Have a family picnic in a #pbcPark!

Picnicking is a great family activity! It’s a great opportunity to get away from the traditional setting of a dinner table and head out to a natural environment.

Benefits of picnicking:
  • Spend time outdoors in a serene setting: being outdoors has been proven to boost moods, reduce stress levels, and improve overall mental wellness. This is a chance for you and your family to be away from the stresses of every day life and enjoy a natural setting. 
  • Bond with family members: because many people live fast-paced lifestyles, there aren’t many opportunities to slow down and spend meaningful time with the people who matter. Play games, get up and walk, or simply sit still and bond over a good meal. 
  • Communicate more effectively: small talk, or even deep conversations, are essential to any good picnic. Head out and learn more about what’s going on with your family members – whether it’s school, work or friends – this is a great opportunity to connect with the people you care about and encourage effective communication skills in kids. 
  • Develop healthy eating habits: instead of buying a pre-made meal to enjoy on a picnic, try preparing a meal for your next picnic trip. Meals prepared at home are typically healthier and more nutritious than pre-made meals. Make sure you include all the basics for a full, healthy meal. 
  • Encourage active lifestyles: having group or family picnics consistently can allow families to form traditions that are passed down from generation to generation; make picnics a habit and turn it into an outing! Bring supplies for games like tug-of-war, soccer or football and encourage the kids to get up before eating to fit in some physical activity during the picnic. 
Where to picnic at #pbcParks:

Picnic areas are available at no charge from sunrise until sunset on a first-come, first-served basis at the following park locations. Visit this page fore a list of all picnicking locations in our parks:  http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Amenities/Picnicking.aspx.

Check out municipal parks in or near your town or city for additional picnicking locations.

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Note: please do not feed wild or stray animals. Animals that are fed can become aggressive and harass people. Wild or stray animals can become extremely territorial and bite the hand that feeds them. This can transmit disease. Animals that become used to human contact are susceptible to disease, injury, and random acts of violence.  The survival skills of wild animals are threatened when they lose the ability to forage naturally for food. This can happen when they are fed by hand or when they eat food left out for stray or abandoned pets. Stray animals hunt and kill native wildlife, even when well fed.

Destination Recreation 4: Amphitheaters

Welcome to the fourth episode of Destination Recreation! We take you through different Palm Beach County parks and facilities in each episode – giving you a unique peek at what you can experience at our more than 80 locations throughout the County.

On this episode, we introduce you to the three different amphitheaters operated by PBC Parks throughout Palm Beach County. There’s Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park in Boca Raton, Canyon Amphitheater in Canyon District Park in Boynton Beach, and Seabreeze Amphitheater in Carlin Park in Jupiter. These amphitheaters are home to family-friendly events like concerts, movie nights, Fourth of July Celebrations, 5Ks, food truck events and more!

Don’t miss an episode – follow pbcParks on WordPress or subscribe to our YouTube channel to see each episode of Destination Recreation, which is released monthly.

We make the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences. We achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.

For more opportunities for healthy, happy living, visit pbcParks.com.

Weekly Events in #pbcParks

There’s always something to do in #pbcParks! Palm Beach County’s more than 80 parks and recreation facilities are constantly hosting events and activities for families to enjoy. In addition to large events at select locations, facilities host events that are repeated weekly or monthly. Check out some of these exciting events that are regularly happening inside #pbcParks!

Food Truck Events

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Every Wednesday, Sunset Cove Amphitheater hosts a Food Truck Invasion night that’s perfect for a family outing. The event features a huge outdoor picnic with a large collection of Food Trucks on site! Event time is 5:00–9:00 pm. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.

Movie Nights & Concerts

090517_SafeHarbor_076.jpgPBC Parks operates three amphitheaters throughout the county that regularly host concerts and movie nights at their venues. Families and friends can come out to dance, or lay a blanket down and relax while watching a movie under the stars.

Schedules for each event can be found here: http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/amphitheaters/Pages/default.aspx

Nature Centers & Riverbend Park

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Okeeheelee, Daggerwing and Green Cay Nature Centers, as well as Riverbend Park, regularly host nature-themed events for all ages at each facility. Some examples of events include guided paddles, birding tours, tai chi classes, night walks, animal feedings and more. Program Guides for each facility, organized by month, can be found on pbcParks.com.

Swimming Pools

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Head to one of six pools and aquatic centers to practice lap swims, water aerobics, and other water-related activities. Monthly calendars are posted on the facility’s website – visit this link for a list of all pools and aquatic centers that #pbcParks operates: http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Amenities/Swimming-Pools.aspx

Golf Courses

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Visit one of #pbcParks five golf courses throughout the county for Happy Hour Scrambles, Ladies League and “All you can hit & play” events. Golf Courses operates a fun-packed calendar of events that can be found by visiting pbcgolf.com.

