The Week Ahead: Summer Deals, Water Parks, Free Fun

Castaway Island at TY zero entry swimming pool.

We are on the countdown for summer and I cannot wait!  Keeping Up With Kids is your best resource for summer fun!  I have listed below some of our favorite summer deals and places!  This is the way to do summer on a budget!

Splash Pad Playground at Patch Reef Park in Boca RatonWater Fun!  One of our favorites is Coconut Cove Water Park in Boca.  Most all the water parks in Broward and Palm Beach County open every day for the summer starting June 5th or 6th.  You can find many more of our favorite Splash Pads and Water Parks under the menu tab Events and Review, scroll down to Water Play.

Schoolhouse Museum Train

Indoor Museums are the best bet for those days that you just can’t face the heat or the summer storms are making outdoor play tough.  Boca Children’s Museum is a great one for the little ones (Preschool) or Schoolhouse Museum in Boynton Beach is perfect for younger school age kids!  You can find more of our favorite museums under the menu tab Events and Review, scroll down to Museums.

 

There are some great deals out there this summer.

Adventure PassThe Florida Summer Adventure Pass is a new one this year!  It allows you to visit Everglades Alligator Farm, Flamingo Gardens, Jungle Island, Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Perez Art Museum Miami, Sawgrass Recreation Park, and Young at Art Museum as often as you like from May 15 through September 30, 2015.

$1 Summer Movies at Regal Cinema’s

Imagine you get up on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning and just don’t know what to do!  Here is your answer!  Click here for listing and movie times!

Kids Bowl Free Logo

Take the kids Bowling for free! If you sign up for free, your kids get to bowl (2 games a day) for free all summer long!

 

2014 Summer Savings Pass

 

The Summer Saving Pass!  We pick this Summer Saving Pass up every year. It is a great deal, you get unlimited admission to four different attractions.  The Museum of Discovery and Science, Lion Country Safari, Miami Seaquarium, and Miami Metro Zoo.

 

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, 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 mostly free events!

Special Thanks to our sponsors for making this site possible!
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South Florida Adventure Pass Summer Deals

Adventure Pass

Adventure PassThe South Florida Adventure Pass is now on sale!

The Adventure Pass offers unlimited admission for the whole summer to Flamingo Gardens plus 6 other top attractions in South Florida! Visit Everglades Alligator Farm, Flamingo Gardens, Jungle Island, Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Perez Art Museum Miami, Sawgrass Recreation Park, and Young at Art Museum as often as you like from May 15 through September 30, 2015.

South Florida Adventure Pass is just $50 for Adults (ages 13+) and $40 for Children (ages 3-12). Flamingo Gardens Members can purchase the pass for only $30.00 per adult and $20.00 per child! Passes may be purchased at the Flamingo Gardens Ticket Booth or at any of the 7 participating attractions. Save time and download this form to fill out in advance.

More details can be found at:http://www.southfloridaadventurepass.com/

The Week Ahead: Summer Passes, Free Bowling & Lion Country

Lion Country Safari
Lion Country Safari
Mini Golf at Lion Country Safari

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 Lion Country Safaripublished, and this is my favorite one.  It 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.

Lion Country SafariHow 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, 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!

Thanks to our sponsors for making this site possible!
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Kids Bowl Free for the Summer – Nationwide

Kids Bowl Free Logo

A friend pointed me towards this website, if you sign up for free, your kids get to bowl (2 games a day) for free all summer long!

I looked at some of the areas available and there are many.  South Florida unfortunately is a bit lacking and the nearest one is in West Palm Beach.

There is a page on the website that can suggest a bowling center near you and they say they will attempt to get them to participate and then let you know when they succeed.

Here is the link to the participating alleys.

Florida : http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/state.php?state=FL

Nationwide: http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/

 

 

 

Summer Savings Pass 4 great Attractions for 1 Price

2014 Summer Savings PassWe pick this up Summer Saving Pass up every year. It is a great deal, you get unlimited admission to four different attractions.  The Museum of Discovery and Science, Lion Country Safari, Miami Seaquarium, and Miami Metro Zoo.

We went to Lion Country 2x, and Miami Seaquarium.  We spent a great deal of time at The Museum of Discovery and Science on those stormy summer afternoons.  You can pick up the pass at the gate at any of the 4 attractions.

IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach

Fishing Hall of Fame Museum in Dania Beach

Fishing Hall of Fame Shark Trophies in Fort LauderdaleWe headed out one morning last summer to the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach.  It is right next to the Tri Rail Station, so if your kids like riding the train, this would be great way to spend the day.

