Miami Beach is not just about small bikinis hugging bronzed bodies, the active nightlife along Ocean Drive or drinking beer by the beaches. Miami Beach is so much more. As a parent, you will be happy to know that it is one of the finest kid friendly destinations around for a family break. From parks to interact with nature, to wildlife options, beaches that thrill all ages – there are fun activities for both kids and adults. Some of these kid activities are free, some cheap and some well, a bit on the higher side. But having said that, combined with plenty of roomy vacation homes to choose from, Miami Beach is a vacation mecca for families.
1. Oleta River State Park
Head up to North Miami Beach for this kid-friendly beach which is a family attraction for many. Biscayne Bay offers up a safe swimming option, as the waters here are pretty calm and composed. While you laze around on the picnic tables, or walk about the trails, there are enough food and drink vendors to keep the children and adults in the family happy.
2. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Your child will love the Cape Florida Lighthouse and the tour of light keeper’s house. If your child loves history he or she will love the old Florida part of Miami. If you have time on your hands, your kids can indulge in saltwater fishing off the seawall. Younger kids, of course, will enjoy the peaceful waters provided by the beaches. One place we recommend nearby is Puntino Pizzaria – for the best of wood fired pizza.
3. Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park
Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park has green landscape and huge banyan trees and hence is a sight for sore eyes. Your kids and rest of the family will love the walk along the nature trail. If your kids are younger, you can stand on the lake bridge and watch the turtles swim below. If horse riding excites your family, do indulge not to mention pony feeding. This park also plays host to good family-friendly Miami vacation homes, with lots of activities.
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4. Sea Turtle Awareness Program
Nesting sea turtles are part of the Endangered Sea Turtle Protection and Relocation Program, and nesting areas of Miami’s beaches are protected too. Eco Adventures in Key Biscayne shows inquisitive children how to be a responsible citizen of this world. Besides they also get to know all about Loggerhead sea turtles and how they nest. During the months of July through early September Sea Turtle Awareness Program also offer tickets to kids and adults who want to see hatchlings. Make reservations early because this is one of the best fun activity in Miami for kids and hence the tickets sell out quickly. This place is a huge draw for kids, and you must take your child here for sure.
5. Fisher Island
Take the ferry to Fisher Island from Miami Beach and make it a nice eating expedition with your family and children. The island resorts are quite costly but if you just head out for a day trip it works out much cheaper. Since the little ones enjoy the ferry ride, more than the destination itself this becomes a great place to take your child.
6. Miami Beach Botanical Garden
This 2.6-acre natural attraction is perfect for parents and their kids alike. These wetlands are complete with mangrove trees, orchids, and unique wildlife and just the right fun adventure for kids. These wetlands are one of the best places to take your children for a break. Occasionally the garden hosts family and kid-friendly events. Before booking your trip with kids to this destination do check on these events.
7. Jungle Island
Jungle Island is what to do in Miami Beach with kids who love animals. Wander through the rainforests, enjoy the peaceful and silently flowing streams, and feel the rush of the cascading waterfalls. And of course, the 40-pound lizard named Godzilla. Some of the most popular kid attractions in this place are the bike-riding cockatoo and a cassowary, which swallows a whole apple. If your child loves being in the midst of birds, he or she can experience it at Manu Encounter, where kids can roam free with parrots, squirrel monkeys, macaws etc.
8. Miami Seaquarium
Miami Seaquarium is the oldest oceanarium in USA. At the Golden Dome Sea Lion show there are sea lions which can beat any stand-up comedian on their good day. In the feeder pool you can watch the lions being fed. Dolphin show is also a must watch for your kids where Lolita the killer whale is on display. If your kids love getting wet, you may want to seat them closer to the pool during Lolita’s display.
9. Miami Children’s Museum
If you end up in Miami with your kids on a rainy day, don’t worry because Miami Children’s Museum works best for such days. This is a cheap destination where you can take your kids in Miami. Your child will enjoy the cultural, technological, artistic, and natural parts of the museum best. Just outside the Museum, you will see the best of cruise ships traveling to and from the city’s busy port and this forms a nice half hour entertainment plan.
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10. Hollywood Beach Boardwalk
Rent bikes and take your family on a bicycle ride along Hollywood’s Boardwalk. If you are hungry you can also buy some tacos for lunch at Taco Beach Shack. Pick up a table of your choice on the boardwalk, and indulge in people watching. While the table forms the base for the family, the kids and do whatever they want all around.
11. Crandon Park
Pack a picnic and spend a day at Crandon Park, Key Biscayne. The beach is smooth and level, and the wave-free sea water is ideal for little ones – in short a perfect kid-friendly outing for a family. When the tide is low the younger kids can have fun in the shallow water while the older kids can go deeper to enjoy their holiday. The whole family can pick up something to nibble and walk down the promenade to Crandon Family Amusement Center. Older kids can figure out their own means of travel while the younger ones can use the tried and tested approach – walking. This destination in Miami can be a complete family fun place.
12. Bayside Marketplace
Here you can take a family boat tour past the jealousy-inducing celebrity homes on Star Island. Once that’s done, you can come down on Earth and buy something that’s within our reach – artifacts of natural stone and fossils. If you have younger kids they may love a visit to Glow Star where glow-in-the-dark merchandise is available.
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13. Gathering Sea Shells and Sea Glass
If your family and kids love to collect trinkets, the Atlantic offers up a lot. Reach the beach early for a nice long walk collecting a whole lot of stuff to discuss later. Some of the popular things you can pick up are – shells, mollusks, sharks’ teeth, etc. If you are lucky you may also get what is known as sea glass – colorful glass that’s been weathered into smooth stones.