Off the Beaten Path: 5 Places in South Florida to Visit with Your kids.

If you live in or around the Miami area I am sure you have heard of Wynwood and South Beach, The Frost Museum and Bayside. Not all these places are truly family friendly. So before you waste your time and find out the hard way, I am going to let you in on five truly special family-friendly places.  They are smaller, budget-friendly destinations you won’t find on most travel sites.  Any or all of these would make for a great weekend getaway in Miami. So let me tell you where the locals with young children go when they need a family getaway!

Safari Edventure

Safari Edventure is hands down the best animal encounter in South Florida.  It’s part small animal rescue, part sanctuary and part educational facility. Located in the Redlands, about 45 minutes from South Beach, its grassy paths and shaded overhangs provide much needed cover on a hot Florida day.  Safari Edventure has the best one on one animal encounters, such as playing with wolf pups, petting a sloth, holding a baby gator and feeding milk bottles to baby piggies. And the best part – most of these attractions are included with your admission fee or just a buck or two extra.  What a refreshing change from most overpriced and over activity planned zoos! The spectacular one hour hands-on animal presentation, which totally rocks, features staff showing off about a dozen different animals.  The staff provides basic facts about each critter and then walks through the crowd, allowing you and your little ones to pet or hold the animals, except for the dangerous ones!  Beware the dirt paths, so leave the stroller in the car.

Be sure to stop by Burr’s Berry Farm if you visit between December and early May for one of its outstanding shakes or ice cream sundaes.

Adults – $18.00 kids and seniors $15.00.  Take off $3.00 if you’re a Florida resident. Kids 3 and under are free.

Mommy and Kid Travel - Safari Edventure #1

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Pinecrest Gardens

A real hidden gem in the heart of the beautiful tree-lined suburban town of Pinecrest, FL,  about 30 minutes south of Brickell, is Pinecrest Gardens.  Enjoy the paved paths meandering through the park scattered with turtle and koi ponds, providing a great locale for walking with little people.  It’s stroller friendly, so go ahead and bring it in.  A nice sized splash park in the back makes it a perfect spot to cool off on hot days with lots of sitting areas for parents to sit back and enjoy the squeals of joy as the kiddos cool off.

Picnic tables, a small snack bar, petting zoo and playground complete the park.  Sundays spotlight an impressive Farmers Market and almost every holiday features a special program.

$5.00 General Admission includes the splash pad.

For more info

Jacobs Aquatic Center

For an island-style one day getaway, rent a car, crank up some Jimmy Buffet and take a road trip to the Florida Keys.  The Keys are a state of mind, not just a destination.  At the center of Key Largo you’ll find the Jacobs Aquatic Center, a goldmine of comfort and convenience for families on a hot Florida day.  The complex consists of a 25-meter competition pool, one meter and three-meter diving boards and a pirate-themed splash park. A bathroom and snack bar are also on property.  Fully trained lifeguards are present making this a great place to catch up on summer reads while the lifeguards do their job.

When hunger hits, walk a few blocks over to Sharky’s Sharkbite Grille, a Key Largo favorite for many tourists and locals.  http://sharkeysgalley.comIt’s located on a busy canal which is always buzzing with dive boats and the like.  The kids will have fun waving at the passengers while you enjoy a Rum Runner.   You’re only an hour south of Miami, but you’re on island time so expect slower service.   On your way back to Miami take Cardsound Road and stop off at Alabama Jacks for a quick drink and some conch fritters.  It’s a roadside bar cooking up greasy favorites, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.  There’s no website which honestly makes the place even cooler to me, but this site will offer you the basics.

Daily weekday rates are $10 for adults, $8.00 for kids 11-17, and $6.00 for kids 3 to 10.  Rates are slightly higher on the weekends.

For more info

Panthers Game

Everyone knows the Miami Heat and D-Wade, but did you know we have a professional hockey team?  Yep, hockey in Florida.  The Florida Panthers play in Sunrise, FL, an easy 45-minute drive from Miami Beach.  It’s the only place in the country you can wear a jersey, shorts and flip flops and not look out of place.   The games are lively, fun and filled with northerners and Canadians.  The food options are great, for stadium grub.  We often frequent the Pasta Station located on the main level.  Tickets can be had for $30 a seat up to $300.  Check the team’s website for deals and specials.  Be sure to bring the kids and go early as the team sets up a top notch Kids Zone.  Don’t forget a plastic rat, and be ready to throw it if the team wins – it’s a tradition!

Mommy and Kid Travel - Florida Panthers Game #1

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Gold Coast Train Museum

Next to the Miami Metro Zoo is a quaint, yet ramshackle museum called the Gold Coast Railroad Museum (locals just call it the train museum).  It’s super popular during Christmas when it hosts the Polar Express and Thomas the Train days.  Otherwise, it’s empty.  And it’s fabulous, especially for the tykes.  They can run, play, touch, cry, scream and just be kids.  You can board and explore historic trains and there’s a charming Thomas the Train room with tons of toy trains.  For $6.00 per person you can ride a Standard Gauge caboose or coach car, or for an extra $12 per person, you can ride in an Engineer Cab Standard Gauge Diesel-Electric Locomotive.  Schedules and equipment vary, so be sure to call ahead if you crave a particular ride experience.

