Family vacation hot spots in Ft. Lauderdale

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  • Butterfly World, in Coconut Creek, is 10 acres of waterfalls, and tropical gardens and home to thousands of living, brightly colored butterflies. Visit the outdoor café. Admission is about $25 for adults, $20 for children three-11 and kids under three are admitted free.

  • Wannado City is called a role-playing theme park where children can pretend to be doctors, lawyers and merchant chiefs. Located in Sawgrass Mills, Florida's largest retail and entertainment center, with 350 stores including Nordstrom's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Tickets are $35 for children above three and $5 for adults and toddlers.

  • Museum of Discovery and Science and AutoNation IMAX Theater feature literally hundreds of exhibits entrancing kids of all ages – many are interactive. Say hello to bats, alligators, turtles, sharks and explore Florida's Everglades. The IMAX Theater is extra but it makes for a full day indoors. The "orange grove" is a favorite of younger kids, where they pick and pack Florida oranges. Admission for adults is $10, children $8, though with the IMAX the price is about doubled.

  • International Game Fish Association Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum, Dania Beach with the A to Z of catching fish and a chance to simulate fishing. Tickets are $5 for children and $8 for adults.

  • Young at Art in Davie is a hand-on art gallery with special appeal to young children. General admission is $8.

  • Flamingo Gardens, also in Davie, sports a sub-tropical rain forest and another up close look at nature. A tram tour works well and kids enjoy their visit. Lots of local floral and fauna. Adults are $17, children ages 4-11 $8.50, ages 3 and under Free

Have more time to spend in Ft. Lauderdale?
You might want to also consider these fun family vacation ideas

  • Boomers amusement park goes way beyond video games, go-karts, and a rock climbing wall with diverse entertainment options, including a roller coaster and wild rides that appeal to the more adventurous. They run many promotions throughout the season. www.boomersparks.com/park/dania/

  • At Billie's Swamp Safari in the Big Cypress Reservation, take a swamp buggy or airboat ride and ogle the alligators and snakes. Experts of the area, the Seminole Tribe, operate the tours.

  • The Fort Lauderdale area includes some great public parks. Tradewinds Park has horseback riding; Brian Piccolo has a skate park for boarders; and West Lake Park has water rides and kayaking in a scenic setting broward.org/parks/parklist.htm

  • Paradise Cove, on Flamingo Road in Pembroke Pines, is another of Broward's great parks with two interactive water playgrounds and a passel water sports.

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