Tag Archives: Kids

Destination Recreation 5: Nature Centers

Welcome to the fifth 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 around all three county-operated nature centersOkeeheelee Nature Center in Okeeheelee Park, Daggerwing Nature Center in Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park, and Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands just west of Boynton Beach. These facilities are unique places where everyone — from kids to senior citizens — can bond with animals, learn about important ecosystems, and bask in the beauty of natural habitats – right here in Palm Beach County! The best part… they’re free!

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 information about our nature centers, visit pbcNature.com. For more opportunities for healthy, happy living, visit pbcParks.com.

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.

Looking to head “off the beaten path”? Look no further than #pbcParks!

BMX_Okeeheelee_2.jpg

The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department offers many opportunities to take part in a variety of traditional activities like hiking, biking, jogging and more – but families can also enjoy lesser-known, more adventurous activities in PBC Parks! Check out the many different ways you and your family can enjoy the outdoors in some non-traditional ways in PBC Parks.

Archery

Archery_Okeeheelee.JPGThere are a few different ways kids and parents can work on their bow and arrow skills and even learn the sport of archery!

Okeeheelee Nature Center offers “Archery for Beginners” and “Archery Open Range” classes on select Saturdays each month.  Be sure to subscribe to Leisure Times Online for full information about these two classes, including schedules and fees.

  • Archery for Beginners: Learn the basics of archery from safety to shooting and develop a great new skill during this 2-hour program. Equipment is provided, and space is limited. Please wear close-toed shoes, and bring water and sun protection.
  • Archery Open Range: Here is the chance to practice those new-found archery skills! This expansion of the archery program will offer participants new challenges and allow them to work on precision and accuracy with a compound bow. Equipment is provided, and space is limited. Please wear close-toed shoes, and bring water and sun protection.

For those interested in becoming part of an archery club, the Gold Coast Archery Club has a permit and operates a standard target range and a 3D range in West Delray Regional Park. The club encourages guests to attend all their events and meetings. Information is available through Gold Coast Archers’ website. Applications for membership are also available in a mailbox at the entrance to the range.

Kayaking

Kayaking and Canoeing are great ways to get out onto the water, discover new plants and animals, make new friends, and stay physically active. It’s also a great bonding activity for parents and kids to enjoy the water and get a great workout.Kayaking_Riverbend_2.jpg

Canoes, kayaks, and other non-motorized vessels may be launched along any shoreline unless it is closed for a special event or private use if it can be carried without using a trailer to back onto the beach or grass area. Bring your own canoe/kayak and explore 20 PBC Parks.

Or, rent a kayak at Okeeheelee or Riverbend Park, as vendors are on-site (schedules vary):

  • Okeeheelee Park: Rent a canoe, kayak, or pedal boat on weekends and holidays from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Bicycle rentals are also available (helmets are provided). Visit kayakkingwatersports.comor call for more information.
  • Riverbend Park: Canoe and kayak rental is available Thursday through Monday(reservations are recommended). Bicycle rental is also available. Visit canoeoutfittersofflorida.com or call for reservations and more information.

Either way, you’ll have a blast exploring new areas or returning to your favorite kayaking or canoeing spot for more adventure.

BMX

BMX_Okeeheelee_1.JPGParents and kids can participate in BMX, a cycle sport that exposes adventurers to a thrill-packed good time. There are two PBC park locations to take part in or watch BMXers perform a variety of stunts on their bikes:

  • The Okeeheelee BMX Track, located in Okeeheelee Park, west of West Palm Beach, is operated by the Okeeheelee BMX Parents Council, and is open to all members of the National Bicycle League. Membership in the league is open to anyone interested in joining the fun! For more information, call 561-642-6774 or visit www.okeeheeleebmx.com.
  • The Loggers’ Run BMX Jump Course, located in Loggers’ Run Park in Boca Raton, is operated by Drop In Action Sports Complex, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, visit www.dropincomplex.org.
Equestrian

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The Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach hosts a number of equestrian shows throughout the year, like The Ridge Farm Series, PBC Mounted Posse Shows, Barrel Points and more. The world-class equestrian center is a great venue for these events, featuring a covered arena, show arenas and a range of amenities for competitors. Families can head to JBEC to experience and appreciate this sport.

