Situated on the coast of Southwest Florida lies the popular and welcoming beach community of Bonita Springs, an unforgettable destination frequently visited by tourists from across the globe and famous for its sandy white beaches and friendly custom. With so much to see, do and explore, there’s no shortage of family-friendly things to do in Bonita Springs which is why the city is particularly popular with families and children of all ages.
If you’re planning a vacation to the sunshine coast with your family, then you’re in the right place. Here we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the very best family-friendly things to do in Bonita Springs, from adventure days out to cozy nights in, and every other family-friendly activity in between - so the only thing to do now is to take a read and to decide which one you want to do first.
Kids undeniably add another layer of complexity to the vacation planning process but traveling with children can also be extremely rewarding, providing your whole family with those special memories that will last a lifetime. The key to planning a successful family vacation lies in knowing what excursions you have to enjoy when you get there, and if you’re visiting Bonita Springs, then you’ll be happy to hear that there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities for you to choose from.
Bonita Springs is known as a great family-friendly destination for those traveling with teens, toddlers, and even babies. There are ample things to do that will please the whole family, from soaking up the Florida sun by the sea, making a splash at a waterpark, trying the delicious local cuisine and even putting your golfing skills to the test at a mini-golf course. So here’s our round-up of the best family-friendly things to do in Bonita Springs.
Although perhaps one of the most obvious family-friendly things to do in Bonita Springs, a trip to the beach really does deserve the top position on our suggestion list. Enjoy soft, powdery sands like none other in the world, crystal clear waters and glorious sunshine all wrapped in one glorious parcel. One of the most popular beaches in the Bonita Springs area is the Barefoot Beach Preserve, which has ample all-day parking, restroom facilities, a snack bar, and even a nature center, where you’ll be able to find out everything there is to know about the local beach wildlife. Nearby you’ll also find Bonita Springs Public Beach, which also boasts beautiful white sand and sparkling blue waters, so there’s plenty of beach space to choose from.
A few beach activities that the whole family can enjoy include:
For older children and more adventurous adults, there is also the opportunity to try a range of fun watersports including paddle boarding, parasailing, and jet skiing - so whether you’re looking to relax or get your adrenaline pumping, make sure that the beach features on your to-do list.
Although Bonita Springs is often blessed with glorious sunshine, there’s always the possibility that you may encounter one of Florida’s famous thunderstorms and so it’s a good idea to have one or two rainy day activities in your back pocket for those days where you just want to stay inside. One of the easiest family-friendly ways to escape the rain, or even just to take a break from the hot sunshine, is to visit the movie theatre to catch up on some of the latest movie releases.
Bonita Springs has not one, but two, nearby movie theatres which are Regal Coconut Point and Prado Stadium, both of which show the latest releases and serve up a range of traditional movie snacks, including popcorn, hotdogs, and nachos. Enjoy plush theatre seating, cool airconditioning, and that cozy theatre atmosphere while catching up on new film releases and enjoying some delicious theatre fare - what’s not to enjoy?
With both theatres having multiple screens, there’s bound to be a film showing that can be enjoyed by the whole family, and if you want to make a day of it then there is also bountiful arcade games for you to play, plenty of nearby shops to explore and even in-house restaurants to keep your appetites at bay. Especially for those families visiting from abroad, a trip to an American-style movie theatre is not to be missed - so grab your tickets and take a look at the film screening timetables.
Food always brings the family together, so be sure to explore some of the many great eateries in the Bonita Springs area during your visit. Serving up a huge variety of cuisines from Mexican to Italian and everything in between, there’s bound to be something to suit any palate and most restaurants are extremely family-friendly too, offering kids activities and separate kids menus to keep even the littlest of mouths happy.
If there’s one thing you have to do, its to try some of Florida’s most famous foods such as:
Dining out on vacation is a great way to explore the area and to immerse yourself in the local culture, and what’s more - there’s never any washing up to do either!
Bonita Springs is surrounded by beautiful scenery including mangrove forests, pristine white beaches, and natural wetlands and it’s all waiting to be explored by you. Hiking is the perfect way to experience the natural beauty of Bonita Springs and what’s more, it’s extremely low cost and is a great exercise for the whole family too. There are a number of trails around the Bonita Springs area, most of which have easy parking and many of which are also circular, ensuring that you end up where you started.
