Students in Collier County have only a few more days to enjoy the freedom of summer before it’s time to return to the classroom. This weekend and next are good opportunities to have some family fun while getting your kids back into learning mode with these sneaky educational activities.
Head up to Fort Myers on Saturday for the Imaginarium Birthday Bash. The science center is turning 17 and is celebrating with a day of science demonstrations, live animal encounters and 3-D movies.
Exhibits at the museum let kids do everything from host a TV report to build their own coaster track. The museum also is hosting a special exhibit called “Be the Dinosaur,” where kids can learn what it takes to be a T. Rex.
Imaginarium Birthday Bash
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18
Where: Imaginarium Hands-on Museum, 2000 Cranford Ave., Fort Myers
Cost: $4, students with ID; free, kids 2 and younger; $6, adults ages 13-54; $5, seniors; (Prices valid Saturday only)
Information: 239-321-7420 or www.i-sci.org
If your kids love animals, especially reptiles, pack up the family and head up the road to Palmdale for Gatorama’s Hatching Festival. Kids can learn all about baby alligators and even hold an egg while it hatches. Don’t worry about lost fingers — baby gators don’t have teeth. Hatching gloves and hand sanitizer are provided.
Gatorama Hatching Festival
When: Aug. 18-27. Hatching programs at 10 a.m., noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Mondays-Sundays and 7 p.m. Mondays-Thursday
Where: 6180 U.S. Highway 27, Palmdale
Cost: $14.95 adults; $13.95 seniors, military and teachers with ID; $6.95 kids 60 inches or shorter. Hatch-and-hold is an additional $10
Information: 863-675-0623 or www.gatorama.com
Something else: $1 off coupon for up to six people available on website. Gatorama offers 15 hatch-and-hold reservation slots per session; reservations are suggested. An additional 20 to 30 slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the number of eggs ready to hatch.
BACK TO SCHOOL BASH
School’s back in session and your kids survived their first week. Why not reward them with an evening of fun? The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is hosting its last Hot Summer Night event on Aug. 24 at Sun-N-Fun Lagoon.
Collier students can enjoy a free evening of water slides and floating along the lazy river. Food will be for sale at the park’s food court.
Back to School Bash
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 24
Where: Sun-N-Fun Lagoon, 15000 Livingston Road, Naples
Cost: free, kids; $5, adults