Located on the southwestern side of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, Cape Coral is a planned city that features miles of waterways and canals, giving it the appearance of a modern Venice. The subtropical area boasts warm Gulf waters, sandy beaches, wetlands, and plenty of wildlife preserves. Get a vacation rental in Cape Coral, and spend your vacation relaxing and having fun with the kids. Here are the top Cape Coral family activities to keep you busy.

1. Go Swimming

With 27 miles of shoreline, Cape Coral is the place to go for some swimming. If you want some sand with that swimming, head out to Sanibel, Captiva, North Captiva, or Cayo Costa barrier islands. You can lounge in the sun while the children splash in the warm gulf waters. Opt for a vacation rental on one of these islands, still close to Cape Coral, but right on the beach for convenient swimming.

2. Go Boating

While 27 miles of shoreline is impressive, it’s not nearly as impressive as the 400 miles of waterways that make up Cape Coral. Keep your family boat on a vacation rental on one of the canals, or just launch it via one of the many public boat ramps. Use the wide canals to teach your children how to kayak in a calm environment. Boat through the waterways to the downtown area where you can tie it up and pick up some dinner.

3. Go to the Sun Splash Family Water Park

Reward your kids with swimming and excitement at the Sun Splash Family Water Park. Enjoy thrilling rides such as Cape Fear, perfect for teenagers and adults, or play areas like the Rain Tree and Family Pool for children. Lounge on a tube and ride the lazy river. Take the wee ones to Pirate’s Cove, an interactive play area.

4. Explore the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve

The Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve offers visitors 365 acres of pristine beauty. Explore the park by walking the boardwalks or renting a kayak and making your way through the rivers and streams. Regular signs tell you all about the local flora, a vibrant learning moment for children. Keep your eyes open for eagles, herons, and other local birds. With accessible picnic areas and restrooms, you can bring a lunch and make a day of it at the preserve.

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5. Visit the Yucca Pens Preserve

Head north to the Yucca Pens Unit State Wildlife Management Area where you and the kids can hike, bike, hunt, fish, or just take a scenic driving tour of the area. There are 37 miles of roads for hiking and biking. Both the Flag Pond Loop and Cowhunter Trail are well within the hiking ability of a child, and they offer views of wading birds, the occasional alligator, and their wetland habitat. Go horseback riding on the equestrian roads, and stop to cook up a quick hamburger or take a pit stop at the restrooms, grills, and picnicking areas.

6. Go Fishing

Cape Coral bursts with fishing opportunities for the entire family, from fishing at the Yucca Pens and Matlacha Pass Aquatic preserves, to taking guided fishing tours. Kayak Charters offers a combination of a boat tour and fishing trip. It also offers instruction in both freshwater, salt water, and fly fishing. If you forget the rods and reels at home, you can always rent some equipment.

7. Go on a Boat Tour

Speaking of boat tours, there are several companies that cater to the exploration of the local wildlife. The Banana Bay Tour Company specializes in dolphin watching with certified naturalist guides that can educate the little ones.

8. Find Fossils

Help your kids find their inner adventurer at Fossil Expeditions. This service has several dig sites where kids can discover old bones from alligators to shark’s teeth. Fossils are so prolific that most people go home with a personally excavated fossil.

9. Discover History

There’s plenty of history to explore in the area. The Cape Coral Historical Museum contains exhibits of local stories that are perfect for getting kids excited about the past. Pair this trip with a stop at the Southwest Florida Military Museum and the Iwo Jima War Memorial Replica for an educational and fun day out.

10. Stop at the Yacht Club Community Park

Speaking of history, the Yacht Club has been around since 1958, one of Cape Coral’s original landmarks. It also built the Community Park which boasts beaches, water access, a community pool, and tennis and racquetball courts. Spend a day on the beach, and stop by Paradise Paddleboard Rentals for some water fun. Get a bite to eat at the park’s delicious Boat House Tiki Grill.

11. Go Gaming at Happy’s Family Fun Center

If it’s raining outside, you can stay dry at Happy’s Family Fun Center. Let the kids go wild at the arcade game area and bounce houses. Go on a ride without actually needing a rollercoaster, with the 5D roller coaster simulator. Children can get all their excess energy out at the exciting obstacle courses and climbing structures.

12. Explore the Rotary Park Environmental Center

If you haven’t had enough nature yet, go to the Rotary Park Environmental Center. While you can certainly explore the 97 acres of preserved salt marsh, this center offers more from gardening and fitness classes to festivals. Explore the brilliant colors of winged insects at the Butterfly House or check out the displays of lizards, turtles, and frogs.

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