Located in southern Florida, West Palm Beach offers a tropical climate, plenty of exciting outdoor activities, and historic retail and entertainment districts. You’ll be within walking distance of shops, restaurants, museums, and more in your West Palm Beach vacation rental. Aside from SunFest, the early-May water-front music and arts festival that draws more than 275,000 visitors each year, West Palm Beach offers plenty of activities to keep you entertained. When you’re ready for an exciting family vacation with some relaxation on the side, check out this list of 11 things to do with your kids when you’re visiting West Palm Beach.
1. Get close to exotic animals
Take the kids to McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary or the Palm Beach Zoo to see the animal exhibits and learn about wildlife species. McCarthy’s is home to more than 200 animals, including lions, tigers, lemurs, and snakes. Take a guided tour, where you may get the chance to touch an alligator or kinkajou. At the Palm Beach Zoo, snap pics of Jaguars, koala bears, and parrots. Kids typically love to ride the Safari Train and Wildlife Carousel.
2. Hit the Water Park
When the weather heats up outside, don’t just sit inside your vacation rental. Cool down at Rapids Water Park. Let your little ones splash around in Barefootin Bay, where they can squeal with delight every time the giant pineapple bucket tips. Spend the day floating on a tube in the quarter-mile lazy river, and let your tweens and teens check out the various water slides, including the 70-foot-high Brain Drain enclosed flume. Everyone in the family can appreciate Big Surf, the 25,000-square-foot wave pool.
3. Visit a Museum
When you need a break from the summer sun, head to one of West Palm Beach’s many museums. Manatee Lagoon is the free educational center that lets you view manatees up close and offers hands-on exhibits to entertain the kids. Head to the gift shop before leaving for a souvenir. The internationally known Norton Museum of Art features an expansive collection to impress the art lovers in your family, while Ragtops Automobile Museum is a must-visit attraction for the car buffs.
4. Take in a Ball Game
For the avid sports fan, West Palm Beach offers The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. This 6,500-seat baseball park is home to two Minor League teams: the Gulf Coast Astros and the Gulf Coast Nationals. If you’re into Major League Baseball, get tickets to watch the Washington Nationals or Houston Astros during their annual spring training.
5. Go Shopping
Find a vacation rental in the heart of West Palm Beach to put yourself in walking distance of lots of shops and boutiques. The Palm Beach Outlets offer high-end brands at low prices to suit everyone in the family, including The Children’s Place, Guess Factory, Levi’s Outlet Store, and Home Goods. Located downtown, CityPlace is an upscale entertainment district with shopping and dining options, as well as a bowling alley. Head to the West Palm Beach GreenMarket on Saturdays for fresh produce, plants, baked goods, and more.
6. Relax on the Beach
When you need a day of relaxation, head to the beach. Palm Beach is a short drive to the east, and family-friendly Fort Lauderdale is just a quick jaunt to the south. John D. MacArthur Beach State Park lies in West Palm Beach. While there are no on-duty lifeguards at the state park beach, it’s a great place for swimming or fishing. Walk on one of the nature trails to view the local flora and fauna.
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7. Tour the City
After you settle into your vacation rental, take a tour of West Palm Beach to discover all the city has to offer. Hop aboard a Segway for a one-hour tour of the city. The tour guides at Palm Beach Segway know the area, and they ensure everyone in the family has a good time. For something more physical, visit CP Tours, where you can rent a 15-person pedal-powered bicycle to travel around town.
8. Travel Back in Time
Find out what life was like prior to the 1940s when you take the family to Yesteryear Village, a nine-acre living-history park. Talk to the town’s residents to learn about daily life, then visit the general store, blacksmith shop, and schoolhouse. If you’re around in the fall, check out the village’s spooky ghost tours.
9. Grab a Bite to Eat
Don’t spend time preparing food at your vacation rental. Relax, and let someone else do the cooking for you. Nick’s 50’s Diner has a fun, retro vibe, and Bimini Twist is the place to go for seafood. If you love Italian, try Renato’s for risotto or Pizza Al Fresco for an incredible thin-crust pie. Take a food tour to discover the restaurants, foods, and culinary history of the West Palm Beach area.
10. Go Out on the Water
For the family that’s ready for adventure, West Palm Beach has lots of options to enjoy the coastal waters. Take an airboat ride, or rent a yacht for the day. DivaDuck Amphibious Tours take you on a 75-minute tour over land and sea. Try your hand at scuba diving or snorkeling to really experience life under the sea.
11. See a Show
Take in a show at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, featuring Broadway series performances, operas, ballets, musicians, and more. Check the events calendar, as you’re sure to find a performance that interests everyone in the family.
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