Things to Do with Kids in the Everglades

Everglades National Park is a remarkable destination that offers a wide array of exciting activities, educational experiences, and opportunities for family bonding. With 1,508,976 acres of tropical wilderness, it is a one-of-a-kind experience.

That said, unless you plan ahead, you are in for a hot, exhausting day as you trek across the wetlands from one action item to the next.

At Everglades Holiday Park, we’re in the heart of the Everglades, on the border of the national park. We’ve brought together some of the most popular Everglades experiences in one park to create a one-stop experience for families with kids. From thrilling airboat rides to meeting Seven, the famous rescued alligator, there is something for everyone in this unique and enchanting environment. We offer numerous activities, such as the famous Gator Boys Experience and thrilling airboat tour services. You get to experience a 20-minute Gator Show with rescued African Alligators whose flesh would have been used as meat and skin for fashion products.

In this article, we explore some of the best things to do with kids in and around Everglades National Park, providing unforgettable memories and fostering a love for nature in the next generation


One of the most popular and exhilarating activities in the Everglades is taking an airboat ride. Airboat excursions provide a unique and thrilling way to explore the vast landscapes of the Everglades, giving you an up-close and personal encounter with the Everglades’ diverse wildlife and ecosystems.

At Everglades Holiday Park, our expert captains guide you and your family through the River of Grass, ensuring a safe and enjoyable adventure. With entertaining and educational commentary, our airboat tours are a fantastic way for kids to learn about the Everglades’ history, flora, and fauna while having a blast.

Types of Airboat Tours Available

Take advantage of our exciting airboat tour that allows you to explore an area that’s identical to the national park ecosystem and Everglades animals, such as the Florida Panther and Flamingo. We offer different kinds of airboat tours for you and your young kids that are just as nice as if you were inside the national park.

Our Standard or Regular Guided Tours are the most popular airboat tours booked by a majority of families. It is typically conducted on a large airboat that can comfortably carry numerous people. Our experienced airboat guide will provide a summary of the Everglades and point out key highlights of the ecosystem.

Similarly, our private airboat tour offers a personalized experience of the standard airboat tour. Here, you and your family or group have one airboat to yourself and are granted the opportunity to customize their interaction based on their area of interest.

In addition to its beautiful environment, this World Heritage site is also known for its beautiful scenery. Our special Sunset or Sunrise Tours allows you to see the breathtaking view of the Everglades sunrise and sunset, providing you with the best opportunity to capture the Everglades’ scenery. Keep in mind that every tour comes with an educator who provides in-depth information on the importance of the Everglades and the area’s history.

Are you a bird lover? If so, the Everglades is a haven of numerous birds that allows for bird watching. You can also customize your airboat tours package to suit your needs. This allows you to enjoy the Everglades’ interesting sights in the largest national park with kids.


One of the most memorable experiences for kids visiting the Everglades is the opportunity to hold a baby alligator. At Everglades Holiday Park, we offer supervised encounters with these fascinating creatures, allowing children to get up close and personal with one of the region’s most iconic inhabitants.

Holding a baby alligator is a unique and exciting experience that kids will remember for years to come. Under the watchful eye of our knowledgeable staff, children can safely touch and hold a baby alligator, learning about their biology and behavior while creating cherished memories.


Everglades Holiday Park is home to a remarkable resident alligator named Seven, a rescued alligator with an incredible story of survival and resilience. Seven was rescued and relocated by our dedicated alligator rescue team. Today, he serves as an ambassador for his species, inspiring visitors with his remarkable journey and raising awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation.

Introducing your kids to Seven is a fantastic way to teach them about the challenges facing alligators and other wildlife in the region, as well as the importance of conservation efforts. By learning about Seven’s story, children develop a deeper understanding of the delicate balance of the Everglades ecosystem and the vital role each species plays in maintaining its health.


The Everglades are famous for alligators, and there’s no better way to learn about these fascinating creatures than by attending a thrilling gator show. At Everglades Holiday Park, our experienced handlers present entertaining and educational live shows featuring amazing tricks, daring feats, and captivating facts about alligators.

