Palm Beach is Full of Family Fun!

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There’s always plenty to explore indoors and out, in sunny Palm Beach County.  Whether you’re looking for some fun with the kids, a day at the beach with friends, or just want to learn more about Palm Beach County’s rich history, you’ll find plenty to do and see.

 

Cornell Museum of Art

51 North Swinton Ave., Delray Beach, 33444

561-243-7922: www.oldschoolsquare.org/about/cornell-museum

The historic Delray Elementary School, built in 1913, is now a museum filled with galleries that showcase contemporary artwork. There's an interactive gallery designed just for children.  Let yaour kids reveal their inner artist via painting, drawing and photography classes suited to their age level.  They'll learn art history, tackle creative projects in a variety of mediums, learn fundamental drawing skills, and learn how to compose artistic photos by using light and shadows.  Toddlers are welcome, too, thanks to the Mommy and Me art classes.

 


 

Diva Duck Tours

600 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach, 33401

877-844-4188; www.divaduck.com

You'll quack up from this fun-filled 75-minute narrated historical tour of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach.  A USCG-inspected amphibious vehicle chauffeurs you along downtown streets, then transforms into a sea-going vessel as it splashes into the Intracoastal Waterway to cross over to posh Palm Beach and its historic oceanfront mansions, including Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago.  Your entire family will think this experience is just ducky!

 


 

DuBois Pioneer Home

DuBois Park, 19075 DuBois Road, Jupiter, 33477

561-966-6609; www.pbcgov.com/parks/locations/dubois.htm

This pioneer house along the Jupiter Inlet was built in 1898 for Harry and Susan Dubois and their children.  Can your kids imagine life without a computer or cell phone?  Let the house's docent take your family back in time, before modern inventions and technology, a time when laundry was done in an iron pot heated by outdoor fire, when rainwater was the only water source, and candles provided nighttime lighting.

 


 

Fun Depot

2003 10th Ave. North, Lake Worth, 33461

561-547-0817; www.fundepot.com

Let the games begin! At this family entertainment center, kids and kids at heart can shoot, pull, dodge, drive and whatever else it takes to be a winner in the Laser Tag arena, on Go-Kart rides, at the Batters Cage and inside the video arcade.  It's endless family fun.

 


 

Green Cay Nature Center

12800 Hagen Ranch Rd., Boynton Beach, 33437

561-966-7000; www.pbcgov.com/parks/locations/greencay.htm

Inside the nature center, you'll find interactive exhibits, wetland dioramas, nature videos and live animals.  Give your kids a camera and stroll with them on the 1.5-mile boardwalk as they view alligators, egrets, turtles and other wildlife below. Interpretive signs explain the habitat. Families who explore the surrounding wetlands will appreciate the diversity and serenity of nature.

 


 

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

1801 North Ocean Blvd. (A1A), Boca Raton, 33432

561-544-8605; www.gumbolimbo.org

This 20-acre Center is a haven for stranded or injured turtles.  Its Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility rescues and releases more than 600 stranded hatchlings each nesting season.  Its Turtle Walk/ Hatchling Release programs, nature boardwalk, butterfly garden and stingray aquarium make it fun for families to learn about the area's coastal and marine eco-systems.

 


 

Hoffman's Chocolates

5190 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, 33463

561-967-3998; www.hoffmans.com

How sweet it is!  From the minute you inhale that delicious chocolate aroma and taste any of the 70 varieties of confections, you'll understand why Bon Appetit magazine named Hoffman's Chocolates one of America's Best Chocolate Shops.  Your kids will delight in peering through the observation windows to watch the confections being made, and they'll love licking their ice cream cone in the ice cream shoppe.

The Hoffman's garden turns into a festive wonderland during the winter season, when colorful lights and ornaments adorn the trees and the gazebo.  You'll stroll past cascading fountains, a 6-foot Hanukkah Menorah, a 14-foot Christmas tree and an Arctic zone with lighted polar bears and penguins.  Santa and Mrs. Claus will pose for pictures with your family.  Hoffman's has several stores throughout South Florida.

 


 

International Polo Club

3667 120th Ave. South, Wellington, 33414

561-282-5334; www.internationalpoloclub.com

The International Polo Club sits among equestrian trails and nine polo fields in Wellington, which is touted as the Equestrian Capital of the World.  Polo matches are open to the public.  You'll enjoy watching the skills of the ponies and players as two high-goal Polo teams compete on the field during the chukkers or play periods.  If your children are ages 5 to 10, bring them with you to a Sunday Polo match and drop them off at the Kids Fun Zone.  They'll have a ball while participating in supervised activities and events such as face painting, crafts, interactive sports and a petting zoo.

