The Week Ahead: Things to Do in Florida

Castaway Island at TY toddler interactive pool
Castaway Island at TY zero entry swimming pool.
Castaway Island at TY zero entry swimming pool.

I am so proud of my girl, she is donating her hair in the morning!  Okay, sorry for the proud Momma moment, it happens to the best of us!

If you looking for fun things to do in Florida this summer check out the Florida section under the Events and Reviews Tab above.

There are more and more summer fun deals popping up all around.  I updated a couple of my favorites in our Summer Picks section.  Things like the Regal Cinemas $1 Movie Express and KidsBowlFree.com are great options for rainy  or hundred degree days when being outside is just not an option.  Better yet, these are Nationwide programs so even if you don’t live in South Florida you can participate!

The Summer Saving Pass for 2015 has been published, and this is my favorite one.

Splash Pad A1A & Atlantic in Pompano Beach
Splash Pad A1a & Atlantic in Pompano Beach

This pass gets you admission all summer long to Lion Country, Miami Seaquarium, Miami Metro Zoo and The Museum of Science and Discovery for $56 for Adults and $46 for kids.   This is an incredible deal if you plan to go to make a trip to any 2 of these facilities.  In addition the Museum of Discovery and Science is another thing to do when the summer rains or heat prevent anything else.  Click Here for a post about one of our trips to Lion Country Safari using the Summer Saving Pass.

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If you have found this site helpful and want to keep me writing please use the Donate Button on the right side of this page.  This helps us pay for our domain, ip address and hosting, maybe even a cup of coffee as I sit at Panera searching for more free events.  Some sites require membership fees in order to pay for their site.  We really want this information to be free and available to all. Thanks for your support!

Click Here for the full list of upcoming events!

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The Week Ahead: Water Parks & Splash Pads

Splash Pad A1A & Atlantic in Pompano Beach
Castaway Island at TY zero entry swimming pool.
Castaway Island at TY zero entry swimming pool.

The heat has turned up for certain and many of the local water parks have reopened for the summer.  (and no I don’t know why they close for the winter. )  You can check out the Water Play section under the Reviews section on the blog for a list of our favorite ways to get wet in South Florida.

There are many Spring Earth Day events coming up in the month of April so be sure to check the calendar!

How you can help keep this site running.
If you have found this site helpful and want to keep me writing please use the Donate Button on the right side of this page.  This helps us pay for our domain, ip address and hosting.  Some sites require membership fees in order to pay for their site.  We really want this information to be free and available to all.Thanks for your support! 

Click Here for the full list of upcoming events!

 

Special Thanks to our sponsors for making this site possible!
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Best Local Playground and Splash Pad at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton

Playground at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton

Playground at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton

We headed up to Patch Reef Park Playground and Splash Pad in Boca Raton, on our last day off from school.  Wow!  That about sums it up! Oh and it is free.  That never hurts either! This park definitely deserves to be on our best list!

Pirates Cove Playground

The Pirate Ship
Let’s start with the playground, well play grounds really.  Pirates Cove Playground has several different sections that are sure to make the kids happy!  The giant climbing structure is a pirate ship. My daughter quickly made somPlayground at Patch Reef Park in Boca Ratone new friends and they played Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  It was really cute to see this whole group of kids singing the theme song as they played.

Splash Pad Playground at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton
The Splash Pad
The pirate adventure is continued onto a splash pad with water spraying out of the fake palm trees and water cannons to spray at the “bad pirates” (because my daughter is always a good pirate, according to her).

 


The Electronic PlaygroundPlayground at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton
If the kids get bored with these two areas (yeah, right) then there is the Electronic Playground.  Each piece of equipment is designed to challenge the kids strength, speed, climbing, and reflexes.  This section is very challenging and for slightly older kids in general.  I honestly didn’t really understand how the electronics worked, but the kids seemed to have a great time with them.

There are picnic tables and benches available, but they can not be reserved.  There is a fair amount of shade, in the summer it may be really a bit too much but in the winter it will be perfect!

Fitness Trail at Patch Reef Park in Boca RatonThe Fitness Trail

This is the nicest fitness trail I have ever seen!  We walked part of it, with me walking quickly and my daughter riding her razor. The equipment is brand new and you can scan the QR codes to see on your phone how to do each exercise.  I couldn’t figure out how long the fitness trail is, but I am guessing it is at least 2 miles.

All in all, this playground gets top marks!

