Kids, just like Will Smith sang, "we're going to Miami!" This Sunshine State favorite has so many things to do with kids, we're excited to share our "Top 9 Family Attractions" in Miami just for you! If that wasn't enough, keep reading to discover FREE activities (always great for the budget!), tips on getting around the city, and even fun facts to impress your friends with. Plus, a great day trip idea too!
So whether this is your first trip to this unique and fabulous Florida city, or you've lived within the city limits for years and just thought "I wonder what is there is to do near me", then keep reading, because we have the top things to do in Miami with kids, just for you!
Named after the Mayaimi, a Native American tribe who lived near Lake Okeechobee until as late as the 18th century, Miami (and much of southeast Florida) was occupied by the Tequestas. In fact, archaeologists have found evidence of Native American settlements dating back 10,000 years! Can you imagine Miami ever being covered in beer and deer-filled pine-hardwood forests?
The first Europeans appeared in the mid-1500s, with permanent European settlers making Miami home from around 1800. The region even had treasure hunters pass through! However, it was a businesswoman named Julia Tuttle who was really responsible for the Miami we know today. Dubbed "the mother of Miami", Tuttle actually bought the land that Miami was eventually built upon, even making plans for the city. With a population boom in the lead-up to World War II, it didn't take long for the Miami that we know and love to really flourish!
There are so many things to do with families in Miami! There is magic about the city, with zoos, museums, tours and so much more! You can explore stunning nature at Bill Bags Cape Florida State Park, explore your wild side at Zoo Miami, or snap into your day at Everglades Alligator Farm!
With so much to do and see in this amazing Florida city, you certainly won't be short of things to do with the family! So keep reading to find out exactly how YOU can spend your next family day out because...yes, you got it right kids, "We're going to Miami!" (Thanks Will!)
Think Miami is all highways and waterways, impossible to naviagate except via car? Think again! Thanks to Metrorail, Metromover and Metrobus, you can get around with ease to see all the sights, plus help the environment AND save on parking.
The best part is, these transportation systems are either low-cost, or FREE! Yep, you heard right!
The favorite option is often Metromover. This is the cost-free option that circles around Downtown and Brickell, and is a great connector to Metrorail and Metrobus too.
Source: More information here: Miami And Beaches
Miami is surrouned by water, so why not take advantage and check out the city FROM the water on one of the many boat tours offered - and there are plenty of options for the family. Take it easy and feel that ocean breeze from a double decker sightseer, thrillseekers will love the speedboat option, and you can even explore the unique environment with the Everglades Boat Tour!
Image Credit & Website: Miami On The Water
Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Miami
There is over 10,000 years of Miami history to be learnt at HistoryMiami Museum! With over 37,000 objects in the collection, with over 19,000 maps, and over a million photographs!
Kids can learn all about life in the Miami area, from Pre-Columbian times right thru to modern day life. Can you only imagine what kinds of historic facts you can learn?
Miami is wonderful for beaches, absolutely, but there is an incredibly rich and fascinating history that makes the city what it is today, so why not spend your family day out learning all about it! Don't miss the fun 1920s tram tour too, that will really take you back in time!
Image Credit: HistoryMiami
We LOVE children's museums at Family Days Out, because what is better than a place that encourages kids to touch, play, use their imaginations, get creative AND learn?
The Miami Children's Museum is no different, and features a host of interactive exhibits for those curious little ones, including an outdoors play area to enjoy that Florida sunshine!
There are exhibits where kids can play music, learn about science and the human body, role play "real life" situations like working in construction or in the grocery story...whether you have little ones in the family or pre-teens, Miami Children's Museum is ready and waiting!
Image Credit: Miami Children's Museum
Science IS fun, and it's all there to be discovered at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science!
This popular museum is filled with fascinating and education exhibitions that teach kids all about science, from the story of flight starting right back in the age of the dinosaurs, to how science pushes boundaries, and how the mind and the body work together!
