Now that the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (read: football season) has begun, you'll need some way to get your kids in on the action. After all, God forbid they should want to watch some kiddie show on Sunday afternoon when the game is on. Perhaps the best way to get 'em loving football early is to get 'em involved. At the Tamarac Sports Complex (9901 NW 77th St., Tamarac), boys and girls ages 8 to 15 can participate in the "2003 NFL Punt, Pass, and Kick Competition" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each child gets one punt, one pass, and one kick, and the top finishers from each age group advance to a sectional competition. Participants must wear sneakers (no cleats) and have a copy of their birth certificates. Admission is free. Call 954-724-2445. -- Dan Sweeney
Guard! Parry! Thrust!
Everyone wants his children to be safe. For some, that means training your kid to fight back. Of course, a 12-year-old black belt is just that -- a 12-year-old. His kicks may not have the desired effect. And most would agree that handing your child a firearm may not be the wisest course of action. What to do? Hand him three feet of razor-sharp steel! Just make sure Junior knows what to do with that rapier -- fencing lessons for children age 12 and older take place at Tree Tops Park (3900 SW 100th Ave., Davie) each Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Class costs $35 per month. Call 954-370-3750. -- Dan Sweeney
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Get a Clue
F-U-N spells fun
How do you spell fun? "Families Understanding Nature" -- get it? FUN is a monthly event aimed at -- you guessed it -- families. And this month, kids and adults can become nature detectives. If you've ever been afraid of the great outdoors, this program is for you, kid. Comb and scour John D. MacArthur Beach State Park (10900 Ocean Blvd., North Palm Beach) to uncover clues about fish habitats, flowering plants, spiders, lizards, birds, and other curious flora and fauna indigenous to Florida. Even if you're a seasoned nature buff, you can enjoy an interactive hike through the park. Hey, it sure beats sitting in front of the TV all day. Join the park staff and learn everything you've ever wanted to know about nature but were afraid to ask. The FUN starts at 11 a.m. and costs $3.25. Call 561-624-6952. -- Audra Schroeder