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Fern Forest offers nature walks & astronomy programs

If you're looking to soak  in the outdoors in South Florida, Fern Forest in north Broward is a lush oasis for nature walks and occasional free astronomy programs with telescopes.

Delight in the scenic setting on your own or register for a guided hike. Most events are free or relatively inexpensive. Entry into the natural area and parking are free. 

Photo/Broward Parks & Recreation

The 244-acre wilderness preserve features walking trails for savoring the sights, scents and sounds of nature.  Highlights include an elevated boardwalk, more than 30 species of ferns, plus resident wildlife.

Fern Forest park naturalist Ashley Grace says the boardwalk excursion winds along forest and swampy wetlands habitats with ferns, air plants, orchids, turtles and mosquito fish.

“A couple of my favorite spots in the park are in the heart of the swamp along our Cypress Creek Boardwalk,” Grace says. “Especially after it rains and the frogs are singing, and walking along the Prairie Perimeter Road in the afternoon when the gopher tortoises are out and about.”

She has tips on what to bring along: “I would say dress comfortable with a good pair of sneakers, just in case you plan on venturing out on the foot trails. It is also always a good plan to carry a reusable water bottle, sunscreen, hat, and bug spray if you're going to be enjoying the great outdoors for an extended amount of time – and always remember to leave nature better than you found it.”

Photo/Broward Parks & Recreation

Events at Fern Forest 

Phone 954-357-5198 to inquire about events, or register for events that require an RSVP 

  • South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association sets up telescopes in Fern Forest parking lot occasionally, free entry. Phone for information.
  • Guided nature walks, usually 1 p.m. Sundays in English and 1 p.m. third Sundays in Spanish. Free. 
  • Occasional night hikes are $5, phone for information and registration.

Upcoming Fern Forest events

See the full schedule of Fern Forest events here.

Wildlife in Fern Forest

  • gopher tortoises
  • raccoons
  • coyotes
  • marsh rabbits
  • great horned owls
  • migratory birds: “The hottest months for birding here tend to be October and April,” Grace says

Information

Fern Forest is at  201 Lyons Road S., Coconut Creek, FL, 954-357-5198, website

No bikes. No pets.

It's open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free entry and free parking.

Other Events & Fun

South Florida's scenic parks & natural areas, plenty are free

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Regal Theatres: Discounted movie tickets on Tuesdays

All Day | $5.00-7.00 | Regal Cinemas Multiple Locations

Food Trucks Tuesdays

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Haulover Beach Park

$5 Retro Replay Films

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $5.00 | Landmark Theatre at Merrick Park, Coral Gables

Trivia nights in Broward

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Winnie-The-Pooh on stage at Lake Worth Playouse

11:00 am | $8.00 | Lake Worth Playhouse

CMX Classics discount film

3:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $6.00-7.00 | CMX Cinemas

Food truck gathering at Pelican Harbor Marina

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Pelican Harbor Marina

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Trivia nights in Broward

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Comedy Night at Pub 52

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Nightlife Brewing Co., Miami-Dade

Comedy Night at Exit One Taproom

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Exit One Taproom, Miami-Dade

Free Screening of "The Boy and the Heron"

9:00 pm | FREE | Bill Cosford Cinema

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Free live music in Pompano Beach

12:15 pm to 1:15 pm | FREE | Pompano Beach Cultural Center

Food Truck Thursdays at Highland Oaks Park

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Highland Oaks Park

Live music: Clematis by Night, West Palm Beach

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | West Palm Beach Waterfront

Free Third Thursdays in Surfside

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | 93 St. Collins and Harding Avenues

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Live music at Doral Yard

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Trivia nights in Broward

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Friday, April 19, 2024

Fluffy's Food Trucks in Coconut Creek

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Sabal Pines Park

Live entertainment at Plantation Walk

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Plantation Walk

Art After Dark: Live performances, tours, workshops, Fridays at The Norton, WPB

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $5.00-10.00 | Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach

Food truck gathering

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Tropical Park, South Miami

Smorgasburg Miami weekly street fair with music

5:30 pm to 10:30 pm | FREE | Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach

Sounds of the Town concert in the park

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Davie Pine Island Park

Live entertainment at Dania Pointe

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Sounds of Little Haiti

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | Discounted | Little Haiti Cultural Center

