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Family Friendly Attractions in Fort Lauderdale

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While Fort Lauderdale is famed for its thumping beach-side nightlife, this sprawling seafront city offers plenty of attractions and events for the whole family, from exciting outdoor adventures to educational museums.

 

Museums

 

It’s always great to find kid-friendly museums that are fun for the adults as well. In Fort Lauderdale, you’ll find plenty - including young persons' art galleries and fascinating planetariums.

 

Museum of Discovery and Science

 

Situated in the city center, this museum - based in a strikingly white building - is educational, informative, and most importantly, heaps of fun. There are countless hands-on exhibits on the science of black holes and prehistoric animals, and there's even an IMAX 3D theater onsite with a mighty 5-story high screen, which shows dazzling documentaries as well as blockbuster movies.

 

401 SW 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale FL 33312. Tel: +1 954 467 6637

 

Museum of Discovery and Science website

 

The great outdoors

 

When you’re walking through Fort Lauderdale’s buzzing streets, it’s easy to forget that the city is surrounded by vast swathes of Eden-like greenery and wild swampland in the Everglades National Park. From river rides to hiking trips, there’s dozens of family-themed activities waiting to be had in South Florida’s great outdoors.

 

Anne Kolb Nature Center

 

Located south of the city, the Anne Kolb Nature Center is surrounded by an expansive mangrove-filled wetland, offering families the chance to spot endangered wildlife from a 68-foot tall observation tower. There’s also a mini-museum and a huge saltwater aquarium on site, while kayaks and canoes can be hired by adventurous visitors.

 

751 Sheridan Street, Hollywood FL 33019. Tel: +1 954 357 5161

 

Anne Kolb Nature Center website

 

Sea Experience

 

For most who visit here, Fort Lauderdale is all about the glistening, bright blue ocean, and Sea Experience is the best way to explore it. With diving and snorkel trips and lessons - ideal for slightly older kids - you’ll get to adventure beneath the ocean, where rusty shipwrecks, neon-pink squid, and graceful turtles await. If your kids are younger, why not marvel at the ocean’s wonders through a glass-bottomed boat tour?

 

801 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale FL 33316. Tel: +1 954 770 3483

 

Sea Experience website

 

Amusement parks

 

Is your clan craving a jolt of adrenaline? Fort Lauderdale has that covered with some innovative amusements.

 

Funderdome

 

This indoor play-park is the perfect place to bring those tiny tots full of excess energy, who can burn it off in the soft-padded toddler zone. Meanwhile, slightly older kids will love the movie-style laser maze and winding obstacle courses. For those ready to test their nerves, Funderdome also boasts a towering climbing wall.

 

Southport Shopping Center, Fort Lauderdale FL 33316. Tel: +1 954 525 1816

 

Funderdome website

 

Family dining

 

Wherever you are in Fort Lauderdale, there's always somewhere close by where you and your family can dig into great grub in fun, informal surroundings. Here's a couple of tips for when tummies start rumbling.

 

Pirate Republic Seafood and Grill

 

Located centrally, this light-hearted pirate-themed restaurant will shiver everyone's timbers with its lip-smacking menu of spicy shrimp, fresh oysters, and - for those who don’t like seafood – steak and pasta dishes galore. For the little swashbucklers, there’s an inexpensive kids’ menu.

 

400 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale FL 33315. Tel: +1 954 761 3500

 

Pirate Republic Seafood and Grill website

 

Lester’s Diner

 

This vintage 50s-style diner, with its classic booth or bar-side seating, is the perfect place to enjoy a huge plate of mouthwatering American cuisine. Stop by for brunch and enjoy generous servings of waffles with bacon and syrup, or eggs and hash browns. The set-price kids’ menu comes complete with a small drink and a scoop of ice cream.

 

250 W State Road 84, Fort Lauderdale FL 33315. Tel: +1 954 525 5641

 

Lester’s Diner website