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Venetian Pool homepage
Photograph: Shutterstock/Marco Borghini

The best things to do in Miami with kids all year round

From zoos and arcades to museums, the best things to do in Miami with kids are fun for people of all ages.

By Virginia Gil and Sara Liss

March 2021: With spring break here and summer upon us, we know parents need a little helping scoping out the best things to do in Miami with kids. Our list of child-friendly activities has undergone some changes, though you’ll still recognize plenty of longtime favorites like Frost Science and Tidal Cove. Life is slowly going back to normal but we’re not out of the woods yet, so be sure to check with the venue for up-to-date information.

After a year of lockdown—a time when people spent 24/7 indoors with their families—finding something to do in Miami with your kids is probably high on the list of recreational priorities. (Anything to get out of the house, right?) Tracking down an activity that holds your child’s interest is easy in Miami, where kid-friendly museums, arts, entertainment and attractions abound. The best things to do in Miami with kids are actually activities the whole family will enjoy—not just the little ones in the bunch. From visits to the best Miami attractions and spending the day getting splashed by some marine life to day trips that put them face to face with wild animals, there’s plenty to keep children entertained. Rather than boring your kids with Miami tours, or trekking to kid-friendly Orlando for a quick escape, treat them to one of these local experiences they’ll never forget.

Best things to do in Miami with kids

Frost Science MeLab
Photograph: Ra-Haus

1. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Things to do Exhibitions Downtown

This sprawling, high-tech museum connects people of all ages with science through a range of inspiring programming—some of which is even bilingual. Exhibitions such as the “MeLab” let kids learn about health by using their own bodies to conduct experiments, while the aquarium, which houses all sorts of sea creatures, teaches them about marine life.

Why kids love it: Nearly every exhibition provides some sort of hands-on opportunity—kids can touch, smell and see their way to a greater understanding of science. (Keep in mind that some exhibitions remain touch-free zones.)

Why parents love it: The planetarium gives kids an opportunity to learn while getting extra screen time, and parents get a moment to relax in a comfy, air-conditioned setting.

Venetian Pool
Photograph: Shutterstock/Marco Borghini

2. Venetian Pool

Things to do Coral Gables

Possibly the most beautiful swimming pool in the world, even if it is jam-packed on hot days. It combines an impossibly idyllic setting (tropical foliage, waterfalls, Italian architectural touches) with freshwater, replenished nightly in summer months from a subterranean aquifer. Everyone wants a piece of the pool. Luckily for Joe Public, it’s open to the masses seven days a week, but it is perhaps best enjoyed when not overrun with toddlers and boom-box blasts (avoid weekends).

Why kids love it: The shallow pool and cool grotto provide hours of entertainment for water-loving kiddos—plus, the on-site café serves ice cream, pizza and french fries

Why parents love it: One of the most pristine public bathing areas, Venetian Pool takes the stress out of planning an outing—it boasts clean showers, lockers, free parking and a place to grab a bite

Photograph: Courtesy FunDimension

3. FunDimension

Things to do Games and hobbies Wynwood

Walk a few blocks south from where most of the artsy action is in Wynwood and you’ll find this massive warehouse-turned-indoor-arcade with not just video games, but also laser tag, bumper cars and a 7-D theater.

Why kids love it: Combo game passes allow children to play as much as they want on prepaid games 

Why parents love it: Wi-Fi, plus there’s wine, beer and Panther Coffee for sale

Zoological Wildlife Foundation
Photograph: Courtesy Zoological Wildlife Foundation

4. Zoological Wildlife Foundation

Things to do Play spaces Redlands

The animals at this private facility have been rescued from large zoos or donated, including the adorable camel guests can feed carrots to and the small capuchin monkeys, Amaya and Ahmed, which love to pose for photos. 

Why kids love it: This is the only zoo in Miami that allows children to hold primates and interact with other wildlife—though it comes at a hefty surcharge

Why parents love it: Visits are guided and led by skilled staff member, so children learn as they explore

Tidal Cove
Photograph: Ricardo Mejia

5. Tidal Cove

Things to do Play spaces Aventura

No kid will ever want to visit another hotel pool after a day at Tidal Cove, JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa’s splashy water park. The sprawling attraction features a lazy river, 4,000-square foot kids’ pool, a splash pad for the little ones, two eateries and plenty of lifeguards on duty so that parents can’t also enjoy themselves.

Why kids love it: Adventurous tykes get seven waterslides and a Flow Rider to safely test their surfing and boogie-boarding skills.

Why adults love it: The bar at the breezy Surf House restaurant rivals the best cocktail spots in South Beach. Get yourself a fancy margarita and kick back while you watch the kids slide all afternoon.

