Castaway Island Water Park at TY Park in Hollywood

Castaway Island at TY Park interactive pool.

I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on Castaway Island Water Park at Topeekeegee Yugnee (TY) Park in Hollywood Florida!

I will start by saying that I can’t believe I have lived in South Florida for so many years and never been here before!  What was I thinking!  The park itself is huge and the Water Park is huge too!  There are 3 different sections a climbing slide area for everyone, a toddler pool with a slide and activities, and a huge pool.

I liked that it did not have the 2 hour time limit of some of Broward County parks, so you can pay the entry fee and spend the day there!  The pools were clean and well maintained.  It was not a super busy day when we were there, but then again it certainly was not empty either and the bathrooms were pretty decent for a water park.  I didn’t try the snack bar, but I saw people with all the usual pool snack bar items, the pizza smelled good and I am not really sure how we got out of the place without buying ice cream, but we managed.

It was pretty quiet for us in the morning, however about the time that we left (2:00 pm) a camp group came in and there were long lines at the slides.  This happens at all the water parks I have been to in the summer, The kids were good and there were no problems, however it was pretty packed then.  Not sure if you can call ahead and find out what time the groups are coming on the day you visit or not.  It is worth a try though, and worth the effort at any water park you decide to head out to.

Castaway Island at TY Park interactive pool.
Castaway Island at TY Park interactive pool.

The first interactive water playground area has all the required water park attractions, it has a dumping buckets lots of slides, and splash cannon areas on a climbing structure.  It is big enough to entertain most kids (maybe not teens, but then again……..I thought it was pretty fun!).

Castaway Island at TY toddler interactive pool
Castaway Island at TY toddler interactive pool

The part I really like is the toddler area.  There is a toddler interactive pool playground with slides and water cannons.  What is nice about this area is that it is completely fenced off from the rest of the water park.

 

Castaway Island water fall in the zero entry swimming pool.
Castaway Island water fall in the zero entry swimming pool.

The third area is the pool, and wow, it is truly beautiful!  This huge pool is zero entry on one end and the other is a beautiful rock waterfall.  Again, the place was immaculate!

All in all, this park is certainly worth spending the afternoon.  It cost us $8 each to enter and I think we had a great day!  You have to love all the amazing parks here in South Florida!

Castaway Island’s normal summer operating hours are 9:30 am to 5:20 pm, and is located at 3300 N. Park Rd, Hollywood, FL 33021.   Please check with the park for current prices and hours before you head over as they do change seasonally.

Paradise Cove Splash Park at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines

C.B. Smith Park
900 N. Flamingo Rd.
Pembroke Pines, FL 33028
Office: 954-357-5170
I recently had the opportunity to spend the day at this Broward County Water Park.  CB Smith Park is a gorgeous and huge park!  The splash park is too!  There are four areas, Crazy Creek, Sharky’s Lagoon, Parrot’s Point, and H2Whoa.
Parrot’s Point
Parrot’s Point:  5 and under
There were two areas that were best for those of us 3 year olds.  Parrot’s Point is the one we spent the most time at as it is a zero entry splash ground with two slides.  There were lots of fun handles and cranks for the kids to turn.  The slides are big enough to be extremely exciting to the little ones and they splash out into only 12 inches of water.  It is easier if you have more than one adult with you so that one of you can stand at the top of the slide, and the other at the bottom.  Be prepared to man these stations for quite awhile though, as the kids never get tired of these slides.
Crazy Creek:  All Ages
Crazy Creek
The second favorite with the little ones and adults alike, is the Crazy Creek .  I have to admit this was fun.  Imagine floating down 410-foot-long lazy river.  Don’t get too comfortable though because there are many area where water may splash down on you to help keep you cool.  We did this when we first got there and then again right before we left.  The kids were so tired that they practically fell asleep in our arms on the tubes.  There is a line to wait for tubes, we had to wait about 8 minutes so it wasn’t too terrible, (as long as you have water shoes on while waiting on the hot pavement).
Sharkey’s Lagoon
Sharky’s Lagoon: All Ages
I didn’t get to spend any time in Sharky’s Lagoon, the sign says that it is for all ages and looked like I could have taken my 3 year old there.  She was so happy where she was, I figured we would save it for next time.  It did look like fun though.  The water in this area is 18 inches deep and it has three waterslides of varying length.
H2Whoa:
The last area I was unable to even get a picture of because it definitely isn’t for 3 year olds!  Sure looked fun though.  H2Whoa is a 450 foot water slide.  The sign says that you must be at least 42 inches tall and you have to be a able to swim.
Price:
We went on a Saturday and it was pretty busy.  I really don’t like crowds and it was not bad, even for me.  It is fairly expensive at $9.50 per person.  So for just the two of us it was $19.  On the positive side there is no limit on how long you stay like at some of the other local parks.
Cleanliness:
The park itself looked great, the equipment and pools were all well maintained and clean.  The bathrooms were a mess at 1:00 on a busy Saturday afternoon.
Food:
There were two concession stands (Paradise Grill and Sand Dollar Concessions) and an Arepa stand.  We got a hot pretzel and ice cream sandwich form the Sand Dollar.  The pretzel was great, but the sandwich came out of the freezer melted, making it nearly impossible for a 3 year old to eat.  Paradise Grill smelled really good, but we didn’t eat there.
Shade:
Funbrella
They have these really cool “Funbrellas”.  You have to rent them in advance though.  I am sure during the week it is easier to get in the shade, but when we went there was no shade to had anywhere.  Also, If you take any advice that I give you here today, please wear water shoes!  I made my daughter wear them and I was so glad that I did!  I didn’t have any for myself and I really regretted this.  The pavement is extremely hot so I will be making a stop to pick myself up some before our next trip.
Check the Park Calendar for the schedule; it is open 10-5 most days.  If you are planning on going often the summer pass is most economical choice.
Parrot’s Point

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.