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Things to Do in Fort Myers with Kids

Things to Do in Fort Myers with Kids

When we think about our favorite places in Florida, Fort Myers is always at the top of our list. We love the white sandy beaches, gorgeous sunsets, and tasty restaurants. We just got back from our first trip with our two young children, and it was a lot of fun exploring all of the things to do in Fort Myers with kids.

Fort Myers is a destination we have been wanting to go back to for a while, and now, post-hurricane Ian, we really wanted to get back and help spread the word about what is open on Fort Myers Beach and the surrounding area.

We couldn’t wait to explore more of Fort Myers and see it through our kids’ eyes. On our last trip, it was just us two adults on a kid-free trip. This time, our trip was all about family travel and things to do in Fort Myers with kids.

Here is everything from our most recent trip, including what was open in Fort Myers Beach, where we stayed in Fort Myers Beach, and some of our favorite things to do in Fort Myers Beach with kids.

Aerial view of DiamonHead Resort on Fort Myers Beach - top family places to stay

Where to Stay in Fort Myers Beach

We stayed at the Diamondhead Resort located right on Fort Myers Beach – which is perfect for us. We love waking up to the sunrise (or little kids jumping on the hotel bed), being able to go right from our room onto the beach, and never miss a sunset on the sand.

Every night, we were out on the beach for sunset with the kids. They always ended up going for a sunset swim with their clothes on, but it didn’t matter because our room was steps away, and they had a blast, so we didn’t care.

Family walking on Fort Myers beach at sunset

The Diamondhead Resort was a good fit for our young family as all the rooms are one-bedroom suites. Our room had a full kitchen and a separate bedroom and living room area, so everyone had a spot to sleep.

If you are traveling with kids, you know how important it is to separate the bedroom. The rooms are set up well for families – it is always a big plus to have a kitchen to reheat meals or make a quick breakfast.

Things to Do In Fort Myers Beach with Kids

Woman's hands hold shells while shell collecting in Fort Myers, Florida

1. Shell Collecting on the Beach

Our kids had a blast just walking along the beach, looking for “treasures” and shells. Every two feet, they were screaming, “Mom, look at these awesome shells” and “Look what I found.” It was super cute seeing them so excited.

They would have spent all day shell collecting on the beach if we let them. Fort Myers Beach is one of the best places for shell collecting, so make sure to bring a seashell bag for your kids to fill with their favorite seashells.

View of the Pieces of Eight Pirate Ship used during the Salty Sam's Pirate cruise in Fort Myers

2. Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise

One of the best things to do in Fort Myers with kids is go on Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise. Both of our toddlers had a blast. The kids had a blast playing pirate games, looking for treasures, face painting, dancing, and more.

It is a 90-minute cruise that leaves Fort Myers Beach and goes out into the Gulf of Mexico. There are several cruises a day, and on Friday nights, they have an adults-only boozy cruise.

Orange and pink sunrise over fort myers beach florida is a must see

3. Spend the Day on Fort Myers Beach

Sometimes you need a day of doing nothing on vacation, and the best way to do that is to spend it on the beach. You can rent a cabana on the beach, or if you are staying at a hotel on the beach like we did, there will be chairs and umbrellas for your use.

If you are traveling with toddlers or children who still nap, staying at a hotel on the beach is best so that you can easily go up to your room for a nap. While Isla napped, Adam and Atlas were still able to hang out on the beach or down by the hotel pool.

If you have older kids, there are several watersport activities they’ll enjoy and beg to do. One of the most popular and my favorite is parasailing. The views are amazing.

Woman and daughter walking on the beach at sunset in Sanibel Island

4. The Sunsets

The sunsets in Fort Myers are an event worth putting on your things to do list! With western exposure overlooking the calm gulf, the sunsets on Fort Myers Beach are magical. Every night of our trip, you’d find us on the beach somewhere, watching the sunset.

While we watched the sunset and went for a little beach walk, the kids always ended up going for a little sunset swim. It was the perfect ending of the day and a great way for the kids to burn off a little more energy before bed.

Another great place to watch the sunset is on a sunset sail. Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise offers a sunset cruise as well as other local vendors.

Woman holding an ice cream cone at Love Boat Ice Cream in Fort Myers FL

5. Cool Down with Ice Cream at Love Boat

The best way to beat the Florida heat is with ice cream at Love Boat. We are guilty of visiting three times on our last trip because the ice cream is that good. The nearest location to the beach is just over the bridge, but it is worth the trip.

The portions are big. Make sure to order the kid-size cone for kids. A small waffle cone is still huge. Two people can easily split this. If you know me in real life, you know I love ice cream, and sharing ice cream is not an option, so we each got our own.

They have tons of flavors to choose from. Gator Tracks was my personal favorite. They also have sundaes and shakes too.

Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Fort Myers & Surrounding Area

There are so many attractions in Fort Myers it is best to get a rental car. That way, you can see and do more and explore other nearby towns and beaches like Sanibel, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Boca Grande, and more.

Here are some attractions that are open now in the Fort Myers area that we loved on our recent trip and are great options for things to do in Fort Myers with kids.

Young boy interacting with the exhibits at the IMAG History and Science Museum in fort Myers FL

6. IMAG History & Science Musuem

IMAG is a fun, hands-on science museum, and they have an aquarium too, with a touch tank. No matter if you have big kids or little kids, there is something for everyone.

Both kids had a blast in the engineering lab, putting things together and building ramps. Adam and I have always said Atlas will most likely be an engineer someday. He loves seeing how things are built, and he is always “fixing” something.

Our kids loved touching the starfish and feeding the stingrays in the SEA-to-SEE touch tanks. The giant aquarium was a hit with the kids. If you are lucky, you’ll visit the living lab animal displays when they take one of the animals out – Isla got to touch a snake!

