Museums

Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium Fort Myers

Where is it at?

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Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium
3450 Ortiz Ave
Fort Myers
FL
33905
Tel: 239 275 3435

Directions

The Center is located at 3450 Ortiz Avenue at the intersection of Colonial Blvd. and Six Mile Cypress in Fort Myers, one minute from I-75 at Exit 136.

Where are we going today?

Calusa Nature Centre and Planetarium

Their museum welcomes families and is themed around Southwest Florida's natural history and includes interpretive panels on local environmental issues.

The Planetarium offers great starscape experiences with a varying schedule of displays.

The live exhibits are focussed on by interpretive panels and daily educational programmes to get the most from the visit, plus walk through butterfly house and bird aviaries. The Audubon Aviary is specifically home to injured and recuparating birds of prey.

The three outdoor nature trails are push and wheel chair accessible and offer great views.

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$10
  • Children$5 to $10
  • Free Under: 2 years.
LAST UPDATED 2013

When can we go?

Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm?; Sunday 11am to 5pm.

Any Top Tips?

Join Volunteer Docent Norm DeWolfe every Tuesday and Friday (except last Friday of the month) at 10am for a guided walk of the Cypress Swamp Boardwalk. He has been leading the walk for years and is one of the best interpreters of the swamp!.

Doing our bit

Proud to be a not for profit, environmental education organization..

What people are saying?

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    My husband and I loved this small nature center and planetarium. We'll be back. They have nature trails, reptile tanks, alligators, large birds, and small mammals, and they offer reptile feeding shows. Among the animals are rescued animals. The planetarium sports some interesting sky shows. You can learn quite a lot there about nature. Everything is well documented, and potentially of interest for both kids and adults. The three staff members we talked to were nice and had informative responses. Judging from the state of some of the cages/tanks,...Read More

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    This place has so many things wrong with it, I don’t even know where to start. I worked there for a while (2013-14) and have an inside knowledge of this establishment. Most importantly, there are dozens of blatant safety violations.

    This place HAS A VIOLENT FELON working there. STEVE MASEK is the criminal in charge of the animals. You can find his felony convictions on the Lee County Sheriff’s web page. He also has a felony assault charge (case 2013-04598) pending against him from a few months ago when he severely beat someone up on property....Read More

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    I really wanted to go to a planetarium, I love being in there for an entire day, when I found this place I was so happy I was thinking of giving it a visit but due to the bad comments I'm afraid I would have to look for another place, sadly, I hope you guys get this place fixed asap, cause I'm dying to go there.

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    Had the children there it was very educational for them. They enjoyed the planetarium as well as I did. There was a young boy in his early teens that demonstrated what not to do with the reptiles. Walk the whole boardwalk very peaceful got some great photos of the children. Looking forward to the Halloween hopefully the ghost of orchids will be in bloom.

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    Fantastic place.

Submit a review

by Alexandra Zaba-Rubin

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My husband and I loved this small nature center and planetarium. We'll be back. They have nature trails, reptile tanks, alligators, large birds, and small mammals, and they offer reptile feeding shows. Among the animals are rescued animals. The planetarium sports some interesting sky shows. You can learn quite a lot there about nature. Everything is well documented, and potentially of interest for both kids and adults. The three staff members we talked to were nice and had informative responses. Judging from the state of some of the cages/tanks, and description signs, they do seem, however, to need some donations/funding. But the place is definitely worth seeing, and worth our support.

by Chris Reisinger

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This place has so many things wrong with it, I don’t even know where to start. I worked there for a while (2013-14) and have an inside knowledge of this establishment. Most importantly, there are dozens of blatant safety violations.

This place HAS A VIOLENT FELON working there. STEVE MASEK is the criminal in charge of the animals. You can find his felony convictions on the Lee County Sheriff’s web page. He also has a felony assault charge (case 2013-04598) pending against him from a few months ago when he severely beat someone up on property. Steve verbally assaulted me and several other employees in front of our young campers. I’d be pretty upset if my 8-year old came home from camp screaming MotherF***er, as Steve taught them.
Why is Steve still working here you ask? Because his wife, Virginia Buford, assumed the position of president of the board of directors. She has been protecting him for quite some time and shields the rest of the board members from his behaviors.

THIS PLACE IS NOT SAFE! This nature center is nearing bankruptcy and they are doing unsafe things just trying to survive a little longer. I had to call the parents of a couple of brothers who would not stop punching and kicking a fellow camper in the belly who had just undergone stomach surgery. The father, who had been notified of his sons’ misbehaviors the day before, came to pick him up. Virginia and Mary Rawl (director) had me on the chopping block because “we might lose two campers’ fees.” It is completely ridiculous that Mary and Virginia would compromise the safety of a little boy for $70.
There are also lots of safety issues on the trails. People are forever falling through the boardwalk and injuring themselves.

Overall, this place is not safe for anyone, and is totally run-down. They still have offensive “decorations” up from Halloween, which was only…6 months ago!! Do yourself a favor and go to the Six Mile Cypress Slough, a couple miles south, and attend their free guided walks at 9:30am. I can’t tell you how many refunds I had to issue due to safety issues, and dissatisfied patrons while I worked there.

The Weather

Thursday

Conditions: Clear
Temp: 81° F / 27° C
Humidity: 65 %
Wind: S - 9 MPH

Friday

Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Temp: 80° F / 27° C
Humidity: 69 %
Wind: SSW - 11 MPH

Saturday

Conditions: Clear
Temp: 81° F / 27° C
Humidity: 69 %
Wind: S - 15 MPH

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