So pack a day bag with some snacks, plenty of water and your camera and set off on a trail to find yourself wild tortoises, butterfly gardens and even bat houses, while experiencing the true topography of the area. There are trails to suit all abilities and many are great for children, covering shorter distances with less elevation. For the more experienced hiker or families with older children, there are more advanced trails available too which cover much longer distances and traverse more technical terrain.
If you’re bringing your four-legged friend on vacation with you, then many of the local trails are also open to dogs so long as they are picked up after and are kept on a leash when around animals. So pack your sneakers and get ready to go on a trekking adventure!
Although there’s plenty to see on foot in Bonita Springs, another great way to explore the area is by kayak. Bonita Springs and the nearby Naples area are surrounded by kilometers of mangrove tunnels and mudflats and the best vessel to explore them with is the humble kayak.
One of the most popular kayak tours is the half-day Mangrove Tunnels and Mudflats Kayak Tour which starts in nearby Naples and is led by a local biologist guide.
Choose from solo or tandem kayaks, and wind your way through the mangrove trees and mudflats keeping an eye out for marine life such as sea stars, dolphins, snails and even manatees. Tandem kayaks are a great way to ensure that younger children keep up along the way, whilst still ensuring that they get to experience this spectacular part of the Bonita Springs landscape.
Aside from the maze of mudflats and mangrove tunnels waiting to be discovered, you can also take a kayak out at the beach, paddling your way along the shore and enjoying the gentle rhythm of the waves. No kayaking experience is necessary to take part in one of the many kayak tours, and all equipment is provided - just turn up and enjoy.
The Everglades Wonder Gardens are another of Bonita Springs top family-friendly attractions and are a must-visit for families vacationing in the Bonita Springs area. Established in 1936 by brothers Bill and Lester Piper, the Everglades Wonder Gardens have a rich history and are now home to a variety of rescued birds, reptiles and animals, each of which has its own unique story waiting to be told.
Travel back in time to 1936 and experience the Florida jungle as it would have been many moons ago, learn about the artifacts collected by brothers Bill and Lester, get to know the plants and trees that grow in the Florida jungle and feed the flock of amazing pink flamingos who now call the gardens their home. For budding eco-warriors keep an eye out on the Everglades Wonder Garden website for their weeklong themed camps that include educational games, arts and crafts and chances to learn more about wildlife and plants.
As a not-for-profit organization, the Everglades Wonder Gardens rely on tourist admission to help fund their conservation work and animal rescue and make a great half-day activity for children of all ages - be sure to check them out if you get a chance.
The Centers for the Arts in Bonita Springs has one mission - to make the arts accessible for all. There are two centers, the Centre For The Visual Arts at 26100 Old 41 Road and the Centre for The Performing Arts at 10150 Bonita Beach Road, both of which have a number of things for families with children of all ages.
The Centre for The Visual Arts, presents a wide range of dynamic exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing both local and traveling artworks from all over the world. The center also runs a busy schedule of both adult and youth programs, (youth programs focusing on children 18 months and upwards) designed to help participants to connect, grow and challenge themselves in a supportive and artistic atmosphere. Youth classes focus on a wide range of subjects and both spring and summer camps are also available wherein children can focus on a larger artistic project. Drop by to see their current exhibitions or get stuck in by booking onto one of their many art classes.
A short drive away, the Centre for The Performing Arts, hosts a number of live performances as well as film screenings and has its own dedicated Youth Theatre Programme with performances throughout the year. Whether you tie your visits together or visit the centers independently, they provide a great cultural day out and a chance to explore your creative side whilst also knowing that you are helping to support important local community activities.
Who doesn’t like a round of mini-golf? Easy to pick up and great for kids of all ages, mini-golf is a perfect way to pass the time and to burn off some extra steam out of the house. With no golfing experience necessary and all equipment provided, everyone in the family can enjoy a round of mini-golf as they compete to get the lowest golf-score and make their way through the various challenges at each hole.
Two of the most popular mini golf locations in the Bonita Springs area are Golf Safari and Congo River Golf, with more to be found in nearby Naples.
