Best things to do in Miami with kids
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” lets 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 taste their way to a greater understanding of science
Why parents love it: Every other Friday, Frost Science hosts laser light shows set to music from the Beatles, Beyoncé, Pink Floyd and others
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
Every inch of the Children’s Museum was designed to foster creativity and inspire little ones to play as they explore and engage educational activities. Locals enjoy access to after-school programming as well as Mommy and Me classes.
Why kids love it: The little-people-sized replicas of places such as the grocery store and the bank make kids feel like grown-ups
Why parents love it: Behind the fun exhibits and installations is real educational programming that teaches kids about everyday subjects like health and wellness
Possibly the most beautiful swimming pool in the world, even if it is jammed 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
The animals at this private facility have been rescued from large zoos or donated, including the adorable camel guests can feed carrots 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, feed camels and interact with other wildlife
Why parents love it: Visits are guided and led by skilled staff member, so children learn as they explore
Parents love the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts for its regular Broadway series of shows, while kids appreciate the facility’s programming that’s specially tailored to them—from one-off performances to puppet shows to musicals.
Why kids love it: Runs of shows such as Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella give kids a reason to love the theater and help foster an interest in the arts
Why parents love it: In the summer, the center hosts Camp Broadway, a weeklong theater camp for children ages 10 to 17
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
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: Adjacent Wynwood Kitchen & Bar provides the perfect snack break, with a full bar and various small plates to tide you over until your next meal
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 seems like a trip to Miami Beach without a trek over the causeway, and there’s plenty of parking
Spread over five acres, this privately owned and funded rescue facility is home to more than 120 species, 15 of which you’re welcome to pet, hold and take selfies with. (Sloths are very photogenic.) Bring change for the food vending machines if you want to feed the lemurs or bottle-feed the adorable pot-bellied pigs.
Why kids love it: Free, hands-on presentations give children the opportunity hold baby alligators, snakes and all sorts of other creatures
Why parents love it: Unlike the vast Zoo Miami, this quaint animal sanctuary can be explored within a couple of hours
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
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
Aside from being home to one of the best (and safest) beaches in the county, Crandon Park boasts a nature center with programs that explore the seagrass and the fossilized mangrove reef. Keep an eye out for the resident iguanas and unusual reptiles.
Why kids love it: The waterfront park features a small amusement area with a restored vintage carousel and an outdoor roller rink
Why parents love it: Rather than lugging wheels for everyone, parents can rent family-sized bikes built for two pedallers and two strapped-in seats up front for the little ones
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
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
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
Though small, the park features your typical aquatic activities for kids: a lazy river, a series of slides and fun waterspouts. Added bonuses for parents are the colorful sculptures and decorative touches designed by local artist Romero Britto.
Why kids love it: There's nothing like zooming down a waterslide or floating down the lazy river on a hot summer day
Why parents love it: Kids get their fill of water activities while exhausted adults get to stay close to home and avoid trekking to Miami Beach
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
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