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  • Free and Cheap Things to do in Broward County

  • Michael Keane

    Summer is here, the kids are out of school, and everyone wants to have fun in a cost-effective way.  Here are a few free and cheap things to do in Broward County that everyone can enjoy.

    1. Historic Bonnet House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is offering a deal.

      For teens and adults, a discounted fee of $10 is valid first Saturdays of July, August, September and October. Entry is free for kids ages 12 and younger.

      The discounted rate is also offered July 4. The attraction is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with gate open to 4 p.m.

      The regular price at the museum is $20 for adults and $16 for youngsters 6 to 12 and free for 5 and younger.

      Information is on the website. Bonnet House is at 900 N. Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale, 954-563-5393

    2. Free building projects for kids and free workshops for adults are offered at Home Depot stores.

      The free building activities for kids are usually the first Saturday of the month 9 a.m. to noon. Register online.

      Free workshops for adults are offered on various types of projects, such as installing light fixtures, installing faucets and decorative paint techniques. The free workshops are offered various Saturdays at 10 a.m. and some Sundays at 1 p.m. Information and registration is on the website. Times may vary at specific stores.

      The topics include painting, fixing drywall, installing tile, installing a toilet, adding storage to a garage and maintaining a lawn. Home Depot also features workshops specifically designed for women.

    3. Electronics kits, a 3D printer and virtual reality equipment are offered to use for free at Broward Library in Fort Lauderdale.

      Users may design and make trinkets on a 3D printer and work with sophisticated software for audio and video production.

      When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays

      Where: Broward Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-357-7537

    4. Interesting displays, including The Everglades, artwork and a vintage fire truck, are featured at the Plantation Historical Museum, which offers free entry.

      The museum is open 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

      Information about the attraction and events is on the website.

      Plantation Historical Museum, 511 North Fig Tree Lane, Plantation 33317, 954-797-2722

    5. Looking at the stars through telescopes in West Broward is perfect for a frugal weekend activity.

      Join stargazers from the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association for free star-gazing most Saturday nights at the Fox Observatory in Markham Park, 16001 State Road 84, Sunrise.

      The observatory is open from sunset to about midnight. If you arrive before sunset, there is a $1.50 per person entry fee to get into the park.

      For information, phone 954-384-0442

    6. The Boardwalk in Hollywood.  Offering free live entertainment some week nights and weekends, a bandshell on the beach is an iconic and popular venue in south Broward.

      The open-air outdoor theater right off the beach is at Johnson Street on The Broadwalk in Hollywood. Bands perform 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. most Wednesdays to Sundays.

      Entertainment at the bandshell is managed by Margaritaville Beach Resort, which is on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk. The schedule of bandshell performances is on the Margaritaville website. The phone number for the resort is 954-874-4444

    7. Island Water Sports in Deerfield Beach offers free surf, stand-up paddleboard and skimboard lessons Saturdays at 7 a.m. The lessons are open to anyone 5 and older, weather permitting.

      To attend, participants must register in advance online or sign a waiver in the store before the lesson.

      For information, call 954-427-4929.

      Island Water Sports is at 1985 NE Second. St., in Deerfield Beach 33441.

    8. The Sunday Jazz Brunch events offer an afternoon of free entertainment along the scenic riverfront in Fort Lauderdale.

      The events are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Sundays of most months, except January.

      Musicians perform at different points along Riverwalk off Las Olas Boulevard. If you’d like, bring your own picnic or buy food from area restaurant vendors. Feel free to bring portable seats or blankets. Leashed pets are permitted.

    9. Guided nature walks are free at a park in north Broward.

      The free activity at 1 p.m. most Sundays at Fern Forest, 201 Lyons Road.

      The tours, guided by a parks naturalist, highlight Florida’s natural habitats.

      It’s a good idea to phone before attending to be sure the event is on, 954-357-5198

    10. Watch family-friendly films for free outdoors at ArtsPark in south Broward.

      The movies are 8 p.m. most Fridays at the amphitheater. Feel free to tote along your own portable seats and blankets. ArtsPark is on Hollywood Boulevard at U.S. One in Hollywood.

      For information, phone 954-921-3500

      Films include these and others

      June 9 Home Alone 2
      June 16 Kung Fu Panda 2
      June 23 Dolphin Tale 2
      June 30 Toy Story 2
      July 7 We Bought a Zoo
      July 14 Sing
      August 4 Charlotte’s Web
      August 11 Galaxy Quest
      August 18 Invincible
      September 1 McFarland USA
      September 8 The Little Mermaid
      September 15 You’ve Got Mail
      September 22 Inside Out
      September 29 Ghostbusters 2

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