2000 West Yamato Road (1/4 mile west of Military Trail)
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Splash Pad in Pompano Beach (A1A & Atlantic)

Kids Playing at Splash Pad A1A & Atlantic in Pompano Beach
Splash Pad A1A & Atlantic in Pompano Beach

On the spur of the moment we shot over to Pompano Beach today to check out the new splash pad at A1A & Atlantic  It is really cute and we enjoyed it.  There is a huge artificial grassy area right next to it.  It really looks beautiful.

The pad itself is on the small side and  while it was fine for my relatively calm 5 year old, I think it might get kind of rough with many older kids.  My big complaint about it is there is no fence or barriers between the street and area.  I saw more than one Mom racing to catch a running 18 month old before they could get out to the street.  Every Mom knows how fast they can be at that age.

If you think you are going to sit in the shade and watch your child play, think again.  There is very little shade provided by the beautiful palms that encircle the area, and the artificial turf prevents you from sticking beach umbrellas in the ground.

Lastly, while it is within walking distance of the beach playground, but if you have an older child who wants to be on the playground while a littler child plays in the water you will be stuck. They are too far apart and you can not even see the playground from the splash pad.

Okay, so all that being said, it is really cute and will certainly be on list of things to do in a pinch.

Palm Beach Zoo Review

Palm Beach Zoo Review
1301 Summit Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL 3333
Palmbeachzoo.org

Child looking at Jaguar at Palm Beach Zoo

Accreditation:   Association of Zoos and Aquariums, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Geographic Focus: Tropical Rainforests; Asia, Australia, Central & South American, and Florida
Large Animals:  Jaguars, Malayan tigers, Florida Panther, American Alligator, North American Black Bear, Siamang
Endangered Species: not entire list: Baird’s tapir, Bali mynah, Cotton-top tamarin, Fennec fox, Giant Anteater, Goeldi’s monkey, Golden lion tamarin, Jaguar, Komodo Dragon, Malayan Tiger, Ocelot, Queensland Koala, Red-bellied lemur, Red crowned crane, Red-ruffed lemur, Ring-tailed lemur; Siamang, Spider monkey, Swainson’s toucan, & Yellow-footed rock wallaby
Group of Children looking at Box Turtle
Education Program Photo Provided by Palm Beach Zoo
Total Species: 305 species / 1,404 specimens
Kid Friendly Features:  Interactive Play Water Fountain, Wildlife Carousel, Wings Over Water Bird Show, Wild Things Show
Smoking: Non Smoking Facility
Cleanliness:  Very Clean
Education Programs: Summer Camp, Toddler Workshops, School Field Trips, Outreach Programs, After School Programs, Night Owls Overnight Adventures, Home School Classes, Stroller Safari, Behind the Scenes Tours, Birthday Parties, Teacher Workshops.

Research and Conservation Projects:

Rhino Rearcher from Palm Beach Zoo with Rhino
Rhino Research Photo Provided by Palm Beach Zoo

On Site: Center for Conservation Medicine, Species Survival Plans (SSP), Population Management Plans (PMP), Nutritional Studies in Multiple Species , Avian influenza testing and surveillance,  Goeldi’s monkeys contraception study

Off Site:  Carnivore Conservation Work in South America,  Research and Conservation of Endangered Sea Turtles in Venezuela, Mexico Pronghorn Project,  Wild Howler Monkey Health Evaluation Project, Black Rhino Translocation and Anesthetic Evaluation ( Namibia), White rhino translocation, anesthetic eval. & comparative blood value study ( South Africa and USA ),  Nutritional analyses and comparisons in free-ranging and captive elephants  ( South Africa and USA), Perdido Key Beach Mouse Captive Breeding and Reintroduction Program , Hawksbill Sea Turtle Program, Native Wildlife Rehabilitation Program, Jaquar Species Survival Plan, Development & Validation of Multi-species Field Test for Screening for TB in Wildlife ( Mexico & Brazil).  A Full list and details are listed at http://palmbeachzoo.org/conservation.html