As the name suggests, Golf Safari follows an African safari theme with animals at every twist and turn. Get your golf-ball safely to the hole while lions, giraffes, gorillas, and zebras look on from the bushes. Come and go the same day with free extra rounds and sign up as a free Safari Member to receive additional coupons and discount codes.
A slightly larger miniature golf course, Congo River Golf is an award-winning adventure golf course with waterfalls, bridges, tunnels and caves. More than just a golf-course, Congo River Golf is an adventure and there’s the chance to feed real-life gators at the interactive gator exhibit too!
Of course, for those looking for a more serious game of golf, then don’t worry, there are plenty of country clubs and golf courses nearby too, with lush fairways and professional putting greens waiting to be played.
Whether you just want to try some of Florida’s famous strawberries, or you want to cook up some of the best local produce at your rental, then be sure to visit Farmer Mike’s U-Pick at 26031 Morton Ave.
Farmer Mike’s U-Pick is a small 100-acre family-run farm where Mike has been growing fruits, vegetables and flowers for more than 30 years. The farm is a non-GMO and sustainable development that endeavors to protect the soil and environment for future generations to come by practicing crop rotation and sustainable farming practices.
Pick your own fruits and vegetables fresh from the field, or visit the farm shop to pick them straight from the shelf. There are more than 60 varieties of vegetables grown on the farm, as well as 15 varieties of fruit, fresh flowers, and herbs. You’ll find watermelon, strawberries, oranges, plums, and pears, alongside squash, heirloom tomatoes, chillies, and bell peppers - depending on the seasonality of course. With so much to choose from you’re bound to leave with baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables and a smile on your face having picked it yourself straight from the tree or soil.
Farmer Mike’s U-Pick is always a great hit with children and is a wonderful way to teach them about the origins of their food, making it a great day out come rain or shine and the perfect way to try some of the very freshest and best produce that Florida has to offer.
Escape rooms are another fun, family-friendly thing to do on a rainy day. Work together to find the clues and beat the puzzles, working your way out of the room before the time expires. You may be surprised at how many escape rooms there are in your local vicinity with new rooms popping up all the time to fuel the demand.
Local to Bonita Springs you’ll find two escape room centers, Tropic Escape Room and Brainiaxe Escapes, both of which offer a variety of fun-filled themed rooms to test your brainpower.
Tropic Escape Room was founded by a husband and wife team and has three themed rooms; the ‘Museum Heist’, the ‘Almost Famous’ and the ‘Castaway’. The rooms vary in difficulty with ‘Museum Heist’ rated a 7/10 and ‘Castaway’ a solid 10/10. Although the rooms seem difficult they are also fun and playful and would be great fun for families with teens.
Brainiaxe Escapes has a slightly more adult atmosphere and so is possibly more suited to slightly older children and teens. There are themed rooms including ‘Inheritance’, ‘Edison Vs Tesla’, ‘The Abandoned House’, and ‘The Reporter’ and alongside their escape rooms, Brainiaxe Escapes also has 4 onsite axe throwing lanes for you to try your hand at axe throwing!
Although escape rooms can be fun for all ages they tend to be more suitable for older children aged 12 and upwards as younger children can find them too difficult and therefore boring or at times a little scary, depending on the theme. Definitely one to put in your activities rotation if you have older children, but maybe one to miss with toddlers and babies.
Listed as one of the top 10 things to do in Bonita Springs, Riverside Park is the place to go for a jam-packed calendar of events and a beautiful, relaxing outdoor space. Located in downtown Bonita, Riverside Park is a picturesque location just a stone’s throw from the Everglades Gardens, where the flamingos and rescued birds live. Take a stroll through the beautiful parkland on well-maintained pathways that are perfect for pushchairs and buggies, hire a canoe on the water or take a picnic for lunch and enjoy the serene surroundings.
Throughout the year Riverside Park also transforms into a bustling event space hosting everything from music concerts to film screenings, boat parades to food festivals and fairs - there’s even a farmers market every Wednesday 8 am to 1 pm. Whether you’re staying for a week or a month, it’s always worth checking out the list of events that are being held at Riverside Park during your stay as you are bound to find something that you want to do. The event planners go all out for big holidays such as the 4th of July and you’ll find food, funfair activities, fireworks and more that are suitable for the whole family and children of all ages.
