Monday, July 9, 2018

Family Fun Recommendations in South Florida

I've been visiting my parents in South Florida since they moved there in 2010.  In those 8 years, I've become familiar with what's available in their town as well as surrounding ones. If you're planning a trip to South Florida this summer or in the coming months, here's a guide to some of my favorite places to visit.  Whether you have kids or not, there's something for everyone on the list!

Gulf Stream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida is an entertainment destination featuring thoroughbred racing, two casinos, shopping and dining.  You'll enjoy the beautiful outdoor/indoor aspect of the park  with shops and restaurants to appeal to anyone's tastes and preferences.  I am partial to the casino and always enjoy trying my luck at the slot machines and dining at Brio for a delicious Italian dinner.   (901 S Federal Hwy, Hallandale Beach, FL)

Sugar Sand Park in Boca Raton, Florida is a gem we discovered about two years ago and truly love.  This 132 acre park features a Community Center which houses the children's science Explorium, the Willow Theatre, and the Field House which features an indoor gym. Scarlett goes absolutely nuts for the unique science playground that is paradise for children! The science playground is a tri-level hands-on experience that features many interactive components demonstrating a variety of scientific principles for all ages.

You'll find wheelchair accessible swings, slides, sensory walls, and an expanded climbing structure that allows for access to people of all ages and abilities.  Any child would enjoy the updated splash pad that show cases a variety of sea creatures, and younger children will appreciate the new train station-themed toddler play area.  When Scarlett is done playing at the playground, we always make our way to the science center to learn from the hands on exhibits.  Sugar Sand Park is an absolute must-see if you have children! (300 S Military Trail Boca Raton, FL)

You can't go to Florida without visiting the beach! The beach and boardwalk in Hollywood, Florida is one of my favorites.  There are both walking and bike lanes in the boardwalk depending on which you prefer.  As you make your way down the boardwalk you'll be met with the beautiful sights and sounds of the ocean which is always appreciated.  Restaurants, hotels, and beach shops are at your disposal for whatever you may need.  

I recommend having breakfast on the beach and then spending a few hours basking in the sun.  You can rent lounge chairs/cabanas to make your visit extra comfortable.  Don't forget plenty of water and sunscreen and a visit to an ice cream shop too! There's also a splash pad fountain for the little ones to enjoy. (Hollywood Beach and Boardwalk, Hollywood FL)

If you're looking to cool off in the hot summer sun with your children, Paradise Cove Water Park at CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, FL would be a great choice.  This dramatically expanded and revamped 4.69-acre facility opened in April 2004.  Among its features: Parrot's Point, a 12-inch deep pool with two small water slides and other interactive play elements is perfect for children ages 5 and under.  Shark's Lagoon is an 18-inch deep pool with three waterslides along with other interactive play elements.  Crazy Creek is a 410-foot-long lazy river tube ride with interactive play elements among the route.  Paradise Pipeline opened in 2014 and consists of four colorful watersides the equivalent of five stories tall. 

Take a break from the water and have lunch at Paradise Grill or have a snack at the Sand Dollar concession.  With more than a dozen Funbrellas and picnic tables, you'll enjoy the time out of the water.  My husband and I took Scarlett today and spent about four hours there.  We absolutely loved it and will surely be back. The admission and food prices are very reasonable and you can spend the entire day here for one low cost! (900 N Flamingo Rd, Pembroke Pines FL)

If you're looking to beat the heat and find something fun that's indoors, I recommend the Frost Museum in Miami, FL.  This beautiful new science museum is only a year old and offers five floors of hands on exhibits featuring weather and technology, wildlife centers, and even a planetarium!  Bring the whole family to this science museum for an educational and fun experience.  You can learn how aspects of the human body work while seeing a show about stars and planets at the planetarium afterwards. 

My family went for my Mom's recent 60th birthday and are so glad we did! Scarlett was thrilled to see all of the fish and wildlife in the three-level aquarium section as well as all of the hands on exhibits in the Me Lab which teaches you about body and mind.  There's something to see everywhere you turn so make sure you devote several hours to checking everything out. Take a break and have lunch in the restaurant and then cap off the experience with a stop at the River of Grass which is a sensory filled journey celebrating the Everglades.  There's an outdoor hands-on area and a hi-tech, indoor virtual Everglades where charming animal characters frolic and interact.  I can guarantee you'll leave the Frost Museum with smiles and fond memories! (1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami FL) 

I hope you have a fantastic and fun filled time in South Florida! If you have a favorite place to visit in South Florida, let me know in the comments. 

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