Fort Lauderdale has become one of the most popular vacation spots in the United States, and it is easy to see why. With beautiful beaches, museums, parks and plenty of nightlife, you are sure to have a ball. Whether you are a local looking for something to do or planning your next getaway, there are so many things to do in Fort Lauderdale that won’t cost you a dime. Fort Lauderdale will not disappoint. Whether you are looking for cultural events or some parties on the beach, you can get away with not paying for some of Fort Lauderdale’s famous fun spots. Still, sound too good to be true? Keep reading and I will show you some great free things to do in Fort Lauderdale.
If you are with your family and looking for some free kid-friendly activities, then you need to take a look at these favorite places.
1. The Anne Kolb Nature Center
The Anne Kolb Nature Center will keep your kids busy. With 20 acres of coastal mangrove wetlands, you and your family will be treated to some of the richest native vegetation and wildlife, including those that are threatened and endangered. You will also be treated to a 3,500-gallon aquarium and a hands-on EcoRoom.
Address: 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood, FL 33019
2. Buehler Planetarium & Observatory
Having some trouble finding things for the kids to do at night? Why not take them to the Buehler Planetarium & Observatory? Another free activity that will keep their young minds busy. With some of the latest audio and visual equipment to make the starry skies come to life. Your family will be captivated by the moons, planets, and stars as they gaze into the night sky of Fort Lauderdale.
Phone: (954) 201-6681
Address: Broward College 111 East Las Olas Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
3. Everglades Holiday Park
The Everglades Holiday Park is a Fort Lauderdale treasure for the family. This will be an educational ride aboard an airboat that will have your kids grinning ear to ear alongside the alligators. Parents will love it too. As your kids awe at the gators alongside the boat, you will be in awe yourself at the beautiful birds and scenery of the everglades. Your kids will even have a chance to take pictures alongside a young alligator.
Address: 21940 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33332
4. Hollywood Beach Boardwalk
The Hollywood Beach boardwalk will be a crowd-pleaser for the whole family. Built-in the 1920s, this revitalized boardwalk has something for everyone. Whether you choose to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat, or let the kids play on the playground while you bask in the sun; you will be guaranteed a day of fun. Don’t forget to check out the special events on the boardwalk as well!
Address: 320 Johnson Street Hollywood, FL 33019
5. Riverwalk Water Trolley
Why not take the kids on the Riverwalk Water Trolley. Not only is it a fun ride for the kids, but it is also a convenient way to get to some of the more popular attractions in Fort Lauderdale. This trolly glides across the new River, making a fun and easy ride o your next stop. This is another one of the free things to do in Fort Lauderdale.
Phone: 954 – TROLLEY
Address: 290 NE Third Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
For those of you with friends or as a couple, there are plenty of free things to do in Fort Lauderdale for you. Whether it is enjoying some cultural activities or strolling through a market, you are going to have fun. Here are some fun, free things you can do.
6. African American Research Library and Cultural Center
This is something you need to do. With a library filled with the most Black History books and books written by African Americans in the country, this center houses a treasure trove of knowledge. The exhibits and conversations in the auditorium only add to the experience. Share your thoughts with others at this amazing venue.
Address: 2650 NW Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
7. The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum
This museum is a great way to get your motor running. With the largest collection of Packard cars, there is something for every visitor. It doesn’t stop there. You will also find historical memorabilia and a stunning array of things related to cars such as gas station signs and different car parts. All this dating back to 1900. It is a car lover’s dream!
Phone: (954) 779.7300
Address: 1527 SW 1st Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
8. Secret Woods Nature Center Fort Lauderdale
If your vacation includes some quiet time, then look to the Secret Woods Nature Center Fort Lauderdale. With a little piece of paradise in the middle of urban growth, the nature center is a real gem. Your secret escape can begin with walking under the towering oak trees or at the Butterfly House. When all you want is to get away from the hustle and bustle of things, this is the place for you.
Address: 2701 W State Rd. 84 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
9. SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch
Enjoy your morning after a night out at the SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch. Bring a picnic basket and enjoy the jazz music from the best local artists. The only catch is on the first Sunday of each month, so plan to make sure you don’t miss it. You can also take a stroll and listen to the music while look at what local merchants have to add to your experience.