Our gator shows are a fantastic way for kids to learn about alligator behavior, biology, and conservation while being thoroughly entertained. The excitement and awe of seeing these powerful creatures up close is an experience your family won’t soon forget.


The Gator Kids Club at Everglades Holiday Park offers a unique opportunity for children to immerse themselves in the wonders of the Everglades while learning about its diverse wildlife and ecosystems. As members of the Gator Kids Club, children enjoy a range of fun and educational activities, including interactive workshops, hands-on encounters with our animal residents, and engaging games and crafts.

By joining the Gator Kids Club, children develop a deeper appreciation for the Everglades and its inhabitants, fostering a lifelong love for nature and conservation. The club also provides a supportive and engaging environment for kids to make new friends and create unforgettable memories while exploring the beauty of this kid-friendly national park.

Junior Ranger Program and Other Educational Activities

One of the best ways to learn more about this world heritage site is to sign up for the ranger-led programs. You get experience in canoeing, bicycling, hiking, and even engaging in campfire programs. The Junior Ranger program is an activity-based program conducted inside Everglades National Park for young kids.

Interested kids are required to complete a series of tasks, share their answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and Junior Ranger certificate. Although participation is free, some national parks charge as low as $3 for the ranger-led program activity book that contains necessary details about the park and the program. It’s important to know that the required age group is between 5 to 13.


Make your child’s birthday celebration memorable by hosting a party at Everglades Holiday Park. Our team of party planners is dedicated to ensuring your child’s special day is an unforgettable adventure for the entire family. We offer a variety of customizable birthday packages that include exciting activities such as airboat rides, alligator encounters, and live gator shows, making it a unique and fun place for a kid’s birthday party.

Hosting an event at our Everglades birthday parties provides a fun and educational experience that combines the thrill of exploring the Everglades with the joy of celebrating your child’s special day. With our dedicated team caring for every detail, you can relax and enjoy the festivities as your child and their friends embark on an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Everglades.

The Everglades is a treasure trove of unique experiences, educational opportunities, and unforgettable adventures for kids and families alike. From the thrill of airboat rides to the excitement of meeting Seven, the famously rescued alligator, there is no shortage of things to do with kids in the Everglades. By visiting Everglades Holiday Park and participating in these activities, you can create cherished memories with your family while fostering a love and appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.

Activities Beyond Airboat Rides

The Florida Everglades is the third largest national park in Southern Florida and is also filled with several activities that will suit your family vacation and excite your kids. There is everything for everyone, be it in the dry season or the wet season. At the homestead entrance, you can cool off at the Shark Valley, Ernest Coe Visitor Center, Royal Palm Visitor Center, Flamingo Visitor Center, or Gulf Coast Visitor Center before exploring the Everglades with kids.

If you love hiking, there are numerous hiking trails in the area that you can choose from, such as the boardwalk trails and wildlife-rich trails. You can explore the Pinelands Trail, Mahogany Hammock Trail, Gumbo Limbo Trail, and the Anhinga Trail.

There are many campgrounds, so you can enjoy the Everglades with kids. Some of the popular country campgrounds include Long Pine Key Campground, Flamingo Campground, and T Loop Campground.

You can also visit the Everglades waterways via our carefully curated boat tour or enjoy the scenery on our tram tour. The National Park Service ensures your safety as there are park rangers around. After visiting the educational exhibits, experience the Everglades and the ecosystem by exploring the Florida Bay, Ten Thousand Islands, Forest, Gulf Coast, Florida Keys, and Whitewater Bay.

The fun does not stop there, with several nearby aquariums. The Florida Keys Aquarium & Conservation Center has partnered with countless nearby aquariums to provide you with the best view of the ocean life. Similarly, you can visit the VIP Reef aquarium in Kendall Commerce Park to see a variety of exotic fishes before retiring to your chosen visitor center.

If you love heights, then you will love the Shark Valley observation tower. The Shark Valley Observation Tower is the highest elevation any visitor can reach by foot in the Everglades. It is 70 feet high and provides panoramic views for nature photography, providing an elevated perspective of the landscape.

