Fun Things To Do in Fort Lauderdale with Kids
I was in Fort Lauderdale last week and it was so nice to feel warm for the first time in a long time. I was there for a quick three-day visit to run the nearby Miami Beach Half Marathon, have coffee with a couple of fellow travel writers and meet with a few business prospects on behalf of my new travel PR firm (more on that in a future post). As a bonus, I got to visit with my snowbird in-laws while in town.
Three days was not enough. I definitely wish I had more time to spend in Fort Lauderdale (if only to not have to put my winter coat back on upon returning to DC). It’s such a great town for families. There’s so much to see and do. Take a look at 15 of my favorite things to do in Fort Lauderdale with kids.
1. Go “Quack, Quack” on a Duck Tour. Kids will love the ever-popular Duck Tours. Enjoy a 90-minute sightseeing ride across land and sea while giving a “quack” here and there to passers-by.
2. Get Up Close with Local Flora and Fauna. Head to Flamingo Gardens to walk through the botanical gardens or take a narrated tram tour. Stay for an afternoon wildlife encounter show with parrots and baby alligators.
3. Build Sand Castles and Splash in the Waves. A trip to Fort Lauderdale isn’t complete without a trip to the beach. The beaches are wide, so there’s plenty of room to spread out. Before you leave, enjoy a people-watching stroll along the beachfront promenade.
4. Get an Ice Cream Cone in Las Olas. It’s a must to walk along the palm tree-lined Las Olas Boulevard to window shop or pop into art galleries. Stop into Kilwin’s for a fantastic ice cream treat.
5. Take an Airboat Ride. It’s a must to visit the Everglades while in South Florida. Try Everglades Holiday Park for an airboat ride, a gator show and the chance to pose while holding a baby alligator.
6. Visit the World’s Largest Butterfly Park. Kids will love a trip to Butterfly World to see thousands of butterflies. There’s also an on-site bug museum. Print a discount coupon before you check this off my list of fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale with kids.
7. Try Stand-Up Paddleboarding. This is on my bucket list for this year, so I wish I’d had a chance to try it out while in town. Try Fort Lauderdale Stand Up Paddle for lessons and one-hour tours.
8. Bargain Hunt at a Flea Market. Head to Festival Flea Market Mall to explore vendor booths and see what’s for sale. Open daily you’ll find loads of watches, collectibles, flowers, produce and more.
9. Get Hands-On at the Museum of Discovery and Science. Kids will love the Museum of Discovery and Science where they’ll find loads of hands-on activities. Also, check out the EcoDiscovery Center.
10. Ride on a Riverboat. Come aboard the Jungle Queen for a 90-minute narrated cruise. See homes of the rich and famous, superyachts and many more sights along the way.
11. Explore the Barbie Dreamhouse. Since there are pop-up showers in South Florida, get indoors at Sawgrass Mills Mall for Barbie The Dreamhouse Experience. It’s a 10,000 square foot experience complete with activities and 350+ Barbie dolls on display.
12. See the Night Sky. Head to Buehler Planetarium & Observatory on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings when the observatory is open to the public. As a bonus, look for “Stories for a Starry Night” on Wednesdays at 7 pm.
13. Rent a Boat and Go Fishing. Head to Sawgrass Recreation Park to rent a boat and go fishing out on the water. The park also offers private guided fishing tours with an advanced booking.
14. Learn to Surf. Throughout the year, Hangloose Surf School offers private one and two-hour surf lessons, including how to ride the waves and water safety. Sign up as a family and hang ten.
15. Go on a Pirate Adventure. With Bluefoot Pirate Adventures, your kids will have a swashbuckling good time. Dress up like a pirate, learn pirate-speak, hunt for treasure, even fire the water cannons.
Ready to tackle this list of things to do in Fort Lauderdale with kids and need to book a hotel room? We recently stayed at the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort in nearby Hollywood, Florida. Check the latest rates and get more details for this family-friendly hotel.
Photo Credit: VISIT FLORIDA Editor