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Things to do with kids this summer (free, low-cost & deals)

When kids are out of school for the summer, parents in South Florida appreciate ideas for fun things to do. Especially, if those activities are free. Inexpensive. Or offered with an enticing discount.

Lots of indoor & outdoor fun and entertainment — including free fun and entertainment — is offered in Broward, Miami-Dade and greater Palm Beach.

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Please return to this feature as other ideas, events and dining deals are added. Events & deals might occasionally be revised. It’s wise to phone prior to venturing out if you want to ensure a deal or activity you’re interested in is on.

Fun in Broward

 

Splash Adventure Photo/Broward Parks & Recreation

Wet fun

Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield & some other Pools, Water Playgrounds & Water parks in South Florida offer reduced fees in the afternoons.

 

Story Trail in Waters Edge Park in Tamarac. Photo/city of Tamarac

Story Trail & Splash Playground

Enhance a walk in the park with a story. Tamarac Story Trail at Waters Edge Park features pages of a storybook displayed along a path.  The park includes a splash playground and other amenities. Entry is free.

Night Sky

Use telescopes for free at Fox Observatory in Sunrise.  Observatory in Markham Park is open Saturdays, weather permitting. Entry to the park is $1.50 for ages 6 and older until about dusk. If you enter in the evening, entry is free.

Nature fun

Photo/Patti Roth

Sea Turtles

Rescued sea turtles swim and eat in a saltwalter pool at at an environmental educational facility in Hollywood. Entry is free with donations encouraged. Where to see rescued sea turtles (for free)

Free & inexpensive kid-friendly films & events

 

Photo/Tradewinds & Atlantic Railroad

Ride a teeny train

A little steam train runs on tracks around Tradewinds Park, usually 10 a.m. –  4 p.m. third full weekends, weather permitting. Fees are $1.50 for rides and $1.50 weekend park entry fee for ages 6 and older.

Model railroad display

Entry is free for Plantation Historical Museum, featuring a display of running model trains.

Free entry days

Las Olas Oceanside Park in Fort Lauderdale

Free Live entertainment

Deals & Other Fun in Broward

Things to Do With Kids In Summer in Miami

Photo/Frost Art Museum

Free Passport for HistoryMiami

HistoryMiami museum offers Miami-Dade residents opportunities for free entry. Pick up a “Passport” which allows kids and their families to peruse the exhibits for free during summer. Information is online.

BubbleFest at Dolphin Mall

Dolphin Mall offers ‘Bubble Fest’ afternoons in July, with bubbles, dancing lights and music.

Free Art for Kids

Miami Beach Botanical Garden offers free art classes for kids. The program is 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Wednesdays, register online.

 

Other free fun in Miami-Dade

Deals & discounts in Miami-Dade

Free and Cheap Things To Do With Kids This Summer in Palm Beach County

Photo/Manatee Lagoon an FPL eco-discovery center

Manatee Lagoon

Manatee Lagoon in West Palm Beach offers waterfront deck & interactive exhibits & it’s free  Other amenities include picnic area, shop and an augmented reality 3D animated solar tree exhibit.

Other fun in Palm Beach county

Fitness & recreation

Photo/Tri-Rail

Robotics, AR & Electronic devices

For kids, teens & adults, exciting & educational electronic devices are free — on loan — from participating local libraries.  Broward libraries loan electronic & robotic devices, fitness equipment & other gear

Fern Forest Photo/Broward Parks & Recreation

Dining Deals

Outdoors

Lush parks with shady trees and nature paths.  Lovely waterfront promenades. Refreshing pools and waterslides. South Florida offers a wealth of delightful outdoor spaces for family-friendly excursions. Examples include

Parks

More free and cheap things to do with kids this summer in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Free Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

All Day | FREE | Bass Pro Shops Miami

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

$8 roller skating in Davie

6:00 pm to 8:30 pm | Discounted | Galaxy Skateway Davie

North Bay Village Winter Wonderland & Tree Lighting

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Vogel Park

Fantasy of Lights drive-through display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-45.00 | Tradewinds Park

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Symphony In Lights at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Gulfstream Park Village

Holiday light show and snow fall in West Palm, 6:30, 7:30 & 8:30

6:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | The Square downtown West Palm

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Zoo Miami

School choir caroling competition

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | 550 Biltmore Building

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Free Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

All Day | FREE | Bass Pro Shops Miami

Winter Wonderland display in Plantation

10:00 am to 4:30 pm | FREE | Plantation Historical Museum

A Very Merry Garden: Reindeer Round-Up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $11.95-24.95 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