If that wasn't enough, they can shoot for the stars at the planetarium, or take a deep dive of aquatic life in the aquarium (not literally kids, you will stay dry!)
Definitely one of our favorites during any family trip to Miami!
Image Credit: Frost Science Museum
Time to talk a walk on the wild side kids, because Zoo Miami is a must for any family day out in this popular city. Here, kids can come face to face with animals from all over the world, from the grandest lion to the brightest bird.
In addition to the wildlife, there are animal feedings, keeper talks, VIP tours if you want to delve deeper into the magic of these creatures, and opportunities for kids to learn about conservation, why it's important and even adopt and animal!
A WILD day out in Miami, where you just might be surprised who you come face to face with! ROAR!
Image Credit: Zoo Miami
Make a SPLASH at Miami Seaquarium! One of the most popular attractions in the city, kids can say hi to marine life such as the adorable dolphins or playful seals. The aquarium is super fun to explore and see what you can discover.
If you want an experience to remember, Miami Seqauarium also offers a chance to get close to dolphins, or even SWIM with dolphins! You can interact with penguins in their own environment, and even hug a seal.
The seaquarium also ensures plenty of exhibits and experiences to learn all about conservation, and why it's so important to look after the oceans, and the wildlife that call it home.
Image Credit: Miami Seaquarium
OH SNAP! Just south of Miami is a classic Floridian attraction - yep, it wouldn't be a trip to the Miami area without a visit to the Everglades, and more importantly - alligators!
Everglades Alligator Farm features fascinating and educational shows and talks with live alligators so kids can learn all about these incredible creatures. There are also feedings too, which are always fun to see!
In addition to the alligators, Everglades Alligator Farm also offer those super fun airboat rides, so make sure you catch a few waves, and try and spot the alligators in the water! (Here's a tip - look for the eyes!)
Image Credit: Everglades Alligator Farm
It's a pool with a difference! Created in 1923 from a coral rock quarry, The Venetian Pool is one of the most popular attractions for people visiting Coral Gables. It's so pretty, make sure you check out the coral rock that was used to line this 820,000 gallon pool too!
The water is fed from an underground aquifier, and the two waterfalls are always a fun feature for the kids, as does the cave-like grottos which are super fun to play in.
You're in Florida, it makes sense to cool down from that beautiful sunshine!
Image Credit: Venetian Pool at Coral Gables
Step into Miami's whimsical past, embrace the present and get excited about the future at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens! It's history come to life at the stunning Guilded Age estate at Biscayne Bay, set on 10 acres of beautiful gardens.
It's a real respite from the excitement and buzz of Miami city, and it's a noted National Historic Landmark, which makes a visit all the more special.
The estate also host a number of special events and programs across the year, which just adds to your amazing experince!
Image Credit: Vizcaya
Only 30 minutes from downtown Miami is Florida's LARGEST urban park - Oleta River State Park! For those families who love the great outdoors, this is a family day out for you!
There are 15 miles of off-road cycling trails for those bike lovers, and plenty of lush magroves for you to paddle through together. Want to just grab the fishing line and relax? Sure! Fancy jumping in the water and cooling off? Great!
You can even enjoy a picnic, or just bask in the sun, and if you want to extend your family day of fun the park have air-conditioned cabins ready and waiting for you too.
Image Credit: Florida State Parks
Eva Mendes is an actress, model and businesswoman, known for films such as The Other Guys, Place Beyond the Pines, and creative director of CIRCA Beauty
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Sidney Poitier is an iconic Academy-Award winning Bahamian-American actor and director, known for films such as Lilies of the Field and The Jackal. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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5 Fun Miami Facts
Impress your friends with your amazing Miami knowledge!
- Miami is the ONLY major city in the USA founded by a woman!
- Treasure is often found! It's not uncommon that silver and gold turns up on the beaches. Apaprently famous pirates such as Blackbeard left lots of treasures in the Miami ocean!
- Miami was home to the first ever Burger King, back in 1954!
