In this sunny paradise there are days that the earth needs watering or sometimes you just want to explore elsewhere other than the beach.
When you are on vacation with the kids and the rain comes, panic stinks in, what are you going to do with the kids because you were planning on going to the beach? Miami has many indoor activities that will fulfill your kids need to do that “something”. There is the Miami’s Children Museum and Miami Science Museum which are focused towards kids. They will be entertained while their brains suck up new knowledge. If your child is in to trains make sure you take them to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. There are multiple indoor playgrounds like Cool-de-Sac and Play au Lait that combine the playground experience with an air conditioned experience. Grapeland Water Park is exactly that, a waterpark.
There are places that your kids will love but so will anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to have close encounters with animals that are not your pets or just like an adventure. Jungle Island has Monkeys, Parrots, Lemurs, Tigers, Ligers, Kangaroos… the list goes on and on. The VIP tour is something I highly suggest as it allows you to enter with areas and touch animals that you otherwise would not be allowed to touch. While the Miami Seaquarium offers fantastic shows by Lolita, their Orca Whale, and their squeaky dolphins. They have touch tanks so you can get close and personal with some of the animals. Metro Zoo builds your awareness on animals and what it means to protect them while experiencing the animals in person. A trip out to the Florida Everglades can send you on an airboat adventure to experience something that is only possible there. Two large parks that have it all are Bill Braggs National Park and Matheson Hammock Park, you can swim, kayak, eat, play and explore at both. Setting out from Bayside, a little oasis of shopping and dining on the water, there are a multitude of tours by land and sea that are fun to explore.
The movie theater in the Grove called Paragon Grove 13 offers a great movie experience while having a full service restaurant. In South Miami at The Shops of Sunset Place has AMC 24 giving you more movies, more show times and IMAX. Out on the beach there is Regal South Beach Stadium 18 that will meet you cinema desires. These theaters all offer covered parking available to make sure you stay dry if it is raining. Tower Theater on SW 8th St (Calle Ocho) is not only historical but shows your non mainstream movies.
If it shopping that your heart desires then you should know it is oh-so-amazing and there are so many areas to cover. For amazing deals and outlet shopping head to the Dolphin Mall or Sawgrass Mills. Aventura and Dadeland Malls are your mega malls that have it all with The Falls and The Shops at Sunset Place making sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Merrick Park is higher-end shopping with your everyday needs mixed in. It is open air giving you the feel that you are not in a shopping mall and they have some great restaurants located in the courtyard of the mall. Bal Harbour Shops, the famous luxury retail location, is the place to go for your designer names. There are also a couple areas and streets that are worthy of mentioning like Sunset Drive in South Miami, Mary Brickell Village, Miracle Mile, the Design District and the heart of the Grove that offer boutique shopping at its best. Out on the beach, Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue (from 6th St to Lincoln), offer a mixture of your name brand stores with some boutiques thrown in.
Miami also has a variety of museums, some focused solely on art, but some that represent a range of topics for all ages are Miami Science Museum, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and The Woldsonian- FIU, HistoryMiami and Jewish Museum of Florida. The three best art museums in my opinion are Bass Museum of Art, MOCA Miami and the Lowe Art Museum. In addition to your typical museums there are some fabulous botanical gardens to check out such as Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Pinecrest Gardens and the gardens at Vizcaya.
If you want to explore Miami and you don’t want to take the metro, bus or taxi, then you can rent it. Cars2Go is giving Miami the option not to rent a car but use a car for only the amount of time you need it without specified drop-off and pick-up locations. In South Beach, Deco Bike has stations set up for you to pick and drop off bikes as you use them, making getting around by bike fun and painless. Scooters are another option if you want to cruise but want to get around a little faster than a bike. Then to get around by sea there are various locations to rent boats, jet skis, kayaks and paddle boards on the beach, The Grove and by the Rickenbacker Causeway. Let me add that Miami on the water is a completely different Miami and one that everyone should experience.