Q: Hello, Peter. I lost my job and don't really have much money to do things. However, I'd like to know if there are any museums, educational exhibits, etc., in Fort Lauderdale or Palm Beach that are either free or discounted. Do you have any suggestions?
–Donnalisa Alayon, Pompano Beach, Fla.
A: There are plenty of free, cheap, and affordable things to do around Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, Fla.
In Fort Lauderdale, Music & Dancing Under the Stars is a free festival that occurs every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night from 7–9 p.m. at the Hollywood Beach Theater. Visitors can enjoy live music, dance on the Boardwalk, or relax under the stars. The Boardwalk also offers a free Friday Fest every Friday night from 7–9 p.m. Beachgoers can enjoy more live music, waterfront dining, and warm ocean breezes.
Plantation's Art in the Park in Liberty Tree Park offers free admission, free parking, and free tram service. The event includes artwork from more than 125 artists from around the country, entertainment on the main stage, and food and beverages. The Kids Korner offers activities and entertainment for children and is a great place to spend the day with young ones.
Another fun activity that is perfect for all generations is the Buehler Planetarium on the BCC Campus in Davie, Fla. The Observatory is open to the public on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8–10 p.m. and offers free admission on public-viewing nights. The planetarium is one of the most advanced observatories in South Florida, and astronomy lovers can see sky presentations, telescope observations, and featured shows there. These activities cost only $2–6.
Palm Beach also offers a multitude of affordable activities. The Ann Norton Sculpture Garden in West Palm Beach features a collection of more than 100 sculptures and artwork, 300 species of tropical plants, gardens, and a lush and beautiful environment. Admission is only $5 per adult and is free for children younger than 5.
The Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds is a history park displaying buildings and artifacts from the 1850s to the 1950s. For only $5, you can go on a guided tour to explore the old schoolhouses, farms, stores, and houses.
The Children's Museum in Boca Raton is another fun and affordable activity for all ages. This interactive, educational museum includes exhibits, programs, and family-oriented events for only $3 admission.
Self-guided walking tours around Palm Beach are also great ways to spend the day for free. Worth Avenue in Palm Beach offers a variety of window-shopping enjoyment, including art galleries, hidden walkways, beautiful architecture, and trendy shopping. Downtown West Palm Beach includes self-guided walking tours and free trolley service around the Museum of Art, Armory Art Center, Palm Beach Dramaworks, art vendors, and more.