Season Preview: 15 events for children and teens this season

Nothing says Halloween in Florida more than scary surfing guys. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

Shelley Gilken’s random picks for things to do with tots and teens in the 2014-2015 season.

1. Trick or Treating on the Avenue and the Halloween Parade and Kidsfest in Delray Beach. This is a time for families to enjoy downtown Delray in costume and enjoy all the children’s activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. a few days before Halloween on Oct. 25
2.T he 3rd Annual Boynton Beach Haunted Pirate Fest & Mermaid Splash. East Ocean Avenue becomes a pirate world filled with stunt shows, magicians and fairies, a haunted house and even live mermaids in a tank and mermaid pageants from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 25 and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 26.
3. Stand Up for Kids comedy show at Schoolhouse Children’s Museum and Learning Center in Boynton Beach. Stand Up for Kids USA teaches life skills, character, loving life and humor all through the art of live stand-up comedy. 11 a.m. on Nov. 8.
4. Delray Beach Surf Festival. Surf’s up! The day of activities showcases the surfing lifestyle in South Florida including a surfing contest and beach games for kids. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 15.
5. Delray Beach Christmas Tree Lighting. Celebrate the season by coming out for the 100-foot Christmas Tree lighting. The annual tradition is one of the most popular events of the year. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 4.
6. 21st Annual Breakfast with Santa at the Boca Raton Children’s Museum. The pancake breakfast is only the appetizer. There’s also real snow, crafts, carols, a clown and more. The event also includes the spirit of giving as eyewear will be collected for people in need. Advanced registration is required for this event held 8:30 am-noon on December 13.
7. Boynton Beach’s 43rd annual Holiday Boat Parade. The flotilla of well-lit boats line up at the Boynton Beach Inlet and travel south along the Intracoastal Waterway to the C-15 canal in Delray Beach. Dec. 13. Kids’ activities start at 5:30 p.m.
8. Piles of Smiles Snow Day at Sugar Sand Park in Boca Raton. One of the “coolest” things for a child to do in the winter is play in the snow, but it’s a rare opportunity for a Florida native. At Sugar Sand Park, kids ages 3 and up will get to frolic in 25 tons of fluffy white snow in an open field and play on slides, meet characters and participate in crafts. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 20.
9. Ornaments Naturally at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton. The only thing children need to make a dazzling ornament is imagination and nature. Gumbo Limbo provides decorative items such as shells, sea beans and pine cones. From 10 to 11 a.m. on Dec. 20.
10. Oshogatsu at the Morikami Museum. A traditional New Year festival that includes games and entertainment throughout the museum and gardens. The day’s activities include Japan’s customary rice-pounding, making mochi rice cakes and sado tea ceremony. Families also will see appearances by shishimai, the lion dance. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 11.
11. South Florida Fair at the South Florida Fairgrounds. The fair has everything from cows to carnival games, roosters to roller coasters. The annual tradition is a major event every year drawing thousands of people for the shows, concerts and of course, the fair food. Jan. 16-Feb. 1.
12. Arts Spark Kids Fest at Sugar Sand Park in Boca Raton. This is the second year for the all-encompassing arts and cultural festival featuring art, music, theater, dance and comedy. The event also incorporates the expertise of local businesses that specialize in various forms of art to add community to the day of culture. Feb. 15
13. Lake Worth Street Painting Festival in Lake Worth. The largest event of its kind in the country, the festival turns the streets of Lake Worth into an open-air museum. The asphalt is the canvas and children of all ages can enjoy watching artists at work. Scenes inevitably include Disney characters, animals and other images that appeal to children. For many children, the highlight is being the artist. There’s a big checkerboard sketched in the street and each child gets chalk to decorate a square. Feb. 21-22
14. Delray Beach Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The tradition started in 1968 and has grown over the years to thousands of people line the streets for one of the most anticipated events of the year. The parade pays tribute to firefighters and emergency with uniformed personnel from around the region and has included participants from across the United States as well as Canada, Ireland, Belgium and Australia. Mary 14.
15. Hatsume Fair at the Morikami Museum. The 36th annual Hatsume Fair is a celebration of spring. The Morikami’s largest annual event features taiko drumming performances, martial art and bonsai demonstrations, a costume contest, fashion show and children’s activities. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 18-19.  
—Shelley Gilken

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