11 Free and Fun Things to do in Fort Lauderdale 

Fort Lauderdale proves to be one of the hidden gems of Florida, the Sunshine State! Though not as popular as its neighbors—like Orlando and Miami—it boasts a number of attractions perfect for you and your family to enjoy. 

Best of all, you can enjoy your trip to Fort Lauderdale on a budget! With a number of free and fun activities available, Fort Lauderdale has everything you need to enjoy a family vacation without emptying your wallet

Below, we’ve put together eleven of the best free and fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale, Florida! 

1) Attend a Music Festival

Fort Lauderdale boasts an incredible music scene that you don’t want to miss out on! With a number of free music festivals and open-air shows, this classic Floridian city has what you need to enjoy your vacation in style! 

Until November, for instance, you and your family can enjoy tunes on the beach with Friday Night Sound Waves. Relax by the ocean while hearing some of the best local talent playing tunes that you’re not soon to forget. 

Great for couples, singles, or even the whole family, these music festivals add a unique touch to your Fort Lauderdale vacation. 

2) Go to a Sports Event

You can make your trip even more exciting with a stop by some of the city’s ongoing sports events. For instance, Fort Lauderdale is home to a number of marathons and other local sporting events that are free for your family to attend. 


Even better, many of these events benefit charity and other important causes—giving your trip added meaning. 

3) Visit a Local Market

From Yellow Green Farmer’s Market to shops on the beach, Fort Lauderdale has an interesting mix of outdoor markets that are sure to please. 

Here, you’ll be able to find everything you need—from fresh produce to unforgettable souvenirs and knickknacks. 

Hoping to keep your trip on budget? No problem! These incredible markets provide a fun experience—even if you don’t buy anything! Simply enjoy getting out and being immersed in the local culture with the people most important to you!

4) Stonewall Street Festival

Want to make your trip one that you’ll be talking about for years to come? Consider attending the Stonewall Street Festival if you make it in time! 

Designed to celebrate LGBT history in the area, the Stonewall Street Festival honors important strides in civil rights in the Fort Lauderdale area—and nationwide. 

5) Art Fairs

If you’re feeling artsy, consider going to one of the many art fairs held in Fort Lauderdale throughout the year. These free festivals add culture and intrigue to your trip—and will help keep older children and teens entertained. 

6) Swimming

It wouldn’t be a trip to Fort Lauderdale without a stop at the beach for a good swim! With one of the most beautiful beaches in the state,

Playing on the Beach

Fort Lauderdale provides the family swimming day experience that you’ve been waiting for—just don’t forget to take your bathing suit. 

7) Antique Car Museum

Have an interest in antique cars? Fort Lauderdale has you covered. Another one of its many incredible museums allows you to see a number of interesting antique cars up-close-and-personal. 

The Antique Car Museum is sure to be another hit for the whole family—even for those with young children. Come and learn about antique cars in ways you never thought possible at the Antique Car Museum!

8) Playing on the Beach

Want to keep things fun and relaxing? Consider taking a trip to the beach—and not swimming. That’s right—hit up the beach for a fun, family day!

Lauderdale Beach

From building sand castles to buying ice cream, you and your family can enjoy a great and unforgettable day without ever getting wet. This works great for couples with young children who are not yet ready to brave the ocean!

9) Buehler Planetarium and Observatory

Want your children to have fun and learn—all while you stay on budget? Look no further than the Buehler Planetarium and Observatory! 

This completely free location will awaken your child’s inner astrologist. With incredible resources that teach children about space in fun, interactive ways, this planetarium and observatory provides first-hand education that will pique your child’s interest!

10) African-American Research Center and Library

The African-American Research Center and Library is one of the most important free destinations in all of Fort Lauderdale. With ample resources detailing the history of African-Americans and civil rights, this monumental location offers much-needed perspective. 

African-American Research Center and Library
Credits: Broward County Library

Great for the whole family, or even for those traveling alone, make sure to add this important destination to your itinerary!

11) Everglades Holiday Park

Want to find out more about fascinating local habitats and wildlife? Look no further than Everglades Holiday Park. 

Free for the whole family, this incredible park offers insight into the many diverse species of animals and wildlife in the area. This educational trip is great for children and teens of all ages and is sure to keep you and your entire family entertained. 

The Bottom Line

Turn your next trip to Fort Lauderdale into one that you’ll always remember with these incredible free and fun activities! By choosing these wonderful options, you can be sure that your entire family will have fun—even as you keep more cash in your wallet!

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