The Junior Golf Card program is aimed at growing the game of golf – the Junior Golf Card provides substantial benefits at a significantly discounted price by offering younger golfers with access to free golf, range balls and events. For more information about the Junior Golf Card program at PBC Park Golf Courses, visit this link: http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/golf/Pages/Junior-Golf-Card-Program.aspx

For a list of monthly events, including special events that are happening in #pbcParks, be sure to sign up for Leisure Times Online. You’ll receive an email every month with a list of events that are happening in #pbcParks that month! Sign up here: https://tinyurl.com/yaz34b7a

Green Cay Nature Center hosts ‘Project WILD’ Workshops

“I cannot remember the last time I sat in a classroom for seven hours…and enjoyed every (exhausting) minute! Green Cay’s incredible Naturalist, Jessica Andreasen, taught a motivating, inspiring program, “Project Wild” to a group of educators, environmentalists, and others who cherish our wetlands. It was a wonderful and very meaningful experience! Jessica, you are an incredibly gifted teacher!”
-Shelley Hymowitz, Volunteer, Green Cay Nature Center.


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Staff at Green Cay Nature Center are helping educators teach students HOW to think, not WHAT to think, when it comes to conservation and the environment. The nature center recently hosted a Project WILD workshop for Palm Beach County educators to help integrate wildlife-based environmental and conservation education in their classrooms.

On June 20th, Green Cay Nature Center welcomed 20 educators from the Palm Beach County School District, home school, Broward 4-H, AmeriCorps and several nature centers for an educational, fun and action-packed day-long training, hosted by naturalist Jessica Andreasen. Jessica taught Aquatic WILD and Flying WILD, which covers wetland and bird topics – making Green Cay a great venue for the lessons.

“When I remember all the people who inspired me to pursue a career in environmental education, I am proud to bring Project WILD to Green Cay as a host site and have this incredible opportunity,” Jessica said, adding that she is grateful for the opportunity “to not only teach children, but now guide educators towards incorporating these important topics into their classrooms.”

Jessica will hold a Project WILD workshop at least once a year, and already uses a lot of the activities for Green Cay’s school, public and specialty programs. Facilitators like Jessica must attend a certification program, a day-long “Train-The-Trainer” class, in order to host their own workshop.

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In addition to Aquatic WILD and Flying WILD, a new topic will be introduced as continuing education for those who have taken the core workshops. Conserving WILD covers current conservation issues, environmental policy, and conservation-based activities that can be found in all four activity guides. This workshop will discuss the importance of incorporating a conservation message into every activity to help children not only learn about the topic, but to also understand the need for conservation and preservation efforts.

“It is my hope that by being an advocate for Project WILD activities, we can work with educators to find creative but easy ways to encourage the next generations to be passionate about wildlife, conservation and the environment,” Jessica said.

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Project WILD, which stands for Wildlife in Learning Design, is an internationally-used environmental education program aimed at arming both formal and informal educators alike with the knowledge and skills to teach environmental education in their own classrooms. These activities are ideal for many audiences: formal K-12 classroom instruction, non-formal teaching, and summer camp programs emphasizing the environment.

Project WILD Florida is sponsored by the Council for Environmental Education, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN). Through this sponsorship, all the books and materials for this workshop were free of charge, giving facilitators like Jessica the opportunity to reach a larger audience by being able to offer the workshops with no associated costs to the participants. The Friends of Green Cay Nature Center sponsored the workshop with refreshments.

For more information about Project WILD, visit these links:

http://www.projectwild.org/

http://myfwc.com/education/educators/project-wild/

For more information about the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, including efforts to promote stewardship of natural, archaeological and cultural sites, visit pbcParks.com.

Destination Recreation 3: West Delray Regional Park

Welcome to the third episode of Destination Recreation! We take you through different Palm Beach County parks and facilities in each episode – giving you a unique peek at what you can experience at our more than 80 locations throughout the County.

On this episode, we take you on an adventure through West Delray Regional Park. There are so many things to do in this large passive park, it’s a hobby enthusiast’s paradise! Park visitors can ride through the mountain biking course, fly hobby aircraft, control RC cars and boats, or just enjoy the scenery.

Don’t miss an episode – follow pbcParks on WordPress or subscribe to our YouTube channel to see each episode of Destination Recreation, which is released monthly.

We make the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences. We achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.

For more opportunities for healthy, happy living, visit pbcParks.com.

Waterway Park Opens in Jupiter

Our newest boat ramp park is now open to the public!

County officials and residents cut the ribbon to Waterway Park in Jupiter on Saturday, April 29 to add three new boat ramps and other new boating amenities to Palm Beach County’s park system. Representatives of partnering agencies also joined the celebration—the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

“Ensuring free and affordable access to beaches and water bodies is a core service of our department,” said Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department Director Eric Call.

Waterway Park includes a boat basin (170 linear feet), four 40-ft. floating staging docks, fishing pier, boardwalk, restrooms, and landscaping. 52 boat trailer parking spaces and 24 standard parking spaces were also added.

