Miami Museums, Outdoor Fun & Free Activities for Kids
Miami is filled with great activities and attractions for the whole family, and some of Miami’s many charms can be enjoyed without spending a dime.
When some people think of Miami they think of cocktails by the pool, late-night bar-hopping in South Beach, and spending up big in Miami’s boutiques. But Miami has a long list of natural wonders, world-class museums, and fascinating areas to explore with children. With the help of this handy guide, parents can take advantage of a range of free activities and attractions with their children.
One way to get a feel for downtown Miami, and introduce children to the size and feel of this dynamic city is to get onboard the Metromover. This free, driverless sky train takes passengers to 20 stations on three separate loops. Trains arrive every 90 seconds in peak hour and every three minutes in off-peak periods.
With stops including sites such as Freedom Tower and the art museum and city library at the Miami Dade Cultural Centre, the Miami Metromover is a great way to save on taxi fares and is easily accessible with prams and trolleys. Visitors can see a list of Metromover stops and plan their trip by visiting the official Metromover website.
Miami Museums Open Their Doors to Children for Free
Children who like to explore museums will love Miami. Not only does Florida city have the usual art and history museums, but it’s also home to a Children’s Museum, filled with interactive exhibits. Kids can see sands from around the world as they climb through a two-story sandcastle, design their own bank bills in a six-foot piggy bank, dress up as superheroes and steer a fire truck to an emergency, and much more.
Every month, the Miami Children’s Museum lets children explore the hundreds of exhibits for free. To take advantage of this offer, simply visit the museum at 980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, on the third Friday of the month between 3 and 9pm.
Kids who love art will enjoy a trip to the Miami Art Museum, which has a range of activities for children including live music, storytelling, games, and guided tours. The Museum is free for families with children between 1 and 4pm on the second Saturday of every month. The Miami Art Museum is found at 101 West Flagler Street.
Stargazing children will be blown away by the star show at the Weintraub Observatory. On the first Friday of each month at 8pm, the Observatory puts on a free planetarium show which is then followed by an Observatory session where children can peer through telescopes and marvel at the planets, including the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter.
Making the Most of Miami’s Beaches and National Parks with Kids
While some may believe certain sights on Miami’s beaches are best suited for adults, families with young children can claim a patch of sand in the family-friendly stretches of beach between 53rd and 63rd Street. This is where big and small kids throw themselves into sandcastle building and searching for buried treasure. Not to mention enjoying the local playground.
The fun continues in the stunning natural areas surrounding Miami, including Biscayne National Park where children can spot porpoises and manatees from the shore. Budding young fishermen can learn tips and tricks at the National Park’s free fishing classes, while those with kayaks and canoes can launch them for free into the mangrove-fringed waters and look out for sharks and rays amongst the schools of fish.
On the second Sunday of the month from December to April, Biscayne National Park is host to a Free Family Fun Fest. Children are given free “passports” which they can have punched at each of the five hands-on activity stations around the park. Those who collect all five receive a special button as a souvenir.
Cape Florida Lighthouse A Great Spot for a Family Picnic
Families can then check out the Cape Florida Lighthouse at Key Biscayne, and enjoy a picnic by the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. They may then consider joining one of the lighthouse tours that are conducted at 10am or 1pm each day by a ranger.
Tour spots available on a first-come best-served basis, and include a visit to the reproduction of the Keeper’s Cottage, and then the chance to step into the lighthouse itself. Weather permitting, it may be possible to walk up to the top of the lighthouse where the family can take in stunning views. To join the tours, visitors need to meet at the entrance gate to the lighthouse shortly before 10am and 1pm.
Then it’s back to the city to see what else takes a visiting family’s fancy. Every year Miami has a variety of special events that include free activities and festivals for the family. For more information about free events that may be on when they are in town, tourists can visit the City of Miami’s calendar of events and enter their travel dates.