Summer is in full swing Boca Moms, and although you may have filled your kids’ recent vacation days with educational day trips, you’re probably personally craving a longer escape by now.
Here are some special weekend trips you can take with your family for some fun and learning this summer within a few hours’ drive from Boca Raton. (Special thanks to Bluprint Learning for helping to create this list.)
Established in 1927 as a legacy to Marble and John Ringling (of Ringling Brothers Circus fame), the museum has an art gallery with over 10,000 pieces in its permanent collection. There’s also a circus museum, gardens and Ca d’Zan, the Ringling’s personal residence built in Venetian style in the early 20thcentury and restored in 2002. You can visit the museum daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. The cost is $25 for adults, $5 for students with ID, $5 for children ages 6-17, and children under six are free.
Boca Mom Tip: The estate is large, so plan on taking a full day to visit everything.
(5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota // 941/359-5700)
Dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine life, this aquarium is probably best known as the home to Winter, the bottlenose dolphin that was rescued and outfitted with a prosthetic tail. Your kids probably know her from the movies Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2, which were partially filmed at the Aquarium.
Boca Mom Tip: The Aquarium offers special packages such as animal encounters, boat adventures and behind the scenes tours. The aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost is $21.95 for adults, $16.95 for children ages 3-12 and children under three are free. Check the website for full details before visiting.
(249 Windward Passage, Clearwater // 727/441-1790)
Salvador Dali, the most famous artist of the Surrealist movement, has his namesake museum just across the state from Boca in St. Petersburg! The Dali Museum houses the largest collection of his works outside of Europe. The museum has an education and activities department that may be hosting a program during your visit. Check the calendar before you visit. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. The cost is $24 for adults, $17 for teens ages 13-17, $6 for children ages 6-12 and children under six are free.
Boca Mom Tip: If you’re already a member of the Boca Museum of Art, your admission to the Dali Museum is complimentary through the museum’s reciprocal privileges program!
(1 Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg // 727/823-3767)
Founded in 1992, this 170-acre site contains six cultivated gardens, 2.5 miles of walking trails, a 90-acre restored native preserve and a café. There is even a children’s garden and fountains that are interactive and educational. The garden is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays. The cost is $14.95 for adults, $9.95 for children ages 4-14, and children under four are free.
Boca Mom Tip: Bring your swimsuit (and your inner child) and splash in the fountains with your kids!
(4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples // 239/643-7275)
Aimed at the younger learner (under 12), this children’s museum is highly interactive and encourages learning through play. There is so much for children to do that they can easily spend an entire morning immersed in the museum’s exhibits. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $10, and children under one year of age are free.
Boca Mom Tip: Go in the morning to avoid the afternoon crowds.
(15080 Livingstone Rd, Naples // 239/514-0084)
Your trip to Naples would not be complete without a day on the water! Ms. B can take you fishing in-shore to catch snook or off shore to catch shark and grouper, or she can take you on an eco-friendly tour of the waters surrounding Naples. Hours subject to change. A half-day trip for a family of four is $450 plus gratuity.
Boca Mom Tip: Book your trip in advance as weekends can get very busy.
(550 Port o Call Way, Naples // 239/825-4292)
Who’s heading to the west coast next weekend? Safe travels Boca moms!
Michelle Olson-Rogers, a native to Boca, is the founder of ModernBocaMom.com, a lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida Mommy. Modern Boca Mom features events for mom and kids, activities, classes, fitness, dining and shopping options—as well as a weekly Mompreneur spotlight! A Mompreneur herself, Michelle truly believes that working moms (and dads!) instill an unparalleled work ethic in their kids. She and her husband Andrew have one daughter, Avery.