You’ve got it all planned out—your perfect family vacation in Miami. The room is booked, and the kids are pumped to be on summer break, but what happens when the hotel pool isn’t cutting it anymore, and the kids want out? Here are some kid-friendly activities in Miami that will make their friends jealous and bring the whole family back to nature.
It’s no secret that kids love animals. A day at the zoo may be just what they need to burn off some energy—and it’s an opportunity to learn about species from around the world. As one of the most family-friendly activities in town, Zoo Miami boasts hundreds of mammals, amphibians, birds, and reptiles to admire. Among the inhabitants you visit are rare species like the pygmy hippo and Komodo dragon, a petting zoo of cuddly barnyard animals, and a troop of endangered western lowland gorillas. You feed the excitable squawking macaws in the Amazonian parrot exhibit while posing for pictures, then head to the African plains for an unforgettable giraffe feeding session. Your kids stand on the edge of the raised wooden platform and meet the herd eye-to-eye as the giraffes gracefully come over for a tasty bite of crunchy green lettuce. Their long slimy tongues make everyone giggle.
Get up close to some of the earth’s most intelligent creatures as you swim with the dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium, a 38-acre tropical marine paradise situated along the coast of beautiful Key Biscayne. Since opening in 1955, the Miami Seaquarium has delighted guests with its charismatic aquatic residents. As you wade in their warm seawater enclosure, the dolphins swim right up to greet you, offering an extended flipper to shake your hand. Trainers help you call out commands and use specific hand signals to entice these fun-loving mammals. You watch your family transform with glee, as the dolphins give you wet kisses, perform flips and high jumps, and let you rub their soft bellies.
Everglades National Park
There are several kid-friendly activities in Miami that give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the wild side of Florida. And there is no better place to commune with nature than the Everglades National Park, a protected brackish wetland reserve located 45 minutes south of the city. Here, scaly and furry critters alike are uncaged and untrained in their natural habitat. The challenge of spotting birds, turtles, and perhaps even the elusive Florida panther will keep everyone on their toes. But it’s no secret that kids get bored easily. So when the hiking trails lose their luster, you know it’s time to hit the water for a thrilling Everglades safari tour. Marvel at the basking alligators—perfectly adapted predators that have been around for 180 million years! Watch the Florida manatees gracefully weave their massive bodies through the murky waters with their oversized calves. As your captain takes the airboat from idle speed to full throttle, the saw grass fields whiz past you with impressive speed. Airboats are built tough enough to handle the hairpin turns and mucky spots, so everyone safely enjoys the bumps and splashes. You won’t believe how close you get to the alligators, and your kids won’t soon forget all the fun they had in Miami.