Planning a picnic at a Broward County Park? We have more than 110 shelters and pavilions available by reservation, with capacities from 20 to more than 200, all with picnic tables, most with grills, and many with water and electricity. There are also freestanding picnic tables and grills located throughout many parks, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Here are some tips to help keep yourself, your friends, and your family safe while picnicking.
- Decide in advance not only what you want to eat, but how to ensure it’s stored properly.
- Don’t forget plates and utensils, storage containers for leftovers, paper towels, and trash bags.
- If using frozen food, thaw in the refrigerator (not on the counter), or cook from the frozen state. Don’t partially cook meat/poultry ahead of time. And remember, cooking frozen food will take up to 50 percent longer than fresh food.
- Store perishable foods in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs.
- Wash your hands before preparing food and before eating.
- Don’t leave foods out in the sun – in hot weather, food shouldn’t sit out of the cooler for more than an hour. Keep the cooler in the shade when possible.
- Serve food items from the grill on a clean platter to avoid cross-contamination – don’t reuse the same plates and utensils that were used for raw food.
- Unpack your cooler as soon as you return home and refrigerate leftovers that have been kept adequately cold. Discard any food that has warmed up – when in doubt, throw it out!
More tips are available from FoodSafety.gov and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This information brought to you by the Broward Family Nutrition Program, a service of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Parks and Recreation Division. Call 954-357-5270 for additional information.
A reminder: Starting on June 9, our four water parks will be open daily through August 28. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. at Paradise Cove
at C.B. Smith Park
(954-357-5170) in Pembroke Pines; Tropical Splash
at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium
(954-357-5400) in Lauderhill; Splash Adventure
at Quiet Waters Park
(954-357-5100) in Deerfield Beach; and Castaway Island
at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park
(954-357-8811) in Hollywood.
The annual Sea Turtles and Their Babies program at the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood doesn’t get under way until July, but don’t wait until then to reserve a spot – the long-running program usually sells out well in advance. This year’s installment will run on Wednesdays and Fridays from Friday, July 1 through Wednesday, August 31, starting at 8 p.m.
This educational series covers a range of topics relating to the beleaguered marine reptiles and their plight. Following an hourlong video presentation and lecture, participants will accompany a naturalist for, pending hatchling availability, a hatchling release on the beach.
Space is limited and no walk-ins are accepted. The fee is $10 per person, prepaid, and parking at the release site is metered. The program is subject to rescheduling or cancellation if weather conditions are not favorable. Register online
Every summer Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek offers weeklong summer day camps for ages 8 to 11. This year Nature Detectives will run from 9 a.m. to noon on weekdays, June 20-24 and August 1-5. Each day focuses on a different theme, with participants exploring the nature center’s habitats through hands-on experiences, crafts, and other activities. The fee is $75 per camper for the week, and preregistration is required. For more information, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.
A love of science doesn’t equal geekdom, as your kids will learn if you sign them up for Science Eye Safari Camp
at Tree Tops Park
in Davie. Campers are immersed in the roles of a scientist making observations, conducting experiments, engaging in field studies, and more. By participating in fun, interactive, hands-on projects, they’ll learn to explore the world around them to gain new insights and become aware of why it’s important to take care of the environment.
Each day is a new adventure at this day camp for ages 7 to 12, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily the weeks of June 20-24, July 11-15 and 25-29, and August 8-12. The fees are $300 per child for one week, $575 for two weeks, $850 for three weeks, and $1,125 for all four weeks. Preregistration is required by the Friday prior to the first day of camp. The fees include field trips on Fridays, along with lunch and a snack daily. After-care is available from 4 to 5 p.m. for an additional fee.
