When you think of Miami, you think of perfectly tanned and toned bodies, sunshine, heat, and the beach. You don’t immediately think of it as a place to travel with your toddler. While Miami, South Beach specifically, is definitely an adult’s playground, there are tons of things to do that can create a family trip that allows for art, culture, silliness for the kids, and a bit of sexiness for the adults. Here are my suggestions of places to check out while in Miami with toddlers.
Little Havana: Calle Ocho. It’s easy to take a quick trip to Little Havana while in Miami, and it’s definitely worth a quick peruse. Running from South Miami Avenue to SW 27th Ave, Calle Ocho also known as SW 8th Street is in the hub of Little Havana. Made popular as a landing spot for many Cubans immigrants in the 1960s, now this area boasts hidden bits of history, restaurants, and many cigar shops on each corner. While there you should grab an arepa from the stalls and treat yourself to un cafecito, a small but very strong cuban coffee (just the pick me up needed if you're suffering from jet-lag). Grab a cuban sandwich from El Rey De Las Fritas, and take your time strolling the neighborhood and discovering the murals.
Wynwood Walls: The art scene in Miami started burgeoning in the early 2000s with the introduction of Art Basel. This started a movement and investment into the arts in the city. Wynwood has become a hub for the arts movement, and here you will find an open air gallery of mural and street art, traditional galleries and cute little restaurants. They’re great for selfies, and the kiddos will love all the dynamic colors.
Other great Museums to check out: The Perez Art Museum and The Museum of Contemporary Art
While you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to coastlines in South Florida, some of my favorite sections of the beach to avoid the crowds or spring breakers is the section of South Beach south of 5th street. This offers more space for you little ones to run around, and a more ‘modest’ area for curious preschoolers or tweens. Further afield the beach off Collins and 46th offers a large parking lot so you don’t have to fight for parking or need to have perfected the art of the parallel park. It’s a great section of the beach and offers a calmer atmosphere.
Further afield honorable mentions:
Hallandale beach for a less pretentious and quieter beach outing. Their downtown area also offers a host of great restaurants. Also, Fort Lauderdale beach between Oakland Blvd and Sunrise Blvd, offers a happy medium between quiet beach with a lively crowd and great shopping.
Just For the Kids:
If you can pry yourself away from the beach, or if you’re looking for somewhere to escape the sun and heat, then be sure to check out:
Miami Children's Museum & Cruise Ships.
Lion County Safari
Foodie Shout Outs:
With the kiddies:
Books and Books Cafe on Lincoln Road- their Pan Fried Grouper sandwich is the stuff of dreams.
Pizza Rustica- perfect for a quick lunch or after a long night of dancing.
Spris- mid-week they have beat the clock where the price of your meal is the time you sit down.
Ms Cheezious- A grilled cheese food truck turned brick and mortar. Try the crabby melt.
Further afield: Food Trucks in Fort Lauderdale.
Every Monday the Food trucks at Heritage Park in Plantation host a Food truck invasion along with fun activities for the little ones. It's a great place to stop after a day of shopping at Sawgrass Outlet Malls. Further south, at the Hollywood Young Circle (Mondays 5:30-9:30) they also host a similar event. Both offer fun activities for the kids, and incredible fusion and gastronomic delights.
Without the kiddies:
If you're feeling to get dressed up then check out
Tuyo- an unsuspecting restaurant with great views of Key Biscayne, and an incredible menu.
If you need to let loose then try:
Segafredo- perfect for a casual alfresco drink in the evening. Try the Lychee Martini and tuna tartare…thank me later.
Lincoln Road Mall
Bayside Market Place
Sawgrass Outlet Malls- they have a large variety of brands and retailers and it’s definitely work the 40 minute drive to Fort Lauderdale.
What are some of your favorite places to go in Miami? Share in the comments below.