Beach Days For the Whole Family
Miami Beach with the constant sunshine makes simply being outdoors an easy way to while away the time. Here are some great things to do with kids on the Beach.
With miles of shoreline, the beach is a natural attraction in South Beach. Whether you stay at an oceanfront hotel or pack up your bags for a beach day, there’s plenty of family bonding time to be had in South Beach. The water is inviting year round with temperatures ranging from 71 degrees in January to 86 in July. While the water’s typically flat and calm, occasionally a small swell will create conditions ideal for children to body surf or boogie board. Waves or no waves, the beach is ideal for building sand castles, playing paddleball or soccer and, of course, relaxing. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available to rent from vendors all along the beach and if your family really wants to splurge, rent a beach “bed,” where you can lounge on the comfort of a terrycloth-covered mattress. Absolute bliss.
Take a walk along Lincoln Road and stop for ice cream at Kilwins candy shop. Browse the children's book collection at the independent book store Books & Books. Play in the many fountains along the outdoor mall.
Head to South Pointe Park at the southern tip of South Beach and watch the cruise ships passing out from the Port of Miami to the ocean. Kids and adults alike will get a kick watching the gigantic vessels pass through on their way to some exotic destination.
Miami Museum of Science and Planatarium - http://www.miamisci.org/ Treat the kids to a view of outer space, a collection of Florida's funky reptiles and a variety of traveling exhibits about the planet and ecosystem.
Miami Children’s Museum is a quirky, brightly painted complex spread over 56,000 square-feet with 14 galleries. Exhibits include a pretend grocery store, a bank, a veterinarian’s office, an ocean odyssey, a rock-climbing wall, and other hands-on activities.
Each summer, April to September, Florida beaches host the largest gathering of nesting sea turtles in the U.S. Sea turtles once roamed the oceans by the millions but over the past few centuries, the demand for sea turtle meat, eggs, shell, leather and oil and loss of habitat due to urban development along the coasts have greatly reduced their numbers.
Parrot Jungle Island is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. located at 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, off 395, between downtown Miami and South Beach. Parrot Jungle is now the home for 1,100 tropical birds, 2,000 varieties of plants and flowers, and the best trained bird show in the world. It is a place where exotic birds "fly free" everyday. www.parrotjungle.com/