Or, ride select PBC Equestrian trails and enjoy the scenery via horseback (*note PBC Parks does not offer horse rentals):

There are nine miles of equestrian trails located at the JBEC. Three other PBC park locations also offer miles of scenic equestrian trails:

Radio-controlled fun

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Grab your hobby airplanes, boats, cars and helicopters and head to West Delray Regional Park and Dyer Park to race them, or just practice controlling them! Discovering radio-controlled fun can help parents and kids bond through learning while having fun doing something new.

The following radio-controlled fun devices can be operated in our parks:

Radio-controlled airplanes and helicopters (by permit only) – Watch radio-controlled airplanes and helicopters take off, fly, and do stunts in the air at West Delray Regional Park and Dyer Park!

Radio-controlled boats (by permit only) – There is a radio-controlled boat lake located at West Delray Regional Park where patrons can watch the boats sail past each other, and set their boats to sail on the lake!

Radio-controlled car tracks – no permit is required to operate radio-controlled cars on tracks located at West Delray Regional Park, so bring out the cars and kids and practice on these unique tracks!Remote Helicopter_West Delray_1.jpg

Tips for enjoying #pbcParks

Planning a visit to a Palm Beach County-operated park? Check out these tips to help make your visit a happy, healthy one.

  1. Lock your car & store your belongings properly:

Park Rangers and Law Enforcement are present at select county parks for your safety; however, if you’ll be traveling by vehicle, leave your valuables at home. Don’t leave bags, boxes, cell phones and other electronics and money on display in your vehicle. If you cannot take these items with you into the park, be sure to lock them safely in your trunk, where they’re out of view, before you arrive. Finally, lock all your doors and windows upon leaving your car.

  1. Use sun protection & stay hydrated:

Sunscreen Dispenser.jpgSun protection and hydration are especially important in South Florida’s climate. Follow these tips for proper sun protection:

  • The sun’s rays are strongest between 10am-4pm, so be especially cautious during these times.
  • If you run out of water, most county parks have drinking fountains located near restroom buildings.
  • Apply and re-apply sunscreen. Coconut Cove Water Park and select Palm Beach County beach parks offer sunscreen dispensers so patrons have access to free sun protection.
  • Wear protective clothing, like long-sleeved shirts and long pants, when possible.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Wear flip flops or shoes when walking on sand.
  1. Know ‘Trash In, Trash Out’ locations:

Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation has identified a number of parks that have “trash in, trash out” policies, including Riverbend Park, and many neighborhood parks. We ask park visitors to dispose of any waste they may carry into the park, outside the park. This ensures a clean habitat for the animals living in our parks and helps maintain an aesthetic environment for park visitors, while reducing maintenance costs.

  1. Coexist with animals:

Hundreds of animal species call our parks “home”. From wild birds to tortoises aDeer in Riverbend Park.JPGnd bobcats to alligators, every animal plays an important role in each ecosystem. Disturbing the animals in our parks may do harm to them and their ecosystems, yourself, or the people around you. Please maintain a safe distance and do not approach animals when you come across them.

Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation discourages feeding wildlife as it reduces the animal’s natural fear of humans and may create safety issues. Please take notice of signs in many of our parks denoting safety recommendations for areas which may be home to alligators.

See our blog for a video on coexisting with our parks’ animals: https://pbcparks.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/tips-on-coexisting-with-our-parks-animals/

  1. Know where you can bring your dog:

Dogs are permitted in most county parks as long as they’re on a leashDog Park.jpg no longer than six feet. Dogs are not allowed on county beaches, pools, water parks, splash parks, and these other locations.

PBC Parks operates three spacious and well-maintained dog parks for your furry friends to run, jump and play! Whether they’re big or small, your pooch will have fun at these three dog parks.

  1. Stay on the designated paths:

Bicyclists on Trail_Riverbend Park.JPGPBC Parks and Recreation makes it easy for you to explore our natural areas with park and trail maps. Veering off these paths and into areas not meant for exploration may disturb the animals and plants that live in the areas and may pose a safety risk to you and your family. Please observe these areas from the designated trails and paths, using maps and guides for assistance.

