Located in Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale Metropolitan area, the city of Sunrise is conveniently close to many of the state’s most visited natural, cultural and historical sites.
Sunrise was incorporated in 1961 and has since grown by leaps and bounds.
It’s a popular residential city for those who commute to nearby urban centers like Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, and Miami.
Whether you’re looking to hit the road and cram as many activities into your itinerary as possible, or just lounge on the beach with a good book and a refreshing drink, finding ways to fill your time won’t be an issue.
Below are 15 things to do in Sunrise, Florida.
1. Rebounderz Sunrise
Comprised of tens of thousands of square feet of trampoline-filled and kid-friendly space, Rebounderz Sunrise is a popular destination for families looking to get out of the sun and burn off some pent up energy.
The largest facility of its kind in the Fort Lauderdale area, in addition to trampolines, it includes an arcade, café, basketball courts, and a few spots to relax and catch your breath.
It’s the perfect venue for birthday parties and other special occasions, and is an especially attractive option when the weather outside isn’t particularly inviting.
Expect a crowd if you visit on the weekends.
2. Markham Park and Target Range
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran with a military-grade arsenal hidden in a vault in your basement or a tentative beginner that finds firearms scary, Markham Park and Target Range likely has something for you.
The range’s staff are all experienced and consider safety the number one concern for all guests.
That being said, if you’re still curious, they offer a variety of lessons with a number of weapons, including handguns and shotguns.
Lessons and classes must be booked in advance. For those who’d rather watch from a safe distance, it’s okay to do that as well.
Ammunition is sold onsite, but may not be available in every caliber.
3. Fern Forest Nature Center
Located on South Lyons Road in Coconut Creek, Fern Forest Nature Center is a natural oasis full of a variety of ferns and other plant and flower species.
The center covers nearly 250 acres, is open every day from 9 AM until 5 PM, and is a particularly popular area for plant and animal lovers, hikers, and wildlife photographers.
Many of the center’s well-marked and maintained paths include informative plaques that describe the things you’re seeing. Though it’s in an urban area, it’ll make you feel like you’re a lot farther away from the developed world than you really area.
4. Brian Piccolo Park
Though football legend Brian Piccolo was born in Massachusetts, his family moved to Fort Lauderdale when he was just three-years-old. From there, he went on to excel in college and professional football playing for Wake Forest and the Chicago Bears respectively.
The park is located in nearby Cooper City and was opened in the late ’80s.
The grounds cover nearly 200 acres and include soccer fields, basketball courts, and two cricket fields.
Though it’s not as popular nationally as many other sports, Florida has a long cricket tradition, and if you’ve never seen a match, it’d be well worth a visit.
There’s also a new skateboard area, and the park is home to a protected ground burrowing owl species as well.
5. Fox Observatory
Sunrise’s Fox Observatory is an astronomical observatory run by a local association of astronomers.
The observatory building is currently undergoing renovations, but for those looking to gaze toward the star-filled heavens, all hope isn’t lost.
Weather permitting on Saturday evenings, the association hosts public viewing events staffed by knowledgeable astronomers who bring their own telescopes.
For those with an unopened and dust-covered telescope in the attic above the garage, it’d be the perfect time to give it a whirl; the association members are more than happy to help with setup.
It’s the perfect way to end a long day of hoofing it around the state.
6. A Painting Fiesta Studio
For budding artists and all-around art lovers looking for a recreation activity with a twist, a few hours at A Painting Fiesta Studio would be time well spent.
Located on Bonaventure Boulevard in Weston, it was founded by a group of local artists dedicated to encouraging creativity and offering a means of artistic expression to a population that might not otherwise get it.
They’re all about a variety of mediums and cultural influences and offer classes and programs for kids, adults, beginners, and established artists.
Check out their website for a complete list of options, prices and directions to the studio.
7. Fort Lauderdale Beaches
From stem to stern and coast to coast, Florida is full of amazing beaches, and those along the Atlantic Ocean near Fort Lauderdale are some of the best.
Perfect for families, they don’t have the exclusive and snooty reputation that Miami’s beaches do, and are therefore more affordable.
The beaches’ fine white sand and fantastic ocean views can keep visitors content for days, and there are plenty of shopping, dining and recreational options nearby to keep things interesting.
