Things to Do in Miami with Kids
When you think about Florida's largest city, you probably don't think about the many things to do in Miami with kids. The city is famous for its nightlife, so lots of families tend to stay away. But while you might think that Miami doesn't cater for children, there are options if you know where to look for them. Most young families head to Orlando, but there's lots of family fun to be enjoyed in Miami and Miami Beach; you just need to plan your activities in advance. If you're stuck for options, here are a few to get your started.
Fun Things to Do
Don't believe the hype; fun abounds in Florida's biggest city. Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, fun and excitement is never more than a short car journey away. The city and the wider area are home to fairground attractions, exciting outdoor areas to explore, and places where kids can adventure. The great thing about many of the fun family attractions in the city is that they can be enjoyed by your children at their leisure. This leaves you to enjoy some respite from your supervisory responsibilities. Check out these exciting and fun things to do in Miami with kids.
Fairground rides and state-of-the-art attractions are usually associated with Orlando, Florida. However, if you're anywhere near the Wynwood area, make sure you pop by FunDimension. This is a 15,000-square-foot indoor fairground that offers children and parents alike the opportunity to do everything from ride bumper cars to play laser tag.
You and your family could easily spend an entire day here. As well as several classic fairground rides, there's a groundbreaking 7D theater which delivers sounds, tastes, smells, touch, and jaw-dropping high-definition presentations. If you simply want to relax while the children enjoy the fun, sip coffee at the Panther Coffee Shop, which has free Wi-Fi for all.
Miami probably has more pools per square mile than any other state in America. But if you visit just one with your children, make sure it's the Venetian Pool at Coral Gables. Taking a dip in this gorgeous swimming pool is like swimming with the fishes in the Mediterranean Sea. You're surrounded by ornate waterfalls, tropical trees, and classic Italian architecture - which transports you to Southern Europe in an instant.
Your children will have plenty to keep them occupied at Venetian Pool. When they're peckish, there's a large café selling classic pizzas, hot dogs, fries, and a range of quick snacks. And there's so much to explore at the pool, too. Let your children explore the different waterfalls, towers, bridges, and grottos. Play pool games as a family or swim a few laps alone; the choice is yours. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this glorious swimming pool is its water. Believe it or not, it comes from a natural, underground aquifer. And incredibly, the pool is drained and refilled every day.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
For a family day out in the great outdoors, spend at least half a day at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Located on the tip of Key Biscayne, the park is home to some of the most beautiful and clean beaches in America. Take a football or a baseball and play some sports on the beach as a family. Take a dip in the ocean, or simply catch some rays while enjoying the unique ambience.
There's plenty here to keep your kids occupied, too. Take the iconic Cape Florida Lighthouse, for example. This historic landmark was built in 1825 to help mariners plot their course to land while avoiding the Florida Reef. Most children love the exhilarating climb to the top of the lighthouse. If you and your family enjoy an active lifestyle, there's plenty to keep you on the go. You'll find everything from ocean kayaking to windsurfing here, as well as cycling and hiking trails if you're land-lovers. A day at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is lots of fun for children of all ages.
If you simply want to let your kids burn off some energy and do a little exploring, there's no better place for a day of outdoor fun than Crandon Park. Crandon Park is home to one of the safest beaches in Florida. It also has its own amusement center, which features a roller rink and an antique fairground carousel. So, while the kids enjoy all the fun of the fair, the parents can get some alone time on the beach.
There's also a wonderful array of nature to be discovered at Crandon Park. As well as the sea life and bird life on show, the nature center offers a close look at a fossilized mangrove reef. And you and your children can spend a while exploring a large selection of indigenous reptiles. If you're feeling energetic, rent a family bike and take a ride around the entire park - there's room for two peddlers and two seated passengers.
Educational options with Kids
If you're in search of educational things to do in Miami with kids, you're truly spoilt for choice. This part of Florida is littered with examples of outstanding natural beauty that can teach kids a lot about the natural world. The biggest draw is the Everglades, which is just an hour's drive from the center of Miami. But don't forget the miles of stunning coastline, which are home to dunes, reefs, and a multitude of sea life. Miami also has more than its fair share of museums, each delivering its own unique insights and educational tours.
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
Located in the Downtown area of Miami, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a huge installation. The museum features four sub-locations: the Aquarium, the North Wing, the West Wing, and the Frost Planetarium. The museum is packed with interactive exhibits, all designed to educate people of all ages on the wonders of science. Attractions such as "Feathers to the Stars" and "River of Grass" deliver fascinating insights into the natural world. But perhaps the most popular attraction for children is the "MeLab." This interactive exhibit teaches people about their health and how their bodies work.
