New (to us) discovery: Fort Myers with kids is pretty amazing. To start off, we love you, Florida. You’re full of so many vacation spots for families and tons of beaches to explore. The obvious choice for us is Disney World in Orlando. Olivia is quite the “Mouse” fan (as evidenced here). But let’s be real. Disney vacations are a lot of work and they’re expensive. And sometimes you just want an affordable Florida vacation. Or to relax with nothing to do but admire a nice sunset over the ocean. So we chose Fort Myers, which is known to have some of the best Florida beaches for families. It’s super kid friendly, so naturally we went with a bigger clan this time. We didn’t get to hit all the conventional things this trip (Manatee Park, Imaginarium Science Center, shell hunting, mini golf). Maybe next time! But we did get to do a lot and here are some of our favorite things to do in Fort Myers with kids.
Boating Down the Caloosahatchee River
How can you not have fun floating down a river with such a fun name to pronounce? We spent most of our time boating down the Caloosahatchee. It’s something different if you’re looking for things to do in Fort Myers that aren’t relaxing (or running around if you have kids) on a beach. There are tons of Fort Myers boat rentals that will let you set sail for the day. Salty Sam’s Marina is one of the biggest, but a quick Google search will get you tons of options.
Downtown Fort Myers (AKA Fort Myers River District)
We pulled our boat right up to a dock in the Fort Myers River District so we could spend the afternoon wandering. Downtown Fort Myers is full of restaurants and shops. We chose a little Mexican place called Los Cabos Cantina Taco & Tequila Bar. Spoiler alert: the food was delicious and the drinks were refreshing. If Mexican food isn’t your thing, there are tons of options. And afterward, you can check out some of the cute little shops. We also came here at night once and ate at The Lodge. Also tasty and a fun little atmosphere in the evening. The Fort Myers Imaginarium is also here. For families visiting Fort Myers with kids, this area will keep you busy for quite awhile. Don’t forget to take a nice sunset stroll on the docks!
The Nauti Parrot
This is a little tiki bar off the beaten path. The name may be a little misleading. It’s a family friendly restaurant in Fort Myers (they had a great kids menu). And I won’t ruin the surprise until you check out the video, but as the name implies, there is parrot making regular appearances. I’m given to understand he’s somewhat of a celebrity in Fort Myers. Don’t miss the live music at the Nauti Parrot, too! I believe they list all this on their website.
Fort Myers Dolphin Tours
If you rent a boat, you can do your own dolphin tour. We did our own and the dolphins were super easy to spot – they were everywhere! But if you want to see dolphins without investing a full day in boat rental, find a dolphin tour. They, too, are pretty easy to find. According to TripAdvisor, Island Time Dolphin is a safe bet.
We spent so much time in the airport this trip. It wouldn’t be a Family on Standby weekend without it. We ended up flying from Fort Myers to Houston to Chicago to get home. But all was good because during our layover in Houston we discovered the Centurion Lounge (see video for how rad this is for kids). Sidenote: check your credit card because some cover various airport lounges. And they are AMAZING if you have kids (not so sure all the business people in suits think so, though).
Fort Myers with Kids: Something to Experience
If you’re looking for family friendly Florida vacation destinations, Fort Myers should be right up your alley. We’re always looking for the best Florida vacations for families. And it doesn’t hurt if it’s also affordable. As you can see, there are lots of kid friendly things to do in Fort Myers and we will most certainly be back to hang with the fam.