Any time of year, The Palm Beaches make a fabulous destination for families looking for that perfect mix of outdoor activities, beautiful beaches, and kid-friendly attractions.
Sandwiched between West Palm Beach to the north and Boynton Beach to the south, Lake Worth Beach has much to offer children (and their parents too!). Here are 10 fun things to do with kids in and around Lake Worth Beach.
A trip to this guarded white-sand beach is a must for families. Between ocean swims, little ones can use the colorful playground or walk the William O. Lockhart Municipal Pier for a birds-eye view over the waves. Restrooms are readily available, and lunch couldn’t be easier: Several restaurants line the coast here, including Benny’s on the Beach, which has something for everyone (including a kids menu and incredible water views), and Mamma Mia’s, great for pizza lovers. Phipps Ocean Park, just to the north of Lake Worth Beach Park, is another lovely beach-day option around here that’s a bit quieter.
Kayaking around the beautiful, mangrove-lined Snook Islands in Lake Worth Lagoon is an ideal way for families to intimately experience the natural beauty of The Palm Beaches. Get up close and personal to the wading birds, crabs, oyster reefs, and various fish species of the lagoon while perched on a comfortable single or double kayak. Or, if your kids are small, you can rent a family kayak, which fits two adults and two small children. At Kayak Lake Worth rentals are available for two hours or a half-day. To delve deeper into the saltwater estuary’s rich ecology, consider booking a guided tour—the monthly full moon tours are especially popular.
This large, grassy park in the middle of Lake Worth Beach has a ton to offer families. The lakefront playground area has play structures for kids age 2 to 12 (including a Boundless playground), with a good amount of shade as well as a splash pad for cooling off. There’s also an exercise course that older kids like, and over by the campground there’s the Custard Apple network of short, interconnected nature trails to explore. And there are plenty of designated picnic areas, including some with grills.
Choose from an 18- or 36-hole mini golf course at this well-maintained family-run spot, which keeps things interesting for all ages with some challenging holes and lots of attractive water features (don’t worry, the golf balls float). Most important for those sunny days, there’s plenty of shade, as well as a great snack bar with ice cream, chips, and beverages for kids and adults alike. The little ones always get a treat at the end! It’s a perfect afternoon activity for families.
A popular spot in Lake Worth Beach for birthday parties, this arcade is exactly what’s needed for a few hours of indoor fun on those super hot or rainy days. Older kids love the laser tag facility and go-kart course, while younger kids can try their hand at skee-ball or any of the arcade video games. The on-site café conveniently offers pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream, or you can head to nearby El Rinconcito Colombiano 3 for kid-friendly arepas, empanadas, and Colombian-style hamburgers.
In nearby Boynton Beach, families love the sweet Schoolhouse Children’s Museum, which provides kids with an interactive, hands-on glimpse of life for early Florida settlers. In the absence of electronics or fancy tech, a sensory learning experience awaits here, as children are invited to explore replicas of early train depots, general stores, farms, and more. They can even milk and feed a life-size cow replica, and play with an oversize, interactive Operation Challenge in the “doctor’s office.”
About 10 minutes north of Lake Worth Beach in West Palm Beach, this science museum is beloved for its 100-plus educational exhibits, full-dome planetarium, 10,000-gallon aquarium, and quarter-mile-long outdoor science trail, which boasts 15 more exhibits. There’s even mini-golf! Families can easily enjoy a full day here. Kids under 6 love the water table, outdoor play area, and wall-size Lite Brite of the Discovery Center and Early Childhood Playground. Older kids shouldn’t miss visiting the Observatory on select Friday evenings to view the sky during Nights at the Museum.
Just south of Lake Worth Beach in Delray Beach, Wakodahatchee Wetlands is a favorite spot among nature lovers in the know. Created in 1996 on 50 acres of previous wastewater utility land, the peaceful wetlands feature a pretty three-quarter-mile boardwalk that winds above the ponds and shrubby islands of the preserve, providing up-close viewing of countless bird species, turtles, alligators, fish, frogs, and even rabbits and raccoons. It’s thrilling for kids to spot so much wildlife in a natural habitat, and it’s also a great lesson in smart public land use: Each day, two million gallons of treated wastewater gets pumped into the wetlands, which act as a percolation pond and return billions of gallons of fresh water back into the water table.
A short half-hour drive west of Lake Worth Beach in Loxahatchee, Lion Country Safari is a must for animal-loving kids. After driving the four-mile safari past zebras, rhinos, impala, ostriches, lions, and more, the wonderful walk-through park awaits, complete with a petting zoo, a water park (bring the bathing suits!), amusement rides, and more wildlife exhibits. The highlight is the giraffe encounter, where families can stand on a platform eye-to-eye with these magnificent animals and feed them romaine lettuce. Don’t miss it!
This picturesque manmade 80-acre tropical island park on the Intracoastal Waterway is a terrific place to introduce little ones to snorkeling, as the turquoise water is shallow, clear, and warm. Rock breakwaters on the eastern side protect swimmers from currents and act as an artificial reef, attracting plenty of interesting undersea life. Sometimes manatees are even spotted around here! You’ll want to bring along a picnic lunch—there are no restaurants on the island—and definitely plan to stay a while. As a bonus, the kids get to take a shuttle boat to get there. Hop on one from nearby Sailfish Marina or Riviera Beach Marina to reach the island.
Header image courtesy of the Cox Science Center and Aquarium