Fun Things to do with Children in Marco Island

Children In Marco Island

Things To Do With Children in Marco Island

Before arrival, many of our guests inquire about things to do with children in Marco Island. We love our young visitors to Sea Mar Condo and wanted to put together a list of the many fun activities for children in Marco and the surrounding areas.

Fun, Fun, Fun…..

  1. Our pool is great! The pool is open from morning until dusk.
  • 2. We highly recommend that you take youngsters on the “Dolphin Explorer” tour. We have done this excursion several times and it is always fun and informative for both adults and children. Their website is This tour is an interactive study of the dolphins around Marco Island. They get the kids very involved on the tour and their ongoing dolphin experience.

Fun Adventures!

  • 3. We enjoy kayaking at Tigertail Beach or Rookery Bay. Several places will deliver kayaks and paddleboards to South Seas. Once you leave the pool area and cross the boardwalk to the beach, you will turn right to get to the Tigertail launching area. Rookery Bay is a short 10 minute drive from our condos.
  • Rising Tide Kayak Rentals
  • Rookery Bay Kayak Tours
  • Marco Island Bike and Kayak Rentals
Swamp Buggy Ride
  • 5. Marco Golf and Garden has mini-golf and is located at 971 Winterberry Drive.

Family Fun…....

  • 6. One of the most fun things we have done is a sightseeing cruise or a dinner cruise on the Marco Island Princess. The cruise is beautiful (especially sunset), the food is good, and the prices are very reasonable. Children 4-11 are half price and those under 4 are FREE.  We have done this cruise several times – for dinner and sightseeing and it was great each time. (239) 642-5415
Marco Island Princess
  • 7. The Snook Inn has waterfront dining with live music each night. Several other restaurants have live music as well (The Speakeasy and The Boardroom). Many parents love dancing with the kids to the music.
  • 8. A fun FREE adventure is just to walk the beach collecting sea shells or go on a shelling tour. There are many colors and shapes on the beach. We have shelling baskets in the condo and there is a shell washing station around the gated area to the beach.
Types of Shells Marco Island

Fun for Children!

  • 9. Golisano Children’s museum of Naples is a 30 minute drive from Marco Island and is great for young children. The museum offers a lot of interactive experiences. It is located at 15080 Livingston Road, Naples, FL 34109.
Naples Children's Museum

And Lots More Fun……

  • 10. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is in Naples. What child doesn’t enjoy a trip to the zoo?
  • 12. The Marco movie Theater is located in the Marco Town Center at 599 S Collier Boulevard and is a great place to take the kids on a rainy day or on a day you are taking a break from the beach. They offer at-your-sea-dining options of casual American foods for you to enjoy during the movie.

Island FUN!

  • 13.  Rent a bicycle from Marco Bike Rentals and bike around the island.
  • 14.  See the fire dancer at Quinn’s Restaurant at the Marco Marriott Hotel.  The show begins each night at sunset and is a high energy performance that kids love!  They can also meet the fire dancer and have their pictures taken with him after the show.
Fire Dancer at Quinn's on the Beach
  • 15.  Take an airboat ride with Corey Billie’s Airboat Rides.  Children get the chance to get up close to alligators and other wildlife.  This was at the top of our nieces fun things to do during their vacation.
Corey Billy's Airboat Rides

Fun For All Ages…….

  • 16.  Family fishing the Gulf waters.  Marco Island is know for it’s spectacular fishing either on the island or on a deep sea adventure.  Some captains even specialize in first timers.
Fishing on Marco
  • 17.  Rookery Bay Learning Center is a fully air-conditioned 2 story facility with a variety of hands-on-experiences, including a 2,300-gallon aquarium and interactive exhibits.  There is also a nature store and picnic area.  Admission is free for kids on Friday.
Rookery Bay
  • 18.  Visit Marco Island’s Playgrounds.  Both Mackle Park Playground and WaterPark and Tigertail Beach Park have full facilities.  They offer play structures, swings, monkey bars, and slides as well as water activities.
Mackle Park

Ice Cream Fun!