Size: 23 Acres
Green Status and Recognition1st Gold LEED certified zoo animal hospital in the country, Green Non-Profit Certified , Named “Sustainability Leader” by the Community Foundation of Palm Beach/Martin Counties two years in a row
Price:  $16.95 Adult, Seniors (60+) $12.95, Children (3-12) $11.95, 2 and under are free. Group Rates are Available
Easter Bunny with Children at the Palm Beach Zoo
Breakfast with Bunny Photo Provided by PBZ
Review: 
The Palm Beach Zoo is a quick 40 minute drive from Fort Lauderdale.  This 23 acre park has the magical quality of making you feel like you are walking through a lush tropical wonderland.
The Zoo has several sections focusing on geographic areas; each area brings together the exhibits and the pathway landscaping to create the feeling of walking through a nature park in South America, Florida, Asia and Australia.
The Florida section brings you up-close and personal with everglade species like alligators, turtles and all manner of things that slither through the watershed.  A walk through wetlands provides the visitor with the opportunity to watch otters play on water and on land.  Guests can also view a Florida Panther through the windows of an authentic pioneer house, followed by watching flamingos from a rocker on the porch.  This section of the Zoo will transport visitors to life in Florida before cars were rocketing down the I95.
Image of Skittles the ConureThe Asian and Australian sections allows guest to view rock wallaby from inside the exhibit.  Guests will come eye to eye with Kookaburra, Rhea and Tawny Frogmouth Birds.  The crown and glory of this section of the Zoo are the Malayan Tigers.  These endangered species inhabit a beautiful exhibit complete with waterfall and pool and can be seen frolicking in the water on a hot day.  The guest is treated to a misty walk through bamboo pathways once again being transported into another world.
Finally guests are beckoned to walk through the South American section, a tropical Mayan paradise where endangered jaguars sleep in the shade of the overhanging pillars of a scaled down replica of the Temple of 1000 Columns in Chitzen Itza.  This section of the Zoo is home to exotic animals like tapirs, giant anteaters and the rare bush dogs.  Not to mention the beautiful and colorful parrots found throughout the area.
The Palm Beach Zoo is a fun family friendly facility that offers a snack bar, sit down dining, a carousel, animal shows and demonstrations.  The education department offers reasonably priced special programs for kids of all ages including Summer Camp, Stroller Day Tours and Toddler Workshops.  Don’t forget to bring bathing suits for the kids!  The Zoo has a musical interactive water fountain that no child will want to walk by without taking a splash and a dance. 
Children playing in Giant Eagles Nest
Children in Life Sized Eagles Nest
Zoo Keeper presenting a Dingo
Cynthia Buckley Presenting Mick the Dingo
Wood Storks Feeding at Palm Beach Zoo
Photo by Cynthia Buckley
Crowd at Wings Over Water Show
Wings over Water Show
Spider Monkey Island
Trainer Melissa and Wilbur the Sloth
 

The Palm Beach Zoo is a Hidden Wonderland

The Palm Beach Zoo is a quick 40 minute drive from Fort Lauderdale.  This 23 acre park has the magical quality of making you feel like you are walking through a lush tropical wonderland.  The Zoo has several sections focusing on geographic areas; each area brings together the exhibits and the pathway landscaping to create the feeling of walking through a nature park in South America, Florida, Asia and Australia.
The Florida section brings you up-close and personal with everglade species like alligators, turtles and all manner of things that slither through the watershed.  A walk through wetlands provides the visitor with the opportunity to watch otters play on water and on land.  Guests can also view a Florida Panther through the windows of an authentic pioneer house, followed by watching flamingos from a rocker on the porch.  This section of the Zoo will transport visitors to life in Florida before cars were rocketing down the I95.
The Asian and Australian sections allows guest to view rock wallaby from inside the exhibit.  Guests will come eye to eye with Kookaburra, Rhea and Tawny Frogmouth Birds.  The crown and glory of this section of the Zoo are the Malayan Tigers.  These brothers inhabit a beautiful exhibit complete with waterfall and pool and can be seen frolicking in the water on a hot day.  The guest is treated to a misty walk through bamboo pathways once again being transported into another world.
Finally guests are beckoned to walk through the South American section, a tropical Mayan paradise where endangered jaguars sleep in the shade of the overhanging pillars of a scaled down replica of the Temple of 1000 Columns in Chitzen Itza.  This section of the Zoo is home to exotic animals like tapirs, giant anteaters and the rare bush dogs.  Not to mention the beautiful and colorful parrots found throughout the area.

The Palm Beach Zoo is a fun family friendly facility that offers a snack bar, sit down dining, a carousel, animal shows and demonstrations.  The education department offers reasonably priced special programs for kids of all ages including Summer Camp, Stroller Day Tours and Toddler Workshops.  Don’t forget to bring bathing suits for the kids!  The Zoo has a musical interactive water fountain that no child will want to walk by without taking a splash and dance.