Summer can be a tough time for parents. While children are out of school, most parents are working. Yet keeping the kids entertained and engaged still needs to happen. Unglue their eyes from the television this summer and show them that learning about the world around them can be fun and educational. Here, we offer a few places and events to visit this summer that will get the kids off the couch and actively exploring their backyard.
What: Turtle Walks
Where: Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
When: Tuesday-Thursday from June 2-July 16; 8:45 p.m.-12 a.m. (or until a turtle is spotted)
If you don’t have time to venture to the beach during the day this summer, take the kids on one of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center’s turtle walks. The program, which occurs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights until July 16, begins at 8:45 p.m. with an educational course about sea turtles in a classroom. Then, participants will caravan separately to the beach and walk the coast in hopes of spotting a nesting loggerhead. If a sea turtle is spotted, the program will end shortly after. If not, it will run until midnight. Refunds will not be given if the group doesn’t encounter a sea turtle. Leave the cell phones in the cars as guests are not allowed to use them, but cameras and camcorders may be used without a flash.
- Reservations are $17 each and can be made online. There is a limit of 40 reservations each night and six reservations per purchase. Children must be at least 8 years old, and any child younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, visit gumbolimbo.org.
Looking for some fun, hands-on learning for your summer-breaker? Boca Raton’s Sugar Sand Park has an array of activities and events to make this a summer to remember—and learn.
Check out John D. MacArthur Beach State Park and our list of activities the whole family can enjoy.
Explore the wild side of the Palm Beach Zoo at night this summer at the weekly Safari Nights.
What: Parents Night Out
Where: South Florida Science Center and Aquarium
When: First Friday of the month, June 5 through September 4, 6-10 p.m.
Drop the kids off for a night of science at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium as part of Parents Night Out. Children aged 4-12 can discover the Einstein within them, as the center will offer hands-on science experiments, science-related craft activities and an exploration of the center. Pizza will be provided along with a full dome planetarium show, so bring your children hungry for food and learning. The event will take place every first Friday of the month this summer. The price per child is $30 and each additional child is $15.
- For more information, visit sfsciencecenter.org.
The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium’s latest traveling exhibit, “Eww! What’s Eating You?” takes a look at the world of parasites.
What: Lighthouse Story Time and Crafts for Kids
Where: Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum
When: First Tuesdays of the month, July 7, 10:30-11:15 a.m.
With National Lighthouse Day quickly approaching on August 7, children have the opportunity to learn about and engage in story time and crafts at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum every first Tuesday of the month this summer. The stories and activities will shed some light on lighthouse keepers, Florida history and people, and local plants and animals. Admission is free and children aged 8 and under are encouraged to attend. Parents should bring a small mat and blanket for their children.
- For more information, visit jupiterlighthouse.org.
Delray Beach’s Sandoway House Nature Center’s Shark Months aim to educate the public on the importance of sharks to our seas.
What: Yesteryear Village Summer Camp
Where: Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds
When: August 10-14, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
A different experience from the generic summer camp, this weeklong camp gives children the opportunity to experience how life has changed from candles to built-in flashlights in cell phones. Kids can participate in activities such as candle-making, break-making, quilting, clogging and blacksmith demonstrations. Dropping your child off at this summer camp is like dropping them off in the past.
- For more information, visit southfloridafair.com/p/yesteryearvillage.
Yesteryear Village takes visitors through a haunted history during Evening in the Dark: A Ghostly Affair Walking Tour.