Whether your kids can be a handful or you've got a handful of kids, Greater Fort Lauderdale has kid-friendly activities to keep them active and entertained. Kids of all ages, and their parents too, can take in the sun and relax along the 23 miles of certified Blue Wave Beaches.
For an extended look into nature or an up close-and-personal experience into the wild, Billie Swamp Safari, located on the Seminole Indian Big Cypress Reservation, offers daily Swamp Buggy Eco-Tours and Airboat Adventure Tours covering 2,200 acres of native and exotic wildlife. Enjoy a Swamp Critter Show, dine in the Swamp Water Café and shop for souvenirs and authentic Seminole arts and crafts.
Abundant wildlife can still be found after dark with Gator Night tours. Climb aboard a powerful airboat at Sawgrass Recreation Park and venture into the night seeking out Florida's legendary reptile, The American Alligator. Sneak through the everglades and explore the sights and sounds of these nocturnal giants.
Butterfly World and Flamingo Gardens offer experiences on the softer side for nature lovers who might be timid. Butterfly World gives visitors the freedom to walk among thousands of exotic butterflies and free flying birds in the Tropical Rain Forest Aviary. Flamingo Gardens, offers daily live wildlife encounters, and guided tours of the historic 1930s Wray Home.
Kids of all ages can be part of the action at the Museum of Discovery and Science and partake in dynamic hands-on exhibits. Furthermore, ride on the Everglades Airboat Adventure, enjoy the playful antics of river otters, experience hurricane force winds in the Storm Center, or dig for fossils alongside a giant megalodon shark all indoors at the museums EcoDiscovery Center. Families are also sure to love the unique and varied activities, classes and attractions at Funderdome, an indoor, activity-based, family entertainment center that integrates state-of-the-art, interactive play systems in an exciting and weather-independent environment. Parents can either relax in the Café while the kids get their energy out, use Wi-Fi, catch the big game on TV or play along and become "big kids" themselves.
Kids looking to make a splash can be dropped off at the ocean adventure camp Funky Fish Kids Day. Children can learn how to snorkel in the pool, dive for shells in the shallow ocean, catch a wave on a boogie board, slide along the shoreline on a skim board, make a tie-dye t-shirt and create cool ocean art. If they'd rather ride the tide, have the kids learn to Surf, Stand Up Paddle Board and Skim Board for free every Saturday morning from 7 am till 9 am with qualified instructors from Island Water Sports on Deerfield Beach.
The Fort Lauderdale Duck Tours offers eye opening 90-minute narrated by entertaining guides. Cruise both land and sea including the landmark Fort Lauderdale strip, quaint Las Olas Boulevard, historical districts and the mansions and yachts dotting Millionaire's Row.
Families can make their own tour and opt to set sail on along Fort Lauderdale's 300 glistening miles of inland waterways. Head to the beach, shop and walk Las Olas Boulevard, see the cruise ships at Port Everglades and enjoy dockside eateries along the route. Visitors can also explore nearby Hollywood with the expanded Water Taxi service.
Kid-friendly hotels with amenities to match can be found throughout the destination. After a long day of fun and sun, Lago Mar Resort & Club will cool things down with an ice cream soda at the resort's Soda Shop, which doubles as a bakery and ice-cream parlor. Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa's Surf Club is the resort's free-standing clubhouse featuring a Hawaiian Surf Simulator, allowing one to four children at a time to "surf" the waves, a theater room with stadium seating, a 65-inch plasma television over a stage and over-sized bean bag chairs, as well as a media room with four Macs, two additional televisions and two Xbox 360s. Another notable hotel for families is the Pelican Grand Beach Resort which offers oceanfront accommodations with kid-friendly resort features including a Lazy River tubing ride and "The Emporium," an old-fashioned ice cream parlor for those who have a sweet tooth.
If adventure is the ingredient of choice for a dining experience, end the day and start the evening at Mai-Kai restaurant. Savor exotic Polynesian cuisine and sip on a tropical drink while enjoying an interactive floor show sure that is fun for the entire family.
Whether families are looking for an educational destination, an energy-filled adventure or relaxing in the sun, look no further than Greater Fort Lauderdale and visit www.sunny.org/kidlauderdale to plan a trip.
About Greater Fort Lauderdale From the seagrass to the sawgrass, Greater Fort Lauderdale boasts more than 34,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings reflecting a “beach chic” vibe. Visitors enjoy 23 miles of Blue Wave certified beaches, discover 300+ miles of inland waterways that run from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Everglades, dine at thousands of restaurants and eateries, get immersed in a thriving arts and culture scene and indulge in top shopping. For more info, contact the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 22-SUNNY or visit www.sunny.org.
he Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau can also be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/visitlauderdale or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/visitlauderdale or join us on Foursquare at www.foursquare.com/visitlauderdale. To have Greater Fort Lauderdale in the palm of your hand, download the free iPhone applications, Defrost Your Swimsuit and ‘Fork’ Lauderdale, and Mild to Wild the LGBT mobile site at www.sunny.org/apps.