Tropical Park

Tropical Park, at Bird Road and Palmetto Expressway, was Tropical Park race track from 1931 to 1972. The 245-acre track opened Dec. 26, 1931, and closed after the 1972 racing season. For 40 years, it was a winter haven for northern and local gamblers, jockeys and horse owners. By 1971, the track was in financial chaos and Miami-Dade county offered to purchase it for $9.7 million. The county also bought adjacent land, increasing the park’s size to 275 acres. The federal government approved a $683,000 grant in July 1976 for the development of the park. The former track officially opened as a park on July 4, 1978, to a crowd of 250,000 people. Parkgoers could play tennis, racquetball and baseball, or fish, swim, ride horses or enjoy a picnic. The park is also famous for its yearly seasonal event, Santa’s Enchanted Forest, which runs from November through January.

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