Taking the whole family to Miami for vacation might sound like an odd idea, considering the abundance of amusement parks located in nearby Orlando. However, while Miami is typically associated with being a playground for adults with its trendy nightclubs, sun-soaked beaches, hip boutiques, and vibrant dining scene, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep young travelers and their parents occupied and happy in Magic City. Miami practically bursts at the swimsuit seams with things to do for kids. Smaller jet-setters can have some of the most memorable experiences in the city, from getting in the water with dolphins at an aquarium to lapping up Latin-inspired ice cream at one its most iconic neighborhoods. From science to art, to animals and culture, this list of things to do in Miami with kids will leave your young adventurers wanting to return year after year!

Little Havana

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One of Miami’s most vibrant and famous neighborhoods, Little Havana, is a great place to take the kids for lunch and a stroll. Fill up on Cuban food at the renowned Versailles Restaurant, and then walk around the area to check out the street vendors, art galleries, and live music scene. If you’re visiting during baseball season, you should try to catch a game at Marlins Park! After all of that strolling around, when stomachs start to grumble, you can please the whole family with something sweet at Azúcar Ice Cream Company. Getting to the neighborhood is easy too, as it sits right between Downtown Miami and the airport.

Jungle Island

If wildlife and animal shows are what your young travelers are into, head to Jungle Island! This unique theme park started out as Parrot Jungle, featuring fleets of trained parrots. Now it boasts over 300 birds, apart from pretty unusual flora and over a mile of trails. And it’s not just about the birds! Jungle Island features many rare and exotic animals, from primates tor reptiles and large cats. There’s also a water park, a zipline, and even a wind tunnel powered free-flight experience. Jungle Island operates daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located between downtown Miami and South Beach.

Miami Children’s Museum

Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0Smart Destinations

Right next to Jungle Island, the Miami Children’s Museum is an experience for younger kids. As one of the largest children’s museums in the country, the facility coves 56,500 square feet on Watson Island. With the goal of fostering learning, playing, imagining, and creating, the hands-on exhibits include a music studio, a construction zone, a rock climbing wall, a cruise ship, a hospital, and even a “life skills” area where kids can practice activities like going to the bank and shopping for groceries. It features an art studio with creative projects like painting, sculpting, and collage. The Miami Children’s Museum opens its doors daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

 

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The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science will surely please visitors of all ages. One of its most popular exhibits is the aquarium, where you can get up close and personal with colorful coral reefs and sea creatures. Next, head to the Design Lab, an interactive space with activities that challenge your mind as you get hands-on to solve engineering problems. Don’t miss the adjoining planetarium that has been thrilling visitors since the 1960s and making kids go “ooh” and “aah” as they learn about the solar system. You can find the museum on 4 acres in the city’s waterfront Museum Park. It’s open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday.

Zoo Miami

 

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Set southwest of Downtown Miami across 750 acres, Zoo Miami offers kids and their families the chance to admire more than 3,000 animals spanning 500 different species. It’s proudly considered the largest and oldest zoological garden in the state. What makes Zoo Miami different than other zoos across the country is its unique climate, since the conditions of South Florida make it possible to host a wide range of animals. Little ones can also partake in activities such as daily feedings and rides throughout the property. Zoo Miami is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 pm.

You may also like: 8 Places Where Your Kids Can Get Up Close to Exotic Animals

The Venetian Pool

If you’re booking flights to Miami with kids over the age of 3,  chances are they might be begging to take a dip in the Venetian Pool. Located in Coral Gables, under 5 miles from Miami International Airport, the Venetian Pool offers the ultimate swimming pool experience. Built in 1923, the 820,000 gallon pool is fed with spring water. Sprawling in size, it boasts 2 historic lookout towers, waterfalls and even cave-like grottos. It remains open from March through November from 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m., depending on the day.

Miami Seaquarium

On Biscayne Bay, just a few minutes from the airport, Downtown, and the Port of Miami, Miami Seaquarium is a family-friendly venue where kids of all ages can say hi to manatees, sea turtles, penguins, stingrays, flamingoes, seals, and many other animals. But you won’t just find exhibits detailing rich marine life. You can also experience touch pools, marine mammal shows, and presentations. For those looking to swim with dolphins and seals, the aquarium has experiences where you can get in the water with these friendly creatures. Spanning 38 acres, Miami Seaquarium is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Know of any other things to do in Miami with kids? Let us know in the comments!

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About The Author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at http://suzyguese.com.