Stay at the Marriott Harbor Beach that has a giant pool, direct access to the beach, a kids' club and plenty of things to amuse the parents as well. You may very well not want to leave the grounds, but the location is great for adventure.
Join a swash-buckling crew of buccaneers for an interactive treasure hunt on the 9 am sailing. Kids will love all the face-painting and pretend, and it's educational enough that local schools often book field trips. The Blue Foot boards within walking distance at the Bahia Mar Marina.
Grab an early lunch and watch the boats go by at Coconuts, a beachy hangout on the Intracoastal Waterway. Seafood is the speciality with crab cakes that go heavy on the crab, conch fritters, coconut shrimp, lobster rolls and fresh local fish, but meat lovers will relish Tim's Backyard Burger and the breaded pork chops. The kids will go for the side of mac & cheese.
Head downtown for another kind of adventure at the Museum of Science and Discovery where you can explore Florida's great outdoors through interactive exhibits even on a rainy day. From where you are, you can get there by car, bus and water taxi. You may want to stay after hours if the IMAX is showing a film you all want to see on its six-story screen.
Let the kids unwind and wind up the day at the hotel's kids' club while you relax in the fitness center, putting in your treadmill time with beach views) or the 22,000-square foot (some 2000 sq m) full-service spa.
Arrange with the hotel for a sitter and head for the nightlife of Wilton Manors or linger over a candle-lit dinner at the hotel's award-winning 3030 Ocean Restaurant. If it's a Saturday or Sunday night, kids have a free movie-night by the pool.