Best known for its idyllic beaches, designer shopping and vibrant nightlife, Miami is also a hugely popular destination with families.
In fact, there are so many kid-friendly things to see and do in and around Miami that putting together an itinerary for you and your family can be a little daunting. To give you a kick start, we’ve harnessed the full might of TravelMag’s research powers and come up with 20 fun and fascinating activities, attractions and places of interest in and around Miami that your little ones are sure to enjoy.
Check out a family-friendly museum
An ideal attraction for fostering a sense of creativity and adventure in your kids, Miami Children’s Museum is packed to the rafters with fun-filled educational activities, exhibits and learning materials related to themes including arts, culture, community, health and wellness. Most visitors inevitably gravitate towards the children-sized replicas of real-world locations such as grocery stores, garages and banks, where kids can role play and imagine what life will be like as a full-sized human.
980 MacArthur Causeway / Mon-Sun 10am–6pm
Another Miami museum designed to educate and entertain in equal measure, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is housed within a vast building and features a diverse assortment of interactive science-themed exhibitions. Kids are invited to get hands-on and explore their senses as a way of grasping some of the basic scientific principles. Among the museum’s most popular areas is the “MeLab” which lets little ones learn about biology and health by using their own bodies to conduct ‘experiments’.
1101 Biscayne Boulevard / Mon-Sun 10am-7pm
Explore a working alligator farm
Located about an hour’s drive south of Miami, close to the entrance to Everglades National Park, Everglades Alligator Farm provides visitors with the unique opportunity to observe more than 2,000 alligators in their natural habitat. A fully operational farm dedicated to hatching and raising alligators in an ethical way, the venue offers a wide range of events and activities that will leave kids with lasting memories including airboat tours through the Everglades, alligator shows and feeding demonstrations, and plenty more.
40351 Southwest 192nd Avenue, Homestead / Mon-Sun 9am-5.30pm
Try a hop-on hop-off tour
While many of Miami’s attractions are within walking distance of each other, the reality is that most kids aren’t the biggest fans of traipsing the streets sightseeing. Step forward Miami bus tours as be the perfect solution. Among the most time efficient and convenient of seeing Miami by bus is booking hop-on hop-off bus tour tickets, which provide the independence to whizz across the city in a heartbeat, boarding buses at designated stops as and when you please, and then jumping back on again when you want to head elsewhere. Tickets are normally valid for a choice of either one or two days.
See Florida from new heights
The national parks, beaches, cityscapes, and wildlife of South Florida are impressive enough from ground level, but you can also enjoy them from an alternative vantage point – the sky. Miami Seaplane Tours have been hosting exhilarating aerial adventures since 1995 that invite passengers to admire the Miami skyline and the pristine waters of Biscayne Bay from aboard a high-tech fleet of seaplanes. A variety of tours are available, ranging from 20 minutes to 2 hours, with each taking in different areas and landmarks in the region.
Spend a day at the zoo
The suggestion of a day out at the zoo is almost guaranteed to leave your kids wide-eyed with excitement. About 20 miles south of downtown Miami, Zoo Miami is different to most other zoos in that it is cageless, with elephants, koalas, monkeys, and rhinoceroses all free to roam in habitats separated by moats. Among the zoo’s most popular areas to explore are ‘Amazon and Beyond’, featuring a rainforest, jaguars, anacondas, bats, venomous snakes, and rare frogs, and a 48,000-gallon aquarium.
12400 Southwest 152nd Street / Mon-Sun 10am-5pm
Attend a fun-packed festival
Each year Pinecrest Gardens, south of downtown Miami, transforms into a winter wonderland dotted by thousands of twinkling lights that go up, through and around the whimsical botanical landscape. And for this year organisers of the Nights of Lights Festival are adding more sparkling lights and surprises. Tuck into yummy treats, savour a signature Gardens cocktail, and enjoy story time with Mrs. Claus – and stay tuned for Santa’s special appearances, too. On select evenings, admission includes a holiday performance.
Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 SW 57th Avenue, Pinecrest / November-January each year
Let your hair down at a street parade
Miami’s cultural calendar is packed full of fun-filled festivals and events, and among the most popular – and distinctly quirky – is the King Mango Strut Parade. The event provides a platform for the irreverent, creative and wacky to showcase their subversive side in pretty much any way they please. While the distinctly satirical elements of the parade are likely to go over the heads of younger attendees, they’ll still enjoy the marching bands and juggling shows, not to mention the curious costumes and kaleidoscope of colour on display.
Coconut Grove / December each year
Discover tropical sanctuary
Spread across 60 acres of tropical landscape, Flamingo Gardens & Wildlife Sanctuary features a remarkable collection of trees, plants, orchids, and over 3,000 different rare and endangered native animal species. The not-for-profit botanical garden hosts daily wildlife encounter shows, and visitors can join a narrated 30-minute tram tour through the garden and its three different ecosystems. There are also frequent rolling exhibitions themed around specific aspects of the natural world.
3750 South Flamingo Road, Davie / Mon-Sun 9.30am-5pm
Catch a theatre show
If your children have any nascent thespian pretensions then a trip to the Miami Children’s Theater is a great way to inspire them to further pursue their dreams and make them reality. Widely considered one of the most prestigious children’s theatres anywhere in America, shows and performances here are produced, acted and choreographed exclusively by kids, who are able to serve as role models and sources of inspiration for their wide-eyed peers watching eagerly in the audience.
