Looking for a way to entertain the kids on a budget in SWFL? Look no further! As a Naples resident I have the insider scoop on all the free things to do with kids in Naples, FL.
Naples has so much to offer kids
When we first moved to Naples, I was worried that there wouldn’t be anything fun to do with kids. I assumed that Naples was a sleepy retirement town with no young families. Boy, was I wrong! Naples is full of young families which means that there is so much to do in Naples with kids. Whether you live here year round, or you are visiting our lovely beaches on vacation, you should take your kids to explore some of the free things in Naples, FL.
Related post: Where the Locals Eat in Naples, FL- Date Night Edition
Free things to do with kids in Naples
Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’MON)
This is my favorite free thing to do with kids in Naples. C’MON isn’t technically free, however, both the Lee County & Collier County library systems have passes available for check out. One pass is good for your entire family. You can check them out online or request them in person at your local library.
Pro Tip: If you already have a membership to another children’s museum, you can get reciprocity at C’MON, meaning you can get in for free or a reduced rate. Learn more here: How to Save Money on Aquariums, Zoos, and Children’s Museums. We have a pass to C’MON and use reciprocity to visit other children’s museums when we travel.
If you want to go more than a few times a year, consider buying a pass. A Play Membership is $135 and includes admission for the entire family. One day costs $12 for kids and $10 for adults. Babies under 1 are free. This means it would cost $44 for our family to visit for one day! As a resident, the pass is well worth it for us since it pays for itself in 3 visits.
Learn more about C’MON here.
Check out this video of the newest exhibit at C’MON:
Here’s another great freebie in Naples. The Naples Zoo is free for all Collier County residents on the first Saturday of the month.
If you want to go more than once a month, Florida residents can get family memberships for 2 adults and all the kids living in the house for $99. This is a great deal.
Not a resident? Tickets are $22.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids over 3. Save $2 by purchasing tickets online!
Learn more about the Naples Zoo here.
Collier County Museums
All 5 Collier County Museums offer free admission. Two are located in Naples and make for a fun trip for kids. The museums are easily the best free activity with kids in Naples.
The Naples Depot Museum is home to the Naples Train Museum where kids can get an up close look at trains.
The Collier Museum at Government Center is the place to see how early settlers and Native Americans lived in Naples before life as we know it existed in Southwest Florida. When we went we were able to make pinch pots just like the Calusa Indians made.
Learn more about the museums and traveling exhibits by visiting the Collier County Museums website.
Kids can visit Rookery Bay for free on Fridays during the summer. Admission is also free on National Estuary Day, September 29th.
Rookery Bay is a national estuarine research reserve that is home to one of the last undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. There is a touch tank, learning center, auditorium, and boardwalk with trails.
Learn more about Rookery Bay by visiting the Rookery Bay website.
Gordon River Greenway
The Gordon River Greenway is a paved nature trail with water access along the Gordon River, located behind the Naples Zoo.
The trail is perfect for bike riding or stoller riding kids and their parents. You can see all sorts of wildlife including alligators, herons, and lizards.
Learn more by checking out the Gordon River Greenway website.
A walk along the iconic Naples pier is a must for all kids. The pier has restrooms, showers, and even pizza!
Located near the historic 3rd Street district, the Naples pier has plenty of parking- including metered parking close to the pier, and free street parking closer towards 3rd Street.
Learn more about Naples Pier by checking out the website.
The parks and playgrounds in Naples are almost too good to be true. Almost all of them have water features such as splash pads to keep kids cool, and all of them have pretty decent bathrooms for public parks.
There are two websites for navigating parks in Naples. The city of Naples is in Collier County, but has it’s own Parks & Recreation services. This just means that we have so many great parks at our fingertips with two government park systems. Check out all the parks here:
Story Time at The Library
Each Collier County library has it’s own schedule for story time. Many of the libraries have a special section just for kids and a calendar of events for kids.
Get more information at the Collier County Library website.
Free Naples fun isn’t complete without mention of the beach. Naples has many beaches to choose from and as a resident beach parking is free when you have your beach parking pass. Passes can be picked up from any location listed here.
Free Summer Fun
Like many towns across America, Naples offers a lot of free summer fun for kids. Get the full list of freebies here: Free Summer Activities in Naples, FL
Related Post: The Ultimate List of Staycation Ideas
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