Miami may have the reputation of being a nightlife capital with sizzling nightclubs and bars teaming with party people, but it also is a mecca for kids.
The beaches are an obvious kid-friendly top spot. Add to that the multitude of other child-friendly activities—museums, a fanciful castle, a Renaissance villa, a spring-fed pool, animal parks—that make Miami an amazing spot to enjoy a family vacation.
There is so much to do, that you might even consider buying a Go Miami Card, which can save you up to half off of the gate prices.
Address12400 SW 152nd St, Miami, FL 33177, USA
Zoo Miami is fast becoming one of the best zoos in the nation. Its climate allows it to keep a wide variety of animals from Asia, Australia, and Africa like no other zoo in the country. One of the first free-range zoos in the country, the exhibits are entirely cageless. Animals are grouped according to their geographic territory and animals that live together peacefully in the wild are placed in exhibits together.
Address980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, FL 33132-1604, USA
If you have kids (or just like to act like them), the Miami Children's Museum is a must-see destination. The museum's motto is "Play, Learn, Imagine, Create." The motto shines through in the wide variety of interactive exhibits that allow children to explore everything from a supermarket to a television studio. Children pick up valuable lessons along the way.
Address1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL 33132, USA
Jungle Island, formerly known as Parrot Jungle, was relocated near Miami Beach and offers visitors a fun, educational opportunity to get an up-close look at tropical birds in replicas of their natural habitats. The attraction routinely hosts field trips and offers frequent educational programs.
Address4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USA
The Miami Seaquarium is located in the heart of the tourist area between downtown Miami and Miami Beach. The Seaquarium features an outdoor aquarium show with dolphins and Lolita, the killer whale, as well as exhibits of sea turtles, seals, sea lions, and manatees.
Miami’s beaches offer a great opportunity to get some exercise or just enjoy some time in the sun. Children can make sand castles and splash in the low tide pools at Cape Florida or run away from the crashing waves in South Beach.
Address40001 State Hwy 9336, Homestead, FL 33034, USA
With 1.5 million acres of swamps, saw-grass prairies, and sub-tropical jungles, Everglades National Park is one of the most unusual public parks in the United States. Located on the southern tip of Florida, the park is home to 14 rare and endangered species, including the American crocodile, the Florida panther, and the West Indian manatee. A large portion of the park is primitive, explored only by adventurists and researchers—but visitors have ample opportunity to walk, camp, fish, and canoe.
Address1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132, USA
The new $300 million Frost Museum of Science facility reopened in 2017 in Museum Park in downtown Miami. You're bound to find a learning adventure for the whole family. The museum features a new three-level aquarium with a 31-foot-wide clear oculus to view of sharks and South Florida reef fish. A new 250-seat planetarium takes visitors into outer space and beneath the ocean with 3-D projection.
Address14805 SW 216th St, Miami, FL 33170, USA
"Where the humans are caged and the monkeys run wild" is Monkey Jungle's motto. This park in southern Miami-Dade County allows humans to walk through carefully constructed wire pathways while many species of primates scamper above your head, swing through trees, and interact with each other in ways difficult to observe in captivity. Keep your eyes open; you never know what's hanging above you.
Address28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL 33033, USA
Tour an enchanting sculpture garden in Homestead, just south of Miami, carved out of limestone. From 1923 to 1951, one man single-handedly made a 1,100-ton coral rock castle.
Address3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129, USA
For children that are captivated by the opulence of a world that could create Beauty and the Beast, then the fairy-tale architecture of Vizcaya, a waterfront Italian Renaissance-style villa, will capture the imagination. You can tour the house, and then your children will want to try to get lost in hedge maze labyrinth.
Address2701 De Soto Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134, USA
Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is perhaps one of the most beautiful swimming pools in the world. The freshwater pool formed in a coral rock quarry is fed by an underground spring. It is complete with waterfalls and cave-like grottos. Go when it's hot since the water has a tendency to be cold.
Built in the 1920s, it had been a place to see and be seen. Movie stars like Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller of Tarzan fame regularly stopped by to enjoy the swimming, gondolas, and orchestras.
Address101 W Flagler St, Miami, FL 33130, USA
History Miami offers an array of exhibits, featuring the 10,000 years of history that has transpired in Miami. The museum offers family fun days with crafts, music, and storytelling the second Saturday of every month. And, you can join one of 30 coach, boat cruise, and eco-walking tours to explore the waterways, neighborhoods, architecture, and history of Miami.