Visiting Everglades National Park With Kids
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Are you planning a trip to Everglades National Park with kids? Then you’ve come to the right place! Everglades is one of the best national parks to visit with kids. From airboat tours to family friendly hikes in Everglades National Park, we have you covered! Here are our top picks for what to do in Everglades National Park with kids.
How to get to Everglades National Park
We opted to visit via the Homestead entrance and started our trip at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. This entrance is close to Miami, where we stayed for the duration of our trip. There are lots of hiking trails along the route from this visitor center to the Flamingo Visitor Center, making this one of the most popular parts of the park to visit.
There are two other entrances to the park, but they are hours apart so be sure to plan if you plan on visiting the different areas. My tip would be to base yourself in Miami and come explore the Homestead area, which has lots of kid friendly hikes inside Everglades National Park. Keep in mind that Everglades National Park is the 3rd largest in the contiguous United States (Death Valley and Yellowstone are bigger), so plan accordingly if you want to see it all!
Best time to visit Everglades National Park
While rain is possible year round in Florida, the best time to visit Everglades National Park is December through March. Temperatures are mild, and there aren’t as many mosquitoes this time of year. We visited in February and the temperatures were in the 70s, perfect for exploring without the heat and humidity. It was quite breezy on our visit, making hiking quite enjoyable.
Where to stay when visiting Everglades National Park
Camping in Everglades National Park
There are two campgrounds available from the Homestead entrance of the park-Long Pine Key Campground and Flamingo Campground. Both of these accommodate RVs and tents, but be sure to make your reservation ahead of time to ensure you have a spot.
Best Family-Friendly Hotel near Everglades National Park
If you want to combine your visit to the Everglades with Miami, base yourself there. There are so many family friendly hotels in Miami and we have stayed at quite a few. Marriot’s Villas at Doral offer 2 bedroom villas for families, with a full size kitchen, living room as well as a washer and dryer. The resort offers tons of activities for families, making it one of the best hotels for families in Miami and a short drive to Everglades National Park.
If you’re looking for something more upscale, check out the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa. There is a huge water park on site, which is sure to entertain the kids!
AirBnB near Everglades National Park
There are lots of AirBnB options near Everglades National Park for all budgets. If you want your own private space, this may be the best option for you.
Things to bring when visiting Everglades National Park with kids
Here are some things we recommend you bring when visiting Everglade National Park.
- Bug Spray: Don’t forget the bug spray! Aside from mosquitoes, there are also biting flies so come prepared!
- Sunscreen: It’s hot in the Florida sun, so be sure to bring some sunscreen!
- Sun hat: Make sure to pack hats for the kids!
- Snacks: There are no places to purchase food while inside of the park so be sure to pack snacks that are healthy and filling.
- Kid Binoculars: As always, these are the binoculars we bring on all of our National Park trips.
- National Parks Journal: Milana uses this journal to document her trips to the various National Parks. Be sure to bring it with you so that you can add a passport stamp to the page!
Books and games about National Parks
Things to do in Everglades National Park With Kids
Airboat Tour of Everglades National Park
If you’re coming to Everglades National Park with kids, you’re going to want to do an airboat tour! But be sure to research tour companies since there are only 3 authorized companies that the National Park service recommends. All 3 are located along US Hwy 41/Tamiami Trail, very close to each other.
We booked our tour with Everglades Safari Park, which happened to have a Groupon during our visit. We saw alligators, including baby ones and lots of turtles on our tour. Definitely recommend this if visiting Everglades National Park with kids!
Best kid friendly hiking trails in Everglades National Park
The trails in Everglades National Park aren’t super long but you are going to see tons of wildlife! I’m going to list them in the order we did them. If you start at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, you can do these in order until you reach the Flamingo Visitor Center, 38 miles down the road.
- Anhinga Trail: This is the longest trail we did, at 1.5 miles. It’s a loop trail and stroller friendly because it’s on a boardwalk the entire way. If you’re going to see alligators, this is most likely where it will be. We saw alligators in the water, beautiful lily pads and tons of birds.
- Gumbo Limbo Trail: This trail is at the same exact location as the above, one goes left and the other right. This is a short 0.4 mile loop trail in a dense forest. Be sure to stop and read all of the little signs that tell you about the plant life!
- Pa-Hay-Okee Trail: Another loop trail, this one just 0.2 miles. You’ll be walking on a boardwalk the entire time, with views of park. We spotted an alligator here too!
- Mahogany Hammock Trail: This loop trail is 0.4 miles and once again on a boardwalk. You will be walking underneath the mahogany trees, it felt like a tropical rainforest at times!
- Eco Pond Trail: Just after you pass the Flamingo Visitor Center, you’ll come to this 0.5 mile loop trail. It’s easy to miss since there is no sign aside from one right at the start of the trail. The actual trail is just grass, you’ll walk around the pond on grass the entire time.
Junior Ranger Program
Don’t forget to stop at any of the visitor centers to grab your Junior Ranger activity booklet and badge! There are different booklets for different age groups with tons of information about the park and the animals that live there.
Where to eat near Everglades National Park with kids
While there weren’t many food places we wanted to try in this area, we did find one we loved! On our way to the park, we spotted a fruit stand called Robert Is Here which is apparently very famous in the area. It’s about 15 minutes from the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, so you can stop here on your way back. They had a ton of amazing fruit shakes that were delicious! We each got a shake and loved them. The fruit is fresh and ripe. Keep in mind that this place gets super busy and the line was huge when we came. Grab a shake and some fresh fruit for later, you won’t be disappointed!
Everglades National Park is one of the best National Parks to visit with kids, with plenty of learning opportunities for the kids. We hope you found this guide helpful when planning your trip to Everglades National Park with kids. Want to read this later? Pin one of the images below!