Choosing a Fort Myers Beach vacation rental shows your love of sunshine, white sand, and the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a destination that offers families more of kid-friendly activities than you can cover in a single vacation. It is the beach, which means swimming, shelling, snorkeling, and building sandcastles on a daily basis more or less. Then, you add in fishing, watersports, water parks, cruises, and museums and the to-do list fills up. You picked your paradise, so here’s a list of the top 11 things to do with kids in Fort Myers Beach to help you make out your itinerary.

1. Hitch a Ride on a Parasail

Why not throw caution to the wind and take the kids for the ride of a lifetime with a Paradise Parasail adventure? After you are harnessed as a tandem or triple riders to the smiley face chute, the ride keeps you dry by slowly reeling you out from the flight deck at the back of the boat. You get to choose whether to experience some free-fall dips during your flight, from gentle toe-touches in the water to total-body-soaking. When the ride ends, they reel you back onto the flight deck. During your adventure, professional photographers take up to 60 action shots of your epic flight in addition to a GoPro video that is taken up there with you.

2. Play Putt Putt and Feed Alligators

If your family enjoys playing miniature golf, it’s going to be easy to make Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf a family vacation tradition. Your party negotiates 18 holes of miniature golf on outdoor greens, through cool caves, around beautifully-lit waterfalls, inside a realistic pirate ship, and past 20 to 30 live American alligators. Putters in all sizes accommodate everyone from adults to small children. At the end of the course, anyone who wants to participate can feed the alligators using cane fishing poles.

3. Splash Around at a Water Park

To catch some waves away from the beach, check out Sun Splash Family Water Park. The 14-acre park features water slides, pools, tunnels, plus a Tot Spot that’s set aside just for the little ones. Your adrenaline junkies can thrill to the Cape Fear, a team ride through a dark tunnel to a splashing finish, and the Fun-L-Tunnel that drops them 30 feet without the tube after they slide down the tunnel. To slow things down a bit, visitors can snag a ring and float peacefully down the Main Stream River Ride. The park includes food, concessions, and lots of chairs for parents to relax in the sun.

4. Build Sandcastles

Picture stepping out your door and racing the kids to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico for a swim. It’s your beach and your vacation to enjoy as you please. You can frolic in the surf or stretch out on your beach towel to work on your tan while the kids play with their boogie boards. When the mood strikes, helping the kids build sandcastles is one way to spread some smiles and spend some time reconnecting over a creative activity.

5. Hit the Indoor Trampoline Park

When the kids have the energy to burn, Sky Zone is an indoor trampoline park that features wall-to-wall ways to bounce, flip, fly, and jump as high as they want. They can climb ladders, walk on balance beams, climb the walls, and fly into pits filled with big, soft foam squares. Older kids take on games that include dodgeball and hoops while the younger kids jump in the toddler area.

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6. Catch a Fish

The entire family can get in on epic fishing adventures from the Fort Myers Beach Pier, making your kids’ vacation really memorable. You can pick up rods, bait, and tackle at the pier and watch the kids’ excitement bubble over in response to the first nibbles on their lines. You get to share that exuberance when helping them reel in those first fish. If luck runs the right way, maybe the cook in the family can make dinner out the catch of the day.

7. Hunt for Seashells

Shops sell seashells down by the seashore, but you and the kids can search for your own as you walk along the sugar-white beach. If you take a book along to identify the types of shells you want to find, it makes the search educational and fun. Banana Bay Tour Company offers half-day shelling and dolphin watching tours to secluded islands where you can help the kids score some interesting shells to take back to your vacation rental.

8. Learn How to Use a Stand-Up Paddleboard

Mid-Island Watersports rents stand-up paddleboards and offers lessons for all ages. It’s a great chance this is to grab some paddle boards for the family to frolic in the water together. This is a water sport that requires just a few pieces of gear, including the paddles and life jackets. The instructors start beginners out on the calm, smooth waters of the bay for safety and great learning experiences. Gnarly Harley Paddle Adventures offers paddle board tours through the mangroves to an island for snorkeling, exploring, or shelling.

9. Visit the Sanibel Light

While you’re in this part of Florida, you can take the kids to see the historic Sanibel Lighthouse, which is still in use. It is located in Lighthouse Beach Park at the eastern tip of Sanibel Island, less than half an hour north and west of Fort Myers Beach via the mainland and the Sanibel Causeway. The 32-acre park features beaches, a fishing pier, a picnic area, walking trails, and showers. Continuing the history of the island, Sanibel Historical Museum and Village features seven restored buildings, including homes, a school, and a post office. The village sits less than five miles west of the park.

10. Touch a Starfish

The touch tank at Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center provides opportunities for kids to interact with sea creatures, including starfish, crabs, rays, and shellfish. The Center also features aquariums and educational displays. Imagine your child’s amazement at being able to put her head in a display shark’s mouth, getting to see how sea turtles hatch, or learning that dolphins know each other’s names.

11. Join a Pirate Crew

You can delight your kids with a 90-minute dolphin-watching, interactive pirate cruise aboard Pieces of Eight, a 65-foot Spanish galleon replica. The swashbuckling adventure begins with Captain Jack and his pirate crew as soon as the ship leaves Salty Sam’s Marina. Your little buccaneers can dress up as pirates, get face paint and tattoos, take the pirate oath to become members of the crew, and thrill to live cannon rounds. Stories, songs, dancing, sword fights, and games keep the little pirates entertained. They get to join a mutiny against the captain, go on a treasure hunt, engage in water gun battles, and enjoy a free round of grog to celebrate. Moms and Dads can participate in the merriment or enjoy the full-service bar and relax on the upper deck.

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