- Miami isn't actually the capital of Florida, which is a common myth (the capital is Tallahassee!)
- Miami's nickname is "Magic City"
Top 5 FREE Things To Do With Kids In Miami
Stroll Wynwood Walls
For those art-loving families, take a stroll through Wynwood Walls, an impressive and colorful collection of wall art that really brings the city to life.
There are tours available to show you this iconic collection of murals and paintings if you want to learn a bit more of the history, but it is also free to stroll around on your own if you like. It might just inspire you!
Image Credit: Wynwood Walls
Relax at South Pointe Park
At the southern tip of Miami beach is your own paradise, named South Pointe Park. It's the perfect place to spend the day with the family, with your own panoramic view of the South Beach shoreline.
There's an impressive pier where you can fish and watch the kayakers below. There are winding paths to skateboard or rollerblade, and plenty of grass to play games or read a book whilst enjoying the sun. Don't forget about all that glorious white sand too!
Image Credit: Miami and Beaches
Explore Shark Valley
Whilst the name might be deceiving with the lack of sharks in Shark Valley, you are treated to an up-close look at the unique Everglades ecosystem, particularly the cypress and riverine landscapes. And it's free to enter!
If you're visiting Miami and your hotel offers free bike hire (or if you have your own), that's the best way to get around Shark Valley, as there are plenty of paved paths and signs. If you do want to hire a bike from the park itself, there is a small cost. There is also a tram tour that can take you around, or enjoy some of the shorter walks on foot!
Image Credit: NPS
Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art
Located in the heart of Design District is the very inspiring (and FREE!) Institute of Contemporary Art, offering a selection of contemporary exhibitions as well as an impressive permenant collection.
The ICA also offers programs, talks, workshops just for kids and families and so much more, so make sure you check out their calendar before you visit so you don't miss out on something that your family might love!
Image Credit: ICA Miami
Visit Museums on Free Days!
Whilst the ICA is always free, some of Miami's other great museums offer free days to ensure everyone is able to visit and enjoy their collections. The free days vary from museum to museum, so make sure you look ahead before you visit.
From HistoryMiami Museum, to the Gold Coast Railway Museum, Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, and Bass Museum of Art, there is a host of learning, inspiration, and invaluable family time to be had!
Image Credit: HistoryMiami Museum
Streets by VICE: Miami (Biscayne Blvd)
A great day trip from Miami, transporting you to what feels like a faraway tropical paradise, is the Florida Keys! World-class coral reefs are ready to be snorkelled, the laid back vibe is ready to be enjoyed, and the rich history is ready to be explored. The word "key" comes from the Spanish word "Cayo" meaning "little islands", and that's exactly what the Florida Keys are. Stunning, pristine little islands that are conveniently connected by US-1.
Stretching from Key Largo to Key West, there is such a rich history within the Florida Keys. Famously, it was home to Ernest Hemmingway for 11 years. His home, along with favorite haunts, still stand and tell his story. Originally home to the Caloosa Indians, the keys then caught the attention of the Spanish Ponce de Leon expedition in the 16th century (whilst looking for the fountain of youth!). With arrivals from the Spanish and the English, the keys really began to boom after the settlers from the US arrived from the 1820s.
Today, this the keys are your chance to experience paradise.
It's not just the things do to in Florida Keys that are a great drawcard, but just driving down Highway 1 (also known as the "Overseas Highway") is always fun for kids - you can look out and just see nothing but water all around you! It's simply breathtaking.
Coconut palms, wildlife, lush white sandy beaches, tropical climate, mouthwatering seafood... a trip to the Florida Keys is a must do for any day trip from Miami! Travel to Key Largo is an easy drive from Miami, the trip to Key West is only 90 miles. Key West is further down, at around 3.5 hours, but if you wanted to do the entire stretch in a day it's possible! Just enjoy the sunrise and head on out!
Image Credit: Florida Keys Tourism
Here’s our top 4 Florida Keys attractions to visit:
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Let's get the family adventure started!