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Free & cheap things to do with kids this summer in Broward

When kids are out of school for the summer, parents in South Florida appreciate ideas for fun and interesting things to do. Maybe educational. Especially, if those activities are free, cheap or come with a discount. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties offer lots of fun and entertainment for families. both indoors and outdoors.  

We have beaches, parks and pools, of course. We also have the Summer Savings Pass and the South Florida Adventure Pass, which offer substantial discounts on attractions.

Photo: Butterfly World

Attraction discounts and museum free days

The Summer Savings Pass offers discount admission to Zoo Miami, Lion Country Safari and Cox Science Center & Aquarium in West Palm Beach. The South Florida Adventure Pass offers discount admission to four Broward attractions: Sawgrass Recreation Park in west Weston, Flamingo Gardens in Davie, the Museum of Science & Discovery in Fort Lauderdale and Butterfly World in Coconut Creek.

Free museum days in South Florida continue through the summer.

Photo: Miramar Parks and Recreation

Pools, splash pads, water parks and ‘dive-in' movies

Broward has inexpensive water attractions, including splash pads, pools and water parks. Some cities host “dive-in” movie nights or other pool parties. And, of course, there are miles of beaches with free entry.

Splash pads are usually free. They include:

  • Shenandoah Park, 14601 SW 14th St., Davie 33325. Entry is free.
  • Waters Edge Park in Tamarac offers a splash playground. Entry is free.
  • Osswald Park features a Splashpad, 2220 NW 21st Avenue, Fort Lauderdale 33311, 954-828-6455, free entry, adults need to directly accompany kids 7 & younger.
  • Mickel Park in Wilton Manors offers a Splashpad with squirting water for youngsters. Entry to the park, playground and Splash Pad are free. Mickel Park, 954-390-2100,  2675 NW 7th Avenue, Wilton Manors 33111.
  • City Park, 6600 Sunset Strip, Sunrise 33313.
  • Flamingo Park, 12855 NW 8th Street, Sunrise 33326.
  • Cypress Preserve Park, 9020 NW 38th Street, Sunrise 33351.
  • Welleby Park, 11100 NW 44th Street, Sunrise 33351.
  • City Park in Oakland Park, 3900  NE Third Avenue  33309, parking is free.

Splash Adventure. Photo: Broward Parks & Recreation

These are more options for wet fun in Broward this summer.

Swim lessons

The Watersmart Broward website offers the opportunity for Broward residents to obtain discounts for swimming lessons at participating programs.

The discounts are $40 off swimming instruction for kids to age 8.  When ordering a kid's swimming instruction voucher, Watersmart Broward offers an opportunity for another voucher offering off swimming instruction for parents.

Summer food program for students

The summer food program for kids 18 and younger is offered at participating schools, libraries and other locations in Broward, Dade and greater Palm Beach.  Some participating venues serve breakfast. Others serve lunch. Some serve both. For most of the venues, no registration is required. The program is presented by US Department of Agriculture and partners.

Venues providing the free breakfasts, lunches and snacks are offered online, by text, or by phone.

  • Search on the website.
  • Text FOOD or COMIDA to 304-304.
  • Dial 2-1-1 on your phone.

Free recreation programs

A variety of neighborhood parks in Fort Lauderdale offer free recreation programs. The programs are usually for ages 6 through 17, with some variations at different parks.

Participating parks include

Franklin Park
2501 Franklin Dr.
Fort Lauderdale 33311

Lafayette Hart Park
(For ages 6 to 11 only)
2851 N.W. Eighth Rd.
Fort Lauderdale 33311

Roosevelt Gardens Park
2841 N.W. 11th St.
Fort Lauderdale 33311

Information and other participating parks are online.

Free and cheap movies for kids 

Many theater chains offer special inexpensive summer movies for children or options to see classic films at a discount. Cities offer “dive-in” movie nights, free outdoor movies and free outdoor concerts. Here are free and cheap movies for kids this summer.

Photo & Featured Photo/Planet Fitness

Free workouts at Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness offers free workouts for teens ages 14 to 19 June 1 – August 31 at participating venues, with registration required.

Teens age 17 and younger need to register with a parent.

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

Other free and cheap things to do with kids in Broward this summer

AllGolf putt putt in Pembroke Pines offers deals. AllGolf deals include free entry 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays for kids 12 and younger with adult paying regular price of $11. AllGolf is at 950 N. Flamingo Road, Pembroke Pines 33028, 954-441-1333, website. For 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Thursdays, the deal is all you want to play, including 36 holes, for $11.

Story Trail and Splash Playground in Tamarac. 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.

Use telescopes for free at Fox Observatory in Sunrise.  Observatory in Markham Park is usually 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.

Entry is free for Tequesta Trace Park in Weston, which features a skate park. Other amenities include sports fields & roller hockey rink, exercise path and playground.

Libraries in Broward and greater Palm Beach loan birdwatching backpacks for free

Fern Forest is an oasis for nature walks The 244-acre wilderness preserve features walking trails and an elevated boardwalk for savoring the sights, scents and sounds of nature. Entry is free.

The Marine Environmental Education center, MEEC, in Hollywood offers educational exhibits and entry is free. MEEC is a partnership of Broward Parks and Recreation and Nova Southeastern University. The oceanside venue  is usually open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays at Hollywood North Beach Park, 4414 N. Surf Road, Hollywood 33019. 

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

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

Photo: Tradewinds & Atlantic Railroad

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These places in South Florida are always free

Photo: Annca from Pixabay

It's always good to double-check with a venue before you head out in case something has changed.

Day-by-day calendar of free and cheap things to do with kids this summer


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 Send your cheap tips to her at

Living on the CheapMiami on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists and consumer advocates. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap.

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