Famous for its stunning beaches, beautiful people and sizzling nightlife, there’s more to Miami than meets the eye. And while most of its notoriety caters to adults, there’s a world of options available for families seeking fun in the sun at this tropical destination. So, if you have little ones in tow, we’ve got a few suggestions for giving them the best of what Miami has to offer for their age group. From museums to munchies, here are the sights that make Miami perfect for child’s play, in no particular order.
1. Miami Children’s Museum
Location: 980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami; 305-373-5437
Why not learn something while having fun? With a life-size cruise ship, pint-sized vet clinic, TV station, health center, rock-climbing wall and even a two-story sandcastle, there’s plenty to keep the little ones — and, quite possibly, the adults who brought them — entertained for hours.
2. Duck Tours South Beach
Location: 1661 James Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-673-2217
It’s a boat, it’s a bus, it’s both! See the sights of Miami by land, then take the plunge into the water when the Duck Tour bus-boat hybrid trades in its wheels for oars (not literally) and offers a seaside tour. The 90-minute tour includes South Beach, the Art Deco district, homes of the rich and famous, and more.
3. Zoo Miami
Location: 1 Zoo Boulevard 12400 SW 152 Street, Miami;
The ocean usually gets all of the attention but this zoo is worth skipping a day at the beach. A great way to keep the kids from complaining about walking is to rent one of the multi-passenger bikes. You’ll be able to explore the entire grounds. There’s a great splash pad and playground in the middle for kids to burn a little energy. Best plan is to go as early in the day as possible. Weather is better and crowds are smaller. Miami is a late culture, after all.
4. South Pointe Park
Location: 1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach
This might be the greatest park in Miami with strong sun cover. The squishy floor covering means that kids can feel free to climb and jump and if they need to cool off, they can run through the sculptured sprinklers. Stop at Publix or a local market on your way and pickup some food for a picnic. Sit and wave to the cruise ships and passengers sailing out of Port Miami around 5 p.m. Just make sure it isn’t yours.
5. Beach Day
The beach at South Pointe Park is also a great spot for kids to play. The water is shallow and great for wading and there tends to be less of the party scene there. It’s walking distance to plenty of places to eat and drink and South Pointe Park is a great spot to take cover from the sun.
Location: Coconut Grove 2550 S. Bayshore Dr. (tucked away into the second floor of a waterfront mall that once was a hangar for seaplanes) and Miami Beach, 300 Alton Road
Fun low-key spot for locals and tourists to eat seafood. Early evenings there is usually music playing and there are young kids (as young as 2) shaking their booties until they clear out to make way for grown up dancers.
7. Wynwood Walls (admire or climb)
Location: 2520 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami
If you’re children love art take them to Wynwood for a Wynwood Walls tour. This entire neighborhood has transformed from a warehouse district with many abandoned buildings to a thriving art neighborhood where it’s impossible to see a building not covered in artwork. If your littles are more interested in climbing the walls, visit Play-in for some indoor climbing and playing. Once the wiggles are out, head to Coyo Taco for delicious (and inexpensive) tacos …all of this with help from the nearby Panther coffee for mom and dad.
8. The Frieze Ice Cream Factory
Location: 1626 North Michigan Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-538-0207
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. And when you and the kids need something sweet that will also cool you down, head to this iconic shop just off Lincoln Road. Its homemade, organic and kosher ice cream comes in flavors like lychee, guava, apple cider, key lime, cappuccino chip, coffee toffee crunch, hazelnut, malted milk balls and more. We suggest grabbing your cone and going for a stroll through the famed outdoor mall.