Often thought of as a playground for adults, Miami‘s child-friendly attractions might be over-looked. If you’re thinking about heading to Miami, don’t hesitate to bring the kids! There’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
The Miami Seaquarium is a fun and educational marine park experience for the whole family. There are dozens of shows and exhibits including a tropical reef; the Shark Channel, with feeding presentations; and Discovery Bay, a natural mangrove habitat that serves as a refuge for rehabilitating rescued sea turtles.
Check out the Pacific white-sided dolphins or the West Indian manatees being nursed back to health. Frequent shows include dazzling performances from the Seaquarium’s finest residents, including a massive killer whale, dolphins, and sea lions.
Dolphin Harbor is an especially fun venue for watching marine mammals play and show off. It also offers the popular Dolphin Encounter, which allows visitors to touch and swim with dolphins in the Flipper Lagoon.
Jungle Island is one of those places kids beg to go, so just give up and prepare for some bright-feathered, bird-scented fun. The waterfront park is lushly landscaped and features parrots, macaws, flamingos, and cockatoos flying about in outdoor aviaries.
The Cape Penguin colony is especially cute, as is Crocosaurus, a massive saltwater crocodile that lives in Serpentarium. Other critters include snakes, crocodiles, gibbons and orang-utans, not to mention tortoises, iguanas, and a rare albino alligator on exhibit.
You can even see animals in action, as Jungle Island host a number of shows starring roller-skating cockatoos, card-playing macaws, and numerous stunt-happy parrots. Nearby is Pinecrest Gardens, which has a petting zoo, mini-water park, and a lake.
Miami Children’s Museum
The Miami Children’s Museum is not so much a museum as a glorified playhouse, with areas for kids to practice all sorts of adult activities like playing TV news anchor in a studio and acting as a local cop or firefighter.
Kids can pretend they’re banking at the miniature Bank of America, shopping at the local Publix Supermarket, or taking a Carnival cruise ship, which even stops in the re-created port of Brazil.
One of the more impressive exhibits is the World Music Studio, where budding rock stars can lay down a few tracks and play instruments.
The Miami Children’s Museum also offers educational displays about subjects ranging from Miami architecture to Brazilian culture. There are also hundreds of bilingual, interactive exhibits as well as programs, classes, and learning materials related to arts, culture, community, and communication.
Miami’s warm subtropical climate ensures large swathes of natural habitat at the excellent Metrozoo, where more than 200 species roam the cageless surrounds. Don’t worry, the animals are kept at bay by cleverly designed moats.
Residents at the Metrozoo include elephants, koalas, colobus monkeys, and black rhinoceroses. You’ll also see a pair of Komodo dragons and Bengal tigers, including a gorgeous white tiger. Over at the Tropical America exhibit, you can see anacondas, giant river otters, jaguars, and sting ray touch tanks. You can even feed giraffes at The Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station.
Younger kids, especially, will find much to enjoy at the Metrozoo. There’s a first-class petting zoo and play area, and the zoo offers several programs designed to entertain.
- Viator Travel Team