Family beach vacations can be expensive. The larger the family, the more money you often find yourself shelling out for fun experiences. But that’s how family holidays are, right? Wrong! Fort Myers Beach offers an abundance of free family-friendly activities. These kid-friendly and budget-approved ideas are a way for the family to enjoy an affordable vacation this year. Your beach vacation activities don’t always have to break the bank. Here are some of our favorite suggestions:

Explore our Local Artists and Art Association

Since 1951, this volunteer-led, not-for-profit art association has shared with our community the beautiful works of local artists. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, admission is free during gallery hours at the Fort Myers Beach Art Association Gallery. Browse a selection of completed art for purchase and meet with the local artist as you explore their finished pieces and some still in progress. The gallery also offers a selection of workshops and painting groups to explore throughout the year. For more information, email Pam Flaherty, the Art Association publicity chair, at

Visit our Very Own Times Square

Times Square, also known as the heartbeat of Fort Myers Beach, is where you can explore a selection of restaurants, unique shops, and some good old-fashioned free entertainment. Enjoy watching the pier come to life with a selection of talented street performers, artists, and live music. Day or night, there’s always something to do or see when you visit, making it a great vacation story to share with everyone back home. 

End the perfect day, the Fort Myers Beach way: Watch artists, musicians, street performers, visitors, and locals all come together to celebrate the end of another beautiful day on the island. The Sunset Celebration in Times Square is a popular event. All are invited to attend each Friday and Saturday night. This unique and free event starts at 5 pm and can continue as late as 10 pm. The nearest trolley stop is only a block away, making this a convenient and accessible event for all.

Spend a Day Exploring Our Coastal Habitat

Manatees in Manatee Park, Lee County, Florida.

Our clear skies, crystal blue waters, and vast shoreline make our beaches popular for family enjoyment! Offering miles of free fun, our beaches are ideal for shelling and beachcombing for all kinds of treasures. You never know what you may find; a new shell to add to your collection, a shark tooth to share at show and tell, or maybe a beautiful piece of sea glass for your next DIY-inspired project. Don’t forget your beach bucket! It’ll make carrying your seaside treasures easier. 

Spending time on the water is another great family activity. Pack the SUP boards, kayaks, and fishing gear for a chance to explore our local waters. You can find the perfect spot to launch your aquatic adventure in no time; with many locations to cast and fish from, you’ll be out exploring in no time. 

Explore Parks and Preserves in Fort Myers Beach

Whether you’re a bit of a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or just looking for a new adventure, spending some time with the family exploring our natural coastal habitat is a fun and free family activity! With an abundance of parks and preserves to pick from, we’re always happy to provide suggestions for locals and visitors to explore.

We particularly like the Matanzas Pass Preserve. Don’t let the name intimidate you. Though ‘Matanzas’ translates in English to ‘slaughter,’ This 60-acre preserve was once a battle site but now offers a place of peace and calm. This beautiful preserve runs along the Matanzas Pass and provides miles of protected, underdeveloped land, offering a chance to explore Estero Island before it came to be known as the popular vacation destination it is today. Enjoy a 1.25-mile hike through winding mangroves, oak hammocks, and other natural vegetation. Pack your paddle board, and you can enjoy paddling part of the 190-mile-long Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail.

Looking for a chance to view the large aquatic herbivores that call our waters home? There’s no need to visit an aquarium for an opportunity to view a manatee up close and personal. Visit  Lee County Manatee Park from November through March for a chance to watch these majestic creatures seeking out warmer waters for winter. Pack a lunch, and you can enjoy a peaceful meal or snack in the park’s picnic facilities. We recommend taking a free guided tour to learn more about the area and habitat, and don’t forget to visit the butterfly garden! 

Affordable Fort Myers Beach Vacation Homes

Beach view from Kim's Cottage at Fort Myers Beach.

In search of the perfect budget-friendly rental for your next Fort Myers Beach vacation? May we suggest Kim’s Cottage? A newly renovated beachfront home with breathtaking views. Guests can now enjoy a new hot tub and ‘tiki’ area to lounge and relax. This fantastic mid-island cottage has been completely restored from the inside out. And ready to welcome you and your family! Book a fantastic vacation in Kim’s Cottage today; you may never want to leave! 

Pool view from DC Mermaid Cove 1 home in Fort Myers Beach.

Imagine lying poolside, soaking up all the warm and glorious vitamin ‘sea’ as the children swim in the pool in search of some relief from the hot summer sun. At the same time, your mate grills your favorites for lunch, and you know Fido isn’t far from them in hopes of catching a fallen or forgotten burger or grilled piece of fish. Sounds pretty perfect, right? Then you should plan a getaway in DC Mermaid Cove 1. This newly renovated home is only 500 feet from the beach! Have a large family? Book all three units and invite the whole gang! 

Need Help Finding Your Perfect Vacation Rental? We Can Help! 

With over 100 properties to pick from, finding the perfect one is a breeze. Spend your vacation admiring a gorgeous water view. From beachfront and bayfront to the canal, we’ve got a selection of homes offering unforgettable water views. In search of a pet-friendly vacation? Visit our selection of pet-friendly rentals to find the one most suited for your family. If you need assistance planning your stay, visit us online, or call 855-830-3025 to speak with a friendly vacation specialist today.