Waterway Park is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department and is located at 3630 Indiantown Road in Jupiter, just west of the Intracoastal Waterway. Operating hours are sunrise to sunset. A boat trailer parking permit is required. Annual permits may be purchased online at pbcparks.com. Daily permits are available at Waterway Park using the onsite pay station.

Please visit www.pbcparks.com​ for more information about boating and other leisure opportunities available through the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.

Best Annual Family Events at #pbcParks

In addition to the many recreational activities parents and kids can do together at more than 80 Palm Beach County parks and recreation facilities, there are a number of popular events that are hosted annually in #pbcParks. These events are designed to educate people of all ages and bring together parents and kids to create an appreciation for different topics, ranging from the environment to fitness and accessible sports.

Here are some popular free events:

Dark Sky Event

Every year, the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Dark Sky Festival_3Department and Department of Environmental Resources Management “celebrate
the night and turn down the lights” by Hosting their Dark Sky Festival at Okeeheelee Nature Center. The event is held at night, typically from the hours of 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. in February. The Dark Sky Festival aims to expose people of all ages to the marvels of astronomy and the importance of protecting dark skies for the benefit of human health and wildlife.

Parents and kids can:Stargaze with local astronomers

  • Enjoy exhibits and nature walks
  • Enjoy a children’s activity area
  • Make s’mores by a campfire
  • Learn night-time photography tips
  • And more!

Information about the Palm Beach County Dark Sky Festival can be found here: http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/erm/darkskyfest/


Outdoor Adventure Day

The first ever Outdoor Adventure Day is in John Prince Park on Saturday, March 4th! PBC Parks partners with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to bring the Lake Worth and surrounding community an event where youth and adults can safely learn and experience outdoor recreation opportunities like canoeing, fishing, archery, rock climbing and more.

The event helps get people outside and active, create a more active community and expose parents and youth to unique sports they can do together. By teaching our community these sports at no charge, they learn to be more active in their everyday lives and appreciate being in natural settings.

Click here for details about the 2017 John Prince Park Outdoor Adventure Day.


Family Fun Fests

Glades Family Fun Fest_3There are a number of Family Fun Fests in PBC Parks every year, from Family Fitness Fun Day at West Boynton Recreation Center to the Glades Family Fun Fest at Glades Pioneer Park.

The aim of Family Fun Fests is to allow parents and kids to get out and get active through dance, bounce houses, rock climbing, and team sports like soccer. These family-friendly activities are intended to get everyone active and moving, from the youngest member in the family to the oldest. Health and Wellness partners present at these events give community members a chance to get important information about their health and wellness, including free health screenings. Free resources are available for residents from partners around the community.


Migration Celebration

The annual Migration Celebration at Green Cay Nature Center welcomes adults, kids and bird lovers alike to the event to learn about migratory birds returning to the wetlands and become familiar with other animals, like reptiles, living at the facility. The Migration Celebration exposes people of all ages to a unique nature center inside Palm Beach County, while enlightening them on topics related to wildlife conservation and environmental protection.Migration Celebration_1

Kids can take part in animal-related activities like interactive puppet shows and arts and crafts with education and conservation themes. Parents can join their kids as they watch for dozens of different birds at the nature center.

The nature centers also host annual events celebrating Earth Day. At Daggerwing and Okeeheelee Nature Centers, guests can explore the nature center grounds, connect with nature, and participate in conservation events and efforts.


Knock and Roll Tournament – Wheelchair Rugby

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Every year, PBC Parks welcomes wheelchair rugby players from all over the country and the world, for the annual Knock and Roll Tournament. The different teams go head-to-head for the trophy in a three-day tournament at the Therapeutic Recreation Complex inside John Prince Park in Lake Worth.

Wheelchair Rugby, or Quad Rugby, is a game for individuals with disabilities; the players glide down the court, bumping and hitting each other’s chairs along the way, in what makes for an exciting and powerful sport meant to increase athletic participation among individuals with physical disabilities.

People of all ages and abilities can watch this exciting game every year at the TR Complex – and cheer on their favorite team while they bump and glide past each other!


Pioneer Farmstead, Living History Days & Battlefield Re-enactments

Riverbend Park and Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park often host historical family events like Pioneer Farmstead Day and Battlefield Re-enactments, which allow families to take a step back in time and learn about all realms of the historical battles that took place in the 19th century in these areas.Living History Days

The events often feature different historical aspects for families to enjoy. Riverbend Park’s Living History Day in November 2015 focused on a variety of topics, including battlefield education, pioneers, and homesteaders education. Visitors can experience “Old Florida” and learn about the history of the area through many points of view. Period army, Seminole camps, re-enactors, guest speakers and historical preservationists are often present at these historical events, all inside two of Palm Beach County’s beautiful and most popular parks.


There’s so much going on inside #pbcParks! To stay up-to-date with what’s going on, be sure to subscribe to Leisure Times Online, a monthly list of events that are happening inside PBC Parks.

The mission of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department is to make the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences. We achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations. For information about more leisure opportunities available through Palm Beach County, visit www.pbcparks.com​.