  • 19.  Take an ice cream break at Sweet Annies!  Yummy!!!!  Children of all ages enjoy this tasty treat. In addition to the ice cream there are lots of souvenirs for all ages in this cute ice cream parlor. 
Sweet Annies
  • 20.  Build a sand sculpture on the beach.  Who doesn’t like to play in the sand?  We have the perfect toys and buckets in Sea Mar Condo to make the perfect sand castle!
Sand Sculpture Marco Island
  • 21.  Pirates of Marco Island.  Climb aboard the Black Pearl for an interactive family adventure.  Watch your children transform into little buccaneers complete with pirate tattoos and pirate’s attire!  The Black Pearl offers interactive pirate themed tours, sunset cruises and special event charters. NOTE: This excursion is only available during high season on the island (January-April)
Black Pearl Pirate Ship
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Reserve your fun family vacation now in Marco Island at Sea Mar Condo.
Visit our website for rates and availability.

Rookery Bay Learning Center See Undisturbed Mangroves

Rookery Bay Learning Center

Just 10 minutes from Marco Island is Rookery Bay Learning Center. It is a 16,500 square-foot facility that offers educational and recreational activities.  Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is also one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in the United States.  The learning center has four research laboratories, a 140-seat auditorium, in addition to a two story visitor center. The visitor center offers a variety of hands-on experiences.  These include aquariums and interactive exhibits addressing ongoing research and stewardship within the reserve.  There is also a nature store, gallery and picnic area.

The educational center has 3 “focus” tanks, one oyster tank, a seagrass tank, a 180 gallon marine life exhibit and a 2,300 gallon mangrove tank. The observation bridge, 1/2 mile “Snail Trail”, and viewing platform encourage visitors to explore the surroundings. Visitors may see manatees, tarpon and even sharks when conditions are right. Visitors can experience a short walk through tangled mangroves, palms and oaks with resurrection ferns, bromeliads, and orchids growing in oak tree bark. The trail also winds past an old homestead dating back to post-Civil War times.

The estuary is an area where rivers and streams meet the sea.  It forms a unique habitat with a myriad of wildlife including 150 species of birds.  Many threatened and endangered animals also thrive in this and the surrounding 10,000 island area of Southwest Florida.

Programs and Tours

Rookery Bay Hiking Trail

Rookery Bay Learning Center offers many opportunities for visitors to explore and learn:

Science Saturdays:  Families learn about environmental science and the natural world.  Visitors also get hands on experiences with marine-life touch tanks and scientific displays.  Science Saturdays are from 9 am to 4 pm October through April.

Kids Free Friday Summer Program:  From mid June to early August Kids Free Fridays provides free admission for children 12 and younger with a paid adult.  Weekly topics include sharks, manatees, sea turtles, and birds.  Program activities include story time, naturalist lecture, and craft room in addition to face painting.  A food truck is also on site from 11 am to 1 pm.

Guided Sunset Bird Rookery and Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Tours:  Visitors can paddle through magnificent mangrove tunnels and shallows. This is a 2-3 hour guided kayak tour.  This tour offers the opportunity to see sea stars, large snails, birds, dolphin, and manatee.  Prior kayaking experience is not required.  Tours offer single and tandem kayaks. The tandem kayaks accommodate children ages 3 and up.  Tours are offered daily and registration is required.

Guided Boat Tours of Rookery Bay:  A relaxing boat tour offers an up-close and personal experience with this unique coastal environment.  The tour is led by Rookery Bay staff with an emphasis on learning.  Five different tours are offered. Each has a different theme.  The tours provide a chance to see native wildlife in addition to being a great opportunity for photography.

Hours and Contact Information

Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday year round.
(239) 530-5940

Click here for a video on Rookery Bay:

Sea Mar Condo

We recommend a visit to Rookery Bay for our guests at Sea Mar Condo.  Sea Mar Condos are in Marco Island, FL.  They are located on the 19th floor of South Seas Tower 3 and Tower 4 with beautiful views of Crescent (South) Beach and the Gulf waters.  Visit our website to see availability and rates and contact us for the vacation of a lifetime!

Boardwalk and Nature Trails close to Marco Island

Briggs Nature Center Boardwalk

The are several boardwalk and nature trails close to Marco Island. These beautiful areas offer our guests to Sea Mar Condo an opportunity to see the varied landscapes and wildlife around the area. All of these boardwalks and trails are within an hours drive from Marco Island and are great day trips.

Briggs Nature Center Boardwalk Trail

This trail is a .6 mile loop trail with light traffic located near Naples. It offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is accessible year round and is perfect for birding, hiking, walking, and nature trips. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but must be kept of leash.

