15 Free Things to Do in Sunrise, FL

Free Things to Do in Sunrise, FL
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Sunrise is one of the suburban areas in Broward County, Florida.

It is also Florida’s 26th biggest integrated municipality and one of the most progressive.

The beautiful city is famous for political rallies, concerts, Florida Panthers hockey games, and BB&T Center, previously known as BankAtlantic Center.

It continues to develop as a viable community that upholds the past and plans for the future.

This historic suburb is a pleasant place that values natural beauty with prolific landscapes enriching neighborhoods, roadways, and public areas.

The city has so much to offer and discover, so prepare your loved ones for a trip with these delightful free things to do in Sunrise, Florida.

Spend a Family Day at the Sawgrass Sanctuary

Spend a day with your family at the 20-acre park and learning center, Sawgrass Sanctuary.

Located on Shotgun Road, this facility preserves and safeguards the city’s ecological heritage.

At the same time, it offers a wide range of amenities that are perfect for the entire family to enjoy.

It features an observation platform, a 200-foot boardwalk, a fishing pier and bank, and picnic pavillions to enjoy a great snack.

There is also a 0.64-mile walking path, interpretive displays recognizing the park's four chief native ecosystems, clean restrooms, and a concert platform.

The five-acre wetland area of Sawgrass Sanctuary allows you to observe birds and fish in their natural habitat and a lake where you can launch your canoe or kayak.

Bring the Kids to Welleby Park

One of Sunrise's largest parks is Welleby Park, located on NW 44th Street.

This dog-friendly park is almost 29 acres and offers all-year-round recreational opportunities for residents and visitors, with countless special events happening the whole year.

Enjoy the 11 picnic pavilions and let your kids explore and play in the playground using the equipment on top of a rubberized safety layer.

Your kids would also love playing on the nature-themed splash pad adjacent to the park’s new playground.

Welleby Park is also home to Pawgrass, the city’s first municipal dog park.

Watch the Sky at Fox Observatory

Would you like to see heavenly bodies?

The Fox Observatory on Markham Park Road will allow you to watch the sky and beyond.

The major telescope used at the observatory is a 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain F/10 and several other Dobsonian reflecting telescopes.

You’ll also find a six-inch f/15 Brandon refractor donated by Dr. Joseph Dennison Fox in 1965.

In 1975, the observatory was named after Dr. Fox.

The South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association (SFAAA) runs the Fox Observatory, which is open to everyone from dusk to midnight.

Have Fun at Oak Hammock Park

In 2015, Oak Hammock Park opened to the public after development through collaboration with the Broward County Commission.

Situated on NW 44 Street, it spreads over 11 acres and features two ADA-accessible playground areas and pavillions for small family picnics.

Nature lovers can stroll on environmental boardwalks made from environment-friendly recycled lumber, which offers a panorama of a “bird island” finished with an osprey nesting box and nature trails.

You’ll be amazed at the remarkable carvings of native animals and birds courtesy of chainsaw artist Scott McAllister.

Meanwhile, the educational signs enable visitors to identify plants and wildlife.

You can play chess on one of four chess tables at the Live Oak Chess Patio.

Oak Hammock Park has 17 types of trees and 19 kinds of shrubs and ground cover.

Additionally, it has six types of wetland plantings for restoration.

Try Exciting Activities at Flamingo Park

Flamingo Park underwent a renovation under Sunrise’s GO Bond-funded Parks and Recreation improvement initiative.

Following the renovation, the park now has a 5,100-square-foot meeting facility, accommodating up to 150 people.

You and your kids can play at any of the three new covered outdoor basketball courts, improved soccer fields, baseball fields, and batting cages.

There’s also a walking path where you can use ten pieces of outdoor exercise equipment.

Your kids will adore the new baseball-themed splash pad, which provides a covered seating area, a remodeled playground, new equipment, canopies, and surfacing.

You don't need to worry about the safety of your family, especially your kids, because of the modifications made to the park’s landscaping and guideposts.

Located on NW 8th St Sunrise, Flamingo Park enhanced its security, including high-efficiency LED lighting, emergency call stations, and closed-circuit cameras.

Visit City Park

Reopening the new and enhanced City Park on Sunset Strip brought exciting and modern park facilities to the city’s original east neighborhoods.

The park’s 5.5-acre leisure space encompasses an extensive 140-yard multi-purpose area suitable for community events, sports activities, and concerts.

There’s also a new 0.25-mile walking path with seven outdoor exercise stations and two covered event pavilions with gas grills that you can rent.

Your kids can beat the heat while they play at the sun-shaded playground and soccer-themed splash pad.

Play in one of the three full-covered outdoor basketball courts with professional rims and backboards or any of the two tennis courts at the City Park.

Explore Cypress Preserve Park

Like the adjacent Oak Hammock Park, Cypress Preserve Park opened to the public in 2015.

It was developed with the help of the Broward County Commission, with funding through the Broward County Land Stewardship Program.

The program works toward the ecological preservation of publicly-owned natural lands and the burgeoning of inactive recreation parks.

Once you enter the park, you’ll be guided to the “Cypress Marsh”- Splash Pad by a recycled glass river where alligators will spray you with water.

After playing nine-hole disc golf, check out the city’s beautiful native plants.

To conserve water, the Cypress Swamp Splash uses motion sensors.

Cypress Preserve Park is an eight-acre preserve with three small rentable pavilions and nine outdoor fitness stations and uses solar lighting.

Read a Book at Dan Pearl Branch Library

When you need information or a terrific read, go to the Dan Pearl Branch Library for the most exciting fiction and non-fiction books.

