Airboats are propelled by giant fans, which are normally used to keep ceilings aloft by blowing air at the floor. Float through the Everglades with today’s Groupon to Sawgrass Recreation Park in Weston. Choose between the following options:
- For $20, you get a recreation package (a $42.93 value, including taxes and ear protection) that includes:
- Two passes to the park’s wildlife exhibits
Two airboat rides<p>
- For $40, you get two Gator Nights after-dark airboat rides (an $80 value). Gator Nights tours are offered on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. and on Saturdays at 8:30 p.m.<p>
Regular airboat rides for children aged 4–12 are normally $10 each; Gator Nights airboat rides for children aged 4–12 are normally $20 each; and all rides are free for children younger than 4.
Sawgrass Recreation Park’s navigators roar through airboat tours of the Everglades, showcasing wildlife to wind-swept passengers who learn about the daily lives of gators and other species from handlers in the park’s exhibits. Dozens of scaled creatures bask and grin toothily on the park’s reptile isle, which includes a 1,000-pound alligator named Cannibal. Prehistoric cuties rest serenely in human hands at the Hold a Baby Alligator experience. Swampyard Island offers more hands-on interaction with a petting and feeding zoo populated by critters of a cuddlier sort, including three gutsy pot-bellied pigs, three preening peacocks, and two iguanas looking to round out their barbershop quartet. A conservationist organization uses the park’s grounds to educate the public about ongoing rescue efforts with the Everglades by bringing them face to face with the swamp’s most majestic rarities, such as Florida panthers and wolves.
After thoroughly touring the exhibits, airboats piloted by experienced captains rev up to take patrons on 30-minute daylight spins of the Everglades’ deep mysteries, complete with wildlife sightings and historical storytelling. Alternatively, Gator Nights tours take to the swamp waters beneath a heavy blanket and stars, providing the opportunity to see uniquely nocturnal sights such as panthers prowling or bats enjoying an upside-down tea party. The one-hour trip includes ear protection for each of the 10 or more passengers to dampen the noise of the fan and help ignore the chirping of particularly tone-deaf crickets.
Sawgrass Recreation Park
Laced with the sounds of water churned by unseen forces, the thick air that hangs above the Everglades whispers the rhythms of gator country. The murky water—obscured further by curtains of cattails and floating lily pads—defies human incursion, its protective spells demystified only by the airboat captains of Sawgrass Recreation Park, who gamely shuttle laypersons through the swamp in tours by day and night. While gliding across the shallows at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, guides halt the propellers of their enormous fans to point out wildlife—which include alligators and various waterfowl—and impart nuggets of history from the days when the Seminole and panther once shared their claim over the terrain. As a part of a conservationist group's effort to educate the public about ongoing rescue efforts in the Everglades, the exotic-wildlife exhibit brings guests face to face with the swamp's most majestic rarities, including black leopards and Florida panthers. In the park's reptile exhibit, dozens of scaly creatures count among them a 1,000-pound alligator named Cannibal, and guests can cradle prehistoric cuties in the Hold a Baby Alligator experience. The Glades Exhibit animals exhibit encourages guests to meet or catch a glimpse of tortoises, a water monitor, pigs and iguanas, letting guests establish a deeper bond with the denizens of the swamp.
Sawgrass Recreation Park also strives to educate and enlighten the public about endangered species like the Florida Panther. Mammals in their care are adopted and rescued from facilities who lose their licensing or individuals who possessed the animal illegally. Playful critters abound and amaze as visitors get up close and personal with many different animals that often include panthers, leopards, caracal's, a bobcat, and even some surprise smaller mammals each day.