How to Have Fun (for Free) in The Palm Beaches

Having fun doesn’t need to cost lots of cash

Having a good time typically comes with a price tag, but in The Palm Beaches, there are great choices for free entertainment. From communing with nature to catching up on local history, here’s a partial list of the fun that’s waiting - -- and it won’t cost you a dime!

Free and Outside

Busch Wildlife Animal Sanctuary – Jupiter, Fla.


Step through the gate into a world of lush tropical trees, birds and animals. Bush Wildlife Animal Sanctuary offers an opportunity to learn about Florida’s native species and natural environments. All the animals here are undergoing rehabilitation or are permanent residents due to injuries sustained in the wild. Visitors can see alligators, eagles, bears, bobcats and panthers under the canopy of intertwined branches. Walk along the trails and see natural pine flatwoods, oak hammocks and cypress wetlands. A camera is a must when spending the day at this standout sanctuary for local wildlife.

“Clematis By Night” – West Palm Beach, Fla.


Imagine a block party full of friendly, long-time neighbors. Music is playing, people are talking and the smell of food is drifting in the evening air. That’s the feel of Clematis By Night, a Thursday gathering on the Downtown West Palm Beach Waterfront. Bring your lawn chair, leash up your dog and enjoy a night with good friends and good music.

Gardens at the Society of the Four Arts – Palm Beach, Fla.


A visit to the gardens at the Society of the Four Arts isn’t just about gardening, it’s about inspiration. For nearly 70 years, these spectacular gardens have set the standard for many tropical gardeners, creating beauty and serenity with plants native to The Palm Beaches’ warm weather. Along with inspiration, visitors can get ideas and technical guidance in the art of gardening so they can develop their own quiet respite at home.

Grassy Waters Preserve – West Palm Beach, Fla.

 

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Located to the northwest of West Palm Beach, this 23-square-mile preserve serves as a freshwater supply for the city. The location is home to many birds, white-tailed deer, otters, bobcats and alligators. It is also the last untouched section of the Everglades ecosystem in Palm Beach County. Free educational programs are available, as are several walking trails. Take a look at the trail map to select your best hike.

Northwood Village Entertainment District – West Palm Beach, Fla.


If you’re into art, here is where you’ll park the car and never want to leave. Northwood Village is known for being centered around unique art and culture. The art lover can spend hours exploring quirky galleries, mom-and-pop shops, working studios, and one-of-a-kind restaurant experiences. Enjoy the live music and tropical moonlight during “Art Night Out” the last Friday of each month. Walk along charming old sidewalks and enjoy the live music that seems to radiate all through Northwood Village.

Pineapple Grove Arts District – Delray Beach, Fla.


A stroll through the open air will bring you to one eclectic art gallery after another. Pineapple Grove glows in its own style, and art fans are like moths to the light. “Artists Alley” is a concentration of artists working in a single warehouse area, working together through different mediums to inspire creative expression and innovation through art. Visit a studio, shop a multitude of colorful stores, and enjoy a drink and something to eat at one of the many fine dining establishments along the way.

Free and Inside

Children’s Science Explorium – Boca Raton, Fla.

 

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The lobby of The Children’s Science Explorium is bright and airy, decorated with swirling trails of colored cotton cloth and fanciful drawings of scientific exploration. It is the perfect preamble for a visit to this hands-on science center, located in Boca Raton’s Sugar Sand Park.  The exhibit area is packed with demonstrations that beg to be touched and investigated. Pneumatic pipes make objects float in air, while a magnet experiment reveals the magical properties of gravity.  Children delight in learning about science and math in a way to make every parent smile.

Cornell Museum of Art – Delray Beach, Fla. (Reopens October 2017)


Step through the doors of a quaint old Florida schoolhouse, and enter a world of innovative and provocative works of art. The Cornell Museum of Art is one of Delray Beach’s great surprises, with a fearless love of new artists and styles. The rich, old pine flooring leads visitors to individual classrooms-turned-galleries, where they’ll see the works of both nationally- and internationally-recognized artists. A trip to the Cornell will excite and inspire the artistically minded.

Cultural Council of Palm Beach County – Lake Worth, Fla.


Standing tall among the stores along Lake Avenue, the home of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County is the perfect statement of standout form and function. The Robert M. Montgomery, Jr. Building was built in 1940, with sweeping art deco lines and ridges that welcome visitors inside. The 2,500-square-foot gallery space is cast in gleaming white and peppered with art made in (or unique to) Palm Beach County. The exhibits will educate about art, local artists, and provide exposure to younger artists just starting out.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center – Juno Beach, Fla.


Just feet from the beach and surrounded by natural landscape and palms, the Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a gathering place for people with a love for sea turtles and ocean conservation. The center rehabilitates turtles rescued from local waters while teaching people to understand, and protect these gentle creatures. The indoor displays are instructional and impressive, while a stroll outside will bring you to tanks that serve as temporary homes for the center’s “patients.” Following the center’s social media accounts will keep you appraised of an upcoming release, an experience that’s uniquely satisfying and happy.

Manatee Lagoon, an FPL Eco-Discovery Center – West Palm Beach, Fla.

 

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The Lake Worth Lagoon is home to many animals, most living in the tidal waters and thick sea grass beds that line the shallows. The gentle manatee is one resident of the lagoon that needs protection. Manatee Lagoon, an FPL Eco-Discovery Center is designed to help the manatee by providing warm pockets of water (a byproduct of a nearby power plant) during the cool winter months, and serves as an education center for interested visitors. The two-story center contains educational displays, videos, hands-on exhibits and special children events. While the manatees are best seen during cooler winter months, the center provides a year-round educational experience for everyone.

Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum – West Palm Beach, Fla.


Walk up the marble steps of the old 1916 Palm Beach County Courthouse and you’ll be reminded of days when life was simpler and more relaxed. Now the building is the home of the Historical Society of the Palm Beaches, packed with displays and artifacts of that quieter time. Look back in time to the area’s frontier days, the taming of the tropical landscape, and the growth of Palm Beach culture and style.

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