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Kid-Friendly Miami, FL

miami_2007_hotel-4 I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun my toddler son and I had while tagging along on my husband’s business trip to Miami. I mean, I knew Miami is super fun for grown-ups, but I wasn’t so sure about kids. Weighing the options: January in Miami, or January in Minnesota? Hmmm. Yeah we’ll give it a shot!

If you’re thinking of a family vacation in Miami, here are a few ideas:

We stayed at the Doubletree Grand Hotel. They have regular rooms, and condos by the week. It’s in a quiet part of downtown, near the Venetian and MacArthur Causeways. They have a grocery store/deli, restaurants, pool, and is on a marina (pictured above). If you get a condo, make sure to get a pool key to get back in the building… they’re separate from your room key. We didn’t, and got locked out in the pool area.

Things to do:
Miami Children’s Museum is off MacArthur Causeway, as is Parrot Jungle (now called Jungle Island). The Children’s Museum is crazy fun for little ones. Our membership at our home state got us in free, so bring your membership card if you have one.
Miami Seaquarium is a bit like SeaWorld with a dolphin and orca show. The manatee tank and crocodile / alligator exhibit were a hit. Located on Biscayne Bay
Miami Metrozoo. The petting zoo offers elephant rides… cool! Animals are in spacious habitats, so, lots of walking. Or, take the monorail. The Wildlife Show is big cats doing cool tricks.
Spend the day in Key Biscayne. More neighborhood-y. Is that a word? Anyway, very relaxing. Stop to pick up shells, or head to Crandon Park for beach, palm trees and picnic.
We found a great Cuban restaurant/deli/stand called Oasis Cafe on Key Biscayne. (Address: 19 Harbor Drive). We discovered that toddler likes croquetas (chicken croquettes) and plantain chips. 2 bags!
South Beach is nice during the day. Play at Lummus Park and Public Beach. It gets very adult and very loud after 11 pm. So, probably wise to avoid getting a hotel there if you plan on sleeping at night.
Bayside Marketplace is a great indoor/outdoor mall. Eclectic shops and restaurants and often live entertainment.
Mary Brickell Village is a neighborhood with a high concentration of moderate to upscale restaurants. Publix grocery store is also nearby.

 

Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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