Greater Fort Lauderdale is a year-round destination, but some days may bring clouds or temperatures slightly too warm for the kids. No matter the outside elements, there are plenty of ways to escape the heat or rain without worrying about the family getting bored.
Greater Fort Lauderdale attractions range from indoor skydiving to 3D cinemas and action parks—plus tons of kid-friendly restaurants with mermaid shows (as well as mimosas!) sure to keep everyone entertained. From the suburbs out west to the cities along the coast, here’s where you’ll find some of the best indoor family activities.
See a Show
Escape into another world in the comfort of your seat at a local movie or performing arts theater.
The Museum of Discovery & Science in Fort Lauderdale, for instance, is home to an IMAX theater. A six-story-high screen and stadium seating will make you feel like you’ve jumped into the sea or gone back in time while watching thrilling documentaries or blockbuster films like “Jurassic World.” If you’re shopping near one of the many malls out west like Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise or Broward Mall in Plantation, you can also catch the latest releases at the on-site movie theaters.
As one of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest venues, The Parker is a must-see attraction for families looking for live entertainment. Sit back and watch shows ranging from comedy acts to Broadway plays and musical stage adaptations of classic characters like Disney’s Winnie The Pooh. In downtown Fort Lauderdale, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts has one of the largest arts-in-education programs in the country and hosts more than 700 performances a year, from a national tour of “The Masked Singer” to Disney summer theater camp productions and “PAW Patrol Live!”
On Sundays, you can enjoy a family-friendly brunch and a show. Watch live “mermaids” swimming in the background during Mermaids and Mimosas in the Wreck Bar at B Ocean Resort. Stick around after the show to pose for an “underwater” photo with one of the stars.
Seek Fun Thrills
With games that’ll tire your kids and leave permanent smiles on everyone’s faces, you won’t want to miss these family-friendly attractions.
Dave & Buster’s in Hollywood has all the classic games (Pac-Man and Skee-Ball), and a virtual reality arcade with immersive experiences tying into movies like “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Over at Xtreme Action Park, the largest indoor entertainment venue in Fort Lauderdale, you can enjoy go-kart racing, bowling, roller skating, laser tag, and a ropes course suspended over the arcade game room.
The modern yet old-school-style Bowlero bowling alley in Dania Beach also has an arcade, plus lane-side cocktails for the parents.
If you’re not quite ready to leap out of a plane, try the next best thing—indoor skydiving in a 14-foot-diameter wind tunnel at iFly Fort Lauderdale, where you can learn the basics or practice a trick or two with the pros.
And for a one-stop-shop that has everything from giant slides to wall-to-wall trampolines and a foam zone with a sky tower, spend the day at trampoline park Sky Zone in Pompano Beach, where even the little ones can get in on the action during the Sunday themed toddler programs.
Museums in Greater Fort Lauderdale range from historic homes and gardens to multiple-story, kid-focused science centers like downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Discovery and Science, home to 200 interactive exhibits great for everyone in the family. Also, in Fort Lauderdale, NSU Art Museum’s permanent collection features more than 7,500 works of art, one of the highlights being an extensive collection of contemporary art.
At the Broward Mall in Plantation, kids can get hands-on at Young At Art, which has two new locations with interactive exhibitions and art classes like drawing and digital photography for kids and teens. You’ll also find activities for all ages at the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood, which hosts summer arts camps and Free Arts! Family Days on the third Sunday of the month, bringing guest artists to lead collaborative workshops.