Vacation Fort Lauderdale with kids: 6 top activities!
The city of Fort Lauderdale is a half-hour drive from Miami and is skipped by many families with kids. Still, it is a consideration to spend the night here with your kids. Fort Lauderdale’s beaches are just as beautiful as Miami’s, and hotel prices are generally a lot lower than in Miami. We spent a total of 7 days here and will describe for you the activities you can do in Fort Lauderdale with kids in this blog.
Table of contents
Fort Lauderdale with kids #1: The beaches
Fort Lauderdale, like Miami, has great wide beaches. You might therefore describe Fort Lauderdale as Miami in miniature. We were near Las Olas Boulevard and from there you have miles of white beach. When we were there in July, the beach was very quiet. Fort Lauderdale is also known as a party town, so perhaps everyone was still in bed.
For a bed with umbrella, you quickly pay tens of dollars, so we laid on our towels on the beach. On the boulevard you have plenty of places where you can have a great meal with your kids. However, there was a lot of green junk in the sea when we visited the beach in July. This made swimming in the sea not super pleasant.
Fort Lauderdale with kids #2: Visit Fort Lauderdale’s canals by water cab
Fort Lauderdale is also known as the Venice of Florida. To view these channels, you have a number of options:
- By water cab. You can book this water cab from Thursday through Sunday, and it works a bit like a Hop On Hop Off bus. Adults pay $28 for this water cab and kids pay half. For kids under 5, the cab is free.
- By boat. Another option is to book a tour of the canals by Jungle Queen’s boat. This boat goes several times every day and the tours last 90 minutes. Tickets for this tour are slightly cheaper for adults ($24) and the same for kids as the water cab ($14).
- With a pirate ship. The pirate ship tour is obviously geared toward kids. Kids dress up as pirates, get face painting and receive a pirate certificate afterwards. This tour lasts only 1 hour. You pay 21 euros per person.
Fort Lauderdale with kids #3: Go for a day of swimming at a water park
You have several water parks near Fort Lauderdale and we visited Paradise Cove Waterpark. It is Fort Lauderdale’s largest water park with kids and you only pay a few dollars admission to the park. Kids under 5 are free here. You can also park your car for free at this water park.
You have four sections in this water park. You have here:
- Sharky’s Lagoon. Here they have several small slides and especially for small kids this section is the most fun to play.
- Parrot’s Point. This section is for the very youngest kids and here you have very small slides.
- Crazy Creek. This is a kind of lazyriver, where you are pushed through the water on a belt.
- H-2 Whoa. Here you have two large and fast slides and here is a length restriction. One slide requires you to be 1.40 m tall and the other a little over 1 meter.
At the dining area of the water park, many large monitor lizards sit on the terrace trying to steal a fry from the tourists sitting on the terrace. Highly recommended in Fort Lauderdale with kids!
Fort Lauderdale with kids #4: Visit Everglades Park to spot crocodiles
This well-known natural park in the United States is known for the many crocodiles present in the park. The airboat tours are very famous here, but the airboat is no longer allowed to operate in the park itself, because of the noise to the animals. At the edge of the park, these boats still sail. We still thought it was great fun to tear around the water in such a boat.
In terms of animals, we spotted a crocodile, turtle and several birds. Apparently, you can also spot raccoons often in the park. You have many different organizations that offer these tours. Since we were staying overnight in Fort Lauderdale, we booked a tour at Sawgrass Recreation Park.
The Sawgrass Mill mall is the largest mall in Florida and visiting this mall can be combined well with visiting the Everglades park. These two activities are only 15 minutes apart, so you can easily visit Everglades Park in the morning and do some shopping in the afternoon.
In the shopping mall you have a huge number of eateries, where you can have lunch in the coolness of the air conditioning.
There are many more opportunities to visit the crocodiles. So you can use your own rental car to spot the crocodiles along the water’s edge and even ride a bicycle.
Fort Lauderdale with kids #5: Take a day trip to Miami
A half-hour drive from Fort Lauderdale is the city of Miami. Of course, you can also do all kinds of things with the family here. For more information, please read our
travel blog about Miami
Fort Lauderdale with kids #6: In bad weather, visit the Museum of Discovery of Science
Of course, sometimes the weather can be bad, in which case it is nice to have a bad weather program in Ford Lauderdale with kids. Fortunately, we had sunshine all days, so we did not have to do any activities that were on our list with bad weather. Still, we would like to share them with you!
The Museum of Discovery of Science. The nice thing about
is that kids can do many things themselves. So you can experience how hard it blows in a storm, you can make clouds, and you can take fun pictures of your kids in the mouth of a large shark. In addition, they have several wild animals. Watch the video below to get an impression of this museum.
Another weather option in Fort Lauderdale with kids is
this indoor playground
Where to stay while vacationing in Fort Lauderdale with kids?
We stayed in Fort Lauderdale at
The Villas Las Olas Hotel’Apart
and had a fine one-bedroom apartment here. Our daughter slept in the living room on a sofa bed. At this hotel there is a nice pool and the hotel is located by the harbor. Car parking is available in front. The beach and many restaurants are within walking distance of the hotel.