Located near the Shark Valley Visitor Center in South Florida, the observation tower location provides an amazing opportunity for photographers to take ample pictures of the sunrise and sunset. During these times, the sun casts a golden light across the landscape, illuminating the environment.

You can also engage in bird watching, see the entire Florida Everglades, and watch the silhouettes of Everglades animals. The observation tower shows an overview of the entire ecosystem, allowing you to see fragments of the Gulf Coast, Key West, the Shark Valley entrance, and waterway distribution (particularly during wet season and dry season.)

Visit The Everglades with the Whole Family

The Everglades is a must-visit for families looking for an epic trip this holiday. If you live within the Everglades city or in Southern Florida, it only takes a few hours to reach Everglades National Park itself. Once you and your family arrive at the entrance, you will witness a one-of-a-kind wilderness filled with the best nature offers, from the mangrove forest to the International Biosphere Reserve and Big Cypress National Preserve.

You can engage in numerous activities such as bird watching and nature photography. Numerous visitor centers provide luxury comfort, some of which include the Shark Valley Visitor Center, Gulf Coast Visitor Center, Ernest Coe Visitor Center, Flamingo Visitor Center, and Royal Palm Visitor Center. They provide all-round comfort for you and your kids.

If you want a more rustic feel or want to be one with nature, there are numerous campgrounds that are patrolled by the park rangers. You can choose the Lone Pine Key Campground, Flamingo Campground, and T Loop Campground.

For more thrilling activities on your family vacation, you can visit the Everglades observation tower or go on a tram ride. The Everglades scenery provides a perfect opportunity for scenic walks on the Pinelands Trails and the Mahogany Hammock Trail.

Visiting Everglades National Park: Accommodations Near the Everglades

Embarking on an adventure to the captivating Everglades, several accommodation choices promise all-around comfort during a family vacation. There are campgrounds within the national park as well as nearby hotels in Florida and Everglades City.

Most Everglades Park campgrounds are furnished with amenities to make your stage enjoyable. There are basic amenities, including portobello restrooms, picnic tables, regular water supply, and grills. It’s important to know that most of Everglades Park campgrounds do not have electricity to protect the park’s natural ecosystem. Thus, you may have to come along with a personal source of electricity.

After you visit the Everglades there are nearby hotels you can stay in for extra comfort. The Homestead, a city in South Florida located between the other national parks and is home to many comfortable hotels.

Also, the Homestead entrance is nearest to the main entrance of Everglades National Park, so you can easily choose from budget-friendly options to more upscale resorts of your choice. Most of these hotels, like Hampton Inn & Suites and Courtyard by Marriott Miami Homestead, provide amenities like swimming pools, furnished rooms, and sumptuous meals.

Likewise, Florida City, located North of Homestead, has a handful of hotels. They offer WiFi, continental breakfasts, and a furnished room. Although it takes 40 to 60 minutes to get to the entrance of Everglades National Park, Miami hotels offer luxury amenities that may include beachfront respects. You can visit either Marriott Stanton South Beach, Kimpton Hotel, or any nearby Miami hotel within Everglades City.

Safety Considerations When Camping With Children

Exploring the natural wonders of the Everglades in South Florida with your little ones is a journey filled with excitement and adventure. However, it is important to adhere to certain safety measures to keep them safe in the wild. It’s important to understand the weather variations before visiting the national park with kids, and risks from native wildlife.

South Florida experiences two major seasons: the wet season, also called summer, and the dry season, which is winter. The wet season runs from June to November, with heavy thunderstorms and high humidity. As parents, it is important to gear up with rain protection kits when visiting with your kids.

Meanwhile, the dry season runs from December to May and is ideal for camping due to its temperature and humidity level. Also, there is less chance of rainfall during the dry season, and the chilling evening breeze makes night camping perfect.

When it comes to the wildlife species of the Everglades animals, there are a diverse number of animals you are likely to encounter. You may encounter them on the hiking trails, during your tram tour, boat tour, or airboat ride. Sometimes, these animals may invade your space unaware. Some of the animals you are likely going to encounter include alligators, flamingo marina, snakes, insects, and other marine animals.

