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Boasting an endless array of oceanside activities, South Florida is perfect for families looking for some fun in the sun. A year-round tropical climate and vibrant mix of fascinating attractions blend seamlessly with its postcard-worthy landscapes and outdoor adventures. From kid-friendly museums to underwater adventures, here are the best things to do with the kids in South Florida.
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Located in Coconut Creek, Butterfly World is home to more than 20,000 beautiful winged creatures. You can get lost in the maze of aviaries and gardens that cover the nearly 10 acres of land, where kids can walk among over 50 species of multicolored butterflies as they’re surrounded by a lush canopy of exotic plants and flowers. You can spot hummingbirds and lorikeets in the 30-foot Tropical Rainforest Aviary, admire cascading waterfalls, then climb atop the observation tower.
Offering education through its collection of eye-catching tropical plants, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens has been delighting visitors with its colorful displays since 1938. Take a tour of the gardens on a scenic tram ride and admire its 83 acres of lush greenery and foliage. Witness the hummingbird exhibit, then walk along the pathways that wind through the gardens and you’ll discover the garden’s centerpiece, the world’s greatest living collection of palms and cycads.
Lion Country Safari is one of the best things to do in South Florida no matter what age you are. Located in Loxahatchee, it offers one of the best animal encounters in the state, as this drive-through safari boasts more than 900 animals on its property. Take a five-mile drive through the amusement park and get a peek at large herds of waterbuck, orucks and rhinos, and see if you can spot lion prides, chimps and giraffes roaming the area. Walk through the area’s range of displays, where you can see colorful birds and fish, while little ones will delight in the kid-friendly rides and interactive water features.
Far from the stuffy museums that you’re used to, the Miami Children’s Museum features a range of innovative exhibits that are designed to keep the kids entertained for hours. This kid-friendly attraction in Miami offers a miniature world that features a replica of a grocery store and cruise ship, while the music recording studio newscasts area offers a chance to create something unique. Climb the two-story sand castle and create animated art at the Sketch Aquarium.
The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables isn’t like your usual public swimming hole, as this alluring attraction is the largest freshwater swimming pool in the United States. Dating back to 1923, it’s spring-fed waters will cool you off, while kids will enjoy exploring the cascading waterfalls and cave-like grottos. Perfect for a hot summer day, this National Register of Historic Places landmark also has picnic tables where you can set up an outdoor lunch.
One of Florida’s most fascinating natural wonders, Biscayne National Park should be at the top of the list for any outdoor loving family. Home to the third largest coral reef in the world, the park features plenty of opportunities to go on a snorkeling adventure. Its pristine waters are teeming with colorful underwater marine life, from parrotfish to striped sergeant majors and schools of shimmery grunts, and is just a short drive from the bustling Miami landscapes.
There’s nothing more exciting than enjoying a water park in Florida, and Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach offers 30 acres of thrill-seeking fun. You’ll find an impressive 35 slides to explore and two seven-story drop slides for the more adventurous. Big Thunder offers a 45-degree drop slide in complete darkness that will give you the feeling of weightlessness, while the younger crowd can head to Barefootin Bay with interactive sprayers. This top water park in Florida will not disappoint, offering hours of fun for the entire family.
Flamingo Gardens in Davie is a 60-acre oasis, boasting a tropical setting that is a blend of botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary. Head to the flamingo exhibit to see the pink-hued beauties in their natural environment, then observe the hundreds of wading birds, black bears and river otters in the nearby exhibits. The Butterfly and Hummingbird garden is a tranquil area to explore.
A famous ice cream shop in Florida that has been operating for almost 60 years, Jaxson’s Ice Cream parlour in Dania Beach serves up delicious frozen treats. This retro 1950’s style restaurant serves up crazy portions of ice cream concoctions and 45 unique flavors, from a Chocolate-Peanut Gargantuan to a Fudge-ana goblet and old-fashioned banana splits.
Sun-N-Fun Lagoon is a Naples-based water park, where you can take the entire family for a day of fun. The park is home to a collection of exciting water slides, four pools and a long lazy river where you can soak up the sunshine. There’s also a splash pad playground with water features for the little ones, and enclosed water slides for those looking for a bit more thrill.
Located in Homestead, the Everglades Alligator Farm offers you the chance to observe some of Florida’s fiercest wildlife from a safe distance. Home to more than 2,000 alligator’s, you can go on an exciting airboat tour, watch an alligator show and see an alligator feeding demonstration. Make sure to stop by and say hello to “Grandpa”, a famous 14-foot alligator.
Jungle Island in Miami is the perfect destinations for animal-loving kids who want to get up close to over 1,100 macaws, parrots and other winged creatures. The kids can interact with giant reptiles and exotic primates in the 18-acre park, play at the miniature water park and admire over 500 species of plants and flowers that create its lush landscapes. Purchase a handful of bird feed and let the birds eat right from the palm of your hand.