Full of wildlife and vegetation, history and art, Fort Lauderdale is an exciting destination. Sometimes referred to as the Venice of America, Fort Lauderdale in the state of Florida is surrounded by beaches, swamp land and nightlife. With constant warm weather throughout the year, this city is a lovely vacationing area that all families can enjoy. For parents planning a visit here are our top five family experiences to try.
Anne Kolb Nature Center
Fort Lauderdale has plenty of places to explore for animal and nature lovers. One such place is the Anne Kolb Nature Center. This location features about 1,500 acres of coastal mangrove wetland. It is home to a variety of plants and animals including some threatened and endangered species. Their Exhibition Hall holds a series of interactive and static displays that help explain to kids the West Lake Park’s Mangrove ecosystem and significance. There is also an Eco Room where kids and parents can enjoy hands-on nature experience. They can also observe the 3,500-gallon saltwater aquarium. Visitors can enjoy different trails such as a fishing trail, bird observer trail and a trail designed for walking/bike riding.
Sea Experience is a scuba diving, and snorkeling shop open to the public all year round. They provide diving lessons and are welcoming and encouraging of beginners. The staff takes travelers out on the water in a glass bottom boat so they can view the underwater world. Sea Experience has a variety of diving sites, and experienced divers can suggest a site to the crew. A couple of the diving sites include shipwrecked areas.
Museum of Discovery and Science
This museum is very interactive and makes learning fun. The Museum of Discovery and Science has its own AutoNation IMAX that presents 3D films in fantastic quality. There are also a couple of flight simulators that will take visitors on an incredible journey to Mars or have them soaring through the skies on a jet. What is also amazing is that the museum often has animal-centered demos that allows kids and adults to connect and get closer to animal life. Their new exhibit Powerful You is all about the human body and uses fun interaction to learn about the human body and the technology used by health professionals.
Young At Art
The Young At Art Museum is the perfect place for creative travelers. There are regular events held at the museum, so there’s always something to do. Visitors can check out the ArtScapes exhibit and learn about the history of art and how it crosses time, culture and place. In this exhibit, travelers can wander through The Cave, a human-made cave, and view 5,000 years of images of art and its histories set to music. While exploring The Cave people are encouraged to leave a message on the walls for future visitors.
At Avenue A, visitors can “ride” a New York subway and explore the world of graffiti and its history. Guests can also visit the Portrait Gallery which allows them to create a self-portrait inspired by artists through the ages.
We highly recommend taking some time to check out the CultureScapes. This exhibit honors the artists from different cultures that make up America. They display art from cultures such as Haiti, Latin America, Cuba, Africa, Native American, and Asia, etc.Moreover, kids can learn how the artists interpret their culture and tradition and how it influences their art.
Everglades Airboat Ride
Lastly, for those up for a little adventure, we suggest a ride in Everglades Park. Here, travelers can see the local alligators in their habitat. There are plenty of venues that offer airboat rides as well as information about alligators and their habitat. One of the more famous sites is the Holiday Parks which also invites travelers back to the park to meet rescued alligators and witness events held by the park staff.
Autism Travel Tips:
- The Museum of Discovery and Science is highly interactive and recommended for kids who are tactile and energetic.
- Parents should make sure kids know how to conduct themselves safely during Airboat Rides. Getting up close and personal to alligators can be dangerous.
- For the nature center, parents should pack hand wipes as it is a hands-on wild experience.
- Parents should bring either earplugs or phones when visiting some of the exhibits like the Subway exhibit for Young at Art if their kids are noise sensitive.