Photograph: Unsplash/Erik Witsoe

6. Miami Theater Center

Movie theaters Miami Shores

A hub for theater kids of all sizes, this charming theater in Miami Shores regularly hosts kid-friendly performances, a drama camp and workshops for local schools and organizations.

Why kids love it: Shows are geared to kids of all ages, so you little Hamilton superfan can get started early.

Why parents love it: The staff is awesome and will turn your kid into a little star.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Park, Beaches and parks, Things to do, Miami
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Things to do Key Biscayne

Occupying the southern tip of Key Biscayne, this park’s wide beaches regularly make the national top 10 lists. But this is more than just a place to catch some rays: there’s history, wildlife and plenty of activities too. Covered pavilions are available for picnics, and the Lighthouse Café offers good food.

Why kids love it: Kids will love climbing to the top of the 65-foot-tall Cape Florida Lighthouse, exploring native wildlife and experiencing outdoor activities like kayaking and cycling

Why parents love it: The beach at Bill Baggs is a relaxed alternative to Miami Beach with easy parking, lots of room on the sand for lying out and relatively calm waters for little swimmers

Wynwood Walls
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Phillip Pessar

8. Wynwood Walls

Things to do Exhibitions Wynwood

This free outdoor museum boasts more than a dozen murals by the some of the world’s most acclaimed artists. Whether it’s for a photo op or to teach your kids about art, a stop at the Wynwood Walls is essential for families.

Why kids love it: There’s lots of green space to run around

Why parents love it: The place is surrounded by restaurants, making its location ideal for an easy snack break or cocktail-fueled recess 

Matheson Hammock Park
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/petebernardo

9. Matheson Hammock Park

Things to do Miami

This huge park down south has marina for boaters, green space for picnicking, bike trails for cyclists of all skill levels and a small beach for sunbathing. 

Why kids love it: The shallow atoll provides a fun, safe place to splash around

Why parents love it: It feels like a trip to Miami Beach without a trek over the causeway, and there’s plenty of parking

Miami Children's Theater, Performing arts, Miami
Photograph: Alys Tomlinson

10. Miami Children’s Theater

Things to do Kendall

If your kid is dreaming of life on the Great White Way, the Miami Children’s Theater will introduce them to life in show business. Performances here are produced, acted and choreographed by children. The audience is also underage, but watch out for the occasional PG rating. 

Why kids love it: Budding actors can relate to the pint-size talents on stage

Why parents love it: If fostering a love of acting is important to you, this place has you covered

Oleta River State Park
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Visit Florida

11. Oleta River State Park

Things to do Eastern Shores / Oleta

Florida’s largest urban park offers water sports and land-based activities. Kayak through mangroves, camp overnight or spend the day hanging out at one of the many pavilions on the premises.    

Why kids love it: Bicycle trails offer a fun and safe way for beginners to learn to ride

Why parents love it: Full moon kayak tours are a big hit with parents and older children

Zoo Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Zoo Miami/Ron Magill

12. Zoo Miami

Things to do Miami

No kid will turn down a visit to Zoo Miami. The animals here are a draw—lions, zebras, giraffes and elephants, to name a few—and so are the splash zones and activity areas. Bring an extra change of clothes for the kiddos and spend the rest of the day peddling around on a Safari Cycle, a covered bicycle large enough for a family of four.

Why kids love it: Besides visiting with the animals, water-loving children enjoy the opportunity to splash around at the zoo’s waterplay areas—they’ll keep cool at the Fiesta Fountain and have a blast getting soaked as they stand underneath overflowing buckets of water

Why parents love it: No need to pack snacks when you visit: Zoo Miami has multiple cafes, vending machines and restaurants positioned strategically throughout the grounds

Miami Seaquarium
Photograph: Shutterstock

13. Miami Seaquarium

Things to do Cultural centers

Rather than letting your kids run through the sprinklers and watching them leave a muddy trail through the living room, take them to the Miami Seaquarium the next time they feel the urge to splash around. The city’s premier facility for marine life has designated splash zones at just about every one of the popular marine shows. 

Why kids love it: Little ones can watch dolphins do tricks at the top deck dolphin show, check out sea lions show their incredible athletic abilities and even feed manatees

Why parents love it: Free parking, shaded areas and a cool, beach breeze make this place a no-brainer for hot summer days

Everglades Alligator Farm, Wildlife and attractions, Homestead, Miami
© Everglades Alligator Farm

14. Everglades Alligator Farm

Things to do Walks and tours

Bear Grylls has some fierce competition in Everglades Alligator Farms’ employees, who bravely wrestle giant creatures for your entertainment. There’s also an alligator feeding show and a snake show, after which kids can hold the giant reptile atop their shoulders (photo ops welcome). The facility also offers airboat rides for a different type of adrenaline rush. 