It doesn't matter when you're in town, as the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is open 365 days a year. You can visit each of the four installations separately, or buy an all-in-one ticket for around 30 USD, or 20 USD for children. Children under three get in free. Your children will be given their own mobile device as they enter, which is used to deliver interesting facts about science and a fun scavenger-hunt game.
Miami Children's Museum
A lot of children these days don't know a world without video games, the Internet, and gadgetry. Taking them to the Miami Children's Museum should teach them how children used to play. Located on the causeway opposite Jungle Island, the museum building itself is something of a local landmark. Step inside, and you're transported to an interactive world of toys that includes a two-story sandcastle, an exhibition of historic Teddy bears, and a working television studio. Children are encouraged to take part in a wide range of games and interactive exhibits, so let their imaginations run free.
Want your children to learn about wildlife? Take them to Safari Edventure at Redlands. This five-acre oasis of wildlife is home to more than 120 animals. Most can be viewed from a distance, but a few - including huge snakes - can be picked up by you and your children. Particularly popular is the sloth exhibit. These friendly, docile creatures can sit on your shoulder for a selfie, or simply entertain you with their adorable eyes. Your kids also get the opportunity to feed pot-bellied pigs and lemurs. Make no mistake, this place is fun, but there's also a very strong educational element to a day at Safari Edventure.
Zoo Miami is one of the most humane and progressive public zoos in the world. There are very few walls here, and no cages or aggressive fences. Spread across more than 900 acres, the zoo is home to giraffes, apes, monkeys, tigers, camels, elephants, and just about every species of wild animal you could mention. For smaller children, there's a petting zoo and a few fairground rides. There are also some great shows you can enjoy as a family, including Dr. Wilde's World and several exciting presentations in the amphitheater.
Cheap Things to Do with Kids
Miami is a billionaire's playground, and home to some of the most expensive real estate in the world. But you don't need to be the CEO of a huge multinational corporation to give your children some great experiences in this part of Florida. In fact, some of the best things to do in Miami with kids are completely free - and here are three of the best.
Spend the day at Matheson Hammock Park
If you simply want to spend some quality time with your family in the great outdoors, the perfect location is Matheson Hammock Park. Play games on the beach or take a swim in an artificial atoll pool that is protected from the indigenous sharks of Florida's Atlantic coast. There's also a busy marina packed with private fishing vessels, some of which offer private charter trips. To save money, take some beach games and a picnic; the rest is absolutely free. If you're taking your car, however, there's a charge of around 6 USD for parking.
Spending some time at Wynwood Walls with your family provides you with both a cheap and educational day out in Miami. Located in Wynwood, this outdoor museum showcases the very best street art in America. This place is home to more than 40 original murals, created especially for the museum by acclaimed artists such as Ryan McGuinness, Kenny Scharf, and Shepard Fairey.
Wynwood Walls is an attraction you and your children can explore at your own pace. Instead of canvases, art is displayed on buildings and purpose-built walls. Follow the trails, and take lots of photos and selfies as you go. When you're done, enjoy some fresh seafood at the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. But lunch is all you'll need to pay for here, as admission to Wynwood Walls is completely free.
Grapeland Water Park
There's no better - or more fun - way to cool off in the hot, Miami sun than by spending a few hours at Grapeland Water Park in Grapeland Heights. You'll find slides, pools, and a range of fun water features that will keep the children occupied for hours. Among the most popular attractions at the park are a lazy river, a splash area with a pirate theme, and a wading pool for toddlers. If you have older kids in your family, there's also a selection of adrenaline-fueled thrill slides that get the heart racing.
This very popular water park is only open between June and the end of August. However, children get in for the day from just 7 USD, and that's not a lot to pay for so many water-based attractions.
Miami Children's Theater
Located in the Kendall area of Miami, the Miami Children's Theater is the perfect place to take in a show. Ticket prices are often less than 10 USD, and for that price you get a professionally produced show featuring some very talented local children. Most of the shows are musicals, so the theater company is a great option if you're looking for some light entertainment during a hot afternoon. If your children want to audition, they're very welcome to do so - and they'll probably get a part in the production, too! As well as the main Kendall location, there are theaters in Miami Beach and Coral Gables.
You Won't Be Lost
Don't believe the hype: There's more to Miami than nightclubs and waterfront mansions. If you're looking for fun days out and things to do in Miami with kids, there are lots of options for various budgets and children of all ages. Whether you're enjoying a leisurely day in one of the city's parks or learning about local wildlife at one of Miami's museums, memorable family experiences are found at every turn.