 


 

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

Lighthouse Park, 500 Captain Armour’s Way, Jupiter, 33469

561-747-8380; www.jupiterlighthouse.org

Challenge your family to climb to the top of this 105-foot-high, conical-cylindrical lighthouse tower. Built in 1860, the red brick lighthouse was designed by future Union General George Meade.  Also on site, you'll find a Keeper's Workshop and a restored WWII building that serves as a history museum.

Take advantage of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum's educational programs including sunset and moonrise tours, hikes through history and story times for kids.

 


 

Lion Country Safari

2003 Lion Country Safari Road, West Palm Beach, 33470

561-793-1084; www.lioncountrysafari.com

What's more exciting than a 300-acre exotic adventure among 900 untamed animals?  Lion Country Safari's drive-through safely puts you and your family yards away from wild animals common to South America, Asia, India and Africa.  Kids will love the walk-through amusement park's rides, paddle boats, petting zoo, giraffe feedings, animal theater and splash water sprayground.  There's a KAO Campground next door.

 


 

Loggerhead Marinelife Center

14200 U. S. Highway One, Juno Beach, 33408

561-627-8280; www.marinelife.org

This Center appeals to people of all ages.  Its forty hands-on exhibits make it much more than a marine turtle hospital.  Seniors can sign up for health and science lectures.  Kids can listen to turtle tales and create turtle-themed crafts.  You can go on a naturalist-led hike to learn about Florida's ecosystems, or on a turtle walk to observe the amazing nesting and egg-laying process of sea turtles.

 


 

Manatee Observation and Education Center

480 N. Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce, 34950
772-429-6266; www.manateecenter.com

Inside the Center, view the educational displays, touch tank, aquariums and informational film about threatened Florida manatees.  You'll fall in love with these friendly, gentle sea cows who have no natural enemies.  Stand on the observation walkway overlooking the Indian River Lagoon and you can watch wildlife and manatees that make this area their Winter playground.

 


 

National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum

3300 N. Highway A1A, North Hutchinson Island, Fort Pierce, 34949

772-595-5845; www.navysealmuseum.org

Photos, artifacts, equipment, uniforms and informational displays in the museum reflect the heroism and skill of Navy Seals (previously known as Frogmen and Underwater Demolition Teams) from WW II to conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.   You can observe outdoor re-enactments and learn about the challenges these elite teams face and conquer in their fight against terrorism and their defense of freedom.  The Navy Seal Museum will ignite your sense of patriotism!

 


 

Palm Beach Zoo

1301 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach, 33405

561-547-9453; www.palmbeachzoo.org

This 23-acre zoo is home to 700 animals from North, South and Central America, Australia and Madagascar, and is recognized for its Jaguar exhibit.  Want a real wild encounter?  Greet a Queensland Koala, participate in a black bear training session, tour a Malayan tiger's den, bathe an Aldabra tortoise, or feed grapes to a two-toed sloth.     

 


 

Peanut Island

6500 Peanut Island Road, Riviera Beach, 33404

561-845-4445; www.pbcgov.com/parks/peanutisland

Peanut Island is a different kind of family fun because of its location. It sits in the Intracoastal Waterway and it is accessible by boat or water taxi.  Peanut Island's beach, fishing pier, picnic areas, swimming lagoon, boat slips and campgrounds make it a popular day-tripping destination for families.

 


 

Rapids Water Park

6566 North Military Trail, Riviera Beach, 33407

561-848-6272; www.rapidswaterpark.com

Wet, wild and wonderful. That describes the twists, turns, loops, drops, dips and splashdowns you'll experience on the park's 35 tubular rides, flume rides and other thrill rides.  Kids can walk across floating mock animals, step over mock icebergs and meander around a lazy river. Who knew water could be so much fun?

 


 

Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum

300 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, 33401

561-832-4164; www.historicalsocietypbc.org

Palm Beach County's history is on display in this restored 1916 Neo-Classical style courthouse. Docents lead guided tours through three galleries of interactive exhibits that celebrate the county's pioneers, natural environment and milestone events.  Meet the iconic Barefoot Mailman, early Native Americans and trailblazers who left their footprint on Florida's past.

