Spring Break can be a great time for students, parents, and teachers. It can also be stressful – What do we do now? Luckily, Southwest Florida has an almost infinite supply of fun (and cheap, if not free) activities to entertain children and adults.
5. Catch an Everblades game. Not what you might think of as a “Spring Break” event, but Southwest Florida’s professional hockey team has four more home games left this season – April 3, 4, 10, and 11. You can pick your game and buy tickets here. Family four packs are as cheap as $17.50!
Location: Germain Arena
4. Visit Fort Myers Art Walk. Art Walk is a free event in downtown Fort Myers River District. More than 10 art galleries invite artists out to showcase their work. There’s plenty of interesting interactions even if you’re not into art. For a quick dinner, grab a slice at Downtown House of Pizza on Hendry Street.
Location: This Friday night (4/2 6-10 p.m.) Downtown Fort Myers
3. Watch the sun set at the beach. Simple, right? But who wants to take hours of their precious Spring Break fighting traffic to get to Sanibel or Fort Myers Beach? (You want to be there before 10 a.m. when the drive is short and the parking is plentiful!) Try the San Carlos Bay Preserve – Bunche Beach for an unbeatable sunset. (Click here for more.) It’s all of a beautiful Southwest Florida sunset without the Southwest Florida traffic.
Location: San Carlos Bay Preserve – Bunche Beach
Cost: $2 per hour to park
2. Go birding or nature watching. Southwest Florida is full of natural wonders. Many of these places are extremely kid-friendly as well. The first thought is that nature is hard to find. Not true! Depending on the time of day there are dozens of birds and other animals to catch your eye. Grab a pair of binoculars and visit the Six Mile Cypress Slough preserve to see baby alligators just feet from the 1.25-mile boardwalk. Visit the 2.25-mile boardwalk at the Corkscrew Swamp Preserve in Naples and see nature come alive. For kids who are a little older, visit the J.N. Ding Darling Natural Wildlife Refuge at low tide for some great views. (Low tide is in the morning right now, so try to get there before noon!)
Six Mile – $1/hour to park
Corkscrew Swamp: $12 entry for adults, Students (6-18) $4, Under 6 free
J.N. Ding Darling Refuge: $1 to hike the 4-mile trail, $5 to drive it
1. Go wild at the Naples Zoo. I’m sure this is already a family favorite. It’s a little pricey to get in, but you can buy discount tickets online here. If you live in the area it’s well worth the extra money to get an individual or family membership. They pay for themselves after the second visit. The highlight of the tour, however is the boat ride around the islands where the primates live. It’s an interesting trip.
Location: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Cost: $17 for adults and $11 for children with online discounts
0. BONUS: Go sit on the beach for a day. You know you want to. Just do it! Get there early, use sunscreen. Go!