A grandfather recounts a joyful day with his 4-year old grandson at Fort Lauderdale's Museum of Discovery and Science. It's a magical place with something of interest for everyone, at any age.
I have some great memories of visiting educational attractions with my grandson in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.|
“Will this ball bounce higher than Stephanie’s head?” The demonstrator is asking our 4 year-old grandson and 30 other enthralled children sitting on the floor at Ft. Lauderdale’s Museum of Discovery and Science (954/467-6637). For many of the younger children this “game” was a first encounter with basic physics.
Outside the entrance, tumbling water cascades down tubes and sloping surfaces — a perpetual motion machine which also tells time. But don’t linger here, the inside is a veritable treasure-house of exhibits.
Watching the kids, some shy and self-conscious, others with total abandon, dancing to music from rap to reggae on a tiny stage was fun and they could see themselves dancing on a large TV screen. A multi-level tropical paradise introduced us to exotic and local plants, animals and marine life, and creatures to pet too. After looking through magnifiers at real moon rocks we spoke to each other through a huge long tube that magically carried our voices from one end to the other. I could still hear the screams of children being entertained by a juggler nearby.
Of course there are places to eat and gifts to buy; mostly done with good taste and great imagination to reflect the learning and discovery themes of the museum. On a rainy day in Florida there can be no better expedition for children of all ages. Through their eyes you will be fascinated and learn a lot. We’re ready to go again!
More Fun and Educational Activities in Fort Lauderdale
Hit the Beach!
Greater Fort Lauderdale is well know for its array of beaches, from the cove-like Derrfield Beach in the north to Hollywood Beach with its 2 1/2 mile boardwalk in the south. Families treasure Pompano Beach (954/941-2940) especially for its playgrounds and child-friendly festivities. Visit www.sunny.org for a comprehensive listing of beaches in the area.
3600 W. Sample Road
Coconut Creek, FL 33073
Take a stroll through the first and largest butterfly house in the United States and the residence of up to 80 butterly species at a time. Tropical plants, waterfalls, and classical music provide a backdrop that is both exotic and relaxing. The complex also includes outdoor gardens and the Hummingbird Aviary.
Young at Art Children’s Museum
11584 West State Road 84
Davie, Florida 33325
Located in nearby Davie (about ten miles from Ft. Lauderdale), this fun museum has a variety of creative and interactive exhibits designed especially for children. In the Global Village, kids can make their own passports, then embark on an international tour that includes an archeological dig in Israel, and making origami in a Japanese house. Other permanent exhibits include the “Earthworks” recycling project and a wacky “closet” designed by artist Kenny Sharf. There are often drop-in workshops for all ages at no additional cost with storytelling, art, and music. Check ahead on the website for schedules.
IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum
300 Gulf Stream Way
Dania Beach, FL 33004
Located at 300 Gulf Stream Way in Dania Beach, this might be more appropriately called a “ceiling of fame,” with a sea of world-record sport fish mounts suspended above. Once they finish looking up at these often sizable creatures (including sharks!), kids can check out the Discovery Room, full of age-appropriate toys, puzzles, and games. Even those under seven-years-old can go fishing (for magnetic fish). In the Catch Gallery, virtual reality simulation allows aspiring sport fishers to catch Marlin, Sailfish, Bass, Tarpon, or Trout.
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