The Art of Transformation

11:00 am to 10:00 pm | FREE

Santa's Circus

12:30 pm to 7:30 pm | $15.99 | Jungle Island

Food trucks and music

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Wellington Village Park

Tamarac holiday lighting with tree, kinara and menorah

6:00 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | Tamarac community center

Holiday lighting festivities in Dania

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Dania City Hall

Tree lighting festivies in West Palm

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE

Holiday in Paradise light show, ferris wheel & other festivites in West Palm

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | West Palm Beach Waterfront

Fantasy of Lights drive-through display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-45.00 | Tradewinds Park

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Symphony In Lights at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Gulfstream Park Village

Holiday light show and snow fall in West Palm, 6:30, 7:30 & 8:30

6:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | The Square downtown West Palm

The Moth - Miami StorySLAM

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $15.00 | Sandrell Rivers Theater

$12 Adult Skate Night

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $12.00 | Xtreme Action Park

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Friday, December 2, 2022

Free Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

All Day | FREE | Bass Pro Shops Miami

Winter Wonderland display in Plantation

10:00 am to 4:30 pm | FREE | Plantation Historical Museum

A Very Merry Garden: Reindeer Round-Up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $11.95-24.95 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

The Art of Transformation

11:00 am to 10:00 pm | FREE

Santa's Circus

12:30 pm to 7:30 pm | $15.99 | Jungle Island

Art After Dark at Norton in West Palm

4:00 pm to 9:30 pm | Discounted | Norton Museum of Art

First Fridays @ 5 concert in Boynton Beach

5:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Boynton Beach Amphitheater

Light up Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale

5:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale

Dania Pointe holiday night market

5:00 pm to 11:00 pm | Dania Pointe

Holiday lighting in Sunrise

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Sunrise Civic Center

Zoo Lights at Palm Beach Zoo

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $10.00-22.00 | Palm Beach Zoo

City of Doral Park and Tree Lighting Ceremony

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Doral Meadow Park

Holiday in Paradise light show, ferris wheel & other festivites in West Palm

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | West Palm Beach Waterfront

Fantasy of Lights drive-through display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-45.00 | Tradewinds Park

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Symphony In Lights at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Gulfstream Park Village

Holiday light show and snow fall in West Palm, 6:30, 7:30 & 8:30

6:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | The Square downtown West Palm

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Zoo Miami

Snow flurries at Dania Pointe

7:00 pm to 7:20 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Coral Gables Holiday Spectacular:

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Coral Gables City Hall

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Free outdoor film in Weston

7:30 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Weston Regional Park

Free outdoor films in Hollywood

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | ArtsPark

Snow flurries at Dania Pointe

8:30 pm to 8:50 pm | Dania Pointe

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Gold Coast Museum free first Saturday

All Day | FREE | Gold Coast Railroad Museum

Free Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

All Day | FREE | Bass Pro Shops Miami

The Polar Express

$65.00-75.00 | Brightline MiamiCentral Station

Winter Wonderland display in Plantation

10:00 am to 4:30 pm | FREE | Plantation Historical Museum

A Very Merry Garden: Reindeer Round-Up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $11.95-24.95 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Brightline Holiday Marketplace

10:00 am to 8:00 pm | FREE | Brightline MiamiCentral Station

Namaste Indian Festival in Pompano

10:30 am to 8:00 am | FREE | Pompano Amphitheater

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

The Art of Transformation

11:00 am to 10:00 pm | FREE

Farm Tours at Tradewinds Park

11:30 am to 2:00 pm | $3.00-4.50 | Tradewinds Park

Free tour of the Adrienne Arsht Center

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm | FREE | Adrienne Arsht Center

Holiday Train Exhibit at library in Southwest Ranches

12:00 pm to 4:00 pm | FREE | Southwest Regional Library

Santa's Circus

12:30 pm to 7:30 pm | $15.99 | Jungle Island

$5 holiday movies

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm | $5.00 | Regal Cinemas

Winter Kiddos Land

2:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | CityPlace Doral

Vegan Winter Fest Block Party

2:00 pm to 8:00 pm | $0-13.00 | Esplanade Park

Ocean Way festival in Deerfield

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | main beach parking lot in Deerfield

Light Up Plantation

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Plantation City Hall

Zoo Lights at Palm Beach Zoo

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $10.00-22.00 | Palm Beach Zoo

Christmas at the Gazebo

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Royal Poinciana Blvd. & Curtiss Parkway

Palmetto Bay Light Up Your Holidays Celebration

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Village of Palmetto Bay city hall

Holiday in Paradise light show, ferris wheel & other festivites in West Palm

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | West Palm Beach Waterfront

