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Starting off our 22adventuresin2022, we wanted to seek out new destinations, but we also wanted to revisit some more familiar places in a whole new way. One of our favorite things to do is visit Ft. Lauderdale with kids. There is so much to see and do for them, plus they have some of the best beaches on the East Coast. We started off our adventures with a super fun and exciting trip that included some pretty great, kid-friendly activities. Read along as we share our favorite things to do in Ft. Lauderdale with Kids.
Mermaids and Mimosas
Every Sunday at the B Ocean Resort, their ship-themed Wreck Bar turns into an exciting brunch for families. Not only serving delicious food like Belgian waffles and French Toast, but they offer bottomless mimosas and other drinks. Shortly after sitting down and choosing your brunch, from the depths come beautiful and enchanting mermaids that steal the show.
While you enjoy your brunch, the mermaids flow past the portholes and other windows. They stop often in front of the glass to play with the children, which make the best pictures. This experience was so special for our girls and something they will remember forever.
Visit the Everglades
One of the most unique things you can do while in Ft. Lauderdale is to check out Everglades National Park. This one of a kind nature preserve is the largest subtropical wilderness in the US. Often called “a river of grass”, the Everglades is made up of mangroves, sawgrass marshes and flat woods that are home to hundreds of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Among some of the wildlife are the endangered leatherback turtle, the Florida panther and the West Indian manatee.
There are many different options when it comes to taking a tour of the Everglades, but going by boat is one of the most fun. Boat tour prices range from $20-$40 depending on the date and location of your tour. Be sure to bring lots of water, sunscreen, and bug spray to keep everyone comfortable.
Bluefoot Pirate Adventures
Bluefoot Pirate Adventures tours is a children’s pirate ship cruise, where you can choose from a family friendly adventure, a birthday party, or even an adult BYOB sunset cruise. While touring the waterways, you will learn the ways of a pirate. You will learn how to walk, talk, hunt for treasure, and shoot water cannons like a pirate. You will also be able to see all the beautiful boats and houses along the waterway on your cruise. Just be on the lookout, someone may try to come and take your hard earned treasure.
For an hour-long tour a single rider it’s $31, children ages 2 and under are only $15.50, and if you’re looking for a private charter, that will cost around $950. Be sure to arrive 30 minutes early so you can get dressed up and put on some pirate tattoos!
Attend a Surf School
There are lots of great surf schools and surf camps along the coast of Ft. Lauderdale. No need to worry, there’s lessons for every skill level. The prices can range from $60-$100 an hour and we highly suggest private lessons. When booking, be sure to allow one instructor per child to get the best out of your time in the water.
We took our family to a surf school when we visited Costa Rica and we had such an amazing time with the girls. It’s now one of our favorite family activities when we are on the coast and the waves are rolling in.
Ft. Lauderdale Beaches and Parks
One of the best things to do while visiting Ft. Lauderdale is to check out the local beaches and parks. Ft. Lauderdale is home to over 7 miles of open beaches, with such distinct differences in atmosphere. No matter which one you visit, you’ll be delighted to find the most beautiful views and a selection of great activities. Ft. Lauderdale also has many different state parks that are really great to visit with kids. Many of them offer free tours and lots of learning opportunities for children. Each park has so many unique chances to explore and allows the whole family to connect with nature.
At Butterfly World you will find over 20,000 different species of butterflies, insects, and birds. This outdoor nature park has been around since 1988 and they are always adding interesting new things. It’s such a great place to take the kids and they do offer an hour long guided tours packed with great information.
Children ages 2 and under are free, ages 3-11 are $22.50, and ages 12 and up are $32.50. Note: all tickets must be purchased in person, there are no preorders available and no reservations required. Have a great time!
Family Fun Center
Whether it’s a rainy day or you need a break from the sun, Family Fun Center is one of the best places to take your kids in Ft. Lauderdale for some fun indoor activities. This 9,000 square foot building has something to offer for everyone in the family, even the adults. There’s a climbing wall, a skyline ropes course, a laser maze, and a dedicated separate play area for little ones.
They often have special events for kids in the evenings, like Kid’s Night Out. Daily passes for under 2 yrs. is $11.99, and for kids over the age of 2, a daily pass will cost $17.99. They also have monthly passes and adults always play for Free!
Museum of Discovery and Science
If you homeschool like us, every vacation is also a learning opportunity. We love to give our girls experiences that will also teach them something about the world around us. If you’re looking for something fun and educational to do while in Ft. Lauderdale, then you have to make a trip to MODS. It offers so many different exhibits for all ages. You can learn all about marine life, space, science, and lots of different animals.
Be sure to check out the website before your visit, because they have traveling exhibits, like Dinosaurs in Motion that are only there a limited time. Tickets may be purchased in advance. Admission under 2 is free, children 2-12 are $22, and adults up to 65 are $27. If you’re looking to enjoy the IMAX experience there will be additional costs, but well worth it.
Snorkeling Tour with Kids
When visiting Ft. Lauderdale, you must try a guided snorkel tour. This is a very unique way to explore Fort Lauderdale’s beautiful coral reefs. They are home to over 500 different species of fish and it’s only about 400 feet from the shore. You’re sure to see angel fish, butterfly fish, tang, and even some sunken ships.
This tour is meant for all levels, although I do suggest that your kids are comfortable wearing a mask and snorkel, and are stronger swimmers. Tours start at $45 per person, that includes a youth tour. Hope you have an amazing time on this one!
Flamingo Gardens is one of the oldest botanical gardens in all of South Florida. It offers a great learning center to teach people all about the heritage of South Florida and the Everglades. Several specialized botanical gardens to tour, including a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden. The wildlife sanctuary has over 3,000 species of exotic, tropical, subtropical, and native plants and trees.
Flamingo Gardens is also home to the largest collection of Florida-native wildlife; including alligators, bobcats, eagles, otters, panthers, peacock, and flamingos!! They have many special events to promote different animals, ecosystems, and ways you too can help out the community. Check out the website before you visit to see what they will be offering that day. Tickets should be purchased online in advance. Adults are $19.95, children 3-11 are $14.95.
Visit Riverwalk Ft. Lauderdale
Riverwalk Ft. Lauderdale is another great thing to do with kids. It’s about a mile long on the north and south banks of the New River, with lots of galleries, museums & places to stop and eat along the way. Famous for its Sunday music festivals, the Riverwalk is a wonderful place to spend time together while enjoying food and drinks. Only about a mile long, you can easily spend a half a day just soaking in the views and watching people and boats. The Riverwalk itself is free to visit, but any food, drinks, boat rides, and other attractions come with a fee.
Tour the City of Ft.Lauderdale
Some of the best times we had while visiting Ft. Lauderdale was just touring around the city. There is so much to explore and it is such a beautiful city. There’s lots to see in the Arts and Science District, like the Replica Schoolhouse Museum.
I hope you enjoyed our favorite things to do in Ft. Lauderdale with Kids. I know we sure had fun on our trip there! Such great scenery, very good food, and wonderful experiences…we will be back for sure. We hope you take one of your next trips to Ft. Lauderdale with your kids and have a great time with your family! If you do, please be sure to share.
Note: Some of the photography used in this post is not of the exact location, but are our own.
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