If you happen to see an Everglades animal, perhaps an alligator, do not feed them or approach them. Reach out to a park ranger and keep a safe distance, or else they attack. You should also avoid water bodies as they serve as a breeding ground for these dangerous animals. Come along with insect repellent to protect your body from insects carrying deadly diseases.

As parents, choose a safe ground before camping. Ensure you check for the presence or trace of animals before you begin setting up your camp tent. Do not camp close to a river or anywhere close to the proximity of a waterway. If you decide to camp during the dry season, take precautions against heat sickness by providing enough sources of hydration.

You can also encourage hydration by drinking electrolyte-rich drinks. As much as your kids would love it, avoid sugary drinks as they worsen dehydration. You should also teach your kids about the signs of heat exhaustion and stroke so that they can report to you if they are experiencing similar symptoms. Take along mini-rechargeable fans for a constant breeze during the heat. You can also go for a boat tour or an airboat ride to cool off.

Top Rated Campgrounds For Families Near Everglades Holiday Park

Everglades National Park is home to the most beautiful ecosystem and wildlife. It consists of numerous visitor centers, the Florida Bay, Gulf Coast, Florida Keys, and more, making it the perfect campsite. The most accessible camping locations are the Long Pine Key Campground and Flamingo Campground.

The Long Pine Key Campground and Flamingo Campground is a drive-in campsite that can accommodate both your camp tents and large RV vehicles. However, this can only suit a limited number of people. Thus, reservations must be made to access any of these campgrounds.

It is located only a few miles from the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. It is adjacent to the Long Pine Key Trail and has a fishing pond for the fishing-loving family. For those driving, Long Pine Key Campground is located seven miles (11 km) from the main entrance to the park near the Homestead entrance, which is just off the main road. This campground provides everything you need to have a pleasant experience. Some of the amenities provided include a bathhouse, a dump station, and a potable water filling station.

It has both AT&T and Verizon cell phone services for you to call your loved ones or business partners. It opens seasonally from November to May and during the summer or dry season.

If the sites are booked, more camping sites are available further down Main Park Road in Flamingo. The Long Pine Key Campground has a hiking trail that is over 22 miles (35 km). The connecting trails through the Pinelands run, which is m 7 miles (11 km) west of the Long Pine Key campground, to Pine Glades Lake, which is along the main park road.

The Flamingo Campground is located 38 miles south after going through the main Homestead entrance to Everglades National Park. It offers an unforgettable year-round camping experience. The campground offers numerous amenities like bathhouses, dump stations, picnic tables, and grills. They also have an amphitheater for winter ranger-led programs or camping.

The Flamingo Campground charges a similar price as its counterpart, the Long Pine Key Campground, for its non-electric campsite.

The Camp Everglades is another popular campground located at SW 408 Street, Homestead, Southern Florida. It provides tent camping at its 210-acre campground. You get to see beautiful sunrises and sunsets here, and the campsite is divided into eight primitive campsites, a main campfire arena, a main covered shelter, and pump wells.

The best part of Camp Everglades is there are hot showers and running water in the main shelter. They also have electrical appliances, stoves, and refrigerators in the main covered shelter. The Camp Everglades has three eco-friendly composting toilets located permanently at the camp. However, they do not have a garbage disposal facility and demand all visitors take their trash home.

Garbage disposal facilities are NOT available, and all garbage must be taken with you when you leave camp. Like the Long Pine Key Campground, Camp Everglades has a hiking trail that circles the area.

The Miami Everglades Resort, located at 20675 SW 162nd Ave, Miami, FL, is another campground to watch out for. It was selected as 2010’s “Best Campground in Miami” and consists of thirty-four acres of tropical camping paradise, among which avocado, mango, and palm trees are included.

The border of Everglades National Park is less than 26 miles away from Everglades Holiday Park, and Key Largo is only 90 miles to our south; it is a reasonable Saturday afternoon drive from the South Beach Art Deco District, Miami Beach.


Are airboat rides safe for younger kids? The Everglades Holiday Park airboat ride is safe for younger kids.

