Struggling to find a roster of fun, unique things to do in Miami with kids? You’ve come to the right place: We’ve made it our mission to uncover the absolute best family-friendly activities South Florida has to offer—from glass-bottom boat tours to feeding sloths to cotton candy-fueled ice cream creations. Behold, the 27 most exciting places to go and things to see in the city with the under-10 set.
27 Unmissable Things to Do in Miami with Kids
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Ice cream and cotton candy at the same time? This fairy-tale-esque ice-cream palace in the Miami Design District serves matcha and tropical soft serve with cotton-candy swirls, gold-flake sprinkles and edible sparkles. It’s every kid’s (OK, and every adult’s) dream.
One of the world’s most diverse ecosystems is hidden in plain sight inside Florida’s swamplands. Scope out alligators, manatees and panthers on an hour-long airboat ride, which begins and ends at Everglades National Park. You’ll journey deep inside the area’s tree-canopied landscapes, stopping every few minutes to spot wildlife and get some history from your local tour guide.
This isn’t your average park—more than 90 percent of it lies underwater, preserving South Florida’s coastal barrier reefs. See for yourself with a tour on a glass-bottom boat, which begins at the park’s visitor center. Kids will gaze wide-eyed at manatees, sea turtles, limestone corals and thousands of other sea creatures.
Need somewhere to wind down with your rambunctious brood? This Delray Beach museum, dedicated to Japanese culture, is one of the most peaceful places in South Florida. Reminiscent of an expansive Asian-inspired villa, the property has six sprawling gardens, tea houses and museum buildings with permanent and rotating exhibitions.
Don’t have enough time to squeeze in a vacay to the Keys with the fam? Head to Bahia Honda instead. This beachside park—covering more than 500 acres and with a view of an abandoned, historic bridge—is perfect for a day of snorkeling, kayaking, playing and boating. We suggest waking up early to give yourself four to five hours of sun and surf before the littles collapse in the car on the way home.
We get it: The thought of packing up the whole family for a weekend away sounds equal parts overwhelming and exhausting. Settle for Upper Buena Vista instead. Never heard of it? Perfect. Located just a stone’s throw from Wynwood and the Design District, here you’ll find a serene enclave of local shops, restaurants and outdoor spaces ideal for kids to roam.
If you haven’t made the trek up to the Kennedy Space Center yet, what are you waiting for? Spend the day at NASA, see the Rocket Garden and, if you’re lucky, catch a live rocket launch. (Check out the schedule.) Kids will love checking out Exploration Tower, a funky seven-story structure detailing the history of Port Canaveral.
Take your little ones to celebrate a birthday or a milestone at Jaxson’s in Dania Beach and you’ll get everything…including the kitchen sink. This monstrous heap of ice cream is meant to be shared by four very ambitious eaters. Pro tip: If you’re there for a special reason, ask for some candles and sparklers to mark the occasion.
Another ideal activity for your mini history buffs: Get a look inside oil tycoon Henry Flagler’s 100,000-square-foot Gilded Age mansion, Whitehall. Think of it as the Versailles of Florida (it’s more than 100 years old). The 75-room palace includes gardens, bedrooms, ballrooms, living areas and dining spaces, which are all open for visitors to explore. Outside, find a restored train car from Flagler’s historic Florida East Coast Railway.
If the thought of flying across the Atlantic with your brood gives you heart palpitations, consider an afternoon at Villa Vizcaya as a solid compromise. After all, did you know Miami has its own Italian estate replete with waterfront views and beautiful winding gardens? Here, enjoy a guided tour of the property, from the exotic plants to the indoor and outdoor art installations. Getting a scoop of “gelato” (or, you know, just regular ice cream) afterwards is highly recommended.
This Palm Beach retreat is filled with more than a hundred works by sculptor and children’s book author Ann Weaver Norton. Let your family’s creativity wander as everyone takes in sweeping views of the Intracoastal Waterway while gawking at some of Norton’s best pieces.
This bright blue, 820,000-gallon swimming pool—built out of a coral rock quarry—has been around since the 1920s. Bring out the floaties, and get ready for some fun as you swim in and around Mediterranean-style grottos and waterfalls.
Built in 1925, this downtown Miami building was inspired by the Giralda cathedral bell tower in Seville, Spain. It’s most famously known as a former government reception center for Cuban refugees from 1962 to 1974, earning its nickname the “Ellis Island of the South.” Today, the Freedom Tower is open to the public as an art museum.
Just off North Miami Avenue, pizza spot Mister 01 hosts pie-tossing classes guaranteed to upgrade your fam’s next pizza night. You and your brood will gather in a private dining room for a lesson and, under expert guidance, learn how to toss pizza dough—while snacking on some ‘za, of course.
Even if you know Broward County like the back of your hand, you may be unfamiliar with this tucked-away garden and wildlife sanctuary. Flamingo Gardens is home to the largest collection of Florida native wildlife, from alligators to bobcats and panthers to peacocks to flamingos. Kids of all ages will love spending the afternoon here (don’t forget to peek into the hummingbird garden).
The country’s only tropical botanical garden is sitting in our backyard. The Fruit & Spice Park is a beautiful spot to go for a walk and get acquainted with more than 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and nuts. There are complimentary garden tours too, which take you all around the property’s 37 acres. (Hey, maybe this will turn your picky eater into a veggie-lover!)
We still can’t get over the fact that a branch of our fave homegrown bookstore is hidden inside the Bal Harbour Shops. Located on the third floor, Books & Books stocks an excellent lineup of children’s and young adult books, from new releases to classic fiction and nonfiction.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch, birthday cake, pumpkin spice, guava and cheese—every member of the family is sure to be satisfied with a trip to Night Owl Cookies. The best part? There are locations across Miami, from South Miami to Wynwood and North Miami to Pembroke Pines.
None of this stay-behind-the-barrier business: We’re getting up close and personal with some of our favorite animals at Jungle Island. Play with kangaroos, book interactions with lemurs and sloths, sit at arm’s length with Mama Cass (aka the only trained cassowary on the planet) and snap a ’Gram with the resident giant tortoises. Did we mention you can feed a sloth? Sold.
Head west toward Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market. Take a selfie with some of the farm’s animals (camels included) and then pick your own produce or peruse the indoor market for farm-to-fork items, like freshly grown veggies, homemade jams and even bioorganic wines (for the parents, of course).
Spice up your weekly grocery shop with a trip to Yellow Green Farmers Market instead. It ranks as South Florida’s largest local market with more than 300 booths stocked with the region’s freshest fruits and veggies.
Another fun attraction for kids of all ages is the Palm Beach Zoo, where you can roam the grounds to check out more than 500 animals (including koalas, llamas, sloths, and spider monkeys).
This premiere educational and recreational facility boasts over 50 diverse exhibits, including 8,000-gallon saltwater and freshwater aquariums that house both exotic and local marine life (think: stingrays and seahorses). Their ethos is simple: “science is exciting!” And a visit to this fun-filled center will prove exactly that.