You’re on a beach vacation – so what happens when it rains? Thunderstorms usually blow in fast and leave just as quickly on these barrier islands, but if the rain continues to fall, you can still have a great time with your kids. Here’s your Rainy Day Guide to Fun on Captiva and Sanibel:
At ‘Tween Waters Inn, you can watch Pay-Per-View movies right in your room. You’ll find a variety of titles including new releases.
First-run movies are shown in two theaters using state-of-the-art projection. Seats are super comfy but the space is small so they frequently sell out. Movies start late afternoon and early evening. Go early.
J.N. Ding Darling Visitor & Education Center
This is a family favorite. Many exhibits are hands-on (create an animal rubbing, press buttons and make things light up, touch bones, solve a mystery, and much more). Best of all, it’s FREE. Open every day at 9 am.
For $5 per vehicle, explore a 4-mile winding road through the J.N. Ding Darling Refuge. (For $12 cash, buy a yearly pass.) You may see alligators, spoonbills, and manatees…from the comfort of your car. Closed on Fridays. Download the Ding Darling app for educational fun.
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
With live tank talks at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm, and activities like a shell scavenger hunt, arts & crafts and Shell Bingo, this is a must-do, rain or shine. Don’t miss the life-size giant squid model (like you could miss that). Open every day.
Here are 1,000 reasons to stay inside. There’s a rather infamous jigsaw puzzle of “Sanibel & Captiva Islands” that you can purchase in the Osprey Gift Shop.
Captiva has a public library around the corner from ‘Tween Waters Inn, but the one on Sanibel has a large children’s area complete with a rowboat (the S.L. Readmore). There is something for every age, including toddler time and craft day.
I hope your vacation is filled with sunshine and seashells, but if the skies open up and shower you with ‘liquid sunshine’, I hope you’ll enjoy some of my favorite rainy day island activities.