19 FREE Things to do in Fort Lauderdale for Fun

Fort Lauderdale has become one of the most popular vacation spots in the United States, and it is easy to see why. With beautiful beaches, museums, parks and plenty of nightlife, you are sure to have a ball.  Whether you are a local looking for something to do or planning your next getaway, there are so many things to do in Fort Lauderdale that won’t cost you a dime. Fort Lauderdale will not disappoint. Whether you are looking for cultural events or some parties on the beach, you can get away with not paying for some of Fort Lauderdale’s famous fun spots. Still, sound too good to be true? Keep reading and I will show you some great free things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

If you are with your family and looking for some free kid-friendly activities, then you need to take a look at these favorite places.


1. The Anne Kolb Nature Center

The Anne Kolb Nature Center

The Anne Kolb Nature Center will keep your kids busy. With 20 acres of coastal mangrove wetlands, you and your family will be treated to some of the richest native vegetation and wildlife, including those that are threatened and endangered. You will also be treated to a 3,500-gallon aquarium and a hands-on EcoRoom.

Phone: 954-357-5161
Address: 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood, FL 33019
Website: www.broward.org


2. Buehler Planetarium & Observatory

Buehler Planetarium & Observatory

Having some trouble finding things for the kids to do at night? Why not take them to the Buehler Planetarium & Observatory? Another free activity that will keep their young minds busy. With some of the latest audio and visual equipment to make the starry skies come to life. Your family will be captivated by the moons, planets, and stars as they gaze into the night sky of Fort Lauderdale.

Phone: (954) 201-6681​​
Address: Broward College​ 111 East Las Olas Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Website: www.broward.edu


3. Everglades Holiday Park

Everglades Holiday Park

The Everglades Holiday Park is a Fort Lauderdale treasure for the family. This will be an educational ride aboard an airboat that will have your kids grinning ear to ear alongside the alligators. Parents will love it too. As your kids awe at the gators alongside the boat, you will be in awe yourself at the beautiful birds and scenery of the everglades. Your kids will even have a chance to take pictures alongside a young alligator.

Phone: 954-434-8111
Address: 21940 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33332
Website: www.evergladesholidaypark.com


4. Hollywood Beach Boardwalk

FREE Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

The Hollywood Beach boardwalk will be a crowd-pleaser for the whole family. Built-in the 1920s, this revitalized boardwalk has something for everyone. Whether you choose to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat, or let the kids play on the playground while you bask in the sun; you will be guaranteed a day of fun. Don’t forget to check out the special events on the boardwalk as well!

Phone: 954-924-2936
Address: 320 Johnson Street Hollywood, FL 33019
Website: www.floridashollywood.org


5. Riverwalk Water Trolley

Riverwalk Water Trolley

Why not take the kids on the Riverwalk Water Trolley. Not only is it a fun ride for the kids, but it is also a convenient way to get to some of the more popular attractions in Fort Lauderdale. This trolly glides across the new River, making a fun and easy ride o your next stop. This is another one of the free things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

Phone: 954 – TROLLEY
Address: 290 NE Third Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Website: www.suntrolley.com


For those of you with friends or as a couple, there are plenty of free things to do in Fort Lauderdale for you. Whether it is enjoying some cultural activities or strolling through a market, you are going to have fun. Here are some fun, free things you can do.


6. African American Research Library and Cultural Center

FREE Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

This is something you need to do. With a library filled with the most Black History books and books written by African Americans in the country, this center houses a treasure trove of knowledge. The exhibits and conversations in the auditorium only add to the experience. Share your thoughts with others at this amazing venue.

Phone: 954-357-6282
Address: 2650 NW Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
Website: www.broward.org


7. The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum

The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum

This museum is a great way to get your motor running. With the largest collection of Packard cars, there is something for every visitor. It doesn’t stop there. You will also find historical memorabilia and a stunning array of things related to cars such as gas station signs and different car parts. All this dating back to 1900. It is a car lover’s dream!

Phone: (954) 779.7300
Address: 1527 SW 1st Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
Website: www.antiquecarmuseum.net


8. Secret Woods Nature Center Fort Lauderdale

Secret Woods Nature Center Fort Lauderdale

If your vacation includes some quiet time, then look to the Secret Woods Nature Center Fort Lauderdale. With a little piece of paradise in the middle of urban growth, the nature center is a real gem. Your secret escape can begin with walking under the towering oak trees or at the Butterfly House. When all you want is to get away from the hustle and bustle of things, this is the place for you.

Phone: 954-357-8884
Address: 2701 W State Rd. 84 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
Website: www.broward.org


9. SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch

FREE Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Enjoy your morning after a night out at the SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch. Bring a picnic basket and enjoy the jazz music from the best local artists. The only catch is on the first Sunday of each month, so plan to make sure you don’t miss it. You can also take a stroll and listen to the music while look at what local merchants have to add to your experience.