The IGFA Museum participates (along with many other local museums) in Bank of America Free Museum Day, so we thought we would take advance of this great program to go somewhere we had not been before.

We are not a fishing family and I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  I just thought it would be an inexpensive morning in an air-conditioned place.  It was late July and the South Florida heat and humidity was just more than I wanted to deal with that day. Great Hall at Fishing Hall of Fame in Dania Beach

I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised!  This is probably the most high tech, hands on, interactive Museum I have ever been too.  It really was way above and beyond!  It was super fun, air-conditioned, and it was extremely educational. We hit the trifecta!

As you enter Great’s Hall you will be greeted with an amazing site.  The ceiling is filled with fish and sharks from small to large (well actually behemoth!).  Who can help but be in impressed with over 160 species of fish hanging over your head.  Educational Director, Jeff Mackin say the great white is always a hit and explains that the fish are true to size mounts of All-Tackle and Line Class records from around the world.  The fiberglass and hand carved wooden replicas include panfish, basses, catfish, billfish, sharks, among others.

The World Records Exhibit is a huge sectiWorld Record Video Library at Fishing Hall of Fame Museumon with loads of video screens and displays that can be used to look up world records.  For me this was my least favorite section, but I know many of my fishing friends and their kids would love it! The information gathered and displayed here is massive in scope. It is laid out in beautiful designed exhibit displays.

Habitats Exhibit at Fishing Hall of Fame Museum

The Fish is of my favorite section and includes detailed exhibits about ecosystems and biology.  This is a great area to get a look at how the plants and animals all work together to keep the environment healthy. It would be an incredible supplement for any educational group or scout troupe. The unique ecosystems found here in Florida are so important and this exhibit helps to demonstrate how they work together in our own backyards.

Kids Area at Fishing Hall of Fame MuseumThere is a small kids Discovery Room area with a boat to climb in, the fun thing here is the fish print rubbing station.  There was at least 15 different fish for the kids (and adults like me) to rub prints with crayons. The Wii fishing game is a pretty big hit too.

 

Virtual Fishing Game Room at Fishing Hall of Fame Museum

                                                 The Tackle Exhibit includes table where you can practice tying knots.  Surprisingly, I couldn’t get my family away from that area!  Everywhere you look there is some sort of hands on activity.The museum is filled with interesting items, every kind of fishing gear that you can imagine.  Some much bigger than I ever dreamed.

Don’t forget to check out The Catch game room!  This room houses High tech virtual fishing games where you can actually feel how hard some of the big fish pull while watching the action on a big screen.

Outdoor Florida Habitat at Fishing Hall of Fame Museum

Last but certainly not least is the incredible Wetlands Habitat recreated outside.  This four acre wetlands area is complete with alligators and all kinds of birds.

As you walk along the boardwalk you will enjoy an education in Florida’s diverse species of plants and types of wetlands.  It is a retreat right in the middle of the city! Don’t forget to pick up a packet of fish food when you enter the museum so you can feed the fish in this areas.  What mom, uhem I mean kid doesn’t like to feed fish?

I want also to give a shout out to the youth volunteers who were working that day.  These young people are a credit to the museum and were extremely helpful!

IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum is definitely on my Summer Pick list.  Adults are $10 and Kids and Seniors at $5 which is very much a bargain! Call for Prices and Hours.

IGFA  Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum
300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, FL 33004

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.

Coconut Cove Water Park in Boca Raton

Coconut Cove Water Park in Boca Raton

We finally visited Coconut Cove Water Park in Boca Raton at the end of the summer last year.  It is on my list of favoritesCoconut Cove Water Park in Boca Raton for sure!  It is pretty easy to get to in West Boca so that is always a good thing.  The water park itself is clean and pretty big too. In fact we liked it so much that we went back the next day!

I didn’t get great photo’s because, well, I was too busy enjoying myself with my daughter and friends, which is a good sign.

We spent most of our time switching between the  897-foot lazy river ride (I love these ), and the Children’s water playground.  The children’s area is very nice with all the normal water manipulation levers and cranks, dumping water buckets and slides. The kids loved it!

Coconut Cove Water Park in Boca RatonThere is a Lily Pad Walk where you can hold onto ropes above your head and “walk” on the “Lily Pads” across the pool as well as a couple of four-story high water slides.

My daughter was too tiny for the big water slide and the Lily Pads last summer so hopefully I will be able to get some more pictures this summer and update you on these.

Coconut Cove park also has a lap pool, locker rentals and showers, and of course a concession stand.  We are definitely going back there this summer so I promise to get better photos and update this post.