As the saying goes, #pbcParks asks that you “take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time” to fully enjoy our parks.

Park Ranger information:

Park Rangers are nearby to greet and assist you, answer questions, and watch out for your well-being. If you have a question for a Palm Beach County Park Ranger, you can give them a call at 561-262-1714 or email pbcparkrangers@pbcgov.org.

West Jupiter Recreation Center Celebrates Afterschool Programs

In October, Palm Beach County’s West Jupiter Recreation Center hosted their “Lights On Afterschool” event, where students, parents and faculty celebrate the importance of afterschool programs.

WJRC offers an afterschool program for about 40 kids – the kids play different sports, learn about healthy eating, help grow a garden, do arts and crafts and more.

“We just make them a better person, we build their self-esteem,” said WJRC Afterschool Director Rico Adona. Watch this video to see the benefits of the afterschool program at West Jupiter Recreation Center!

#pbcParks and F.O.R.C.E Remind You to Wear Your Helmet!

The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department and Florida Off-Road Cycling Enthusiasts teamed up to create this short video about the importance of wearing your bicycle helmet while riding through bike trails at our parks, as well as outside of our trails.

Watch this video to hear from members of F.O.R.C.E, find out how to properly fit a helmet, and see what happens to two pumpkins dropped from four stories – one shielded with a helmet, and one without!

Helpful Resources:
PbcParks.com
http://www.forcemtb.org/
http://www.cp-cto.org/Safe-Kids: Safe Kids Palm Beach provides important safety information and resources, including access to free bike helmets

Opportunities for exercise for families with children who have a disability

The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department is committed to enhancing the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities, as well as their families. Find out all the ways families can enjoy exercise with children who have a disability.

Therapeutic Recreation Complex

tr_complexThe Palm Beach County CMAA Therapeutic Recreation Complex is a facility designed for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. The facility incorporates a state-of-the-art design with sophisticated adapted equipment that allows everyone to participate in sports and physical activity. People of all ages and abilities can train and compete in sports, participate in fitness programs, and experience a wide array of visual and performing arts programs. Kids and parents can play a variety of sports at the TR complex, including wheelchair basketball, boccia, goalball, wheelchair rugby, and more. Gleneagles Country Club Aquatic Center is also located at the TR Complex in John Prince Park and is open from April thru September; pool lifts are available for individuals with physical disabilities to assist with entering the water.

John Prince Park Wheelchair Coursejohnprince_wheelchaircourse

Palm Beach County parks allow children and families a chance to exercise and live active lifestyles, regardless of age, gender or ability. During a visit to John Prince Park in Lake Worth, you’ll find a nearly half-mile long Wheelchair Course. Participants can travel down the trail, completing a series of exercises at seven stations throughout the course. Each stop includes clearly marked instructions on completing the exercises.

Barrier-free playgrounds & accessible equipment

Three barrier-free playgrounjohnprince_boundlessplayground_2ds located in John Prince, Lake Ida West, and Burt Aaronson South County Regional Parks provide children with and without disabilities a colorful, sensory-rich, accessible experience to run, jump, roll and slide. Newly-installed accessible playground equipment is also available for children to enjoy at Lake Worth West Park in the Central part of the county. Palm Beach County playgrounds are inspected and beautifully-maintained to ensure the safest and most enjoyable experience for families and children.

Fitness zone®, Stations & Exercise Courses

Select Palm Beach County Parks offer Fitness Zone® Exercise Areas, Fitness Stations and johnprince_fitnesszone_2Exercise Courses for all abilities to utilize. At John Prince Park, a Fitness Zone® allows parents and kids the opportunity to use 17 pieces of outdoor, resistance exercise equipment that uses one’s own body weight for strength-training purposes. The equipment is accessible for people of all abilities. Fitness stations with accessible equipment are also available at Westgate Park and Lake Worth West Park. Families can also spend time stretching, bending and balancing at exercise courses in a number of parks located throughout Palm Beach County.

For more information on enjoying our parks with children who have a disability, visit pbcParks.com.