Lion Country Safari is a zoo with no cages. Instead, more than 900 animals, including the largest zebra herd outside of Africa, roam its 320 acres freely. During drive-through safaris, cars tour seven sections of the preserve—which represent different areas such as western Zimbabwe and the Serengeti—to see llamas, asiatic water buffalo, chimpanzees, and white rhinoceros. Lions have a section all to themselves so that they don't prey on other animals or disturb them with giggles from the pride's late-night slumber parties.
In addition to the four-mile drive, Lion Country Safari's Safari World allows guests to explore rides and attractions as they visit with animals on foot. They can feed giraffes, practice animal-massage techniques at the petting zoo, or hop on the carousel next to Lake Shanalee's paddleboat rides. After kids splash through the interactive Safari Splash waterpark, they can hop onto the ferris wheel or ask exotic birds for advice on how to fly.
Dedicated to granting kids a safe, fun play space where even tumbles result in laughter, Monkey Joe's goes out of its way to foster a friendly environment for all guests. Throughout the day, the eagle-eyed staff—in adherence with a rigorous Safety Access Child Control System—oversees kids at play on the inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and climbing walls that dapple the indoor play area, with video monitoring on hand for further peace of mind. The main play area fields the bounces of youthful guests aged 12 and younger, and the Mini Monkey Zone’s games and puzzles afford toddlers a chance to escape the world of older kids and their prealgebra jokes for a recreational haven of their own.
In addition to walk-in play, a bustling party zone facilitates gravity-defying birthday celebrations tended to by cheery staff. As their progeny run and jump, parents can retreat to the tranquil confines of the adult lounge with a computer station, comfortable chairs, and flat-screen TVs. Even after the ebullient crowds of tots have cleared the premises, the staff remains committed to children’s well being as they scour every inch of the inflatable equipment with sanitizing cleaners that evict common germs trying to nap in the cloud-like nooks and crannies.
Beach Water Sports matches patrons up with watercraft ranging from paddleboards to powerboats, and encourages them to explore the surrounding azure waters. Seafarers can opt for a relaxing day on a pontoon, even sneaking in some sightseeing on an excursion to Peck Lake to drop in on its populations of manatees and sea turtles. Those eyeing a more-thrilling time on the water can take a rented jet ski buzzing through Hobe Sound and Jupiter or try to start an ocean whirlpool by only paddling on one side of the standup paddleboard.
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.
Though the business’s name acknowledges its image as an age-old pastime, Olde Tyme Bingo updates the classic game with modern machinery. Tabletop computers ease game play, with virtual chips and game boards helping guests to earn cash prizes, gift baskets, or commemorative bingo cards dipped in bronze. The hall is open six days a week, giving players ample time to try out other games including a nontelevised version of The Price is Right’s famous Plinko.
A smorgasbord of fun, adventuresome activities fill the 9,000 square feet of Funderdome. Upon entering, eyes immediately gaze skyward to the center's ceiling, where kids deftly navigate the ropes course a good 22 feet above the ground. While kids remain safely tethered, they traverse seven complex courses that build balance, coordination, and confidence. As the sky's the limit for kids, there's also a climbing wall to further enhance fitness in a fun way. A 30-foot-high multilevel playground keeps heads in the clouds with 20 different obstacles as well as mazes, tubes, and slides. Kids even can climb a vertical tower to an enclosed sports complex. There, they play basketball and soccer 22 feet in the air. From there, kids can come to ground while not exactly coming back to Earth for the activity floor and space-quadrant laser maze. With views of all the action, the caf? provides parents respite with WiFi, pizza, hamburgers, salads, and LavAzza coffee.