There’s something great about summer for those of us that are here all year round.  

Less traffic, shorter lines, greater availability, and oh those summer specials!  There’s more room on the beach.  But there is so much more to Hollywood than the beach, and really, sometimes, it’s even too hot for even the most intrepid tanner.  

So, we checked in with some of our in-town insiders and favorite merchants for ideas to help you fill those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer. And Oh, those summer nights… Tell me more, TELL ME MORE!!!

1. LEARN SOMETHING NEW

Summer is the perfect time to take that class you’ve been wanting to take.  Many of the local universities offer summer school classes to enrich your life in many ways.  Parlez vous francais?

For people 60 and older, the Elder Grant program, based out of the Fred Lippman Multi-Purpose Center on Polk and Dixie, provides free organized outings and events.  For info, call 954 921 3408.

Take dance or Karate classes at Young Circle ArtsPark.  Info at  hollywoodfl.org/301/Programs-Classes or call 954-921-3500.

Low-cost summer classes are available through Broward Community Schools at two Hollywood locations.  Contact the schools directly for schedules, fees and descriptions:

Hollywood Hills Community School
5400 Stirling Road; 754-323-1150

South Broward Community School
1901 North Federal Highway; 754-323-1900

And if you want to learn but just can’t drag yourself out into the heat, just fire up your computer and see what you can learn online from the same educators.

2. HANG OUT WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS AT A COMMUNITY CENTER 

If it’s too hot to sit in the sun, stop in at the Community Center in your area.  I stopped in at the Center at the beach and found flyers for all kinds of classes and groups for people of all ages.  Another place to check for similar activities is the library.  There’s a Center in just about every area of town.  Support yours and they’ll get even more resources to support you back.

3. FREE LIVE SHOWS & ACTIVITIES ABOUND AT MARGARITAVILLE

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is the largest provider of ongoing free live musical entertainment of any South Florida hospitality destination, with over 75+ free shows a month, and at least 2 live shows per day.  Plus, there are seven bars and restaurants open to the public. Along with the FlowRider, fun to watch and probably to do (if you’re young and strong) there’s entertainment for all, guest or not.  

What you may not know, though, is that there is a full range of spa and other activities that are available at low, no or discounted prices for locals, including a Free 5K Guided Run on Wednesdays at 5 pm, a variety of yoga and fitness classes — such as Beer Yoga on the private pool deck overlooking the ocean — for just $12 a pop including the beer! —  and several spa deals and FlowRider specials for locals only. Click through or contact the Concierge Desk at (954) 874-4444. Plus, there are Florida resident specials for discounted stays — just tell your reservationist or show your FL license upon check-in.  

“We have what people from Hollywood and all of South Florida yearn for right in our backyard, all year long and especially during summer,” said Cate Farmer, Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort’s General Manager. “That can be anything from listening to free live music every night of the week to enjoy the comradery of learning to play Spikeball on the beach – which is a great new sport for families, as well as the more athletically inclined.  At Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, you are in a locale and a state of mind where the beach and Boardwalk are at our doorstep. Plus, there are great restaurants, plenty of live entertainment including Rock Star Karaoke on Wednesdays and Sunsplash Reggae Sunday, happy hours and a variety of low-cost activities for families and adults. A visit to Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort can be conveniently planned or outrageously spontaneous. We pride ourselves on delivering fun and escapism for every guest, every time.”

For lessons and other information on the resort, visit www.margaritavillehollywoodbeachresort.com or call (954) 842-7907.

4. LEARN TO SWIM

If you’ve always planned to learn to swim, or you’ve got some kids for whom it’s time, make this the summer.  There are low-cost classes at Driftwood Pool, Click here to see a PDF of its brochure. http://fl-hollywood2.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/4072.   To register or with questions, call 954 967 4644.

5. SAVE SAME DOUGH BEFORE YOU GO

Remember, we live in a tourist town, so let’s make sure we’re all getting treated as well as, or better than, the tourists.  

First thing, get your Hollywood resident parking permit to save money when you park anywhere in the city where you have to pay.  Visit https://www.hollywoodfl.org/1043/Resident-Parking-Rate for info and to sign up. 

If you’re planning a trip to the beach, stop by the visitor info kiosk on Johnson St. and pick up a few of the flyers, chock full of full of local discount coupons.  

Check money-saving sites like Groupon.com and of course, you can support our advertisers and use coupons in the Hollywood Gazette. An innovate website called charitydine.com combines trying new restaurants, saving money and making a difference for a local non-profit all at the same time. Talk about a win-win-win.  

And speaking of winning, if you download the Buy Local Win Big app you can enter to win weekly cash and prize giveaways to reward you for shopping local.

6. TRY THE ‘Y’ FOR FREE 

In addition to the pool, there are always tons of things going on at the Y.  For summer, the Hollywood YMCA is offering a free five-day trial membership.  You can download their catalog or call them at 954-663-1286 to find out more.  

