Miami for Kids  

by Pool Builders on 02-22-2011 in Articles

Miami may seem all 'glitz and glam' and generally unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18, but in fact, it makes the perfect destination for a fantastic family break.

There are plenty of wholesome, outdoor and indoor activities that everyone in the family will love with plenty to keep the kids happy!

Check out these great ideas…

Everglades Park and Alligator Farm

Spanning the southern tip of the Florida peninsula and most of Florida Bay, Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America. It contains both temperate and tropical plant communities, including saw grass prairies, mangrove and cypress swamps, pinelands, and hardwood hammocks, as well as marine and estuarine environments. Now a World heritage Site, children and adults alike will have an incredible time with adventures of all kinds in this unique ecosystem! You can hike, fish, camp, star gaze, bird watch or go boating and kayaking. If you prefer, you can take a ranger led tour through the park. You'll travel through the mango swamps by boat while your guide narrates and tells you all about the area. There are lots of exhibits along the way and plenty of wildlife to see. At approximately 1.5 million acres, there is certainly no shortage of things to do here!

Monkey Jungle

Home to nearly 400 primates, most running free on a 30 acre reserve, this is one of the few protected habitats for endangered primates in the United States and the only one that the general public can explore. Visitors are immediately made welcome by the Java monkeys, now numbering over 80! The Java monkeys forage through the Jungle eating natural foods. This experience with the monkeys continues to be a highlight of Monkey Jungle and kids love to watch them swinging through the trees and also diving into water to collect crabs and other shellfish along the riverbanks and mangrove swamps. As well as monkeys, there is also an aviary with hundreds of exotic and colourful birds and an Orang Utan family to meet! There is also a caf and gift shop for the kids to buy a little monkey souvenir!

Metrozoo

This fantastic little zoo in the heart of Miami will keep the kids happy for hours, with snakes, monkeys, crocodiles, eels, lizards, rhinos and koalas to see as well as a butterfly garden and even camel rides! A nifty monorail will take you around the zoo with ease and you can hop on and off at your leisure. Kids can ride the carousel or take a peek at the meerkats at feeding time or join in Zoo Scene Investigation where they can help solve animal mysteries. This is a great day out for all the family, with places to eat and exhibits to see and take part in.

Seaquarium

Seaquarium is a 38-acre tropical paradise with spectacular views across South Florida. Here dolphins and whales fly through the air and walk on the waves, sea lions clap for the crowds and turtles and manatees can be seen frolicking in the water. This world-class marine park has eight different marine shows; fantastic presentations learn how to be a trainer for a day and even get the chance to pet, play with and ride the dolphins! This is a magical day out for children and adults!

Miami Science Museum and Planetarium

This wonderful museum is like the natural history, science museum and planetarium all rolled into one. With so many incredible exhibits, displays, show's demonstrations and interactive experiences to choose from, your kids will hardly notice they're learning as well as having fun! There are wildlife encounters, night sky shows, talks on the planets, star gazing through telescopes, exhibits on everything from the North Pole, to outer space and our magic planet, to birds of prey, lizards and snakes in the Wildlife Centre. If the kids don't want to leave the Museum then let them camp overnight! At only $15 for an adult ticket and $10 for kids, this is a bargain day out. You'll just need some flights to Miami!

Big Pink Diner

If you and your family have worked up a huge appetite after a day's adventuring, then there is no better place to go than Big Pink. This classic, Art deco American Diner offers fantastic comfort food, generous portions and breakfasts served all day. The interior is imaginative, colourful and quirky with tables indoors as well as out. The staff are friendly and like to make sure everyone is having a good time. You'll have no problem finding food that the kids will love from pancakes to burgers, popcorn chicken to breakfast burritos and truly heavenly milkshakes!

Venetian Pool

This may appeal more to adults but you'll have no trouble convincing the kids as soon as you mention swimming pool. A pool it may be but it's a pool with a difference. Filled daily with 820,000 gallons of spring water it has two waterfalls, coral caves and grottos. The surrounding buildings are venetian in architectural style giving the place its name transforming what was once a rock pit into a stunning swimming whole complete with porticos, palm-fringed island and cobbled bridge. This beautiful secluded haven is a must visit (but only with children over 3 years of age). With lifeguards on duty, you can leave the little ones to run around the grounds while you float relaxingly on the water in peace and tranquillity, enjoying a rare moment of solitude in Miami.

Miami Children's Museum

Museums in Miami have certainly swept away that old, dusty image. Your family can now enjoy interactive exhibits and displays that will leave the kids wanting to come back time and time again. So while the kids happily run from display to display, they may even earn something while they're there! The Miami Children's Museum is dedicated to enriching the lives of all children by encouraging a love of learning and enabling children to realize their highest potential. Here children are inspired to explore their imaginations and to use play as a learning tool. There are many permanent exhibitions from World Music Studio, Ocean Odyssey, Supermarket, Pet Central, Castle of Dreams and Everglades Park, to name but a few! Just try and tear your kids away at the end of the day!

Crandon Park Beach

For something that doesn't cost money, a visit to Miami just wouldn't be complete without a trip to one of the glorious beaches. Pack an all day picnic and head to this beautiful, more secluded beach that takes up the North and Eastern shores of Biscayne Bay. It's great for families, avoiding the reputation that much of South Beach has. There are gardens, picnic areas, soft dunes, sea grasses, pure white sands and azure waters where you might even spot the odd turtle or reptile running freely. Located on the south end of beautiful Crandon Park amid tropical palm trees and balmy breezes, there are cabanas for rent if you want a little shade or somewhere to have a nap!

Jungle Island

What do you get if you mix a 22-acre rainforest with streams, waterfalls and more than a thousand different species of exotic tropical birds, plants and animals as well as a petting zoo, trained bird show and wildlife habitat? Jungle Island of course! This is somewhere children can run around, experience wildlife and nature in a safe environment and generally have a ball on the private beach, on the obstacle courses and inflatable rides, or in the bowling alley or the theatre. There's a great caf too where you can rest your weary legs!

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