Are you looking for the perfect beach destination that offers all the things typically associated with Florida-the sun, sand, and waves? But also a destination that has a little bit of a twist with plenty of other options that will take you to the great outdoors while giving you thrills, chills, and wonderful family memories? Miami might just be your perfect choice!
The Best Things to do in Miami for Kids:
While Miami is a popular destination for nightlife and oceanfront bars you shouldn’t let that deter you from visiting Miami as a family. Dig a little deeper and discover all the great things to do in Miami for kids, from classic attractions such as the Miami Zoo and Seaquarium to off the beaten path destinations such as Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and Oleta River State Park. So, let’s go exploring!
1 Stroll Wynwood Walls
Are you an art lover? How about less traditional art? Wynwood Walls is one of the top things to do in Miami for kids for the art-loving family. Unlike a traditional art museum, Wynwood Walls is an outdoor museum that highlights the street art of the Wynwood Art District of Miami. A visit to Wynwood Walls will take you through bright and colorful street art designed by some of the world’s most famous street artists.
The kids will enjoy the open space and being able to run around and stretch their legs and you will enjoy not having to worry about them knocking over a piece of art worth an unmentionable amount of money. The colorful nature of most of the pieces of art found at Wynwood Walls will be a delight for your child and everyone will have a blast!
2 Zoo Miami
Zoo Miami, the largest zoo in Florida, is worth a visit and is one of the best things to do in Miami for kids. The zoo, known as the only sub-tropical zoo in the continental US, is home to a mix of Florida native animals and exotic animals. The kids will be delighted to see over 500 different species of animals, from tigers to giraffes, warthogs, gorillas, crocodiles, egrets, and toucans.
Other than animal viewing, the zoo will keep you entertained with a small selection of rides, including a monorail, carousel, zoo tram, and the Lostman’s River Ride. Get up close and personal with the giant Galapagos tortoises with a walkthrough or give some of your favorite animal’s tasty treats with the giraffes, camel, rhino, and parrot feeding experiences.
3 Enjoy an Everglades Air Boat Tour
Escape the city and step into a whole different world inside Everglades National Park. Located just 45 minutes outside of downtown Miami, visiting the Everglades Safari Park is one of the top things to do in Miami with kids.
Everglades National Park is composed of the largest subtropical wilderness in the US. An Everglades Air Boat ride will take you through the Everglades River and wetlands, under mangroves, and past Florida’s native wildlife, including the much-anticipated alligator! While at the Everglades Safari Park you can also enjoy a live alligator show, a stroll along a boardwalk through the Everglades, and some tasty alligator bites.
Another great option for animal-loving families, the Miami Seaquarium will introduce you to hundreds of sea creatures while offering many unique under the sea experiences that will create long-lasting family memories. Hours can be spent exploring the natural habitats scattered throughout the aquarium. You won’t want to miss Penguin Isle, Discovery Keys, Tropical Wings, or the Whale Stadium.
One of the best things to do in Miami for kids, the Seaquarium offers all the interactive and educational experiences that the kids will have a blast with while learning something new! Choose from one of the great animal encounters at the Seaquarium, including dolphin encounters, penguin encounters, and seal encounters. Is meeting these majestic creatures not quite enough to satisfy you? You can get even closer to the animals with the opportunity to swim with the dolphins or harbor seals.
Another unique experience found at the Miami Seaquarium is the Sea TREK Reef Encounter where you will be able to go underwater with a dive helmet and watch as stingrays and a variety of tropical fish swim around you. This experience is reserved for kids aged ten and up. For younger kids, the touch pools are a great option for getting them up close to the fish.
5 Visit Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is another great nature escape from the city and one of the top things to do in Miami for kids. Located on Key Biscayne, just a 15-minute drive outside of downtown Miami, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park offers one of the best beaches in the US, a historic lighthouse, and plenty of chances for getting up close with nature.
Biking is one of the best ways to explore the park. You can rent bicycles within the park, with the option for a traditional one-person bicycle, a quad bicycle, which seats 2 adults and 2 small children, or a large quad that will seat 4 adults and 2 small children.
The park has several nature trails to be enjoyed, including one that takes you through the Mangrove wetlands and one that goes along the coastal strand. There is beach access within the park, but no lifeguards are present, so it is swimming at your own risk (but that never stopped anyone, did it?).
The Cape Florida Lighthouse is also found within the park. The lighthouse, built in 1825, can be toured twice daily, while the grounds are open from 9am to 5pm. Children can enjoy climbing to the top of the lighthouse and taking in the stunning views of Biscayne Bay as long as they are 42” tall. Other fun activities to enjoy at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park are fishing, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. Bring your lunch and make a day out of it!
6 Explore Biscayne National Park
A lesser-known national park, Biscayne National Park is less than an hour outside of Miami. Biscayne National Park is a marine life sanctuary located just South of Miami and is home to Mangroves, coral reefs, wildlife, and fun-filled activities for all ages.
When visiting Biscayne National Park, going for a hike is a given! Take a hike on the trail along Convoy Point, a trail shaded by Mangroves with ocean waves crashing against the shore on both sides of you. At the end, you will find a small wading pool, the perfect spot for the kids to cool off on a hot Florida day.
