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 loads 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 heat and 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 Saturday of each month is family fun day, 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.

  • Mid-Beach Boardwalk

Fronts a family-friendly stretch of sand.

  • 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.

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.

  • Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Older children will appreciate the whimsy of this fairy-tale mansion and sprawling gardens.

  • Fairchild Tropical Garden

A fantastic place for kids of all ages to learn about the flora of the city.

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 Baby's Away (http://babysaway.com) and Babies Travel Lite (www.babiestravellite.com).
  • Babysitting Many hotels, particularly larger resorts, offer childcare services. Or call the local Nanny Poppinz agency (www.nannypoppinz.com).