The Museum of Science has always been a top attraction for kids growing up in Miami, but in recent years, its undergone a full makeover that has left today's families beyond pleased. The new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science now has not only numerous hands-on exhibits, but also boasts the 250-seat Frost Planetarium as well as the incredibly impressive three-story aquarium complete with an oculus lens through which kids can look up at tuna, sharks, and more. Additionally, the newer museum features the Knight Learning Center (a space for STEM-related educational programs), various camps and overnight experiences, and more.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Since moving downtown, the revamped Museum of Science has become a true favorite among Miami-area families thanks to its interactive exhibits and a stellar aquarium.
Priscilla's expert tip: Get your tickets online to avoid waiting in lines (especially on weekends), and opt for mornings when visitors aren't as plentiful.
The monolithic Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts was built by Cesar Pelli, the architect famous for the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. It is not his loveliest building: In daylight it resembles a collapsed layer cake with jutting angles. But when lit-up at night, the two main buildings look like glowing spaceships preparing for liftoff.
Nevertheless, here's where to catch the Florida Grand Opera, jazz concerts, flamenco festivals, experimental theatre, traveling Broadway shows, Teatro Avante and shows for children and families.
For pre- or post-show dining, make reservations at the newly opened BRAVA! restaurant on the second floor of the Ziff Ballet Opera House.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The Arsht Center frequently hosts a variety of children's shows and activity days that will make your kiddos fans of the theater in no time.
Priscilla's expert tip: Guests who wish to skip the line may request an early access pass online or at the box office prior to the event.
While Miamians love their beaches, there's something to be said about a day at the pool. And few pools compare to this fresh water paradise. Created by local designer Denman Fink in the 1920s, the space was originally a rock quarry and was transformed into a gorgeous swimming pool featuring coral caves, waterfalls, canals, fountains, and even a man-made island. Magical is just one way to describe this truly unique attraction. The pool's impeccable condition is maintained by daily drainage and an evening refill of more than 800,000 gallons of artesian water. Venetian Pool is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Kids will love all the animals, especially the face-to-face interactions with birds of all kinds. Even more, they'll love the private beach!
Priscilla's expert tip: Kids under 3 are not allowed, so be mindful when taking your family.
This Homestead fruit stand, established by Robert Moehling in 1959 when he stood street-side selling cucumbers for his father, is a Miami institution. Here, you can stock up on all manner of tropical fruits�papayas, sapote, anon, jackfruit, avocado�as well as Haden, Kent and Keitt mangos (in season). In addition to offering tropical and citrus fruits and vegetables, the store stocks sweet, savory and spicy preserves and pickles as well as homemade salsas and sauces, and visitors. When you first arrive, make sure to order a key lime, guava, dragon fruit or passion fruit milkshake to sip as you roam the shelves or head outside to visit with the animals; Robert and his family keep emus, goats, geese, tortoises and donkeys, and even have a park for picnics and a splash fountain exhibit on the premises. Robert Is Here opens for the season in November and typically closes in late August.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Free petting zoo and free splash pad is great, cheap entertainment for the kiddos, especially combined with a tasty, $5 milkshake.
Priscilla's expert tip: Stop at Robert Is Here, a tropical fruit stand with awesome milk shakes and a petting zoo in back, on the way down to or back from the Keys.
This is the most all-encompassing alligator experience you can have in Miami, and it will surely be the experience you go back home and tell all your friends about. Whip around through the tall saw grass of the Everglades in an airboat or swamp buggy, where you can observe the alligators in their natural habitat while maintaining a presumably safe distance. Back on shore, you can catch an alligator wrestling show, pet the baby alligators (don't worry, precautions are taken so you don't get your fingers bitten off), and come face to face with other wildlife. At the end, pick some gifts up in their shop or dine on some gator tail in the cafe.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: While kids may enjoy a bike ride or bird-watching in the Everglades, they will absolutely love airboat rides and close encounters with gators even more.
Priscilla's expert tip: The airboat rides, while amazing, are exceptionally loud. Do not refuse the ear plugs! For a gorgeous and intimate ride, the park offers sunset trips, where you can watch the sun go down over the majestic river of grass.