Fantasy of Lights drive-through display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-45.00 | Tradewinds Park

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Symphony In Lights at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Gulfstream Park Village

Holiday light show and snow fall in West Palm, 6:30, 7:30 & 8:30

6:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | The Square downtown West Palm

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Zoo Miami

Snow flurries at Dania Pointe

7:00 pm to 7:20 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Night sky viewing with telescopes

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Fox Observatory

Snow flurries at Dania Pointe

8:30 pm to 8:50 pm | Dania Pointe

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Free Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

All Day | FREE | Bass Pro Shops Miami

The Polar Express

$65.00-75.00 | Brightline MiamiCentral Station

Sunday kids' art class for under 13

10:00 am to 12:00 pm | $16.00 | Museum of Graffiti

A Very Merry Garden: Reindeer Round-Up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $11.95-24.95 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Brightline Holiday Marketplace

10:00 am to 8:00 pm | FREE | Brightline MiamiCentral Station

Free live music at Jazz Brunch in Fort Lauderdale

11:00 am to 2:00 pm | FREE | Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk

Snow & Crystals Festival

11:00 am to 6:00 pm | FREE | Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

Farm Tours at Tradewinds Park

11:30 am to 2:00 pm | $3.00-4.50 | Tradewinds Park

Santa's Circus

12:30 pm to 7:30 pm | $15.99 | Jungle Island

$5 holiday movies

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm | $5.00 | Regal Cinemas

The Art of Transformation

2:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

School caroling competition

3:00 pm to 7:00 pm | 550 Biltmore Building

Joy to the World Caroling Crawl and Tree Lighting in Coconut Grove

4:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Commodore Plaza

Carols on the Lawn

4:30 pm | FREE | Society of the Four Arts

FAU Tuba Christmas in Boca

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm | FREE | Mizner Park in Boca

Zoo Lights at Palm Beach Zoo

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $10.00-22.00 | Palm Beach Zoo

Holiday in Paradise light show, ferris wheel & other festivites in West Palm

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | West Palm Beach Waterfront

Fantasy of Lights drive-through display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-45.00 | Tradewinds Park

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Symphony In Lights at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Gulfstream Park Village

Holiday light show and snow fall in West Palm, 6:30, 7:30 & 8:30

6:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | The Square downtown West Palm

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Zoo Miami

Snow flurries at Dania Pointe

7:00 pm to 7:20 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

$12 Adult Skate Night

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $12.00 | Xtreme Action Park

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Monday, December 5, 2022

Free Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

All Day | FREE | Bass Pro Shops Miami

The Polar Express

$65.00-75.00 | Brightline MiamiCentral Station

A Very Merry Garden: Reindeer Round-Up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $11.95-24.95 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

Free tour of the Adrienne Arsht Center

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm | FREE | Adrienne Arsht Center

Holiday Train Exhibit at library in Southwest Ranches

12:00 pm to 4:00 pm | FREE | Southwest Regional Library

Holiday in Paradise light show, ferris wheel & other festivites in West Palm

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | West Palm Beach Waterfront

Fantasy of Lights drive-through display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-45.00 | Tradewinds Park

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Symphony In Lights at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Gulfstream Park Village

Holiday light show and snow fall in West Palm, 6:30, 7:30 & 8:30

6:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | The Square downtown West Palm

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Zoo Miami

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Free Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

All Day | FREE | Bass Pro Shops Miami

The Polar Express

$65.00-75.00 | Brightline MiamiCentral Station

Winter Wonderland display in Plantation

10:00 am to 4:30 pm | FREE | Plantation Historical Museum

A Very Merry Garden: Reindeer Round-Up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $11.95-24.95 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

Holiday Train Exhibit at library in Southwest Ranches

12:00 pm to 4:00 pm | FREE | Southwest Regional Library

Holiday in Paradise light show, ferris wheel & other festivites in West Palm

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | West Palm Beach Waterfront

Fantasy of Lights drive-through display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-45.00 | Tradewinds Park

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Symphony In Lights at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Gulfstream Park Village

Holiday light show and snow fall in West Palm, 6:30, 7:30 & 8:30

6:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | The Square downtown West Palm

School caroling competition awards show

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | 550 Biltmore Building

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

 

Patti Roth

About Patti Roth

Patti Roth, the editor of Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap, scouts out state and national deals, discounts and coupons for our readers, finding the real deals and presenting them in an easy-to-read format. A veteran newspaper and magazine writer and a longtime South Florida resident, she has written for The Miami Herald, The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Travel and Life, E Environmental Magazine, Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, US Architecture and Earth911.com. Send your cheap tips to her at info@fortlauderdaleonthecheap.com.

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