A great family getaway is closer than you think – especially with the Miami area’s abundance of attractions. Here are just a few suggestions…
Take to the skies. Let the adventures begin aboard the Metromover, a free, electrically powered, driverless sky train that makes 20 stops in the downtown vicinity.
Why go: Kids will love pretending to be the train conductor and you’ll love the easy on/off access to various sights.
What to do: Explore the Freedom Tower, Bayside Marketplace, Bayfront Park, Riverwalk, Brickell City Centre and the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center.
Fun fact: With close to 4 ½ miles of track high above the city, Miami’s automated people-mover is only one of three in the United States and transports an average of 105,500 passengers daily.
Plan ahead: No need, as the sky train runs from 5 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. miamidade.gov/transit/metromover.asp; 305.468.5900
Make a splash. Head to South Pointe Park for an afternoon of pure enjoyment, where the kids can cool off at the water park after a picnic lunch on the lawn.
Why go: With a panoramic view of the ocean (arguably the best in Miami!), a parade of cruise ships sailing by, a pristine beach, walking paths, modern art sculptures and a splash pad, this public park is a can’t-miss for the entire family.
What to do: Spend time on the pier watching the big boats and barges go by (and if you’re lucky, you might spot some manatees!) or go fishing off the jetty.
Fun fact: If you’re into celebrity spotting, this is the place to be! This beach is popular for movie and magazine shoots, so you never know who you might run into.
Plan ahead: The park is open to the public from sunrise to 10 p.m.; public restrooms available. 1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; miamiandbeaches.com/parks/south-pointe-park/101614; 305.673.7006
Enjoy an animal attraction. A much-loved fruit stand located in Homestead, Robert Is Here is also home to a free petting zoo! Children can talk to the animals and watch the antics of the birds, pigs, chickens, tortoises, geese and donkey as they scramble for feed. In the meantime, you can sip a yummy milkshake.
Why go: Along with the petting zoo and legendary shakes and smoothies made from rare and exotic fruits and farm-fresh veggies, there’s also a play area and picnic tables – and live music on the weekends and holidays.
What to do: Mix and match up to three delicious flavors for rich and creamy shakes big enough for two people to share; sample not-your-everyday fruits; and taste test a wide selection of honey.
Fun fact: The family-owned and operated fruit stand is the first Florida-based entry into the National Culinary Heritage Register.
Plan ahead: The fruit stand and petting zoo are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 19200 SW 344th Street, Homestead; robertishere.com; 305.246.1592
See some stars – under the stars. There’s nothing like an outdoor movie on a beautiful summer night. Grab the kids and head to Horseshoe Park at The Shops at Midtown Miami for its free Moonlit Movies series.
Why go: On a clear night, you might not just see a great film… you might also see a great light show. Before the flick starts, look to the stars and have the family pick out and name as many constellations as they can.
What to do: Just sit back, relax and enjoy the show!
Fun fact: The Shops at Midtown Miami has helped spark the area’s revival by creating a link between the Design and Wynwood Arts Districts.
Plan ahead: On the second and fourth Thursday of the month, showtime is at 7 p.m. and complimentary snacks – movie staples like popcorn and chips – add to the fun; all you need to bring are lawn chairs or a blanket. (Even Rover is allowed to tag along!) 3401 North Miami Avenue, Miami; facebook.com/events/229479487605234