Activities for Younger Children

Activities for Younger Children

Do you have a toddler or preschooler in your household? Don’t worry – we have you covered with facilities and activities appropriate for the pintsize set. And remember, children 5 and under are always admitted free to our regional parks on weekends and holidays.

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  • Barkham at Markham – Let your preschooler frolic with Fido (under adult supervision, of course) at the dog park at Markham Park & Target Range. Fees are $25 per household for an annual pass, or $5 for a daily pass (both fees subject to sales tax). The three-acre, fenced-in area includes sections for dogs both large and small. For more information on Barkham, call 954-357-8868.
  • Butterfly World – Admission is free for ages 2 and under at this world-famous attraction at Tradewinds Park & Stables, open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.). Walk freely among hundreds of butterflies, or visit aviaries, tropical gardens, and an insect museum - what kid isn't fascinated by bugs? For more information, call Butterfly World directly at 954-977-4434.
  • Knee-High Naturalist – A program for ages 3 to 5, 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 & Nature Center at 954-357-8797.
  • Model Steam Train Rides – Offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays the third full weekend of the month, year round, at Tradewinds Park & Stables. Rides are $1.50 per person on one-eighth life-size trains, which run on a half-mile track along a scenic lake. For more information, call 954-357-8870.
  • Nature Tots – Ages 2 to 4 learn about nature through stories, songs, arts and crafts, and more at this long-running program, which costs $5 per child. Themes vary by month. Offered from 10 to 11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of the month at Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776), third Tuesday at West Lake Park (954-357-5161), second Thursday at Fern Forest (954-357-5198), and fourth Thursday at Secret Woods (954-357-8884). No November program at Secret Woods and no November and December programs at Fern Forest.
  • Playgrounds – Most of our regional and neighborhood parks have at least one playground, most of them protected from the sun by shade structures. At Vista View Park (954-357-8898), one of the two playgrounds is fully accessible to all ages and levels of ability. Admission is free, although there is a $1.50/person weekend gate fee at most regional parks (children 5 and under admitted free).
  • Polliwogs - This program is designed for ages 3 to 5 (accompanied by a parent/guardian) to discover nature. Program themes change monthly, and feature simple investigations, stories, crafts, games, and an exploratory hike. This outdoor adventure is held at Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area, so wear play clothes and closed-toe shoes. The program offered on the first Wednesday of the month from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The fee is $5/child with adult. Preregistration is required. For more information, call Quiet Waters Park at 954-357-5100.
  • Pony Rides – 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 at $3/person. Animals onsite include goats, sheep, chickens, pigs, cattle, and a miniature donkey. Call 954-357-8870 for more info.
  • Preschool Play ‘n’ Learn – An exploration of nature through such activities as games, hands-on projects, crafts, storytelling, songs, and a nature walk or animal encounter. Themes vary by month at this program for ages 3 to 5, offered the second Thursday of the month at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center, 954-357-8797. The fee is $5 per child; preregistration is required.
  • Water Parks – Our aquatics facilities, open seasonally (roughly March through September), feature water playgrounds especially designed with children in mind, including 12-inch-deep pools with small waterslides and other interactive play elements. Castaway Island is at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park (954-357-8811), Paradise Cove is at C.B. Smith Park (954-357-5170), Splash Adventure is at Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100), and Tropical Splash is at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium (954-357-5400). Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m., and fees vary by park.
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