A lot of families are taking summer vacations to the beach this year. Who could resist the sun, sand, and soothing ocean? I love the beach so much that we decided to move to Miami, so we can have it all year. My husband loves fishing, so being here gives him the option to go deep-sea fishing whenever he chooses. Yes, we are a family who loves the water, but we can’t spend our time at the beach every day. We do need to get creative with our summer activities since the beach is less than a 20 minute drive from our front door and I don’t want my babies getting burned from soaking up too much sun. Now that I’m a Miami family and living blogger we’ve been getting out a lot and exploring our new city. For anybody who is coming to Miami for vacation and want to do more than just sit at the beach there are other things to do in Miami that are kid friendly attractions your family will love. Enjoy!
**As we explore more of our city, I will share more awesome places with you all!**
1. Zoo Miami
This is one of my favorite places to take my babies! I load our double stroller up with everything we need for the day and we head out. The zoo is a pretty nice size and I must admit that we still haven’t made it all the way through. We make sure to get the map at the guest desk so we can visit a different area every time we go. The main reason my two-year old likes going to the zoo is because of the dinosaurs. Yep, you read that right! Dinosaurs! Right now there’s a dinosaur exhibit throughout the zoo, which has been extended until July 5th. Also, the animals are amazing! At some zoos I’ve visited, the animals are hiding inside because it’s just too darn hot. Nope, not here! Most are outside relaxing in the shade. It makes for some good photo opps. You may think, “Well, what about that Miami heat we’ll be walking around in?” That’s easily taken care of! There are mist machines all around the grounds, so you can get a quick cooling off when you need one. If your kiddos want something more than just a little misting, there is an entire play ground and splash pad on the zoo grounds. I make sure that my babies are wearing their swim gear to the zoo because we end every trip at the splash pad. Who could say no to that?!?!
Even though it’s a children’s museum, I think I had as much fun as my babies. Everything is so interactive, so the kids can actually climb, jump, throw, and draw on things without it being a big deal. That’s what it’s there for. The emergency response room even has a life-size police motorcycle that the kids can get on. How cool is that? Until September 6th, kids can participate in a treasure hunt at Pirate Island at the museum. They complete a task at each checkpoint and stamp their map when it’s complete. You also don’t want to miss the sketch aquarium. I’ve never seen anything like it. You take a picture of a sea animal and color it (make sure you initial it). Next you scan the picture and then your animal is projected on a wall. The projection makes it look as if your animal is floating around in a huge aquarium.
My oldest is really into trains right now, so when I asked if he wanted to see some real trains he was immediately excited! Amtrak recently held a family day at the museum and it was so fun. There were food vendors, bounce houses, and other activities for the kids. The museum allows you to actually get on the trains. The trains are from different eras and you can sit in the dining cars, sleeping areas, and even check out memorabilia from different train routes.
My sosn loved the mini train sets and the Thomas and Friends play area the most! Don’t forget to take a ride locomotive or caboose ride while you’re there.
No matter where I go on vacation, I make sure that I visit a local botanical garden. There’s something about being outside around flora that I love. It’s fun just walking around the garden, but if you want a more aimed approach make sure you grab a map at the front desk. If you don’t want to walk, there is a trolley that will drive you around to each area. I prefer to walk and take my time because I take a lot of photos and I prefer not being on a rushed schedule. I like to take it all in. The garden has The Wings of the Tropics, an exhibit of exotic butterflies. You won’t find monarchs in here at all. Walking through the exhibit is like walking through a wave of butterflies. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen! Keep in mind that strollers are not allowed in the exhibit. On our most recent trip to the garden, there was a Chihuly exhibit throughout the gardens. Chihuly is a blown glass artist and his work is amazing!