Food In Motion food trucks & vendors in Fort Lauderdale

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Esplanade Park

Friday Night Sound Waves free concert

6:30 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Las Olas Oceanside Park

Jai-Alai, spring season, Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Magic City Fronton, Miami

Broward Women's Chorus: Sing Me Love Songs

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm | Discounted | Victory Black Box Theatre Fort Lauderdale

Friday Nights at Boulevard Heights live music

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm | FREE | Boulevard Heights community center

Jam on percussion for free

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | South Florida Center for Percussive Arts

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Free foreign film in Deerfield Beach

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Deerfield Beach Historical Society Museum

Carter Park Jamz in Fort Lauderdale

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Carter Park

Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays)

7:00 pm to 11:30 pm | FREE | Calle Ocho

Live @ Mickel free concert, Wilton Manors

7:30 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Mickel Park

Live Music at Doral Yard

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Free outdoor films in Hollywood

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

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Farmers markets & vendor fairs

FREE | Broward, Dade & greater Palm Beach

Plantation Farmers Market

8:00 am to 12:00 am | FREE | Volunteer Park Plantation

Delray GreenMarket

9:00 am to 2:00 pm | FREE | Old School Square, Delray

Vintage Fair at Festival Marketplace

10:00 am to 12:00 am | FREE | Festival Marketplace, Pompano Beach

Earth Day event in Weston

10:00 am to 1:00 pm | FREE | Weston Library Park

Pompano Seafood Festival

11:00 am to 10:00 pm | $20.00 | Pompano Beach Community Park

Smoke on The Water BBQ Feast

12:00 pm to 4:00 pm | FREE | Esplanade Park

Downtown Palm Beach Gardens free outdoor music series

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm | FREE | Downtown at the Gardens

Live entertainment at Dania Pointe

1:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Mother Ocean Music Festival for Earth Day in Hollywood

2:00 pm to 6:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Earth Day Mother Ocean Music Festival in Hollywood

2:00 pm to 6:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Wynwood free outdoor music series, Miami

2:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Wynwood Art District, Miami

Live entertainment at Plantation Walk

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Plantation Walk

Live Music on the Plaza

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | CityPlace Doral

Downtown Hollywood ArtWalk.

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Free outdoor concert, Boynton Beach

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Canyon Amphitheater, Boynton Beach

Trivia nights in Broward

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Live choir at Bailey Hall in Daive

7:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Bailey Hall in Davie

Free screening of "Trolls"

8:00 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Peace Park

Live Music at Doral Yard

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Free Screening of "The Boy and the Heron"

8:00 pm | FREE | Bill Cosford Cinema

Discount late-night movies

9:00 pm to 11:30 pm | $5.00 | Coral Gables Art Cinema

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Farmers markets & vendor fairs

FREE | Broward, Dade & greater Palm Beach

Tamarac Farmers Market

9:00 am to 12:00 am | FREE | Veterans Park Tamarac

Pompano Seafood Festival

11:00 am to 7:00 pm | $20.00 | Pompano Beach Community Park

Symphonic Band at Broward College at Bailey Hall

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm | FREE | Bailey Hall in Davie

Symphonic Band in Davie

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm | FREE | Bailey Hall in Davie

Adventures of the Three Mess-Keteers, Sunrise

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm | FREE | Sunrise Civic Center

Family Sundays at Dania Pointe with entertainment & games

2:00 pm to 6:00 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Live entertainment at Dania Pointe

2:00 pm to 6:00 pm | Dania Pointe

Market on the Plaza

2:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | CityPlace Doral

Live entertainment at Plantation Walk

3:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | Plantation Walk

CMX Classics discount film

3:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $6.00-7.00 | CMX Cinemas

Sunday on the Waterfront: Free monthly concert & food vendors, WPB

4:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | Meyer Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach

Ocean Drive Promenade Music Series

5:00 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | Ocean Drive Promenade, Miami Beach

Tropical Sundays Live Music

5:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Outdoor Bingo in Sunrise

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Sunrise city park

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Salsa dance class

9:00 pm | FREE | Ball & Chain

Monday, April 22, 2024

Free Improv class every Monday in Palmetto Bay

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Palmetto Bay Library

Trivia nights in Broward

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Regal Cinemas: Monday Mystery Movie: Rated-R

7:00 pm | $5.00 | Regal Cinemas

Comedy Night at Sandbar Sports Grill

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Sandbar Sports Grill, Miami-Dade

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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