The Palm Beaches, a pristine 47-mile stretch of Atlantic Ocean coastline, is an ideal spot to vacation with kids. Incorporating 39 South Florida cities and towns, The Palm Beaches has plenty to entertain kids and families.
Take Your Kids to The Palm Beaches
The Palm Beaches in South Florida offer endless possibilities for family fun. From animal encounters to water adventures, there is so much to do! I recently spent a week in The Palm Beaches with my 4-year-old and we discovered 11 great reasons it’s an awesome vacation destination for kids.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Want to see baby sea turtles? Loggerhead Marinelife Center is the place to go! Admission to this sea turtle rehabilitation hospital is free; it offers the opportunity to watch ocean conservation in action. Located in Juno Beach, one of the most densely-nested loggerhead turtle nesting beaches in the world, the Center lets guests get up-close to threatened and endangered sea turtles. From new hatchlings to older turtles being treated for injuries, a variety of animal patients are on display in open outdoor tanks. Children are also invited to attend Junior Research Lab, a free hands-on program that teaches junior researchers how to find, identify, and care for turtle hatchlings, before releasing them back to the wild.
Lion Country Safari
Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach is another don’t-miss destination for young animal lovers. Start your day with a four-mile drive-through safari, making your way through 1,000 exotic animals roaming free. You’ll see wildebeests, black buck, and the largest herd of zebras outside of Africa. (Be sure to ask for an educational audio CD, to accompany your tour.) Then, park and head into Safari World Amusement Park where interactive animal encounters await! Feed giraffes, lories, and fish, watch flamingos, and visit the petting zoo.
Spend the rest of the day enjoying the park’s many free attractions, including a mini train, paddle boats, mini golf, and rides. My daughter and her friends couldn’t believe their luck that the rides were free! They rode this flying attraction again and again, before becoming permanent fixtures on the carousel. Eventually, I lured my daughter away with the promise of the nearby water spray ground. It was the perfect place to cool off on a hot August afternoon.
Rapids Water Park
For more water fun in The Palm Beaches, Rapids Water Park is just the ticket. South Florida’s largest water park boasts 35 water slides, a wave pool, and a relaxing lazy river. My daughter’s favorite section of the park was Splish Splash Lagoon, pictured above, where the three slides have no height restrictions. There were other great options for her, too, including the eight slides on Splash Hill, with a minimum height requirement of 36 inches. The water park is 30 acres, but it feels very compact and has a large variety of attractions to thrill all ages. Just be sure to wear flip flops or water shoes – the ground gets hot!
South Florida Science Center and Aquarium Experience
To add an educational element to vacation, The South Florida Science Center & Aquarium is a great place for kids to burn off steam and get their creative juices flowing. My daughter enjoyed the hands-on learning around every corner. In fact, every time I turned around, she had taken off to explore yet another exhibit. Her favorites were the water room, interactive shadow room, and the “amazing butterflies” maze of activities. Outside, we had fun making bubbles, playing telephone on the playground, and checking out the unique animal conservation mini golf course.
Boca Raton Children’s Museum
Rainy morning on vacation? No problem! Head to the Boca Raton Children’s Museum for a few hours of indoor play time. This little historic house hosts hands-on exhibits in each of its rooms, from a grocery store to a storytelling tent. For just $5 per person, little ones can explore and imagine to their heart’s content.
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
For your vacation home base, I can’t recommend Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa highly enough. Complimentary champagne upon arrival, luxurious lobby, breathtaking decor, jaw-dropping rooms, and glorious pools – all nestled in seven acres of private beach. Once you set up camp in these gorgeous digs, you are going to have a hard time leaving to do anything else.
Kids love the resort too, with its sprawling family pool, sandy pirate playground, and specialty camps just for them: Camp Aqua Nuts and Camp Coast. Let your little one enjoy some supervised play with new friends one morning, so you can sneak away to the world class Eau Spa. This spa is your 42,000-square-foot playground. Take a book and relax in a swinging chair, dragging your toes through the shallow pool below. Then, enjoy a treatment, the steam room, the Jacuzzi… you can even order lunch!
Old Key Lime House
Another nearby dining option, Old Key Lime House offers casual fare in a palapa-roofed hut by the water. Enjoy live, acoustic music, watch the fish swimming by the dock, and dine outdoors as the sun sets over the water. There’s even a small play area with toys to keep restless kids entertained.
Cool Beans Indoor Playground & Café
If your number one goal is kid happiness at mealtime, this Palm Beach Gardens café is the way to go. Kids can race around the 6,000 square foot indoor playground and bounce on the trampolines, while adults lounge in the café. Order a sandwich and some healthy snacks and call it dinner!
Pizza Al Fresco
Pizza Al Fresco is a delightful place to dine with the whole family. Set in a gorgeous Worth Avenue courtyard that makes you feel like you’ve been whisked away to Europe, you can eat in style, stress-free, with your kids. My daughter loved the huge, wood-fired cheese pizza.
Max’s Grille in Boca Raton was the clear winner as my daughter’s favorite meal. She inhaled the grilled chicken breast kid’s meal. I had a chicken Caesar salad, also delicious. If you have plans to visit the beautiful shops in Mizner Park, be sure to save time for lunch at Max’s!
Discover The Palm Beaches, Florida
Looking for more inspiration? Check out 13 Things to do with Toddlers in The Palm Beaches and 6 Affordable Things to do with Kids in The Palm Beaches. To get started planning your next visit to The Palm Beaches, visit www.thepalmbeaches.com.