Broward County > Parks > The Latest > October 2013 Highlights
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Focus on Thrills and Chills
Dog Days
Family Affair
Last Call for Summer Camping Specials
Festive Fall
Find S’More Fun
Social Studies
The Birds and the Bugs
To the Moon
Learn by Listening
Pet Project
Emphasis on “Abilities”
For a Good Cause
Quote of the Month
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Your Opinion Counts!
SWIM Central
Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Focus on Thrills and Chills

Celebrate Halloween early at a Broward County Park – first, at a Hallo-Green Special Event, at the Anne Kolb Nature Center. The event, which charges $2 per person, includes environmentally friendly activities, games, and arts and crafts. It’s from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 12. For more information, call Anne Kolb (accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12) at 954-357-5161.

Then on Friday, October 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., Fern Forest Nature Center hosts its Ghosts and Goblins Family Fun Night. The popular annual event, for ages 2 to 11 accompanied by an adult, includes a costume parade, games and prizes, arts and crafts, photos in the Pumpkin Patch, and an age-appropriate storytime. Refreshments will also be available for purchase. The overall event is free, although there are nominal fees for arts and crafts and photos in the Pumpkin Patch. For more information, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.

For a completely different take on pre-Halloween festivities, sign up for the Spooktacular 5K Road Race, a run and walk at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park, presented by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Road Runners Club. It’s on Saturday, October 26 from 7 a.m. to noon. For more information, call the park at 954-357-8811, or visit www.gflrrc.org.

Dog Days

The dog days of summer may be past, but you can still pamper your pooches during the lingering heat of a South Florida fall by letting them frolic at two water parks on dogs-only days. One of Broward County Parks and Recreation’s most crowd-pleasing programs for the past dozen years, the K9 Water Festivals, returns this year with three weekend events in October.

The series kicks off on October 5 and 6 at Castaway Island at T.Y. Park in Hollywood, then runs again on October 12 and 13. Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach follows on October 19 and 20.

Admission is $5 per dog per 50-minute session, with sessions beginning on the hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Only dogs weighing 25 pounds or less will be permitted for the final session of each day. Donations of dog and cat food, treats, blankets, and toys will be accepted on behalf of the homeless animals at Broward County shelters.

A few rules apply: All dogs must be off leash when inside the facility and must be sociable and well behaved. Proof of current rabies vaccination and county license tag are required. Other than lifeguards, no humans will be allowed inside the water playgrounds. Finally, dogs are limited to no more than two sessions per day, and dogs must be at least 4 months of age to participate.

For more information, call the park of your choice:  Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100, or T.Y. at 954-357-8811. The parks’ regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect for these events.

Family Affair

For years Plantation Heritage Park has been hosting the Broward County Plant Affair, a weekend-long event for the whole family. This plant show and sale, with up to 30 vendors, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 26 and 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase.

Admission to the plant sale is free, although the park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For additional details or vendor information, call the Plantation Historical Museum at 954-797-2722, or the park at 954-357-5135. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #30.

Last Call for Summer Camping Specials

If you’re looking for a “staycation” special – a fun, affordable getaway close to home – look no farther than Broward County Parks. The special at T.Y. Park was up at the end of August and the ones at Quiet Waters Park ended in September, but there’s still a month to go at Easterlin Park, where the specials expire on October 31.

The Family Fun Package offers a two-night stay (Fridays and Saturdays only) for four campers for $50; two more campers can be added at $3 each per night. The Escape Special offers a one-night stay (Sundays through Thursdays only) for four campers for $20, and two additional campers can join you for $3 each.

Contact Easterlin at 954-357-5190 for more information.

Festive Fall

Visit Tradewinds Park & Stables from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 26, when the park will host a variety of games and activities to celebrate its Fall Festival. Tickets ranging from $1 per individual ticket to 25 tickets for $20 will let you pick and choose which specialty activities you want to participate in. A hayride, for instance, “costs” three tickets. Other regular park activities are fee-based: a model steam train ride, for example, is $1 per person.

