Celebrate Halloween early at a Hallo-Green Special Event, at Anne Kolb Nature Center. The event, which charges $2 per person (plus tax), includes environmentally friendly activities, games, and arts and crafts. It’s from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 24. For more information, call Anne Kolb (accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #4 and #12) at 954-357-5161.
, from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, October 29 and 30, at Secret Woods Nature Center
, offers a “thrilling and slightly chilling” tour of the park highlighting some of Fort Lauderdale’s natural history. For ages 9 and up. The fee is $5/person, and preregistration is required. For more information, call 954-357-8884; the nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit
Then on Friday, October 30, from 6 to 8 p.m., Fern Forest Nature Center hosts its Ghosts and Goblins Family Fun Night
. The popular annual event, for ages 2 to 11 accompanied by an adult, includes a costume parade, games and prizes, arts and crafts, photos in the Pumpkin Patch, and an age-appropriate storytime. Refreshments will also be available for purchase. The overall event is free, although there are nominal fees for arts and crafts and photos in the Pumpkin Patch. For more information, call Fern Forest
at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit
Routes #31 and #42.
For a completely different take on pre-Halloween festivities, sign up for the Spooktacular 5K Road Race
, a run and walk at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park, presented by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Road Runners Club. It’s on Saturday, October 31 from 7 a.m. to noon. For more information, call the park at 954-357-8811, or visit GFLRRC.org
is accessible via Broward County Transit
Also on Saturday, October 31, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Easterlin Park
will host a Howl’oween Parade
, featuring food trucks and a costume contest, as well as the doggie parade. Admission is $10 per dog (plus sales tax). Call the park at 954-357-5190 for additional information.
Finally, Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center
gets into the act with three programs: a Things That Go Bump in the Night Hike,
from 7 to 8 p.m. on Friday, October 16; Trick-or-Treat Through the Trees
, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, October 23 and 24; and Monsters of Nature
, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, October 31 and November 1. The fee for all three programs is $5/person. Call 954-357-8797.
The new Parks Foundation of Broward County will host its first fundraising event, Yappy Hour
, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, October 2, at the Splash Adventure water park at Quiet Waters Park
in Deerfield Beach. Guests are welcome to bring their dogs for K9 splash time. The event will feature appetizers and beverages (including beer and wine), a raffle, and a silent auction, all to benefit Broward County Parks and Recreation Division. Tickets are $50 for two people, with or without a canine companion. Donations will also be accepted, or you can make a check payable to the Parks Foundation of Broward County and mail it to 950 N.W. 38th St., Oakland Park, FL 33309. You can also buy tickets and make donations (fully tax-deductible) online
. For more information, email Info@BrowardParksFoundation.org
One of Broward County Parks and Recreation’s most popular programs for the past dozen years, the dogs-only K9 Water Festivals, returns this year with three weekend events in October. The series kicks off on October 3 and 4 at Castaway Island at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park in Hollywood, then repeats on October 10 and 11. Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach also has its events on October 3 and 4.
Admission is $5 per dog per 50-minute session, with sessions beginning on the hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Castaway Island, where the 4 p.m. session will be reserved for dogs weighing 25 pounds or less. At Splash Adventure, hours will be 8 a.m. to 2:50 p.m., and the small-dog session will be the first of each day. Broward County Animal Care and Adoption will be onsite with dogs available for adoption at the Castaway event. Donations of dog and cat food, treats, blankets, and toys will be accepted at both events on behalf of the homeless animals at Broward County shelters.
This year Quiet Waters will also host Barktoberfest in conjunction with the K9 Splash Adventure event. Activities run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include a Doggie Fun Zone, rescue and nonprofit groups, Sups & Pups, adoptions, a Doggie Market Place, a bounce house for kids, face painting, and a costume contest.
For rules and additional information, call the park of your choice: Quiet Waters
at 954-357-5100, or T.Y.
at 954-357-8811. The parks’ regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect for these events.
Let the Festivities Begin
Visit Tradewinds Park & Stables from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, when the park will host a variety of games and activities to celebrate its fourth annual Fall Festival. Tickets ranging from $1 per individual ticket to 25 tickets for $20 will let you pick and choose which specialty activities you want to participate in; other regular park activities are fee-based. The roster of activities includes arts and crafts, hayrides, food trucks, bounce houses, train rides, farm tours, and pony rides. The park’s regular weekend gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information, call the park at 954-357-8870. Tradewinds is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #34 and Coconut Creek North and South.
