Best Things to Do with Kids in Fort Lauderdale

10 Best Fun Things to Do with the Kids in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a kid-friendly city if ever there was one. Once primarily known as a spring break destination, this tropical getaway has turned into a wonderland of opportunity with the entire family in mind. We at 10Best have searched out the kid-friendly events and facilities the city has to offer to present to eager parents and grandparents who want their children and grandchildren to have a great time on vacation as well. Offering outdoor excursions such as the Anne Kolb Nature Center or the Tropical Adventure Cruise, Everglades Holiday Park or the always exciting Sea Experience, kids will thrill at this chance to get up close and personal with the best of the outdoors. You'll find that this city has some of the very best museums around. Make a one-stop experience at the Museum of Discovery and Science and its AutoNation IMAX Theatre. Do they want hands-on crafts and fun? Head to the Young At Art Children's Museum in near-by Davie. Create memories and take the kids to a Florida Panthers hockey game at the fabulous BB&T Center in Sunrise. With the abundance of parks, endless beaches, great restaurants that welcome kids, exercise facilities, jogging and walking trails and with the best weather on earth, kids will fall in love with South Florida right along with Mom and Dad.



A truly phenomenal experience, Butterfly World awaits the true nature lover in us all. Located approximately fifteen miles north of downtown Fort Lauderdale in beautiful Coconut Creek, this fascinating exhibit has been entertaining and instructing adults and children of all ages since its opening in 1988. Guests enjoy walking through a screened-in aviary that looks like a tropical rain forest and is filled with some two thousand caterpillars and multicolored butterflies. Outside the aviary are extensive gardens, including a rose garden, a small pond, a gift shop, and a pavilion containing mounted specimens of exotic insects and butterflies from around the world.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: This is a mesmerizing experience. Why not educate as well as be inspired by these delicate members of nature.

Dale's expert tip: Plenty of parking and wheelchairs are available and a great place for a school field trip.

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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.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: A Hollywood landmark this is place to bring the kids for any number of culture and artistic events.

Dale's expert tip: Kids will gain a great respect and love for the arts

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Clearly one of western Broward County's most popular attractions, being the home to the Florida Panthers Hockey Team as well as many events from world-shaking concerts to political rallies. Previously known as the Broward County Civic Arena, The National Car Rental Center and the Office Depot Center, this entertainment venue continues to offer top names in music and sports, trade shows, circuses and ice shows, among others. Built in 1998 this modern and sophisticated edifice features a 25,000-seat center for concerts, over 20,000 for basketball events and nearly 20,000 for hockey, 17,000 square feet for trade shows. Two food courts are available, all with plenty of parking provided.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: A sophisticated arena with so many different events there's surely one that will interest any visitor.

Dale's expert tip: Do not park in Sawgrass Mills Mall and walk across the street.

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Everglades Holiday Park
Photo courtesy of Dale Mack

The whole family will be thrilled at this live experience where you can come face to tooth with grinning gators at this most raved-about family attraction in the magnificent Everglades. An easy drive west of Fort Lauderdale, you will climb aboard a state-of-the-art covered airboat and be learn from knowledgeable guides at the Everglades Holiday Park. Be entertained and educated while passengers delight in striking panoramic views of the Everglades, colorful exotic birds and, of course, enormous wild gators that sidle right up to the boat. Afterward, a sidesplitting and informative live gator show affords the opportunity to hold and take pictures with a young alligator.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: This is what Florida is known for, as the number visitors prove.

Dale's expert tip: Visitors 16 years and younger are admitted free of charge.

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Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi
Photo courtesy of Dale Mack

One of the most unique attractions within Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is its waterways. Over 300 miles of navigable boating avenues snake through this glamorous city and the county of over a million. Whether for sight seeing or as a mode of daily transportation, the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi is the trolly in the water, and it's probably the best way to see it all. And what's best, kids absolutely love this. The captain and crew are a wealth of information and inform their riders with recommendations of where to dine, and where to be entertained. A daily pass will get passengers on and off at 19 stops and over 60 businesses, including the shops and restaurants at Las Olas Boulevard, Las Olas Riverfront/Briny Pub at 40 West Las Olas Boulevard, the always fantastic Downtowner Saloon and the 15th Street Fisheries, among others.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: A visit to Fort Lauderdale is not complete without a ride on the water taxi. Kids of every age will love this.

Dale's expert tip: Plan out your stops carefully for the day or the evening, and forget the car!

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Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum
Photo courtesy of Dale Mack

Today, the story of Florida's Seminole Indians is told as well as painstakingly exhibited in an amazing setting at Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in Clewiston, Fla., northwest of Fort Lauderdale. Arrive here, and step back in time. What's more, it's ideal for kids, too! They may just not want to leave. Once on site, start by walking through the museums and enjoying the amazing exhibits and collections on display. Here, learn their spiritual Green Corn Ceremony and Catfish Dance, their lively stickball game, silversmithing, weddings and other aspects of their 1890s culture. What's more, modern technology eases visitors back in time with a multi-touch Microsoft Surface touch table. Interact with this digital content from the museum's collection. Also, get ready to view the museum's thousands of artifacts that cover 300 years of Seminole history and their living culture.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: A true treasure to South Florida. Learn this important part of the state's history up close and personal.

Dale's expert tip: This is a bit of drive from Fort Lauderdale so leave early and plan to enjoy the full day in nature – and in history!

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Begin your imagination activation here! Visitors seeking creative family activities are charmed by this colorful center 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 is unleashed. Surely an unforgettable experience for the entire family. This is South Florida's creative engine!

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The perfect family experience where creativity is celebrated and memories are made.

Dale's expert tip: What a great place to hold a birthday party! Ask for details.

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As part of the Museum of Discovery and Science in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, the AutoNation IMAX Theatre is an amazing entertainment and educational complex that is perfect for the entire family. This 300-seat theater features a 60-ft. x 80-ft. screen and a 15,000-watt digital sound system that delivers six discrete channels of clear sound through 42 speakers. The amazing IMAX™ projector's 15,000-watt Xenon bulb projects images onto the five-story-high screen. The steeply sloped cinema seats bring the audience close to the screen, so that the size of the image dominates your peripheral vision, resulting in a type of virtual reality which immerses the audience in the film. Great for kids for a rainy day or a fun-filled weekend.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Residents have made this the place to come for entertainment. Pure state of the art.

Dale's expert tip: Get here early for the best seats as this place fills up early.

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The Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science shows just how much fun science can be. This is amazing for fun for the entire family, and conveniently located right in Downtown. Focusing on the local environment, displays include the Everglades Airboat Adventure, a real coral reef with sea creatures and tropical fish and a replica of an oak forest complete with mosses, lichens, and air plants that grow without soil. And here you won't have to wait for a hurricane to blow in to feel its incredible force. Visitors are in awe as they experience hurricane force winds in the Storm Center – all very safely!

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Probably one of Fort Lauderdale's staple attractions for any age. Truly a local gem.

Dale's expert tip: Become a museum member and get free tickets!

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Meet Dale Mack

Dale Mack has been involved in Fort Lauderdale tourism and promotions for over twenty years. Working for Travelhost Magazine in Dallas, Texas, he was especially drawn to the edition...  More About Dale