If you were under the impression that Miami isn't such a great place to take kids as the only thing to do there is go to South Beach, you'd be wrong. There are things to do with younger kids as well as older kids in Miami that will not only thrill them, but amaze you too.
Think art galleries illuminated with digital displays to conservation-focused aquariums to specialist theaters just for kids. You can get them in touch with the natural world of Florida by airboat riding through the Everglades, or take them to futuristic recreational zones to play laser tag games.
Whatever activity you decide to do on your Miami family vacation, you won't want your bags with you as you'll have your hands full enough with the kids. Leave your possessions at a Bounce luggage storage service in Miami and you'll have your hands free to have fun with them rather than letting the youngsters and humping your bags around drive you up the wall.
Top Things To Do In Miami With Kids
Unless your kids were born merfolk or have taken up scuba diving at an early age, it's not easy to introduce them to life beneath the ocean waves. Take them to Miami Seaquarium and not only will they get to observe aquatic creatures close up, they'll have the chance to interact with some too.
Miami Seaquarium is much more than a waterlogged zoo-aquarium for sea life though. It participates in the rescue and rehabilitation of injured manatees, sea lions, dolphins, and turtles as well as promoting ocean conservation and assisting in research projects so a visit here is not only fun, it's also educational.
Telling the kids you're taking them to an art museum may well inspire a few groans unless you have a budding artist in the family who has an affinity with the grandmasters. Take them to SuperBlue Miami and the only peep you'll hear from them are wows of pure amazement. They'll be totally mind-boggled by the immersive digital art as they wander through a maze of mirrors, ceiling-high light displays, and a magical upside-down world, and get to touch clouds. Visiting SuperBlue Miami is an art museum experience neither you nor they will forget in a hurry.
Miami Children’s Theater
It's never the wrong time to introduce youngsters to the thrill of live stage performances and you can do just that by taking them to see a show at the Miami Children's Theater. As well as staging shows, the theater is also a school for budding young actors so you never know - who you see on stage may one day be the next big name that's up in lights on Broadway.
All the shows at the theater are created to entertain a young audience and who knows? After your kids have watched a live performance of SpongeBob or Shrek, you may find you have a future actor or actress in the family.
Miami Children’s Museum
When you want to make learning fun one of the best museums in Miami to go to is the Miami Children's Museum. The Patricia Frost Museum in Downtown Miami is good too, but at the MCM the exhibits are designed specifically to ignite a child's imagination and curiosity for the world around them.
Let them loose in the Miami Children's Museum and they can clamber around in an enormous castle made of colored sand and glass with sound effects, wander through the world of the Lion King, or get active on a child-sized building site and a cruise ship exhibit, as well as play with lots more interactive displays.
Santa's Enchanted Forest
Forget going to a beach playground, Watson Island, Fisher Island, Jungle Island or to see the Cape Florida Lighthouse, if you're visiting Miami near to the festive season then you won't want to miss taking the whole family to Santa's Enchanted Forest.
This Christmas-themed amusement park opens from the beginning of November through to the start of January only, so there's no point in looking for it at any other time of the year. The park, with its carousel and roller rink, is guaranteed to give your youngsters a true taste of Christmas magic no matter what their age.
Rides are size-related rather than having restrictions relevant to kids' ages, so are gentle for the little ones and big enough to give teenagers a real adrenaline thrill. There are acrobatic, magic and circus shows happening every night too so you and the kids will never have a boring moment here.
Finding activities for older children in South Florida isn't always easy no matter where you are. If they're nine or older, and early birds, they may enjoy heading out in a kayak with Miami Eco-Adventures through the mangroves of Crandon Park and the Key Biscayne to see the sunrise and learn about the flora and fauna of the Florida waterways.
If getting them out of bed before the crack of dawn is an impossibility then go for a sunset kayak instead. On either adventure, they'll get to see ospreys, herons, and pelicans, as well as have the chance to spot nurse sharks and stingrays feeding.
Everglades National Park
Taking an airboat safari through the Everglades National Park, a Florida state park, is one of the most exciting things you can do with kids in Miami. An hour's airboat ride with the family definitely isn't going to be one of the most economical or even fall anywhere near the category of top free things to do in Miami, but the thrill you'll see on their faces will make it worth every cent. After you board the airboat you'll be whizzed through the everglades at speed, stopping every so often to view wildlife like alligators, deer, and hogs plus plenty of birdlife.
