kids having picnic
With the idyllic winter weather upon us, this is the perfect time to enjoy Naples out-of-doors. Visit some of these beautiful locations for a fresh-air family meal. Please note that every place listed here has public restrooms (important when you have small children!). Also be sure to obey the rules: no glass containers are allowed on beaches; alcoholic beverages are prohibited in beaches and parks and grilling is only permitted where grills are available.
Cambier Park • 755 Eighth Ave. South • www.naplesgov.com
This park, which encompasses the Norris Community Center, the Arthur L. Allen Tennis Center and the Bandshell, has a great downtown location. It has large playground that is separated into areas for big and little kids and there’s also plenty of open space to run around. Sit under the pavilion with picnic tables or just bring a blanket and eat on the grass. Don’t miss the free concerts in the park every Sunday from 2-4.
Cocohatchee River Park • Vanderbilt Dr. between 111th Ave. & Bonita Beach Rd. • 591-8596 • www.colliergov.net
This quiet park has a nice gated playground right on the water with equipment for both little and bigger kids. Outside the gates are several pavilions with picnic tables and a large grassy area for kicking balls, blowing bubbles or whatever your kids like to do.
Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park • 11135 Gulfshore Dr. • 597-6196 • www.floridastateparks.org/delnor-wiggins
We love the white sand beaches at Delnor Wiggins and my son always finds great shells along the water’s edge. What’s especially nice about this beach park is that there are shaded picnic areas between each parking lot and public grills (charcoal only) where you can have a beach-side barbecue.
Lowdermilk Park • 1301 Gulf Shore Blvd. North • 213-3029
This lovely beach park has a lot to offer: beautiful sand and surf, volleyball courts and a duck pond. There are numerous picnic tables or, if you can snag one of the tiki-style umbrellas on the beach, you can dine in the shade on the sand!
Naples City Dock • End of 12th Ave. South • 239-213-3070 • www.dock.naplesgov.com
You don’t need a boat to enjoy the Naples City Dock! There are big wooden chairs under a shaded area where you can sit and watch boats coming and going while enjoying the Gulf breeze. Bring your own eats or buy some snacks at the little store at the end of the dock and then take a stroll through the shops at Crayton Cove (www.craytoncove.com).
Sugden Regional Park • 4284 Avalon Dr. • 254-4000 • www.colliergov.net
Enjoy the views of 60-acre Lake Avalon from the beach or from a scenic gazebo that overlooks the water. Water skiing and sailing classes are taught on the lake, so you may even get a show with your meal.