If you’re looking for awesome things to do in Miami with your teenager, the Magic City delivers. With its miles of beaches and offerings of water sports, you and your teen can spend some quality time surfing, sailing, biking, or even discovering a new, hot trend—jet packing.
Marina-based dive center Tarpoon Lagoon sets you up with underwater excursions suitable for those with Professional Association of Diving Instructors certification. Don’t yet have credentials? That’s no problem at Tarpoon Lagoon, where you can sign up for the Discover Scuba Diving program. For over an hour in their pool, you both learn about basic scuba techniques and safety measures. Afterward, you’re ready for a supervised, open-water discovery dive at the mysterious Half Moon Preserve wreck site. The look on your teenager’s face—as rainbow-colored parrot fish flit by—is one of total awe.
South Beach Dive and Surf Center
As a special surprise for your teen, you plan a private surfing lesson at Miami’s South Beach Dive and Surf Center. Once you’re both on the sand, following your instructor’s moves, you start to really get into the experience. It’s a clear, bright day on the beach, and pretty soon, you’re practicing paddling out and learning how to stand up. At last, it’s time to hit the waves. Sure, you tumble into the water a few times, but your teen gets a feel for it quickly. Watching your kid pop up on the board and ride it to shore is the best present you could ask for.
Sailing is one of those water sports you loved as a kid—why not give it a try with your kid?. You head over to Virginia Key, where your reserved Hobie catamaran from Waterplay USA is waiting. Since it’s been a while, you have an experienced skipper come along as you head out onto glimmering Biscayne Bay. What a gorgeous day for a sail, with Miami’s high rises in one direction and open water in the other. Your teen’s expression grows focused as the skipper hands over a line and gives instructions. As the sails catch the wind, you can’t help but grin: this is the most fun you’ve had together in weeks.
BG Oleta Outdoors
Now it’s time to take a break from water sports, but you don’t have to sacrifice a gorgeous waterfront view. At beautiful Oleta River State Park, you and your teen are ready to tackle some off-road bicycling trails. On this private tour with BG Oleta Outdoors, you each get a high-performance mountain bike and a helmet—and then you’re good to go. At first, the trail seems easy, and you absorb the pristine Florida woodlands. The sound of crickets lulls you into a meditative calm. Then you hear, “Hey, come on!” as your teen races forward. There’s a pretty steep incline on that curve ahead. Things are about to get interesting!
Of all the things to do in Miami, your teen can’t wait to try jet packing, one of the newest water sports. You’re attached to a substantial hose, which uses water to propel you out of the water. On Miami Beach, the knowledgeable staff at Aquajet give you important safety tips, then your instructor takes you (by boat) out on the ocean. Here, you and your teenager gear up with a radio helmet, life vest, and of course, a jet pack. You may be a little nervous—but not your kid, who wants to go first. Soon, you see your teen rising in the air, arms outspread for balance, as the water propels the jet pack higher. Is that a smile you see? Yes, this is definitely a major hit.