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Family Fun in The Palm Beaches: A Local's Guide

Family Fun in The Palm Beaches: A Local’s Guide

A local mom shares with us the best family-friendly things to do in The Palm Beaches!

Rain or shine, I’ve got you covered with some of the best experiences our beautiful area has to offer for every age.   

1. Lion Country Safari

Lions, giraffes, and goats oh my! Lion Country Safari is one of Florida’s top attractions and brings visitors from all over the world annually to get up close and personal with nature’s most beautiful creatures. Upon entering the gates, it feels as though you’re being transported through another dimension to Africa!

Your unpredictable adventure awaits on a 4-mile stretch, through wide open spaces, where ostriches, lions, zebras, monkeys, and giraffes–just to name a few–can be witnessed in their natural habitat. The journey into the wild is enough to fill your animal loving appetite and takes about an hour or so to do. Be sure you take your time and make an occasional stop to just be, because you never know what you are going to encounter! Just don’t roll your window down! We had our son’s birthday party there, rented a van for the “Safari Trek” and the kids are still talking about it! 

Once you make it back on solid ground, you’re able to get up close and personal with our best bud Bobby the giraffe and his family–which by the way is our favorite part of the park. Make sure to bring cash to snag some lettuce. These majestic creatures are sure to make a lasting impression on your visit to the safari. If goats are more your thing, you can pet and feed the little guys in their natural habitat or explore the aviary section of the park, where you can serve up a little lunch to the birdies. The park recently renovated their outdoor space complete with mini golf, fun outdoor games, slides, rides, and a water park, so be sure to pack your bathing suits. There’s lots of food options on site or you’re welcome to pack a lunch. We plan to go back to this nature destination located just west of West Palm Beach, in a community called Loxatchee, to camp on their KOA site, falling asleep to the sounds of roaring lions. If that doesn’t sound invigorating, I don’t know what does!

Lion Country Safari
Briana and her kids, Lion Country Safari

2. The Cox Science Center and Aquarium

The South Florida Science Center & Aquarium recently changed its name to the Cox Science Center and with that comes a lot of new and exciting things! As members of this immersive indoor/outdoor playground for both parents and children alike, one of the most exciting things is the opportunity to see the rotating exhibits! It’s like a new and improved experience with each visit. Earth Matters is the latest exhibit on display. It’s a completely immersive and educational experience with 5 different zones, designed to help rethink our actions and the impact they have on the world around us. From an underwater coral reef to expansive woodlands, solar electricity options and forward thinking ideas to help keep our precious eco-system intact, the exhibit is designed to bring you close to mother Earth, as intended. 

Earth Matters Exhibition at the Cox Science Center
Earth Matters Exhibition, Cox Science Center

From planetarium shows, themed nights, interactive tank activations (my kids especially love the star fish and crabs they get to hold) and an outdoor space including mini golf, shark tooth and fossil digging and a splash pad, there’s no shortage of things to do at the Cox Science Center. Our children have grown up coming here from a very young age and it’s been so nice to experience it through their eyes as they continue to learn more and soak in all the amazing and educational activations this place has to offer! The permanent exhibit “Journey Through the Human Brain,” is such a fun neuroscience exhibit featuring the latest in research and innovations, sure to inspire a new generation of scientists!

Beginning in 2023, the Cox Science Center plans to expand their already amazing facility into a three-story museum with larger exhibition spaces and one of the largest aquariums in Florida. We can’t wait to see this $45 million expansion unfold thanks to the help of the Cox family and their donation.

Cox Science Center
Aquarium, Cox Science Center

3. Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

Calling all animal lovers! In no particular order, the Palm Beach Zoo is next on the list. Located in the heart of West Palm Beach and packed with koalas, tigers, jaguars and sloths, this top-rated zoological experience is home to more than 190 species of animals, many of which are endangered. Dozens of people flock to this animal kingdom, to catch a glimpse of the Albino Alligator, which is quite the sight to see! We have yet to try “The Flamingo Experience,” where you flamingle with one of Florida’s most popular birds! Whether it’s otters, tortoises, or sloths you’re into, the zoo offers a more intimate experience with these creatures, for an additional fee. There’s a cafe on site if you don’t feel like packing a lunch and lots of picnic tables for lunch alfresco among the lush Florida landscape. A giant splash pad and merry go round is sure to be a fan favorite among the littles, plus the Lorikeet Loft is home to dozens of Lorikeets just dying to get a taste of some nectar for purchase! 

Palm Beach Zoo
Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

All three experiences were accommodating to family of four with slightly younger children, but you’re sure to love these top 3 places at any age!

With so much to see and do in The Palm Beaches, these suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg or should I say Palm Tree! We hope that if you’re native to the area or paying a visit to the South Florida area, you’ll make it a point to stop at one of these main attractions, fun for every member of the family!


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