Some examples of the kinds of things you can expect to see throughout the year include:
Bonita Jetski & Parasail
You may have gathered already that Bonita Springs is a great destination for water lovers, surrounded by rivers, ocean, and wetlands. With such easy access to the water, it’s no surprise that many of the most popular activities are therefor watersports. Two of the top watersports activities to try are jet skiing and parasailing, bound to get your heart pumping and to make memories that will last you all a lifetime.
Perhaps the biggest local name in watersports is Bonita Jetski & Parasail, the premier watersports activity and rental service provider in Southwest Florida. Established in 1988, Bonita Jet Ski & Parasail is located right on the beach at Doc’s Beach House Restaurant and specializes in watersports rentals and activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Hire a jet ski and take to the water to hone your driving skills, or set off on a guided dolphin jet ski tour where you’ll go on the hunt for dolphins that will play alongside your jet skis.
For a truly memorable experience take to the skies alone or in family groups of two or three on a parasailing adventure, looking down on the sparkling sea below and feeling the sea air rush through your hair.
Alongside the activities listed in their name, Bonita Jet Ski & Parasail also have paddleboards, pedal boats, sailboats and beach equipment to rent, meaning that whether you want to feel the adrenaline of a high-speed jet ski, take it slower on a paddleboard or lounge on the beach under the shade of a parasol, there’s something to suit every member of the family.
Have you ever heard of Disc Golf? Well, it’s all the rage in Bonita Springs where you’ll even find a dedicated Disc Golf course! Disc Golf is a flying disk sport, where players throw a disc (like a frisbee) at a target whilst adhering to rules similar to those in golf. The game is typically played on either a 9 or 18 hole course, with a hole counting as completed when the disk hits the required target or is thrown into the end basket. Much like golf, the number of throws a player plays off can be tallied in relation to par and the aim is to reach the target in as few throws as possible. Sounds simple right?
As a fun, active and novel sport a game of Disc Golf is enjoyable for all the family and is another great way to help kids blow off some steam. The Bonita Springs Disc Golf Course is located at 26740 Pine Ave and wraps around a 7-acre lake. There are starting pads for novices and experts alike and there’s a good variety of both short and long holes and plenty of water obstacles to keep things interesting. In the winter months, when the sun begins to set earlier, the course at Bonita turns into a shorter 9 hole glow-disc golf course, which really is a sight to behold.
Who knows, you may find yourself the next future champion, so why not give it a try?
Sometimes the best thing to do while on vacation is to do nothing at all, so be sure to schedule in some relaxing downtime at your vacation rental, where you can enjoy some good home-cooked food and the simple pleasures of each other’s company. Why not recreate some local recipes with produce you have hand foraged from Farmer Mike’s U-Pick? Or have an outdoor BBQ and enjoy the beautiful Florida sunset? If it’s a rainy or colder day then snuggle up on the couch with a board game or a movie and enjoy being in your home away from home.
Holiday rentals are designed to help you make the most of your stay and so it would be a shame not to make use of all the great facilities they have to offer, such as outdoor grills, excellent kitchen facilities, hot-tubs, pools, and even spas. So give yourself a break and unwind at home one day and prepare yourself for the next adventure that lies around the corner.
Here at Royal Shell, we’re proud to be the largest vacation rental company in Southwest Florida and have been providing holidaymakers with premium rental accommodation since 1996. With over 24 years of experience in the holiday rental sector and our extensive local knowledge let us help you to plan your ultimate family vacation. We’ll help you to find the right property for your needs, whether you want to bring a pet, sleep a large number of people or are looking for something out of the way, we’ve got you covered.
When it comes to excursions we know the very best family-friendly things to do in Bonita Springs, so let us help you to plan your holiday itinerary, showing you the best places to book tickets and where to find deals to ensure you get the very most out of your stay. Whether you have already got a plan or you have no plan at all, we can assist you with any help you need.
We’re committed to going above and beyond to offer our guests the highest quality vacation experience, giving you the treatment you expect and deserve, so why not let us focus on the details so you can focus on creating lasting memories? To find out more get in touch on 239-992-9100.
Note: Bonita Springs has a 7-day to 30-day minimum stay requirement which varies by property.