Coconut Cove Waterpark
located in Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park
11200 Park Access Road, Boca Raton, FL 33498
(561) 274-1140

March 24 – June 5 – Weekends Only*
Saturdays: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
*Open Fri, April 18: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm                    
*Open Memorial Day: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

SUMMER HOURS
June 6 – August 18
Open daily: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays: 11:00 am- 5:00 pm

FALL HOURS
August 19 – September 1 – Weekends Only*
Saturdays: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Open Labor Day: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

2014 Ticket Prices
Prices do not include tax.

Adult Admission (12 & over)
$10.30

Child Admission (3-11)
$8.30

Toddler Admission (1-2)
$3.30*
*Fee includes water diaper.

Infant Admission (under 1)
FREE

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton

Turtles at Gumbo Limbo

Turtles at Gumbo LimboWe headed over to Gumbo Limbo a few weeks ago, and yes I only just got the photo’s edited!

If you have not been in awhile, you really should go!  They have done an immense amount of work to update and build new tanks.

Gumbo Limbo is a Nature Center in Boca Raton, and it is both a city park and a part of the FAU Research Programs.  Sea turtles are studied, rehabbed and released through this facility.  Gumbo Limbo was created in 1984 and focuses on environmental education.

The nature center is a preserve for all kinds of native wildlife and includes trails and Lake Wyman at Gumbo Limboboardwalks, tanks of native fish, butterfly gardens and a fire tower that is 40 feet high overlooking the mangroves, Lake Wyman, and even the Atlantic Ocean.

Gumbo Limbo offers educational programs, fish feedings, and school programs all year long.  The facility is free to enter however there is a suggested donation of $5 per person.  This is a great place to spend a few hours with the family, get in touch with nature and learn about the amazing environment we are so lucky to have in our back yard!


What Geek Families Must See in London, from TARDIS to Platform 9 3/4

Waiting for the Doctor to return to his TARDIS parked outside Earls Court Station in London
Waiting for the Doctor to return to hisTARDIS parked outside Earls Court Station in London

****Update******

We headed back here this past summer to try to stalk the Doctor.  He was nowhere to be found, but the Tardis is still there!  I wanted to add this link for my fellow Whovians.  One of my readers sent it in.  Google Maps lets you enter the Earls Court Tardis and even walk around a little!  Follow this link for a Timey Wimy Wibbly Wobbly look. Thank you Google Maps.

*******
I am truly a geek at heart but luckily my slightly geek family is very understanding and tend to join into my geek like passions, like finding the TARDIS in London and even trying to get onto Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station.

We had the great luck to get to go to London earlier this summer during the Queens Diamond Jubilee.  We were so lucky to get to see some really great places for kids.

For anyone visiting the London area I will be posting over the next week or two many of our favorite family friendly places.

I thought I would start today with a couple of easy and free ones!  The kids love to ride the train and tube so even getting there will be fun!  I know this will probably only appeal to those of you who are geeks like me! But I promise I have more to come that will appeal to everyone!

TARDIS parked outside Earls Court Station in London
Waiting for the Doctor to return to his TARDIS parked outside Earls Court Station in London

Take Ride on the TARDIS:  Okay well maybe you won’t get a ride but, at least you can get your picture taken with it. If you or your family are Doctor Who fans then you cannot miss this! My darling husband found this for me and what a find it is!  Yes, We found the TARDIS. You know the Doctors Time And Relative Dimension In Space Ship? The hubby  earned big brownie points with me for finding this!  It is parked right in front of Earls Court Station.  You can’t miss it!  Earls Court Station is on the Underground Piccadilly Line.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to London to see it, Google Maps now has a really cool opportunity to see inside the TARDIS.  Check it out!

Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross in London
Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross in London

Platform 9 3/4:  For those of you who are Harry Potter fans!  You must get your photo taken at Kings Cross Platform 9 3/4.  Yes, it is  really there.  Okay, I must remind you not to really run into the wall though because, sadly you are a Muggle and the wall will hurt you.  The Department of Transportation and the Ministry of Magic left a luggage cart half way through so you can find it easily!  Kings Cross is a main Underground and Overground Station so it easy to get to from almost anywhere.

 

 

Muggle husband trying to get onto Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross in London
My muggle husband trying to get onto Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross in London

 

We saw many wonderful places and had an amazing summer. We had the chance to see The Harry Potter Studio Tour ( we loved it) and The Princess Diana Memorial Playground which was the most amazing playground I have ever seen, and The Hedge Maze at Caple Manors Gardens and College in Enfield was one of our favorites!