If that hike wasn’t enough for you, you can also join a Boca Chita Key boat tour and climb the 65’ tall lighthouse. If you are looking to enjoy the native sea life in Miami, join a 6-hour boat tour or head out into the waters of Biscayne Bay on your own for a snorkeling adventure. If you are looking for more adventure, you can enjoy some paddleboarding, kayaking, or canoeing at Biscayne National Park.
7 Spend the Day at Oleta River State Park
Oleta River State Park, just 30 min. north of downtown Miami, is an outdoor oasis filled with mangroves and greenery, making it another one of the top things to do in Miami with kids. Oleta River State Park is situated along the Oleta River, offers beautiful scenery, a sandy beach for swimming and sunbathing, and plenty of options to get out on the water.
For the active outdoor-loving family, you will find over 10 miles of mountain biking trails, 3 miles of paved trails, and 4 miles of easier mountain trails for beginning (or younger) bikers. You will find the Oleta River Outdoor Center within the park offering rentals for self-guided adventures and tour options. You can rent paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and mountain bikes to make your trip to Oleta River State Park complete.
If you are an animal lover, Oleta River State Park is a great place for wildlife viewing and is known as one of the best spots to watch for Dolphins and Manatees. If you like to fish, you will find a fishing pier located near the beach in the park.
8 Enjoy a Manatee Kayak Tour
A Virginia Key Manatee Kayak Tour is the perfect chance to catch a glimpse of the majestic manatees that make Florida their home. Hop aboard a kayak as you paddle through Jimbo’s Lagoon and Virginia Key Cove in search of the famed manatees that frequent the areas. Aside from manatees, keep your eye out for many of the other wildlife species that frequent the areas, especially dolphins!
It is important to know that Manatee season is November through March, so if this is one of the must-do activities on your list you will want to plant the trip around it.
9 Take a Day Trip to the Southernmost Point of the Continental US
One of the top things to do in Miami for kids is to hop aboard a day tour bus or rent a car yourself and take a day trip to Key West, the southernmost point in the continental US. The ride itself is an adventure on the Overseas Highway as you are surrounded by tropical turquoise water with plenty of Florida Keys to stop in and explore.
When you arrive in Key West, you will find plenty of fun family activities to enjoy. Visit Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park for swimming, explore the remains of a historic Civil War fort, or spend an afternoon snorkeling. Take a Conch Train Tour and visit some of the most well-known spots in Key West, visit the Southernmost Point marker, and be sure to taste some original Key Lime pie.
10 Hit the Beach & Enjoy Some Watersports in Miami Beach
Miami Beach is lined with gorgeous white sand beaches that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying some adventure-filled water sports with the family! Of course, you can also pick up a paddleboard on your own from one of the many waterfront stores and hit the beach for a day of adventure.
Miami Beach is littered with companies offering rentals and tours for thrilling watersport adventures like parasailing, jet skiing, and banana boating. If your kiddos are at least 6 years old and not afraid of heights parasailing might be the right adventure for you!
Miami Beach Ocean Watersports offers parasailing trips along South Beach from the Miami Beach Marina for kids as young as 6 years old. Join a 4-hour snorkeling excursion with Miami Beach Ocean Watersports and explore the port of Miami, the coast of Miami, and snorkel the tropical waters surrounding Miami. This tour is great for families with kids 10 years and older.
BouYah Watersports offers Banana Boat rides that are both safe and thrilling for the younger members of your travel party. Kids as young as 6 can hop aboard and enjoy the Atlantic Ocean waves while being pulled along on a banana boat.
Scenic Drives in Miami
Miami offers some incredible scenery while driving in the city and offers some beautiful drives to explore the area. Miami can be a challenging city to navigate for both locals and visitors and the Ward Law Group put together this fantastic guide to driving in Miami.
Here are a few suggested scenic drives to take in Miami:
Set between the Atlantic Ocean and pastel-colored architecture, this stretch of South Beach is home to Miami’s iconic Art Deco style seen in Miami Vice and Scarface.
John Tuttle Causeway
One of many roads connecting Miami to Miami Beach, and named for the woman responsible for inspiring the city’s creation, you can begin your journey on this causeway shortly after Biscayne Boulevard and continue your trek for over four miles of waterfront views before you’re greeted with the symbolic “Welcome to Miami Beach” sign.
Old Cutler Road
This picturesque 15-mile road connects Coral Gables to Cutler Bay. It’s lined with stone houses and banyan trees that form a lush canopy, giving this roadway its famous tree-made tunnel look.
Final Thoughts on the Best Things to do in Miami for Kids
Whatever type of family adventure you are looking for you are likely to find it in Miami, Florida. From sun, waves, and sand to exotic plant life, art, culture, and thrilling water experiences, Miami has so much to offer, pretty much guaranteeing you won’t experience a boring moment while in town!
Melissa is the writer and photographer behind Navigation Junkie, a family-focused travel blog. She writes about her travel experiences with her 7-year-old daughter and provides tips and tricks learned during those travels to help improve the experience of families from around the world hoping to create memories through travel.