When it comes to family activities in Greater Ft. Lauderdale the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood is a cherished cultural center that is a perhaps the most all-inclusive stop, offering a myriad of art exhibits, theater, music and dance performances for every age. Little ones particularly enjoy lively performances by the Atlantic Coast Theatre for Youth, while older family members are intrigued by compelling gallery displays. Of course, the entire family can also dance and sing along together during dynamic dance and musical performances. Log onto their website for the latest exhibit information. Located right off Young Circle on the popular Harrison Street.
If you go weak at the knees over a gorgeous set of wheels, don't miss the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum, an exceptional local gem. Established as a non-profit foundation for education to showcase the history of the Packard Motor Company as well as to show the progress and development of skills in American engineering. The museum's reproduction 1920s-era showroom showcases 22 stunning Packard automobiles dating from 1900 to the 1940s, all in perfect working order and boasting unique details, such as special golf club compartments. After admiring the four-wheeled beauties, browse thousands of pieces of automobile memorabilia, ranging from hand-wound dashboard clocks to an incredible array of hood ornaments. A fascinating visit for every age.
Sitting on its original site among the gleaming modern high rises of downtown Fort Lauderdale is Broward County's oldest building and its most popular historical site, The Stranahan House. This house is a classic example of "Florida Frontier" architecture. It speaks of the history of Fort Lauderdale as it was built in 1901 by Frank Stranahan, the area's first permanent white settler, and was first operated as a trading post, set up to service early settlers and Seminole Indians. It contains turn-of-the-century furnishings and historical photos of the area. Daily tours are available at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. and last about 45-60 minutes. No reservations are required.
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is a striking historic site and is a must-see in Fort Lauderdale. Set amidst a peaceful seaside oasis overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the unique 1920s-era house was once the beloved home of free spirited artists Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett. During a guided tour, visitors marvel at original furnishings and artwork created by the owners themselves before exploring the lush 35-acre grounds, home to one of the Southeast's largest collections of orchids as well as parrots, swans and even wild monkeys. Due to the threat posed by nearby development, the National Trust and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation listed Bonnet House as one of America's 11 most endangered sites in 2008.
This fascinating museum located conveniently off A1A and just steps from the beach, will appeal to the champion swimmer in everyone. The International Swimming Hall of Fame highlights the achievements of notable swimmers and contains aquatic artifacts dating to the 15th century. Computerized exhibits let you pretend you are an Olympic swimmer, diver, or judge. There are two ten-lane, fifty-meter pools and an exhibition building featuring photos, medals, and other souvenirs, as well as a theater that features films of swimming stars such as Johnny Weissmuller and Esther Williams. There is also a gift shop and a cafe on the premises.
Fort Lauderdale is well-known for its proximity to some of the world's best fishing. So what better place to enjoy a fascinating glimpse at the sport of fishing than at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum? Fisherman of every age and experience will marvel at the extensive multimedia displays which include an amazing virtual fishing exhibit that allows guests to "reel in" tarpon, sailfish, and marlin. This is also an educational center which include the IGFA School of Sport Fishing, field trips and even a fishing day camp. Interesting collection of fishing equipment dating from the 19th century. Well-stocked gift shop and library and there's also a great caf�.
Visitors in search of free places to go in Fort Lauderdale should consider the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center and its magnificent 60,000-square-foot library, one of four black research libraries in the U.S. The grand facility houses over 85,000 books and documents along with riveting exhibits, a 5,000-square-foot art gallery and a state-of-the-art auditorium that hosts comedians, jazz performers and entertaining theater productions. Collection highlights include gowns, awards and photos donated by Emmy Award-winner Esther Rolle of the hit TV show "Good Times", who grew up in near-by Pompano Beach. Also on exhibit are eight unfinished Alex Haley manuscripts.
Add some color to your Fort Lauderdale itinerary with the Museum of Art on Las Olas Boulevard. Founded in 1958 and set in an amazing Edward Larrabee Barnes-designed architectural masterpiece, this museum boasts alluring temporary exhibits and a permanent collection of over 6,000 works, many reflecting the vibrant South Floridian and Caribbean cultures. Art enthusiast or not, visitors are awed by magnificent Picasso ceramics, significant works by American painter William Glackens and contemporary designs by over 90 exiled Cuban artists. Make it a point to check their website often to mark your calendar to experience this true gem and gift to the city.
Begin your imagination activation here! Visitors seeking creative family activities are charmed by this colorful children's museum in near-by Davie, right of I-595 just a few miles west of Downtown Fort Lauderdale, featuring innovative hands-on exhibits. Amidst a bright, spacious atmosphere, children play the drums in an African village and learn the Japanese art of origami in the Global Village exhibit. Then, it's on to papermaking in Earthworks followed by customizing objects into art in a psychedelic Pop Art wonderland. The possibilities are as simply endless as your imagination. Free workshops for the entire family are offered daily. This is South Florida's creative engine!
The Museum of Discovery and Science is an exciting hub of inspiration and education for adults and children alike. At this playful and exciting stop you can see sharks and the largest living Atlantic coral reef in captivity. Children will be thrilled to hang out with bats and be charmed by a slithering twelve-foot snake. Here guests can pet alligators, turtles and colorful iguanas and learn about this amazing national park in the Living in the Everglades exhibit. Test your pilot skills in nine cockpit simulators, and for those future rocket scientists, discover America's place in aerospace at Runways to Rockets. Hang on and take a simulated trip to the Moon or Mars! Plan to spend a day with the entire family at this interactive wonderland and let it take you to the stars.