Why kids love it: It’s completely safe, still, watching men wrestle alligators seems dangerous and exciting 

Why parents love it: Safety is the real draw for parents, looking to expose their kids to wild animals 

Photograph: Unsplash/Yannis Papanastasopoulos

15. The Poppet Project

Things to do Classes and workshops Miami

It’s everything you desire in an arts and crafts room—except you don’t have to spend days picking glitter out of the carpet. Drop-in with your creative little ones, pay by the hour (prices range from $16 to $64) and kids can float from station to station with different crafty options.

Why kids love it: Painting, molding sand, creating their own invention—oh, the possibilities here.

Why parents love it: Because these kids sure as hell won’t be making slime in your living room.

Miccosukee Indian Village
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Milan Boers

16. Miccosukee Indian Village

Things to do Games and hobbies

Here kids learn every aspect of the Miccosukee tribe’s fascinating history and culture, browsing authentic crafts and patchwork, sampling the tribe’s cuisine and visiting the Indian Museum, which is packed with artifacts and exhibits. 

Why kids love it: History lesson aside, this place offers airboat rides take visitors through the Everglades to see typical hammock-style Indian camps

Why parents love it: Just 30 minutes south of Downtown, the educational facility exposes kids to Native American history in a fun, engaging way 

Fruit & Spice Park
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Wendy Cutler

17. Fruit & Spice Park

Things to do Redlands

If your child shows interest in horticulture and local wildlife, take them to Fruit & Spice Park in Homestead, where they’ll find all sorts of exotic plants and trees that produce more than 500 varieties fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts. The park’s 150-plus types of mangos are the favorite of the bunch. 

Why kids love it: Kids can try the park’s bounty of produce during one of many fruit-centric events that take place annually—like the popular Asian Cultural Festival in March

Why parents love it: The 37-acre facility offers guided tours, which are included in the price of admission and are available daily

Artechouse 2021
Photograph: Courtesy Artechouse

18. Artechouse

Art Digital & interactive South Beach

This digital art gallery is a decidedly 21st century experience. All the art here is digital and a lot of it is interactive too.

Why kids love it: It’s perfect if you find yourself wanting to go up and touch everything at the typical modern art gallery (all of us, yes, but especially kids). Here, you can (mostly) do just that. Installations move along with you. You can manipulate the work with your fingers. And there are surprises waiting to be discovered with a wave of your hand throughout the two-story space.

Why parents love it: Who doesn’t love a good excuse to ogle literal rooms filled with high-tech gadgets (dads, lookin’ at you)? Plus, its SoBe location means you can find plenty of cool spots to fuel up to or from your way there.

Photograph: Unsplash/Clem Onojeghuo

19. Haulover Skate Park

Things to do Play spaces Miami

South Florida is short on hills so this 7,500-square-foot hybrid skate park and pump track at Haulover Beach Park is a great spot to burn off energy and practice catching some air. Helmets are required.

Why kids love it: The track is challenging but also accessible for all ages.

Why parents love it: Safe riding and skateboarding in a no-car zone means less worry for parents. Plus, it’s right next to the super popular dog beach.

Photograph: Shutterstock

20. Gecko Parx

Things to do Play spaces

Explore 40,000-square-feet of activities with an epic main attraction: a trampoline court with interlocking trampolines. Plus, find a big arcade, two basketball slam dunk courts, a toddler-friendly playground, two trampoline dodgeball courts and plenty more.

Why kids love it: After all that jumping they can scarf down pizza, wings, desserts and more at the cafe. 

Why parents love it: Adults can have some fun too with beer, wine and massage chairs.

Pinecrest Gardens, Wildlife and attractions, Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Pinecrest Gardens

21. Pinecrest Gardens

Things to do Games and hobbies Pinecrest

Parrot Jungle Island, which occupied this site for more than 60 years, flew the coop in 2001 to a $50-million complex on Watson Island. Although the owners took their thousand-plus alligators and crocodiles, flamingos, peacocks and parrots, they left the thousands of plants and flowers that now form the basis of this municipal park.

Why kids love it: After you've strolled flower-lined trails, fed the koi and admired the wildlife on Swan Lake, your kids will appreciate the reward of cooling off at Pinecrest Gardens’ Splash 'N Play area.

Why parents love it:  Approximately one thousand times less overwhelming (and expensive) than a full-blown waterpark, this splash pad boasts plenty of sprays and misters and will only set you back $5 (included with the price of park admission). 

Are the kids hungry?


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