Phone: (954) 828-5363
Address: Esplanade Park, 400 SW 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale
10. Fort Lauderdale Beach
If you are looking for a lazy day on the beach, this is the way to go. With its beautiful Blue Wave beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach is fun in the sun and so much more. Want to cool off from the hot sun? Walk down to the shops, cafes, and entertainment just steps away. This is the perfect way to spend a vacation day, and it is one o the best free things to do in Fort Lauderdale.
Address: Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
With so many free things to do in Fort Lauderdale, some of them may take a little planning. These activities aren’t an everyday occurrence, but worth looking into.
If the artist in you is budding, then this may be the place for you. Studio18 offer exhibitions of the resident artists from paintings to sculpture. This is a fun, low key event with free entry. The only catch is the exhibits are normally on Mondays.
Address: 1101 Poinciana Drive Pembroke Pines 33025
12. Plantation Historical Museum
The Plantation Historical Museum holds great memories from the past including artifacts from the Seminole and Tequesta tribes and memorabilia from the Fire and Police departments. My favorite is the Winter wonderland held each December. While you are there take a walk around the Botanical Gardens.
Address: 511 North Fig Tree Lane Plantation, FL 33317
13. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Craft Fair
If there is a crafter in you, or you just love the unique eclectic items sold at the fair, this is a must-see. With some of the top crafters in the country, this crafters dream is only held in March and November, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly. You don’t want to miss it!
Address: 4400 North Ocean Drive Lauderdale by the Sea, FL
14. Lauderdale Air Show
For airplane enthusiasts, there is the Lauderdale Air Show. Presented each May. It is a day of fun with an air show of course, but also displays and exhibits. It is a great addition to any vacation and a free thing to do in Fort Lauderdale. Make sure you check the dates though!
Phone: (321) 395-3110
Address: Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida
15. Symphony of Lights
If you have the holiday spirit, then you need to check out the festival of lights. This is a great way to start the holiday season with family and friends. This stunning array of lights set to music happens November- December, so make sure you mark your calendars, so you don’t miss out!mOh and Santa will be making an appearance as well.
Address: Gulfstream Park, 901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach 33009
16. Going Bananas Farmers Market
Want something different than the tired old grocery store? Try the Going Bananas Farmers Market as a fun option. Going Bananas carries just about everything your normal store would at incredible prices. The great thing about this farmers market is that it is open every day! You will go bananas over it!
Address: Festival Flea Market, 2900 W. Sample Road, Pompano Beach
17. Vintage Fair
If you want to step back in the past or find some cool items, then you need to get to the vintage Fair. If antiques are what you are looking for, you will find them here. Open every third Saturday of the month, it is a fun treat. Bring the family, friends, or drop by on your own. You are guaranteed the past in the present!
Address: Festival Marketplace 2900 W Sample Rd Pompano Beach, FL 33073
18. Dance Under the Stars
Looking for a little romance or just to burn off the calories you ate at dinner? Why not try dancing under the stars at Hollywood’s historic bandshell? With a variety of music and stadium seating available, this may become one of your most memorable nights ever!
Phone: (954) 921-3404
Address: 1940 Harrison St., Suite 101 Hollywood, FL 33020
19. Winterfest Family Fun Day
Make sure you plan for this special day. The Winterfest Family Fun Day is another free thing to do in Fort Lauderdale that everyone will enjoy. With its free admission, you won’t be breaking the bank for a day of fun. With food vendors, music, and a ton of activities for the kids including the Florida Renaissance Pirate Ship, the fun will never stop!
Address: Huizenga Plaza 32 E Las Olas Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, Florida
So, if you are planning your dream vacation or live locally and want something fun to do, look no more! You will never run out of free things to do in Fort Lauderdale. Why spend a bunch of money if you don’t have to? There is something for everyone and every taste so you will never get bored. You can save so much by enjoying the free things to do in Fort Lauderdale, so go for it! Come and see all Fort Lauderdale has to offer.
19 FREE Things to do in Fort Lauderdale for Fun? ›
- The Anne Kolb Nature Center. ...
- Buehler Planetarium & Observatory. ...
- Everglades Holiday Park. ...
- Hollywood Beach Boardwalk. ...
- Riverwalk Water Trolley. ...
- African American Research Library and Cultural Center. ...
- The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum. ...
- Secret Woods Nature Center Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
This beach chic destination is one of Broward County's exceptional Blue Wave Beaches, and enjoying it free.
- Admire the Public Art.
- Explore the Riverwalk.
- Stroll Down Las Olas Boulevard.
