First week of June. This is where the fun begins. Summer is upon us, hurricane season starts this week, and the school year is over. All of this adds up to one simple thing: It's going to rain, and the kids are going to drive you batty.
Summertime means rain. Lots of it. Like, Noah's Ark is parked outside your house kind of rain. On the rare day where it's nothing but sun shining down on Fort Lauderdale, the choices are obvious. Go outside, to the beach, a park, a playground or even Alligator Alley, and then call it a day.
But when it's a downpour, the options get smaller.
Luckily for you, we're here to give you the ten best things to do on a rainy day in Fort Lauderdale:
10. Bet on the Ponies!
What's cooler than horseracing? Horseracing in the RAIN. That's right. There's nothing quite like betting five bucks on a mudder and then watching that equine slop it up against his fellow thoroughbreds on a rain-drenched track at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. The park has racing all day Wednesdays through Sundays, and yes, it holds races in the rain (unless there's severe lightning in the area). And Gulfstream has done everything possible to make it family-friendly, with restaurants and shops. Also that giant Pegasus and Dragon statue looks way cooler when it's raining, so there's that.
9. Kick some balls
You can go get your Messi on at the Futbol Club, where you can play the beautiful game on an indoor soccer field for just $8 per person Tuesdays through Fridays (check the website for time availability). The place even offers a Parent's Night Out, where you can drop the kiddies off so they can play while you and the spouse hit up the town for a couple of hours. Neat!
8. F**k it, Let's Go Bowling, Dude
Nothing cures a bummer of a mood quite like getting out there and roll. And Manor Lanes is where you can put on those funky rental shoes, grab a ball, and knock down some pins like The Dude does — and Tricky Dick used to do. Those are two great Americans who knew the value of a strike or a seven-ten split.
7. Get Some Culture All Up in You
A rainy day is a good excuse to finally put down the iPhone and get out there and look at something that'll enlighten your spirit and expand your mind. So when it rains, hit up the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, where you will see some amazing shit that's way better than Candy Crush or whatever game app is al the rage now. The NSU permanent collection boasts more than 6,000 works of art, including works by Diego Rivera, Candido Portinari, and Francisco Toledo . Don't know who those people are? Google them, then get off your ass and go look at their amazing contributions to the world. Seriously.
6. Go Climb Rocks
Florida is one big swamp. Not a damned mountain in sight. But that shouldn't stop you from going out and finding a nice boulder or two to conquer. And there's no better way to get your Edmund Hillary on than at Coral Cliffs Indoor Rock Climbing & Gym. For just 19 bucks, you can spend the day scaling the various boulders until your arms fall off. The boulders are actually just walls with jets screwed into them, but it's basically the same thing.
5. Go Look at a Giant Shark Face
The Museum of Discovery and Science is an obvious choice here. It's got everything to cure those rainy day blues, including the discovery center, a real IMAX theater, and the Everglades exhibit. But most of all, IT'S GOT THAT HUGE SHARK AND ITS HUGE SHARK FACE GAHHHH.
4. FUNderdome It
Your kids have a lot of energy, and they're either going to burn it by bouncing off the walls of your house and maybe breaking a vase or killing the cat, or they can hit up the HUGE seemingly endless indoor playground known as the Funderdome. One child enters; one sleepy child leaves! This place has everything to get your kid to go nuts. Wall climbing, playgrounds, slides, an interactive floor game, obstacle courses, a basketball rim, an arcade, and pretty much everything else you can think of.
3. Bounce Houses, Arcades, and Claw Machines, Oh My
It's not as insane as the Funderdome, but Kaboom's just as packed with stuff for the kids to do. Including wall-to-wall claw machines, bounce houses and arcade games. Kaboom's also has rollerskating and a laser tag room. There are prizes to be won also, which beats the hell out of anything else.
2. Shoot People in the Face With Lasers
Laser Quest! It sounds like a cheesy ’80s sci-fi movie where the good guys where leather jackets and the bad guys where aluminum foil. But Laser Quest is where you go to shoot your friends — and even better, strangers — with lasers. You go in, strap on the laser harness, grab your laser rifle and hit up the dark laser room where you and your team try to take out the other team by lasering the shit out of them. Capture the other team's flag, and you're the winner! PEW-PEW
1. One Word: Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf
What's better than mini golf? Glow-in-the-dark mini golf. That's right, buddy. Monster Mini Golf is an entire indoor mini golf course that glows in the dark. There’s neon everywhere! If Tiger Woods played here, he'd dominate and his teeth would blind you on sight! Enter inside, and you're suddenly in another world where everything glows green, orange and blue. There’s a giant glowing Gene Simmons face at the Kiss section. And a giant clown face, which is kind of creepy but also kind of cool. There's also skeeball, if you're into that kind of thing.