10 Totally Free Summer Activities in Jupiter and North Palm Beach
Looking for free summer activities in Jupiter and the North Palm Beach area? Look no further. I’m a mom on a mission and that mission is to entertain two kids for an entire summer without spending any of my hard earned money. Think it’s impossible? Watch and learn.
1. Manatee Lagoon | Riviera Beach
Last winter we discovered this little gem when the weather hovered around 50 and, like everyone else, we decided to try and see some manatees. We almost turned back when we saw the line for parking but I’m so glad we didn’t. Not only did we see manatees that day but I had a chance to see all the other programming this eco-discovery center offers and it’s really cool. In addition to the education center with lots of hands-on activities, there are lagoon tours offered almost daily at 2PM. There are also lots of special events and programming which is year-round but picks up in summer. In addition to yoga and science lectures for the grown-ups, there are weekly art classes for children ages 6-12, story times for ages 2-5, and bi-monthly lagoon explorers for ages 10-13. Classes have a nominal fee, story times are free but pre-registration is required for all.
2. The River Center* | Jupiter
This wildlife sanctuary in Jupiter is a great option for summer not only because it’s free but because it’s inside (perfect for super hot or rainy days) and it’s got something for every age. Even the tiniest visitors can enjoy watching the fish and other creatures in the live aquatic tanks. There are interactive exhibits, and a touch tank representing the Loxahatchee River system. The center’s weekly story time on Thursdays at 9:30AM and public fish feeding and tours on Saturdays at 2PM are perfect chances to learn more about environmental stewardship in a fun kid-friendly environment.
*Summer Hours (June 1 – Aug 31)
3. Norton Museum of Art | West Palm Beach
This West Palm gem recently underwent a MAJOR renovation and it is quite the sight to see. It also usually comes with a hefty admission fee ($18 for non-member adults) BUT thanks to very generous donors it’s completely FREE on Fridays and Saturdays!!! The Norton Family Studio which happens every Saturday from 10-Noon is a wonderful opportunity for kids (best suited for ages 5-12) to see masterpieces up close, learn about them from well-informed docents, and then experience art making for themselves with guided crafts and art classes. Cost to participate in the Family Studio is $1.
4. Loggerhead Marinelife Center* | Juno Beach
Living in this area for even a short amount of time, it’s difficult to NOT visit the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. It’s the first place we take out-of-town guests, it’s our go-to Sunday afternoon indoor activity (if you haven’t seen a Dr. Logger show yet, you are missing out), we’ve been to about 50 birthday parties here, and Fletch (the center’s mascot) is basically everywhere! In addition to the weekly Dr. Logger shows, there are also frequent Junior Vet and Research labs which are half-hour programs that are perfect for ages 6-12.
5. Palm Beach County Library System | Various
Not only are there beaucoup amounts of story times for all ages, but the PBCLS also offers lots of special events including concerts, Pokémon clubs, movie nights and more! Plus, if you haven’t already, now is the time to sign up your young readers for the summer reading program and get those noses in some books. Upon completion of their log tracker, every participant will receive an age appropriate gift, a ticket to the July 29 baseball game at Roger Dean Stadium, an ice cream social invite, and be entered to win larger prizes like a LEGO brick box and an iPad!
Pro-tip: Stay up-to-date on all the great events happening at North Palm Beach County libraries on our calendar easily by checking our event calendar. You can sort by story times, ages, free events and more. Super convenient and makes life much easier.
6. Summer in Paradise | West Palm Beach
The city of West Palm Beach wants everyone to know that while winter may be its busiest season, summer is still hoppin’ in the Palm Beaches. To attract families to the waterfront, the city has put together a TON of free activities including an installation of fairy tale playhouses, an oversized storybook, mad hatter teacups, FlamiGo croquet and more. Plus, there are weekly concerts, monthly outdoor movies and weekly “fairy-tale trivia” throughout the summer.
7. Free Summer Movies | Palm Beach Gardens
I’ve already written about my love of this summer option on this site but it bears repeating. Indoor, air-conditioned, free entertainment and it’s out of the house. Sold. While there are numerous movie theaters that offer this option nation-wide, the closest in our area that is completely free is Cobb Theaters and they run them Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
8. Molly’s Trolleys | West Palm Beach
Who doesn’t love a nice trolley ride? Especially when it’s a 1920’s style with panoramic windows. Plus, it’s totally free! That’s right, you and yours can discover downtown West Palm Beach without having to drive all around (or hoof it with strollers and such) courtesy of Molly’s Trolleys. With three “lines” serving various parts of the area, you can hitch a ride all over town without paying a dime. Details about routes and such can be found on their website.
Yellow Line: 7 days a week | Sun-Wed 11am- 9pm & Th-Sat 11am- 11pm
Green Line: 7 days a week | Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm
Blue Line: Th-Sat ONLY | 11am-10pm
Website | Facebook | 561-833-8873
9. Busch Wildlife Sanctuary* | Jupiter
Another local favorite that is on any self-respecting “tour guide” list when visiting Jupiter (i.e. when family and friends come to visit, you take them here). Much like Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique combination nature center/wildlife hospital. Trails throughout the center take visitors through pine flatwoods, oak hammocks, and cypress wetlands. Along the trails are wildlife habitats with lots of native animals including eagles, crocodiles, bears, and panthers. Daily programs feature a chance for visitors to see the wildlife up close and learn more about them from sanctuary educators.
10. Four Arts Children’s Library | Palm Beach
While older children will enjoy visiting this unique library and perusing the art gallery, this is a really special treat for the littles, ages 8 and younger. Story times (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 10:30AM in June and July) not only feature various educational themes, but includes songs and rhymes and are followed by an arts and crafts activity. Families who bring a packed lunch can also enjoy an impromptu picnic together in the Art room. No reservations are required.
*While entrance to and all activities at these museums/centers are free, donations are accepted and much appreciated.
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