Vacation in Miami with Kids – Attractions, Places to Stay and to See

Miami beach for kids

Miami is a vibrant and lively city where all the action happens, you’ll find beautiful people, incredible food, and parties that last from sunset to sunrise and beyond. The city has a heavy Latin influence that shows in its food and trends as well as its music.

Ocean Drive in the south beach area is ‘the’ place to see and be seen, on one side of the road are cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs, and on the other side of the street lies the beach. Many of the buildings here are beautiful art deco buildings, and you’ll find a number of hotels here too.

Head outside, and the evenings in Miami city are buzzing with a plethora of clubs and bars playing a wide range of popular music styles. Head down into ‘down town Miami’ and you’ll be able to move from a club that closes at 2am to one that’s open till 6am, and then on to one that keeps going till 8am when it’s time for breakfast.

When you want to take pause, you’ll find plenty of really great restaurants here serving everything from freshly caught sea food to Chinese, Mexican and more. Even the hot dog stands are worth visiting as you’ll get to walk around the city and see the people and the culture here.

Bayside near downtown Miami is a great spot for a bit of tourist shopping, as well as eating and watching the boats go by. Suburban areas such as Coconut Grove are where you’ll find boutique shops, as well as some historic sites of interest, and once again plenty of fine dining.

Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami is a metropolitan residential neighborhood that competes with other greater Miami localities to grab visitors’ attention. The celebrated shopping arcades and the well-packed storefronts are all a proof to Miami’s origin as a trading town. Coupled with its cultural side, eclectic galleries, museums and world-class performance centers, Downtown Miami truly deserves to be tagged regenerated ‘urban masterpiece’.

Better known as the hub of commercial, financial and cultural activities in South Florida, Downtown in Miami booms with activity every hour of the day. With a history which dates back to the 19th century, this town also boasts of everything that takes to delight travelers of any taste.

A lot of history weaves around the downtown area and it is often considered by many as the historic heart of Miami. Along with Coconut Grove, Downtown which was a prominent site among Tequesta Indians was one of the areas that was picked by the Europeans for their settlement purposes. Being an area which is enveloped by a lot of history, Downtown Miami today houses a number of museums and historic sites.

The Miami Art Museum dedicated to fine arts, founded in the year 1984; the Historical Museum of South Florida – an epitome of celebrating Miami’s history and the Miami Children’s museum are the top picks among visitors. Visitors can also take a peek at the Wagner Homestead (said to be the oldest known home standing in Miami), the momentous 1925 landmark building – Freedom Tower and the City of Miami Cemetery – the most notable burial place in entire Miami. Home to the second largest performing arts center in the U.S, Adrienne Art Center for the Performing Arts, Downtown Miami shouts out the fact that it does not lag behind in any aspect. To top it all the Downtown Waterfront area is one of the most scenic parts of Miami and serves as a perfect place to relax for a few hours.

The area has witnessed surprising growth in recent years and even evolved to become the fastest growing area in Miami. With the Miami International festival already part of the fabric of Miami culture, Downtown makes a great alternative to the tourist trodden south beach.

Miami Kids Attractions

Miami Children’s Museum is a must see location for anyone with kids, planning on having kids or who just wants to still be a child. Their motto is ‘Play, Learn, Imagine, Create’ and it comes across in a wonderful mixture of interactive exhibits that allow kids to explore all sorts of things from a TV studio to a supermarket. Another child friendly place is the Miami museum of science. It has lots of learning adventures for the whole family and is also home to the Bird of Prey Research centre too.

Zoo Miami is one of the best zoos in America. Because of its climate it has animals that many other zoos in America can’t have including animals from Asia, Australia and Africa. It is one of the first free range zoos in the country with exhibits living outside of cages and grouped according to geographic territory so that those that live peacefully side by side in the wild do so here too. Another place to see is the Seaquarium on the causeway between downtown Miami and Key Biscayne.

The Everglades are 1.4 million acres of swamps, saw-grass prairies and sub-tropical jungles, and the Everglades National Park is one of the most unusual parks in America if not the world. The park is home to 14 rare and endangered species including the Florida Panther and American Crocodile, and you can walk, camp, canoe or take an airboat to see many of these fantastic sights.

If you want to explore animals in their natural habitats then Parrot Jungle Island and Monkey Jungle are two places you’ll want to see. At Parrot jungle island you can get an up-close look at tropical birds, and Monkey jungle has carefully constructed wire pathways for people to walk on while many species of monkey scamper and swing by you.

No trip to Miami would be complete without visiting the historical Vizcaya estate. This amazing 50 acre European style mansion gives a glimpse into the life of the rich at the turn of the century in South Florida. Because of its spectacular landscape and opulence it is very popular as a venue for weddings and other events.

Miami Family Vacation May Include:

Holidays in Miami for families are very much encouraged by the local attractions and accommodations who make family vacations some of Florida’s best. There are activities too many to list where the entire family can have a lot of fun and also get education on various subjects. You will find so many hotels and other places to stay that are children-friendly. Examples include the following accommodation:

LOEWS MIAMI BEACH HOTEL on Collins Avenue lists itself as family friendly and has appreciated amenities such as children’s programs and special menus as well as a “lending library ” of games, toys, and DVDs. This oceanfront hotel is located just three blocks from Lincoln Road so is very convenient.

DORAL GOLF RESORT AND SPA, although not on the beach, is to be considered because it has special prices on packages for families. Some of the children’s activities include a special camp, a water slide, several pools, and more.

The EUROPEAN GUEST HOUSE on Biscayne Boulevard is one of many charming guest houses that gear themselves for family visitors. This particular choice is close to South Beach, the Design District, downtown, and the Port of Miami. This is a comfortable way to enjoy privacy and a reasonable price compared to a hotel.

Among the amazing attractions that appeal to families are the following:

THE MIAMI SEAQUARIUM is located on 38 acres of tropical island overlooking a bay. It has a Flipper Lagoon, a Killer Whale and Dolphin Show, a Sea Lion Show, sharks, manatees, crocodiles, many tropical fish, and much more. There are also marine life exhibits and a chance to swim with the dolphins in Discovery Bay.

SANTA’S ENCHANTED FOREST is the world’s largest Christmas carnival and theme park in the world. Only open from November through early January, if you are in the area at that time, you shouldn’t miss this spectacular scene including a tall Christmas tree, three million lights on display, nine nightly shows, forty food stands and games, and go on kiddie and other rides.

The SUPER WHEELS SKATING CENTER enables you to roller skate or just listen to fantastic DJ music, eat, or play in the arcade.

CAMP LIVE OAK is an accredited summer day camp where kids can interact with other children, be educated about the Florida environment, learn to do nature photography, and take parts in such activities as an Adventure Camp and an Ocean Quest.

The EVERGLADES SAFARI PARK has an alligator show, education about alligators and the Everglades, and airboat rides.

The MONKEY JUNGLE lets children stroll through a jungle habitat and interact with monkeys, parrots, and more. They can also study fossils.

The FRUIT AND SPICE PARK is a walking tour where you learn about and taste hundreds of fruits and homemade candies. Would you believe there are over 80 varieties of bananas?

The MIAMI SCIENCE MUSEUM offers over 140 hands-on exhibits as well as rare natural history collections. Many of the live demonstrations have fun audience participation. The Wildlife Center has more than 175 live birds and reptiles. The Space Transit Planetarium has laser and astronomy shows and demonstrations.

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