Say hello to summer (almost) with 4 ways to save on South Florida attractions, concerts
With summer fast approaching, thoughts of road trips, of lounging at the beach or pool or camping under the stars, of movie nights and barbecues dance in our heads.
If you’re ready to start making plans, or want to sprinkle some fun on your days even before summer kicks off, here are ways to do that — and save — on attractions and more in South Florida.
South Florida Adventure Pass
Ready for adventure on a budget this summer? Watch butterflies flutter about in their aviaries, learn about Florida’s native wildlife, experiment with STEM science and hop on an airboat as many times as you want with one pass.
Now in its eighth year, the South Florida Adventure Pass includes unlimited admission to four popular Broward County attractions now through Sept. 30. They are:
Cost is $55 per pass, and $45 for kids age 3 to 12. Annual pass-holders or members of the attractions can choose to upgrade to the South Florida Adventure Pass for $45, or $35 for kids age 3 to 12.
Purchase the pass in person at any of the locations, or online through southfloridaadventurepass.com or any of the participating attractions’ websites.
Butterfly World executive director Mary Jane Vanden Berge called the pass an “unbeatable deal.”
“Not only is it a budget-stretcher for local families and tourists at a time when it is truly needed, but it’s also a vehicle to support our industry, acquainting everyone with the wealth of fun science and nature-based attractions in our region,” she said.
What’s not to miss at Butterfly World? “Nothing beats the wonder of entering the expansive Tropical Rain Forest Aviary, with thousands of live butterflies flying at all levels around you,” Vanden Berge said. “Our budgies and lorikeets are also crowd favorites.”
Sawgrass Recreation Park CEO Christina Soverns Schwartzman said time spent outdoors and exploring hands-on museum exhibits or meeting new animals is essential for mental wellness and childhood education.
“When you visit Sawgrass Recreation Park, make sure you check out the Gator Grill for a delicious lunch or visit the Sawgrass Mining Co. to mine for your own gems and sharks’ teeth,” she said. They also offer Everglades tours and airboat rides.
At Flamingo Gardens, one of the oldest botanical gardens in South Florida, roam 60 acres with thousands of tropical and subtropical species of plants and trees while observing a large collection of Florida native wildlife — alligators, bobcats, panthers, peacocks, a bear and flamingos.
Visitors also can explore the historic Wray Home Museum.
“Be sure to take the narrated tram tour through the hardwood forest to the wetlands and visit the new Butterfly Conservatory in the Pollinator Garden,” said Keith Clark, executive director of Flamingo Gardens. “It’s more important than ever that children get outside to explore nature and interact with others. The South Florida Adventure Pass is a great way to experience nature and the natural sciences on a regular basis throughout the summer.”
In addition to the “Expedition: Dinosaur” exhibit, the Museum of Discovery and Science will have a Discovery Spot, a new exhibit for early learners, MODS president and CEO Joseph P. Cox said.
“Whether it’s the roar of life-like animatronic dinosaurs or imaginative play within iconic Florida environments, this summer at MODS will be spectacular fun,” he said.
The museum offers interactive exhibits, wildlife habitats and wild animal encounters, an outdoor Science Park, STEM science shows and demonstrations.
Free Chick-fil-A breakfast item
There’s no better way to start your day than with free food. Now through Saturday, May 27, some Chick-fil-A locations in Broward and Miami-Dade counties are offering a free breakfast item (combos excluded) through the Chick-fil-A One app. Pick your favorite biscuit or English muffin sandwich, burrito or scramble bowl, among other choices.
“We are so grateful for our community’s continued support, and we want to say ‘thank you’ with a delicious breakfast, on us,” Chick-fil-A Aventura restaurant operator James Probe said in a statement. “Guests can choose from one of our many breakfast offerings as a tasty way to start their day.”
The promotion is limited to one per person, per Chick-fil-A One app account.
Participating Broward County locations include Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Deerfield Beach, Tamarac, Pembroke Pines (outside Pembroke Lakes Mall), Pompano Beach and Sunrise. Visit chick-fil-a.com/one.
Blue Star Museums
A summer of free museum admission for active-duty military personnel and their families kicks off on Saturday, May 20 (Armed Forces Day), offered through Blue Star Museums, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families, in collaboration with the Department of Defense and museums.
Through Monday, Sept. 4 (Labor Day), a service member and up to five family members can visit a participating location throughout the state. There are eight Blue Star sites in Broward and Palm Beach counties, including:
“We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to provide engaging and educational programming and experiences for families of active-duty military members,” the museum’s Cox said in a statement. “We are thankful and honored to extend programs, such as Blue Star Museums, to express our gratitude to those who serve this country as active-duty military personnel and family members who miss their loved one during their service.”
MODS also is offering a $5 upgrade for Blue Star Museums guests to watch an IMAX documentary film on the big screen.
While the active-duty service member does not need to be present to redeem admission, families must show military identification.
Visit arts.gov/initiatives/blue-star-museums for a list of participating locations and additional information.
Bonnet House Family Summer Special
Enjoy savings while you take a trip back to the 1930s and ’40s at the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, 900 N. Birch Road, in Fort Lauderdale.
From June 1 through Sept. 3, take advantage of the Family Summer Special, which allows for free admission of a guest age 17 and younger when you purchase a $25 adult ticket. It’s a BOGO of sorts! Of course, young guests must be accompanied by an adult. Another thing to note: This deal applies only to self-guided tours.
“Bonnet House is a natural and artistic treasure,” said Bonnet House CEO Patrick Shavloske. “With higher prices everywhere, we wanted to provide an affordable way for families to visit our historic site and learn about the Bartletts (the former owners) and their artwork. Inspiring an interest in art, history and nature at all ages is at the core of our mission.”
Meander through the historic Main House, and be on the lookout for wildlife among the 35-acre subtropical estate’s trees, lakes and ponds.
“Families love sitting on the authentic Chickee Bridge and watching the turtles, fish and birds in their natural habitat. The carousel and other animal sculptures in our courtyard are always fun for kids to see, too,” he said. “Our simple treasure hunt is a great way for adults and children to explore the house together. Be sure to find the giraffe who keeps his eye on you as you walk past. The ice cream in our museum shop is a big hit, too.”
The deal is available from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Purchase tickets at the Welcome Center.