7. JOIN A BOOK CLUB

Unplug and ‘check out’ one of the public library branches we are lucky enough to have here in Hollywood where they still have actual, physical, books. Inhale nostalgic scents of paper and ink while taking part in one of many discussions and book clubs our public libraries have to offer, all at no cost to you.

8. TAKE A TOUR ON THE WILD SIDE

Hollywood residents Ben and Stacy Ruby operate Wild Lime Tours and they’ll show you the wilder side of the Sunshine State with day trips not far from home and yet a million miles away. Hang out with alligators in the Everglades, snorkel, kayak or paddleboard in the Keys, even take a “Where the Beers Are” Craft Beer tour. And there’s more. The Rubys are offering a 20% discount for locals on all trips. Use code LOCAL123 online or call 954-673-6647 for info. With an impressive collection of only 5-star reviews on their Facebook page, they must be doing something right!

9. MAKE A SPLASH AT CASTAWAY ISLAND WATER PARK 

There’s always something going on in TY Park, and the beautiful, heavily-treed oasis promises a cool respite from the heat. The Seminole name of this 138.6-acre park, Topeekeegee Yugnee, means “meeting or gathering place,” perfect for a park known for its shady picnic areas, many shelters, and gazebo.

Castaway Island is a water park oasis tucked away in TY Park on Sheridan and West Park Road.  It offers two interactive water playgrounds: one for smaller children and one for bigger kids. The aquatics complex also includes a marina with boat rentals, a concession stand, and 14 Funbrellas available for rent. Visit Castaway Island or call 954 357 8811 for hours and fees.  

In addition to Castaway Island, TY Park features a full-hookup RV campground with Wi-Fi, 13 picnic shelters, an abundance of open picnic areas, and a large, open field suitable for a variety of family activities. There is also a two-mile loop of paved pathways for walking, jogging, skating, and biking.  Other popular areas include the large shaded playground, basketball and tennis courts, the fishing pier, and the scenic lake water fountain. On any given weekend you may see various cultural and performance groups practicing!

But wait, there’s more!  Hollywood actually is home to over 35 parks throughout the city. Visit https://www.hollywoodfl.org/316/Parks and find one you haven’t been to, pack a lunch, and have a great new adventure!

11. VISIT THE ANN KOLB NATURE CENTER

Whether you’re into hiking, kayaking, bike riding, fishing or just a leisurely stroll, don’t miss the beauty that is so close to home at Anne Kolb Nature Center. Named ‘BEST NATURE CENTER OF THE YEAR 2017’ in a survey of park patrons, the peacefulness is beyond words. It’s the antidote for your most frazzled day. Just go.   

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can rent canoes, kayaks or longboards, or bring your own, right across the street at West Lake Park. Or just take a break from the beach at North Beach Park, all of which are administered by Broward County Parks and Rec. Ann Kolb Nature Center is located at 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood, FL 33019. For info, call 954-357-5161.

12. FEED ‘CAPTAIN’ THE RESCUE TURTLE

Also located in Hollywood Beach and part of the North Beach Park is the Marine Environmental Education Center (MEEC) at the Carpenter House.  You’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know and more about sea turtles and coastal ecology.  Wonderful for kids and adults. You can go at mealtime and help feed Captain, the in-house rescue turtle.  Call 954-357-5125 or visit https://cnso.nova.edu/carpenter-house-meec.

13. PAMPER YOURSELF AT AN UNLIKELY SPA

Everyone loves a spa day.  If you’ve never had one, here’s your chance.  On Stirling Road just east of 441, at Sheridan Tech, they don’t just teach mechanics and electronics.  

There’s a full spa where students will give you facials, haircut and color, even a manicure and pedicure if you time it right.  

This reporter got her hair bleached one day, and went back for a deep facial peel the following week. Excellent work at a fraction of the cost of going to a commercial spa.  

And there’s a full men’s barbering shop too!  Visit their website for the full spa menu, or call 754-321-5488 for hair services, and 754 321 5438 for facials and other advanced aesthetics and alternative therapies.  www.sheridantechnicalcollege.edu

14. TAKE A TRIP ON THE WATER TAXI

Image result for water taxi hollywood fl

We all spend lots of time in the ocean and the pool, but what about what’s happening on the Intracoastal side of town?  Well, you don’t need a boat to cruise like a millionaire! The Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Water Taxi runs up and down the waterway all day and your ticket lets you get on and off as many times as you like. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a chatty guide like Todd who will entertain you with stories of many of the gorgeous mansions and lovely parks you’ll pass along the way.  You can buy water, soda and wine on board, and the popcorn is free. Summer specials include half-price monthly passes, happy hours, and senior and groups discounts. Call 954-467-6677 or visit http://watertaxi.com for schedules, maps, and details.

