Sleep overs at Shell Factory Nature Park
April 5, 2017


It may not be quite like camping out at Yellowstone, but children and a guardian will get the sounds of nature at their finest.

The Shell Factory & Nature Park at 2787 N. Tamiami Trail (Old 41) will really come alive at night starting on May 6 as it presents "Snores & Roars," an overnight camping adventure for kids of all ages.

Rick Tupper, marketing director and CFO of the Shell Factory, said he got the idea from his granddaughter going to a similar sleepout at the Detroit zoo, a program that has been very successful.

"Most of our target audience has never camped before and see it as an experience to bond with their kids and learn about the Nature Park," Tupper said. "It's a great opportunity for a youngster and parents to get together.

Tupper said they will start registering on Easter during their Easter trail in the Nature Park, as well as at Family Fun Day at Germain Arena on April 14.

The great thing is that you don't have to rough it. The cost is $49 per person for campers age 5 to 12 and parents. That includes dinner, snack and a continental breakfast and a guided tour of the park with close animal encounters.

Tents and chairs will be provided and there will be educational programs, behind the scenes encounters and campfire activities such as roasting marshmallows and arts and crafts.

Tupper said the Nature Park gets really interesting at night, with the noises of nature from the nocturnal creatures.

Tupper said they will try it out in May and see about June, since it gets hot and rainy at that point. Tupper said they will stop it until things start to cool down again in October.

If this succeeds, they could offshoot this into camping birthday parties, especially since, at first, most of the campouts will involve the locals.

"Down the road, I can see people wanting to take their grandkids. It's a fun thing to do for one night," Tupper said.

Pre-registration is required and the event will be supervised by Nature Park personnel.

Campers must have their own sleeping bag and be accompanied by a parent. Check-in time is 6 p.m., with checkout at 9 a.m. No children are allowed to leave the designated Nature Park area without a supervising parent.

For more information or to register, call 995-2141 or go to


Regular Size North Fort Myers Neighbor