If you're worried that your kids are too small for an airboat ride or that they may fall overboard and become an alligator's lunch, then plan a visit to Zoo Miami instead. Zoo Miami was known as the Miami Dade Zoological Park before it was renamed and is the only subtropical zoo in the US, so you won't have the chance to go to another zoo like this anywhere else in the country.
Touring the zoo is like going around the world as the animal enclosures, which resemble their natural habitat as closely as possible, are divided into specific continents. The young ones will love the petting zoo too.
If you think exploring the zoo's seven-hundred and fifty acres might be too tiring, opt for renting a safari cycle rather than walking. The safari cycles are big enough for four adult-sized people and have a front carrier for two smaller children.
Fun Things To Do In Miami With Kids
Just because the sun shines a lot in Miami doesn't mean you have to be doing outdoor activities all of the time. In fact, a break from UV rays now and again is good for everyone. Head to FunDimension in Downtown Miami and you'll discover fifteen-thousand feet of air-conditioned indoor playground that will have the kids jumping for joy.
Once they spot the XD theater, laser tag games, mini shooting gallery, state-of-the-art bumper cars, virtual reality games, and arcade-style amusements in this family amusement center, you won't see them again for hours.
Kendall Ice Arena
Surprise the kids by telling them they're going ice skating which is an activity they probably never thought was possible in sunny Miami. The Kendall Ice Arena in Downtown Miami holds public skate sessions every day. Times do vary so check on the official website before you go.
The arena also hosts special family fun nights unless the planned day falls when there's a hockey match, in which case the game comes first. You don't need any skates of your own as skate hire is included in the ticket price. If your kids are small and haven't skated before, you can still take them out on the ice with the big, blue kiddies skating aid, Bobby the Seal, that they can ride on.
Going to the beach is great, but sometimes you want a different environment and one where the kids won't get bored of building sandcastles after half an hour. Head for Flamingo Park, a bayfront park in Miami and you'll find enough sporting facilities to keep the kids busy no matter what their age for hours.
No, it's not Miami Beach, but there are baseball, softball, handball and you name it they've got it ball courts, a running circuit, a huge swimming pool with sun loungers plus a splash pad, and playgrounds for the little ones. There are acres of grassy space shaded by lots of tropical foliage and a coconut grove for a picnic or afternoon chill-out session too. The park is only free for under-threes, but the admission charge is minimal and is for all day.
Wynwood Art District
When you want to inspire your kids to think big, you should take them to the Wynwood Arts District. They'll be awestruck by the graffiti-painted Wynwood Walls. From what was once just derelict warehouse buildings and bare walls, an outdoor museum has evolved where you can see some of the best street art in the world. It's a lively and trendy district full of art galleries and stores and an ideal place to pass an afternoon with a creative teenager. Entry was originally free of charge, but in recent times this has changed and there's now a small admission fee to pay. Check the official website for up-to-date information as this may change again.
Free Things To Do In Miami With Kids
If you have a budding chess master in the family then you won't be able to visit Miami with kids without dropping by Domino Park. Domino Park, or the Maximo Gomez Park to give it its full title, is in the Little Havana district of the city and where all aspiring chess players gather to test their skills on the board. Chess is part of the Cuban culture, but games are mostly reserved for chess club members only. Watching can be just as much fun as participating as the players are seriously competitive.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center, or BNC in short, is a free entry educational center where you can take the kids and they'll learn about the ecosystems of Biscayne Bay. There are also extra activities they can participate in for a small fee such as guided walks through the preserve and a seagrass adventure. In the center's museum, there are aquariums dedicated to different aquatic ecosystems as well as touch tanks where they can get to grips with strange sea creatures like lobsters and sea cucumbers.
If your youngsters are enthralled by the surfing world then you can't skip taking them to South Beach. South Beach on Florida's Atlantic coast is the most popular surfing spot in Miami so there's always plenty of action to watch. When the surf is up at South Beach, grab a place on the beach and watch the show or if they can swim, get your kids a board of their own and let them loose on the waves to try surfing for themselves.
If they've still got the energy to spare, set them the challenge of walking the length of the beach with an ice cream reward if they manage it. Don't worry, your pennies will be safe. South Beach is not a circular sandy beach, but a straight one literally miles long so you and they will flake before you even get halfway.
Now you know exactly how many amazing things there are to do with kids in Miami when you're there on a family vacation. Being on a restricted budget for your family trip doesn't mean you have to skimp on activities either as there are some great free things to do in Miami with kids that will keep the whole family happy and entertained. Whatever you choose to do in this incredible city you're sure to make more than enough memories to last a lifetime.