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12 Must-Do Events for SWFL Kids in September

Outdoor festivals, theater workshops and environmental activities fill your September calendars.

BY August 25, 2023
Lakes Park in Fort Myers
Lakes Park in Fort Myers (Photo Courtesy Great Family Adventures/Seth Warren/Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau)

Southwest Florida invites families to enjoy a variety of kids’ activities this month. Alfresco festivals with endless entertainment engulf the region; nature expeditions in the Everglades and Naples bring little ones into the wild; and an early splash-worthy Halloween celebration in Cape Coral kick-off this September.


Now – Sep. 10

Willy Wonka at Fort Myers Theatre

Based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story, this musical follows a whimsical candy man who sets out to find an heir to his chocolate empire. The Lee County-based theater’s production features middle and high school actors ready to immerse you in ‘Pure Imagination.’

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Sep. 1-4

Wet & Wild Kidz Fest 2023 at Charlotte County Fairground, Port Charlotte

Celebrate Labor Day weekend with more than 60 activities brought in just for the kiddos. Picture bounce houses, water slides, pony rides, a petting zoo, obstacle courses and a foam dance party for a fun-filled day. Up-and-coming 11-year-old country singer Josie Salvitti and 13-year-old rock singer Champ Jaxon also perform, and more than 15 food trucks offering Latin food, barbecue and desserts satisfy picky taste buds.

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Sep. 9

Fall 2023 Quick Change Workshop at Naples United Church of Christ

Not everyone has a fairy Godmother like Cinderella to transform them from housemaid to belle of the ball in a matter of seconds. Mollie Berman, former Disney Parks Live Entertainment costume designer and current costume shop supervisor for The Naples Players, teaches budding stars of all ages the magic of quick-changing costumes and the responsibilities of a backstage dresser. This lesson features the designer’s handmade pieces that students can interact with and learn more about efficient costume design. 

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Sep. 15

Family Fun Night at Lakes Park, Fort Myers

National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sep. 15 — Oct. 15) begins with a bilingual bash. Try Hoverball Archery, a safe way to practice the sport that includes a floating ball target, block-tipped arrows and a backboard. Or, plant marigolds, symbolic of Latino culture, in compostable pots to take home. And, educational booths from the Florida Public Archaeology Network and J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge teach patrons about archaeology and local wildlife.

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Sep. 20

Conservationist, Jr. at Collier Museum at Government Center, Naples

Preschoolers delve into the surrounding natural habitats of Collier County. Through up to three interactive activities—including a guided scavenger hunt encouraging little explorers to use their senses—attendees nurture their connections with nature. At this event coinciding with the museum’s exhibit on Conservation Collier and the county’s natural preserves, kids are provided cut-out images of native flora and fauna from places like Pepper Ranch and the Dr. Robert H. Gore III preserves to inspire them when crafting shoebox ecosystems to take home.

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Sep. 23

National Park Service Free Entrance Days at All National Parks

National Public Lands Day is one of five days out of the year when the U.S. National Parks Service offers free park admission across the country. Take your kids on a field trip to the swamp and visit our region’s national treasure, Everglades National Park, where young nature enthusiasts and their families enjoy wildlife tours, airboat rides, nature walks and watersports like kayaking.

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Sep. 23

Party in the Park at Lakes Park, Fort Myers

The second-annual event honoring National Recovery Month provides a safe space for children and families impacted by mental health and substance use disorders. The host, Kimmie’s Recovery Zone, is a Fort Myers-based nonprofit focused on providing resources and support for those struggling and their affected families. A keynote speaker addresses the topic of recovery, and industry vendors offer resources and services. Stilt-walking Too Tall Torie greets and creates balloon animals for the children while South Trail Firefighters host a fire truck demonstration and hand out goodies. Tents line the park with various games and activities for families to enjoy together.

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Sep. 24

16th Annual SWFL Peace Day Block Party on Cottage Street, Fort Myers

In honor of International Day of Peace, the festival takes over the streets between Victoria Avenue and Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. in Downtown Fort Myers. Join the harmonious atmosphere with all-ages yoga classes, soothing crystal bowl sound baths, enchanting mermaid meet-and-greets, and heartwarming family singalongs. Youngsters get their faces painted by one of the many onsite artists, jump in the bounce house, and savor child-friendly drinks from Millennial Brewing Company. Enjoy tasty bites, like pizza, shaved ice, and tacos, from a variety of food vendors, as well as vegan, vegetarian and omnivore options. A butterfly tent provides soil, seeds and compostable containers for families to plant insect-friendly varieties like milkweed to take home and start their butterfly gardens. Volunteers help kids with planting onsite and provide butterfly coloring sheets with fun facts about the critters.

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Sep. 29 — Oct. 29

Spooky Splash Bash at Sun Splash Family Waterpark, Cape Coral

The inaugural Halloween celebration occurs every weekend in October at the largest waterpark in Southwest Florida where the water park will be decked out in festive decor. Families can try their hand at holiday-themed games, such as candy corn ring toss and boo-la hooping contests where kid winners earn sweet prizes like slushies and candy. On Hallo-weekend, a DJ spins spooky tracks while attendees participate in trick-or-treating park-wide, the kids’ costume contest and crafts like plastic pumpkin painting.

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Recurring Events

Sep. 2  

Kids Fishing Event at Bass Pro Shops, Fort Myers

Every first Saturday of the month, the outdoor sports store invites anglers of every age to join in a day of fishing at the mile-long lake behind the store. With a catch-and-release philosophy, little fishers get hooked on the sport and foster their relationship with the outdoors. Fishing rods and bait are supplied to all participants for the best chance of catching a big one.

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W.O.N.D.E.R. Sessions at Naples Botanical Garden

Little ecologists come to the garden to learn about red, black and white mangroves and their importance to Southwest Florida’s coastline through story time, where garden educators read The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle by Lynne Cherry and The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families by Susan L. Roth & Cindy Trumbore. Students can also craft a mangrove model using pipe cleaners and a DIY cloud finder tool to discover different kinds of clouds. Participants are also supplied with a cereal box-recycled notebook to jot down their nature observations while visiting the garden.

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Sep. 19 

Movies on the Lawn ft. Encanto at Mercato, Naples

Every month, the Naples outdoor shopping plaza puts on an alfresco family movie night. This month, celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with the Disney film that follows a magically gifted Colombian family, their enchanted house and their only daughter without powers. Bring lawn chairs, well-mannered pets and movie snacks from home, or pop into one of the neighboring restaurants like Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar for an extension of the month-long Hispanic celebration and a take-out picnic.

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