Within the castle at King Richard’s Family Fun Park, the monarch has decreed one simple rule for all his subjects: have as much fun as possible. And he’s made it easy by packing his kingdom with rides and attractions that include laser tag, bumper boats, roller coasters, and rock climbing. While traveling from ride to ride, guests may wander inside the enclosed arcade and café, where a menu of sizzling-hot burgers, nachos, hot dogs, and chicken wings mingles with the constant chatter of video games. Throughout the park, medieval-themed statues and palm trees mark the very spot where King Richard himself discovered the state of Florida and told nobody. The grounds also house an alligator pit chock-full of the aquatic reptiles on display.
It’s not uncommon to stumble upon fake alligators as you make your way around a mini-golf course. But at Smugglers Cove's locations, live American alligators snap their jaws in exhibits nestled amid the miniature fairways. With an old-fashioned bamboo pole players can dangle a treat above 20–50 of the predatory alligators, which leap from the water to snatch their treat. Between feeding frenzies, games take place on Smugglers Cove’s 18-hole outdoor courses, where balls roll past rushing waterfalls, into caves, over mountainous terrain, and into a hole in a pirate ship.
Thirty-five thousand square feet is a lot of ground to cover. That's why families could spend an entire day at Kabooms' newly remodeled facility without blinking an eye. They can glide around a rink on rented roller skates, leap inside an inflatable bounce house, or test their skills in the Old West style shooting range. Meanwhile, winning redemption games in the arcade gives players a chance to choose from a wall of prizes, which features sports jerseys, stuffed toys, and even electronics. The center is also a fun place to celebrate birthdays, or parties for any occasion.
From its North Lauderdale and Davie locations, Galaxy Skateway launches visitors into a vortex of nifty moves, groovy tunes, and wholesome family fun. Throughout the week, both venues crank up energy levels with special events. On Fridays and Saturdays, doors remain open later into the evening, and on Flashback Thursdays, music from the 1970s and 80s helps skaters explore the past without having to spin super fast to induce time travel. But no matter the day or decade, Galaxy always surrounds its guests with an impressive lineup of amenities, including a full-service snack bar, video game areas, a pro shop, and a full fleet of regular and in-line skates, available for rental.
Located in the heart of the city, Watson Island sometimes feels like a tropical paradise—complete with a leopard lurking in the undergrowth. Luckily, this jungle cat is safely within the confines of Jungle Island, which has inhabited the isle for more than a decade. And yet the story of this themed park, which houses everything from exotic birds and primates to rare plants and trees, began more than 75 years ago.
Jungle Island got its start in 1936 as Parrot Jungle, a small South Miami roadside attraction where the exotic birds could soar uncaged. In the following decades, the aviary hosted a wide array of noteworthy occupants, including Pinky—a high-wire bicycle-riding cockatoo—and several pink flamingos that appeared in the opening credits of Miami Vice. When Jungle Island's current owners purchased the company in 1988, they introduced new mammals and reptiles—but after Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992, they made plans to relocate. They settled on Watson Island, and in 2003, finished construction of the animal habitats and 18 acres of tropical gardens, renaming it Jungle Island.
Jungle Island is currently home to rare white tigers and a white lion, a high-wire bicycle-riding cockatoo, one of the only tame cassowaries in the world, a set of orangutan twins, a rare occurrence. Animal shows and presentations allow visitor to experience Jungle Island's residents in many ways, and a VIP safari tour is available for the very curious. Jungle Island's latest addition is a floating aqua park.
Giant toy soldiers clothed in thousands of colored lights wave at passersby as glowing reindeer take off into the dusk. Towering Christmas trees topped with stars glimmer and glisten with blue and green fiber optics. At Santa's Enchanted Forest, one of the world’s largest Christmas-themed amusement parks, holiday spirit and festive music fill the air long before the end of December. Visitors laugh and shriek on a multitude of carnival rides, including whirling swings, bumper cars, tower drops, and roller coasters, whipping through the air until their cheeks are as rosy as old Saint Nick’s. Traditional carnival games are also on hand, such as dart tosses and soccer-ball kicks, to complement more unconventional carnival amusements such as giant plastic balls to roll around in and a rock-climbing wall to scale. Wee visitors, meanwhile, can make the acquaintance of small livestock in a petting zoo or draw a portrait of their favorite goat in royal costume on a wall-size coloring-book mural. Carnival food, such as barbecue, pizza, and cinnamon donuts, fuels guests as they conquer rides or take in the Cats of the World Tiger Show, the Cirque Equinox, or the Sea Lion Splash Spectacular.