 Rookery Bay Boardwalk


Across from Walmart on Rt.951 (15 minutes away from Marco) , this trail is about a 1 mile loop. It’s close, easy, and offers great birding. Visitors can experience a brief trek through tangles mangroves, palms and oaks with resurrection ferns, bromeliads, and orchids growing in oak tree bark. The trail winds past an old homestead dating back to post-Civil War times.

 Serenity Walk

Located on Route 951 nine tenths of a mile north of Rattlesnake Hammock Road. Serenity Walk Park is small but very interesting. The trail is dirt/sand and is a 1 mile loop winding around pine flatwoods and a cypress pine mixed forest.

Bird Rookery Swamp

Bird Rookery Swamp Nature Trail

This trail is located on Shady Hollow Road (45 minutes away from Marco). It offers 12 miles of hiking and biking trails and a 1500 foot boardwalk. The trails are old tram roads used when the area was logged many years ago. The maple-cypress swamp is home to alligators, otters, Florida panthers, bobcats, and white-tailed deer. The trail also is great for birding with many raptors and wading birds in the area.

Freedom Park

Freedom Park Naples Nature Trail

This park is located at 1515 Golden Gate Parkway in Naples (about 1/2 hour from Marco Island). Freedom Park includes a 5 acre lake with 3500 feet of boardwalk throughout the 50 acre park. It also has 6 lookout pavilions and numerous walking trails.

  Corkscrew Bird Sanctuary

Corkscrew Bird Sanctuary Nature Trail

This sanctuary is located on Immokalee Rd. (About 50 minutes from Marco). The 2.5 mile boardwalk trail takes you through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, around a marsh, and into the largest old growth Bald Cypress forest in North America. The area is home to hundreds of alligators, otters, white-tailed deer and red-bellied turtles. A wide variety of wading birds, songbirds, raptors and the painted bunting can also been seen throughout the year. Guided walks are available.

 Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve Nature Trail

This slough is located on Six Mile Cypress Parkway near Ft. Myers (about an hour away from Marco). A Slough is a long, narrow wetland with slowly flowing freshwater. During the rainy time of year, the Slough catches and slowly filters rainwater on its way towards Estero Bay. Animals that have adapted to the wetlands, like alligators, turtles, otters, and wading birds, live at the Slough year-round. Additionally, many types of migratory birds use the Slough as a rest stop and feeding area. The park has 3,500 acres with wildlife, a butterfly garden, and boardwalk trails through wetlands.

We highly recommend these boardwalk and nature trails close to Marco Island to our guests! It’s a great way to take a break from beach activity to see mangroves and animal life. It is also an enjoyable way to get exercise while on vacation! We also recommend you take bug spray, especially during the rainy summer months and always wear sunscreen in the outdoors.

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Visit our website at to see our rates and availability. Our website also provides more information on Sea Mar Condo and Marco Island.
Let us help you make the most of your Marco Island vacation!

Briggs Nature Center at Rookery Bay – Things to Do

Briggs Nature Center Boardwalk


Briggs Nature Center is located between Marco Island and Naples. It is part of the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The nature center features a total of 3 miles of easy trails, including a ½-mile boardwalk. Guests are able to explore the area’s various habitats. The estuary is a natural nursery for fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. It is also home to many nesting birds.

White Egret

In addition to the boardwalk, there are two other short trails that offer views of Rookery Bay. Wildlife such as bald eagles, snakes, bob-cats, river otters, hawks, and woodpeckers are quite commonly seen by visitors to the nature center.

Briggs Boardwalk is a half-mile self-directed nature trail. It passes through five unique habitats from scrub to brackish ponds. This walk is kid friendly.  This is a great place for a family to enjoy a short, easy, free walk while experiencing the Florida marshes and wildlife.


In addition to the nature trails at Briggs Nature Center, kayak and canoe rentals are also available. This allows guests to navigate the Gordon River, mangrove tree islands, and tunnels.  This is a great way to see birds and other wildlife in the area from the water.

Kayaking the mangroves
Kayaking in Briggs Nature Center

The Boardwalk is open year-round from dawn to dusk. Conservancy volunteers are on the boardwalk seven days a week from January through April, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Schedules may change in inclement weather and on holidays. Guided tours take place at 10 a.m. daily from January through March.

Signs along the walk describe the flora and fauna in each community. Volunteers are available to help visitors spot and identify plants, birds and other animals.

The walk is a Great Florida Birding Trail site.

Briggs Nature Center
Rookery Bay in Naples
401 Shell Island Road, Naples, FL
(239) 337-3332

To see other recommended activities near Marco Island, FL, visit