Visiting the National Shell Museum with kids

One of the best family-friendly things to do on Sanibel!

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum has activities for children of all ages:

  • touch pools with live animals

  • shell crafting area

  • scavenger hunts

The Museum is open and following all safety measures recommended by the Florida Dept. of Public Health.

Your trip to Sanibel just got easier. Traveling with children can be a constant search for entertaining activities. At Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, there's something for every member of your family—especially the kids! And did we mention that our new Living Gallery has a Giant Pacific Octopus?

Touch Pools


Two 15-foot long touch pools offer your kids a chance to touch live mollusks

Shell Crafting

Kits full of shells and craft ideas get the creative juices flowing

Scavenger Hunts


Two different hunts give kids a fun way to explore the Museum and search for shells

Keeping you safe from COVID-19

  • all staff and visitors are now required to wear masks

  • lots of fun programming has been moved outside

  • we've added new floor markings, plexiglass barriers, and cleaning practices

"This museum was one of the reasons my shelling-obsessed daughters and I came to Sanibel. We were not disappointed!"


—TripAdvisor Contributor abstill

"Took a shell jewelry making class with the grandchildren (ages 5–8) and that was a highlight! Can't wait to go back."

—TripAdvisor Contributor Doris K

"They really cater to smaller clientele: a scavenger hunt and toddler friendly area that little hands can play, touch, explore."


—TripAdvisor Contributor R3dH3dGrl

FREE admission for kids under 5 and discounts for kids ages 5–17!