"I love September, especially when we're in it."
-Willie Stargell, American Major League Baseball Player
Water You Waiting For?
Enjoy it while you can! This is the last month that all of our water parks will be open on Saturdays and Sundays only. Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park will continue to be open Saturdays and Sundays in October. Water park hours are 10 a.m. to 5:20 p.m.
This month we salute grandparents.
Multigenerational families are nothing new and lots of grandparents help out with the grandkids while their parents are at work. Now that school is back in session, what’s a grandpa/grandma supposed to do with the toddlers? We’ve got some activities that are sure to stimulate everyone!
Knee-High Naturalist – A program for ages 3 to 5 (accompanied by an adult), in which a naturalist teaches the tots about nature using games, nature walks, hands-on activities, and outside adventures. Themes vary by month. The fee is $5 per child and preregistration is required by calling Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center at 954-357-8797.
Nature Tots – Ages 2 to 4 (accompanied by an adult) learn about nature through stories, arts and crafts, and more. The cost is $5 per child. The program is offered once a month from 10 to 11 a.m. at the following locations: Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198), Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776), Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884), and West Lake Park (954-357-5161). There is no November program at Secret Woods and no November and December programs at Fern Forest.
Pony Rides and Educational Farm – What kid doesn’t love a pony? Ages 9 and under can ride one for $3 (plus tax) on Saturdays and Sundays at Tradewinds Park & Stables (954-357-8870), from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The rides are offered at the park’s educational farm complex, which has weekend tours with animal encounters at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., also $3 per person. Onsite animals include goats, sheep, chickens, pigs, cattle, and a miniature donkey. Call 954-357-8870.
Tot Walks – These outings, for ages 2 to 4, are from 10 to 11 a.m on the second Monday of the month at Secret Woods Nature Center. The fee is $5 per child (accompanied by an adult). Preregistration is required. Call 954-357-8884.
For more ideas, visit this Web page for Activities for Younger Children.
Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42; Secret Woods via Route #6; West Lake via Routes #4 and #12; Tradewinds via Routes #34, Coconut Creek North, and Coconut Creek South.
Parks = Less Stress
Did you know parks can help improve your health and reduce stress? September is National Cholesterol Education Month, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). If high cholesterol is left untreated, it increases one’s risk of heart attack and stroke. The CDC recommends dietary changes and at least one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity a week for adults.
If you don’t want to sign up for a gym membership, we recommend you try our free Memorial Fitness Zones at our park’s around the county. We have chest presses, leg presses, stair climbers, sit-up benches as well as wheelchair-accessible equipment, and more at Vista View Park
, Brian Piccolo Park
, Tree Tops Park
, Markham Park
, and C.B. Smith Park
. A free, outdoor Destination Fitness area is also available at Reverend Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park
We also have walking clubs at Topeekeegee Tugnee (T.Y.) Park, Reverend Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park, and Hollywood North Beach Park, where registered walkers can receive prizes for walking milestones, such as reaching 100 miles.
Yoga is another option to reduce stress. Fern Forest Nature Center offers classes for adults on Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. The cost is $10 per class. Certain yoga poses reduce stress and increase a person's metabolic rate to help reduce cholesterol and other fats.
Whatever Floats Your Boat
When life stresses you out, just head to the water for some soothing relief. Whether it’s fishing on a lake or kayaking through the mangroves, we offer plenty of opportunities to relax on the water.
If you’re looking for a boating adventure, but don’t have your own, you can rent one or more of the following: a canoe, kayak, johnboat, paddleboat, or paddleboard at Central Broward Regional, Everglades Holiday, Plantation Heritage, Topeekeegee Yugnee (T.Y.),Tree Tops, and West Lake parks. Those with their own boats can easily launch from Markham, Quiet Waters, and West Lake parks.
We also offer guided boat tours. At Everglades Holiday Park, you can ride an airboat through the swamp and see gators and other wildlife. On the environmental boat tour at Anne Kolb Nature Center, you can learn about mangroves and natural habitats.
Free After-School Programs
Are you a working parent looking for an enriching program for your children at the end of the school day? Well, look no further. There’s still room in our free After-School Programs, which are available at our six neighborhood parks in the Broward Municipal Services District.
The program runs Monday through Friday – excluding holidays – from 2 to 6 p.m. and is for children ages 6 to 12. Under the care of Parks & Recreation staff, the students will work on homework, reading, STEAM activities, play sports, and attend special events throughout the school year.
The students will also receive a free evening snack and hot supper on school days.
Older teenagers, from ages 13 to 17, can take part in our Teen Club program, which is available at five of our neighborhood parks. The program is not available at Boulevard Gardens. The Teen Club includes field trips, special events, sports, homework time, and other activities from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Sunview Park offers a later option from 4 to 8 p.m.
Boulevard Gardens Community Center, 313 N.W. 28th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale; 954-357-6867
Franklin Park, 2501 Franklin Dr., Fort Lauderdale; 954-357-7080
Lafayette Hart Park, 2851 N.W. Eighth Rd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-357-7970
Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park, 2520 N.W. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-357-8801
Roosevelt Gardens Park, 2841 N.W. 11th St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-357-8700
Sunview Park, 1500 S.W. 42nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-357-6520
The Parks Foundation of Broward County is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2014 in support of 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.