The roster of activities includes arts and crafts, hayrides, food trucks, train rides, farm tours, and pony rides.

The park’s regular weekend gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information, call Tradewinds at 954-357-8870.

Find S’More Fun

What could provide more good old-fashioned fun than a campfire you can sit around and roast marshmallows to make s’mores? Find out what such simple pleasures are all about when several parks host their Family Hayride and Campfire Series, for all ages, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on various Fridays throughout the fall and winter. The campfire is free, although the optional hayride and a bag of fixings for the s’mores will set you back $3.50 per person for ages 3 and up; additional refreshments may also be available for purchase.

Advance tickets are required and can be bought by calling or visiting the relevant park office. The schedule is as follows:

· Oct. 25, Nov. 22, and Jan. 8 – Easterlin Park (954-357-5190)

· Oct. 18, Nov. 15, Dec. 6, Jan. 31, and Feb. 21 – Plantation Heritage Park (954-357-5135)

· Oct. 11, Nov. 1, Dec. 13, and Jan. 17 – Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100)

· Jan. 10, Feb. 7, Feb. 28, and Mar. 7 – Tradewinds Park & Stables (954-357-8870)

· Oct. 4, Nov. 8, Dec. 20, Jan. 3, and Feb. 14 – T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park (954-357-8811)

Easterlin is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #14, Plantation Heritage via Route #30, Quiet Waters via Routes #14 and #48, Tradewinds via Route #34, and T.Y. via Routes #3, #12, and #17.

Social Studies

Two October programs through the Parks and Recreation Division’s Special Populations Section offer opportunities for socializing: A Friday Night Social, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on October 4, invites adult mental health consumers ages 18 and up to the Anne Kolb Nature Center’s Mangrove Hall.

Then on Friday, October 18, from 7 to 10 p.m., ages 18 and up with developmental disabilities can enjoy a Fall Frolic Dance in the Main Hall at Tree Tops Park.

Both events feature deejay music, dancing, and refreshments. No direct supervision of participants is provided. Preregistration is required at least seven days prior to the Fall Frolic. For more information, contact Special Populations at 954-357-8170.

The Birds and the Bugs

If you’ve never outgrown that childlike fascination with insects and birds, you can indulge your passion for things that creep, crawl, and fly this month. From 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, October 2, for instance, Fern Forest Nature Center will offer a free Nature Lecture: Butterflies. The three-lecture series continues on October 9 with a presentation on Birds, and another on October 16 on Bugs. Each lecture is followed by a Q&A session. For more information, call the nature center at 954-357-5198.

On Saturday, October 5, there will also be a Bird Walk, for ages 8 and up, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Deerfield Island Park. Sturdy shoes are required and binoculars recommended for this program, which costs $3/person and requires preregistration and prepayment by calling Quiet Waters Park at 954-357-5100.

Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42, and Deerfield Island via Routes #48 and #50.

To the Moon

Explore two of our parks in Davie by moonlight this month on Full Moon Hikes. The first is from 7 to 8 p.m. on Friday, October 18, at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center. The second, also from 7 to 8 p.m., is the following night at Pine Island Ridge Natural Area. Preregistration is required for both by calling Long Key at 954-357-8797. The fee is $5 per person.

Learn by Listening

The Anne Kolb Nature Center aims to educate, enlighten, and entertain this month when it launches its Family Fun Nature Series lecture program. The first installment will be on Sunday, October 13. The presentation is called “A Whale of a Problem” and features a representative of the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo speaking on stranded whale and dolphin rescues. The program is from 3 to 4:30 p.m., and a $2 donation is requested to benefit the nature center’s Friends volunteer group. For more information, call Anne Kolb at 954-357-5161; the nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.