With little in the way of snacks or drinks available, you should eat before you go.  Don’t be surprised if you see a photo shoot going on.  It’s an excellent place for those black and white, industrial style selfies you see all over Instagram.  Be sure to have a charged phone or camera.

General admission $8.00 and children (2-12) $6.00.

Mommy and Kid Travel - Train Museum

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So you see, there is much more to do in South Florida than Wynwood Walls and South Beach.  Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Keys have a host of interesting and exciting choices to offer your family.

Contributing Writer, Stehli Krause. Stehil is a new travel blogger who loves to find and explore family-friendly destinations. Read more of her travel tips and follow her adventures on her website here: Mommy and Kid Travel

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5 fun places to visit in South Flrodia with kids



11 Family Friendly Halloween Events In Miami, Florida

“Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn’t you like to see something strange
Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween”

Halloween is such a special time of the year for me. It marks the start of the holiday season and allows for family traditions to be made. Now that I have an active toddler, I cannot wait to dress him up as Jack from The Nightmare Before Christmas and start our very own tradition of doing as many Halloween activities as possible. Miami may not be Jack ’s town of Halloween, but we do have plenty of events in our area to make him feel right at home. If you don’t know where to take your little ones for all of the Halloween fun, keep reading for eleven family-friendly Halloween events in Miami.

1. Kiddo-Ween Party at The Falls on October 20th, 2018.

This children’s Halloween party will feature safe trick-or-treating, character appearances by superheroes and princesses, scavenger hunt, scary faces photo booth, and an amazing Pumpkin Path station. There will also be will also be able to enjoy a fun zone with face painting, balloon artists, arts, and craft, bounce house, costume contest, music, giveaways, fun and much more!

For more info: kiddo-ween-party

2. Roary’s No Scream Halloween on October 201th, 2018

This is one of Miami’s Largest Trick or Treat parties! Join Roary for a Halloween celebration as FIU Football takes on Rice with kickoff at 7:30 PM.

For More info: roarys-no-scream-halloween

3. Halloween Haunted Trails and Kids Fun Zone on October 26, 2018

The City of North Miami’s Annual Halloween Haunted Trails and Kids Fun Zone Friday, there will be Scary hayrides, haunted trails, kids zones, a costume parade, and Food for purchase from Local Vendors.

For more info: halloween-haunted-trails
4. Halloween Weekend celebration At IKEA on October 27thand 28th 2018

Bring the kids to the IKEA Restaurant for Halloween fun from 4-6pm. They encourage children to come dressed in costumes. At the even,t they will have craft activities, costume parades, and other fun surprises!

This activity is an exclusive benefit for IKEA FAMILY Members. Show your 
IKEA FAMILY Member card at the activity to participate.

For more info: ikea-miami

5. Zoo Boo at Zoo Miami on October 27thand 28th2018.

This Trick-or-Treating event invites families and kids ages 12 to trick-or-treat in costumes, participate in costume contests, watch special performances,  make Halloween crafts, see our wild animals get their Halloween goodies,
and more!

For more info: Zoo Miami

6. Trunk & Treat at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden on October 28th2018.

Join them for a day of fall fun as they welcome Cars in the Garden, with a
Halloween twist!  Trick-or-treat through the cars, see how the cars and their owners dress up or stay for the car parade at 4:00 p.m. to see the cars parade out of the Garden!

For more info: fairchildgarden

7. Halloween Family Boo Bash at the Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village on October 28th2018.

Bring family friendly spooky day full of excitement. Guest are welcome to trick or treat at our historic railroad village. Many fun children’s entertainment such as face painting, balloon art, tattoos, arts & crafts, pony rides, petting zoo, magic mirror photo booth & more. Kids 12 and under can participate in our costume contest, don’t miss our spectacular magic show and DJ. Daily food specials at our restaurants onsite.

For more info: halloween-family-boo-bash
8. Spooktacular Safe Streets Halloween Party on October 31st2018.

Don’t miss the City of South Miami and Miami Kids Magazine’s Safe Streets Halloween Block Party! The party will be from SW 72nd St. to 57th Avenue. There will be safe and fun trick or treating for the whole family! Enjoy a visit from Dr. Seuss’s the Cat in the Hat, free candy, games, prizes, music, pumpkin painting, inflatables, and much more! Pick a costume theme for
the whole family.

For more info: safe-streets-halloween

9. Halloween On The Mile on October 31st2018.

Trick or Treat! Kids of all ages are invited to Downtown Coral Gables to celebrate the 21stAnnual Halloween on the Mile, produced by the Business Improvement District (BID) of Coral Gables.
For more Info: halloween-on-the-mile

10. Spooktacular Halloween Party at Dolphin Mall on October 31st2018.

Enjoy safe family friendly trick or treating around the mall, face painting, balloon artists consume contest and much more.

For More info: spooktacular_halloween_party

11. Halloween Boo Bash  at the Mall Of The Americas on October 31st2018.

The Mall of the Americas’ annual Halloween Celebration is for children ages 10 and under. Enjoy fun games with the friendly, bilingual Gigi the Witch.

For more Info: boo-bash

We will be attending Kiddo-Ween Party at The Falls and the Spooktacular Safe
Streets Halloween Party in South Miami. Follow me on Instagram @jamnetty
to see all of the fun we get into.

Contributing writer:  Jamnetty from

Follow her on Instagram @jamnetty to see all of the fun Halloween fun her and her kiddos get into this year.

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