Sandoway Discovery Center: A Great Place to Take Kids

Delray Beach is a coastal city in Florida known for its vibrant arts scene, lively downtown area, and pristine beaches. The beach town also has many fun things to do with kids, and Sandoway Discovery Center is one of my kids’ favorite places to visit.

Sandoway Discovery Center is unlike other nature centers. It is housed in an old house across from the beach on the famous A1A boulevard. Nestled between bougie homes and condos, you will find an historic casa filled with sharks, native Florida animals, aquariums, and many hands-on learning centers.

sandoway house

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Delray Beach with Kids, add Sandoway house to your list!

Sandoway Discovery Center Exhibits

The main attraction is the daily shark and stingray feedings, which happen at 1 pm. On Saturdays, there is a second feeding at 11 am.

Tip: Wear blue if you want the sharks and rays to follow you. All Sandoway team members wear this color, and the animals recognize it!

Stingray Touch Tank

The stingray aquarium was rebuilt in 2023. The large rectangle offers 360-degree spots to see and touch the rays.

The touch tank at Sandway is home to cownose rays, Atlantic stingrays, and the yellow stingray. All were rescued, as the rays here were once pets that got too large for their aquariums.

sandoway house stingray touch pool

Inside the tank is also a small bamboo shark named Sharkira and her offspring! Bamboo sharks are unique because they lay eggs and can reproduce asexually, also known as virgin births! The eggs are protected inside a cage hanging on the wall, where they will take 9 months to hatch.

Sandoway Shark Feeding

Have you ever seen a shark in a swimming pool? Well, at Sandoway Discovery Center, the pool was transformed into a saltwater reef pool for the nurse sharks — Pickles and Norma Jean!

sandoway discovery center shark feeding

During the shark feedings, the Sandoway staff will share a lot of cool facts about the sharks and their ecosystems. Shark feedings are daily at 1 pm (Saturdays at 11 am too).

Coral Reef Room & Touch Tank

lion fish

Has your kid ever touched a starfish? Sandoway’s touch tank is home to urchins, sea stars, sea cucumbers, and horseshoe crabs. Learn why they are important to our oceans and how we can protect them! Every day at 2 pm, they feed the fish in the coral reef room.

Everglades Room

Meet Florida’s native animals that flourish in the everglades. See alligators, snakes, lizards and fish that call the everglades home.

sandow discovery center everglades room

Nocturnal Room

This room is dedicated to Florida’s creatures of the night. Meet a screech owl, opossum, and even a skunk! Learn about sea turtle nesting, bat echolocation, and nocturnal animals and their behavior.

sandoway nocturnal room

The Discovery Room

Filled with amphibians and reptiles like cane frogs, glass lizards, salamanders and even an axolotl.

Activity Room

If you have little kids, this might be their favorite room. There are toys, books, activities, microscopes, and hand puppets. See the full lifecycle of monarch butterflies in the large butterfly habitat. A door leads out to an observation deck where you can see the Atlantic Ocean.

sandoway discovery center kids looking at microscopes

Shell Room Gallery

The largest room upstairs houses a 3,000-piece museum-quality shell collection, donated by a husband and wife team over 40 years. It’s the largest private collection in South East Florida.

Discovery Porch

When you enter the front porch of the Sandoway house, you will meet Maggie the gopher tortoise and Blue the blue macaw. If you’re lucky, you might even see the skunk playing outside of its enclosure!

sandoway discovery center porch with tortoise and macaw

Sandoway Location & Directions

142 S Ocean Blvd, Delray Beach, FL 33483

  • Tuesday – Friday: 12-4 PM
  • Saturday: 10 AM – 4 PM
  • Sunday: 12-4 PM
  • Monday & Major Holidays: Closed

Tickets & Cost

Sandoway Discovery Center tickets cost $10 per person. Children 3 & under are free. Tickets can be purchased there or online. Parking is available and included with ticket.

Become a member and save! Members enjoy free admission and additional perks at Sandoway Discovery Center and discounts to local community partner’s like Silver Ball Museum, Whit’s Ice Cream, and Deck 84 Restaurant. Membership prices start at $40, a family of 4 is only $100. If you go more than 2x a year it pays for itself!

Sandoway House is fun for kids!

Sandoway House is also a great place for families to learn about the importance of conservation and environmental protection. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and they are always happy to answer questions.

sandoway discovery center events kids playing python hunters

During a special event on Saturday, my kids learned about the invasive python species and why python hunting is important for Florida’s ecosystem. They hid large stuffed animal snakes outside in the butterfly garden, and each kid was able to hunt for pythons. They had a blast!

Looking for more fun things to do in Delray Beach, FL with Kids?

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About Me

Hi, I'm Carly! While working full time, we travel and explore as much as we can. Especially on the weekends. I want to inspire you on new places to see and fun things to do as a family while juggling it all.

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