- Retreat to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
- Visit the Bonnet House Museums & Gardens.
- Need an Energy Boost? Hit a Coffee Shop!
- Enjoy Some Beach Time.
- Take a Butterfly Self-Guided Walking Tour of Snyder Park.
If there's one place that's great for partying it's Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This is a fun city with many things to see and do during the day. At night, this city is a great place for partying. Whether you are going for a long weekend or even one night, you can find ways to let your hair down!Is there anything to do in Fort Lauderdale? ›
- Outdoor Fun at Las Olas Oceanside Parks. ...
- Shop & Dine on Las Olas Boulevard. ...
- Explore Hollywood. ...
- Hop on a Boat Tour. ...
- Venture Back in Time at the Bonnet House Museums & Gardens. ...
- Encounter Wildlife at Flamingo Gardens.
- Score Designer Deals at Sawgrass Mills.
- Explore pristine natural areas. ...
- Hop aboard the Downtown West Palm Beach Trolley. ...
- Bike the Palm Beach Lake Trail. ...
- Follow the Underwater Snorkeling Trail at Phil Foster Park. ...
- Dance the night away at Clematis by Night on Thursdays.
Note that the beach is free, open to the public at all times and equipped with bathroom facilities. Stay at one of the luxury hotels a short walk away. Wander leisurely toward Fort Lauderdale Beach or stroll along picturesque Las Olas Boulevard.What is there to do in Fort Lauderdale for gays? ›
- Sebastian Street Gay Beach. ...
- World AIDS Museum. ...
- Pride Center at Equality Park. ...
- Pineapple Point Guesthouse & Resort. ...
- Stonewall Museum Gallery. ...
- Wilton Manors. ...
- Pride South Florida. ...
- Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
Fort Lauderdale is famous for its beaches, arts, culture, and events. From shopping on Las Olas Boulevard to gondola rides on the canals, to a historic riverfront, this is the "Venice of America." Along Las Olas Boulevard, enjoy Fort Lauderdale shopping, dining, and the historic districts.Is Ft Lauderdale better than Miami? ›
While Miami is certainly the more famous of the two cities, Fort Lauderdale has a lot to offer too. Known as the “Venice of America” because of its extensive network of rivers and waterways, Fort Lauderdale is a more laid-back and relaxing destination than Miami. It's also more affordable for the average vacationer.
Does Fort Lauderdale have nightlife? ›
The party doesn't stop just because the sun goes down! Greater Fort Lauderdale's nightlife offers entertainment that includes dancing, gaming, bars, restaurants, and live music to keep your pulse pounding from sunset to sunrise. Delve into the nightlife that makes the region famous.Is Fort Lauderdale a party beach? ›
Fort Lauderdale is one of the most famous party beaches in Florida. The beach is known for its Entertainment District, Riverwalk Arts and many nightclubs.
America's Backyard is a 21+ establishment. Established in 2008. America's Backyard is the biggest and best all-American backyard party ever.Do any celebrities live in Fort Lauderdale? ›
David Cassidy, 64, "Partridge Family" star, Fort Lauderdale, lives in a $1.7-million home on a canal on South Ocean Drive south of the Bahia Mar.Is Fort Lauderdale safe? ›
Is Fort Lauderdale Safe to Visit in 2022? What is this? Fort Lauderdale can be reasonably safe, given you stick to touristy places. The regions around Fort Lauderdale Beach, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, and Las Olas are pretty safe.Does Fort Lauderdale have an aquarium? ›
The Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale is actually much more than a museum — it's an aquarium, too! In the Florida Ecoscapes section, kids come face-to-face with live otters at play and a vast touch tank filled with spiny critters.What's the number one attraction in Florida? ›
What is this? Walt Disney World, located in Lake Buena Vista near Orlando, is the flagship of Disney's worldwide theme park empire and the most popular tourist attraction in Florida. It is also by far, the world's largest and most-visited theme park resort.Is South Beach free? ›
South Beach, AKA SoBe, is a picture-perfect 4-mile (6.4km) strip of coastline and is one of the most famous beaches in the world. It surely cannot be missed, especially because it's free!What is the most visited city in Florida? ›
The most popular tourist destination in Florida, every year millions of visitors descend upon the city for the magical theme parks that lie all around it.
Yes, we were able to get free beach chairs and umbrellas from the front desk and carry them about 100 yards across the street to the beach. There is a designated smoking area outside the hotel. over a year ago.
