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Best Parks for Families with Young Children

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The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department offers many environments for families with young children to spend time together while learning, growing and practicing healthy lifestyles. With more than 80 parks and recreation facilities from Tequesta to Boca Raton and west to Lake Okeechobee, there are a variety of activities parents and young kids can partake in – and all our parks and facilities are inspected to provide safe experiences. Here’s a list of our favorites!

John Prince Park

JohnPrince_FitnessZone_2.JPGJohn Prince Park in Lake Worth will not disappoint the little ones. Kids can enjoy 5 playgrounds throughout the park, including a boundless playground that provides children with and without disabilities a colorful, sensory-rich, accessible experience. Located next to the boundless playground is a splash park where kids can run through a series of spray arches, stand under a giant splashing tail, and more, all under three shade sails that provide sun protection. The park also offers a Fitness Zone® Exercise Area so parents can stay active while their kids play. Adults can work out using 17 pieces of outdoor, resistance exercise equipment that uses one’s own body weight for strength training purposes. The Fitness Zone® is located near a large pavilion and playground.

Okeeheelee Park

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A visit to Okeeheelee Park is a great opportunity for activity and education. The 1,700-acre park features three playgrounds for running, sliding and swinging. After spending some time on the playground, parents can take kids to Okeeheelee Nature Center, located inside the park. At OKNC, families can check out hands-on exhibits, animal encounters and a nature-related gift shop. Admission to OKNC and trails is free. Program participation and bicycle/kayak concession fees are nominal. Time your visit right and experience an equestrian event at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Okeeheelee Park South, on the south side of Forest Hill Boulevard.

Westgate Park and Recreation Center

Westgate_Playground.JPGLocated in West Palm Beach, Westgate Park and Recreation Center features a playground, splash park and fitness station, making it an ideal location for activity for both parents and kids. On a hot day, kids can cool off by splashing through the brightly-colored water playground. When the kids are enjoying the newly-remodeled playground, adults can take the opportunity to work out on a 10-piece exercise station with equipment while watching their kids.

Lake Worth West Neighborhood Park

Lake Worth West Neighborhood Park in Central Palm Beach County recently underwent LakeWorthWest_FitnessStation.JPGa makeover, courtesy of the Office Depot Foundation and Palm Beach County. Now, Lake Worth West residents can enjoy a new playground with accessible equipment for all abilities, as well as a free library, green space, basketball court, and a butterfly garden. With an exercise station located next to the playground, adults can do an array of exercises while watching their kids.

Burt Aaronson South County Regional ParkSouthCounty_CoconutCoveWaterpark.JPG

Whether you’re spending the day at Coconut Cove Waterpark, playing on one of the two playgrounds, or heading to Daggerwing Nature Center to learn about reptiles and insects, there’s something for every member of the family at Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park. Coconut Cove Waterpark is a perfect activity for those hot summer days; kids and adults can run on a playground, slide down waterslides or float along a lazy river. At Daggerwing Nature Center, kids can play and learn through interactive exhibits, or venture outside to a boardwalk and tower where families can watch and learn about wildlife. While there is an admission fee for Coconut Cove Waterpark, a visit to Daggerwing Nature Center is free, with the exception of program fees.

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Located in western Palm Beach County, Glades Pioneer Park features a seasonally-operated swimming pool, a baseball field, basketball courts, tennis courts, a 1.25-mile paved multipurpose path, playgrounds for ages 2-5 and 5-12, a splashpark, and picnic areas.

For park locations, visit www.pbcparks.com.

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PARK RX DAY IS SUNDAY, APRIL 23

0603_SouthCountyRegional_1670.jpgEvery year, the U.S. National Park Service encourages people and park agencies throughout the country to celebrate National Park Rx Day. The day serves as a means to promote and encourage the unique partnership between parks, communities and healthcare providers to get people to enjoy their community’s parks and nature as a way of preventing diseases, creating healthier lifestyles, and improving qualities of Life.

The initiative to get doctors to prescribe time in the park to their patients is a growing trend – and PBC Parks has initiated our own ‘Park Prescription Program’ – check it out!

Creating a healthier, happier society– one walk in the park at a time

Rx-For-Parks-FRONT-B.jpgThe Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with members of the healthcare community to promote physical activity and improve the health of patients and the public in Palm Beach County through a “park prescriptions” program that connects them to parks and other public lands to create a healthier, happier society.

Across the United States, parks, healthcare providers, public health agencies, and other entities have successfully facilitated physician-patient conversations about active living through “park prescriptions” programs, connecting individuals and families to free opportunities for physical activity close to their homes.

The goal is to have outdoor physical activity serve as “prescriptions” to prevent or treat health problems resulting from inactivity and poor diet. Park prescriptions increase the amount of time patients spend enjoying physical activity and provide physicians and other healthcare providers with a new set of tools to inspire them to improve their health.

Public parks and recreation agencies are an underutilized healthcare resource. They create healthy communities and play a fundamental role in enhancing the physical environments in which we live. Through facilities, outdoor settings, and services provided, they support good health for people of all abilities, ages, socio‐economic backgrounds, and ethnicities. Parks provide a connection to nature which studies demonstrate relieves stress levels, tightens interpersonal relationships, and improves mental health. They provide opportunities for patients to reduce obesity and incidence of chronic disease by providing opportunities to increase rigorous physical activity in a variety of forms. And, they foster overall wellness and healthful habits, such as becoming tobacco‐free and engaging in enrichment opportunities that add balance to life.

DSC_7325.JPGIn Palm Beach County, there are nearly 120 county-operated parks and natural areas, hundreds of municipal parks, two state parks, a national wildlife refuge, and a number of public lands operated by various entities (South Florida Water Management DistrictSolid Waste Authority, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). Facilitating health and wellness opportunities is a core service of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. Countless miles of paved multi-use pedestrian pathways and fitness trails, many with exercise stations, can be found throughout the park system. The department has recently brought the indoor gym outdoors with the new John Prince Park Fitness Zone, a completely outdoor facility containing 17 pieces of resistance exercise equipment located underneath a large shade sail, accessible by people of all abilities and fitness levels. The Fitness Zone is free to use and available daily from sunrise to sunset.

Creating healthier residents is a day-by-day, collective effort that involves our dedicated healthcare providers. The next time you reach for your prescription pad, consider adding one more item—an outdoor physical activity in a local park or public land.

Getting started

Please contact Christopher Korbelak at (561) 966-6649 or email pbcparks@pbcgov.org if you or someone you know may be interested in partnering with the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department to promote physical activity and improve the health of patients and the general public in Palm Beach County through a “park prescriptions” program that connects your patients with public lands to engage in outdoor physical activity to create a healthier, happier society.

Leisure Times also available for your office or facility.