  • Before you board the airboat, our professional drivers will put on safety life jackets for you and your kids. You can also bring some noise-canceling headphones to help muffle the sound of the loud airboats and keep them calm

What are the must-visit visitor centers in the Everglades?

  • There are numerous visitor centers to visit in the Everglades. The Royal Palm Nature Center is a popular visitor center in Everglades National Park. Its homestead will take you 39 miles further west through the Park to Flamingo Visitor Center. Along the way, you can look around and enjoy the scenery. The Flamingo Park is called Flamingo for a reason — you get to see flamingos, and if you are lucky, you may see the Florida manatees, too. Another Everglades Park location to look out for is the Ernest Coe Visitor Center. It is one of the most informative places and is also located near the best spots. Once you leave the entrance, you pay to enter the Park, and a few meters away, you get to see the Royal Palm Nature Center and Gumbo Limbo Trail. Following the Palm Nature route, you get to see an opening. We recommend you take that walk as you will see a variety of Florida wildlife, such as baby turtles resting on lily pads and cute baby alligators. The Gulf Coast Visitor Center is located 5 miles south of Highway 41 on State Road 29 in Everglades City.  This Visitors center provides a detailed view of Everglades National Park Ten Thousand Islands, a maze of mangrove islands and waterways that extends to Flamingo and Florida Bay. You also get to see dolphins and Florida manatees here. The Shark Valley Visitor Centre is another honorable mention. This visitors center is particularly popular for its 15-mile trail, which can also be accessed on foot, by bike, or via a tram tour. There are two trails: the Bobcat Boardwalk, which leads to the tropical hardwood forest, and the Otter Cave, which gets flooded during summer.

What wildlife can I expect to see during the wet and dry seasons?

  • Depending on the weather in the Everglades, you can expect to see a variety of wildlife. During the wet season (typically from May to November), you can see alligators, Crocodiles, turtles, fish, and birds. While during the dry season, you can see hawks and other predatory birds, Florida manatees, and snakes.

Are there any trails suitable for both hiking and nature photography?

  • The Pinelands Trail, Mahogany Hammock Trail, Gumbo Limbo Trail, and the Anhinga Trail provide a good view. However, the Shark Valley trail provides the best view for nature photography.

How can I learn more about the history and ecology of the Everglades?

  • There are various ways to learn more about the Everglades. You can either join the ranger-led program (if you qualify) or ask other park rangers about the Everglades. Also, you can read books and articles like “The Everglades: River of Grass” by Marjory Stoneman Douglas. The internet has lots of information about the Everglades, or you can watch documentaries like “The Living Gulf Coast.” Another way to learn is to take guided tours from the professionals at Everglades National Holiday Park.

What activities can I find near Everglades City for the whole family?

  • You can zip around on an airboat, go hiking with your family on the Gumbo Limbo trails, and tram the Shark Valley Tram Road.

How do I get to the Ernest Coe and Flamingo Visitor Centers?

  • The Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center is located at the main entrance to Everglades National Park. The physical address for Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center is 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034.You can take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends, merging with U.S. 1 at Florida City. Then, turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344 St.) and follow the signs to the park. The Flamingo Visitor Center is the southernmost visitor center in Everglades National Park and also the only one of the four visitor centers that is not at an entrance. Rather, it is located at the end of Main Park Road. The physical address is 1 Flamingo Lodge Highway, Flamingo, FL 33034.

What can I expect to see from the Shark Valley Observation Tower?

  • You get to see a breathtaking panoramic view of the Everglades, such as the grassland, birds, and waterways.

What are some wildlife-rich trails where I can spot Florida panthers or wading birds?

  • You can spot them at the Shark Valley Trail, Anhinga Trail, and Bobcat Boardwalk Trail.

Is there public transportation to the park from Fort Lauderdale or Key West?

  • Yes, It runs regularly. Although, weekend schedules may vary.

What’s special about the mangrove forests in the Everglades?

  • The Everglades mangrove forest is known for its unique ecosystem and diverse wildlife. It also serves as a carbon sink and helps prevent erosion.

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