What could provide more good old-fashioned fun than a campfire you can sit around and roast marshmallows to make s’mores? Several parks host their Family Hayride and Campfire Series, for all ages, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on various Fridays throughout the fall and winter (6 to 9 p.m. at T.Y.). The campfire is free, although the optional hayride and a bag of fixings for the s’mores will set you back $3.50 per person for ages 3 and up; additional refreshments may also be available for purchase.
Except at T.Y., advance tickets are required and can be bought by calling or visiting the relevant park office. The schedule is as follows:
- Oct. 23, Nov. 20, and Dec. 11 – Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100)
- Oct. 23, Nov. 20, and Dec. 18 – T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park (954-357-8811)
- Jan. 8, Feb. 5, Feb. 12, and Mar. 4 – Easterlin Park (954-357-5190)
- Jan. 15, Jan. 29, and Feb. 26 – Tradewinds Park & Stables (954-357-8870)
Easterlin is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #14, Quiet Waters via Routes #14 and Deerfield Beach 1 East-West, Tradewinds via Routes #34 and Coconut Creek North and South, and T.Y. via Route #12.
For years Plantation Heritage Park has hosted the Broward County Plant Affair, a weekend-long event for the whole family. This plant show and sale, with up to 30 vendors, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 17 and 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase. Admission to the plant sale is free, although the park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For additional details or vendor information, call the Plantation Historical Museum at 954-797-2722, or the park at 954-357-5135. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #30.
Two October programs through the Parks and Recreation Division’s Special Populations Section offer opportunities for socializing: A Friday Night Social
, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on October 2, invites adult mental health consumers ages 18 and up to Tree Tops Park
Then on Friday, October 16, from 7 to 10 p.m., ages 18 and up with developmental disabilities can enjoy a Fall Frolic Dance
, also at Tree Tops.
Both events feature deejay music, dancing, and refreshments. No direct supervision of participants is provided. Preregistration is required at least seven days prior to the Fall Frolic. For more information, contact Special Populations
The nonprofit group Broward Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization will bring its annual Buddy Walk & 5K Run
to Markham Park
this year on Sunday, October 18. The event, now in its 20th year, has three primary goals: to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome; to raise funds for education, research, and advocacy programs; and to enable the Down syndrome community to positively influence local and national policy and practice. Check-in begins at 7 a.m., with both the walk and run starting at 8:30 a.m. For more information, call the park at 954-357-8868, or contact the group at 954-577-4122 or BCGDownSyndrome.org
. The park’s regular weekend gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect.
What does Deerfield Island Park now have in common with, among others, Bonnet House
and the Museum of Discovery and Science
? They’re all among the 13 sanctioned 2015-16 field-trip destinations for Broward County schoolchildren through the Supplemental Arts and Science Program
(SASP), a funding mechanism established by Broward County Public Schools
in 1998-99. Other sites include the Graves Museum of Archaeology and Natural History, the International Game Fish Association
’s World Fishing Center, the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale
, the Old Dillard Museum
, Stranahan House
, and the Young at Art Museum
SASP provides funds for schools to use visiting the institution of their choice. The goal is to provide students with hands-on learning experiences in line with classroom curricula and objectives. Deerfield Island Park was accepted into SASP as the result of an application that outlined field-trip logistics for the park, as well as detailed program descriptions for field trips focusing on climate change, physical and behavioral adaptations of plants and animals, and magnetism and orienteering.
For more information on Deerfield Island Park
, call Quiet Waters Park
(which oversees management of the island) at 954-357-5100.
Make Half Your Grains Whole
The Family Nutrition Program (FNP) of Broward County Extension Education encourages you to eat healthy every day and make sure that half the grains you eat are whole. Let the USDA’s Choose MyPlate Website be your guide, and educate yourself by reading the Nutrition Facts labels on food products.
Grains may be whole, such as bran and germ, or refined. Terms like multigrain, stone ground, cracked wheat, and seven grain usually do not denote whole-grain products, nor is color an indication of a whole grain. Refined grains have been milled, removing the bran and germ to improve texture and extend shelf life, although milling also removes desirable dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.
Enriched grains have had certain B vitamins and iron (but not fiber) added back. The dietary fiber found in whole grains may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes; it’s also important for proper bowel function and may help with weight management by providing a feeling of fullness.
Most Americans eat enough grains, but few are whole. To eat more whole grains, choose 100 percent whole-wheat bread over white bread and brown rice over white. Try whole-wheat pastas, and incorporate grains such as barley and bulgur wheat into casseroles and stir-fries.
For more information, including suggested recipes, contact the FNP
at 954-357-5270 or 954-577-6410.
About the Parks Foundation
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.
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"I dwell in possibility..." - American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)