For less than the cost of a couple of lattes, Palm Beach County serves up a variety of tempting opportunities to quench your thirst for culture and the arts. To help get you started on an affordable exploration of what to do this weekend, here are 10 richly rewarding possibilities for under $10.
The Boca Raton Museum of Art in Mizner Park is a world-class institution that offers intriguing, national touring exhibitions, as well as a multifaceted permanent collection. Now through mid-December, admission to this 44,000-square-foot cultural hub is trimmed to $8 ($6 seniors, $5 students, free for children 12 and younger), including weekly art activities. | 561-392-2500
Palm Beach County’s only state park, the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, has a mangrove-fringed estuary, coastal hardwood forest and two miles of beach and shore reefs. The park, located in North Palm Beach, is open from 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year. The entrance fee is $5 per vehicle (maximum of eight people). Park visitors can participate in a variety of recreational activities, including kayaking, fishing, bird-watching and snorkeling. Guided nighttime turtle walks during the summer spawning season are also offered for just $5 per person. | 561-624-6950
The Puppetry Arts Center of the Palm Beaches, which is now in a new 5,000-square-foot home in Delray Beach’s colorful Pineapple Grove district, celebrates the enduring appeal of puppetry. Hand puppets, marionettes and magic transform the center’s 180-seat black box theater as professional puppeteers and ventriloquists perform shows ranging from children’s folktales to adult-oriented comedy acts. Many performances, including Saturday matinees, are $6.50 per person. | 561-243-4330
The Tequesta-based Lighthouse ArtCenter Museum and School of Art is the oldest arts institution in northern Palm Beach County. For 50 years, the organization has championed the work of regional artists. The center’s calendar is full of exhibitions and opportunities for visitors to meet artists, whether at monthly exhibition openings or at Third Thursdays cultural happenings. Regular admission for nonmembers is $5 (free on Saturdays), and Third Thursdays is $10. | 561-746-3101
Boynton Beach’s Schoolhouse Children’s Museum and Learning Center has welcomed one million children and their families since it opened in 2001. Housed in the city’s 1913 two-story elementary schoolhouse, the museum provides interactive experiences inspired by Florida’s past, such as a whimsically designed 19th-century general store stocked with props and costumes so that kids can dress up as pioneers. Admission is $5 for adults and children 2-17, $4.50 for seniors, and free for members or children under 2. | 561-742-6782
In an artful marriage of the natural and manmade, nine monumental monolith sculptures co-mingle with 300-plus rare palm trees at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach. American artist Ann Weaver Norton (1905-1982) began creating the large-scale artworks in the early 1950s after the death of her husband, who founded the nearby Norton Museum of Art. In all, more than 100 of her works are on display throughout the property, which includes her former home, studio and gardens. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for children over 5; children under 5 are free. | 561-832-5328
Since 1860, Palm Beach County’s fiery-red lighthouse in Jupiter has survived Seminole Indian uprisings, Confederate rebels and hurricanes. In more recent decades, it has thrived as a cultural destination. At the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum visitors can take a guided, 105-step climb to the top of the light overlooking a federally designated Outstanding Natural Area, a 120-acre site that also includes a fascinating waterfront museum and historic outdoor exhibits. Admission is $9 for adults and $5 for children 6-18; children 5 and younger are free. | 561-747-8380
You know you’re worlds away from mainstream cineplexes when catching a flick means passing through an art gallery. But what really sets the Mos’Art Theatre in Lake Park apart is its steady diet of indie and foreign films, documentaries and other artsy fare. Most tickets at Mos’Art are $8 for adults and $7 for seniors | 561-337-6763.
The Stonzek Theatre in Lake Worth, which is affiliated with the Lake Worth Playhouse, also screens a thoughtful selection of films. Tickets generally run $9, with Monday matinees for only $7. | 561-296-9382
The Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center at Palm Beach State College’s Belle Glade campus features a 500-seat performance hall that hosts world-class productions and a breadth of affordable cultural-arts opportunities. Several shows through the season can be enjoyed for $5 or $6 a person, such as December’s Annual Living Christmas Tree, Missoula Children’s Theatre in May and Belle Glades’ Street Beat dancers and musicians. | 561-993-1160
A profusion of tropical and subtropical plants from six continents blankets 14 acres at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach. Everything from North American trees to aquatic plants and the rarest of tropical fruits show off the unique, growing environment in Palm Beach County. In addition to being a place of beauty, this horticulturist’s heaven is a component of the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service and an affiliate of the University of Florida. A donation of $5 gets you admission to the garden. | 561-233-1757