Taking the family to Fort Lauderdale is always a good idea. More family-friendly and cost-effective than Miami, Fort Lauderdale has a variety of all-ages activities within minutes of the beach. From greenspaces such as the New River, perfect for family walks, picnics, and fishing to the ritzy shopping on Las Olas, there's a variety of options. And you'll still be able to find budget-friendly restaurants with the menus kids will approve of.
Three days in Fort Lauderdale will introduce you to all the fun that South Florida has to offer.
Make sure the kids have UV-protective clothing and sunscreen for sunny days.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a family photo shoot at Butterfly World.
Day one of every Florida vacation should start and end under the sun—it is the Sunshine State, after all. When you’re not soaking up the rays at the beach, take the fam on a guided tour of the city’s waterways. A Seven Isles kayak tour will show you all of the highlights. Then, swing by Butterfly World to learn more about the whimsical creatures.
Wander Las Olas for some dining and shopping, or head back to the beach and practice your treasure digging skills. It's all in prep for your upcoming Intracoastal cruise on a pirate ship—a family-friendly way to spend an hour on the water.
Day two brings more time outdoors, but this time with low-impact activities that’ll help the kids keep their energy up. Take your rental car west into Davie and skip the line at Flamingo Gardens. This botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary is especially great for your little animal lovers.
Take the rest of the day at your leisure then head back to the beach for a moonlit experience on the water. A stand-up paddleboard excursion showcases downtown Fort Lauderdale and Las Olas in glowing glory.
Dip out of the bright sun and head to the Museum of Discovery and Science with your young ones for some indoor recreation. Then it's back out into the sun for a splash. A catamaran cruise with a slide, water trampoline, and giant floating mat will leave everyone soaked with smiles.
Wave goodbye to a fun-filled family vacation by making your own waves in the ocean. A Jet Ski rental is a short but sweet final activity to try before you head home.