Author Topic: West Palm / Boca Raton / Hollywood / Fort Lauderdale Kid Tidbits  (Read 1130 times)

Offline Yonah

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First-timer here, this isn't so much of a trip report as it is some mini tidbits I've gleaned over the years from spending passover with the In-laws down in Boca.

I have three boys who are ridiculous sports nuts, and always looking for something to-do. Here's what's worked for us:

Minor League Baseball in Jupiter:
 I generally make an outing to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. If passover starts later than April 10th, Minor leagues are in session, and they have a game nearly every night. The stadium is shared by two teams - the hammerheads (a marlins farm team) and the Palm Beach Cardinals (a Cardinals farm team). In April the stadiums are almost empty and usually my kids and their friends (more on that in a second) come away with at least 1-2 foul balls, and take part in the between innings shenanigans. My kids have also walked up to the bullpen and started chatting with the pitchers and learning more about the game. A couple of years ago we met a guy who was recovering from Tommy John surgery, and learned a lot about his injury and recovery.

Tix in this stadium are $8-9 per seat, but if you bring a group the group rate is $6. Since a group is only 10 people, it's not too difficult to use this as a get-together with a couple of other families and get the group rate. Other perks of the Group Rate - you get your name on the bulletin board, and could even come up with an inside joke or two and snap a picture. It takes about 30-35 minutes to get here from the "circle" in Boca.

Downside to this - no kosher (l'pesach or otherwise) food options - although I've never had a problem bringing in food to the Stadium by telling them I was kosher. There is also free parking near the stadium. We did make a ma'ariv minyan there a couple of times - probably the only times they've ever had a minyan in this stadium.

Side note - if Pesach is really early, it's sometimes possible to catch the last spring training game for the Marlins or Cardinals who have spring training here. Unlike the minor league games, those sell out quickly and are harder to get tix for, but you can still get a group rate with 10 or more people.

Rapids Water Park:
This is an awesome water park - it has about a dozen slides, a surfing simulator, long lazy river, and smaller slides for little kids. Definitely a lot for everyone at this park. There are plenty of picnic areas - but again, no Kosher Concessions. I had no problem bringing in my own food. Usual rate is $42 for weekdays/$46 for weekends, but there are two ways to save - You can get a twilight ticket from 4pm onward for half price. It's not a good deal during Pesach - the park closes at 5, but is a good deal in the summer when the park is open until 7pm. You can also take a group of 20+ (Harder to get than 10) and the rate drops to $30/person.

Palm Beach County Water Parks -
Palm Beach county runs two water parks, one in Boca Raton and one in West Palm Beach. They're inexpensive, but the hours are limited to weekends until June. (not good for Pesach 2016, but will be good in future year).

Sugar Sand Park - Boca Raton:
This is a great park with lots of good things to do for free:
- The science explorium is free
- Great playground
- A carousel (fee applies)
- They also have an outdoor hockey court and gym that are open and free to residents. In the past, I was able to show one of my in-laws bills, and use it as proof of residency.
- I haven't used the baseball fields yet, but will try to use them this year, and update.

Museum of Discovery and Science, Ft. Lauderdale
This is a great hands-on science museum not far from the Ft. Lauderdale beaches. Definitely worth seeing. They have a lot of hands on discovery/play type of things (a la liberty science center / stepping stones museum for you north easterners). Fee applies, but check their site - as they might offer museum reciprocity if you are a member of another museum.

Hope this is helpful.