11155 Southwest 112th Avenue
Hit the waters on a speedboat tour
Your kids are unlikely to remember Miami Vice, but that won’t stop them having the time of their lives during an adrenaline-pumping speedboat ride that is sure to evoke the iconic TV show among many adult passengers of a certain vintage. Run by Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventures, their off-shore trips see you skim across the Atlantic waters at breakneck speed as you admire some of the area’s most famous sites and attractions, including the Art Deco district of South Beach, Flagler Monument Island, the Venetian Islands, and Miami’s spectacular skyline. Tours last around 45 minutes.
Get up close to an array of marine life
Another renowned Miami attraction that’s tailor-made for kids needing respite from the city’s scorching sun, Seaquarium combines the educational benefits of an aquarium with the unbridled fun of a splash park. As well as offering the chance to watch dolphins and sea lions showcasing their jaw-dropping acrobatic skills at close quarters, the venue also has designated splash zones where your little’uns can get as wet ‘n’ wild as they please. Just remember to bring spare clothes.
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne / Mon-Sun 10am-5pm
Learn about a Native American tribe
Florida is a melting pot of cultures and among its lesser-known demographic groups is the federally recognised American tribe of Miccosukee Indians. Located within Everglades National Park is the fascinating Miccosukee Indian Village, an open-air living history museum packed full of artefacts and exhibits that tell the story of the tribe, its history and its enduring traditions in a fun and informative way. Visitors to the village can browse crafts and patchworks, sample authentic tribal cuisine, and more.
Everglades National Park / Weds-Sun 9am-4.30pm Closed Mon-Tues
Let the kids loose at a water park
Situated within the Mediterranean-style JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa is Tidal Cove, an all-singing, all-dancing hotel water park that draws visitors from far and wide. The park features a lazy river, 4,000-square foot kids’ pool, and a splash pad, and is open (for a fee) to non-hotel guests. There are also two on-site restaurants, a cocktail bar, and trained lifeguards on duty at all times, allowing parents to kick back and relax while their little ones have the time of their lives.
19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura / Mon-Sun 9am-7pm
Get creative at an arts and crafts centre
If your kids are into arts and crafts, then The Poppet Project is sure to satisfy their penchant for creativity. Located around 7 miles north of downtown Miami, you pay by the hour and gain access to varying work stations, each offering a different crafty theme – from painting to molding sand and everything in between. Kids can take away their creations as a memento and give it pride of place at home, or even take it in to school to show their proud teachers and envious buddies.
8650 Biscayne Boulevard #29, El Portal / Mon-Thurs 1pm-6pm Fri-Sat 10am-6pm Sun 10am-5pm
Cool off in an elegant bathing venue
Built in 1923 from a coral rock quarry and inspired by elegant Mediterranean architecture, the Venetian Pool offers what is undoubtedly Miami’s – and perhaps even Florida’s – most unique bathing experience. Fed from spring water from an underground aquifer, the historic pool is flanked by picturesque palm trees, coral rock formations, waterfalls and enticing caves, making it not only merely somewhere to cool off but also a scenic spot ripe for exploration and photo opportunities.
2701 De Soto Boulevard, Coral Gables / Mon-Fri 11am-6.30pm Sat-Sun 10am-4.30pm
Embark on a snorkelling adventure
Without local knowledge, it can be hard to pinpoint the best snorkelling spots around Miami, but by booking onto a guided tour, you have the ideal solution. On this 2.5-hour island snorkelling tour, your guide will lead you through a lush mangrove jungle as you paddle by kayak or stand-up paddleboard, soaking up the views and looking out for wildlife including manatees, crabs, and even dolphins. On arrival at your picturesque island destination, you’ll don your snorkelling gear and explore the underwater world at your leisure. All snorkelling equipment, flotation device, and fresh fruit and drinks are included in the tour price.
Watch monkeys in their semi-natural habitat
Opened in 1933 in a natural subtropical forest in southern Miami-Dade County for the purpose of exhibiting and studying endangered monkeys, Monkey Jungle is a truly unique wildlife eco-show park and discovery centre that’s home to some 400 primates, including orangutans, gibbons and howlers. However, unlike in conventional zoos, the monkeys are free to run free while human visitors observe them through transparent tunnel cages that wind through the sprawling 30-acre park.
14805 Southwest 216th Street / Mon-Sun 10am-3.30pm
Visit a historic lighthouse
Situated within the historic Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, and overlooking a white sandy beach, Cape Florida Lighthouse boasts the honour of being Miami’s oldest standing structure. The striking beacon on the landscape dates all the way back to 1825 and today features a small museum packed full of information about the history of the lighthouse and its surroundings. Visitors can also ascend the 109 steps to its summit, where they’ll be rewarded with stunning views across the park.
1200 South Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscayne / Thurs-Mon 10am-2pm Closed Tues-Weds
See how we grow food at a fruit park
If you’re keen to spark your children’s interest in horticulture as well as to teach them how food is grown and harvested, then the Fruit & Spice Park provides a great opportunity to do just that. The expansive 37-acre park is home to an incredible array of exotic plants and trees that between them produce more than 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts. The venue also plays host to regular foodie-themed events, so be sure to check the schedule in case one coincides with your visit.
24801 Southwest 187th Avenue, Homestead / Mon-Sun 10am-4pm