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Top 10 Fun Family Outings & Adventures in South Florida

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    As a mom of twins, I am constantly looking for fun outings with my kids and family. Time spent outdoors or exploring something new always beats sitting around listening to kids argue with each other or fighting to keep them off electronics. So whether you're a local or just visiting the sunshine state, here are a few of our top favorite activities here in South Florida for kids.

1. The girl's strawberry u-pick- Located in Delray beach, this is a unique and iconic spot. It's a great lunch spot with a pizza shop and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. The decor full of old memorabilia makes you feel like you stepped back in time. Once you walk to the outdoor patio area, you will find all kinds of birds and parrots. You can now buy food to feed the goats, horses, and donkeys. A few years ago, you used to be able to pick strawberries, but they have not grown back now in many years. Sometimes you are lucky and can pick tomatoes depending on the season. It's still worth going with some fun things they added, like rock mining. My kids enjoy getting the large bag and discovering different gems and fossils as they rinse them off in the water. There is also a fenced enclosure to feed the parakeets. The little birds love to untie your shoelaces and generally are not shy to land all over you. This is always a highlight! It costs about $8 for adults and $6 for children, so the admission is not expensive, but be prepared to spend money on all the additional items mentioned.

2. Gumbo Limbo Nature Center- Located in Boca Raton, this spot is a gem with free admission, but they do ask for a donation of your choosing for visiting. The gift shop is a fun spot for the end of the outing so try to drag your kids past it and head  to the outside area. There you will find different aquariums filled with many kinds of fish. There is a top aerial view of the aquariums where you can watch the feedings when they take place. There is a turtle rehabilitation center on the first floor and an area where we have been lucky enough to watch minor turtle surgeries. Not sure if this sounds too morbid, but we thought it was cool to see. There are different classrooms and camps offered here to learn more about wildlife. They also have a path to walk out back to the butterfly gardens and immerse yourself in nature. This area is close to the beach and a par three golf course (Red Reef executive course), so you can always plan a full day of activities.

3. Dreher Park Zoo- This Palm Beach Zoo is small and easy to navigate. The admission is not cheap at $27.75 for adults and $21.75 for children over three years of age but it is worthwhile. If you live nearby, looking into a family membership is worthwhile. My kids spent hours walking around the zoo and getting food from the machines to feed fish and see the wildlife. The zoo is small enough to explore in a few hours and provides excellent shade, so you don't have a heat stroke. They have a restaurant and a food stand where you can grab your kids a snack or ice cream. 

4. Zoo Miami- This is a huge zoo and takes a ton of time to explore. This is a full-day outing. If possible, rent one of those four-person bikes with a shade top because it keeps the kids from becoming overly exhausted and allows you to cover more ground. Adult admission is $21, with children's admission coming in at $17; they also offer different food packages you can look into. This massive zoo is really incredible and well worth the visit.

5. The Phillip & Patricia Frost museum-This museum in downtown Miami is one of the best museums, in my opinion. There is just so much to see and explore here, and it is complete with its own planetarium. Adult admission is $30, and children over 3 are $23, and it is well worth it for all the different floors and exciting things you will see here. My favorite spot is the open-air top floor with various aquariums and animal enclosures. Avoid camp outings in the summer if you don't like crowds.

6. The bright line train- This is such a fun experience for us. We have taken the train south to Miami for lunch and to explore Wynwood walls, where there are tons of restaurants to choose from and cool wall art to see. This is an excellent opportunity to expose kids to a different culture and see some of the Miami flairs. If you choose to take the train north, it leaves you near the Kravis Center of Performing arts, where you can see a beautiful show or stop by restoration hardware for a great meal. Restoration Hardware is a gorgeous furniture store where the restaurant is located on the top floor and recommended for older kids or a special date. I have been taking my daughter since she was about 8, and they have the best warm salted chocolate chip cookies you will ever try.

7. Sugar Sand Park- This is one of the most incredible parks located in Boca Raton. This free park is interactive and allows kids to feel like they are climbing and playing inside a huge treehouse. Complete with a carousel and a science exploratorium next door, it's a fantastic place to visit. In addition, the science center allows them to interact hands-on while learning about science.

8. Jaxon's Ice Cream Parlor & Restaurant- This is located in Dania Beach and often has huge lines depending on the time of the day. Avoid the midday rush by arriving later in the day rather than right at lunchtime. This old-fashioned ice cream and candy store really takes you back in time. Jaxon's is famous for its kitchen sink filled with ice cream for large groups and rowdy birthday celebrations. On your way out, you can buy some chocolate cigarettes or old-fashioned candies in their candy section. You can always pair this with a stop to watch Dania Jai- alai. It is an excellent, high-energy sport to watch that kids can enjoy. Another option we love in Dania is a stop at the Broward Humane Society. My kids enjoy dropping off items the animals may need and buying treats on-site that you can feed the dogs.

9. Butterfly World- Coconut creek is a fantastic place to visit. The admission fee is not cheap, starting at $32.50 for adults and $22.50 for children, but if you can buy the family pass, it is well worth it. It is not a huge place, but it is a really magical place. At the entrance they play soothing music; once inside, you are surrounded by butterflies. They also have a Lorikeet feeding area where you can purchase little cups of nectar to feed the birds for $2, and they freely land all over you! A suspension bridge leads you to the other side to see hummingbirds and parrots, as well as different garden-like enclosures. It is a wonderful, well-maintained place that is worth the visit. The sounds of the waterfall, chirping birds, and all the butterflies make it feel like a fairy tale inside. There is a small restaurant with some fast food options and ice cream. There is also a charming park your children can play at before or after visiting just outside the entrance.

10. Billies Swamp Safari- It doesn't get more Florida than this! In the Florida Everglades, you will find an opportunity to surround yourself with gators and nature. It is such an incredible experience to book an airboat ride (no kids under three allowed) or book a swamp buggy tour. If you go in November, it's not as hot, and also you get to see fields of these beautiful yellow flowers that bloom this time of year. There are all different types of packages that you can book to do an airboat ride, buggy tour, as well as a snake show for about $43 for adults and $31 for children. This is definitely a place you can keep the kids busy for the entire day.

I hope this list keeps you busy and provides a new destination to explore!

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