Ed­u­ca­tional Places for Young­sters

Gulf & Main - - Gulf & Main - Ann Marie O’Phe­lan is South­west Florida writer and a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to TOTI Me­dia.

places to dine such as Capt’n Fish­bone’s and the Dog Bones Café. There is also the nearby Aqua Dog Sports train­ing site. You’re en­cour­aged to prac­tice dock-div­ing with your dog. Fees ap­ply. Shell Fac­tory also has an ar­cade and space for birth­day par­ties. There are out­door flea/farm­ers mar­ket events in the park­ing area off the en­try. Check the web­site for days/times.

Ro­tary Park En­vi­ron­men­tal Cen­ter, Cape Co­ral

Some 97 acres of trails and stroller paths, a salt marsh, a dog park, an en­vi­ron­men­tal cen­ter for events, a gar­den area, the Liam J. Perk Play­ground, the Glover Bight Boardwalk & Ob­ser­va­tion Tower and the Tom Allen Me­mo­rial But­ter­fly House, a screen en­clo­sure do­nated and cared for by the Cape Co­ral Friends of Wildlife. Free tours Mon­days, Fri­days and Satur­days start­ing at 10:30 a.m., vol­un­teer guides pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion about but­ter­fly species, host and nec­tar plants for gar­dens, and the life­cy­cle of but­ter­flies, cater­pil­lars and chrysalises of the dif­fer­ent species―on lo­ca­tion for about an hour. Do­na­tions can be made to Cape Co­ral Friends of Wildlife. “The but­ter­fly house has na­tive but­ter­fly species, in­clud­ing the monarch, ze­bra long­wing, gulf frit­il­lary, poly­damus but­ter­fly, gi­ant swal­low­tail, black swal­low­tail, pipevine swal­low­tail and atala but­ter­fly,” says Honey Phillips, se­nior re­cre­ation spe­cial­ist with Cape Parks and Re­cre­ation. Pic­nic ta­bles un­der pavil­ions, avail­able re­strooms. The Eco Ad­ven­ture Na­ture Camp is avail­able in sum­mer months.

Shell Fac­tory's Na­ture Park (above) and the Tom Allen Me­mo­rial But­ter­fly House in Cape Co­ral are great for kids.

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