Is there a free trolley in Fort Lauderdale? ›
Community Shuttle is a FREE transportation option for City of Fort Lauderdale (City) residents and visitors.Is Fort Lauderdale expensive? ›
Fort Lauderdale is the seventh-most-expensive city in Florida, and the cost of living is 37 percent higher than the national average, according to SalaryExpert.Why is Fort Lauderdale called Fort Lauderdale? ›
The City of Fort Lauderdale is named for a Second Seminole War fortification built on the banks of the New River in 1838. That year, Major William Lauderdale led a detachment of Tennessee Volunteers south along the east coast of Florida to capture Seminole agricultural lands and battle the elusive Indian warriors.Can you drive from Fort Lauderdale to Key West? ›
Yes, the driving distance between Fort Lauderdale to Key West is 190 miles. It takes approximately 4h to drive from Fort Lauderdale to Key West.What is the coldest month in Fort Lauderdale? ›
The coldest month of the year in Fort Lauderdale is January, with an average low of 62°F and high of 75°F.Is it cheaper to live in Orlando or Fort Lauderdale? ›
Fort Lauderdale is 13.3% more expensive than Orlando. Fort Lauderdale housing costs are 28.1% more expensive than Orlando housing costs. Health related expenses are 0.4% less in Fort Lauderdale.Which beach is better Daytona or Fort Lauderdale? ›
Most people pick Fort Lauderdale for its beaches over Daytona Beach. Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Fort Lauderdale. With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches, a fun boardwalk, and impressive views, the beaches here are among the best in the area.Does Fort Lauderdale have a strip? ›
The Strip — which runs roughly from the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach north to Casablanca Café — is a a loud, bustling stretch of hotels, bars, restaurants and T-shirt/flip-flop stores.Where do spring breakers go in Fort Lauderdale? ›
- An Unforgettable Spring Break at Pelican Grand Beach Resort. ...
- Las Olas Boulevard. ...
- Fort Lauderdale Beach. ...
- Museum of Discovery and Science. ...
- NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale. ...
- Sawgrass Recreation Park. ...
- Bonnet House.
- Clearwater Beach. ...
- Daytona Beach. ...
- Jacksonville Beach. ...
- South Beach. ...
- Panama City Beach. ...
- Key West.
What is the strip called in Fort Lauderdale? ›
Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd is the name of that strip. over a year ago.What is the main strip in Fort Lauderdale? ›
Lauderdale. - Las Olas Boulevard.How old do you have to be to get into a club in Fort Lauderdale? ›
2. Age Requirements. AGE 21 & OVER. ENTRY IS PERMITTED WITH PROPER ID ONLY.What is America's backyard? ›
America's backyard is a concept often used in political science and international relations contexts to refer to the sphere of influence of the United States, the USA's traditional areas of dominance, especially Latin America.Who is famous in Fort Lauderdale? ›
- Catherine Hickland, television actor.
- Bailee Madison, actor.
- Leslie Nielsen, actor, comedian.
- Paige O'Hara, stage actress, singer.
- Matthew Rush, pornographic actor.
- Niki Taylor, model.
- David Winters, actor, dancer, choreographer, producer, film distributor, director and screenwriter.
- Pat Boone – Singer. ...
- Pitbull – Rapper. ...
- Josh Gad – Actor. ...
- John Young – Astronaut. ...
- Amanda Bearse – Actress. ...
- Laila Ali – Boxer. ...
- Zora Neale Hurston – Author. Zora Neale Hurston was an author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. ...
- Maya Rudolph – Actress. Photo sourced from Wikimedia.
- A-Rod and J. Lo, Miami.
- John Travolta, Ocala.
- Serena Williams, Jupiter.
- Elle Macpherson, Coral Gables.
- Emeril Lagasse, Miramar Beach.
- Tiger Woods, Jupiter.
- John Cena, Land O' Lakes.
- Judy Blume, Key West.
However, most experts agree that Ft. Lauderdale is generally more dangerous than Miami (comparing data from within their respective city limits). That said, both cities have their fair share of problems, and, believe it or not, neither ranks as the most dangerous place in South Florida.Are there sharks in Fort Lauderdale? ›
Video Shows Man's Execution-Style Murder in Fort Lauderdale Store. Wildlife officials say blacktip sharks typically move inshore during the spring and summer months, a time when the state's residents and visitors usually enjoy more beach days.Is it safe to walk at night in Fort Lauderdale? ›
Areas frequented by tourists, such as along the beach, shops along Las Olas, and the city center, are generally more than safe. However, you can be very careful if you are in the west, northwest, or southwest of a city, especially at night.
