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.
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.
- Venetian Pool Spend the day splashing about in Miami's loveliest swimming pool.
- South Pointe Park Ice-cream stands, soft grass, a beach and mini waterpark.
- Mid-Beach Boardwalk Fronts a family-friendly stretch of sand.
- Arch Creek Park Has nature walks and ghost walks.
- Crandon Park Pretty Key Biscayne spot with sand and nature trails.
- Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Picnic tables front a pretty sweep of beach, plus scenic walks among the greenery.
- Village of Key Biscayne Community Center Playgrounds, sports fields, a swimming pool and a packed kids’ activities schedule.
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.
- Bayfront Park Right in Downtown, with open spaces for running around, a good playground and outdoor dining nearby.
- Oleta River State Park Huge park with waterfront access, and canoe and kayak rental.
- Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center Aquarium exhibits, short nature trails, and once monthly kid-focused outdoor activities.
- Vizcaya Museum & Gardens Older children will appreciate the whimsy of this fairy-tale mansion and sprawling gardens.
- Barnacle Historic State Park Outdoor paths and frequent family-friendly outdoor concerts.
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.