Parents’ Travel Guide: What to Do in Miami With Kids

Why not plan your next family vacation in colourful and lively Miami, Florida—a glitzy big city flanked by dazzling beaches.

Sep 23, 2014
Miami Skyline
A block from Biscayne Bay, Four Seasons Hotel Miami is an urban oasis located right in the middle of downtown's glittering towers.
Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

On the Atlantic coast of southeastern Florida, Miami sizzles with life, music, art, parties, conversation and spicy cuisine. Situated on a plain between the Everglades and Biscayne Bay, the weather in Miami is warm and mild all year round, thanks to the Gulf Stream. And because the city is so close to Cuba, much of the country’s vibrant culture can also be found here. As one of the world’s busiest cruise ports, not only does Miami ooze big city glamour, it also boasts gorgeous beaches with white sand and crystalline waters—a tropical paradise in the city.

Why go

  • Experience lively Latin culture in this glitzy, balmy, pastel-hued, pulsing city on the Atlantic. Miami is also a top market for Latin American art.
  • Brush up on your Spanish. You’ll likely hear more Spanish than English during your visit.
  • The incredible food. Get your fill of freshly caught seafood, Cuban cuisine, interesting fusion dishes and Caribbean flavours.
  • The beach. The turquoise water is incredible. In Miami, public-access beaches are also state parks (and close to Four Seasons).
  • Professional sports. Watch a Miami Heat game on the bar flat-screen or on the court with diehard fans. Miami is also home to major league football, baseball and hockey teams.
  • The view. Four Seasons Hotel Miami is the tallest building south of Atlanta at 70 storeys high.

What the kids will love

  • The Hotel pools. Surrounded by a tree-lined, two-acre (0.81 hectare) lush patio garden with Birds of Paradise and cushy outdoor conversation areas, the seventh-floor Main Pool is an urban oasis. At the far end, the shallow Palm Grove Pool houses a grove of palm trees with hammocks draped in between. Warning: the kids will never want to get out. Revise your itinerary accordingly.
  • The ocean. It’s warm and the aquamarine water is stunning. Go at dusk to watch the sun melt into the Atlantic as the lights of the city skyline start to come on.
  • Miami Children’s Museum. With a two-storey sand castle, giant piggy bank and a 900-gallon (3,407-litre) marine tank, kids will love exploring the museum’s exhibits.
  • Walking around lively South Beach. Pick an outdoor café and people-watch.

What you will love

  • The spa. Sign up for a poolside signature spa treatment or join the hard bodies at the fourth-floor Equinox. Hotel guests get complimentary access.
  • Walking around South Beach. The nightlife sizzles here, and if you’ve got the kids with you, they’ll love taking in all the action on the street. Think bustling cafés, blaring music, glamourous storefronts and enticing aromas.
  • Date night. Hit South Beach again, but this time without the kids. You’ll love the stylish Art Deco architecture, top-notch restaurants and plush hotel bars. Take in some live music, preferably something Latin, and sip some refreshing cocktails outside under the palm trees and neon signs. Set aside an evening for late-night drinks at Delano South Beach. Like some kind of Baz Luhrmann set, sultry doesn’t even begin to describe it. The outside pool, flanked by votive-lit cabanas, goes on for miles.
  • Private shopping or art tours. From shopping high-end fashions to fine art, ask the Concierge to book you a private tour.
  • Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. Located just over an hour north, spend a few relaxing days in Palm Beach to make it a two-stop Florida family vacation.

Look for

Natural beauty. Look up to see orchids hanging from the trees; or if you’re lucky, you might even spot a manatee in the waters of Biscayne Bay.

Eat this

Dine in
Perched above the Hotel’s pool terrace, indoor-outdoor EDGE Steak & Bar is known for its steakhouse-light concept and farm-to-table sensibility. Local seafood, fresh fruit and veggies, and unusual cuts of meat are the stars of the menu. Chef Aaron Brooks even harvests produce from the Hotel’s two-acre pool terrace. A stylish, sleek lounge, the restaurant bar is particularly fun when a Miami Heat game is on.

For lunch, order the refreshing ahi tuna tartare with pickled shallots, watermelon and Italian parsley, or the flavour-packed grilled shrimp served over a quinoa and fire-roasted corn salad, shaved fennel, and tender baby spinach. The juicy EDGE Burger, featuring Creekstone Farms ground beef with puckery Vermont cheddar, chef’s pickles and a side of house-cut fries, is also a winner.

On the EDGE kids’ menu, go for classic kid staples such as chicken fingers or a triple-decker PB&J. Bonus: children under five, accompanied by parents, eat free at EDGE.

Dine out
We love OTC (which stands for Over The Counter) near Mary Brickell Village—a good family-friendly option. On the menu: rustic and modern American comfort cuisine. The kids will love the bustling ambiance and the rustic chalkboard-filled décor.

Other local favourites located within walking distance of the Hotel: Novecento, Piola (famous for their pizza) and Perricone’s Marketplace & Café with its lush tropical garden setting.

New York’s famed sweet shop and eatery Serendipity 3 just opened its first outpost in Miami, a colourful eatery on Lincoln Street. The food is delicious, too, with a huge menu including burgers, sandwiches and subs. Catch a movie at Lincoln Mall and head here for a post-show treat that’s sure to please.

5 family to-dos

1. Spend a day at the beach. Crandon Park in Key Biscayne is one of the best options. It’s very quiet and you’ll feel like you’re in the Caribbean. Rent umbrellas and chairs here; Four Seasons will supply pool towels.

2. Head to the zoo. Zoo Miami is something special. Yes, there are lions and monkeys, and you’ll learn about the everglades. But, ranked No. 1 in TripAdvisor, the zoo also puts a huge focus on education. There are a variety of tours and interactive programmes available to help kids of all ages experience the animal kingdom in a unique and exciting way.

3. Take the kids to the museum. The Miami Children’s Museum is also top-ranked. It includes a mini city where kids can try out being a doctor or a chef, and even shop in a miniature supermarket. (And Jungle Island is just across the street.)

4. Explore both land and sea. For younger kids, try Duck Tours, a silly, high-octane ride in an amphibious bus that takes you in the water and back on land with a zany, costumed driver. For older kids, take a boat trip around Star and Palm Islands, passing celebrity mansions. Or, visit the Schnebly Redlands boutique winery and Robert Is Here fruit stand in Homestead, about 45 minutes away by car.

5. Get outdoors. Take the family for a round of golf or tennis lessons. There’s boating, sailing, deep-sea fishing expeditions … you name it, it’s here. Ask the Concierge for more details.


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