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May 25, 2018

Miami: a family getaway

When thinking of Miami, most people automatically associate words like “bars” or “pool parties”. Alternatively, the image of a relaxing time at white sand beaches may pop into your head. Yet, cliches aside, there is another side of the city – a much more down to earth and family oriented side – that offers great activities for kids and parents alike, ranging from interesting museums, a variety of cultural events, and exciting outdoor activities. Another upside of a family getaway to Miami is, by all means, the region’s favorable weather, which is one of the sunniest regions in the United States, even in winter months. Hence, it is worth considering Miami as your next family trip, just in case you were wondering where to go.

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To help you have an idea of what to do and see, we have compiled a list of the city’s main attractions:

1.Bayfront Park

There is no better way to unwind and spend quality family time than having a picnic, and the best place for that in Miami is the Bayfront Park. This urban park in the Downtown area of Miami will most probably be a short walk from your hotel, and yet features amazing panorama of Biscayne Bay and the main port of the city, a cozy beach, and playground perfect for the kids to hang out.

  1. The State Recreational Area of Bill Baggs Cape Florida

Aside from its iconic lighthouse –  which was built in 1825 and is considered as Miami-Dade County’s oldest structure – the State Park is known for its surreal sunsets, range of accessible amenities, peaceful white-sand beaches, as well as a park with a variety of restaurants on-site.

  1. Biscayne Nature Center

If your family is into adventure then the Biscayne Nature Center makes for a perfect day trip. Situated in the urban park area of Crandon, the center offers activities like ecological walks focused on the coastal environment, exploring tidal pools, and the famous Seagrass Adventure – all of which are not only fun but instructive.

  1. Crandon Park

Crandon Park is located on an island not far away from the mainland. As its most attractive features are the sandy beach (with lifeguards), shaded areas, tranquil gardens, and amusement centers that offer a carousel for the kids and a tennis court for the parents.

  1. FunDimension

This large entertainment center in Wynwood is popular among locals for hosting events, birthday parties, and summer camps. Meanwhile, it is filled with fun games and activities like laser tag, adrenaline-rush bumper cars, arcades, and much more. FunDimension is a great alternative for rainy days.

  1. Monkey Jungle

As one of Miami’s most renowned wildlife parks, Monkey Jungle has the unique feature of letting visitors feed the monkeys while wandering through the rainforest setting. Alternatively, you and the family can go on a Rainforest Adventure Tour and get really close to the cute and curious squirrel monkeys.

  1. Jungle Island

Another great wildlife experience in Miami is the Jungle Island zoological park. A very central location, between Downtown and South Beach, this park is particularly sought after for its Liger (a mix of Lion and Tiger). Otherwise, it is worth taking the kids for a stroll around another calm Miami beach, all the way to the aquatic center on Biscayne Bay.

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  1. Little Havana

Little Havana is the place to go if you have older children. A great way to experience some of Miami’s rich Latin scene is by checking out Calle Ocho (8th Street) and walking through art galleries, local restaurants, and hopefully stumble upon its popular festivals. For those into arts, check out the mural at Cafeteria Guardabarrenco and as an end-of-day treat try the ice-cream at one of the local gelato shops.

  1. Matheson Hammock Park

As the idyllic place for toddlers, the Matheson Hammock Park sits along an artificial atoll bathed by the waters of Biscayne Bay, known for its calm beaches and no waves. The park also has great infrastructure, with bars, restaurants, restrooms, and even a marina where you can take a sailing lesson.

  1. Miami Children’s Museum

With settings like a cruise ships and television studios, the Miami Children’s Museum is anything but a boring experience for the little ones. It is the ideal place for them to interact with other children and make new friends. Meanwhile, it is also a great alternative in case the weather has been either too hot or too rainy.

  1. Sawgrass Recreation Park

Miami is well-known for the Everglades, and if that is listed under your itinerary a visit to Sawgrass Recreation Park should be too. Here, it is possible to go on a 30-minute airboat tour through this subtropical swampland and have a peek at its incredible wildlife (turtles, iguanas, and alligators) in one of the exhibit areas. Your kids will be excited to find out they can hold a baby alligator!

  1. Oleta River State Park

If the family is in a mood for outdoor activities, you can explore the Oleta River’s wetlands both by land or water. Choose between riding along the park’s mountain bike trails, or jumping on kayaks and drifting on its calm waters – all of which can be organized at Blue Moon Outdoor Center.

  1. Venetian Pool

A great trip for really hot days is to head out of the city and explore this nearly 100-year-old public swimming pool, filled with waterfalls and grottoes. Despite the drive, a visit to the Venetian Pool is bound to be a fun day out for the entire family.

  1. Zoo Miami

With more than 2,000 animals, the Zoo Miami is the largest tropical zoo in the continental United States. Due to the zoo’s cage-free approach, kids have a more natural experience when watching the animals unbarred. Also, make sure to check out the camel rides and giraffe feeding station – they are worth it.

See also: United States: Everything you need to know about adventure tourism!

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