Does Fort Lauderdale have a zoo? ›
Metro Zoo is the best zoo in Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area.Where can I see manatees in Fort Lauderdale? ›
Manatees have been known to be spotted at Hugh Taylor Birch Park in Fort Lauderdale along with lots of other wildlife. It's a great place to go with the family.What's the largest aquarium in Florida? ›
The Florida Aquarium
Heading the list is the largest aquarium in Florida: the appropriately named Florida Aquarium. Located in the Tampa area, it is one of the aquariums in Central Florida that is definitely worth a look.
Fort Lauderdale Beach Park is open every day from 5 a.m. to midnight.Are Fort Lauderdale beaches public? ›
It's a public beach the way it should be, with plenty of sand, basketball courts, lifeguards, and beach chairs, among other things. Just a lovely setting and beach, and not covered with condos and hotels right up next to the sand like in many places.Is there free parking at Fort Lauderdale Beach? ›
Free Parking near Fort Lauderdale Beach, FL.
|Parking garage location||Walking distance to Fort Lauderdale Beach|
|300 Seabreeze Blvd.||3 mins.|
|440 Seabreeze Blvd.||5 mins.|
Yes, we were able to get free beach chairs and umbrellas from the front desk and carry them about 100 yards across the street to the beach. There is a designated smoking area outside the hotel. over a year ago.Are you allowed to be on the beach at night in Florida? ›
While many other Florida beaches close at night, Narcity contacted the Clearwater Parks and Recreation's department to confirm that beach access is available 24/7. So don't forget your bathing suit. Beach rules still apply at night, and swimming is only allowed within the marked "Safe Bathing Limit" areas.How much are beach chairs at Fort Lauderdale Beach? ›
|Cabana||Umbrella & 2 Chairs||Chair Only|
Can you drink on the beach in Fort Lauderdale? ›
Fort Lauderdale does not have an open container law, so drinking will not be allowed on the beach. “No alcohol or containers or beverages are allowed on the sandy portion of the beach,” said Sousa. “They're allowed to drink, but only in licensed establishments.Does Fort Lauderdale Beach have sharks? ›
Video Shows Man's Execution-Style Murder in Fort Lauderdale Store. Wildlife officials say blacktip sharks typically move inshore during the spring and summer months, a time when the state's residents and visitors usually enjoy more beach days.What is Fort Lauderdale best known for? ›
Fort Lauderdale is famous for its beaches, arts, culture, and events. From shopping on Las Olas Boulevard to gondola rides on the canals, to a historic riverfront, this is the "Venice of America." Along Las Olas Boulevard, enjoy Fort Lauderdale shopping, dining, and the historic districts.What time is free parking in Fort Lauderdale? ›
Parking Meter & Spaces Fees
There is free parking in the Town Hall parking lot Monday through Friday before 4:30PM while doing business in Town Hall.
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is just north of Fort Lauderdale, and is a small, cozier area of the beach. There are some really cute family-owned inns, called Superior Small Lodgings that line the beach. The beach in LBTS is quiet, spacious and has a fishing pier.How much is parking at Lauderdale by the Sea? ›
The cost is $64.20 for residents under 65, and $53.50 for residents over the age of 65. The annual parking permit is good from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2022.Can you leave your car at Fort Lauderdale Airport? ›
Long-Term FLL Airport Parking
There are four options for long-term parking at Fort Lauderdale Airport: daily parking in the Palm and Hibiscus Garages, curbside valet service, overflow parking, and off-site parking facilities with shuttle service.
The Hollywood Beach Boardwalk moves at a slower pace than those on bustling South Beach and Fort Lauderdale's Beach Place. Choose from a wide variety of shopping boutiques, restaurants, bars, and experiential beach activities for a fun-filled day by the water.How much does it cost per day to park at Fort Lauderdale Airport? ›
| Parking Options||Rates (Includes Tax)||Map|
|Short-Term||$3/hour, maximum $36 per day. Hibiscus Garage Level 2 Palm Garage Level 1|
|Curbside Valet||$25 per day (Service resumed at limited capacity, 2/17/22) For valet information, call 954-359-8108.|
|Overflow||$10 per day.|||