Summer Survival in South Florida

It's Summertime and the kids are out of school with months of unstructured time looming before you. It can be both exciting and stressful. How do you fill the time with safe and stimulating activities? Some families have the entire summer with their children to plan and others may only have a week or two off work to spend with their children. Whatever amount of time you have, good planning can help you make it quality family time. Need some tips for navigating through the summer in South Florida? 

Here are our Top 4 Tips for planning out your summer activities.

Tip #1: Timing

South Florida summer planning has to center around the weather.  Generally the day starts off already in the 80s when you wake up and climbs to it's peak around 1-2pm when the skies open up with a deluge of rain.  Humidity levels and cloud cover can vary throughout the day but the heat is a given.  When you plan out your day, keep in mind that an INDOOR attraction in the afternoon may be your best bet for avoiding both the hottest and wettest time of the day.  If you want to be outdoors, get out early and get in before 11 when the heat starts to ramp up.  Here are some great options per county for indoor fun:

Miami Dade


Palm Beach


Tip #2:  Avoid Camp Groups

While you are planning out your summer activities so are the local camp groups.  You essentially are looking at doing the same thing: keep the kids occupied and have fun.  Inevitably what happens is you end up at places with scores of campers in colorful shirts and bellowing  camp counselors.  Your time as a family to enjoy a local attraction could be diminished and the noise level goes up 100 times.  

Plan ahead by calling ahead.  Ask WHEN groups are scheduled to come in and HOW MANY groups will be coming.  If the museum is only expecting one camp on Thursday at 11 but every other day has 4 camps booked or more, then plan to go on the slow day and get there before or after the camp group.  Thinking about a discount movie for $1?  So are about 100 camp groups.  Call ahead and see if the theater has a separate room for camp groups versus their walk-in patrons.  If they don't, you may want to re-consider.

Many attractions will block off at least a day during the week when they do not book camps so make sure you know before you go.  If you forget and you roll up on an attraction with about 8 buses in the parking lot, then turn around and hit plan B.

Tip #3: Have a Plan B

Always keep in your car a bag filled with snacks, a change of clothes, sunscreen, swimwear and a towel.  You're in South Florida!  If your plans for the day fall through, then you can always hit the beach or a local park with pool or splash pad to occupy the kids.  If you are at a loss for which spots to hit, check out our article with ideas of where to go in each county: Hottest Spots for Cooling Down.  You can also check out our Parks and Attractions pages and use the filter to find what you're looking for.

If the weather is bad, then keep tokens, coupons and Groupons in the car for local attractions like Chuck E. Cheese, Boomers, Monkey Joe's, or Cool Beans Cafe.  Many of these smaller indoor places offer multi-day discount passes that may be worthwhile if you live nearby and can make good use of the passes.

If you already have a pass to a garden, museum, children's museum or science center then you may be able to visit other local places under the same membership through the different Association's passes.  For example, if you have a Family Membership to the Orlando Science Center because you spend a lot of time in that area, then you can use that same membership to get into Museum of Discovery in Fort Lauderdale and the South Florida Science Museum in West Palm Beach too.  Keep your pass in your purse and be ready for anything.

Tip #4: Become a Local Tourist

South Florida attracts people from all over the world with all of its recreational offerings and wonderful weather.  Spend the day visiting another county.  South Florida Finds makes it easy to explore your surrounding counties to find activities to do to fill your day and tire out the kids!  

Take them on a trolley ride through a new area and hop off at great parks and tourist spots all for a low cost.  Take the kids the next county over on the air-conditioned and affordable Tri-rail.  Visit each of our main landing pages: Parks, Events, Attractions, and Activities to find a combination of things just right for your family.  You can adjust each page to the location you are interested in exploring or you can use the filter "Find By" to select the amenities your family most desires--fishing, kayak, bicycling, geocaching and much much more!


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