 


 

Roger Dean Stadium

4751 Main Street, Jupiter, 33458

561-775-1818; www.rogerdeanstadium.com

Visit Roger Dean Stadium and you'll hum Take Me Out To The Ball Game. It's the nation's only baseball stadium to host four minor league teams and Florida's only stadium to host annual spring training for two Major League Baseball teams, the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals. This is where the entire family will enjoy America's favorite pastime. Play ball!

 


 

Schoolhouse Children’s Museum & Learning Center

129 East Ocean Ave., Boynton Beach, 33435

561-742-6780; www.schoolhousemuseum.org

Built in 1913, this former schoolhouse is loaded with interactive fun.  Kids can stock the shelves of the child-size mock general store and run the cash register, use props in a mock doctor’s office, sort mail in the mock post office and play with historically-based items that teach children about local life one-hundred years ago.

 


 

South Florida Fair

9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach, 33411

561-793-0333; www.southfloridafair.com

The South Florida Fair is the epitome of family fun.  During the annual two-week event in January,  the 135-acre South Florida Fairgrounds present major entertainment on multiple stages, an Expo Center featuring themed exhibits, an Agriplex spotlighting agriculture and livestock, and Yesteryear Village,  showcasing furnished 19th-century and early 20th-century buildings plus a museum devoted to the Big Bands era. 

 


 

South Florida Science Center and Aquarium

4801 Dreher Trail North, West Palm Beach, 33405

561-832-1988; www.sfsciencecenter.org

Science becomes exciting as well as educational, thanks to thirteen life-size Animatronic dinosaurs, one of thirty hands-on exhibits at this facility.  You'll relish the Planetarium, Discovery Center,  collection of space artifacts,  Science on a Sphere global display system, learning laboratory and 3,000 square foot Aquariums of the Atlantic, including touch tank demonstrations and live feedings.  

 


 

West Palm Beach Greenmarket

101 South Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, 33401

561-822-1520; www.wpb.org/greenmarket

For more than twenty years, people have been drawn to the seasonal Greenmarket's friendly vendors and the scenic waterfront location.  Bring your family here to snack on samples of wholesome, locally harvested foods and natural products.  You'll find everything from home decor and plants and flowers to pickles, breads and barbecued meats as well as live entertainment.  Pets are welcome.

There are Greenmarkets in other Palm Beach County locations including Delray Beach, Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens. 

 


 

Wildlife Preserves

 

 

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

10216 Lee Road, Boynton Beach, 33473

561-734-8303; www.fws.gov/refuge/ARM_loxahatchee

This pristine 143,954-acre refuge has been attracting nature lovers since its establishment in 1951.  In addition to the landscape of cattail, sawgrass, wet prairie and cypress swamp, the refuge maintains a 5 1/2-mile canoe trail that provides access into the Northern Everglades habitat.

Aside from bobcats, muskrats, marsh rabbits and other animals, you may spot wildlife indigenous to Florida, such as the endangered sand kite with its paddle-shaped wings, and the delicate white-tailed deer, which can be as short as 32 inches. Your kids can explore the refuge with you while pursuing related fun activities in a workbook provided by the refuge. When they complete the activities, they'll receive a badge that designates them as a Junior Refuge Manager. How cool is that?

 


 

Busch Wildlife Sanctuary

2500 Jupiter Park Drive, Jupiter, 33458

561-575-3399; www.buschwildlife.org

Snakes alive!  The Sanctuary rehabilitates and protects the wild animals who reside here.  Families will love the Close Encounters Program, so say hello to deer, bobcats, river otters, skunks, owls and other Florida wildlife.  The Sanctuary's Story-time for toddlers, crocodile feedings, Serpentarium, Junior Naturalist Program and summer camp inspire youngsters to appreciate nature and wildlife.    

 


 

McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary

12943 61st Street North, West Palm Beach, 33412

561-790-2116; www.mccarthyswildlife.com

This is as close to exotic animals as you're likely to get, which is what makes McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary so memorable.  The sanctuary rehabilitates sick, injured or abused wild animals and then releases them back into the wild or provides a permanent haven. Your kids may be curious about the Gila monsters, pythons and tarantulas, but if that's too creepy for you, skip the reptile room and head for the raptor flight, where bird patients are rehabilitated. Also meet bobcats and panthers that are among the sanctuary's 170 permanent resident animals.      

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