By Donna Gehrke-White
South Florida teems with low-cost, low-stress options for outdoor adventures with the kids, from biking in Shark Valley to spotting key deer.
Take a bike ride. You can ride around your neighborhood or get more ambitious and race in the Brian Piccolo Park Velodrome, 9501 Sheridan St., Cooper City. Sessions $8. For information, call 954-437-2626. Or head out to Shark Valley in Everglades National Park off Tamiami Trail in Miami-Dade and check out the alligators and birds around the 15-mile track. Admission is $10 per car. For information, call 305-242-7700.
Go to the beach. People pay thousands of dollars to wiggle their toes in our sand. Don’t miss out on the fun. In Dania Beach you can picnic amid the sea breezes at John U. Lloyd Beach State Park, 6503 N. Ocean Dr. Parking is $3 for one person and $5 for cars. For information, call 954-923-2833. The Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, 1200 S. Crandon Blvd. in Key Biscayne, has been rated one of the top 10 beaches in the nation and has a great lighthouse. Fee is $3 for one person and $5 per car. For information, call 305-361-5811.
Take a hike on the wild side. See the Everglades from the boardwalk at the Chapel Trail Park Nature Preserve, 19800 Sheridan St., Pembroke Pines. Or, visit Amelia Earhart Park, 401 E 65 St., Hialeah, to see a farm village, playground and hiking trails, free during the week, $5 per car on the weekends.
Study the Stars. The Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium offers a free live star show at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 3280 S. Miami Ave. For information, call 305-646-4200. In Broward, the Buehler Planetarium & Observatory offers free viewing in the observatory 8 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday. It is at 3501 SW Davie Rd., at Broward Community College.
Take in some history — and enjoy some great views — at the Barnacle Historic State Park in Coconut Grove, where Commodore Ralph Munroe built a house on Biscayne Bay. $1 per person over 6; children under 6 free. For information, call 305-442-6866.
Spot a key deer, take in a seaside sunset and go fishing in the Keys. The little deer are best seen at dawn and dusk at the free Key Deer Refuge Center, 179 Key Deer Blvd. on Big Pine Key Plaza. For information, call 305-872-2239. You can fish, feed a tarpon and see a sunset at Robbie’s of Islamorada, 77522 Overseas Highway. For information, call 877-664-8498.