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5 fun family activities in Fort Lauderdale

Whether your brood is into wildlife spotting or movies under the stars, we round up some family-friendly ideas for Fort Lauderdale in Florida.

Words by Rebecca Barnes

Known as the ‘Venice of America’ and located on the southeastern coastline of Florida, Fort Lauderdale is Miami’s sophisticated big sister, and an excellent option for families, no matter how much time you have in the city.

If you’re an active, outdoorsy family, this is the USA destination for you. With year-round good weather, those famous beaches – which stretch 23 miles along the Atlantic Ocean and offer superb opportunities for watersports and swimming – are likely to be your first stop.

For shopping, comprehensive dining options, events, festivals and kids’ activities, head to Las Olas Boulevard, and it’s always worth the fun of jumping on a yellow water taxi to admire the elegant mansions and impressive yachts on Millionaires Row which is even better at sunset.

Looking for something a little more adventurous? Grab your nature-loving gang and head westward for an airboat into The Everglades National Park or to the local parks for a different kind of fun, real and virtual in our fun must-do list:

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park Florida

Urban OasisHugh Taylor Birch State Park

Known as the city’s Central Park, this urban oasis is located between the Atlantic ocean and intracoastal waterway. Ideal for relaxation and activity, you can cycle, roller blade, read under the shady trees, enjoy a picnic or hit the beach; you may even spot a threatened gopher tortoise or common racoon.

Join a free ranger guided walk every Friday and Saturday morning to learn about the flora and fauna.


Coral Springs and MiramarMonster Mini Golf

Fun for big and small kids alike, this unique attraction features 18 holes of spooky glow-in-the-dark mini golf. Accompanied by beats from the in-house radio station, you’ll interact with animated monsters as you play, while the walls are alive with comical pop culture artworks.

With two locations in Florida – Coral Springs and Miramar – there’s also a gaming arcade, virtual reality and a laser maze (Coral Springs only) to keep you entertained for hours.

monster mini golf course florida
The Everglades is fun for all the family in Fort Lauderdale

Subtropical preserveThe Everglades

A trip to Florida isn’t complete without a visit to this subtropical preserve – one of the largest wetlands in the world. Teeming with animal species not found anywhere else on earth, prepare to spot manatees, American crocs and maybe even a shy Florida panther, along with 360 different species of birds. You can also canoe or kayak the water trails or cycle through pine rock lands.

West Sunrise BoulevardSwap Shop & Thunderbird Drive-In

Located on West Sunrise Boulevard, this palatial 88 acre indoor/outdoor flea market transforms into the nation’s largest drive in movie theatre at night. There are 14 screens showing first-run and classic films under the stars for that quintessential all-American cinematic experience, as well as a video game arcade and free Ferrari museum for supercars fans.

Swap Shop & Thunderbird Drive-In Florida
The Fort Lauderdale beaches are great for a family vacation

Family funTopeekeegee Yugnee Park (TY Park)

Attracting walkers, athletes and alfresco diners alike, this 138-acre park features a number of shady picnic areas, abundant oak trees and a large lake. Other highlights include two water playgrounds, a swim lagoon, basketball and tennis courts, a fishing pier, walking loop and cycling paths. Family, wellness and music themed events are also held throughout the year.

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Duration: 10 nights

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Ship: Celebrity Equinox

Price: From $1,008 pp

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Published 07.02.23