My husband and I lived in South Florida for many years after we graduated from college. You really can’t beat the gorgeous weather and abundance of culture. As you can imagine, we had plenty of visitors. Who wouldn’t want to escape the harsh winters for sunshine?
I have plenty of nieces and nephews and thankfully we didn’t have to work too hard in finding things to do. Boca Raton isn’t just for the retired! The items I list below are free/low in cost and are not as commercial or touristy.
Reed Reef Park
One of my favorite things to do was snorkel at Red Reef Park. They have artificial reefs right off shore. We saw so many fish – even stingrays and barracuda’s! This is a perfect location for children as the water isn’t very deep and there is a lifeguard close by. The best time to snorkel is when the water looks like a lake. You can also check out beach/snorkeling conditions here. I would be lying if I said I didn’t check it daily – even though I no longer live there.
Side note: Red Reef Park has beautiful sunrise services if you are visiting around Easter.
Many are non-denominational. Even if you aren’t religious, it’s such a lovely service.
Another kid friendly activity is right across the street from Red Reef Park – Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. Admission is free, however they do ask for a $5 donation.
It is a sea turtle conservation center. It’s part of Florida Atlantic University’s Marine Biology program. The big thing in South Florida are the loggerhead turtles. They tend to nest during certain seasons and they are protected by the state. Gumbo Limbo also ensures their safety. Oftentimes the rescue turtles in distress and rehabilitate them before releasing them back into the wild.
The center is open air and has various tanks with not only turtles but other sea creatures.
In addition, they have a boardwalk that walks you through the park where you can bird watch (or lizard watch ew!)
Sugar Sands Park
This park is one of the most impressive for children. Where else can you get a mini-water park…
…take a carosoul ride…
or visit a Science Explorium?
What exactly is a Science Explorium? According to the Sugar Sands website it’s a “hands-on science center designed for children 5 – 12 years of age and their caregivers. We offer fascinating and interactive exhibits, programs and camps that bring the physical sciences to life. In addition to our permanent exhibit collection, the Explorium offers its visitors a variety of traveling exhibits each year. From rockets to molecules, the museum engages and teaches children about the fantastic world of science!”
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