I have composed this list of South Florida for families based on attractions I have enjoyed over the years with my own family. Whether you already live here or are planning to purchase a time share so you visit again and again, these attractions are a must see. In addition, these attractions are a mixture of places where you will want to spend the whole day to some that take only a few hours. They also span ages infant through adults so there is something for everyone. Further, I have included photos and websites for you to find additional information and ticket info. Please research each website for details before booking to find out any current restrictions.
South Florida for Families: Miami
- Holocaust Memorial– A bit gruesome but important for the younger generation to know, this is an outdoor memorial located at 1933-1945 Meridian Avenue, Miami Beach. A committee of Holocaust survivors created this memorial in 1985, and it will take your breath away.
- Vizcaya– Explore the 10 acres of Italian gardens and tour part of the old world mansion. Transport yourself back to Europe right here in Miami.
- Coral Castle– How did a man only 100lbs. and 5′ tall build this marvel of stone? Built in the 1940s without machinery, Ed Leedskalnin built this fortress as a gift for an unrequited love. Come tour the castle and learn its fascinating history. Narration is available in English, Spanish, French, and German.
- Zoo Miami– This zoo is the only sub tropical zoo in the United States and houses animals from around the world. Feed giraffes or parrots, ride a camel, or get up close and personal with critters during a presentation. Take a safari tram tour or hop on the monorail. If you want to relax lounge on a pedal boat or go for a ride on the Lostman’s River Ride.
- Monkey Jungle– Here the people are caged and the monkeys run free. Numerous presentations are available. You can even buy art work created by a gorilla.
- Miami Seaquarium– In addition to the usual sea lion and dolphin shows, view penguins and other sea life in their underwater habitats. For an additional fee you will have the opportunity to swim with the dolphins or seals or experience penguin or shark encounters.
- Parrot Jungle Island– Children can walk through 8′ tall hammocks, nets, and wood bridges. Then walk among the kangaroos while you feed them. Interact with squirrel monkeys, macaws, and more. After that head over to the petting barn. For an additional price you can interact with a lemur, encounter a sloth, experience flamingos, or meet a capybara.
South Florida for Families: Fort Lauderdale
- Butterfly World at Tradewinds Park– Open since 1988, Butterfly World sits on 3 acres which includes 3 butterfly aviaries, botanical gardens, and a butterfly farm. You can also feed the birds. In addition, on the north side of Tradewinds Park has a farm and stables where children can enjoy pony rides. Fields are available for various sports. Also picnic ground and playgrounds are available. And if you visit during the holiday season, come at night for an amazing drive through lights display.
- Carrie B Cruises– Experience a bit of the lifestyles of the rich and famous as you view mansions and yachts along the intercoastal waterway on this 1.5 hour cruise. Drinks and snacks are available for purchase.
- IFly– Do you want to try skydiving but are afraid of heights and possible death? Powerful electric fans lift you into the air. It is a very unique experience open to all. They are even able to make accommodations for those with limited physical and cognitive abilities.
- Mai Kai Dinner Show– Enter Polynesia and wander through the gardens. Then enjoy tropical drinks in unique glassware. Non-alcoholic cocktails are available for the kids. My daughter was so excited to drink out of a pineapple. After that sit back and enjoy the show. The performers will treat you to flame throwers, hula dancers, and rhythmic beats.
- Museum of Discovery & Science– This children’s museum is fun for all ages. It houses a traveling exhibit which currently is Expedition: Dinosaur. The first floor of the museum houses the center of discover for those under age six. You will be lucky if you can get your children out of there and on to the next exhibit. Next take in the Everglades airboat adventure. Learn about Florida’s water supply. View underwater ecoscapes. Then play the recycling game and explore prehistoric Florida. Test your skills at the science park and experience storm force winds at the Storm Center. The second floor is home to Keller Science theater, in addition to opportunities to perform simulated surgery, explore a dinosaur bone yard, and go on a simulated plane flight.
- Young at Art– Explore the world of the imagination. Make projects from recycled materials. Learn about cultures from around the world. Keep returning for changing exhibits.
- Coral Springs Museum of Art– This museum features local artists as well as changing exhibitions. On Wednesdays admission is free. Art classes and camps are available. From October 10-December 30, 2020 the Smithsonian will loan the exhibit 100 Faces of War. The museum offers children’s classes several weekends a month with different themes. The museum is housed in the Coral Springs Center for the Arts which has ballets, musicals, comedy, and music performances.
- Plantation Historical Museum at Christmas Time- Located at 511 North Fig Tree Lane in Plantation, FL this museum is hidden away in a residential area. Outdoors are beautiful butterfly gardens and a table for picnicking. At Christmas time, the museum has a dollhouse display and over 20 themed Christmas trees in addition to a electric train. It is worth a visit. Admission is free, but there is a box for donations.
South Florida for Families: Palm Beach
- Schoolhouse Children’s Museum– Fun exhibits for the young ones. Outdoors there is a large wooden playground and picnic area. It is a great place to spend a few hours and only requires a donation, so it is very affordable.
- Coconut Cove Water Park– Most people head to Rapids Water Park, but I recommend this if you are looking to spend less money and have younger kids. There is a 986′ lazy river, 2 four story high water slides, a pool, and a children’s water playground. In addition there is a lily pad walk that I even did as an adult. It is great exercise and fun trying to balance. Concessions are available, and you can eat in a covered picnic area. The park has plenty to do, but it is fairly easy to keep an eye on your kids.
- Henry Morrison Flagler Museum– Visit the opulent home of railroad magnate Henry Morrison. Completed in 1902, it is now considered a National Historic Landmark. You can tour the first and second floors of Whitehall on your own and download the narration on your phone. You can also visit the grounds and Flagler’s Railcar No. 91.
- Bedner’s Farm– My daughter went her with girl scouts but it is an experience for the whole family. There are tractor rides November-May. During the winter and spring months you have the opportunity to pick your own strawberries, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, sunflowers, and black-eyed peas. You can feed the animals and kids can ride a pony. Fresh food from the smokehouse is available as well.
- Lion Country Safari– Drive your car through the safari with an audio tour through bluetooth as zebras and ostriches walk right up to you. Then go feed some lettuce to a giraffe. When you are done take in a game of mini golf. Hot? You can cool off at the water sprayground. Additionally, you can spend the night camping and hear the roar of the lions as you sleep.
- Palm Beach Zoo– The zoo has 3 new Malayan tiger cubs! Don’t miss this opportunity. This zoo takes care of many endangered species such as Golden Lion Tamarins, Cranes, Baird’s Tapir, Panthers, Peacocks, besides other species which are less threatened. Learn about conservation efforts.
If you are visiting the area and don’t want to stay in a hotel check out Airbnb. If you are new to Airbnb click here for a one time discount.
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