Besides the books, you can access a collection of foreign films, including German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

This library branch in Sunrise contains a vast collection of language-learning CDs in a generous selection of languages, including Italian, Russian, Chinese and Hebrew, and Haitian Creole, among others.

There are seven study rooms, a Youth Services program room, and a meeting room that can be used for community and library programs.

The Dan Pearl Branch Library on West Oakland Park Boulevard has 27 available computers the public can use for research, studying, or finding or applying for work.

Spend the Day at Flamingo Head Linear Park

Flamingo Road Linear Park is located along the western side of Flamingo Road, between Oakland Park Boulevard and Panther Parkway.

The park highlights two-loop walking paths with a total of 1.26 miles, including benches and gazebos.

This is the first park in Sunrise that offers LifeTrail, a string of wellness stations intended to turn walks into more fulfilled workouts.

Every station offers health information together with a piece of exercise equipment for users with various abilities.

Flamingo Head Linear Park is a splendid place to visit with your loved ones or friends, which provides seating among large green areas.

Explore the Outdoors at Lakeside Park

Sunrise acquired Lakeside Park through the generosity of the Broward County Challenge Grant Program.

The city improved the 1.25-acre park and it is now the center of interest and activity among locals and visitors.

You can try the 640-foot walking path with attractive perimeter fencing.

There are available park benches you can sit on when you’re already tired of walking or want to relax, read a book, or watch other people walk around.

A raised plaza with seating walls gives you a spectacular view of the lake.

The park uses low-energy lighting and has an Emergency Call Station.

Situated on Sunrise Lakes Drive West, Lakeside Park’s ecological landscaping mainly focuses on Florida-native plant species.

Other Things to Do Nearby

If you still can’t get enough, there are nearby places around Sunrise that you can visit.

Check out Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Coconut Creek, Florida.

Discover the Wonders of Fern Forest Nature Center

Moss trees at Fern Forest Nature Center
jaimie tuchman / Shutterstock.com

You’ll be surprised to find over 30 species of ferns in the Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, Florida, 13 minutes from Sunrise.

There’s also a variety of nature programs that explore the ten plant communities recognized within its borders.

This urban wilderness area is 247.1 acres, which got its name from the abundance of ferns on the property.

Swamp at Fern Forest Nature Center
jaimie tuchman / Shutterstock.com

There is also a picnic shelter, amphitheater, and the Royal Fern Hall, great for special gatherings, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or corporate events.

However, dogs aren’t allowed.

Fern Forest Nature Center offers a charming and peaceful setting with shaded boardwalks and a couple of miles of primitive nature trails, with free admission.

Check Out the Rae Carole Armstrong Liberty Tree Park

Rae Carole Armstrong Liberty Tree Park was named after former Plantation Mayor Rae Carole Armstrong, who served the city for 12 years.

The park is a beautiful place to hold special occasions such as birthdays and weddings.

Its amenities include a gazebo that can accommodate up to ten people.

There are also lovely and clean restrooms, walking paths with exercise stations, a playground where your kids can run and play, and picnic shelters for your sumptuous snacks.

Rae Carole Armstrong Liberty Tree Park is on NW 5th Street in Plantation, Florida, six minutes from Sunrise.

Ride a Bike at Brian Piccolo Sports Park & Velodrome

Rollerblades ar Brian Piccolo Sports Park & Velodrome
Lenny from Pompano Beach, FL, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Brian Piccolo Sports Park & Velodrome is a 175.2-acre park, dedicating itself as one of Broward County Parks' main centers for sports activities.

The park was named after Brian Piccolo, who developed his athletic skills in Broward County’s parks and playgrounds.

As a football player, he became an outstanding all-around high school athlete at St. Thomas Aquinas, formerly Central Catholic High School, from 1957-61.

On the other hand, the park's velodrome is the only one in Florida.

Located in Hollywood, Florida, the Brian Piccolo Sports Park & Velodrome is also in the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail area.

The whole family will enjoy its amenities, including a playground, picnic area, a path for walking, jogging, biking, fitness facilities, and fishing.

This sports park is only 21 minutes from Sunrise.

Revisit the Past at Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum

Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale (NASFL or NAS Fort Lauderdale) is the only military museum in Broward County.

In 1942, it was erected in Merle Fogg Field as part of the national defense program.

This museum was one of the 257 air stations during World War II and one of the specialty schools for training in piloting the TBM/TBF Avenger aircraft.

Exhibits include a Link Trainer, flight gear, a recreated Soldier's Barracks, and more.

You’ll also find outdoor artifacts such as WWII  submarine torpedoes, anti-submarine Hedgehog, and TBM/TBF Avenger.

Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum is Building #8, the only remaining structure left on the property that keeps the 6-8 Link Trainer flight simulators.

The museum is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 19 minutes from Sunrise.

Experience the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale

People along Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale
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Riverwalk Park is a waterfront park in the middle of downtown Fort Lauderdale that ranges over Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale’s north and south banks.

This public space is a multi-million project that involves state, private and local funding, integrating arts, history, different businesses, entertainment, and higher education.

The park is like a crown that holds together the gems of history, culture, art, education, entertainment, and business in an urban setting across the remarkable New River.

Pathway of Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale
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You’ll find gazebos, native plant exhibits, a picnic area, a beautiful butterfly garden, and watch a free jazz concert.

Located on E Las Olas Blvd Suite 210, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale hosts activities all year long that allow residents and visitors to enjoy Riverwalk and everything it offers.

This riverwalk is 22 minutes from Sunrise.

Yacht docked at Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale
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Final Thoughts

Having fun shouldn’t cost anything.

You can still have the opportunity to have some entertainment without breaking the bank.

Enjoy the free things to do in Sunrise, Florida!

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