kids, things to do, activities, children, fun, naples, beach, florida, vacation, southwest florida

Occasionally, we get questions from readers about Naples recommendations—everything from what to do while here on vacation, which neighborhoods to buy in or where to find a really special gift. In our Ask TNN series, we answer our most frequently asked questions. The latest:

Q:

I grew up in Miami, but we vacationed frequently in Naples. I have such wonderful memories of my stays. I will be traveling back to Naples with my three- and four-year-old boys and was wondering if you had recommendations of restaurants or things to do with kids.
—Caroline S., Annapolis

A:

WHERE TO EAT WITH KIDS IN NAPLES

Pinchers – With locations all around Southwest Florida, including in Tin City, this no-frills, water-to-table seafood joint offers a kids’ menu with all the traditional favorites, including popcorn shrimp, chicken tenders and grilled cheese.
 Don’t miss: Get one free kids’ menu item per adult entree ordered. Kids must be under age 12.

D’Amico & SonsThis hidden gem in North Naples serves classic Italian fare in its open-air cafe or on the covered outdoor patio. Think pastas, wood-oven pizzas, salads and sandwiches.
→ Don’t miss: Kids eat free every Sunday with the purchase of an entree. Kids must be 12 or under.

Adelheidi’sIt’s all organic, but they’ll never know. Adelheidi’s gelato, fruit ices and frozen yogurts are all made from scratch with no additives in traditional flavors like vanilla bean, strawberry and peanut butter. Or, for the more adventurous kiddos, there’s chocolate lavender, strawberry basil and mango chili.
 

WHAT TO DO WITH KIDS IN NAPLES

Naples Botanical Garden – This 170-acre garden paradise is home to the Smith Children’s Garden, which features water fountains for playing, a Hidden Garden, a Butterfly House and other interactive features, including a water pump to shower plants. Explore the Wild Florida Loop Trail—which includes a cypress swamp, hardwood hammock and shell mound—and stop to create a masterpiece with sidewalk chalk, climb to the top of the treehouse, or check out the river of grass from the perspective of a spider. Children’s tickets are $9.95 for ages four to 14, and free for those under four. Get them online.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida The Little Explorer Play Zone is open daily and offers kid-tailored sessions focused on the Conservancy’s mission of protecting Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife and future. Kids also have the chance to meet ambassador animals and explore the entire Conservancy campus. (The program is best for kids ages 18 months to five years and is included in regular admission.)

Dolphin Explorer Tour – They’ll be talking about this eco tour for a looong time. Hop aboard a 30-foot catamaran to join their dolphin survey crew and collect different kinds of seashells. Each tour is professionally crewed by a USCG Master Captain and a master naturalist and wildlife photographer. Reserve online.

Children’s Museum of Naples – Dubbed a “brain-building powerhouse,” C’mon, as it’s known to locals, offers several hands-on exhibit galleries that take kids through the swamps of the Everglades, up a two-story banyan tree, through a maze or into a water play station, among other destinations. Admission is $10, and tickets are available online.
 

WHERE TO STAY WITH KIDS IN NAPLES

LaPlaya Beach ResortWhen they’re not crafting sandcastles on the beach or splashing poolside, this family-friendly resort offers a Kids’ Aquatic Camp for ages five to 12 with a range of outdoor activities (nature walk, shell collecting, surfing, lifeguard games…) and Coach B’s Beach Camp (stand-up paddleboarding, swimming, snorkeling…) on specific dates during the summer. (Call the resort for details.) They’ll also arrange babysitting services upon request year round. (Hello, date night!)

Naples Grande Beach ResortFun kids’ activities are scheduled nearly every day around the resort. From the Lemonade Lab, where kids muddle and mix their own drinks, to the Little Chefs Pizza Class, ice cream socials and watermelon eating contests, there’s plenty of kid-friendly fun to be had. Note: Naples Grande will reopen on Dec. 15, 2017, following Hurricane Irma renovations.

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