For more information, call 954-680-7977, email Camp@ScienceEye.com
, or visit ScienceEye.com
What kid doesn’t like playing superhero? Let your youngster(s) enjoy the fantasy and cool off in a water park this summer when Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park hosts a series of Superhero Splash Bashes. Activities include a bounce house, games, a movie, prizes, and splash time in the water playground. The dates are June 10 and 24, July 8 and 22, and August 5; rain dates, should they be necessary, are the Tuesdays following the regularly scheduled events. The events run from 6 to 10 p.m. and cost $6 per person (plus sales tax). Refreshments will be available for purchase. Space is limited, and advance ticket purchase is required by calling the park at 954-357-5100. Quiet Waters is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #14.
Also this month, Castaway Island at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park in Hollywood brings back Family Fun Night. This month’s event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 17, with another scheduled for July 15 and another for August 19. The $7/person entry fee includes two hours of swim time and games for all ages, including relay races, pie-yourself-in-the-face, water musical chairs, and more. For more information, call the park at 954-357-8811. T.Y. is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.
This month you have half a dozen chances to find out more about what’s going on in the South Florida night sky. From roughly dusk to midnight on Saturdays, June 4, 11, 18, and 25, weather permitting, the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association (SFAAA) opens the Fox Observatory at Markham Park in Sunrise.
This nonprofit organization, which dates back to the mid-1960s, staffs the Fox and brings along its own telescopic equipment as well. Group members assist the public in how to use the gear. The SFAAA also meets at the Fox at 7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday, which this month falls on June 2. Markham Park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #23.
also hosts popular quarterly gatherings called An Evening With the Stars at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek. This quarter the event is on Friday, June 17, starting at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call the nature center at 954-357-5198. Fern Forest
is accessible via Broward County Transit
Routes #31 and #42.
Another reminder: Kids 9 through 16 can learn how to saddle up at the annual Summer Horse Camps at Tradewinds Park & Stables in Coconut Creek. The program starts on June 6 and ends on August 11, and runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Riding instruction (weather permitted) and many other activities are featured. The camp is offered in four-day sessions. Fees are $400 per session; space is limited and preregistration is required. Fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability signed at registration.
Also at Tradewinds, the Junior Farmers’ Camps provide an introduction to basic farming techniques as well as contact with the park’s barnyard animals. The camps are for ages 5 to 8 and run in half-day sessions, from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 12:30 to 4 p.m., at a cost of $40 per session. These camps are also offered Mondays through Thursdays, starting on June 6 and ending on June 30.
Here are some group walking/hiking opportunities this month. Nominal fees apply for some programs – typically $3 to $5. Solo walking is also popular at most of our parks. Visit Broward.org/Parks for a complete list.
- New-Moon Hike – Fri., June 3, 8 p.m. – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- New-Moon Hike – Sat., June 4, 8 p.m. – Pine Island Ridge Natural Area (954-357-5130)
- Bird Walk – Sun., June 5, 8 a.m. – Tall Cypress Natural Area (954-357-8109)
- Mangrove Adventure Hike – Sat., June 11, 10 a.m. – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Off-Trail Hike – Sun., June 12, 10 a.m. – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Trail Stroll – Sun., June 19, 10 a.m. – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Guided Nature Hike – Sun., June 25, 10 a.m. – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
There are also weekly Guided Nature Walks, on Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884), and on Sundays at 1 p.m. at Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198).
In light of recent record-breaking heat, here’s a great way to cool off: Slip and slide your way down a thousand-foot padded vinyl slide from atop the hill at Vista View Park
in Davie, the highest man-made elevation in Broward. From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, the park will host Slide the City
. Participants should bring their own inflatable tubes. Other activities will include deejay music, food trucks, a beer garden, and kids’ games. Fees vary. For more info, call the park at 954-357-8898 or visit SlideTheCity.com
Parks Foundation of Broward County
The Parks Foundation of Broward County is a 501 (c) (3) organization founded in 2014 in support of the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division. The foundation welcomes individual memberships and corporate partnerships at all levels to help promote our parks and programs, preserve our natural areas, and provide more green space for our community.
|Quote of the
"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." - American writer Henry James (1843-1916)