Things to Do in Miami With Kids From a Local

Learn how to make the most of a family vacation in Miami as our travel expert explores her childhood home with her husband and two daughters.

My parents recently sold my childhood home, but not before making me go through all of my old things. I spent hours looking at photo albums and reminiscing about my childhood. This brought back so many good memories of the things my parents did with my brother and me when we were growing up. I decided I wanted to live that nostalgia and create similar memories with my husband and two daughters. We spent a weekend exploring south Florida and had the time of our lives!

You’ll definitely want to explore south Florida by car. Pick up your Alamo rental at Miami International Airport. Miami has an array of accommodations options, from beachfront hotels to vacation homes. The Loews Miami Beach Hotel offers a kid’s club and rec room with arcade games – perfect for families. Villa Paradiso offers rooms with full kitchens if you are looking to save money by preparing a few meals of your own. If you want to enjoy the Miami activities but avoid the crowds of Miami Beach, consider staying in Hollywood, Florida, at the Diplomat Beach Resort or Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. Both hotels have great activities for families.

Knaus Berry Farm

We explored Miami during winter. As a native south Floridian, I can confirm it’s actually the perfect time to visit; there is minimal humidity and great seasonal activities. My favorite winter activity growing up was strawberry picking at Knaus Berry Farm. Revisiting as an adult with my children reminded me of all the times I came as a child. My brother and I would run down the strawberry fields searching for the reddest ones we could find. Getting to see my children do the same thing and be so excited about becoming “professional” strawberry pickers was such an amazing feeling.

Picking strawberries at Knaus Berry Farm Picking strawberries at Knaus Berry Farm

The strawberry season lasts from November to April, with January being the best month. It’s the start of peak season, which lasts until March, so you’ll be able to find a lot of ripe strawberries to pick. You can bring your own basket or use one of the containers the farm provides. At the end of your visit, you’ll weigh your strawberries and pay by the pound. Knaus Berry Farm is cash only so be sure to make a stop at the ATM before arriving.

Knaus Berry Farm Knaus Berry Farm

After picking strawberries, reward yourself with some of the amazing baked goods made fresh at the farm. My personal favorite are the cinnamon rolls, such sweet gooey goodness! Knaus Berry Farm also sells milkshakes, cakes, pies and cookies, You won’t be disappointed no matter what you choose.

Everglades Safari Park

Thirty-five minutes from Knaus Berry Farm is the Everglades Safari Park. Florida is known for alligators, and as kids, my parents would take my brother and me to the Everglades to see them. We would compete to see who could spot the most alligators first. Now, coming back as an adult with my own family, we were able to have the same competition.

Once you get to Everglades Safari Park, you’ll board an airboat and take a 30-minute ride around the canal looking for alligators as well as spotting turtles and various birds. After the airboat ride, you can walk around the park and watch a show put on by the park rangers. You’ll learn about the alligators in the area and can even take a picture with a baby alligator.

Holding a baby alligator at Everglades Safari Park Holding a baby alligator at Everglades Safari Park

 

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Coconut Grove

On our second day in Miami, we visited Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the early 1900s winter home of industrialist James Deering. I remember growing up wishing I could have my wedding there! Walking around the villa, my daughters thought they were exploring a castle. They enjoyed seeing all the old bedrooms and deciding which one “the Queen” lived in. The garden is absolutely beautiful, and I loved seeing the girls run around and enjoy themselves.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

After exploring Vizcaya, we went to the Coconut Grove area of Miami, a short, five-minute drive from the gardens. Here we had lunch at Farinelli 1937, which serves fire oven pizza. Coconut Grove is filled with shops, little eateries and plenty of places to have dessert. After lunch, we walked around window shopping and enjoying the weather.

Farinelli 1937 pizza Farinelli 1937 pizza

While we didn’t visit the beach during our trip, beach lovers can still enjoy the sun and sand during the winter. The water may be a little chilly, but unless there is a cold front, you can typically expect temperatures in the high 70’s year-round. Bal Harbour Beach is the perfect family-friendly beach away from the crowds at South Beach.

You can also check out these 3 easy national park day trips from Miami if you have a couple extra days of travel.

I had a phenomenal time exploring my childhood home of Miami with my family. Revisiting places I explored with my parents and brother and recreating those same memories with my own kids was something special. I encourage all parents to do the same with their kids!

Playing in Vizcaya Gardens
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About the Author

Monet Hambrick

Monet Hambrick is the mom behind "The Traveling Child," a family travel blog with the motto "if kids live there, kids can visit" that provides tips on how to make family travel easy and affordable. While Monet is an advocate for family travel, she also focuses on couple’s trips, solo travel, and girl’s getaways reminding moms everywhere that it's okay continue to enjoy the things they did pre-kids and to not feel guilty about doing so!