Miami Family Weekend

Sun, surf and a seemingly never-ending nightlife are a few of the things that Miami is commonly known for. However, there’s much more to this cultural melting pot than just beaches and parties. In fact, with an array of adventure parks and museums, Miami has a lot to offer for family holidays, too.

If you’re headed off for a Caribbean cruise, plan to come early or stay late and enjoy some of the family activities that Miami offers:

Animals run wild, literally, at Monkey Jungle in South Florida, which is home to nearly 400 primates, mostly running free, on a 30-acre reserve. The facility, which allows kids of all ages to interact with monkeys as they stroll through a lush jungle setting, is one of the few protected habitats for endangered primates in the United States. In fact, it’s the only one that the general public can actually explore.

Monkey Jungle Florida

Monkey Jungle, Florida

In addition to gibbons and guenons, Monkey Jungle guests can also study fossils and visit parrots and lemurs.

Located between downtown Miami and South Beach, Jungle Island is an almost 20-acre wildlife park and habitat that is home to approximately 1,100 tropical birds and 2,000 varieties of plants and flowers. Aside from realistic jungle trails, an outdoor arena and a petting zoo, there’s also an on-site show that exhibits trained parrots and crocodiles.

Speaking of crocs, a trip to the Miami area would hardly be complete without a visit to the Everglades Alligator Farm or the Everglades Safari Park.

Everglades Safari Park

Everglades Safari Park

The Everglades Alligator Farm, south Florida’s oldest gator farm, is located near the main entrance of Everglades National Park. While there, visitors can enjoy an airboat tour, navigate a walking trail for chances to see alligators, crocodiles, caimans and other wildlife or discover a display of local and exotic snakes. Also, informative wildlife shows take place nearly every hour.

Everglades Safari Park has a fleet of airboats that are capable of accommodating singles, couples, families and large groups. The facility’s 30 to 40-minute airboat rides are led by trained guides who provide guests with information regarding the history, vegetation and wildlife of the Florida Everglades.

If you’re interested in wildlife beyond reptiles, perhaps a visit to Zoo Miami would be more appealing to you.  Owned and operated by the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department, Zoo Miami has more than 100 exhibits on 740 total acres; 327 of which are developed. With more than 2,000 animals representing in excess of 500 species as well as 10,000 to 15,000 Italian bees and 1,000 plus species of trees, palms and other plants, there’s bound to be something of interest for every visitor.

 Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami

For those who prefer indoor adventure, the Miami Museum of Science features hundreds of interactive exhibits, a wildlife center and a planetarium.  In similar fashion, the Miami Children’s Museum boasts numerous multi-cultural exhibits designed to educate through hands-on experiences.

Miami will probably never shake its reputation as a hotbed for sun worshipers and party goers but an increasing number of visitors are discovering the city also has much to offer families.