Fun Family Travel: Best of Fort Lauderdale with Kids

Fun Family Travel: Best of Fort Lauderdale with Kids

Disclosure: We received some of the activities and items recommended below as discounted or complementary in return for review and some we have paid for. In all cases, the opinions are my own and this list is really our absolute favorite must do list for Ft. Lauderdale with kids!

Ft. Lauderdale is a fun family travel spot with kids!

For years my family has been spending a week in Ft. Lauderdale every January to escape the Chicago cold winter weather. We love it! Nothing beats a fun family vacation with lots of beach time warming our toes in the sand. That’s really how we spend most days in Ft. Lauderdale.

Even though we are mostly at the beach or the pool, we do have a list of fun family travel favorites that we are sure to hit on each trip to Ft. Lauderdale. I must admit, we pretty much do the same things each year. Mostly because these really our our favorites for our annual family adventure to Ft. Lauderdale. Take a look and let us know if you have any great spots we should add!

Here’s our list of our favorite fun family travel spots in Ft. Lauderdale with Kids:

Fun Family Travel: Best of Fort Lauderdale with Kids

Best Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor:

No family trip to Ft. Lauderdale is complete without a stop at Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour.  And we visit Jaxson’s over and over again each time we return to Ft. Lauderdale. From the moment my son sees the kiddie rides and photo booths out front he gets super excited because he knows exactly where we are. Inside surrounded by memorabilia we always grab a delicious lunch followed by the world’s best old-fashioned ice cream. The food is always yummy and the ice cream is even better! Finally, on the way out we love to pick some nostalgic candies, grab our fortune from the Zoltar machine and my 7 year old always talks us into a new little toy.


Best Ft. Lauderdale Pirate Ship Cruise for Kids:

BlueFoot Pirate Adventures children’s cruise is a must for little pirates in training. We had a blast setting sail on our high seas adventure with Captain Black Sparrow.  While at sea we learned some important pirate vocabulary, enjoyed a fun limbo dance, and discovered a message in the bottle that would lead to a lost key that could unlock a pirate treasure chest. Luckily nobody had to walk the plank that day! This cruise is worth every bit of your pirate booty, so be sure to plan ahead and make a reservation online!

Fun Family Travel: Best of Fort Lauderdale with Kids

Best Hotel Babysitter for a Vacation Date Night:

We love fun family travel to Florida. And, everyone has a great time when we incorporate a date night into our luxury family beach holiday.

Luxury family resorts across Florida agree that Sitters In A Second, Inc. is the most trusted hotel babysitter for families. I’ve hired hotel babysitters from Sitters In A Second, Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale while staying at both the Conrad Beach Resort and the Ft. Lauderdale Hilton Beach Resort.

We’ve  had amazing experiences with the sitters they have sent to us. My son Harry is always excited to see his sitters arrive because he knows that means it’s play time for him! The sitters they send are like camp counselors who come over for a fun night of play. I always request babysitters who are swimmers so that they can take Harry swimming, play games at the resort, walk on the beach, or just have fun playing games in the room.

Each time he has a different sitter, but Harry knows he can trust them all the same. It’s obvious to him that they are there to have fun when they arrive in their logo polo that looks the same in every city that we’ve hired them:  Miami, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Orlando, Laguna Beach and San Francisco.

Every parent deserves a fun vacation date night out in Ft. Lauderdale. Trust Sitters In A Second, Inc. to make it easy and stress-free so you can relax and enjoy your vacation.

Fun Family Travel: Best of Fort Lauderdale with Kids

Best Beach Pizza:

Nothing beats a beach picnic with a fresh hot pizza from Primanti Bros! I grew up outside of Pittsburgh and love grabbing a fresh pizza and taking it to the beach! The restaurant is a small walk up counter with a few tables inside, and is famous for their sandwiches. I like the sandwiches too but I highly recommend their New York style pizza to go!

Best Family Activity:

The best family activity you can enjoy in Ft. Lauderdale is to go for a boat ride! Ft. Lauderdale is dubbed the yachting capital of the world, so it’s a super fun place to go for a boat ride and admire all of the amazing yachts. Rent a boat, go for a ride on the water taxi, or sign up for a dinner cruise. Just get out on the intercostal and enjoy!

Fun Family Travel: Best of Fort Lauderdale with Kids

Best Family Waterfront Dining:

There are lots of great restuarant choices in Ft. Lauderdale, but the one we like most on the water is Coconuts. We love to sit on the patio and enjoy a delicious causal meal with great atmosphere.

Best Date Night Dinner Spot:

I hope you took my advice above and hired a hotel babysitter from Sitters In a Second, Inc. Now, book yourself a date night at Cafe Martorano. This Italian Restaurant by celebrity “Yo cuz!” Steve Martorano is outstanding and has an atmosphere like no other! Go for the heavenly Italian dishes and stay for the energetic and sexy atmosphere. This is a date night you will always remember!

Best photo spot:

Fun Family Travel: Best of Fort Lauderdale with Kids

When you are staying in Ft. Lauderdale it’s worth it to take a walk down the beach to the giant beach chair. It’s the perfect spot to take a photo to send back home!

Best Family Entertainment After Dark:

We live in Chicago where there are no longer drive in movie theaters. So, one of our favorite family night’s out is to head over to the Drive in Movies at the Thunderbird Drive-In theaters. It’s super fun to pull the car up and all enjoy a movie together. A little golf cart drives around to deliver snacks or you can fill your car with your own!

 Fun Family Travel: Best of Fort Lauderdale with Kids

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Aerial View: Fort Lauderdale with Kids

Family Travel to Fort Lauderdale


Sarah is a Chicago based travel writer, an Insider for O, the Oprah Magazine, and the founder of Sarah's best travel companion is her sweet 7 year-old son, Harry. Her favorite getaways include a luxury hotel stay, quality family play time, fine champagne, and decadent chocolate covered strawberries.

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