Pet Project

Broward County residents are invited to get their animal companions vaccinated at a Pet Rabies Clinic, to be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park. The event is co-sponsored by Broward County Animal Care and Adoption. No appointment is necessary, and customers are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. All dogs must be on leashes and all cats in carriers. The cost is $15 (cash only) for a one-year rabies vaccination and a Broward County pet registration tag. For more information, call T.Y. at 954-357-8811.

Emphasis on “Abilities”

Learn about services, resources, products, and information for persons of all ages with any disability at the 2013 DisAbilities Expo. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 5 at Nova Southeastern Universityat the Don Taft University Center.

Event highlights include children’s activities, a resource fair with more than 65 exhibitors, a fashion show, fun and games, live entertainment, educational forums, demonstrations, a wheelchair basketball tournament, and more.

Visit Parks and Recreation in the atrium at the Don Taft University Centerduring this event. For more information, call the Parks Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170, or visit www.DisAbilitiesExpo.com.

For a Good Cause

The nonprofit group Broward Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization will bring its annual Buddy Walk & 5K Run to Markham Park & Target Range this year on Sunday, October 20. The event was founded in 1995 and has three primary goals: to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome; to raise funds locally and nationally for education, research, and advocacy programs; and to enhance the position of the Down syndrome community, enabling it to positively influence local and national policy and practice.

Check-in begins at 7 a.m., with both the walk and run starting at 8:30 a.m. For more information, call Markham at 954-357-8868, or visit www.BCGDownSyndrome.org.

Quote of the Month

“Nothing is too small to know, and nothing is too big to attempt.” – Canadian railroad executive William Van Horne (1843-1915)

Special Attractions

Airboat Rides (Everglades Holiday Park)Batting Cages (AllGolf at C.B. Smith Park) – Bike America (Quiet Waters Park) –  Butterfly World (Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Cable Water-Skiing (Ski Rixen USA at Quiet Waters Park) – Campgrounds (C.B. Smith Park, Easterlin Park, Markham Park & Target Range, Quiet Waters Park, T.Y. Park) – Dog Park (Barkham at Markham Park & Target Range) – Educational Farm (Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Exhibit Halls (Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park, Fern Forest Nature Center, Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center, Secret Woods Nature Center) – Golf Facilities (AllGolf at C.B. Smith Park) – Multipurpose Athletic Fields (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome, Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Observatory (Markham Park & Target Range) – Riding Stables (Tradewinds Park & Stables, Tree Tops Park) – Skate Park/Track (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome) – Target Range (Markham Park & Target Range) – Tennis Centers (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome, C.B. Smith Park) – Velodrome (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome) – Water Playgrounds/ Waterslides/Swimming (C.B. Smith Park, Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, Quiet Waters Park, T.Y. Park)

Mission Statement

The Parks and Recreation Division is dedicated to providing a countywide park system with diverse facilities and recreation opportunities, along with natural area conservation and research-based educational outreach, to enhance the well-being of residents, businesses, and visitors.

Your Opinion Counts!

We’d like to know what you think about our programs and facilities. Please take a moment to tell us how we’re doing by filling out this survey.

SWIM Central

Broward County Commission's primary resource and referral service for available swim programs in cooperation with various cities and nonprofit organizations. Call 954-357-SWIM (7946).

 

Founded in February 1956 and accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, Broward County Parks and Recreation Division manages almost 6,500 acres, encompassing nearly 50 regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas at various stages of development. Facilities include water parks, campgrounds, a target range, a stadium, a skate park, an observatory, mountain bike trails, an educational farm with stables, and a velodrome and other sports facilities. Hours and fees vary by location. For more information, visit broward.org/parks

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations in order to participate in programs, services, and activities must contact the Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170 or TTY 954-537-2844 at least five (5) business days prior to the scheduled meeting or event.

Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Sue Gunzburger
Dale V.C. Holness
Kristin Jacobs
Martin David Kiar
Chip LaMarca
Stacy Ritter
Tim Ryan
Barbara Sharief
Lois Wexler

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Parks and Recreation is a service of the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.