One of Miami's most relaxing beaches, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach is a scenic, sunny bit of paradise. It was named the "Cape of Florida" by Ponce de Leon in 1513 during his first Spanish expedition to the area. Located at the far east end of Key Biscayne, this beach is the perfect place for a family picnic, a day of biking by the shore, or a calm afternoon by the sea. There are bikes and quad bikes for rent at their concession stand and plenty of trails to ride on. Fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and snorkeling are all possible at Bill Baggs. If you get hungry, there are two restaurants on site. The historic lighthouse was built in 1825 and is the oldest standing structure in the county. Guided tours of both the light house and the lighthouse keeper's cottage are available.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The one thing that everyone must do when they come to Miami is go to the beach, and kids are no exception.
Priscilla's expert tip: Bring some cash for renting bikes and grabbing a bite to make it a full day at Bill Baggs.
Started in 1952 as a small, four-day event featuring agricultural achievements, prize-winning livestock, and a bevy of arts and crafts has turned into an all-out schmorgasbord of carnival games and ride, delectable concessions, thousands of student exhibitions, and daily (and nightly) live entertainment for every taste. Located just south of Florida International University's main campus, the Youth Fair is a staple in the lives of Miamians who were raised taking yearly trips to the fair to ride the Himalaya, watch the circus, check out who got awards for their essays and art projects, and enjoy elephant ears and cotton candy.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The Youth Fair is another Miami tradition that appeals to children of all ages and is guaranteed to make your kids smile.
Priscilla's expert tip: Reduced-price tickets are often available via the website or through your child's school before opening day. Discounts are also often available via your local grocery store.
Santa's Enchanted Forest, the world's largest holiday theme park, pops up annually in Miami's backyard. Situated in Tropical Park, the amusement park-meets-Christmas extravaganza welcomes the masses every year from late October to early January. This South Floridian cultural institution has been in play for over three decades and features over 100 thrill and kid-friendly rides, interactive animal shows, and all the carnival food one's heart could desire. Santa's is home to South Florida's tallest Christmas tree, as well as a popular holiday light show spectacular. Adrenaline lovers can also head over to the property's bungee jump, high-flying ejector seat, rock climbing wall, or slingshot.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: A trip to Santa's is a family tradition for all Miamians. If your kid still believes in Santa, they will absolutely love this.
Priscilla's expert tip: Santa's Enchanted Forest gets heavy foot traffic after school lets out. To dodge big crowds and long lines, visit the park during a weeknight before students start their winter vacation.
The only US zoo set in a subtropical climate, ZooMiami mesmerizes visitors with remarkable, open air exhibits and exotic creatures from around the world. Favorite animals among zoo-goers include clouded leopards, Komodo dragons, ring-tailed lemurs and tree kangaroos. They get ample competition from standard wildlife like giraffes, lions, meerkats, koalas, gorillas and colorful birds. When the heat starts to take its toll, Dr. Wilde's World provides a rainforest-themed, air-conditioned refuge for hands-on fun, or you can always just hop on the monorail and get a bird's eye view of the whole park. A petting zoo and wildlife shows also keep kids engaged, plus a fun splash zone and even swan and duck boat rides.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: What kid doesn't love the zoo? Animals, splash pads, interactive exhibits and live shows make the Zoo a childhood favorite.
Priscilla's expert tip: Check schedules prior to arrival for animal shows and feeding times. Some of the coolest experiences you'll have at the zoo revolve around these two things.
The Miami Children's Museum is a non-profit, educational institution that is always hit with kids. Your little ones will love exploring all the interactive, interdisciplinary, multicultural exhibits, all of which are built with children's safety in mind. Allow them to explore their inner Frida Kahlo in the Art Studio, help build a city by using cranes and bulldozers in the Construction Zone, gaze at the tropical fish and coral in the saltwater tank at the Ocean Odyssey exhibit, and discover the sounds of the World Music Studio. Take them outside to play in the Peace Park, check out the Art in Public Spaces exhibit, and learn to tell time with the museum's sun dial. Kiddos will not run out of things to do at this mecca for children's learning.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: This museum is fully dedicated to providing safe, educational, fun activities for all kids, including special days curated to the needs of autistic children.
Priscilla's expert tip: Visit the website for information on special event days (like Sensory Saturdays) and educational classes for young children.