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Exploring the Suncoast with Kids this Summer – Some Can’t-Miss Places To Visit!

| Angela Naff |

Whether the grandkids are coming to visit this summer or you are just building an itinerary for your own kids, keeping them busy and occupied is vital. Of course, the Suncoast features amazing parks, theatres, and entertainment for people of all ages, but we have compiled a kid-centric list of options to keep the younger crowd engaged and thriving this summer. Even if you are just young at heart, some of these great Suncoast finds might be right up your alley.

Bird Gardens of NaplesBird Gardens of Naples is one of the best things to do with kids in Naples, Florida. It is a great way for your kids to learn more about birds and be mindful of the need for conservation. The main objective of the garden, other than letting people observe these beautiful and colorful birds, is to spread awareness about conservation. (Visits are by appointment only, so book today!)

Bird Gardens
Photo Courtesy of Bird Gardens of Naples

Captiva Cruises’ Dolphin Watch & Wildlife Adventure Cruise – Day and night, the rides of Captiva Cruises offer a fun learning experience while exploring the different areas of the surrounding nature. Take the little ones on a peaceful cruise across the calm waters of Captiva Island, and let them marvel at the various wildlife you’ll see along the way. The Captiva Cruises is open to all ages; it might even be fun for teens!

Croc Encounters – Croc Encounters was established in January of 2005 as a sanctuary dedicated to rescuing unwanted reptiles. While crocodilians have always been the main focus, the place has extended the haven to unwanted reptiles, birds, and mammals. In addition to being a sanctuary, they are an educational facility open to the public for guided tours and events.

Escape Port Charlotte – this establishment provides escape rooms that are challenging and fun for the whole family to enjoy. They are close to Sarasota County, Lee County, and Charlotte County. The challenging escape rooms always give you a good story to tell, and we are routinely coming up with new ideas and puzzles.

Escape Kids
Photo Courtesy of Escape Port Charlotte

Glazer Children’s Museum – The Glazer Children’s Museum’s history dates back to the 1965 opening of Safety Village in Lowry Park and has grown over the years, just like the children served. Since the opening of the Downtown building in 2010, GCM has been a landmark along the beautiful Tampa Riverwalk. Over the years, GCM has become an integral part of the cultural corridor of Tampa Bay’s museums, libraries, theaters, and performing arts centers. Children who play at the Glazer Children’s Museum grow up to be lifelong patrons of arts and culture.

Little Toot Dolphin Adventure — Clearwater Beach – Climb aboard the Little Toot, a tugboat-style boat, and explore the Gulf of Mexico. The boat creates big wake dolphins like to play in. So have your camera on hand–you never know when the beautiful dolphins will come out to see you.

Little Toot Kids

Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary And Rehabilitation Center’s mission is to provide a healthy recovery and living environment for no longer needed or wanted and sometimes mistreated exotic animals. Since the mid-1970s, Octagon has been taking in exotic animals. With the continued support from volunteers, the community, and donations from visitors year-round, this wonderful place is able to continue its mission.

Suncoast Science Center Faulhaber Fab Lab – The Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab was founded with the mission to inspire and support tomorrow’s innovators through experiential learning in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Through the Faulhaber fabrication lab and innovative programs, the staff encourages people of all ages to explore ideas, build skills and confidence, and become lifelong learners. Check out the various camps, classes, and other options available at the Fab Lab This summer.

Science for Kids

Tree-Umph – TreeUmph was started with the dream of wrapping an enjoyment of nature, with a thirst for fun and adventure and commitment to hard work and family. All of this, with a love of community, was rolled into a business that could spread and grow those ideals to as many people as possible. Since the opening of our first TreeUmph! Adventure Course in Bradenton, Florida, in 2012, all those at Tree-Umph have been committed to inspiring FUN and a sense of PRIDE through ADVENTURE in guests, staff, and in the neighborhoods where they operate.

Which of these amazing places is first up on your list this summer? Are you more sporty in your family endeavors? Do the kids in your life love science, or maybe beaches are right up your alley? No matter what you choose to do this summer, we hope everyone builds some amazing memories summer of 2023!

Happy exploring Suncoast!

Photo courtesy of Deposit Photos

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