You don’t need to be around “life in the fast lane” when traveling with your family. Pompano Beach is a quiet, easy-going oceanfront community where there’s plenty to do for both kids and parents to enjoy clean family fun.
It’s a short walk (1-2 blocks) from Beach Vacation Rentals’ nationally rated Superior Small Lodgings cottages and apartments to our wide public beach with lifeguards, playgrounds and picnic tables and BBQ grills. There are places to rent bicycles, boats, parasails, paddle boards, kite-boarding, personal watercraft and sailboats. Grab the cooler from your Beach Vacation Rentals apartment and pack a picnic lunch, or you can walk to plenty of casual restaurants to suit all price ranges and tastes. Go for ice cream and pizza, or nicer waterfront dining. Then check out the beach-area shops.
The dive and snorkel boats go out three times a day and provide all the safety gear and instruction. Kids who have never snorkeled enjoy the underwater vistas in no time. Those who wish to stay on the boat can watch the sea life by looking through the boat’s glass bottom windows. South Florida Diving Headquarters will pick you up and drop you off for free from our Beach Vacation Rentals properties.
For an easy and inexpensive family fishing trip, try renting everything you need at the public fishing pier. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or just enjoy a walk on the 1,000-foot pier to see what everyone else is catching. You can also go on a party fishing boat which supplies all the gear and bait for a low per-person price, and the mates help everyone bait their lines, show the kids how to cast, and clean your fish at the end of the trip. For a more upscale experience, visit our fishing fleet just up the road, and charter your own boat and captain. Then come home and grill your own catch on the BBQ. There’s nothing better!
If you want to skip the fishing and just go for fresh fish, drive north a mile up the beach road to Hillsboro Inlet. On the west side of the road just before the drawbridge, you’ll find our fishing fleet, where captains clean their catch and sell fresh fish off the boats in the late mornings. Your kids will love watching the pelicans eat the scraps. On the east side of the road is a lovely park where you’ll see our historic Hillsboro Lighthouse (with the brightest beam in the world), picnic tables, a playground, boat docks and another fishing pier.
Nearby public parks are some of the best in the nation with all kinds of special things to do. Visit the tropical gardens at Butterfly World in Tradewinds Park, with 10,000 live butterflies in the nation’s largest butterfly aviary. Tradewinds Park also has pony and trail rides and boardwalk nature trails through wildlife areas. Go to Quiet Waters Park for a children’s interactive splash pool water park, and for older kids – skateboard courts and waterskiing on the lake, that’s pulled by a zip line. Fern Forest Nature Center has botanical gardens and boardwalk nature trails. Pompano Beach Community Park has top-notch aquatics and tennis centers, and a state-of-the-art dog park if you brought your pooch on vacation with you. There’s also a five-mile bike and walking path around the park, air park and golf course. Perhaps most unique is the spectator area at our historic Pompano Air Park for the Goodyear blimp “Spirit of Innovation,” which is based here. When it’s in town, you can watch it take off and land every twenty minutes. Quite a spectacular site….and free! Or you can shell out bigger bucks and go for sightseeing helicopter tours over the seashore or Everglades.
Even a rainy day won’t stop you and your family from having fun. The Museum of Discovery and Science and IMAX theater is a short drive and full of hands-on interactive experiences that can keep the kids busy for days. Movie theaters and a bowling alley are just a five-minute drive from the beach. Extreme Indoor Karting is a short drive south in Fort Lauderdale. And there’s always shopping at fun places like Sawgrass Mills (world’s largest outlet mall). Have lunch at the delightfully entertaining Rain Forest restaurant with its animated jungle animals, tropical fish tanks and exciting indoor “thunderstorms.” For another unique shopping experience, visit Festival Flea Market Mall (world’s largest indoor flea market).
The Funky Fish Ocean Camp Treat the kids (ages 4-14) to a day of fun and learning oceanside, daily from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. While they are entertained, educated and making new friends, parents can enjoy a vacation while on vacation. This award-winning program has been dedicated to creating relationships between children and the ocean for 23 years. There is one instructor for every seven children, professionally trained and CPR certified. $69 includes lunch. 24-hour advance reservations required. 954-712-9900 ext 5031. 1200 N. Ocean Blvd, Pompano Beach, Florida
Sky Zone is a high-tech indoor trampoline park for kids and adults of all ages. It offers the largest trampoline surfaces of any park in South Florida. The patented all trampoline walled playing courts offer open jump, a Foam Zone and SkyFitness classes, Ultimate Dodgeball and three SkySlam basketball courts. Children are grouped in supervised areas for their age groups. It’s the ultimate fun and fitness experience. Info: skyzone.com/fortlauderdale or 954-417-3999.
When the sun comes back out, there are plenty of South Florida private parks and theme parks to visit, including places like Boomers amusement park, Flamingo Gardens, Jungle Island, Miami Seaquarium, Miami Metro Zoo, Lion Country Safari, Morikami Museum and Gardens, Billie Swamp Safari, Everglades Safari Park and Rapids Water Park.