From Blue Wave-certified beaches to the Everglades, sun-drenched days and fun-filled nights await moms, dads, kids, grandparents, or the Professional Aunt No Kids (PANKs) and Professional Uncle No Kids (PUNKs) in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
Whether traditional or LGBT families, PANKs, PUNKs or multi-generational groups, families of all shapes and sizes will find attractions, restaurants, hotels and resorts that appeal to both kids and kids at heart in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
To navigate the trip-planning process, the Greater Fort Lauderdale ‘FUNtinerary' highlights kid-approved activities, attractions and top-notch family programs and amenities at resorts and hotels. Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, Hyatt Pier Sixty-Six, Lago Mar Resort and Club, Pelican Grand Beach Resort, and The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale all cater to families featuring kids' clubs, playgrounds, children's pools and other amenities.
Greater Fort Lauderdale FUNtinerary
Day 1 - Arrive Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, pick up a rental car, head to your hotel and hit the beach. Greater Fort Lauderdale has plenty of spots to dig your toes in the sand - Fort Lauderdale beach is palm-tree fringed with a brick-lined beachfront promenade and an iconic white wave wall that's close to the shopping and dining scene. Nearby, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is a charming beach town with great snorkeling right off the beach, while Dania Beach is home to some of the prettiest and least crowded stretches of ocean in the area and Deerfield Beach's pier and promenade offer a very walk-able, relaxing experience and wide beach for watersports.
Take an evening cruise on a Fort Lauderdale institution - the Jungle Queen riverboat departs from Bahia Mar at 6 pm and heads to a nearby island for an all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner with entertainment. Or hop on the Water Taxi for a tour of the area's famous waterways and cruise to dinner - the taxi stops at 12 places in Fort Lauderdale along the Intracoastal Waterway and downtown New River, and makes three stops in Hollywood.
Day 2 - Rise and shine for a don't-miss visit to the Everglades and Billie Swamp Safari in the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation. Kids will learn about the land and culture of the Seminole Indians and for a more in-depth experience, take an airboat ride or cruise in a swamp buggy - a customized, elevated four-wheeler that's the best (and safest) way to view the area's exotic wildlife.
Return to downtown Fort Lauderdale for an afternoon of education at the Museum of Discovery and Science featuring more than 200 interactive exhibits, plus a five-story IMAX 3D Theater and new Eco-Discovery Center. Alternatively, families can get creative at the Young at Art Museum in Davie where you can visit a cave or build sand sculptures and recycled puppets, in this LEED-certified museum.
After dinner, hit up Boomers in Dania Beach - the amusement park is a hit with kids and stays open late with mini-golf, go-kart racing, rock climbing wall and ‘bumper boats.'
Day 3 - Finish your Greater Fort Lauderdale vacation in the great outdoors. Butterfly World in Coconut Creek features the largest indoor butterfly aviary in North America. The tropical oasis teems with thousands of rainbow-hued butterflies, hummingbirds and lorikeets.
Flamingo Gardens & Wray Botanical Collection in Davie features 60 acres of diverse native plants and trees, a Bird of Prey Center with a free-flight aviary and the chance to view alligators, flamingos, bobcats and Florida panthers, plus a historic 1930s Wray Home. Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood offers kayaking and canoeing through narrow canals where mangrove trees create a tangled canopy.
Or for some peace and quiet, drop the kids off at Funky Fish Kids Day, a "liquid playground" day camp (overnight options available) for kids ages 4 to 14 which includes snorkeling lessons, fishing, boating, scuba camp and more.
For more information and trip planning ideas, visit www.sunny.org.
Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Tel: (954) 767-2444