bike while at the park.
Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve is open year-round from 8 am to dusk. It is truly one of the best places to visit while vacationing or on a day trip to southwest Florida.
With all the fun things that are around Cape Coral and the surrounding areas, sometimes the simple things are fun too.
Veterans Park is a little more than four acres of fun for the entire family to enjoy. Playground equipment is available for children from two to twelve years old and for the older kiddos, basketball courts are available to shoot some hoops. Make it a full day for the whole family and use the picnic shelters with barbeque grills. A day trip to Veterans Park offers family-friendly activities and a chance to enjoy southwest Florida’s natural beauty.
Where to Stay in Cape Coral
The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village
The Westin Cape Coral is a gorgeous hotel located on the marina and all rooms have a screened-in balcony and views of the Gulf of Mexico, The Caloosahatchee River and Mangrove Preserves. For families, you can choose from a two-queen room or a king with a sofa bed. The hotel has 3 pools, all of which are heated. Guests also have access to the recreation center which is a 5-minute walk from the hotel and features two outdoor clay tennis courts, bocce ball, and walking/running trails. Kids will love the complimentary two-hour dolphin watch cruise that is available to guests. Grab some waterfront eats at their two restaurants, The Nauti Mermaid Dockside Bar & Grill and the Marker 92 Waterfront Bar & Bistro. The Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn are two other options that are available for families in Cape Coral.
You are also able to stay in Ft. Myers, which is around a 20-minute drive from Cape Coral. In Ft. Myers takes a look at the Luminary Hotel. The hotel features waterfront views, has 5 eateries and a coffee shop. Stop in at Ella Mae’s diner to grab some great breakfast and homestyle cooking. If you love seafood, then you’ll want to have dinner at The Silver King Ocean Brasserie. Go for a swim in the waterfront outdoor pool on the water. Book the top golf swing suite and have some with the family playing different sports. Borrow a bicycle and go for a ride downtown; the first hour is free.