4 Days of Fun: The Ultimate Family Itinerary to The Palm Beaches

Follow a local mom as she takes you across The Palm Beaches on a four-day excursion for the whole family.

So you’re planning a trip to Palm Beach County … how exciting! Whether you’re scheduling your visit in winter or summer, there are always experiences and outings for families available in our area. I should know! Having a local parenting and lifestyle blog, Modern Boca Mom, I’m an expert when it comes to fun things to do with your family. Join me as I take you across the county on a four-day excursion through The Palm Beaches.

Day 1 | Go Wild

Morning: There’s no need to “bless the rains down in Africa” when an exotic safari is available right in Loxahatchee. Lion Country Safari, dubbed one of the 10 Best Drive-Through Animal Safaris by USA Today, is one of the most popular and wildest attractions in The Palm Beaches. With over 1,000 animals, encounters and feedings, your family is sure to have a memorable time.
We recommend starting your morning here when the weather is cooler—the animals also tend to be more active then. But you can easily enjoy the whole day on property taking advantage of multiple rides, their water sprayground (with a new splash pad scheduled to open in spring 2019), feeding the giraffes and more.
 

Afternoon: After lunch, grab some beach chairs and head south to Boca Raton for some quality time by the ocean and an up-close encounter with sea turtles! Gumbo Limbo Nature Center offers families an enjoyable afternoon in the sand, whether you choose to spend your time walking the boardwalk, spotting tropical fish in their onsite aquariums or checking out the “patients” in Gumbo Limbo’s sea turtle rehabilitation facility. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see one of their famous sea turtle releases.
Another great spot to learn about sea turtles is Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach. You can even participate in their turtle walks and see how the turtles nest and lay their eggs on our beaches. It’s an amazing thing to witness!

Day 2 | Get Wet

Morning: Chances are, you came to Palm Beach County with your family to spend some time in the water. Our year-round warm weather certainly lends itself to that! Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach has something to make everyone in your family happy, whether the kids are water-slide addicts or Mom and Dad simply want some QT on the lazy river.
Open March through August (and select weekends in the fall), Rapids features 42 attractions that are kid- and family-friendly … and some for those looking for a thrill. I personally think this water park rivals some of Orlando’s top water attractions!
 

Afternoon: If your family isn’t completely knackered after spending most of the day at the Rapids, plan to head south to The Girls in Delray Beach. What started out primarily as a strawberry U-pick farm has morphed into a fun family destination with lush gardens and beautiful grounds that feature swans, exotic birds, a petting zoo and more. We especially love the mining station where kids can sift for gems and minerals.
If you’re hungry, make sure to stop by The Girls’ ice cream parlor for some delicious homemade ice cream, or walk next door for a slice of New York-style pizza at Bambini’s Garden Pizzeria (open daily from 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.). You won’t regret it!

Day 3 | Explore the Arts

Morning: What’s a vacation without a little culture thrown in for good measure? The Palm Beaches are home to so many amazing museums, it’s hard to narrow them down. However, a cultural icon has recently reopened in West Palm after a $100 million expansion.
The Norton Museum of Art may have been founded in 1941, but it now rivals some of the most modern museums in the U.S. In addition to thousands of square feet in gallery space, the Norton features a new restaurant with a terrace, an adjoining 9,000-square-foot sculpture garden and a Great Hall that doubles as a community space. It’s impressive. Don’t miss out on its top-notch collections which include world-class examples of American, European, Chinese and contemporary art and photography. They haven’t been on view for more than two years!

Afternoon: After getting a taste of some of our culture, head north to indulge in some of our county’s best views? The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum is an iconic sight in itself with its beautiful red façade. The only lighthouse in Palm Beach County, it sits at the junction of the Indian River and Jupiter Inlet on a location representing 5,000 years of history. At the very least, your kids will want to take some photos for their Instagram accounts. Tours are available, and make sure to head to the top to check out the unobstructed views (FYI, children must be a minimum of 48” tall to climb). Bonus points if you can plan your 105-step ascent in time for sunset!

Day 4 | Discover Nature and the Outdoors

Morning: Strap on your fitness tracker and athletic shoes, because this day on the itinerary is filled with two things: nature and walking! It’s time to head to Green Cay Nature Center in Boynton Beach. There are few places in The Palm Beaches that give me the feeling that I’m completely off the grid, without the off-grid travel time. And honestly, don’t you want a little bit of that on vacation?
This (free) gem overlooks 100 acres of constructed wetland and features 1.5 miles of elevated boardwalk. There are helpful signs located throughout Green Cay to also make your visit a learning experience. And the air-conditioned Nature Center offers visitors a chance to cool off while checking out the live animals in their extensive exhibit room. Keep an eye out for alligators outside as well!

Afternoon: One of the benefits of living in The Palm Beaches is that you can not only enjoy water excursions year-round, but also well into the evening. That’s why we love the sunset boat tours from Get Wet Watersports. Sip on your favorite beverage, listen to the tropical music and watch the sun fade into the horizon on a beautiful catamaran for two-and-a-half hours. The waterway views, from port or starboard, of Lake Worth Lagoon, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean are breathtaking (yet relaxing) as you wind down your day. Tours go out from Singer Island Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings and are very welcoming to families.

Want more ideas? Find more things to do and create your family’s perfect trip to The Palm Beaches using our itinerary builder.
 

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Michelle Olson-Rogers
Michelle Olson-Rogers
A Boca Raton native, Michelle Olson-Rogers is the founder of ModernBocaMom.com, a local website featuring family events and activities, as well as lifestyle posts on fitness, dining, travel, home improvements and shopping.