Hot Fun in the Summertime
It’s not too early to start planning ahead for making the most of Broward County during the summer months, especially if escaping far from home isn’t possible this year. Your tax dollars support programs and opportunities—from sports to art exhibits to the beaches—that make a Broward County staycation the kind of holiday that people would travel from far away to enjoy. We will be here serving our District 5 constituents most of the summer, working to keep the machinery moving smoothly. Whatever your plans may be, I want to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable summer.
Twice the Fun
Budgets can be stretched twice as far this summer if you take advantage of two-for-one admission offers from an avalanche of Broward County attractions. You can save on everything from scuba diving to massages, from a tour of the Everglades to strolling through a garden of butterflies. In fact, 28 different attractions offer two-for-one admissions if you present a free coupon or a sturdier wallet pass that you can request from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. You can save money on a family vacation or entertaining visitors. Visit sunny.org/supersummer/ for more information.
Free For All
County parks and nature centers offer a wide range of activities completely free for much of the week, although there is a gate fee weekends and holidays. There’s just not enough space to list everything that’s available and you’ll likely be surprised by what is offered. Check out all the options.
Wet and Wild
Among the county’s more popular hot weather destinations are its four water parks. They do charge a fee, but you can save money with a little planning. Responding to an idea from residents, we have created a Find It All pass that practically pays for itself after your eighth visit. Additionally, a Parks Passport provides a discount on the entry fee to some parks on some days.
The Find It All passes, available at the water park offices, are good for one person through Labor Day at:
- Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park, 900 N. Flamingo Rd., Pembroke Pines
- Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park and Stadium, 3700 N.W. 11th Place, Lauderhill
- Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park, 401 S. Powerline Rd., Deerfield Beach
- Castaway Island at T.Y. Park, 3300 N. Park Rd., Hollywood
For more information including pricing, visit the parks’ website.
As a reminder, some parks charge a $1.50 per-person entry fee on weekends and county holidays. If you’re planning to use the parks for their dozens of offerings from a pickup basketball game or a family picnic to a jog through a nature trail, you can save time and money with a Parks Passport.
An individual passport is $25 for unlimited access for a full year, while a $60 family passport will permit as many as six people in a single vehicle to enter any park. Learn about these great deals.
There are bicyclists who enjoy a casual jaunt at twilight through the neighborhood – and then there are the cyclists who see it as much as a sport as recreation. For them—and for those interested in training or simply learning how to take cycling seriously—there is the Velodrome in Brian Piccolo Park at 9501 Sheridan St., Cooper City.
Velo-what? A Velodrome is an arena for competitive cycling, recreational cycling and in-line skating. The concrete competitive track is 333.3 meters long with a maximum 30-degree slope at each end. The recreational track in the infield, also concrete, is 200 meters long and has a 10-degree slope. There is a paved concourse for spectators around the perimeter of the elevated outer track. The Velodrome in Broward County is the only one in Florida and one of only four in the southeastern United States.
The specialized bicycles used on the track have no multiple gears or brakes, which help maximize speed and reduce weight. If you don’t have such a bike, they’re available for rent at the facility, along with other necessary equipment. Passes that include the free use of a track bicycle are also available.
Staff and volunteers at the park offer cycling development programs for adults and children, as well as classes for beginning, intermediate, and advanced skaters. Evening and weekend sessions are available.
For more conventional cycling, there’s a separate road course, open daily for cyclists and in-line speed skaters. That paved course includes both 500-meter and 800-meter loops. Except for special events there is no charge to use the facility, although the park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee applies. For more information, call the Velodrome at 954-357-5160.
For Those Who Think Young
The groundbreaking synergy between the popular Young at Art Museum and the Broward County Library system will be celebrated during the first weekend of May at the long-awaited opening of the shared 55,000-square foot facility at 751 SW 121 Avenue, just south of I-595 in Davie.
The dedication and ribbon cutting will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, May 5 and the museum opens to the general public from noon to 6 p.m. Outdoor activities will include live music, strolls around large inflatable sculptures called Giants in the City and art-related events.
“Through the joint development of this facility and its many cooperative programs, this is a groundbreaking partnership and one that we know will be a model for other museums and libraries throughout the country,” said Robert Cannon, director of Broward County Libraries. “This unique facility will provide cooperative, hands-on computer and reading literacy programs and art education activities for families in South Florida as well as visitors.”
The museum features four permanent, themed galleries: GreenScapes, which emphasize nature and the environment; CultureScapes, which celebrate cultural diversity through contemporary artists; WonderScapes, dedicated to childhood development through art, literacy and play, and ArtScapes, a thematic journey through art history.
Visitors can also enjoy a National Traveling Exhibition Gallery, Teen Center and Recording Studio, a preschool classroom and the Artist-in-Residence Studios/Installations, which will feature artists such as Kenny Scharf, Pablo Cano and Edouard Duval Carrie. The Young At Art Institute will offer classes in painting, drawing and photography to visitors.
The 10,000 square-foot library branch delivers a full range of library resources including books, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks. While there is an admission fee for the Young at Art Museum facility, there is never a charge to enter any library.
On opening day, parking will be available offsite only and attendees will be shuttled by courtesy vans. Follow the signs to the designated off-site parking locations.
Many of you share my concern for the welfare of our pets and the county has been busy on several fronts to help animals.
Commissioners formally set a goal last month to operate a “No-Kill” animal shelter in the future. We unanimously passed a resolution requiring staffers to develop and implement a financially feasible plan incorporating programs and services utilized across the nation. Such measures include adoption programs, affordable spay/neuter programs, large scale foster care programs, medical and behavioral programs, and rescue programs in government-private-volunteer partnerships. “No-Kill” shelters strive to save 90 percent of animals from being euthanized. The goals match those suggested by the National Animal Control Association consultants hired to assess animal care operations in 2008.
Pet lovers can make automatic monthly donations to Broward County Animal Care's efforts to provide care and find loving homes for thousands of dogs and cats each year. Donors can target contributions to specific funds, including medical rehabilitation of neglected animals, purchase items for the well-being of shelter pets, the spay and neuter program, public awareness/education fund, as well as a general welfare fund. Choose a fund and make a donation today.
It’s easier than ever to register your pet. Residents can purchase new registration tags or renew existing tags in several ways: visit any of 130 participating veterinary offices, visit any county Animal Care location, by mail, at Pet Supermarket stores or online.
Dogs and cats are required to have valid registration tags by the age of four months and renewed annually even if the animal is already identified by a microchip and/or tattoo, and regardless if your pet spends time outside or is strictly kept indoors. In order to obtain a pet registration tag, your dog or cat must have proof of a current rabies vaccination, usually in the form of a rabies certification that was issued by a licensed veterinarian.
Any owner wanting to verify the current status of a pet’s registration may access the Pet Database. Pet owners can also contact Broward County Animal Care and Adoption at 954-359-1313 to verify or update records over the phone.
Residents who meet income eligibility requirements can have their pets spayed or neutered for $10 under the Stop Pet Overpopulation Together (SPOT) Program. The County Commission recently voted to increase the number of pets that may be processed through the SPOT Program to a maximum of four pets per household per year. In addition, a mother and her litter of puppies or kittens would count as only one pet toward the increased limit. Funding for the SPOT Program is supported through the collection of a $2 surcharge received from the sale of every county pet registration tag. To learn more about the spay/neuter program, visit the animal care website.