Miami makes us dream of palm trees, soft sand beaches, Latin culture, exciting nightlife and beautiful people. But it’s also a great place to take a family vacation. The top things to do in Miami with kids include zoos, parks, beaches, outdoor nature experiences, art districts and of course a visit to the Everglades. If you are taking your tadpoles (aka the kiddos) to Miami, you might need help finding the best way to experience this exciting city. (And hip, hop, hooray — did you hear our good news? We're offering discounts on top Miami hotels and attractions.) Here are our top things to do in Miami so you can hop to it!
Top Things to Do in Miami with Kids
Enjoy Some Animal Encounters
Miami has a several choices for families who love animals, making a visit to one of them among the top things to do in Miami with kids. The Zoo Miami is one of top zoos in the U.S. It holds over 500 species of animals and birds. For a fee, you can get up close and personal with some of the animals — you can feed giraffes, take a camel ride and meet parrots, rhinos or tortoises. Don’t miss the wildlife shows and animal encounters. You can take a river ride by boat, a tram tour and use a monorail to get around this 340-acre zoo.
If your tadpoles love aquatic life, make a splash at the Miami Seaquarium for shows, opportunities to swim with the dolphins and to experience exhibits with sharks, manatees, fish and other sea creatures. You can walk though the Sea Life Reef Encounter with a diving helmet that allows you to breathe underwater (ages 10 and up). You can save on a trip to the Seaquarium and other Miami attractions (like museums and tours) with an Explorer Pass.
Monkey Jungle puts you in the walk-through cages and lets the monkeys roam free. You can feed the monkeys and for a fee you can take a Rainforest Adventure Tour to get close-up look at some of the residents. The good news is that the best time to view the animals is when it’s raining, making it a great rainy day activity.
You don’t need to plan an African safari. About two hours north of Miami, you can go on safari by foot at Safari World and by vehicle at Lion Country Safari. Tour the preserve to see over 900 animals.
Explore a Children’s Museum
The Miami Children’s Museum is one of the largest children’s museums in the country. It has interactive exhibits to spark imagination such as a pretend cruise ship, grocery store and television studio.
Embark on a Journey to Everglades National Park
A visit to the Everglades is an absolute must-do day trip and one of the top things to do in Miami with kids. It is busiest in the dry season from November to April, which is also when you’ll experience the largest variety of birds and their predators. The Everglades stretch across 1.5 million acres over southern Florida. You can access the northern section from Miami. Kids ages 5 to 13 can complete a series of activities during a park visit to receive a patch and certificate from a park ranger. You can go hiking, take an airboat ride, go on a tram tour, ride in a swamp buggy or rent a bike. Your kids may marvel over how it’s the only place that alligators and crocodiles coexist side by side. Let the kids have fun trying to identify them!
While in the Everglades, check out the Miccosukee Indian Village for culture, history and to even meet an alligator. The Sawgrass Recreation Park offers exhibits and airboat rides.
Bring Art Alive
Artsy kids and teens will enjoy a visit to Wynwood, the industrial urban-area-turned-art-district. You can take a tour of the Wynwood Walls to see super cool street art and murals created by renowned artists. It’s a great spot for teens and tweens to get those Instagram selfies with their favorite street art. Wynwood is a great place to walk about and see art galleries and to check out some of the restaurants, gastropubs and food carts. Nighttime brings music and entertainment as well, but daytime is probably best and least crowded for families with young kids.
Miami also has art museums. The Institute of Contemporary Art offers free admission — we love the sound of that! — but guests are encouraged to reserve tickets online. They have art from some of the most significant artists of our time. The Perez Art Museum Miami is a modern and contemporary art museum with art that highlights Miami’s diverse community. You can also take a walking tour of the Art Deco District in Miami Beach to explore the 1920s architecture. What makes it even easier to visit is that it's a stop on the Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus Tour.
Hit the Beaches and Parks
Miami has many great beaches and parks — often combined — that are perfect for families. Matheson Hammock Park is a perfect gentle beach for toddlers and small children because there are no waves. Another gentle beach is at the Oleta River State Park, which also has a beautiful mangrove forest. It is located on Biscayne Bay. You can rent bikes from the Oleta River concession and restaurant, as well as paddleboards, canoes and kayaks. The park has paved and mountain bike trails to explore this huge park.
Crandon Park offers two miles of beach, a carousel, a roller rink and is home to the Biscayne Nature Center with tide pools and outdoor learning opportunities. Be sure to reserve nature center activities in advance!
Bayfront Park boasts a sea creature playground and good views of the port of Miami, as well as Biscayne Bay. Flamingo Park is a 34-acre park that provides shaded playgrounds, a climbing wall and an aquatic center to cool off in that is perfect for small children.
The Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is home to one of America’s top beaches. Its historic lighthouse is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. Two restaurants serve authentic Cuban cuisine, or you can bring a picnic with you. You can rent bikes, beach chairs and umbrellas. The park is a great place to hike, paddleboard, kayak, fish or sunbathe.
Hit the Water
A boat tour is a great way to get out and enjoy the ocean breezes and beautiful views of Miami with kids. Catch a sightseeing tour from Biscayne Bay, take a boat out to Stiltsville or hop in an amphibious vehicle to tour the city by both land and sea with Duck Tours South Beach. You can also go out on a jet boat adventure, or take an airboat tour in the Everglades.
Immerse Yourself in Latin Culture
Miami has the nickname the “Capitol of Latin America” due to its rich heritage and high population of Spanish speakers, many of which are of Cuban descent. The area west of downtown Miami is known as Little Havana/la peqena Habana, named for the capitol of Cuba. Your kids will be singing “Havana ohh-na-na” for days after visiting Little Havana. You’ll find art galleries and a colorful mural outside Cafeteria Guardabarranco. For a special treat, hop into the Azucar Ice Cream Company for some ice cream with a flair for the exotic. You can visit museums, do some shopping, enjoy the Cuban coffee delight known as cortadito and experience the colorful street life of Little Havana. Hop into Café Versailles in the heart of the Cuban Community for some authentic Latin culture and budget-friendly cuisine. Yes, they even have American dishes even the pickiest eaters will enjoy too.
Hit Up the Arcade
Should you need a rainy day activity, your gamer will love FunDimension with arcade games, laser tag, a bungee dome and even fitness classes for kids.
Cheer on a Sport Team
If you have sports fans in your family, you might be able to catch a professional sports game. Take in a Miami Heat basketball game, a Miami Dolphins football game or catch the Miami Marlins play baseball. College football fans can even breeze on into a University of Miami Hurricanes game.
Before you visit Miami, be sure to read up on tips for visiting Miami with kids for safety and travel information, including the best times to visit and how to get around. We frogs are always interested in saving some green when we travel. If you need a lily pad for your stay in Miami, be sure to check out some hoppin’ deals on family-friendly Miami hotels. We also offer some discounts on the top things to do in Miami with kids with Miami Go Cards allowing you to skip the lines and save money on your vacation. Go pack your swim suit and sunscreen and get ready to play and relax in Miami!
Related: Tips for Visiting Miami with Kids