15. ADD AN EXTRA 30 MINUTES TO ANY WATERWAY ADVENTURE ON US

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You can also rent manual and electric kayaks and paddleboards, and more from Waterway Adventures, which is located at the 5 o’clock Somewhere Bar and Grill on the Intracoastal at Margaritaville.  Mention ‘Hollywood Gazette’ for a free 30 minutes added onto most Kayak and Paddleboard rentals.  (waterway-adventures.com | 954-825 6956)

16. FREE ADMISSION TO ART AND CULTURE CENTER EVERY THIRD SUNDAY

At the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood, there is an ever-changing selection of exhibits and displays by local artists and upstairs, by local students, some of whom are amazing!  They have a new show, Dual Roles, opening on June 8, a production of the Lion King Jr on July 6 and 7, and the wonderful summer arts camp starting up June 11. Admission to the Center is free on the third Sunday of every month.  ( artandculturecenter.org | 954 921 3274 )

Go to the Gallery at the ArtsPark.  They have an ever-changing exhibit hall and lots of fun events.  (954-921-3500)

If all this art has awakened your own creativity, there are at least five do-it-yourself arts and crafts studios in Downtown Hollywood where you can go and express yourself.  

17. GET OUTTA TOWN ON THE BRIGHTLINE

Much as we love Hollywood, there is a whole lot of excitement when you go over the county line.  Miami, Palm Beach…why, this could be the perfect time to check out the new Brightline! Of course, you have to go to Fort Lauderdale or Miami to get the train, (for now), but hey, it’s something to do! Tickets, please! ( gobrightline.com )

18. TAKE A STROLL DOWNTOWN

And now, back to Hollywood.  There’s something happening almost every day at our very own ArtsPark.  There’s the usual stuff — Funtastic Fridays, movies, Monday food trucks and more —  which continue throughout the summer. There are also art exhibits scheduled at the ArtsPark gallery, and classes and events.  ( 954 921 3500 | http://www.hollywoodfl.org/65/ArtsPark-at-Young-Circle )

There’s quite a bit happening outside the park too.  The Hollywood CRA offers you several walking tours  highlighting both the history of the Downtown area and the new and burgeoning arts scene.  Stop by the office at 1958 Harrison (entrance is around the corner on 20th ave next to the parking garage) or visit them at https://hollywoodcra.org and pick up the directions for the a variety of self-guided walking tours of the downtown areas, or check the calendar for the dates of the summer ArtWalk/Mural Tour, the Antique Car Shows that close off downtown the first Sunday of every month, the monthly full moon drum circles and the other ongoing events that make Hollywood the unique place that we love to call home. ( 954- 924-2980 )

19. GET LUCKY!  

People come from around the world to visit our Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino — you just have to go across town.  You may get lucky and win, or you may get lucky and see someone famous!  

20. SPEND THE AFTERNOON AT THE FARMER’S MARKET

You’ll find an ever-growing variety of goods and services at the Yellow Green Market on Taft street at I-95, and they’ve recently expanded their outdoor area of food vendors to delight the palates of even the most discerning foodies.  Open Saturdays and Sundays. Plan a day and come with an empty stomach and a full wallet. Open year-round Saturday & Sunday
from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  ( ygfarmersmarket.com | 1940 N 30th Rd. )

21. GET A NATURAL ADRENALINE RUSH

For those of us who crave the excitement of speed and sports, you can join an Adult Flag Football League at Boggs Field, ( 2310 N 23rd Ave. | sfffa.com | 954-816-8586 )

You can play paintball at Extreme Rage Paintball Park at 6401 Sheridan erpark.com 954-986-9089 or race cars at K1 Speed at ( 2950 Stirling Rd. | k1speed.com/fort-lauderdale-location.html | 954 416-0044 )

For a unique twist, Mickey Byrnes Irish Pub & Restaurant sponsors the Gaelic Athletic Association which plays coed hurling and Gaelic football and always winds up at the pub on Hollywood Blvd.  ( southfloridagaa.com | 352-422-7054 )

Have fun and be safe.

22. LEARN TO PLAY SPIKEBALL

Image result for spikeball hollywood beach

Spikeball is an intense new game that is played 2 on 2 described as kinda sorta like volleyball and foursquare but on steroids. A taut Hula Hoop-sized net is placed at ankle level between a pair of two-player teams. You smack the palm-sized ball down on the net so it ricochets up at your opponents. ( spikeball.com )

23. GIVE BACK

There is nothing like being of service.  Try spending a day with someone worse off than you.  You’ll forget all about your own worries, aches and pains and problems. And make someone’s world a little brighter.  

Pick a cause that speaks to you or an activity you enjoy or are good at. There’s always a place where you can make a difference.

If you have a spare day or an extra few hours, go to Hands On Broward:  ( handsonbroward.org/calendar )

Their online calendar will show you a place where they can use your valuable help, right here right now!

It’ll make your world a little brighter too.

Have a great summer!