Miami has loads of attractions for young travelers. You'll find lovely beaches, grassy parks, nature trails, megamalls, zoos and other animal-centric attractions. Plus, there's plenty of great snacks, from Italian-style gelato to Venezuelan arepas (corn cakes). There are also loads of family-friendly hotels and restaurants to keep your young ones happy on holiday.

Animal Encounters

While not cheap, these parks are often a big hit with the kids. Monkeys, birds, tigers and other fine species – Miami has plenty of animal allure.

  • Zoo Miami A 740-acre zoo with plenty of natural habitats (thank you, tropical weather).
  • Monkey Jungle This habitat for endangered species is everything you’d expect: screeching primates, covered pathways and a grand finale show of crab-eating monkeys diving for fruit.
  • Jungle Island Fabulous opportunity to see exotic creatures in a lush environment. Famous for its bird shows.

Rainy Day Activities

When the weather sours (rain or unbearable humidity), it's time to retreat indoors.

  • Miami Children’s Museum An indoor playland where kids can go on many imaginary adventures (including under the sea).
  • HistoryMiami Fascinating multimedia exhibits on Miami's history; there's even displays on pirates! The second Saturdays of the month are family fun days, with free activities from noon to 4pm.
  • Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science Aquarium, planetarium and hands-on exhibits exploring the wonders of the natural world.

Beaches & Pools

When the sun is out (which is often here in South Florida), cool off with a dip in the ocean or one of Miami's many enticing pools.

Parks & Green Spaces

You won't have to travel far to find open spaces for fresh air – especially if you lodge near the beach. Miami's parks offer a handy gateway to the great outdoors.

Dining with Kids

Most midrange Miami restaurants have a dedicated kids menu, along with high chairs, crayons for coloring, and changing tables in restrooms. Even cheap ethnic eateries – a delicious, ubiquitous constant in the Miami dining scene – are good at accommodating children. Most restaurants, even high-end ones, are happy to make a kids meal by request. As a rule, families with infants or toddlers will get better service earlier in the dinner hour (by 6pm). Some high-end restaurants may look askance at young diners; simply ask when making reservations.

Need to Know

  • Lodging Most hotels have cribs (often pack-and-plays) and rollaway beds (some charge extra). Inquire about extra charges for kids.
  • Websites For family-centered travel advice and services, check out these sites: Baby's Away (http://babysaway.com), Babies Travel Lite (www.babiestravellite.com) and Jet Set Babies (http://jetsetbabies.com).
  • Babysitting Many hotels, particularly larger resorts, offer childcare services. Or call the local Nanny Poppinz.