It’s Chol Hamoed and that means it’s time to take some trips, do something fun, and create memories. If you’re in South Florida, there is definitely not a lack of activities. So pack up your portable sukkah or grab some matzah as we bring you the top South Florida Chol Hamoed activities:
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1. Lion Country Safari: Okay, we know. It’s a bit dated. But in terms of a full day, this is where it’s at. Drive-through Safari, petting zoo, activities. You can use one of their 15 seater vans (you might even get one with air conditioning) or your own car to drive through. It has actually been named top 10 safari park in the United States. There is also an awesome splash pad and rides in a separate section of the park. It’s out near West Palm, but it places you right near Boca making it a perfect place to spend the day and then stop for food in one of the many restaurants in Boca that have a Sukkah or are open for Pesach. Fun fact: if it’s a rainy day, you’ll probably see more animals on the safari.
2. Science Museums:While you can’t spend an entire day at these places, it will definitely fill up most of the day, and trust me, there’s a lot to do. Again, depending on which ones you choose, the science museums keep you close to food sources and succahs so that you can finish your morning with a late lunch under the schach. The Frost Science Museum, which is in Miami and the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science (obviously, in Fort Lauderdale) are both hands-on museums that will inspire the mind and your kid’s creativity. Make sure you check out what the current exhibit is, but even the permanent exhibits are worth the admission price. The Fort Lauderdale Museum also has the Imax theater which is a great way to finish the afternoon, and the Frost Museum has the planetarium. If you want to travel up to West Palm, the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is a great choice! Right next door is the Palm Beach Art Museum, but more than that, your science museum admission ticket gives you a discount to the Palm Beach Zoo. Choose any one of these and turn your Chol Hamoed into something educational.
3. The Children’s Museum: The Miami Children’s Museum is a great place for the younger set, but definitely not an all-day trip. It’s a hands-on fun-fest where kids can dress up, immerse themselves in pretend play, and even check out what a cruise ship is like. Make sure to check out what the latest exhibit is, but even the permanent ones are enough to fill a few hours of air-conditioned entertainment for your little ones. If you are near Boca and looking for an indoor play area, check out La-La Land. It has indoor fun for ages up to around 12
4. The Van Gogh Exhibit: This indoor light show may be a bit pricey for a large group but is quite an experience. The immersive show takes participants into some of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous paintings. Literally. The visuals are jaw dropping and inspiring, and at the very least, provides incredible opportunities for some awesome pics. Advance tickets are required and can be purchased online.
5. Everglades National Park: Have you really been to South Florida if you haven’t seen an alligator? Going on an airboat ride is as South Florida as you can get and there are multiple places to pick up one of these sweet rides. You can probably even score a Groupon. It’s a great way to spend your time outdoors and learn a little about the Florida ecosystem. Make sure to bring sunscreen and bug spray though!
6. Wynwood Walls: This is a bit more relaxed and is actually more like a great place to take great pictures, but Wynwood Walls is a draw for tourists everywhere. If you’re travelling with kids,invest in the Graffitti experience and paint some graffiti art for an activity by the walls. You can also go close by to create your own chocolate delicacy at Ben B Coco (Certified under the ORB)- getting some shehakol treats that won’t leave you worrying about a sukkah.
7. Am Yam Kosher Boat Tours: This is the only kosher boat rental in Miami Dade and Broward. Rent the Amyam for a day on the intracoastal, the sandbar, or any private place you want to go with your family. The boat fits 10 people and includes an air-conditioned cabin, a kitchen, and a professional captain so you can relax and explore the waters. Best part: they’ll find you a secluded area to swim so you don’t have to worry about all the crowds.
8. Xtreme Action Park: Located in Fort Lauderdale, this indoor park has something for everyone: Go Carts, Laser Tag, Escape Rooms, Bowling, Arcades, a Ropes Course. Every time I have gone there I find something new. Perfect for a rainy day or even a ridiculously hot day when you need some air conditioning and coffee.
9. Tigertail Aquatics and Bass Pro Shop: Heading out to Bass Pro Shops in Dania Beach, right near Hollywood, may sound kind of lame, but trust me. This shop is ridiculous. Between the taxidermy, the fish tanks, and the shooting range, it’s an experience just walking in. And older folks can fire some actual guns at the range on the second floor. Though not an all day experience, it is just across from Tigertail Aquatics where kids and adults can participate in a range of water activities including an aquatic obstacle course. Check it out and book a reservation.
10. Zoo Miami/ Palm Beach Zoo: If the Everglades is too adventurous for you, definitely head over to either of these top-rated zoos and spend the day marveling at animals you don’t see in your backyard at home. Don’t miss feeding the giraffes!
[Editor’s Note] If you are heading up north towards Tampa, there is a new community in Tampa Bay Area. They are half hour from Busch Gardens, Tampa Zoo, Aquarium, and many attractions. The address is 16303 Little Garden Drive, Wimauma Florida 33598. They also have a small grocery with kosher products. They can be reached at (813) 400-3453.
Chol Hamoed shouldn’t stress you out. With the activities available, you are sure to create fantastic memories for your family. Chag Sameach and enjoy!
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