Phone:  (954) 828-5363
Address: Esplanade Park, 400 SW 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale
Website: www.fortlauderdale.gov


10. Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale Beach

If you are looking for a lazy day on the beach, this is the way to go. With its beautiful Blue Wave beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach is fun in the sun and so much more. Want to cool off from the hot sun? Walk down to the shops, cafes, and entertainment just steps away. This is the perfect way to spend a vacation day, and it is one o the best free things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

Phone: 800-22-SUNNY 
Address: Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Website: www.fortlauderdale.gov


With so many free things to do in Fort Lauderdale, some of them may take a little planning. These activities aren’t an everyday occurrence, but worth looking into.


11. Studio18


If the artist in you is budding, then this may be the place for you. Studio18 offer exhibitions of the resident artists from paintings to sculpture. This is a fun, low key event with free entry. The only catch is the exhibits are normally on Mondays.

Phone: 954-961-6067
Address: 1101 Poinciana Drive Pembroke Pines 33025
Website: www.fortlauderdaleonthecheap.com


12. Plantation Historical Museum

Plantation Historical Museum

The Plantation Historical Museum holds great memories from the past including artifacts from the Seminole and Tequesta tribes and memorabilia from the Fire and Police departments. My favorite is the Winter wonderland held each December. While you are there take a walk around the Botanical Gardens.

Phone: 954-797-2722
Address: 511 North Fig Tree Lane Plantation, FL 33317
Website: www.plantation.org


13. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Craft Fair

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Craft Fair

If there is a crafter in you, or you just love the unique eclectic items sold at the fair, this is a must-see. With some of the top crafters in the country, this crafters dream is only held in March and November, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly. You don’t want to miss it!

Phone: 954-640-4200
Address: 4400 North Ocean Drive Lauderdale by the Sea, FL
Website: www.artfestival.com


14. Lauderdale Air Show

Lauderdale Air Show

For airplane enthusiasts, there is the Lauderdale Air Show. Presented each May. It is a day of fun with an air show of course, but also displays and exhibits. It is a great addition to any vacation and a free thing to do in Fort Lauderdale. Make sure you check the dates though!

Phone: (321) 395-3110
Website: www.lauderdaleairshow.com
Address: Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida


15. Symphony of Lights

Symphony of Lights

If you have the holiday spirit, then you need to check out the festival of lights.  This is a great way to start the holiday season with family and friends. This stunning array of lights set to music happens November- December, so make sure you mark your calendars, so you don’t miss out!mOh and Santa will be making an appearance as well.

Phone: 954-454-7000
Address: Gulfstream Park, 901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach 33009
Website: www.hevillageatgulfstreampark.com


16. Going Bananas Farmers Market

Going Bananas Farmers Market

Want something different than the tired old grocery store? Try the Going Bananas Farmers Market as a fun option. Going Bananas carries just about everything your normal store would at incredible prices. The great thing about this farmers market is that it is open every day! You will go bananas over it!

Phone: 954-935-5959
Address: Festival Flea Market, 2900 W. Sample Road, Pompano Beach
Website: www.shopfestival.com


17. Vintage Fair

Vintage Fair

If you want to step back in the past or find some cool items, then you need to get to the vintage Fair.  If antiques are what you are looking for, you will find them here. Open every third Saturday of the month, it is a fun treat. Bring the family, friends, or drop by on your own. You are guaranteed the past in the present!

Phone: N/A
Address: Festival Marketplace 2900 W Sample Rd Pompano Beach, FL 33073
Website: www.eventbrite.com


18. Dance Under the Stars

Hollywood’s historic bandshell at night

Looking for a little romance or just to burn off the calories you ate at dinner? Why not try dancing under the stars at Hollywood’s historic bandshell? With a variety of music and stadium seating available, this may become one of your most memorable nights ever!

Phone: (954) 921-3404
Address: 1940 Harrison St., Suite 101 Hollywood, FL 33020
Website: www.hollywoodfl.org


19. Winterfest Family Fun Day

winterfest fort lauderdale

Make sure you plan for this special day. The Winterfest Family Fun Day is another free thing to do in Fort Lauderdale that everyone will enjoy. With its free admission, you won’t be breaking the bank for a day of fun. With food vendors, music, and a ton of activities for the kids including the Florida Renaissance Pirate Ship, the fun will never stop!

Phone: 954-767-0686
Address: Huizenga Plaza 32 E Las Olas Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Website: www.fortlauderdaleonthecheap.com



So, if you are planning your dream vacation or live locally and want something fun to do, look no more! You will never run out of free things to do in Fort Lauderdale. Why spend a bunch of money if you don’t have to? There is something for everyone and every taste so you will never get bored. You can save so much by enjoying the free things to do in Fort Lauderdale for fun, so go for it! Come and see all Fort Lauderdale has to offer.


Post Author

Marina Yoveva

Marina Yoveva

Originally from Bulgaria, Marina caught the travel bug about 10 years ago with her first trip to Italy. Ever since there she has been obsessed with learning new cultures, languages and sharing her experiences and travel expertise online. Her favorite country for traveling to so far is Spain.


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