This is # 19 in my series of articles about the many places you can take your kids while parenting alone. Whether you are divorced, separated or just have your kids for the day you should be spending time with your kids in a constructive and active way.
Naples, Florida is not an especially kid-focused town and I’ve already covered almost everything kid-related in Collier County. So, let’s look north to Lee County for events and locations to have fun with kids.
Lee County Posse Arena is located at 17401 Palm Creek Dr., North Fort Myers, FL 33917
Lee County Posse Arena is primarily a rodeo venue but also hosts various equestrian events. While people think Florida is all beaches, Florida is actually a massive agriculturally focused state with long standing rural traditions, like rodeo.
The biggest even at Lee County Posse Arena is the Cracker Day Rodeo located for one weekend each January. The Cracker Day Rodeo includes bull riding, team roping, pole bending, breakaway roping, team roping and branding, steer wrestling, tie down roping and barrel racing.
The last day of the Cracker Day Rodeo festival is devoted to pee-wee rodeo. This is probably the day you will want to take your kids. It is cute and fun to watch kids do these rodeo events and you’re less likely to see a catastrophic injury when kids are doing the activities.
Admission to the Cracker Day Rodeo is $ 20 for adults, $ 10 for kids ten and under and free admission for children five and under.
It should be noted that “Cracker” is in the title of this event. This does not have an ethnic connotation. It is not a pejorative term. The term “cracker” refers to the cracking sound made by the whips used by early Florida settlers to herd their cattle. Others say the term derives from the use of cracked corn in making moonshine, a common activity on the Florida frontier.
There are also junior events for the “junior posse” scattered throughout the year. Junior or Pee-wee rodeo is a great example for all kids because it involves real kids dealing with real large animals. You can feel the self-confidence coming off of the child participants.
Rodeo is a great way to introduce kids to a rural world. For kids from Naples, Florida, exposure to rural America is largely limited to the cows grazing near the Southwest Florida International Airport. At the rodeo, kids can see that these are enormous active animals. Bulls and horses are dangerous and, simultaneously, tamed. Rural Florida, also known as “old Florida” is another culture that should be acknowledged along with the various other cultures in Southwest Florida.
Stop by Hayloft Western Wear to pick up some fun cowboy hats or other cowboy wear before the rodeo.
There aren’t many food options nearby so pack a lunch or stop at Farmers Market Restaurant on the way back to Naples for some down home cooking.
Lee County Posse Arena is 40 miles away from my Naples, Florida law office. Directions below: