For most people, traveling to Miami Beach brings to mind lots of time in the sand and sun during the day and clubbing it up at night. Having a baby in tow, however, led to a very different schedule! We started each day around 6am and were in bed most nights by 9 or 10pm. Gavin isn’t walking quite yet, but he likes to move ALOT! We tried to plan activities where we could walk him around in the stroller or he could get out and move around to burn off some energy. Nap times weren’t scheduled exactly, but Gavin fell asleep easily every time we got in the car to travel to a new location. Here’s a list of our recommendations…
Miami Beach: We entered the beach at 24th St. and there was a small strip of beach that was fairly quiet–it seemed more like locals rather than the touristy South Beach. The waves at this beach were pretty rough and we couldn’t walk in very far without being pushed over. A walkway runs along the beach all the way down to South Beach. We purchased a mini tent from IKEA before we went (folded up into a flat circle and was stuffed into the car seat travel bag on the plane). The tent was a lifesaver and served as a relief from the sun and also a changing station and storage spot while hanging out on the beach.
Hollywood Beach: We drove about 45 minutes north to visit this beach for a morning. This beach is very spacious and the waves are a little calmer than Miami Beach. The “Broadwalk” stretches for a mile down the beach and has lots of tiki bars, restaurants, and tourist-y shops. We stayed for lunch at the Landshark Bar at the Margaritaville resort and loved it so much we want to return for future vacations!
Driving: to stretch naptimes as much as possible, we took the long way to most destinations. We stretched one nap by driving by Hard Rock Stadium, where the Miami Dolphins and University of Miami play. We also drove all the way down Collins Avenue from Hollywood Beach, which features gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay and all of the fancy high-rise condo buildings along the beach. Cruising up and down Ocean Drive is a fun way to see the nightlife of South Beach. Another interesting drive is through the Wynwood neighborhood where you can see the vibrant artwork covering the walls of the buildings.
Aventura Mall: The fourth largest mall in America (by square footage), Aventura Mall is a great place to walk around and cool off for an hour or two. Also, you can casually stroll past Teslas and Ferraris parked inside the mall!
Everglades: A 50-minute drive south of the city will bring you to the Everglades. There’s a $25 fee to enter per week and we walked along the Anhinga trail, which is less than a mile long but has lots of viewing areas where we spotted two alligators and a bunch of turtles. The Gumbo Limbo trail is nearby and also fairly short. Best to check out before it gets too warm–the animals like to hide when it’s hot!
Florida Keys: About an hour past the Everglades, we reached Key Largo and Islamorada. We stopped for brunch at Marker 88 and visited Theater of the Sea for dolphin and sea lion shows, as well as a nature trail and swimming lagoon. Finally, we enjoyed tropical frozen cocktails at Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill before the long drive back. We will definitely be back to visit the Keys again!
Marlins Park: Lots of empty seats for the baby to move around. The first aid office staff were very accommodating when Gavin got hungry and they provided a private area for nursing.
South Beach: We walked along the beachfront path and also up and down Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. There are lots of restaurants, some fancy and some not-so-fancy hotels, bars/clubs, and tourist-y shops to check out.
Miami Zoo: Beautiful zoo with lots of fun animals! We started there when the zoo opened at 10am and I’m glad we got through most of the exhibits before it got unbearably hot! There are three loops to follow and took us about 3-4 hours to see all of the animals.
Jungle Island: This park is much smaller, but has alot more interactive exhibits. We were able to see and touch penguins, kangaroos, turtles and flamingos, and even got to see a liger! The path through the park is shaded so it’s a great place to go for the morning or afternoon to get out of the sun.
What are your favorite kid-friendly activities in Miami?