Click here to see all current exhibits at IMAG History & Science Museum.

View of the young childrens are with waterslides at Sunsplash Waterpark in Cape coral FL - Top things to do with Kids near Fort Myers

7. Splash at Sun Splash Waterpark

What better way to spend a hot summer day in Florida than at the waterpark? We really loved this waterpark. It is just the right size. There aren’t huge lines, they have plenty of chairs and areas for every age group.

There is a really good toddler play area with dumping buckets, slides, splash pads, and shallow water. If you have kids under 5 years old, this would be the place to grab a few chairs.

Sunsplash Family Waterpark is about 30 minutes from Fort Myers Beach and a great place to spend half the day or a whole day like we did. Our kids love waterparks. We were here for over 5 hours, and they didn’t want to leave.

Family riding the mini train at Lakes Park near Fort Myers FL - Top attractions with Kids

8. Lakes Park

Lakes Regional Park has tons of fun things to do with kids, all in the same place. The park is free to visit, but make sure to pay for parking.

  • Play on the train-inspired massive playground. Our kids loved it.
  • Rent a bike or surrey (4-wheeled bike) and explore the park.
  • Rent a swan pedal boat or kayak and get out on the water.
  • Ride the train around the lake and through the park that passes through several “villages” made to scale along the route.
  • Visit the Railroad Museum of South Florida (free).
  • Grab an ice cream at the Whistle Stop Ice Cream Shoppe.

Woman and two children at Lovers Key State Park in Bonita Springs FL

9. Visit Lovers Key State Park

A visit to Lovers Key State Park is more than just a gorgeous two-mile stretch of beach. There are over five miles of trails in the park, where you can see wildlife, including several species of birds, gopher tortoises, alligators, and if you are lucky, maybe a dolphin or a manatee in the water.

There are kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards available for rent. If you prefer to join a guided tour, we suggest this Lovers Key kayak tour.

Woman and two kids walking in the lush tropical gardens of the Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs, FL

10. Wonder Gardens

The Wonder Gardens is a gorgeous botanical garden and home to over 300 rescued, rehabilitated, and non-releasable birds and animals. Get up and close to flamingoes, alligators, macaws, and more.

Kids aged 5 and up can participate in the Wild Wonders Animal Encounters, but make sure to book them in advance. Click here to see which encounters are currently available.

If you are visiting early in the morning, grab breakfast at the Waffle Monkey in Bonta Springs. They have tons of fun and tasty waffle creations. After exploring the Wonder Gardens, we suggest grabbing some ice cream down the street at For Heaven’s Shake.

Woman holding a red beer at Ceremony brewing - breweries in Fort Myers

11. Grab a Pint at a Local Brewery in Fort Myers

This one may be more of one of our favorite things to do in Fort Myers than the kids, but most breweries are kid-friendly. Several breweries have outdoor games, games, food options, and dog friendly – all of which make them a kid-friendly place to visit while mom and dad can enjoy a beer.

Here are a few breweries in Fort Myers and surrounding Areas:

  • Fort Myers Brewing Company
  • Point Ybel Brewing Company
  • Ceremony Brewing
  • Coastal Dayz Brewery
  • Eight-Foot Brewing

Click here for a list of more breweries & distilleries.

Woman eating at a restaurant in Fort Myer FL with her family

What Restaurants are Open on Fort Myers Beach

When we visited in July 2023, there were several restaurants on Fort Myers Beach open and more restaurants in preparation for the opening up for the upcoming high season.

What we thought was really unique was several restaurants in Fort Myers Beach have set up food trucks/temporary food windows where they can serve hungry customers and still run their business while they are rebuilding after the hurricane.

For an up-to-date list of what restaurants in Fort Myers Beach are open, click here.

Where to Eat in Fort Myers Beach with Kids

Here are a few family-friendly restaurants in Fort Myers Beach that we ate at.

Mom's home Cooking food truck serving customers after hurricane Ian

Best Breakfast on Fort Myers Beach – Mom’s Restaurant

Right now, Mom’s Restaurant is operating as a food truck as the original restaurant was totally destroyed during the hurricane. Portions are huge, great options for adults and kids, and the food is really good.

We suggest getting a famous cinnamon roll to share. The biscuits & gravy are great – the half portion was large enough to share. They do have a few tables set up, but we got ours to go on the way to go exploring for the day.

MoJoe's food truck with guests ordering food after Hurricane Ian

Best Coffee on Fort Myers Beach – Mojo’s Coffee Cafe

Mojo’s Coffee Cafe is also operating as a food truck in front of their original location while they rebuild.

They have several breakfast options as well as coffee & smoothies. We stopped by Mojo’s several times to grab a cup of coffee before heading out for the day.

Casual Beach Restaurants

We typically look for casual family-friendly restaurants with kids with live music or outdoor seating. It makes our meals more enjoyable, knowing that our kids don’t have to be super quiet and not worry about disturbing people.

Here are a few of the restaurants we ate at that we recommended for eating out with kids:

  • La Ola Surfside Restaurant
  • Wahoo Willie’s
  • Petey’s Upper Deck above Matanzas on the Bay

We had hoped to get these restaurants, but we ran out of time

  • Dixie Fish Co.
  • Parrot Key Caribbean Grill
  • Yucatan Beach Stand Bar & Grill
  • Junkanoo Below Deck
  • Snug Harbor Waterfront Restaurant

PIN ME – Things to Do in Fort Myers With Kids

Woman and kids on the beach with white text over - Things to do with Kids Fort Myers

If you are a local business open in Fort Myers Beach and would like to be added to the list, please leave a comment.