For Lauderdale’s Beaches are also some of the cleanest in The Sunshine State, so don’t pass them by.
8. Chef Jean-Pierre’s Cooking School
Since 1995, Chef Jean-Pierre’s Cooking School has been one of Florida’s premier culinary destinations. They offer a huge variety of programs and activities that are suitable for a range of visitor — from professional chefs to amateur foodies and weekend barbecue warriors.
Classes are entertaining, informative, and laid back, so in addition to having a blast, you’ll learn some great techniques and make some tasty food.
A lot of the classes are taught by Chef Jean-Pierre, a man who cut his teeth at some of France’s most recognized restaurants, many of which have multiple Michelin stars after their names.
It’s a good idea to review their options carefully and book your spot well in advance of your trip.
9. Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
Construction on the Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale began in 1920, and for the next couple of years, it was a winter escape for a couple of wealthy newlyweds pursuing careers in art and writing.
Sadly, the woman died in 1925, and though it has undergone numerous renovations and changes of ownership over the years, the stunning house and grounds are now a popular area attraction.
The house sits on more than 30 acres, and the home and gardens are both open to visitors every day but Monday.
Guided tours are the only way to visit, and tram tours are available if you’d rather not spend the time on your feet.
10. Museum of Discovery and Science
Though it’s technically a museum, the Museum of Discovery and Science is more like a theme park, cinema, and guided tour of the natural world rolled into one.
There aren’t many places where guests can dig for dinosaur bones, take an airboat tour of a swamp, and catch an IMAX 3-D movie, but this is certainly one of them.
Many of the museum’s exhibits focus on animals, science, and the natural world. There are live animals too, like some big snakes, bats, and alligators.
During peak times, the museum can get downright busy, especially when the weather isn’t conducive to being outside.
11. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Located between Florida’s scenic Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is the perfect natural getaway for those looking for a break from some of the state’s more urban attractions.
The park is full of a variety of dunes and trails that are open to walkers, joggers, and bikers.
A favorite destination for bird-watchers, according to some, there are nearly 200 species in the area, and some of them are pretty rare.
Fishing along the waterway’s seawalls is also popular, and there are many game fish that are relatively easy to catch.
12. Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk is a trendy area that’s known for its quaint but contemporary eateries, bars, shops, and galleries. It’s also a popular live entertainment venue.
In many ways, the Riverwalk was the spark that set a variety of city upgrades and renovations in motion; together, they’ve had quite a positive impact on the city as a whole.
On weekends, the area is full of cheery revelers, and some of the more popular bars and restaurants can get pretty busy.
Happy hours are popular during the week as well, so swing by and grab a cocktail and an appetizer.
13. Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum
Though it’s a long way from Detroit, Fort Lauderdale is home to one of the country’s most complete collections of classic American cars.
The museum’s collection is mostly focused on Packards, though other manufacturers are represented as well.
Run by a not-for-profit organization that’s dedicated to preserving the country’s rich automobile heritage, some of their finest examples date back more than a century.
The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum is a one of a kind gem which is located on SW 1st avenue.
Considering all you’ll have access to on the inside, the cost of admission is surprisingly inexpensive.
14. Le Tub Saloon
Claiming to be home to the country’s best hamburger is a big call, but based on the reviews of previous customers, Le Tub Saloon in Hollywood is right up there near the top.
The restaurant was established in 1959; though it’s undergone quite a few changes since then, it has retained much of its rustic and comfortable charm, as well as its commitment to providing world-class grub at reasonable prices.
It has a cool tropical vibe that visitors love, and many guests claim that their fries are the best they’ve ever had too.
Expect to wait for a table if you go during peak times.
15. ArtsPark at Young Circle
Located in nearby Hollywood just a short drive from Sunrise, ArtsPark at Young Circle is one of the area’s premier destinations for all things related to traditional and performing arts. It also features live entertainment and a variety of educational and instructional activities that are appropriate for adults and children.
The venue has been around for more than a decade and is on the radar for both locals and tourists.
Family movie nights and cool food trucks offering an eclectic array of street foods are big hits, and resident artists often offer demonstrations in interesting art forms like glass blowing and jewelry making.