The city of Sunrise is a bedroom community just west of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. According to the city’s official website, Sunrise is home to about 85,000 residents with an influx of visitors from the states and abroad. Sunrise is a suburb that caters to family-style living with a variety of activities for kids of all ages.
Sunrise Civic Center
The Sunrise Civic Center (sunrisefl.gov/index.aspx?page=261) plays host to an assortment of activities for children, teens and adults. Its 300-seat theater attracts a young audience to view productions on stage year-round, and at the outdoor amphitheater January through May. Also in the complex, are the main branch of the city library, which offers weekly story times and events for children, the aquatic center featuring a 50-meter pool, water slide and wading pool for the younger set, and a gymnasium. Bring your baby for the annual Diaper Derby & Toddler Trot, enjoy "Cinderella" and other fairy tales on stage and let the kids participate in a bicycle rodeo during the city’s yearly celebration of Florida Bicycle Week.
Sunrise has more than 250 acres of green space for outdoor enjoyment. The parks are located throughout the residential areas of the city. There are plenty of courts for basketball, fields for soccer and baseball, walking paths for nature study and playgrounds for the wee ones. The City of Sunrise sponsors youth sports with organized games throughout the year for kids from toddlers to teens. Pack a picnic and enjoy the lush landscapes or visit one of the many festivals the city plays host to each year, such as the Fall Harvest Festival, Earth Day, July Fourth fireworks and Woofstock, where the children can bring their favorite pets.
Sawgrass Mills Mall
The Sawgrass Mills Mall (simon.com/mall/sawgrass-mills/stores) has a mecca of stores for shopping and plenty of amusements for the kids. They offer a Kidgits Club that has interactive activities, games and goodies inside the mall. Visit the famous Rainforest Café (rainforestcafe.com/locations.asp?st=fl) for a meal alongside animatronic animals, parrots and fish tanks. If the children get antsy, stop at the indoor playground for a spin on the carousel, small coin rides and a rock-climbing wall for the older kids.
Sunrise is also home to a variety of chain amusement centers such as Monkey Joe’s (monkeyjoes.com/Sunrise), where children can play in a safe indoor environment full of inflatable slides, bounce houses and obstacle courses. There is a mini-monkey zone for toddlers and the main center for children up to age 12. Parents can relax and mingle while the kids play; birthday party packages are available as well. Older kids will find Laser Quest (laserquest.com/public/locations/FL-Sunrise.cfm) exciting, and thrill to a game of hide-and-seek laser tag in an atmosphere of special lighting, fog and energetic music. Laser Quest also has packages for a variety of parties.