What could be bad about visiting your grandparents in Florida when it’s gray and chilly elsewhere?
From the perspective of tweens and teens, a lot. Of course, seeing their relatives is great, but Charlie Abisror, 17, of Demarest, N.J., put it this way. When it comes to things to do, “a walk to the Circle K to get a Little Debbie is about the best of it,” he said — and the car-centric landscape means “you’re lucky if you get a sidewalk” to boot.
“I don’t really like visiting Florida because it’s very boring,” said River Mason Eromosele, 12, from Newark, who’s gone with his mother to visit family. “I honestly feel it’s for older people to relax. There wasn’t a lot of stuff for me to do.”
As a teenager, Rachel Charlupski, 38, often flew from Detroit to visit grandparents in Palm Beach County, but they were so busy that she sometimes ended up bored and alone. And while “amenities at their clubs were amazing, there is only so much a teenager wants to do by themselves.” Ms. Charlupski’s experience led her to start the Babysitting Company, which provides chaperones in South Florida and elsewhere to take kids to the pool, the mall, or the movies or just to hang out playing games.
But you don’t have to hire a babysitter to get kids excited to visit. Nor do you have to pivot your itinerary to glamorous Miami Beach or theme-park-rich Orlando. Palm Beach County — which includes Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Delray Beach — can more than hold its own with a wealth of attractions for children of all ages, from preschoolers to teenagers. Here, some ideas.
1. Go thrifting
Palm Beach County is known for its many thrift and consignment stores. Some are high-end shops like Posh Consignment by V in Boca Raton, where you can drop thousands of dollars on “pre-loved” Chanel or Gucci. But there are also lots of affordable stores perfect for a day of thrifting with teenagers.
How do you know which shops are which? “The secret to wrapping your head around it is this,” said Baron Hanson, 52, a local real estate agent. “Is the shop a profit-based consignment shop, or is it a church or nonprofit that’s taking free donations?” One of his favorite spots is the Church Mouse, a well-organized store in Palm Beach with loads of cute clothes at bargain prices. His prize find: a $525 Polo Purple Label linen shirt for $25.
When Aleda Frishman, 56, who lives in Delray Beach, hosted grandchildren visiting from Virginia, “we did…
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